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consolidation of the various nations subdued by his arms, and that he

saw in intermarriage one of the chief means by which this result was to

be accomplished. It was observed, moreover, that his army had of late

been recruited from Asiatic sources, and notwithstanding the jealousy

which this measure created among his Macedonian and Grecian subjects,

Alexander persisted in the course which seemed to him most likely to

conciliate the favor of the recently subjugated peoples.

Thus it was that the banner and phalanx of Macedonia were carried to the

borders of India. Nor was there any doubt of the ability of the

conqueror to press his way eastward until the ocean and the Himalayas

should impede his progress. His army was now an army of veterans, inured

in the campaigns of four successive years to every species of hardship

incident to the camp and the field. Besides the discipline which they

had received at the hands of the bravest and most experienced generals,

the person and example of Alexander himself, who shared with his

soldiers all the hardships of the march and the battle, had inspired

them with enthusiasm for their leader and confidence in their abilities

to conquer the world.

To these prospects of future achievement a single circumstance seemed to

oppose a barrier. Of late there had arisen trouble not a little between

the Macedonian and some of the officers of his army. In the first place

he was led to suspect that Philotas, the son of Parmenio, was engaged in

a treacherous conspiracy against himself. The young general was

accordingly arrested, tried before a military commission, condemned by

his judges, and put to death. This was a fatal blow to Parmenio, who,

though long the confidential adviser of Philip and afterwards the ablest

general of Philip's son, soon fell under suspicion of disloyalty, and,

whether guilty or innocent, was speedily sent to his death. In these

proceedings it was evident that the mutual trust of the king, and his

officers, which for many years had survived the ordeals of privation and

battle, was clouded with discontent and suspicion.

The winter of B. C. 329 was passed by the army in Bactria. It was

during this interval that an event occurred from the effects of which

the king never wholly escaped. The Asiatic courtiers, who now

constituted a part of the retinue of Alexander, began to exercise upon

his character a deleterious influence. It is clear that his ear was no

longer offended with the base flatteries of the East. This gradual

alienation from the severe manners of his father's court was noticed

with mortification by the austere Macedonians, who still constituted the

body of his friends. On a certain occasion, in the Bactrian winter-

quarters, a banquet was given in honor of Castor and Pollux. When all

were well heated with wine, some of the fawning puppies of the East

began in their usual obsequious way to flatter the king on his great

achievements and divine paternity. Thereupon Clitus, the ablest of the

Macedonian generals after Parmenio, and the intimate friend of the

conqueror, rebuked the sycophants with all the hot words in his


Alexander, to his shame, interfered to stop the reproaches of Clitus,

who thereupon turned on his master a torrent of well deserved rebukes.

The king, already excited with drink, gave way to passion, and in a

moment of ungovernable rage snatched a weapon from one of his guards,

and gave his faithful general a death-thrust on the spot. With the quick

return of reason, realizing the horrible crime which he had committed,

he fell into bitter remorse, shut himself up in his chamber, would not

see his friends, and for three days neither ate nor drank. Finally he

was persuaded that the rash murder of his friend was chargeable to

Bacchus rather than to himself, and with this miserable subterfuge he

quieted his conscience.

A short time afterwards an event occurred which came near costing

Alexander his life. Among his retainers was a company of young men known

as the Band of Pages. Their leader was a certain Hermolaus. On an

occasion Alexander accompanied these youths on a boar hunt in the

Bactrian forests. When the beast was brought to bay, Hermolaus, without

waiting according to good manners for the king to strike down the game,