The Winter’s Tale


Scene I

William Shakespeare

Scene I. Sicilia. On the road to the Capital


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!


The Winter’s Tale - Contents    |     Act III Scene II

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