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The Winter’s Tale


ACT III  SCENE I A sea-port in Sicilia.
CLEOMENES The climate’s delicate, the air most sweet,
Fertile the isle, the temple much surpassing
The common praise it bears.
DION I shall report,
For most it caught me, the celestial habits, 5
Methinks I so should term them, and the reverence
Of the grave wearers. O, the sacrifice!
How ceremonious, solemn and unearthly
It was i’ the offering!
CLEOMENES But of all, the burst 10
And the ear-deafening voice o’ the oracle,
Kin to Jove’s thunder, so surprised my sense.
That I was nothing.
DION If the event o’ the journey
Prove as successful to the queen,–O be’t so!– 15
As it hath been to us rare, pleasant, speedy,
The time is worth the use on’t.
CLEOMENES Great Apollo
Turn all to the best! These proclamations,
So forcing faults upon Hermione, 20
I little like.
DION The violent carriage of it
Will clear or end the business: when the oracle,
Thus by Apollo’s great divine seal’d up,
Shall the contents discover, something rare 25
Even then will rush to knowledge. Go: fresh horses!
And gracious be the issue!

Next: The Winter’s Tale, Act 3, Scene 2