This is the oration of Fortune, asserting and challenge ing Alexander to be her masterpiece, and hers alone. In contradiction to which it behooves us to say something on the behalf of philosophy, or rather in the defence of Alexander himself, who cannot choose but spurn away the very thought of having received his empire as a gift at the hands of Fortune, knowing that it was so dearly bought with the price of his lost blood and many wounds, and that in gaining it,
Full many a bloody day
     In toilsome fight he spent,
And many a wakeful night
     In battle's management;


and all this in opposition to armies almost irresistible, numberless nations, rivers before impassable, and rocks impenetrable; choosing, however, for his chiefest guides and counsellors prudence, endurance, fortitude, and steadiness of mind.

1 Il. IX. 325.

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