Page images
[blocks in formation]




CHAP. XXV. Archelaus procures a reconciliation between Alexander, Pherotas,

- and Herod. $. 1. Now as to Alexander, since he perceived it impossible to persuade his father (that he was innocent,] he resolve to meet his calamities how severe soever they were ; so he composed four books against his enemies, and confessed that he bad been in a plot; but declared withal that the greatest part [of the courtiers were in a plot with him, and chiefly Pheroras, and Salome; nay, that Salome once came, and forced him to lie with her in the night time, whether he would or no. These books were put into Herod's hands, and made a great clamour against the men in power. And now it was that Archelaus came hastily into Judea as being affrighted for his son-in-law, and his daughter; and he came as a proper assistant, and in a very prudent manner, and by a stratagem he obliged the king not to execute what he had threatened; for when he has come to him he cried out, “ Where in the world is this wretched son-in-law of mine ? 56 Where shall I see the head of his which contrived to mur6 der his father, which I will tear to pieces with my own " hands. I will do the saine also to my daughter, who hath “ such a fine husband : for although she be not a partner in " the plot, yet, by being the wife of such a creature, she is “ polluted. And I cannot but admire at thy patience, against 66 whom this plot is laid, if Alexander be still alive; for, as "I came with what haste I could from Cappadocia, I ex6 pected to find him put to death, for his crimes long ago; “ but still in order to make an examination with thee about o my daughter, whom, out of regard to thee, and thy dig. snity, I had espoused to him in marriage; but now we só must take counsel abont them both; and if thy paternal

affection be so great that thou canst not punish thy son, who hath plotted against thee, let us change our right

hands, and let us succeed one to the other in expressing é our rage upon this occasion.”

2. When he bad made this pompous declaration, he got Herod to remit of his anger, though he were in disorder, who thereupon gave him the books which Alexander had composed to be read by him, and as he came to every head, he considered of it, together with Herod. So Archelaus took hence the occasion for that stratagem which he made use of, and by degrees he had the blame on those men whose Dames were in these books, and especially upon Pheroras; and when he saw that the king believed him [to be in earnest, he said, “ We must consider whether the young man “ be not himself plotted against by such a number of wicked 6 wretches, and not thou plotted against by the young man ; " for I cannot see any occasion for bis falling into so horrid “a crime, since he enjoys the advantages of royalty already, “ and has the expectation of being one of thy successors; I “ mean this unless there were some persons that persuade « him to it, and such persons as make an ill use of the faci.

lity they know there is to persuade young men ; for by “such persons, not only young men are sometimes imposed “ upon, but old men also, and by them sometimes are the « most illustrious families and kingdoms overturned.”

3. Herod assented to what be had said, and, by degrees, abated of his anger against Alexander; but was more angry at Pheroras; for the principal subject of the four books was Pheroras, who perceiving that the king's inclinations changed on a suduen, and that Archelaus' friendship could do every thing with him, and that he had no honourable method of preserving himself, he procured his safety by his impudence. So he left Alexander, and had recourse to Archelaus, who told him, that “he did not see how he could “ get him excused, now he was directly caught in so many « crimes, whereby it was evidently demonstrated that he had 66 plotted against the king, and had been the cause of those “ misfortunes which the young man was now under, unless “ he would moreover leave off his cunning knavery, and his o denials of what he was chargerl withal, and confess the “ charge, and implore pardon of his brother, who still had " a kindness for him ; hut that if he would do so, he would afford him all the assistance he was able.”

4. With this advice Pheroras complied, and, putting himself into such a habit as might most move compassion, he came with black cloth upon his body, and tears in his eyes, and threw himself down at Herod's feet, and begged his par

« PreviousContinue »