GREAT KING ACHASHVAROSH

With trembling I bring before you the report of the seven councilors who know the times that are auspicious for the appearance of the seven planets that face your burning fury.

The wise are those who trust that it is The King's house that sets the course of the kingdoms so that the Earth is tended and the sky. And upper spheres are tethered in their courses.

We all acknowledge that only as your majesty shows his brilliance for one hundred and eighty seven days. So therefore Shamash is able to cause the day to rule the night as long as the Earth requires toy ield up her fruits.

Only so long as your majesty's pavilions are hung in white green and blue does the sky maintain a gentle counterbalance. Only so long as the hangings unfurl day after day from silver rollers do our days unfurl as a scroll of royal decrees.

As your pillars of marble stand firm so the world ringing mountains stand. As you apportion our pavements of green white yellow and black, so the rivers and the sea, the pastures and the sands maintain their places and proportion.

So in this wise the matter of Queen Vashti's refusal to don her crown and appear

At the times Your Majesty appoints is wrought with peril for all the provinces and the spheres.

The Queens rebellion has developed by degrees. Three years ago, when you ascended your throne, she appeared beside you in her shining crown and veils of beauty at the time appointed by tradition for royal marriages; on the day when the king proclaims that for one hundred and eighty and seven days the day shall overbalance the night. And on that auspicious day and night and day and night etc., etc., etc., the keepers of the times recorded that the white one of the night also shone like a queen before her king's face.

Yet even in that nuptial year when after one hundred and eighty seven days, the King called Queen Vashti to array herself in crown and beauty, she retreated toward her house of women and the chroniclers of the spheres recorded that the moon also gathered herself into the dark folds of the night.

There were murmurs among the wise yet the king reassured us, «she is young, so beautiful. She will grow into the dignity of her office.» And all was forgiven when neigh on to the anniversary of the royal nuptials the queen in her arbor appeared early at the altar and the king in his graciousness and wisdom advanced the unfurling of the one hundred eighty seven days to meet her warmly.

Although her enthusiasm was encouraging, the first bird of spring caught a chill and sang a shrill note and after the 187 days had unfurled there were murmurings that the king's pavilions were festooned with unripe fruits.

Now we are in the third year of Your Majesty's glorious reign and we who chronicle the spheres and know the times offer this council that Your Majesty's later years may reflect and outshine the brilliance of the first.

First we must commend Your Majesty. The chronicles of the seven planets confirm Your Majesty unfurls the days with perfect discipline. Arriving promptly at his place to fulfill his office. It is the Queen and consequently the moon who are inconsistent and in Queen Vashti's case progressively so.

According to tradition, when in the course of kingly events it becomes necessary to place some limit on the overextension of the king's magnanimity and doting tolerance and get on with the one hundred eighty seven days of fruitfulness to which office, the one hundred and twenty seven provinces, the sun, the moon and the star entrust the king; the kings of old reluctantly but resolutely bid adieu to one beautiful but disobedient queen and choose another who would appear promptly, with the glorious moon for her crown at the time when the king celebrates Spring.