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: Where are you from? Queen Esther
: I am... of the wind. Whose sound is heard yet none can tell from whence it comes or where it goes. Hagai
: Well, we gather in an hour. Try not to blow away before then.
: [Xerxes is returning from the training camp, having been gone for quite some time
] Have you had a busy morning? Queen Esther
: Not as busy as it could get.
: [leading Esther to Xerxes chambers
] You can let go of my arm now. He will be the fortunate one to choose you... He will be the one who congratulations are due...
[she still won't let go
: Esther, my arm. Queen Esther
: [in Xerxes's chambers, walking towards the stool
] King Xerxes
: [standing in the shadows
] The scroll is on the stool. You may begin when ever you are ready. Queen Esther
: [glances at the stool and back towards Xerxes
] King Xerxes
: [pacing around
] Is there a problem?... Did they not tell you I weary at this procession of candidates? I simply wanted someone to...
[stops and looks at Esther
] King Xerxes
: Wait. You were the one who read to me before. You tried to beguile me with love stories. Did you not think I had the sense to see through your little parable? The arrogance, you speak to me as I were this Rachel, in need of help to look after my father's sheep! Queen Esther
: My lord, I meant no disrespect. King Xerxes
: [walking towards her
] And this is how you come to see me? Your only adornment before your one night with the king. Queen Esther
: It is, your majesty. King Xerxes
: You consider yourself of so little worth, that I could purchase your love so cheaply. Queen Esther
: I was taught... that when you visit a King, rather than expect a gift, one should bring one to lay at his feet.
[removes her necklace and offers it to him
] Queen Esther
: This is my most valuable possession in the world. It is my past, my present, and my future. And all of it is yours. King Xerxes
: [takes her necklace and turns away
] Some would call you foolish, indeed. As they would call your Jacob. Of all commodities, love is the easiest... and the most cheaply purchased. Queen Esther
] If it is for sale, my lord. It is not love. King Xerxes
: Even you...
] King Xerxes
: Even you must have a price. Queen Esther
: I am neither a buyer nor a seller of love. King Xerxes
] Suppose, my lady. A man offered you a more treasured gift. Say a kingdom. Queen Esther
: [near tears
] The only gift I would accept is your heart. King Xerxes
: [taking her hands
] Than it is yours. And you didn't have to serve 7 years to get it. Tell me, Esther of Susa. Who are you really? Tell me of your people. Teach me of your ways. Queen Esther
: My father told me it takes the glory of God to conceal a matter. And it takes the honor of Kings to search it out. King Xerxes
: Than marry me and we shall spend an eternity discovering this 'truth'... together.
: Of all commodities love is the most cheaply purchased Queen Esther
: If it is for sale, my lord, it is not love.
: What made you come back? King Xerxes
: I saw them, I saw the stars.
: If I perish... I perish.
: You see me as a child? Well, you are mistaken, I am much younger!
: Tell me of your people, teach me of your ways Queen Esther
: My father told me, It takes the glory of God to conceal the matter and the honor of kings to search it out.
: Will you not join me in the palace? I could have you be named in any post you desire... Mordecai
: My Lord will take care of me... Do you take care... of your Lord ?
: Let my life be given me, at my petition and my people at my request King Xerxes
: You demand me your life, and that of your people? My dear girl,I know not of your people, you have yet to tell me who they are. Queen Esther
: Have we been nearly sold as slaves? I would have held my tounge, This... This Haman wanted our blood, my blood, the blood of Jacob, your Jacob. Your Jacob was given a new name, Israel. As do was I. King Xerxes
: You... Esther, a Jew? Queen Esther
: Not Esther, my lord, Hadassah Batabihan ,Daughter of the tribe of Benjamen, Child of the most high God. Haman, the Amelekite
: Never have I heard I heard a more pathetic story in my entire life.
: Perhaps, instead of asking questions of our trials, our trials are ment to ask questions of ourselves.
: [listening to Esther and others read an Old Babylonian heroic poem from behind a pilar
] Gilgamesh. In the original. I read translation, never the original. Queen Esther
: [now beside him, smiling
] You read?
: Suppose, my lady. A man offered you a kingdom. Queen Esther
: [almost in tears
] The only gift I would accept... is your heart.
: Please God. Look upon us with favor and turn this dungeon into someplace wonderful. Queen Candidate
: Is this the dungeon or someplace wonderful...
: [catching Esther as she runs in the street
] Looking for someone? Queen Esther
: I'm fine. Thank you. You can run back to Rebecca now. Jesse
] Oh, I'm sure you're fine. Tell me Hadassah or who ever you are, how do you intend to get into the palace? Queen Esther
] You didn't come to take me back? Jesse
: [laughing with her
] Come or I shall you, Hadassah the mouse!
: [on the balcony, watching the feast
] They go to fetch the Queen. She must be lovely, reigning in a place such as this. Jesse
: None is more lovely then you, my queen.
[kissing her hand
] Queen Esther
: My thanks, fair prince. Jesse
: Prince?... Why is it for years you threaten to join the caravan for Jerusalem, yet you never do? What holds you back? Queen Esther
] Perhaps the courage to face it alone. Jesse
] What if you had someone to join you?
: [daunted by Xerxes's anouncement, to Jesse
] Nor there's not to be a Queen here any longer. Mordecai has given me his blessing. Let us leave tomorrow. Together.
