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ALEXANDER. While Alexander was a boy, Philip had great success in his affairs, at which he did not rejoice, but told the children that were brought up with him, My father will leave me nothing to do. The children answered, Your father gets all this for you. But what good, saith he, will it do me, if I possess much and do nothing? Being nimble and light-footed, his father encouraged him to run in the Olympic race; Yes, said he, if there were any kings there to run with me. A wench being brought to lie with him late in the evening, he asked why she tarried so long. She answered, I staid until my husband was abed; and he sharply reproved his pages, because through their carelessness he had almost committed adultery. As he was sacrificing to the Gods liberally, and often offered frankincense, Leonidas his tutor standing by said, O son, thus generously will you sacrifice, when you have conquered the country that bears frankincense. And when he had conquered it, he sent him this letter: I have sent you an hundred talents of frankincense and cassia, that hereafter you may not be niggardly towards the Gods, when you understand I have conquered the country in which perfumes grow. The night before he fought at the river Granicus, he exhorted the Macedonians to sup plentifully and to bring out all they had, as they were to sup the next day at the charge of their enemies. Perillus, one of his friends, begged of him portions for his daughters; and he ordered him to receive fifty talents. And when he said, Ten were enough, [p. 199] Alexander replied: Enough for you to receive, but not for me to give. He commanded his steward to give Anaxarchus the philosopher as much as he should ask for. He asketh, said the steward, for an hundred talents. He doth well, said he, knowing he hath a friend that both can and will bestow so much on him. Seeing at Miletus many statues of wrestlers that had overcome in the Olympic and Pythian games, And where, said he, were these lusty fellows when the barbarians assaulted your city? When Ada queen of Caria was ambitious often to send him sauces and sweetmeats delicately prepared by the best cooks and artists, he said, I have better confectioners of my own, viz., my night-travelling for my breakfast, and my spare breakfast for my dinner. All things being prepared for a fight, his captains asked him whether he had any thing else to command them. Nothing, said he, but that the Macedonians should shave their beards. Parmenio wondering at it, Do you not know, said he, there is no better hold in a fight than the beard? When Darius offered him ten thousand talents, and to divide Asia equally with him: I would accept it, said Parmenio, were I Alexander. And so truly would I, said Alexander, if I were Parmenio. But he answered Darius, that the earth could not bear two suns, nor Asia two kings. When he was going to fight for the world at Arbela, against ten hundred thousand enemies set in array against him, some of his friends came to him, and told him the discourse of the soldiers in their tents, who had agreed that nothing of the spoils should be brought into the treasury, but they would have all themselves. You tell me good news, said he, for I hear the discourse of men that intend to fight, and not to run away. Several of his soldiers cameto him and said: O King! be of good courage, and fear not the multitude of your enemies, for they will not be able to endure the very stink of our sweat. The army being marshalled, he saw a soldier [p. 200] fitting his thong to his javelin, and dismissed him as a useless fellow, for fitting his weapons when he should use them. As he was reading a letter from his mother, containing secrets and accusations of Antipater, Hephaestion also (as he was wont) read it along with him. Alexander did not hinder him; but when the letter was read, he took his ring off his finger, and laid the seal of it upon Hephaestion's mouth. Being saluted as the son of Jupiter in the temple of Ammon by the chief priest; It is no wonder, said he, for Jupiter is by nature the father of all, and calls the best men his sons. When he was wounded with an arrow in the ankle, and many ran to him that were wont to call him a God, he said smiling: That is blood, as you see, and not, as Homer saith,—
Such humor as distils from blessed Gods.
To some that commended the frugality of Antipater, whose diet was sober and without luxury; Outwardly, said he, Antipater wears white clothes, but within he is all purple. In a cold winter day one of his friends invited him to a banquet, and there being a little fire on a small hearth, he bid him fetch either wood or frankincense. Antipatridas brought a beautiful singing woman to supper with him; Alexander, being taken with her visage, asked Antipatridas whether she was his miss or not. And when he confessed she was; O villain, said he, turn her immediately out from the banquet. Again, when Cassander forced a kiss from Pytho, a boy beloved by Evius the piper, and Alexander perceived that Evius was concerned at it, he was extremely enraged at Cassander, and said with a loud voice, It seems nobody must be loved if you can help it. When he sent such of the Macedonians as were sick and maimed to the sea, they showed him one that was in health and yet subscribed his name among the sick; being brought into [p. 201] ## the presence and examined, he confessed he used that pretence for the love of Telesippa, who was going to the sea. Alexander asked, of whom he could make inquiries about this Telesippa, and hearing she was a free woman, he said. Therefore, my Antigenes, let us persuade her to stay with us, for to force her to do so when she is a free woman is not according to my custom. Of the mercenary Grecians that fought against him he took many prisoners. He commanded the Athenians should be kept in chains, because they served for wages when they were allowed a public maintenance; and the Thessalians, because when they had a fruitful country they did not till it; but he set the Thebans free, saying, To them only I have left neither city nor country. He took captive an excellent Indian archer that said he could shoot an arrow through a ring, and commanded him to show his skill; and when the man refused to do this, he commanded him in a rage to be put to death. The man told them that led him to execution that, not having practised for many days, he was afraid he should miss. Alexander, hearing this, wondered at him and dismissed him with rewards, because he chose rather to die than show himself unworthy of his reputation. Taxiles, one of the Indian kings, met Alexander, and advised him not to make war nor fight with him, but if he were a meaner person than himself, to receive kindness from him, or if he were a better man, to show kindness to him. He answered, that was the very thing they must fight for, who should exceed the other in bounty. When he heard the rock called Aornus in India was by its situation impregnable, but the commander of it was a coward; Then, said he, the place is easy to be taken. Another, commanding a rock thought to be invincible, surrendered himself and the rock to Alexander, who committed the said rock and the adjacent country to his government, saying: I take this for a wise man, who chose rather to commit himself to a [p. 202] good man than to a strong place. When the rock was taken, his friends said that it exceeded the deeds of Hercules. But I, said he, do not think my actions and all my empire to be compared with one word of Hercules. He fined some of his friends whom he caught playing at dice in earnest. Of his chief and most powerful friends, he seemed most to respect Craterus, and to love Hephaestion. Craterus, said he, is the friend of the king; but Hephaestion is the friend of Alexander. He sent fifty talents to Xenocrates the philosopher, who would not receive them, saying he was not in want. And he asked whether Xenocrates had no friend either; For as to myself, said he, the treasure of Darius is hardly sufficient for me to bestow among my friends. He demanded of Porus, after the fight, how he should treat him. Royally, said he, like a king. And being again asked, what farther he had to request; All things, said he, are in that word royally. Admiring his wisdom and valor, he gave him a greater government than he had before. Being told a certain person reviled him, To do good, said he, and to be evil spoken of is kingly. As he was dying, looking upon his friends, I see, said he, my funeral tournament will be great. When he was dead, Demades the rhetorician likened the Macedonian army without a general to Polyphemus the Cyclops when his eye was put out.

1 Il. V. 340.

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