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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 140



A.D. 28. HISTOBY OP PILATE. 131 the same age as Pilate. While the two children were growing up to years of discretion, they constantly played together, contending with one another in wrestling, and boxing, and dinging. But the legitimate son of the king, as being of noble blood, was found to have in every point more action than Pilate, and more skilful in every kind of contest, and therefore Pilate, being moved with envy, and being excited with bile and indignation, privily slew his brother. And the king, hearing of this, was greatly grieved, and having summoned an assembly, asked them what ought to be done with this wicked homicide. And all cried out with one accord that he was a criminal worthy of death. But the king, coming to himself again, would not crown one iniquity with another, but sent him to Borne as a hostage for the tribute which he was bound annually to pay to the Romans, wishing both to be innocent of the slaughter of his son, and at the same time to be freed from the tribute to the Romans. There was at this time at Rome the son of the king of the Pranks, whom the king had sent to Rome in a similar manner, on account of his tribute. Pilate associated with him, and finding that he was surpassed by him in accomplishments and energy, gave way to the stings of envy, and murdered him. But when the Romans inquired what ought to be done with him, they said this man, who has murdered his brother and assassinated our hostage, will be very useful to the republic if his life is spared, and being of a savage disposition himself, will bow down the necks of our savage enemies. They said, therefore, as he is guilty of a capital crime, let him be appointed judge in Pontus over those nations who would endure no judge at all ; so that perhaps their obstinacy may be subdued by hie severity ; and if he does not succeed, let him meet with the punishment that he deserves. Accordingly, Pilate was sent to that ferocious nation, which was in the habit of murdering its judges, not being ignorant of the character of the people among whom he was sent, and on what a thread his life hung ; and so he, having due regard to so important * matter, wished to save his own life, and by great severity he utterly broke the spirit of the nation by threats and promises, by punishments and bribery. But Herod, when he heard of the energy of the man, felt a kindred delight in his cunning, being a cunning man him- K 2


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