Alexander, then, in exercising himself and at the same time inciting others to deeds of valour, was wont to court danger; but his friends, whose wealth and magnificence now gave them a desire to live in luxury and idleness, were impatient of his long wanderings and military expeditions, and gradually went so far as to abuse him and speak ill of him. He, however, was very mildly disposed at first toward this treatment of himself and used to say that it was the lot of a king to confer favours and be ill-spoken of therefor.
And yet in the most trifling attentions which he paid his familiar friends there were marks of great good-will and esteem. I will instance a few of these.
He found fault with Peucestas by letter because, after being bitten by a bear, he wrote about it to the rest of his friends but did not tell him. ‘Now, however,’ said he,
‘write me how you are, and tell me whether any of your fellow-huntsmen left you in the lurch, that I may punish them.’
To Hephaestion, who was absent on some business, he wrote that while they were diverting themselves with hunting an ichneumon, Craterus encountered the lance of Perdiccas and was wounded in the thighs. After Peucestas had safely recovered from an illness, Alexander wrote to the physician, Alexippus, expressing his thanks. While Craterus was sick, Alexander had a vision in his sleep, whereupon he offered certain sacrifices himself for the recovery of his friend, and bade him also sacrifice.
He wrote also to Pausanias, the physician, who wished to administer hellebore to Craterus, partly expressing distress, and partly advising him how to use the medicine. Those who first brought word to him that Harpalus had absconded, namely, Ephialtes and Cissus, he put in fetters, on the ground that they were falsely accusing the man.
When he was sending home his aged and infirm soldiers, Eurylochus of Aegae got himself enrolled among the sick, and then, when it was discovered that he had nothing the matter with him, confessed that he was in love with Telesippa, and was bent on following along with her on her journey to the sea-board. Alexander asked of what parentage the girl was, and on hearing that she was a free-born courtesan, said: ‘I will help you, O Eurylochus, in your amour; but see to it that we try to persuade Telesippa either by arguments or by gifts, since she is free-born.’