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