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23. To the use of wine also he was less addicted than was generally believed. The belief arose from the time which he would spend over each cup, more in talking than in drinking, always holding some long discourse, and this too when he had abundant leisure. For in the stress of affairs he was not to be detained, as other commanders were, either by wine, or sleep, or any sport, or amour, or spectacle. [2] This is proved by his life, which though altogether brief, he filled to overflowing with the greatest exploits. In his times of leisure, however, after rising and sacrificing to the gods, he immediately took breakfast sitting; then, he would spend the day in hunting, or administering justice, or arranging his military affairs, or reading. If he were making a march which was not very urgent, he would practise, as he went along, either archery or mounting and dismounting from a chariot that was under way. [3] Often, too, for diversion, he would hunt foxes or birds, as may be gathered from his journals. After he had taken quarters for the night, and while he was enjoying bath or anointing, he would enquire of his chief cooks and bakers whether the arrangements for his supper were duly made. When it was late and already dark, he would begin his supper, reclining on a couch, and marvellous was his care and circumspection at table, in order that everything might be served impartially and without stint; but over the wine, as I have said, he would sit long, for conversation's sake. [4] And although in other ways he was of all princes most agreeable in his intercourse, and endowed with every grace, at this time his boastfulness would make him unpleasant and very like a common soldier. Not only was he himself carried away into blustering, but he suffered himself to be ridden by his flatterers. These were a great annoyance to the finer spirits in the company, who desired neither to vie with the flatterers, nor yet to fall behind them in praising Alexander. The one course they thought disgraceful, the other had its perils. [5] After the drinking was over, he would take a bath and sleep, frequently until midday; and sometimes he would actually spend the entire day in sleep.

In the matter of delicacies, too, he himself, at all events, was master of his appetite, so that often, when the rarest fruits or fish were brought to him from the sea-coast, he would distribute them to each of his companions until he was the only one for whom nothing remained. [6] His suppers, however, were always magnificent, and the outlay upon them increased with his successes until it reached the sum of ten thousand drachmas. There it stood, and that was the prescribed limit of expenditure for those who entertained Alexander.

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