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Cæsar had appointed (except Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, who being father-in-law to Alexander, was thought by Herod too much engaged by that relationship to be an impartial judge in this matter) he began to accuse his sons with great vehemence and passion, and after having spoken in terms very unbecoming a father, he said, « That not only Cæsar had made him master of his sons' 6 destiny, but that the very laws of the Jews declared " that, if a son was accused by his parents, and they put “ their hands upon his head, all who were present should 6 stone him and put him to death; and therefore, though “ he might treat his sons in this manner after the crimes “ whereof they stood convicted, yet he chose rather to “ have their opinions upon the matter, not doubting but 66 that they would join with him in giving an example to 6 future ages, of that just severity which ought to be ever 6 used upon unnatural children.”
Saturninus, a man of a consular dignity, who was at the head of the council, was for punishing Alexander and Aristobulus, though not with death, and his three sons, who were present with him, concurred in the same opinion; but Volumnius pronounced that they were worthy of death, which the majority of the assembly too readily agreeing to, the dreadful sentence was accordingly passed.
On this occasion the greater part of the people pitied the two princes, but no one durst speak plainly for fear of incurring the king's displeasure, except an old officer named Tyro, who had a son about the age of Alexander that had been honored with the friendship of the young prince. This man made no scruple to speak his mind with freedom, nor hesitated to deliver those truths which were concealed by others. He made frequent and public declaration that all sense of honor and justice were banished from the face of the earth; that chicanery and illwill had usurped their places, and so deluded the minds of the public that all ideas of right and wrong, of good and evil, were equally confounded. This freedom of behavior attracted the notice of all the hearers, and those who would have been fearful of proceeding so far them. selves could not but esteem the man who risked his life in
others topvro could not therefore resolal freedom, toinen
the public cause, by openly speaking those truths whick others took the greatest pains to conceal.
Old Tyro could not be satisfied with what he had spoken to the people, and therefore resolved to communi. cate the sentiments of his mind, with equal freedom, to the king himself. He accordingly made application for a royal audience, which being granted, he addressed himself to the king in words to this effect: “ If, Sir, I do not 66 give vent to the sentiments of my heart, I must be 66 wretched indeed. I am not insensible of the danger of “ the office I have undertaken, nor of the language I am 6 about to utter. The danger will be my own; but service 66 and advantage will accrue to Herod if he pleases to “ pay a proper regard to what I have to say. Will you “ give me leave to ask, Sir, if you retain your former un. 6 derstanding, and the sense of things you heretofore en66 tertained? Where is that greatness of mind, that digni“ ty, that resolution, whieh carried you through great dif6 ficulties in times past? Do you recollect what is become 66 of your friends and relations ? Are they all lost! For “ it is impossible that I should include in that number “ those who can behold the accumulating miseries of your 166 court and family, once so happy, and express no concern 6 for the melancholy change of affairs ! Are you totally “ blind, Sir, to your own interest? Cannot you perceive 66 what an unhappy turn your circumstances are taking? “ Are you determined on the destruction of the children 6 of a wife who was once so dear to you, and who have “ themselves so many virtues to recommend them? Do .66 you not perceive, by the utter silence, and profound 6 astonishment of the people, that your own conduct is 6 tacitly condemned, and the fate of your sons lamented :56 by the public? And let me inform you, Sir, that with 66 regard to the military in general, officers and common 66 soldiers included, they have the utmost commiseration “ for the fate of the young princes, and are perpetually 56 cursing those to whom they conceive their distresses are 66 owing.”
While Tyro was representing the treachery of the conduet of those who ought to have served him with fidelity, Herod heard him with a tolerable degree of patience; but thinking he exceeded the bounds of discretion, and violated the laws of good manners, by the bold, intrepid, and expostulatory manner of his discourse, his freedom became very disagreeable to the king. Herod, resenting the supposed insult, demanded to know the names of those officers and soldiers in particular who had spoken with the freedom that Tyro had mentioned. Tyro made no scruple of giving up their names; on which the king gave immediate orders that not only the informer, but all the persons accused, should be apprehended and committed to prison.
Some days after this event had taken place, Tryphon, the king's barber, went to Herod, and offered himself as an evidence against Tyro, declaring that he bad, in the name of Alexander, repeatedly made him offers of money on condition that, when he went to shave the king, he would take an opportunity of cutting his throat. Hereupon orders were given that Tyro and his son should be put to the torture, which was accordingly done, but they both denied every thing that was charged against them. On this Herod ordered an increase of Tyro's torments, till the son, commiserating his father's sufferings, promised the king a full discovery if he might be pardoned. In consequence of this he was taken from the torture, when he declared that his father had resolved to murder Herod with his own hands as he had private access to him; and that he was determined to do this for the service of Alexander, whatever might be the consequence to himself.
