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beautiful as those they had before, which it was very easy for him to do, as they were upon the confines of Persia, at that time in peace, and in a very flourishing condition.
He arrived in Carniania, now called Kerman, and went through it, not with the air and equipage of a warrior and a conqueror, but in a kind of masquerade, and bacchanalian festivity, committing the most riotous and extravagant actions. He was drawn by eight horsés, bimself being seated on a magnificent chariot, above which a scaffold was raised, in the form of a square stage, where he passed the days and nights in feasts and carousing.--This chariot was preceded and followed by an infinite num ber of others, some of which, in the shape of tents, were covered with rich carpets, and purple coverlets; and others, shaped like cradles, were overshadowed with branches of trees. On the sides of the roads, and at the doors of houses, a great number of casks ready broached were placed, wlience the soldiers drew wine in large flaggons, cups and goblets, prepared for that purpose.
The whole country echoed with the sound of instruments, and the howling of the bacchanals, who, with their hair dishevelled, and like so many frantic creatures, ran up and down, abandoning themselves to every kind of licentiousness. All this he did in imitation of the triumph of Bacchus, who, as we are told, crossed all Asia in this equipage, after he had conquered India. This riotous dissolute march lasted seven days, during all which time the army was never sober. It was very happy, says Quintus Curtius, for them, that the conquered nations did not think of attacking them in this condition for a thousand resolute men, well armed, might with great ease have defeated these conquerors of the world, whilst thus plunged in wine and excess.
Nearchus still keeping along the sea-coast, from the mouth of the Indus, came at last into the Persian gulf, and arrived at the island of Harmusia, now called Ormus. He there was informed, that Alexander was not abore five days journey from him. Having left the fleet in a secure place, he went to meet Alexander, accompanied only by four per
The king was very anxious about his feet. When news was brought him Qat Nearchus was arrived almost alone, he imagined that it had been entirely destroyed, and that Nearthus had been so very happy as to escape from the general defeat. His arrival confirmed him still more in this opinion, when he beheld a company of pale lean Creatures, whose countenances were so much changed that
• Arrian, in Indic, p. 341-352.
it was scarce possible to know them again. Taking Nearchus aside, be told him that he was overjoyed at his return, but at the same time was inconsolable for the loss of his fleet, “ Your fleet, royal Sir,” cried he immediately, “ thanks to “the gods, is not lost :" upon which he related the condition in which he had left it, 'Alexander could not refrain from tears, and confessed, that this happy news gave him greater pleasure than the conquest of all Asia He heard, with uncommon delight, the account Nearchus gave of his voyage, and the discoveries he had made ; and bid him return back, and go quite up the Euphrates as far as Babylon, pursuant to the first orders he had given him,
In Carmania, many complaints were made to Alexander, concerning governors and other officers, who had grievously oppressed the people of various provinces during his ab. sence; for, fully persyaded he would never return, they had exercised every species of rapine, tyranny, cruelty, and ope pression. But Alexander, strongly affected with their griev. ances, and pierced to the very soul with their just complaints, put to death as many as were found guilty of mal-adminis. tration, and with them 600 soldiers, who had been the instru. ments of their exactions and other crimes. He even afterwards treated with the same severity áll such of his officers as were convicted of the like guilt, so that his government was beloved by all the conquered nations. He was of opins ion, that a prince owes these examples of severity to his equity, which ought to check every kind of irregularity ; to his glory, to prove he does not connive or share in the injustice committed in his name ; to the consolation of his subjects, whom he supplies with a vengeance themselves ought never to exercise ; in fine, to the safety of his dominions, which, by so equitable an administration, is secured from many dangers, and very often from insurrections. It is a great unhappiness to a kingdom, when every part of it re.. sounds with exactions, vexations, oppressions, and corruption, and not so much as a single man is punished, as a terror to the rest ; and that the whole weight of the public authority falls only upon the people, and never on those who ruin them.
The great pleasure Alexander took in the account which Nearchus gave him of his successful voyage, made that prince have a great inclination to go upon the ocean. He proposed no less than to sail, from the Persian gulf, round Arabia and Africa, and to return into the Mediterranean by the straits of Gibraltar, called at that time Hercules' Pillars ; a voyage which had been several times attempted, and once performed by order of a king of Egypt, called Nechao, as I
have observed elsewhere. It was afterwards his design, when he should have humbled the pride of Carthage, against which he was greatly exasperated, to cross into Spain, called by the Greeks Iberia, from the river Iberus : he next was to go over the Alps, and coast along Italy, where he would have had but a short passage into Epirus, and from thence into Macedonia. * For this purpose, he sent orders to the viceroys of Mesopotamia and Syria, to build in several parts of the Euphrates, and particularly ai Thapsacus, ships sufficient for that enterprise ; and he caused to be felled, on mount Lebanus, a great number of trees, which were to be carried into the above mentioned city. But this project, as well as a great many more which he meditated, were all defeated by his early death.
