The Winter's Tale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 141 pages of information about The Winter's Tale.

I swear to do this, though a present death
Had been more merciful.—­Come on, poor babe: 
Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens
To be thy nurses!  Wolves and bears, they say,
Casting their savageness aside, have done
Like offices of pity.—­Sir, be prosperous
In more than this deed does require!—­and blessing,
Against this cruelty, fight on thy side,
Poor thing, condemn’d to loss!

[Exit with the child.]

                               No, I’ll not rear
Another’s issue.

Second attendant
                 Please your highness, posts
From those you sent to the oracle are come
An hour since:  Cleomenes and Dion,
Being well arriv’d from Delphos, are both landed,
Hasting to the court.

First lord
                      So please you, sir, their speed
Hath been beyond account.

                          Twenty-three days
They have been absent:  ’tis good speed; foretells
The great Apollo suddenly will have
The truth of this appear.  Prepare you, lords;
Summon a session, that we may arraign
Our most disloyal lady; for, as she hath
Been publicly accus’d, so shall she have
A just and open trial.  While she lives,
My heart will be a burden to me.  Leave me;
And think upon my bidding.



Scene I. Sicilia.  A Street in some Town.

[Enter Cleomenes 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’ the offering!

                        But of all, the burst
And the ear-deaf’ning voice o’ the oracle,
Kin to Jove’s thunder, so surprised my sense
That I was nothing.

                    If the event o’ the 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!

Project Gutenberg
The Winter's Tale from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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