The prose life of Alexander

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The Speech of Demosthenes.

stroyed both them & their city. And therefore we write unto thou; that ye send us ten philosophers that be wise, by the which we may be [encensede] and counselled. For other thing will we none ask thou, But all only that thee hold us for your lorde & your king. And if ye will not submit thou unto us, thou [buse] other be stranger than we, or else submit thou to some lordship, that be stranger than ours.'

The Atheneans read his letter and then they began to cry on [highte.] And one, that [highte] Aeschylus, stood up and amongst them, and said: 'It is fully my counsel,' quoth he, 'that we [on na] wise assent to these words of Alexander.' All the folk then that was gathered there, prayed the philosopher Demosthenes, that he would tell them his counsel, as touching that matter. And he stood up, & bade all men be still. And then he said unto them, 'Sirs,' quoth he, 'I pray thou takes tent unto my words & hardens goodly what I shall say. If thee feel thou of power, for to withstand Alexander, & to surprise him, then fights with him manly, and obeys not to his words. And if ye suppose ye be not strange enough to fight with him then hears him, and obeys unto him. Ye know well, that as our elders tells us, Xerses was a great king, & a mighty, and many victories he got. And nevertheless in Ellada he suffered great mischief. But he, this Alexander, has done many battles, in the which he suffered never disease but always had the overhand. The [Thebeans?], I pray thou, were [pai] not bold knights and strange, and all their life had been exercised in Arms? And what profited them their strength? The Thebeans also that were wo wise, and so great exercise had in arms, from the first time that the city was built, whereof served their great with them, and their great strength, when Alexander assailed them? The Peloponesians fought with Alexander, but they might not while withstand his men of arms. But also their were discomfit & slain. It is not unknown unto thou, how many cities castles & towns for fear submitts them unto him without any assault giving. Therefore it is not my counsel that ye be [heuy], nor wrathe till Alexander

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Alexander a letter to the Athenians,

for Scrassageras. For all men know well that Alexander is a wonder wise man & a warrior, & a man that governs him by reason; and therefore ye may well [wete], he would not put Scrassageras out of his lordship upon less than forfeit unto him.' When the Atheneans had hear thy words, they commended greatly the counsel of Demosthenes, and then they ordained a crown of gold the weight of 1 pound, and sent Messangers therewith, and with tribute unto Alexander, but philosophers sent they none. And when their Messengers come to Alexander, they gave him the crown, and the tribute, that the Atheneans sent him, and told him that they had [highte] him a great number of cattle. And when Alexander had heard them, he understood well the counsel of Aeschylus that counselled the Atheneans to withstand him, and also the counsel of Demosthenes that counselled them the contrary, and then he wrote a letter to them whereof the Tenor was this.

Alexander the son of Phillippe and queen Olympias, for the name of king will we not take upon us, before we have our enemies under our subjection: unto the Atheneans greeting. It is not our intent to com in your city with our oste, But only to come & dispute with your philosophers, and to ask them certain questions, Our purpose was also to have declared for our true lieges & our good Friends. But your deeds proves the contrary, as it [done] us to understand. Our gods we take to witness, that which of thow so rises against us, we shall take such [wreke] upon him that other men shall take ensample thereby. But [ze als schrews, and euyll] ever more [trowes] ill, and thinks ill. [Wate] thee not well that the Thebeans that raise against us, had their [mede] as they deserved. And [ze haffand] in us a wrong [consayte], blames us, For we put Scrassageras out of his Office the which [?] forfeit greatly against our majesty. We sent unto thou [thy?] letter for ten philosophers, but [ze], not knowing our great power & our might, despised our [maundement] and would not fulfill it. Nevertheless if all [ze] have offended against

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Alexander and the Lacedemonians

us [whider-towarde] and been disobeyed to our majesty, we forgive thou all your guilt, and the grievance that thee have done us, so that [ze] be obeisant unto us, from this time forward. Come forth thou therefore & be merry, for of us thee shall have no grievance nor any disease because thee did after the conceit of Demosthenes.

When the Atheneans heard this letter read, they were right glad, and then Alexander & his Oste went from [thethyn] unto Lacedoyne. But the Lacedonians would [one] any ways obey unto Alexander, but said each of them to other, 'let us not be like the Atheneans,' quoth they, 'that dread the [menacing?] and the boast of Alexander but let us show our might and our strength and manly defend our city against him.' When they had said, they [spered] the gates of the city fast, and went manly to the walls. And a great number of them took them ships & went to the sea, a great navy, to fight with Alexander [as?] he come to land. And when Alexander saw this, he sent a letter to them saying on these ways.

