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The Queen's Letter


This is a fictitious letter written by a character in a novel that I am writing, under a different name, of course.

Elissa to Cadmus, 600 years from the founding of Etoria,

My dear Captain, it is perhaps absurd to write a letter to one's lover when that lover is living in the same city, but bear your young, silly Queen's sentimentality with some degree of patience. This is NOT something that I would say in public, due to the importance of maintaining my regal dignity, as I am sure that you know.

I write to thank you for both your love and loyalty to me, both as your lover and as your Queen. I write also to urge you to exercise some discretion in the matter of revealing the full details of our dalliances to your drinking fellows. The more hypocritical of the men in our capital are already frowning upon me for abandoning the chastity expected of a young lady of my station prior to wedlock. Somehow, their favorite courtesans do not receive or expect such censure, probably due to their class.

This is not the main reason for writing, however. Do NOT mistake me for one of the typical women of popular fables, given to outbursts of feminine jealousy (how is that any different from masculine jealousy, I wonder). If I have given you any reason to believe that I wish you to divorce your sweet, but barren wife Arachne, let me reassure you that such is not the case. There would be no cause for it, aside from the vain excuse that she has born you no heirs.

The only purpose that I can imagine why you would consider divorcing her is to marry me, and my dear Captain, THAT is not something to which I will consent, regardless of our love. I am no longer as young and naïve as I was when I first ascended the throne upon my father's demise. My love for Etoria is too great to let dreams of a passionate marriage distract me from the greater good of my realm. I know that you are only partially motivated by ambition. You are not the sort to deceive me as to your purposes. You are an honorable officer of the highest noble class, so behave like a gentleman of your class and THINK CLEARLY!

I CANNOT wed any but a prince of royal rank, my dear Cadmus, so do not pointlessly hurt a woman that I happen to KNOW loves you as much as we love each other. Our passions and each other's bodies will suffice for us, I am sure. I know that she is no more jealous than myself, so there is no inconvenience in staying her kind protector and loving husband. What is more, she is obedient, which is more than I can say for myself, given the requirements of my position. A loyal wife is a good ally not to be tossed aside out of misguided affection or ambition. There are several men who wish that their wives were as good to them as she is to you, fertile or not.

I beg you to use common sense and keep this affair a discreet and informal matter. Be content to love and be loved by your Queen, to pleasure her and receive pleasure from her. After all, I doubt that you would ever intend marriage to one of your courtesans (Io, for example), so why with me? I have never been anything but just to you, so you cannot complain in that respect. While it is true that I have taken other lovers, I haven't held you to a double standard. I have made no attempt to abuse my power as Queen by keeping you away from other women.

In conclusion, try to avoid any action that will make this "open secret" of our liaison from becoming public knowledge. Gossip is enough. We do not need to CONFIRM such rumors through drunken boasting or unwarranted divorces. I trust that you will heed this letter as a plea to a lover, so that I am not forced to make it a command to one of my officers.

Elissa, Queen of Etoria

P.S. Do you know much about Ganymede? He is in exile now, but I have hoped for a visit from him, since he is in the city. Even a failed politician can be useful. This upcoming war is something that can use as much advice as possible, in spite of the preparations I have made for it in the past few months. Of course, he may still be better that I didn't send any aid to him, but he shouldn't started that silly war with Lysania so soon. And people say that I am impulsive!

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