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[131] So when Varus, upon asking Antipater what he had to say for himself, found that he had nothing to say besides his appeal to God, and saw that there was no end of that, he bid them bring the potion before the court, that he might see what virtue still remained in it; and when it was brought, and one that was condemned to die had drank it by Varus's command, he died presently. Then Varus got up, and departed out of the court, and went away the day following to Antioch, where his usual residence was, because that was the palace of the Syrians; upon which Herod laid his son in bonds. But what were Varus's discourses to Herod was not known to the generality, and upon what words it was that he went away; though it was also generally supposed that whatsoever Herod did afterward about his son was done with his approbation. But when Herod had bound his son, he sent letters to Rome to Caesar about him, and such messengers withal as should, by word of mouth, inform Caesar of Antipater's wickedness. Now at this very time there was seized a letter of Antiphilus, written to Antipater out of Egypt (for he lived there); and when it was opened by the king, it was found to contain what follows: "I have sent thee Acme's letter, and hazarded my own life; for thou knowest that I am in danger from two families, if I be discovered. I wish thee good success in thy affair." These were the contents of this letter; but the king made inquiry about the other letter also, for it did not appear; and Antiphilus's slave, who brought that letter which had been read, denied that he had received the other. But while the king was in doubt about it, one of Herod's friends seeing a seam upon the inner coat of the slave, and a doubling of the cloth, (for he had two coats on,) he guessed that the letter might be within that doubling; which accordingly proved to be true. So they took out the letter, and its contents were these: "Acme to Antipater. I have written such a letter to thy father as thou desiredst me. I have also taken a copy and sent it, as if it came from Salome, to my lady [Livia]; which, when thou readest, I know that Herod Will punish Salome, as plotting against him?" Now this pretended letter of Salome to her lady was composed by Antipater, in the name of Salome, as to its meaning, but in the words of Acme. The letter was this: "Acme to king Herod. I have done my endeavor that nothing that is done against thee should be concealed from thee. So, upon my finding a letter of Salome written to my lady against thee, I have written out a copy, and sent it to thee; with hazard to myself, but for thy advantage. The reason why she wrote it was this, that she had a mind to be married to Sylleus. Do thou therefore tear this letter in pieces, that I may not come into danger of my life." Now Acme had written to Antipater himself, and informed him, that, in compliance with his command, she had both herself written to Herod, as if Salome had laid a sudden plot entirely against him, and had herself sent a copy of an epistle, as coming from Salome to her lady. Now Acme was a Jew by birth, and a servant to Julia, Caesar's wife; and did this out of her friendship for Antipater, as having been corrupted by him with a large present of money, to assist in his pernicious designs against his father and his aunt.

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