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The Story of the Greeks by  H. A. Guerber

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DEFEAT OF PORUS

[239] NOW that Darius was dead, Alexander took the Persian title of "Shah in Shah" (king of kings), and became ruler of all the empire which had been subject to the Persian monarch.

He was so proud of his new state and of his vast conquests, that he entirely forgot that he owed them mostly to his brave generals and soldiers; and he became so obstinate, that he would no longer listen to any advice, and only thought of having his own way.

His father's general, Parmenio, who had always given him the wisest counsel, was no longer in favor, because he tried to restrain the king's extravagance. Indeed, Alexander's once generous and noble nature was so changed, that, when his courtiers accused Parmenio of treachery, he listened to them, and actually put the faithful general to death.

Every day now Alexander indulged in feasts and banquets, always drinking more and more, although it was affecting his health as well as his temper. Clytus, the son of his old nurse, tried to check his excesses, but only succeeded in provoking his wrath.

On one occasion such remonstrances so enraged Alexander, that in his drunken fury he seized a spear and killed Clytus. When he saw him dead at his feet, the king realized what a terrible crime he had committed, and felt deep remorse for a short time.

He reformed, and instead of giving himself up entirely to pleasure, spent the next two years in the work [250] of governing Persia, where he founded several cities called by his name.

As all the central part of Asia now acknowledged his rule, he next went down into India, where he found King Porus, the bravest adversary he had ever met. This king, whose realm was in the northwestern part of India, came against Alexander with a very large army. In the ranks were many elephants, trained to crush the enemy beneath their huge feet, and bearing on their broad backs wooden turrets filled with brave fighting men and good archers.

In spite of these elephants, which at first awakened great fear in the Greek soldiers, the Macedonian phalanx won the victory as usual, and Porus was made prisoner. He was led into the presence of Alexander, who haughtily asked him how he expected to be treated. "Like a king!" was the proud reply.

This answer so pleased Alexander, that he not only set Porus free, but even allowed him to keep his kingdom, after he had sworn to be the faithful subject of his conqueror.

Alexander, having thus won the help and affection of Porus, made war against several other Indian kings, and continued his advance toward the south. In one of these battles he lost his faithful steed Bucephalus, which had borne him safely through many a fight.

Alexander felt this loss deeply, and not only had a monument built over his remains, but also founded a city near by, which was called Bucephala.


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