This story was credited by some, while others supposed it was only a contrivance of the youth to get his owu pains remitted. But be this as it may, the confession so enraged and intimidated Herod, that he sent his two sons immediately to Sabaste (formerly called Samaria) and there ordered them to be strangled; which dreadful sentence was accordingly executed, and their bodies afterwards deposited in a sepulchre at Alexandrion.-Thus ended the lives of these two unfortunate brothers, who, by too much expressing their resentment for their mother's death, provoked those who had been the chief authors of it, by the like artifices, to procure theirs.
Besides these two sons of Mariamne, Herod had another (which was the eldest and named Antipater) by Doris, a woman of no quality, and whilst himself was a private man; for which reason he kept him and his mother, for some time, at a distance from court. But when he began to take offence at Alexander and Aristobulus, his two sons by Mariamne, he thereupon treated Antipater with particular distinction, and, in a full assembly of the people, declared bim his immediate heir to the crown.
After the deaths of Mariamne's sons, Antipater (whose ambition had long made him desirous of getting the sovereignty into his own hands) finding he had nothing that impeded his wishes but the life of his father Herod, he resolved, with all expedition, to remove that obstacle. To effect this he formed a conspiracy with his uncle Pheroras, (who at this time was in some disgrace with his brother the king) to have him poisoned. But, that there might be no suspicion of his being concerned in this base and perfidious scheme, he procured some of his friends to send for him to Rome, on pretence of waiting on Cæsar, and during his absence Pheroras was to execute the intended design against the life of the king.
Antipater had not long left Jerusalem, when Pheroras died, and by some means or other the whole plot was discovered to Herod. In consequence of this, Herod wrote to his son, without giving the least hint of the discovery that had been made, to hasten home, lest something should happen in his absence that would be greatly prejudicial to his interest. Antipater no sooner received these orders, than (not having the least suspicion of what had passed) he immediately left Rome, and repaired, with all expedi. tion, to obey the royal mandate.
As soon as Antipater arrived at Jerusalem he immediately repaired to the palace, where Herod, with Quintilius Varus (who succeeded Saturninus in the government of Syria) happened to be together in council, and were in the actual discharge of public business. The servants who attended the gates of the palace no sooner saw Antipater approach, than they immediately threw them open, but he had no sooner entered than they in. stantly shut them to keep out his attendants. This ap
peared strange to Antipater, but being in haste to see his father, he did not think proper to stop to enquire the cause. As soon as he entered the council-chamber he was proceeding to address himself to Herod with all the marks of filial duty and affection; but, as he approached, Herod extended his hand to stop him, and, with a look of indignation, exclaimed, “ Shall I submit to the embrace of a par« ricide? Cursed be that impiety which prompts thee to “ approach me till thou hast obviated the criminal charges 6 against thee. For what purpose thinkest thou that “ Varus thy judge appears, but to pass sentence agreeable “ to thy deserts? Therefore be gone, and prepare for thy 66 defence against to-morrow, for I shall not allow thee a “ longer period.” Astonished at these words, Antipater was unable to reply, and immediately retired in gloomy silence. His mother and wife going afterwards to him, informed him of every thing that had passed, by which he was in some degree recovered from his stupefaction, and enabled to prepare himself for the approaching solemnity.
On the following day a numerous council assembled, Varus presiding as judge, assisted by Herod and a great number of their friends. Herod immediately ordered all the witnesses to be brought in, among whom were several of the servants of Doris (the mother of Antipater) who had been long in confinement. These servants produced letters (which had been written though not sent) from the mother to her son, the substance of which was to this effect: “ Your father is informed of all that has passed; 6therefore be cautious how you come near him, unless 56 you can absolutely rely on the protection of Cæsar." Soon after these witnesses were introduced, Antipater came into the court, and, throwing himself at his father's feet, said, “ I humbly entreat you, Sir, to hear me with “ impartiality: prejudge not my cause; and I have not a “ doubt of adducing the fullest proofs of my innocence.”
Herod, with an air of authority, commanded Antipater's silence; after which, turning to Varus, he addressed himself to him as follows: “ am assured Varus, or any “ other unbiassed judge, must be convinced that Antipa6 ter is deserving of death; but, in the interim, I dread " the opinion you may form of my malignant fortune; as