Continuing his march, he went to Passagardæ, a city of Persia. Orsines was governor of the country, and the greatest nobleman in it. He was descended from Cyrus; and, besides the wealth he inherited from his ancestors, he himself had amassed great treasures, having, for many years, ruled a large country. He had done the king a signal piece of service. The person, who governed the provinces during Alexander's expedition into India, happened to die; when Orsines observing, that, for want of a governor, all things were running to confusion, took the administration upon himself, composed matters very happily, and preserved them in the utmost tranquillity' till Alexander's arrival. He went to meet him, with presents of all kinds for himself, as well as his officers. These consisted of a great number of fine managed horses, chariots enriched with gold and silver, precious movables, jewels, gold vases of prodigious weight, purple robes, and 4000 talents of silver in specie, (about 600,0001.). However, this generous magnificence proved fatal to him ; for he presented such gifts to the principal grandees of the court as infinitely exceeded their expectations, but gave nothing to the eunuch Bagoas, the king's favourite ; and this not through forgetfulness, but out of contempt. Some persons telling him how much the king loved Bagoas, he answered, “I honour the king's friends, but not
an infamous eunuch.” These words being told Bagoas, he employed all his credit to ruin a prince descended from the noblest blood in the east, and irreproachable in his conduct. He even bribed some of Orsines' attendants, giving them instructions how to impeach him at a proper season ; and in the mean time, whenever he was alone with the king, he filled his mind with suspicions and distrust, letting drop ambiguous expressions of that nobleman, as if by chance, 111 dissembling very artfully the motives of his discontent. Nese
ertheless, the king suspended his judgment for the present, but discovered less esteem than before for Orsines, who knew nothing of what was plotting against him, so secretly was the affair carried on ; and the eunuch, in his private discourses with Alexander, was perpetually charging hinn either with exactions or treason.
The great danger to which princes are exposed, is the suffering themselves to be prejudiced and over-reached in this manner by their favourites ; a danger so common, that St. Bernird, writing to Pope Eugenius, assures him,* that if he were exempted from this weakness, he may boast himself to be the only man in the world that is so. What is here spoken of prioces is applicable to all who represent them Great men generally listen with pleasure to the slandeyer; and for this reason, because he generally puts on the mask of affüction and zeal, which soothes their pride. Slander al. ways makes some impression on the most equitable mindsy and leaves behind it such dark and gloomy traces, as raise suspicions, jealousies, and distrusts. The artful slanderer is bold and indefatigable, because he is sure to escape unpune ished, and is sensible that he runs but very, little danger in greatly prejudicing others. With regard to the great, they seldom inquire into secret calumnies, either froni indolence, gildiness, or shame to appear suspicious, fearful, or diffident; in a word, from their unwillingness to own that they were imposed upon, and had abandoned themselves to a rash credulity. In this manner, the most unsullied virtue, and the most irreproachable fidelity, are frequently brought to inevitable ruin.
Of this we have a sad example on the present occasion: Bagoas, after having taken his measures at a distance, at last gave birth to his dark design. Alexander, having caused the monument, of. Cyrus to be opened, in order to perform funeral honours, to the ashes of that great prince, found not).*.& in it, but an old rotten shield, two Scythian bows, and a scimitar ; whereas he hoped to and it fuil of gold and silver, as the Persians had reported. The king Jaid a golden crown on his urn, and covered it with his cloák ; vastly surprised that so powerful and renowned a' prince had not beeen buried with greater ponip than a pria vate man. Bagoas, thinking this a proper time for him to speak, are we to wonder,” says he, "to find the tombs of kings so'empty, since the houses of the governors of pro
vinces are filled with the gold of which they have deprived " them! I, indeed, liad never seen this monument : but I " have heard Darius say,that immense treasures were buri. " ed in it. Hence flowed the unbounded liberality and pros:
* De Consider. I, ü, c. 14.
“ fusion of Orsines, who, by bestowing what he could not $ keep, without ruining himself, thought to make a merit of * this in your sight.” This charge was without the least foundation ; and yet the magi, who guarded the sepulchre, were put to the torture, but all to no purpose ; and nothing W.is discovered relating to the pretended theft. Their silence on this occasion ought naturally to have cleared Orsines; but the artful, insinuating discourses of Bagoas, had made a deep impression on Alexander's niind, and by that means given calumny an easy access to it. The accusers, whom Bagoas had suborned, having made choice of a favourable moment, came and impeached Orsines, and charged him with the commission of several odious crimes, and, amongst the rest, with stealing the treasures of the monume!t. At this charge, the matter appeared no longer doubtful, and the indications were thought sufficient ; so that this prince was loaded with chains before he so much as suspected that any accusation had been brought against him ; and was put to death, without being so much as heard, or confronted with his accusers. Too unliappy fate of kiirgs, who do not hear and eximine things in person, and who still continue infatuated, notwithstanding the numberless examples they read in history of princes who have been betrayed in like man·ner:
I hare already said, that there had followed the king an Indian called Calanus, reputed the wisest man of his country, who, though he professed the practice of the most se vere philosophy, had however been persuaded in his extreme old age, to attend upon the court. * This man hay: ing lived 83 years, without having been ever afflicted with sickness; and having a severe fit of the colic, upon his arrival at Passagàrdæ, he resolved to put himself to the Resolutely determined not to let the perfect health he had always enjoyed be impaired by lingering pains, and being also assured of falling into the hands of physicians, and being tortured with loads of medicine, be besought the king to order the erecting of a funeral pile for him ; and desired, that after lie had ascended it, fire might be set to it. Alexander imagined Calanus might easily be dissnad ed from so dreadful a design ; but finding, in spite of all the arguments he could use, that Calanus was still inflexible, he at last was obliged to acquiesce with it. Calamus theu rode on horse-back to the foot of the funeral pile ; offered up his prayers to the gods; caused libations to be performed
• Arrian, I. vii. p. 276. Diod. 1. vü, p. 573: 574. Plut, in Ales, p..703.