A sea-port in Sicilia.
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-deafening 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 the 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!
Meanwhile at the harbour, some distance from Leontes' palace, Cleomenes and Dion had already disembarked and were now preparing their mules to take them on the final leg of the journey.
"The climate was wonderful, the air most sweet," Cleomenes said. "Delos was very fertile and the temple itself surpassed everything I had heard."
"I shall tell everyone what impressed me the most," Dion said. "The celestial garments, as I would describe them, and the reverence of the temple attendants. Oh, the sacrifice! How ceremonious, solemn and other worldly the whole thing was!"
"But above all,” Cleomenes said, “the sudden and ear-deafening voice of the oracle, akin to Jove's thunder, it was so surprising that I was frightened witless."
"If the result of our journey proves to be as successful for Queen Hermione- please be it so- as it has been for us pleasant, then it will have been time well spent."
"Great Apollo, change everything for the better!" Cleomenes added. "These proclamations which unfairly accuse Hermione, I just don't like."
"It will clear up this whole thing one way or another. When the content of the sealed proclamation we carry is revealed, a rush to truth will be cherished. Go, fresh horses! And gracious be the outcome!"
Cleomenes and Dion set off for the Leontes’ palace.