Alexander the son of Philippe and of the queen Olympias unto the Lacedonians we send. We counsel thou, that your elders has left thou, thee keep hale & sound & in [sauetee and lyftez] not your [hende over hie] to the things that thee may not reach to. And if thee desire for to have joy of your strength, does [swa] that thee be worthy to have worship of us. Therefore we command thou, that thee turn again with your ships, and leave them, & go to land by your own free will; or [secretly?] I shall set fire in them & burn them. And if thee despise our commandment, blame not but yourself, if we [wreke] us on thou.

The Lacedonians read his letter, and when it was read, they were wonder [heuy]. Not [for-thi] they readied them to fight. But Alexander arrived in another coast, and come to the city [are] they [wiste] and [enveloped?] the city one each aside, and assailled it strangely & [dange] the Lacedonians of the walls & slew many of them & wounded many, and set fire in their ships & burnt them. The remnant of them that were left

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Darius takes counsel.

upon life, then they saw this great mischief come out of the city unto Alexander, & fell down at his feet, & besought him of mercy & of grace. And Alexander answered, "I come to thou,' wuoth he, 'meek & mild, but in that [degre] thee would not [ressayffe] me, therefore now are your ships burned, and your city destroyed, & your folks slain. Warned I not before that thee should not [heue] your hands [over-hye] to the [sternes] to the which none earthly man may win. For whosoever climbs higher, then his feet may [wynn to sum halde], he shall fall on down to the ground. And therefore is there a common proverbe: That '[wha sa hewes to hie,] the ships will fall in his [age?]' Thee [wende] have done till us as your elders did sometime to king Xerxes, but your [wenyng dessayued] thou. When he had said on these ways, he gave them leave to go where they would. And then he removed [thethyn] & went toward [Cicill]. And when the emperor Darius heard tell of the comingof Alexander, he was greatly abased and sent after all his princes, Dukes & Earls, & other great lords, & went to a counsel. And he said unto them, 'I see well,' whoth he, 'that be, this Alexander, that goes thus about warring, waxes greatly in worship, and anywhere he comes he has the victory. I [wende] he had been a thief & a robber, that had went to countries that were weak & feeble, and darest not withstand him, & robbed them & spoiled them. But now, I see well, he is a doubty man of Arms, & a noble warrior. And ay the more that I have [deprived?] him and despised him; the more rises his name, & his worship. I sent him a ball, a top, & a scourge, for to [lere barne-laykes]; but him that I called a disciple, he seems a master & wheresoever he goes, Fortune goes with him. Therefore us [byhouez] to treat of our hale, & of our peopls, and put away all pride & all folly: & no more despise Alexander, saying that he is naught, because we are emperor of Persia. For his littleness waxes and our greatness decreases. I have great doubt, that gods foresight helps him, so that whilst we are about, & [wenez] to put him out of Ellada, we be spoiled, by him, of the room of Persia.'

When Darius had said these words, his brother Coriather

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Darius consults his councillors.

answered & said, 'thou has here,' quoth he, 'greatly magnified' & commended Alexande, in that, that thou says he is more fervent for to come into Persia, than we unto Ellada. And therefore if it be pleasing unto your majestee, use thee the manners of Alexander, and so shall [ze] well & peaceably [whelde] your empire & conquer many other rooms. Alexande, when he goes to battle and shall fight, he lets none of his princes nor his other lords go before & himself come behind, but he goes before them all, and so rises his worship & his name.

Quoth Darius, 'Whether [awe] me to take [sa] ensample at Alexander, or Alexander at me.' A prince answered & said, 'Alexander,' quoth he, 'is a warrior man & awise, & has trespassed in no degree & therefore he does manly by himself all that he does. For he has taken the form of the lion.' 'Whereby knows thou that,' quoth Darius, and he anwered, & said, 'what time,' quoth he, 'that I was sent to Macedonia for to ask tribute of king Philippe, I saw, by his Figure & his wise answer, that he should be a [passionate?] man, both of wit, & of doings. Therefore, if it be pleasing unto thou, I counsel that thee send to all the lands & countries that belong to your empire, that is to say to Parthy & Medea, Appollamy, Mesopotamia, Italy, Bactri, and to all the remnant for they are subjects unto thou a hundredth: [c. and fifty] of diverse folk. To the lords of all these, I [rede] thee send commanding them, that they come to thou, in all the haste that they may, with all the men that they may get which are able to go to war. And when they are all assembled to gather late us beseek our gods of help. And then Alexander when he seez such a multitude of folk against him, his heart shall fail him, and his men's also. And others he shall for fear turn him against to his own country, or else submit him unto thou.' And then answered another prince, & said, 'This is a good counsel,' quoth he, 'but it is not profitable. Wait thou not well that a wolf

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