Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/144

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BATTLE OF ARBELA.

were for attacking instantly, at all hazards, but the more prudent opinion of Parmenio prevailed, and it was determined not to advance farther till the battle-ground had been carefully surveyed.

Alexander halted his army on the heights; and taking with him some light-armed infantry and some cavalry, he passed part of the day in reconnoitring the enemy, and observing the nature of the ground which he had to fight on. Darius wisely refrained from moving from his position to attack the Macedonians on the eminences, which they occupied, and the two armies remained until night without molesting each other. On Alexander's return to his head-quarters, he summoned his generals and superior officers together, and telling them that he well knew that their zeal wanted no exhortation, he besought them to do their utmost in encouraging and instructing those whom each commanded, to do their best in the next day's battle. They were to remind them that they were now not going to fight for a province as they had hitherto fought, but they were about to decide by their swords the dominion of all Asia. Each officer ought to impress this upon his subalterns, and they should urge it on their men. Their natural courage required no long words to excite its ardour: but they should be reminded of the paramount importance of steadi-