The Winter's Tale :: Scenes :: The Winter's Tale: Act III, Scene 1

Scene 1

Sicilia. A sea port.

(Cleomines; Dion)

Cleomines and Dion, stopping for fresh horses on their return from the oracle, comment on the awe-inspiring spectacle of the temple at Delphi. They hope that the sealed answer they are bearing will prove to Hermione’s advantage. ( line)

Enter Cleomines and Dion.


The climate’s delicate, the air most sweet,

Fertile the isle, the temple much surpassing

The common praise it bears.


I shall report,

For most it caught me, the celestial habits

(Methinks I so should term them) and the reverence

Of the grave wearers. O, the sacrifice!

How ceremonious, solemn, and unearthly

It was i’ th’ off’ring!


But of all, the burst

And the ear-deaf’ning voice o’ th’ oracle,

Kin to Jove’s thunder, so surpris’d my sense,

That I was nothing.


If th’ event o’ th’ journey

Prove as successful to the Queen (O be’t so!)

As it hath been to us rare, pleasant, speedy,

The time is worth the use on’t.


Great Apollo

Turn all to th’ best! These proclamations,

So forcing faults upon Hermione,

I little like.


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

Even then will rush to knowledge. Go; fresh horses!

And gracious be the issue!




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