Ptolemy was obliged to suppress his resentment and submit. He thought it
very essential to the success of his plans that he should see Cato, and
secure, if possible, his interest and co-operation; and he consequently
made preparations for paying, instead of receiving, the visit, intending
to go in the greatest royal state that he could command. He accordingly
appeared at Cato's lodgings on the following day, magnificently dressed,
and accompanied by many attendants. Cato, who was dressed in the
plainest and most simple manner, and whose apartment was furnished in a
style corresponding with the severity of his character, did not even
rise when the king entered the room. He simply pointed with his hand,
and bade the visitor take a seat.

Ptolemy began to make a statement of his case, with a view to obtaining
Cato's influence with the Roman people to induce them to interpose in
his behalf. Cato, however, far from evincing any disposition to espouse
his visitor's cause, censured him, in the plainest terms, for having
abandoned his proper position in his own kingdom, to go and make himself
a victim and a prey for the insatiable avarice of the Roman leaders.
"You can do nothing at Rome," he said, "but by the influence of bribes;
and all the resources of Egypt will not be enough to satisfy the Roman
greediness for money." He concluded by recommending him to go back to
Alexandria, and rely for his hopes of extrication from the difficulties
which surrounded him on the exercise of his own energy and resolution
there.

Ptolemy was greatly abashed at this rebuff, but, on consultation with
his attendants and followers, it was decided to be too late now to
return. The whole party accordingly re-embarked on board their galleys,
and pursued their way to Rome.

[...]
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