About this time, Bomilcar, at whose persuasion Jugurtha had entered upon the capitulation which he had discontinued through fear, being distrusted by the king, and distrusting him in return, grew desirous of a change of government. He accordingly meditated schemes for Jugurtha's destruction, racking his invention night and day. At last, to leave nothing untried, he sought an accomplice in Nabdalsa, a man of noble birth and great wealth, who was in high regard and favor with his countrymen, and who, on most occasions, used to command a body of troops distinct from those of the king, and to transact all business to which Jugurtha, from fatigue, or from being occupied with more important matters, was unable to attend ;1
employments by which he had gained both honors and wealth. By these two men in concert, a day was fixed for the execution of their treachery; succeeding matters they agreed to settle as the exigences of the moment might require. Nabdalsa then proceeded to join his troops, which he kept in readiness, according to orders, among the winter quarters of the Romans,2
to prevent the country from being ravaged by the enemy with impunity.
But as Nabdalsa, growing alarmed at the magnitude of the
undertaking, failed to appear at the appointed time, and allowed his fears to hinder their plans, Bomilcar, eager for their execution, and disquieted at the timidity of his associate, lest he should relinquish his original intentions and adopt some new course, sent him a letter by some confidential person, in which he "reproached him with pusillanimity and irresolution, and conjured him by the gods, by whom he had sworn, not to turn the offers of Metellus to his own destruction;" assuring him " that the fall of Jugurtha was approaching; that the only thing to be considered was whether he should perish by their hand or by that of Metellus; and that, in consequence, he might consider whether to choose rewards, or death by torture."