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Talking to Bucephalus, he saw the muscles quivering under the smooth hide, the restless flickering of the ears, and he loved the colt. Gently he turned its head around into the sun, still talking. Not until the horse thrust its muzzle down toward the grass did the boy jump to its bare back, without tightening the rein. Bucephalus tensed, leaped forward, and Alexander bent down to keep its head into the sun by pressure on a rein. He did not strike or kick the horse, but when it galloped free, coming into the racecourse, he hauled in on the rein, turning it into the runway.

There the light of the sun’s chariot was quenched in Ocean. And thither went the souls of men after death, to become slaves of the shadows, seeing no light. He heard Leonidas say once to Lysimaehus, the Greek tutor, that he, Alexander, was a devourer of books, an acolyte of sacrifice, who tried to escape reality and would never be a man of action like his father Philip. Alexander clung to the books because when he was immersed in them no one stood over his shoulder to tell him what he must do or hear next; the friends within the parchment rolls went nimbly at his side, laughing and joyous, telling him all their secrets they went as if on wings out of the city, to islands in the far seas.

Few married women ventured out of doors with face and body so exposed, Alexander did not notice but Ptolemy observed that the queen brought with her two handsome slave girls who laughed at the gray stone figures of the nymphs standing along the entrance terrace. To Aristotle, who came out perforce to greet her, she deferred prettily, tsaying that she was old-fashioned as this deserted shrine, being brought up in the Mysteries, without a notion of science. ’” She left behind her at Mieza the impression that this fascinating woman trusted Aristotle with the future of her only son.

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