Taxiles, we are told, had a realm in India as large as Egypt, with good pasturage, too, and in the highest degree productive of beautiful fruits. He was also a wise man in his way, and after he had greeted Alexander, said: ‘Why must we war and fight with one another, Alexander, if thou art not come to rob us of water or of necessary sustenance, the only things for which men of sense are obliged to fight obstinately?
As for other wealth and possessions, so-called, if I am thy superior therein, I am ready to confer favours; but if thine inferior, I will not object to thanking you for favours conferred.’ At this Alexander was delighted, and clasping the king's hand, said: ‘Canst thou think, pray, that after such words of kindness our interview is to end without a battle? Nay, thou shalt not get the better of me; for I will contend against thee and fight to the last with my favours, that thou mayest not surpass me in generosity.’
So, after receiving many gifts and giving many more, at last he lavished upon him a thousand talents in coined money. This conduct greatly vexed Alexander's friends, but it made many of the Barbarians look upon him more kindly.
The best fighters among the Indians, however, were mercenaries, and they used to go about to the different cities and defend them sturdily, and wrought much harm to Alexander's cause. Therefore, after he had made a truce with them in a certain city and allowed them to depart, he fell upon them as they marched and slew them all.
And this act adheres like a stain to his military career; in all other instances he waged war according to usage and like a king. The philosophers, too, no less than the mercenaries, gave him trouble, by abusing those of the native princes who attached themselves to his cause, and by inciting the free peoples to revolt. He therefore took many of these also and hanged them.