He saw that his favourites had grown altogether luxurious, and were vulgar in the extravagance of their ways of living. For instance, Hagnon the Teian used to wear silver nails in his boots; Leonnatus had dust for his gymnastic exercises brought to him on many camels from Egypt; Philotas had hunting-nets a hundred furlongs long; when they took their exercise and their baths, more of them actually used myrrh than olive oil, and they had in their train rubbers and chamberlains. Alexander therefore chided them in gentle and reasonable fashion.
He was amazed, he said, that after they had undergone so many and so great contests they did not remember that those who conquer by toil sleep more sweetly than those who are conquered by their toil, and did not see, from a comparison of their own lives with those of the Persians, that it is a very servile thing to be luxurious, but a very royal thing to toil. ‘And yet,’ said he, ‘how can a man take care of his own horse or furbish up his spear and helmet, if he is unaccustomed to using his hands on his own dear person?
Know ye not,’ said he, ‘that the end and object of conquest is to avoid doing the same thing as the conquered?’ Accordingly, he exerted himself yet more strenuously in military and hunting expeditions, suffering distress and risking his life , so that a Spartan ambassador who came up with him as he was bringing down a great lion, said:
‘Nobly, indeed, Alexander, hast thou struggled with the lion to see which should be king.’
This hunting-scene Craterus dedicated at Delphi, with bronze figures of the lion, the dogs, the king engaged with the lion, and himself coming to his assistance; some of the figures were moulded by Lysippus, and some by Leochares.