In the mean time, Auletes, the father, went on toward Rome. So far as
his character and his story were known among the surrounding nations, he
was the object of universal obloquy, both on account of his previous
career of degrading vice, and now, still more, for this ignoble flight
from the difficulties in which his vices and crimes had involved him.

He stopped, on the way, at the island of Rhodes. It happened that Cato,
the great Roman philosopher and general, was at Rhodes at this time.
Cato was a man of stern, unbending virtue, and of great influence at
that period in public affairs. Ptolemy sent a messenger to inform Cato
of his arrival, supposing, of course, that the Roman general would
hasten, on hearing of the fact, to pay his respects to so great a
personage as he, a king of Egypt--a Ptolemy--though suffering under a
temporary reverse of fortune. Cato directed the messenger to reply that,
so far as he was aware, he had no particular business with Ptolemy.
"Say, however, to the king," he added, "that, if he has any business
with me, he may call and see me, if he pleases."

[...]
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