And it is astonishing that he had time to write so many letters for his friends. For instance, he wrote one giving orders to seek out a slave of Seleucus who had run away into Cilicia; and one in commendation of Peucestas for arresting Nicon, a servant of Craterus; and one to Megabyzus about an attendant who had taken refuge in a sanctuary, bidding him, if possible, entice the slave outside the sanctuary and then arrest him, but not to lay hands upon him in the sanctuary.
It is said, too, that at first, when he was trying capital cases, he would put his hand over one of his ears while the accuser was speaking, that he might keep it free and unprejudiced for the accused. But afterwards the multitude of accusations which he heard rendered him harsh, and led him to believe the false because so many were true. And particularly when he was maligned he lost discretion and was cruel and inexorable, since he loved his reputation more than his life or his kingdom.
Now, however, he marched out against Dareius,
expecting to fight another battle; but when he heard that Dareius had been seized by Bessus, he sent his Thessalians home, after distributing among them a largess of two thousand talents over and above their pay. In consequence of the pursuit of Dareius, which was long and arduous (for in eleven days he rode thirty-three hundred furlongs), most of his horsemen gave out, and chiefly for lack of water.
At this point some Macedonians met him who were carrying water from the river in skins upon their mules. And when they beheld Alexander, it being now midday, in a wretched plight from thirst, they quickly filled a helmet and brought it to him. To his enquiry for whom they were carrying the water, they replied: ‘For our own sons; but if thou livest, we can get other sons, even if we lose these.’
On hearing this he took the helmet into his hands, but when he looked around and saw the horsemen about him all stretching out their heads and gazing at the water, he handed it back without drinking any, but with praises for the men who had brought it; ‘For,’ said he,
‘if I should drink of it alone, these horsemen of mine will be out of heart.’
But when they beheld his self-control and loftiness of spirit, they shouted out to him to lead them forward boldly, and began to goad their horses on, declaring that they would not regard themselves as weary, or thirsty, or as mortals at all, so long as they had such a king.