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[106] Hereupon there was a change observed in the assembly, while they greatly pitied Antipater, who by weeping and putting on a countenance suitable to his sad case made them commiserate the same, insomuch that his very enemies were moved to compassion; and it appeared plainly that Herod himself was affected in his own mind, although he was not willing it should be taken notice of. Then did Nicolaus begin to prosecute what the king had begun, and that with great bitterness; and summed up all the evidence which arose from the tortures, or from the testimonies. He principally and largely cried up the king's virtues, which he had exhibited in the maintenance and education of his sons; while he never could gain any advantage thereby, but still fell from one misfortune to another. Although he owned that he was not so much surprised with that thoughtless behavior of his former sons, who were but young, and were besides corrupted by wicked counselors, who were the occasion of their wiping out of their minds the righteous dictates of nature, and this out of a desire of coming to the government sooner than they ought to do; yet that he could not but justly stand amazed at the horrid wickedness of Antipater, who, although he had not only had great benefits bestowed on him by his father, enough to tame his reason, yet could not be more tamed than the most envenomed serpents; whereas even those creatures admit of some mitigation, and will not bite their benefactors, while Antipater hath not let the misfortunes of his brethren be any hinderance to him, but he hath gone on to imitate their barbarity notwithstanding. "Yet wast thou, O Antipater! (as thou hast thyself confessed,) the informer as to what wicked actions they had done, and the searcher out of the evidence against them, and the author of the punishment they underwent upon their detection. Nor do we say this as accusing thee for being so zealous in thy anger against them, but are astonished at thy endeavors to imitate their profligate behavior; and we discover thereby that thou didst not act thus for the safety of thy father, but for the destruction of thy brethren, that by such outside hatred of their impiety thou mightest be believed a lover of thy father, and mightest thereby get thee power enough to do mischief with the greatest impunity; which design thy actions indeed demonstrate. It is true, thou tookest thy brethren off, because thou didst convict theft of their wicked designs; but thou didst not yield up to justice those who were their partners; and thereby didst make it evident to all men that thou madest a covenant with them against thy father, when thou chosest to be the accuser of thy brethren, as desirous to gain to thyself alone this advantage of laying plots to kill thy father, and so to enjoy double pleasure, which is truly worthy of thy evil disposition, which thou has openly showed against thy brethren; on which account thou didst rejoice, as having done a most famous exploit, nor was that behavior unworthy of thee. But if thy intention were otherwise, thou art worse than they: while thou didst contrive to hide thy treachery against thy father, thou didst hate them, not as plotters against thy father, for in that case thou hadst not thyself fallen upon the like crime, but as successors of his dominions, and more worthy of that succession than thyself. Thou wouldst kill thy father after thy brethren, lest thy lies raised against them might be detected; and lest thou shouldst suffer what punishment thou hadst deserved, thou hadst a mind to exact that punishment of thy unhappy father, and didst devise such a sort of uncommon parricide as the world never yet saw. For thou who art his son didst not only lay a treacherous design against thy father, and didst it while he loved thee, and had been thy benefactor, had made thee in reality his partner in the kingdom, and had openly declared thee his successor, while thou wast not forbidden to taste the sweetness of authority already, and hadst the firm hope of what was future by thy father's determination, and the security of a written testament; but, for certain, thou didst not measure these things according to thy father's various disposition, but according to thy own thoughts and inclinations; and was desirous to take the part that remained away from thy too indulgent father, and soughtest to destroy him with thy deeds, whom thou in words pretendedst to preserve. Nor wast thou content to be wicked thyself, but thou filledst thy mother's head with thy devices, and raised disturbances among thy brethren, and hadst the boldness to call thy father a wild beast; while thou hadst thyself a mind more cruel than any serpent, whence thou sentest out that poison among thy nearest kindred and greatest benefactors, and invitedst them to assist thee and guard thee, and didst hedge thyself in on all sides, by the artifices of both men and women, against an old man, as though that mind of thine was not sufficient of itself to support so great a hatred as thou baredst to him. And here thou appearest, after the tortures of free-men, of domestics, of men and women, which have been examined on thy account, and after the informations of thy fellow conspirators, as making haste to contradict the truth; and hast thought on ways not only how to take thy father out of the world, but to disannul that written law which is against thee, and the virtue of Varus, and the nature of justice; nay, such is that impudence of thine on which thou confidest, that thou desirest to be put to the torture thyself, while thou allegest that the tortures of those already examined thereby have made them tell lies; that those that have been the deliverers of thy father may not be allowed to have spoken the truth; but that thy tortures may be esteemed the discoverers of truth. Wilt not thou, O Varus! deliver the king from the injuries of his kindred? Wilt not thou destroy this wicked wild beast, which hath pretended kindness to his father, in order to destroy his brethren; while yet he is himself alone ready to carry off the kingdom immediately, and appears to be the most bloody butcher to him of them all? for thou art sensible that parricide is a general injury both to nature and to common life, and that the intention of parricide is not inferior to its perpetration; and he who does not punish it is injurious to nature itself."

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