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I shall conclude this essay with the story of Herod and Mariamne, as I have collected it out of Josephus; which may serve almost as an example to whatever can be said on this subject.
Mariamne had all the charms that beauty, birth, wit, and youth, could give a woman, and Herod all the love that such charuis are able to raise in a warm and amorous disposition. In the midst of this his fondness for Mariamne, he put her brother to death, as he did her father not many years after. The bar. barity of the action was represented to Mark Antony, who immediately summoned Herod into Egypt, to answer for the crime that was laid to his charge. He. rod attributed the guunmons to Antony's desire of Mariamne, whom therefore, before his departure, he gave into the custody of his uncle Joseph, with private orders to put her to death, if any such violence was offered to himself. This Joseph was much delighted with Mariampe's conversation, and endeavoured with all his art and rhetoric, to set out the excess of Herod's passion for her; but when he still found her cold and incredulous, he inconsiderately told her, as a certain instance of her lord's affeciion, the private orders he had left behind him, which plainly showed, according to Joseph's interpretation, that be could neither live nor die without her. This barbarous in. stance of a wild upreasonable passion quite put out, for a time, those little remains of affeetion she still had for ber lord: her thoughts were so wholly taken up with the cruelty of his orders, that she could not consider the kindness that produced them, and therefore represented him in her imagination, rather under the frightful idea of a murderer than a lover. Herod was at lengih acquitted and dismissed by Mark Autony, when his soul was all in flames for his Mariamne; I ut before their meeting, he was not a little alarmed at the report he had heard of his uncle's conversation and familiarity with her in his absence. This therefore was the first discourse he entertained her
trith, in which she found it no easy matter to quiet his uspicions. But at last he appeared so well satisfied of her innocence, that from reproaches and wranglings he fell to tears and embraces. Both of thein wept very tenderly at their reconciliation, and Herod pour. ed out his whole soul to her in the warmest protestations of love and constancy; when amidst all his sighs ani languishings she asked him, whether the private orders he lett with his uncle Joseph were an instance of such an inflamed affection. The jealous king was immediately roused at so unexpected a question, and concluded his uncle must have been too familiar with her, before he would have discovered such a seoret. In short, he put his uncle to death, and very difficultly prevailed upon bimself to spare Mariamne.
After this he was forced on a second journey into Egypt, when he committed his lady to the care of Sohemus, with the same private orders he bad before given his uncle, if any mischief befel him. In the meanwhile Mariamne so won upon Sohemus by her presents and obliging conversation, that she drew all the secret from hin, with which Herod had entrusted him; so that after his return, when he flew to her with all the transports of joy and love, she received him coldly with sigbs and tears, and all the marks of indifference and aversion. This reception so stirred up his indignation, that he had certainly slain her with his own hands, had not he feared he himself should have become the greater sufferer by it. It was not long after this, when he had another violent return of love upon him; Mariamue was therefore sent for to him, whom he endeavoured to soften and reconcile with all possible conjugal caresses and endearments; but she declined his embraces, and answered all bis fondness with bitter invectives for the death of her father and her brother. This behaviour so incensed Herod, that he very hardly refrained from striking her; when in the heat of their quarrel there came in a wituess, suborned by some of Mariamne's cnemies,
who accused her to the king of a design to poison him. Herod was now prepared to hear any thing in her prejudice, and immediately ordered her servant to be stretched upon the rack; who in the extremity of his tortures confessed, that his mistress's aversion to the King arose from something Sobemus had told her ; but as for any design of poisoning, he utterly disowned having the least knowledge of it. This confession quickly proved fatal to Sobemus, who now lay under the same suspicions and sentence that Joseph had before him on the like occasion. Nor would Herod rest here; but accused her with great vehemence of a design upon his life, and by his authority with the judges bad her publicly condemned and executed. Herod soon after her death grew melancholy and de. jected, retiring from the public administration of affairs into a solitary forest, and there abandoning bimself to all the black considerations, which naturally arise from a passion made up of love, remorse, pity, and despair. He used to rave for his Mariamne, and to call upon her in his distracted fits; and in all probability would soon have followed her, had not bis thoughts been seasonably called off from so sad an object by pnblic storms, which at that time very nearly threatened him.
THEODOSIUS AND CONSTANTIA.
Ila, quis et me, inquit, et te perdidit, Orpheus ?
CONSTANTIA was a woman of extraordinary wit
and beauty, but very unhappy in a father, who having arrived at great riches by his own industry, took delight in nothing but his money. Theodosius was the younger son of a decayed family, of great parts and learning, improved by a genteel and virtuous education. When he was in the twentieth year of his age he became acquainted with Constantia, who had not theu passed her fifteenth. As he lived but a few miles distant from her father's house, he had frequent opportunities of seeing her; and by the advantages of a good person and a pleasing conversation, made such an impression in her heart as it was impossible for time to efface: he was himself no less smitten with Constantia. A long acquaintance made them still discover new beauties in each other, and by degrees raised in them that mutual passion which had an influence on their following lives. It unfortunately bappened, that in the midst of this intercourse of love and friendship between Theodosius and Constantia, there broke out an irreparable quarrel between their parents, the one valuing himself too much upon his birth, and the other upon his possessions. The father of Constantia was so much incensed at the father of Theodosius, that he contracted an unreasonable aversion towards his son, insomuch that he forbad him his house, and charged his daughter upon her duty never to see him more. In the mean time, to break off all communication between the two lovers, who he knew entertained secret hopes of some favourable opportunity that should bring them together, he found out a young gentleman of a good fortune and an agreeable person, whom he pitched upon as a husband for his daughter. He soon concerted this affair so well, that he told Constantia it was his design to marry her to such a gentleman, and that her wedding should be ce. lebrated on such a day. Constantia, who was overawed with the authority of her father, and unable to object any thing against so advantageous a match, re. ceived the proposal with a profound silence, which her father commended in ber, as the most decent manner of a virgin's giving her consent to an overture of that kind. The noise of this intended marriage soon reached Theodosius, who, after a long tumult of passions which naturally rise in a lover's heart on such an occasion, writ the following letter to Constantia.
« The thought of my Constantia, which for some years has been my only happiness, is now become a greater torment to me than I am able to bear. Must I then live to see you another's? The streams, the fields, and meadows, where we have so often talked togetber, grow painful to me; life itself is become a burden. May you long be happy in the world, but forget that there was ever such a man in it as
This letter was conveyed to Constantia that very evening, who faiuted at the reading of it; and the next worning she was much more alarmed by two or three messengers that came to her father's house one after anvther to inquire if they had heard any thing of Theodosius, who it seems had left his chamber about midnight, and could no where be found. The deep