The Illustrated London Reading Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about The Illustrated London Reading Book.
most rapacious in plundering both friends and foes; sparing neither prince, nor state, nor temple, nor even private persons who were known to possess any share of treasure.  His great abilities would necessarily have made him one of the first citizens of Rome; but, disdaining the condition of a subject, he could never rest till he made himself a Monarch.  In acting this last part, his usual prudence seemed to fail him; as if the height to which he was mounted had turned his head and made him giddy; for, by a vain ostentation of his power, he destroyed the stability of it; and, as men shorten life by living too fast, so by an intemperance of reigning he brought his reign to a violent end.




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It appeared to Alexander a matter of great importance, before he went further, to gain the maritime powers.  Upon application, the Kings of Cyprus and Phoenicea made their submission; only Tyre held out.  He besieged that city seven months, during which time he erected vast mounds of earth, plied it with his engines, and invested it on the side next the sea with two hundred gallies.  He had a dream in which he saw Hercules offering him his hand from the wall, and inviting him to enter; and many of the Tyrians dreamt “that Apollo declared he would go over to Alexander, because he was displeased with their behaviour in the town,” Hereupon, the Tyrians, as if the God had been a deserter taken in the fact, loaded his statue with chains, and nailed the feet to the pedestal, not scrupling to call him an Alexandrist.  In another dream, Alexander thought he saw a satyr playing before him at some distance, and when he advanced to take him, the savage eluded his grasp.  However, at last, after much coaxing and taking many circuits round him, be prevailed with him to surrender himself.  The interpreters, plausibly enough, divided the Greek name for satyr into two, Sa Tyros, which signifies Tyre is thine.  They still show us a fountain near which Alexander is said to have seen that vision.

[Illustration:  CITY OF TYRE.]

About the middle of the siege, he made an excursion against the Arabians who dwelt about Anti-Libanus.  Here he ran a great risk of his life, on account of his preceptor Lysimachus, who insisted on attending him—­being, as he alleged, neither older nor less valiant than Phoenix; but when they came to the hills and quitted their horses to march up on foot, the rest of the party got far before Alexander and Lysimachus.  Night came on, and, as the enemy was at no great distance, the King would not leave his preceptor, borne down with fatigue and with the weight of years.  Therefore, while he was encouraging and helping him forward, he was insensibly separated

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The Illustrated London Reading Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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