Here he spent the night and the following day in bitter lamentations, and at last lay speechless, worn out with his cries and wailing, heaving deep groans. Then his friends, alarmed at his silence, forced their way in. To what the others said he would pay no attention, but when Aristander the seer reminded him of the vision he had seen concerning Cleitus, and of the omen,
assuring him that all this had long ago been decreed by fate, he seemed to be less obdurate.
Therefore they brought in to him Callisthenes the philosopher, who was a relative of Aristotle, and Anaxarchus of Abdera. Of these, Callisthenes tried by considerate and gentle methods to alleviate the king's suffering, employing insinuation and circumlocution so as to avoid giving pain; but Anaxarchus, who had always taken a path of his own in philosophy, and had acquired a reputation for despising and slighting his associates, shouted out as soon as he came in:
‘Here is Alexander, to whom the whole world is now looking; but he lies on the floor weeping like a slave, in fear of the law and the censure of men, unto whom he himself should be a law and a measure of justice, since he has conquered the right to rule and mastery, instead of submitting like a slave to the mastery of a vain opinion.
Knowest thou not,’ said he, ‘that Zeus has Justice and Law seated beside him, in order that everything that is done by the master of the world may be lawful and just?’ By using some such arguments as these Anaxarchus succeeded in lightening the suffering of the king, it is true, but rendered his disposition in many ways more vainglorious and lawless; he also made himself wonderfully liked by the king, and brought the intercourse of Callisthenes with him, which had always been unpleasant because of the man's austerity, into additional disfavour.
It is said that once at supper the conversation turned upon seasons and weather, and that Callisthenes, who held with those who maintain that it is more cold and wintry there than in Greece, was stoutly opposed by Anaxarchus, whereupon he said: ‘You surely must admit that it is colder here than there; for there you used to go about in winter in a cloak merely, but here you recline at table with three rugs thrown over you.’ Of course this also added to the irritation of Anaxarchus.