Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.

Enter Cleomines and Dion.

Cleo. The Clymat's delicate, the Ayre most sweet, Fertile the Isle, the Temple much surpassing The common prayse it beares

Dion. I shall report, For most it caught me, the Celestiall Habits, (Me thinkes I so should terme them) and the reuerence Of the graue Wearers. O, the Sacrifice, How ceremonious, solemne, and vn-earthly It was i'th' Offring? Cleo. But of all, the burst And the eare-deaff'ning Voyce o'th' Oracle, Kin to Ioues Thunder, so surpriz'd my Sence, That I was nothing

Dio. If th' euent o'th' Iourney Proue as successefull to the Queene (O be't so) As it hath beene to vs, rare, pleasant, speedie, The time is worth the vse on't

Cleo. Great Apollo Turne all to th' best: these Proclamations, So forcing faults vpon Hermione, I little like

Dio. The violent carriage of it Will cleare, or end the Businesse, when the Oracle (Thus by Apollo's great Diuine seal'd vp) Shall the Contents discouer: something rare Euen then will rush to knowledge. Goe: fresh Horses, And gracious be the issue.


Scoena Secunda.

Enter Leontes, Lords, Officers: Hermione (as to her Triall) Ladies: Cleomines, Dion.

Leo. This Sessions (to our great griefe we pronounce) Euen pushes 'gainst our heart. The partie try'd, The Daughter of a King, our Wife, and one Of vs too much belou'd. Let vs be clear'd Of being tyrannous, since we so openly Proceed in Iustice, which shall haue due course, Euen to the Guilt, or the Purgation: Produce the Prisoner

Officer. It is his Highnesse pleasure, that the Queene Appeare in person, here in Court. Silence

Leo. Reade the Indictment

Officer. Hermione, Queene to the worthy Leontes, King of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned of High Treason, in committing Adultery with Polixenes King of Bohemia, and conspiring with Camillo to take away the Life of our Soueraigne Lord the King, thy Royall Husband: the pretence whereof being by circumstances partly layd open, thou (Hermione) contrary to the Faith and Allegeance of a true Subiect, didst counsaile and ayde them, for their better safetie, to flye away by Night

Her. Since what I am to say, must be but that Which contradicts my Accusation, and The testimonie on my part, no other But what comes from my selfe, it shall scarce boot me To say, Not guiltie: mine Integritie Being counted Falsehood, shall (as I expresse it) Be so receiu'd. But thus, if Powres Diuine Behold our humane Actions (as they doe) I doubt not then, but Innocence shall make False Accusation blush, and Tyrannie Tremble at Patience. You (my Lord) best know (Whom least will seeme to doe so) my past life Hath beene as continent, as chaste, as true, As I am now vnhappy; which is more Then Historie can patterne, though deuis'd, And play'd, to take Spectators. For behold me, A Fellow of the Royall Bed, which owe A Moitie of the Throne: a great Kings Daughter, The Mother to a hopefull Prince, here standing To prate and talke for Life, and Honor, fore Who please to come, and heare. For Life, I prize it As I weigh Griefe (which I would spare:) For Honor, 'Tis a deriuatiue from me to mine, And onely that I stand for. I appeale To your owne Conscience (Sir) before Polixenes Came to your Court, how I was in your grace, How merited to be so: Since he came, With what encounter so vncurrant, I Haue strayn'd t' appeare thus; if one iot beyond The bound of Honor, or in act, or will That way enclining, hardned be the hearts Of all that heare me, and my neer'st of Kin Cry fie vpon my Graue

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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