Some of the early sovereigns of the line followed in some degree the
honorable example set them by the distinguished founder of it; but this
example was soon lost, and was succeeded by the most extreme degeneracy
and debasement. The successive sovereigns began soon to live and to
reign solely for the gratification of their own sensual propensities and
passions. Sensuality begins sometimes with kindness, but it ends always
in the most reckless and intolerable cruelty. The Ptolemies became, in
the end, the most abominable and terrible tyrants that the principle of
absolute and irresponsible power ever produced. There was one vice in
particular, a vice which they seem to have adopted from the Asiatic
nations of the Persian empire, that resulted in the most awful
consequences. This vice was incest.

[...]
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