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But then, when he considered the Eastern garments, Alexander preferred the Persian before the Median habit, [p. 483] though much the meaner and more frugal garb. Therefore rejecting the gaudy and scenical ornament of barbarian gallantry, such as were the tiara and candys, together with the upper breeches, according to the report of Eratosthenes, he ordered a mixture of the Macedonian and Persian modes to be observed in all the garments which he wore. As a philosopher, he contented himself with mediocrity; but as the common chieftain of both and as a mild and affable prince, he was willing to gain the affection of the vanquished by the esteem which he showed to the mode of the country; that so they might continue the more steadfast and loyal to the Macedonians, not hating them as their enemies, but loving them as their princes and rulers. This behavior was contrary to that of persons insipid and puffed up with prosperity, who wedded to their own humors admire the single colored robe but cannot endure the tunic bordered with purple, or else are well pleased with the latter and hate the former, like young children, in love with the mode in which, as another nurse, their country's custom first apparelled them. And yet we see that they who hunt wild beasts clothe themselves with their hairy skins; and fowlers make use of feathered jerkins; nor are others less wary how they show themselves to wild bulls in scarlet or to elephants in white; for those creatures are provoked and enraged at the sight of these colors. If then this potent monarch, designing to reclaim and civilize stubborn and warlike nations, took the same course to soften and allay their inbred fury which others take with wild beasts, and at length brought them to be tame and tractable by making use of their familiar habits and by submitting to their customary course of life, thereby removing animosity from their breasts and sour looks from their countenances, shall we blame his management; or rather must we not admire the wisdom of him who by so slight a change of apparel ruled all Asia, subduing their [p. 484] bodies with his arms and vanquishing their minds with his habit? It is a strange thing; we applaud Socratic Aristippus, because, being sometimes clad in a poor threadbare cloak, sometimes in a Milesian robe, he kept a decency in both; but they censure Alexander, because he gave some respect to the garb and mode of those whom he had vanquished, as well as to that of his native country; not considering that he was laying the foundation of vast achievements. It was not his design to ransack Asia like a robber, or to despoil and ruin it, as the prey and rapine of unexpected good fortune, as afterwards Hannibal pillaged Italy, and before him the Treres ravaged Ionia and the Scythians harassed Media,—but to subdue all the kingdoms of the earth under one form of government, and to make one nation of all mankind. So that if the same Deity which hither sent the soul of Alexander had not too soon recalled it, one law had overlooked all the world, and one form of justice had been as it were the common light of one universal government; while now that part of the earth which Alexander never saw remains without a sun.
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