A severe conflict ensued, but Caesar was victorious. The navy which the
Egyptians had so suddenly got together was as suddenly destroyed. Some
of the vessels were burned, others sunk, and others captured; and Caesar
returned in triumph to the port with his transports and stores. He was
welcomed with the acclamations of his soldiers, and, still more warmly,
by the joy and gratitude of Cleopatra, who had been waiting during his
absence in great anxiety and suspense to know the result of the
expedition, aware as she was that her hero was exposing himself in it to
the most imminent personal danger.

The arrival of these re-enforcements greatly improved Caesar's condition,
and the circumstance of their coming forced upon the mind of Ganymede a
sense of the absolute necessity that he should gain possession of the
harbor if he intended to keep Caesar in check. He accordingly determined
to take immediate measures for forming a naval force. He sent along the
coast, and ordered every ship and galley that could be found in all the
ports to be sent immediately to Alexandria. He employed as many men as
possible in and around the city in building more. He unroofed some of
the most magnificent edifices to procure timber as a material for making
benches and oars. When all was ready, he made a grand attack upon Caesar
in the port, and a terrible contest ensued for the possession of the
harbor, the mole, the island, and the citadels and fortresses commanding
the entrances from the sea. Caesar well knew this contest would be a
decisive one in respect to the final result of the war, and he
accordingly went forth himself to take an active and personal part in
the conflict. He felt doubtless, too, a strong emotion of pride and
pleasure in exhibiting his prowess in the sight of Cleopatra, who could
watch the progress of the battle from the palace windows, full of
excitement at the dangers which he incurred, and of admiration at the
feats of strength and valor which he performed. During this battle the
life of the great conqueror was several times in the most imminent
danger. He wore a habit or mantle of the imperial purple, which made him
a conspicuous mark for his enemies; and, of course, wherever he went, in
that place was the hottest of the fight. Once, in the midst of a scene
of most dreadful confusion and din, he leaped from an overloaded boat
into the water and swam for his life, holding his cloak between his
teeth and drawing it through the water after him, that it might not fall
into the hands of his enemies. He carried, at the same time, as he swam,
certain valuable papers which he wished to save, holding them above his
head with one hand, while he propelled himself through the water with
the other.

[...]
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