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The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

FIRST LORD
This your request
Is altogether just: therefore bring forth,
And in Apollos name, his oracle.
FIRST LORD
Your request is just. Bring forth the oracle of Apollo.
Exeunt certain Officers
Some officers exit.
HERMIONE
125The Emperor of Russia was my father:
O that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter’s trial! that he did but see
The flatness of my misery, yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!
HERMIONE
If only my father, the Emperor of Russia, were alive and could be here to see his daughter’s trial! If only he could see my misery with eyes of pity, not revenge!
Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and DION
The Officers re-enter, with CELOMENES and DION.
OFFICER
130You here shall swear upon this sword of justice,
That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
Been both at Delphos, and from thence have brought
The seal’d-up oracle, by the hand deliver’d
Of great Apollo’s priest; and that, since then,
135You have not dared to break the holy seal
Nor read the secrets in’t.
OFFICER
You will swear upon this sword of justice that you, Cleomenes and Dion, have both been at Delphos and have brought back with you the sealed oracle, delivered by great Apollo’s priest, and that you have not broken the holy seal nor read the secrets in it.
CLEOMENES DION
All this we swear.
CLEOMENES AND DION
We swear all this.
LEONTES
Break up the seals and read.
LEONTES
Break the seal and read.
OFFICER
[Reads] Hermione is chaste;
140Polixenes blameless; Camillo a true subject; Leontes
a jealous tyrant; his innocent babe truly begotten;
and the king shall live without an heir, if that
which is lost be not found.
OFFICER
(reads) Hermione is chaste, Polixenes is innocent, Camillo is a loyal subject, Leontes is a jealous tyrant, and his innocent baby is legitimately born. The king will live without an heir if the baby that was lost is not found.