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71. The thirty thousand boys whom he had left behind him under instruction and training 1 were now so vigorous in their bodies and so comely in their looks, and showed besides such admirable dexterity and agility in their exercises, that Alexander himself was delighted; his Macedonians, however, were filled with dejection and fear, thinking that their king would now pay less regard to them. [2] Therefore when he also sent the weak and maimed among them down to the sea-board, they said it was insult and abuse, after using men up in every kind of service, now to put them away in disgrace and cast them back upon their native cities and their parents, no longer the men they were when he took them. Accordingly, they bade him send them all away and hold all his Macedonians of no account, since he had these young war-dancers, with whom he could go on and conquer the world. 2 [3] At these words of theirs Alexander was displeased, and heaped much abuse upon them in his anger, and drove them away, and committed his watches to Persians, and out of these constituted his body-guards and attendants. When the Macedonians saw him escorted by these, while they themselves were excluded from him and treated with contumely, they were humbled; and when they reasoned the matter out they found that they had been almost mad with jealousy and rage. [4] So finally, after coming to their senses, they went to his tent, without their arms and wearing their tunics only, and with loud cries and lamentations put themselves at his mercy, bidding him deal with them as base and thankless men. But Alexander would not see them, although his heart was softening. And the men would not desist, but for two days and nights persisted in standing thus before his door, weeping and calling upon their master. [5] So on the third day he came forth, and when he saw their piteous and humble plight, wept for some time; then, after chiding them gently and speaking kindly to them, he dismissed those who were past service with magnificent gifts, and wrote to Antipater that at all the public contests and in the theatres they should have the foremost seats and wear garlands. He also ordained that the orphan children of those who had lost their lives in his service should receive their father's pay. 3

1 Cf. chapter xlvii. 3.

2 The account of the quarrel between Alexander and the Macedonians in Arrian ( Anab. vii. 8Ð11) differs materially from that of Plutarch.

3 Cf. Arrian, Anab. vii. 12.

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