Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/124

This page has been validated.

philanthropy, that in blackening Alexander, they were doing humanity good service. But also, without doubt, many of his assailants, like those of other great men, have been mainly instigated by "that strongest of all antipathies, the antipathy of a second-rate mind to a first-rate one,"[1] and by the envy which talent too often bears to genius.

Arrian, who wrote his history of Alexander, when Hadrian was emperor of the Roman world, and when the spirit of declamation and dogmatism was at its full height; but who was himself, unlike the dreaming pedants of the schools, a statesman and a soldier of practical and proved ability, well rebuked the malevolent aspersions which he heard continually thrown upon the memory of the great conqueror of the East. He truly says, "Let the man who speaks evil of Alexander, not merely bring forward those passages of Alexander's life

which were really evil, but let him collect and review all the actions of Alexander, and then let him thoroughly consider first who and what manner of man he himself is, and what has been his own career; and then let him consider who and what manner of man Alexander was, and to what an eminence of human grandeur he arrived. Let him consider that Alexander was a king, and the undisputed lord of the two continents; and

  1. De Staël.