Fearing that his Macedonians might tire of the rest of his expedition, he left the greater part of them in quarters, and while he had the best of them with him in Hyrcania, twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse, he addressed them, saying that at present they were seen by the Barbarians as in a dream, but that if they should merely throw Asia into confusion and then leave it they would be attacked by them as if they were women.
However, he said, he allowed those who wished it to go away, calling them to witness that while he was winning the inhabited world for the Macedonians he had been left behind with his friends and those who were willing to continue the expedition. This is almost word for word what he wrote in his letter to Antipater, and he adds that after he had thus spoken all his hearers cried out to him to lead them to whatever part of the world he wished. After these had met his test of their loyalty, it was no longer a hard matter for the main body to be led along too, nay, they readily followed after.
Under these circumstances, too, he adapted his own mode of life still more to the customs of the country, and tried to bring these into closer agreement with Macedonian customs, thinking that by a mixture and community of practice which produced good will, rather than by force, his authority would be kept secure while he was far away. For this reason, too, he chose out thirty thousand boys and gave orders that they should learn the Greek language and be trained to use Macedonian weapons, appointing many instructors for this work.
His marriage to Roxana, whom he saw in her youthful beauty taking part in a dance at a banquet, was a love affair, and yet it was thought to harmonize well with the matters which he had in hand. For the Barbarians were encouraged by the partnership into which the marriage brought them, and they were beyond measure fond of Alexander, because, most temperate of all men that he was in these matters, he would not consent to approach even the only woman who ever mastered his affections, without the sanction of law.
Moreover, when he saw that among his chiefest friends Hephaestion approved his course and joined him in changing his mode of life, while Craterus clung fast to his native ways, he employed the former in his business with the Barbarians, the latter in that with the Greeks and Macedonians. And in general he showed most affection for Hephaestion, but most esteem for Craterus, thinking, and constantly saying, that Hephaestion was a friend of Alexander, but Craterus a friend of the king.
For this reason, too, the men cherished a secret grudge against one another and often came into open collision. And once, on the Indian expedition, they actually drew their swords and closed with one another, and as the friends of each were coming to his aid, Alexander rode up and abused Hephaestion publicly, calling him a fool and a madman for not knowing that without Alexander's favour he was nothing; and in private he also sharply reproved Craterus.
Then he brought them together and reconciled them, taking an oath by Ammon and the rest of the gods that he loved them most of all men; but that if he heard of their quarrelling again, he would kill them both, or at least the one who began the quarrel. Wherefore after this they neither did nor said anything to harm one another, not even in jest.