The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:|
were weary of his rule; and he hesitated now between adopting one of
two projects: to conciliate the Arabs and win back their allegiance,
or to conclude an alliance with the Parthians. Under the pretext of
celebrating his birthday, he had planned to bring together, at a grand
banquet, the chiefs of his troops, the stewards of his domains, and
the most important men from the region about Galilee.
Antipas threw a keen glance along all the roads leading to Machaerus.
They were deserted. Eagles were sweeping through the air high above
his head; the soldiers of the guard, placed at intervals along the
ramparts, slept or dozed, leaning against the walls; all was silent
within the castle.