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[194] Now, besides this second contention that had fallen among them, neither did the king's brother Pheroras keep himself out of trouble, but had a particular foundation for suspicion and hatred; for he was overcome with the charms of his wife, to such a degree of madness, that he despised the king's daughter, to whom he had been betrothed, and wholly bent his mind to the other, who had been but a servant. Herod also was grieved by the dishonor that was done him, because he had bestowed many favors upon him, and had advanced him to that height of power that he was almost a partner with him in the kingdom, and saw that he had not made him a due return for his labors, and esteemed himself unhappy on that account. So upon Pheroras's unworthy refusal, he gave the damsel to Phasaelus's son; but after some time, when he thought the heat of his brother's affections was over, he blamed him for his former conduct, and desired him to take his second daughter, whose name was Cypros. Ptolemy also advised him to leave off affronting his brother, and to forsake her whom he had loved, for that it was a base thing to be so enamored of a servant, as to deprive himself of the king's good-will to him, and become an occasion of his trouble, and make himself hated by him. Pheroras knew that this advice would be for his own advantage, particularly because he had been accused before, and forgiven; so he put his wife away, although he already had a son by her, and engaged to the king that he would take his second daughter, and agreed that the thirtieth day after should be the day of marriage; and sware he would have no further conversation with her whom he had put away; but when the thirty days were over, he was such a slave to his affections, that he no longer performed any thing he had promised, but continued still with his former wife. This occasioned Herod to grieve openly, and made him angry, while the king dropped one word or other against Pheroras perpetually; and many made the king's anger an opportunity for raising calumnies against him. Nor had the king any longer a single quiet day or hour, but occasions of one fresh quarrel or another arose among his relations, and those that were dearest to him; for Salome was of a harsh temper, and ill-natured to Mariamne's sons; nor would she suffer her own daughter, who was the wife of Aristobulus, one of those young men, to bear a good-will to her husband, but persuaded her to tell her if he said any thing to her in private, and when any misunderstandings happened, as is common, she raised a great many suspicions out of it; by which means she learned all their concerns, and made the damsel ill-natured to the young man. And in order to gratify her mother, she often said that the young men used to mention Mariamne when they were by themselves; and that they hated their father, and were continually threatening, that if they had once got the kingdom, they would make Herod's sons by his other wives country schoolmasters, for that the present education which was given them, and their diligence in learning, fitted them for such an employment. And as for the women, whenever they saw them adorned with their mother's clothes, they threatened, that instead of their present gaudy apparel, they should be clothed in sackcloth, and confined so closely that they should not see the light of the sun. These stories were presently carried by Salome to the king, who was troubled to hear them, and endeavored to make up matters; but these suspicions afflicted him, and becoming more and more uneasy, he believed every body against every body. However, upon his rebuking his sons, and hearing the defense they made for themselves, he was easier for a while, though a little afterwards much worse accidents came upon him.

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