Post by Dorothy J Heydt Post by Kevrob Post by Ahasuerus
IIRC, the "Tricky Dick Milhous" quote was my first Usenet post
some 25+ years ago.
Ahasuerus ~= Wandering Jew?
He's been using that handle on USENET ever since I can remember.
Whether his claim is valid or tongue-in-cheek, you won't learn
There are different versions of the legend of the Wandering Jew. Most
of them are elaborations on the words that Jesus supposedly said on
his way to Golgotha:
"Ahasuerus, tarry till I come!"
("Ahasuerus" by Robert Tyler, son of President John Tyler, 1842,
praised by Poe the same year. It's not clear whether Poe's
contemporaneous attempts to get Tyler to help him secure a government
job played a role -- see
I am not in a position to confirm or deny that some of these versions
are closer to the truth than others. Having said that, I do have my
favorites. For example:
Ahasuerus: Magician, darken not my path! The road is before thee. Go
Christ: Why hast thou said it, O Ahasuerus? It is thou who shalt walk
during more than a thousand years -- even until the Last Judgment. Take
thy sandals and thy pilgrim garb. Wherever thou mayest journey, men
call thee The Wandering Jew. It is thou who shalt find no place of rest,
no mountain-source to quench thy thirst. In my stead thou shalt bear
the burden I am about to leave upon the cross. For thy thirst, thou
shalt drink the dregs that will be left in the bottom of my chalice.
Others will take my tunic, but thou shalt inherit my eternal sorrow.
... As for me, I go to Golgotha, but thou shalt wander on from ruin to
ruin, from kingdom to kingdom, unable to attain thy Calvary. ...
The portal of the city shall say to thee: "Further yet, my bench is
occupied!" When thou wouldst rest by the side of the river, it shall
cry out: "Further yet, further yet, ever unto the sea; my shores for
thee are thickset with thorns!" And the sea also shall exclaim:
"Further yet, further yet! Art thou not that eternal pilgrim, who
wanders ever from people to people, from age to age, drinking the
cup of tears, sleeping neither by night nor day and who yet cannot
choose but pursue his onward path."
("Ahasverus", Edgar Quinet, 1833, English translation in _Chamber's
Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts_ by William and
Robert Chambers, 1854, p. 392)
Quinet's interpretation, which came close to asserting that the
Wandering Jew was the personification of the human race after the
Crucifixion, was controversial at the time, but it had its merits.
In any case, I stopped Wandering over 10 years ago and have been
spending my retirement editing the ISFDB. The world hasn't ended --
so far -- but it remains to be seen whether there will be further