As Caesar had possession of the island of Pharos and of the harbor,
Ganymede could not cut him off from receiving such re-enforcements of
men and arms as he might make arrangements for obtaining beyond the sea;
nor could he curtail his supply of food, as the granaries and magazines
within Caesar's quarter of the city contained almost inexhaustible stores
of corn. There was one remaining point essential to the subsistence of
an army besieged, and that was an abundant supply of water. The palaces
and citadels which Caesar occupied were supplied with water by means of
numerous subterranean aqueducts, which conveyed the water from the Nile
to vast cisterns built under ground, whence it was raised by buckets and
hydraulic engines for use. In reflecting upon this circumstance,
Ganymede conceived the design of secretly digging a canal, so as to turn
the waters of the sea by means of it into these aqueducts. This plan he
carried into effect. The consequence was, that the water in the cisterns
was gradually changed. It became first brackish, then more and more salt
and bitter, until, at length, it was wholly impossible to use it. For
some time the army within could not understand these changes; and when,
at length, they discovered the cause the soldiers were panic-stricken at
the thought, that they were now apparently wholly at the mercy of their
enemies, since, without supplies of water, they must all immediately
perish. They considered it hopeless to attempt any longer to hold out,
and urged Caesar to evacuate the city, embark on board his galleys, and
proceed to sea.

Instead of doing this, however, Caesar, ordering all other operations to
be suspended, employed the whole laboring force of his command, under
the direction of the captains of the several companies, in digging wells
in every part of his quarter of the city. Fresh water, he said, was
almost invariably found, at a moderate depth, upon sea-coasts, even upon
ground lying in very close proximity to the sea. The digging was
successful. Fresh water, in great abundance, was found. Thus this danger
was passed, and the men's fears effectually relieved.

A short time after these transactions occurred, there came into the
harbor one day, from along the shore west of the city, a small sloop,
bringing the intelligence that a squadron of transports had arrived upon
the coast to the westward of Alexandria, and had anchored there, being
unable to come up to the city on account of an easterly wind which
prevailed at that season of the year. This squadron was one which had
been sent across the Mediterranean with arms, ammunition, and military
stores for Caesar, in answer to requisitions which he had made
immediately after he had landed. The transports being thus windbound on
the coast, and having nearly exhausted their supplies of water, were in
distress; and they accordingly sent forward the sloop, which was
probably propelled by oars, to make known their situation to Caesar, and
to ask for succor. Caesar immediately went, himself, on board of one of
his galleys, and ordering the remainder of his little fleet to follow
him, he set sail out of the harbor, and then turned to the westward,
with a view of proceeding along the coast to the place where the
transports were lying.

[...]
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