Xerxes (c.519-465 B.C.)

The True Reason Why Queen Esther Pleased the King More
Than All the Other Virgins.

THE Jewish Rabbis have a tradition that it was entirely owing to the training Mordecai gave to his cousin Hadassah (or Esther), in order to prepare the young girl to be his own wife[*], that she was enabled to bear off the palm from all the competing virgins, when the whim of the Court suddenly impressed her for the royal pleasures, at once quashing her cousin’s plans for his own enjoyment.

Robbed of his prospective bride, Mordecai had the brilliant idea of making Esther’s advancement the stepping stone of his own fortunes. He knew that kings regarded their concubines as so many toys only to be cast aside when they had once submitted to the Royal ravisher, and his natural shrewdness and knowledge of human nature made him reflect how cloyed and disgusted even a king must get with the sameness of the pleasure, which the taking of hundreds of maidenheads from unresisting virgins could only afford him. (This king Ahasuerus is generally supposed to be identical with Xerxes, who was so ‘blasé’ that he offered an immense reward to the man who should invent a new pleasure).

Accordingly, as the tradition has it, he secretly sent her instructions to rehearse with the seven virgins, her companions (see Esther 2.10), all the salacious ideas which he had himself instilled in her mind in view of the gratification of a bridegroom. He also especially enjoined upon her the wisdom of putting aside all modesty when her turn came to enter the Royal presence, to submit to his embraces most joyfully, also to put on the greatest semblance of erotic desire and abandon, and finally when she found her sovereign completely used up, she was to entreat His majesty to allow her maidens to enter his presence, and enact with her such scenes as would restore his prostrated energies.

The king was reclining on a couch. He was a handsome man of about forty, with a used-up “blasé” expression of countenance.

“Come, pretty girl, and kiss my Royal prick; perchance thy luscious lips may raise some slight desire, which I may gratify. Dost know aught, fair child, thou thinkest would please me?”
[The Pearl 12 (June 1880), p.16]

[*] See >Xanthippe.

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