On the other hand, Pothinus, who had been as little accustomed to
acknowledge a superior as Caesar, though his supremacy and domination had
been exercised on a somewhat humbler scale, was obstinate and
pertinacious in resisting all these demands, though the means and
methods which he resorted to were of a character corresponding to his
weak and ignoble mind. He fomented quarrels in the streets between the
Alexandrian populace and Caesar's soldiers. He thought that, as the
number of troops under Caesar's command in the city, and of vessels in
the port, was small, he could tease and worry the Romans with impunity,
though he had not the courage openly to attack them. He pretended to be
a friend, or, at least, not an enemy, and yet he conducted himself
toward them in an overbearing and insolent manner. He had agreed to make
arrangements for supplying them with food, and he did this by procuring
damaged provisions of a most wretched quality; and when the soldiers
remonstrated, he said to them, that they who lived at other people's
cost had no right to complain of their fare. He caused wooden and
earthen vessels to be used in the palace, and said, in explanation, that
he had been compelled to sell all the gold and silver plate of the royal
household to meet the exactions of Caesar. He busied himself, too, about
the city, in endeavoring to excite odium against Caesar's proposal to
hear and decide the question at issue between Cleopatra and Ptolemy.
Ptolemy was a sovereign, he said, and was not amenable to any foreign
power whatever. Thus, without the courage or the energy to attempt any
open, manly, and effectual system of hostility, he contented himself
with making all the difficulty in his power, by urging an incessant
pressure of petty, vexatious, and provoking, but useless annoyances.
Caesar's demands may have been unjust, but they were bold, manly, and
undisguised. The eunuch may have been right in resisting them; but the
mode was so mean and contemptible, that mankind have always taken part
with Caesar in the sentiments which they have formed as spectators of the
contest.

[...]
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