The Macedonians, however, while there was no danger, continued to take gifts from their corrupters, and hung about the doors of these men, who now had body-guards and wanted to be generals. But when Antigonus encamped near them with a large force and the situation called aloud for a real general, not only did the common soldiers attach themselves to Eumenes, but also those who were great only when peace and luxury prevailed, every man of them, gave in to him and consented without a murmur to hold the post which he gave them.
And, indeed, when Antigonus tried to cross the river Pasitigris, none of the other commanders who were watching his movements was even aware of it, but Eumenes, and he alone, withstood him, joined battle with him, slew many of his men and filled the stream with dead bodies, and took four thousand prisoners. But most of all in connection with the sickness that befell him did the Macedonians make it clear that they considered the others able to feast them splendidly and hold high festival, but him alone capable of wielding command and waging war.
For Peucestas, having feasted them splendidly in Persis, and having given every man a victim for sacrifice, was expecting to be chief in command; and a few days afterwards, as the soldiers were marching against the enemy, it chanced that Eumenes, in consequence of a dangerous illness, was being carried along in a litter outside the ranks, where it was quiet and his sleep would not be broken. But after they had advanced a little way, suddenly the enemy were seen passing over some hills and descending into the plain.
The gleams of their golden armour in the sun flashed down from the heights as they marched along in close formation, and on the backs of the elephants the towers and purple trappings were seen, which was their array when going into battle. Accordingly, the foremost Macedonians halted in their march and called with loud cries for Eumenes, declaring that they would not go forward unless he was in command of them; and grounding their arms they passed word to one another to wait, and to their leaders to keep still, and without Eumenes not to give battle or run any hazard even with the enemy.
When Eumenes heard of this, he quickened the pace of his bearers to a run and came to them, and lifting up the curtains of his litter on either side, stretched forth his hand in delight. And when the soldiers saw him, they hailed him at once in their Macedonian speech, caught up their shields, beat upon them with their spears, and raised their battle-cry, challenging the enemy to fight in the assurance that their leader was at hand.