Notwithstanding the heedlessness with which Antony abandoned himself to
these luxurious pleasures when at Rome, no man could endure exposure and
hardship better when in camp or on the field. In fact, he rushed with as
much headlong precipitation into difficulty and danger when abroad, as
into expense and dissipation when at home. During his contests with
Octavius and Lepidus, after Caesar's death, he once had occasion to pass
the Alps, which, with his customary recklessness, he attempted to
traverse without any proper supplies of stores or means of
transportation. He was reduced, on the passage, together with the troops
under his command, to the most extreme destitution and distress. They
had to feed on roots and herbs, and finally on the bark of trees; and
they barely preserved themselves, by these means, from actual
starvation. Antony seemed, however, to care nothing for all this, but
pressed on through the difficulty and danger, manifesting the same
daring and determined unconcern to the end. In the same campaign he
found himself at one time reduced to extreme destitution in respect to
men. His troops had been gradually wasted away until his situation had
become very desperate. He conceived, under these circumstances, the most
extraordinary idea of going over alone to the camp of Lepidus and
enticing away his rival's troops from under the very eyes of their
commander. This bold design was successfully executed. Antony advanced
alone, clothed in wretched garments, and with his matted hair and beard
hanging about his breast and shoulders, up to Lepidus's lines. The men,
who knew him well, received him with acclamations; and pitying the sad
condition to which they saw that he was reduced, began to listen to what
he had to say. Lepidus, who could not attack him, since he and Antony
were not at that time in open hostility to each other, but were only
rival commanders in the same army, ordered the trumpeters to sound in
order to make a noise which should prevent the words of Antony from
being heard. This interrupted the negotiation; but the men immediately
disguised two of their number in female apparel, and sent them to Antony
to make arrangements with him for putting themselves under his command,
and offering, at the same time, to murder Lepidus, if he would but speak
the word. Antony charged them to do Lepidus no injury. He, however, went
over and took possession of the camp, and assumed the command of the
army. He treated Lepidus himself, personally, with extreme politeness,
and retained him as a subordinate under his command.

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