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[216] About this time it was that Jonathan and his fellow legates came. They were sent, as we have said already, by Simon, and Ananus the high priest. And Jonathan contrived how he might catch me by treachery; for he durst not make any attempt upon me openly. So he wrote me the following epistle: "Jonathan and those that are with him, and are sent by the people of Jerusalem, to Josephus, send greeting. We are sent by the principal men of Jerusalem, who have heard that John of Gischala hath laid many snares for thee, to rebuke him, and to exhort him to be subject to thee hereafter. We are also desirous to consult with thee about our common concerns, and what is fit to be done. We therefore desire thee to come to us quickly, and to bring only a few men with thee; for this village will not contain a great number of soldiers." Thus it was that they wrote, as expecting one of these two things; either that I should come without armed men, and then they should have me wholly in their power; or, if I came with a great number, they should judge me to be a public enemy. Now it was a horseman who brought the letter, a man at other times bold, and one that had served in the army under the king. It was the second hour of the night that he came, when I was feasting with my friends, and the principal of the Galileans. This man, upon my servant's telling me that a certain horseman of the Jewish nation was come, was called in at my command, but did not so much as salute me at all, but held out a letter, and said, "This letter is sent thee by those that are come from Jerusalem; do thou write an answer to it quickly; for I am obliged to return to them very soon. Now my guests could not but wonder at the boldness of the soldier. But I desired him to sit down and sup with us; but when he refused so to do, I held the letter in my hands as I received it, and fell a talking with my guests about other matters. But a few hours afterwards, I got up, and when I had dismissed the rest to go to their beds, I bid only four of my intimate friends to stay, and ordered my servant to get some wine ready. I also opened the letter so, that nobody could perceive it; and understanding thereby presently the purport· of the writing, I sealed it up again, and appeared as if I had not yet read it, but only held it in my hands. I ordered twenty drachmae should be given the soldier for the charges of his journey; and when he took the money, and said that he thanked me for it, I perceived that he loved money, and that he was to be caught chiefly by that means; and I said to him," If thou wilt but drink with us, thou shalt have a drachma for every glass thou drinkest." So he gladly embraced this proposal, and drank a great deal of wine, in order to get the more money, and was so drunk, that at last he could not keep the secrets he was intrusted with, but discovered them without my putting questions to him, viz. That a treacherous design was contrived against me, and that I was doomed to die by those that sent him. When I heard this, I wrote back this answer: "Josephus to Jonathan, and those that are with him, sendeth greeting. Upon the information that you are come in health into Galilee, I rejoice, and this especially because I can now resign the care of public affairs here into your hands, and return into my native country, which is what I have desired to do a great while; and I confess I ought not only to come to you as far as Xaloth, but farther, and this without your commands. But I desire you to excuse me, because I cannot do it now, since I watch the motions of Placidus, who hath a mind to go up into Galilee; and this I do here at Chabolo. Do you therefore, on the receipt of this epistle, come hither to me. Fare you well."

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