The great mourning of Mordecai and the Jews.
Esther 4:1 And whanne Mardochee hadde herd these thingis, he to-rente hise clothis, and he was clothid in a sak, and spreynt aische on the heed, and he criede with greet vois in the street of the myddis of the citee, and schewide the bitternesse of his soule, Esther 4:2 and he yede with this yellyng til to the yatis of the paleis; for it was not leueful a man clothid with a sak to entre in to the halle of the kyng. Esther 4:3 Also in alle prouynces, citees, and places, to which the cruel sentence of the king was comun, was greet weilyng, fastyng, yellyng, and wepyng anentis the Jewis, and many Jewis vsiden sak and aische for bed.
Esther, understanding it, sendeth to Mordecai, who sheweth the cause, and adviseth her to understand the suit.
Esther 4:4 Sotheli the dameselis and onest seruauntis and chast of Hester entriden, and telden to hir; which thing sche herde, and was astonyed; and sche sente a cloth to Mardochee, that whanne the sak was takun a wei, he schulde clothe hym therynne; which cloth he nolde take. Esther 4:5 And aftir that Athac, the onest seruaunt and chast, was clepid, whom the kyng hadde youe a mynystre to hir, sche comaundide, that he schulde go to Mardochee, and lerne of hym, whi he dide this thing. Esther 4:6 And Athac yede out, and yede to Mardochee stondynge in the street of the citee, bifor the dore of the paleis; Esther 4:7 which schewide to Athac alle thingis that bifelden, hou Aaman hadde bihiyt to bryng siluer in to tresours of the kyng for the deeth of Jewis. Esther 4:8 Also he yaf to Athac the copie of the comaundement, that hangide in Susa, to schewe to the queen, and to moneste hir for to entre to the kyng, and to biseche hym for hir puple. Esther 4:9 And Athac yede ayen, and telde to Hester alle thingis, whiche Mardochee hadde seid.
She excusing herself is threatened by Mordecai.
Esther 4:10 And sche answeryde to hym, and seide, that he schulde seie to Mardochee, Alle the seruauntis of the kyng, Esther 4:11 and alle prouyncis that ben vndur his lordschip, knowen, that whether a man ether a womman not clepid entrith in to the ynnere halle of the kyng, he schal be slayn anoon with outen ony tariyng, no but in hap the kyng holdith forth the goldun yerde to hym for the signe of merci, and he mai lyue so; therfor hou mai Y entre to the kyng, which am not clepid to hym now bi thritti daies? Esther 4:12 And whanne Mardochee hadde herd this thing, Esther 4:13 he sente efte to Hester, and seide, Gesse thou not, that thou schalt delyuer oonli thi lijf, for thou art in the hows of the kyng, bifor alle Jewis; Esther 4:14 for if thou art stille now, Jewis schulen be delyuered bi another occasioun, and thou and the hows of thi fadir schulen perische; and who knowith, whether herfor thou camist to the rewme, that thou schuldist be maad redi in sich a tyme?
She appointing a fast undertaketh the suit.
Esther 4:15 And eft Hester sente these wordis to Mardochee, Esther 4:16 Go thou, and gadere togidere alle Jewis, whiche thou fyndist in Susa, and preie ye for me; ete ye not, nether drynke ye in thre daies and thre nyytis, and Y with myn handmaydis schal fast in lijk maner; and thanne Y not clepid schal entre to the kyng, and Y schal do ayens the lawe, and Y schal bitake me to deth and to perel. Esther 4:17 Therfor Mardochee yede, and dide alle thingis, whiche Hester hadde comaundid to hym.