: [worried, about the search for a new Queen
] There's no need for alarm. Nor likelihood they will not come for you. And not all who taken will be chosen. Not that the Queen has already been selected through bribery or chicanery. Queen Esther
] How do I keep our laws? How do I pray? What excuse do I offer God for not keeping his commandments? Mordecai
: Oh, Hadassah. God see's the forward observance according to natures place. I think it would be better... if you forget that you were a Jew. If it is a sin, then, then, then let it be on my head. Promise me you will do that if you are taken. Promise me that! Queen Esther
: If I am taken, I will do as you say. Mordecai
: We should give a different name. Hadassah is too Jewish... Esther! Esther is a good Babylonian name. Yes. That is what we shall call you from now on. Esther of Susa. Promise me. Promise if you are taken. Queen Esther
: I said if I am taken. If, if, if...
[rising to the door
] Queen Esther
: But for now, you should look for me on the streets of Jerusalem. Dancing like David before the glory of the Lord. Mordecai
: Uh Hadassah? Queen Esther
: [singing, before she leaves
: [to the Queen candidates
] Walk on to a brand new life. The method of your rival was not of my choosing. I am Hagai, his majesty's royal eunuch. I have been assigned to over see your preparations. Queen Esther
: [to the frightened group
] It's ok.
: [surprised by Hagai
] You have a very bad habit. Hagai
: The palace is no place for children. Queen Esther
: You think of me as a child? Well, you are wrong. I am much younger than that!
[lauging and dancing around
: How do they call you? Queen Esther
] Esther. Hagai
: Curious name. From where you come? Queen Esther
: [dancing around
] I'm of the wind, whose sound is heard. Yet none know from whence it comes or where it goes. Hagai
: Well, we gather with in the hour. Try not to blow away before then.
[leaves Esther laughing and dancing
: [to Esther as she is feeding the monkeys
] I am curious, to whether you frustrate me of sincerity or to ensure you're never chosen Queen. Queen Esther
: [getting to her feet, turning around
] You assume I actually care about being chosen Queen. Hagai
: I am serious! Queen Esther
: Serious of what? Finding a real Queen? Is that why you subject us to these beauty treatments? These... classes? Hagai
: You do not like our fine instructors? Queen Esther
: They simply neglect to teach us some things. Hagai
: Such as? Queen Esther
: Well seemingly anything to do with actually being Queen. The thought well thought; the word well spoken; and the deed well done. As it is said in the great books. Hagai
: [very amused
] You read? Queen Esther
: Many times. Hagai
: [turns away and starts laughing
] Queen Esther
: [going after him
] Before I received your 'invitation', I was reading of Gilgamesh and the Babylonian!
: [finding Esther by the garden pool
] They tell you're called Esther now. Queen Esther
: [turning around and hugging him
] Oh Jesse. Jesse
] Hatack. Queen Esther
: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were pagan names too. We're in good company. Jesse
: [very stricken
] The names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. They were thrown into the furnace. Queen Esther
] But than what happened? Jesse
: Come on. I've found a way out and there's a caravan leaving for Jerusalem tonight... So we can get out of here. Queen Esther
: Escape?... Jesse, I... I can't leave... What if... What if I am chosen? Jesse
: What if you're chosen what? What if you are chosen Queen? Look what they's done to us? What good could come of any of this? Queen Esther
: Perhaps, instead of asking questions of our trials, our trials are ment to ask questions of ourselves. Jesse
: They cut me!... I know we can't be what I hope, but... Queen Esther
: [as he leaves
] Jesse... I can't leave. I'm sorry. Sorry.
: [to Esther, as the other chose from the royal jewels
] You stand not impressed? Queen Esther
] Matters not what impresses me. How is one to choose when they know not what impresses the King. Will you teach me? Hagai
: I will do far more than that. Come.
[open the box on the table and gives her the necklace
: A recent acquisition, one I believe the King will find most pleasing.
: You read not for the candidates this evening? Queen Esther
] My throat is soar. Hagai
: Your throat or your heart? It has only been a few days since your read for him. Queen Esther
] A few days is a thousand years. If Xerxes had found pleasure in me, surely he would have... Hagai
: You think a eunuch can know love? That before I was a cripple of a man, there was one that held my heart. Queen Esther
: What became of her? Hagai
: I know not. I never found the courage to return to face her again.
: [playing an ancient, lifesize version of chess
] Now let me see... you over there. Queen Esther
: Why can not a truce be arranged? King Xerxes
: Truce? That devil, Memucan has beat me twice in a row. Queen Esther
: I fear losing you. King Xerxes
: I gave an oath
[rising to feet, with Esther
] King Xerxes
: to my father. Queen Esther
: He's the one I fear losing you to. You must dream You'll be gone much in the coming months. King Xerxes
: Keep this for me.
[giving her the necklace
] Queen Esther
: But it is yours. King Xerxes
: Than be at peace. I always return for what is mine.
[before kissing her
] Prince Memucan
: Will thoust sit there all day, my lord!
[gesturing for him to play
: [in her prayers
] Obedient I have been. I walk before you with a loyal heart and now I stand in the hour of trouble precisely because of my obedience. I beseech you father. Let there be another way. Rise up a deliverer and let this pass... let this pass.
: [after being told of the King's intentions
] And who is this honored man? Haman, the Amelekite
: A scribe. A Jewish scribe, who claims to have saved the King's life. Queen Esther
: I should think you would be honored by such a privilege given by the King. Haman, the Amelekite
] Honored? Prestige of Persian is at stake. What will it be said of your husband, the king that he commanded his highest prince to lead a Jew through the streets? A Jew, my lady! Queen Esther
: And how is a Jew any different than you or I? Haman, the Amelekite
: They are our enemy! They must be destroyed. Queen Esther
: They may your enemy, but not mine. Haman, the Amelekite
: The way you defend them, one might almost think... Queen Esther
] One might think what, my prince? Haman, the Amelekite
: One might think that is all, my lady. One might think.