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The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 2 Scene 1
No Fear Act 2 Scene 1 Page 9

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ANTIGONUS

And I wish, my liege,
205You had only in your silent judgment tried it,
Without more overture.

ANTIGONUS

My lord, I only wish you had spent more time considering your judgment, without making it public.

LEONTES

How could that be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool. Camillo’s flight,
210Added to their familiarity,
Which was as gross as ever touch’d conjecture,
That lack’d sight only, nought for approbation
But only seeing, all other circumstances
Made up to the deed, doth push on this proceeding:
215Yet, for a greater confirmation,
For in an act of this importance ’twere
Most piteous to be wild, I have dispatch’d in post
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo’s temple,
Cleomenes and Dion, whom you know
220Of stuff’d sufficiency: now from the oracle
They will bring all; whose spiritual counsel had,
Shall stop or spur me. Have I done well?

LEONTES

How do you mean? Either you have become a fool with age, or you were born that way. Camillo’s fleeing and their intimacy, which was as obvious as any suspicion that lacked only an eyewitness to confirm it, together push this matter forward. Still, since this is a serious matter and shouldn’t be handled rashly, I’ve sent Cleomenes and Dion to get further confirmation at Apollo’s temple in Delphos. You know they are competent. They’ll bring word from the oracle, and I’ll heed whatever advice it gives, whether for or against my suspicion. Is that good?

FIRST LORD

Well done, my lord.

FIRST LORD

Very good, my lord.

LEONTES

Though I am satisfied and need no more
225Than what I know, yet shall the oracle
Give rest to the minds of others, such as he
Whose ignorant credulity will not
Come up to the truth. So have we thought it good
From our free person she should be confined,
230Lest that the treachery of the two fled hence
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us;
We are to speak in public; for this business
Will raise us all.

LEONTES

Even though I am sure that I am right, the oracle will convince everyone else, such as those who find themselves unable to accept the truth. So I have thought it a good idea to confine her and keep her away from me, so the treachery of Camillo and Polixenes is not left to her to perform. Come, follow me. I’m going to speak to the public, since this matter will incite everyone to action.