When this sad accident was told the women, their joy was soon changed
to lamentation, at the sight of the dead body that lay before them, and
their sorrow was immoderate. The city also [of Jerusalem], upon the spreading
of this news, were in very great grief, every family looking on this calamity
as if it had not belonged to another, but that one of themselves was slain.
But Alexandra was more deeply affected, upon her knowledge that he had
been destroyed [on purpose]. Her sorrow was greater than that of others,
by her knowing how the murder was committed; but she was under the necessity
of bearing up under it, out of her prospect of a greater mischief that
might otherwise follow; and she oftentimes came to an inclination to kill
herself with her own hand, but still she restrained herself, in hopes she
might live long enough to revenge the unjust murder thus privately committed;
nay, she further resolved to endeavor to live longer, and to give no occasion
to think she suspected that her son was slain on purpose, and supposed
that she might thereby be in a capacity of revenging it at a proper opportunity.
Thus did she restrain herself, that she might not be noted for entertaining
any such suspicion. However, Herod endeavored that none abroad should believe
that the child's death was caused by any design of his; and for this purpose
he did not only use the ordinary signs of sorrow, but fell into tears also,
and exhibited a real confusion of soul; and perhaps his affections were
overcome on this occasion, when he saw the child's countenance so young
and so beautiful, although his death was supposed to tend to his own security.
So far at least this grief served as to make some apology for him; and
as for his funeral, that he took care should be very magnificent, by making
great preparation for a sepulcher to lay his body in, and providing a great
quantity of spices, and burying many ornaments together with him, till
the very women, who were in such deep sorrow, were astonished at it, and
received in this way some consolation.