Open Source Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale

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Act III, Scene 1

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, 1185
    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' the offering! 1190
  • Cleomenes. But of all, the burst
    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 1195
    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.
  • Cleomenes. Great Apollo
    Turn all to the best! These proclamations, 1200
    So forcing faults upon Hermione,
    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, 1205
    Shall the contents discover, something rare
    Even then will rush to knowledge. Go: fresh horses!
    And gracious be the issue!