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Enter Time, the Chorus.

Time. I, that please some, try all, both joy and ter


Of good and bad, that makes and unfolds error,
Now take upon me, in the name of Time,
To use my wings. Impute it not a crime
To me or my swift passage, that I slide
O'er sixteen years and leave the growth un-

Of that wide gap, since it is in my power


To o'erthrow law and in one self-born hour
To plant and o'erwhelm custom. Let me pass
The same I am, ere ancient'st order was
Or what is now received: I witness to
The times that brought them in; so shall I do

1. "Time, the Chorus"; this device was probably suggested by the title of Greene's romance, Pandosto, or the Triumph of Time-the title being expanded in the ensuing words of the title-page, as quoted in the Introduction.-C. H. H.

6. "leave the growth untried"; inquire not what has grown (in the interval).-C. H. H.

7. "wide gap"; that is, leave unexamined the progress of the time which filled up the gap in Perdita's story. The reasoning of Time is not very clear; he seems to mean, that he who overthrows everything, and makes as well as overwhelms custom, may surely infringe the laws of his own making.-H. N. H.

To the freshest things now reigning, and make stale

The glistering of this present, as my tale

Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing, I turn my glass and give my scene such growing


As you had slept between: Leontes leaving,
The effects of his fond jealousies so grieving
That he shuts up himself, imagine me,
Gentle spectators, that I now may be
In fair Bohemia; and remember well,
I mentioned a son o' the kings, which Florizel
I now name to you; and with speed so pace
To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace
Equal with wondering: what of her ensues
I list not prophesy; but let Time's news
Be known when 'tis brought forth. A shep-
herd's daughter,

And what to her adheres, which follows after,
Is the argument of Time. Of this allow,
If ever you have spent time worse ere now;
If never, yet that Time himself doth say
He wishes earnestly you never may.

15. "to it," i. e. "the present."-I. G.



19. "me" is here redundant, as in Falstaff's praise of sack: "It ascends me into the brain," etc.-H. N. H.

29. "allow"; approve.-C. H. H.


Bohemia. The palace of Polixenes.
Enter Polixenes and Camillo.

Pol. I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more im-
portunate: 'tis a sickness denying thee any
thing; a death to grant this.


Cam. It is fifteen years since I saw my country: though I have for the most part been aired abroad, I desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent king, my master, hath sent for me; to whose feeling sorrows I might be some allay, or I o'erween to think so, which is another spur to my departure. Pol. As thou lovest me, Camillo, wipe not out the rest of thy services by leaving me now: the need I have of thee, thine own goodness hath made; better not to have had thee than thus to want thee: thou, having made me businesses, which none without thee can sufficiently manage, must either stay to execute them thyself, or take away with thee the very services thou hast done; which if I have not enough considered, as too much I cannot, to 20 be more thankful to thee shall be my study; and my profit therein, the heaping friendships. Of that fatal country, Sicilia,

4. "It is fifteen years since,” etc.; changed by Hanmer to “sixteen,^ the number intended by Shakespeare.-I. G.

prithee speak no more; whose very naming
punishes me with the remembrance of that
penitent, as thou callest him, and reconciled
king, my brother; whose loss of his most
precious queen and children are even now to
be afresh lamented. Say to me, when sawest
thou the Prince Florizel, my son? Kings 30
are no less unhappy, their issue not being
gracious, than they are in losing them when
they have approved their virtues.

Cam. Sir, it is three days since I saw the
prince. What his happier affairs may be,
are to me unknown: but I have missingly
noted, he is of late much retired from court
and is less frequent to his princely exer-
cises than formerly he hath appeared.

Pol. I have considered so much, Camillo, and 40 with some care; so far, that I have eyes under my service which look upon his removedness; from whom I have this intelligence, that he is seldom from the house of a most homely shepherd; a man, they say, that from very nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbors, is grown into an unspeakable estate.

Cam. I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath

a daughter of most rare note: the report of 50 her is extended more than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.

Pol. That's likewise part of my intelligence;

36. "missingly noted"; that is, from missing him I have noted.H. N. H.

but, I fear, the angle that plucks our son
thither. Thou shalt accompany us to the
place; where we will, not appearing what we
are, have some question with the shepherd;
from whose simplicity I think it not uneasy
to get the cause of my son's resort thither.
Prithee, be my present partner in this busi- 60
ness, and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.

Cam. I willingly obey your command.

Pol. My best Camillo! We must disguise our




A road near the Shepherd's cottage.

Enter Autolycus, singing.

When daffodils begin to peer,

With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.

The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they

Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;

For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.

54. "angle" is here used for the bait, or line and hook, that draws his son away like a fish.-H. N. H.

4. That is, the "red blood" of spring now reigns where winter lately held dominion. But pale is used here in a double sense, as referring to the pale colors of winter, and as we still say "the pale of fashion," and "the pale of the Church." "English pale” and "Irish pale” were common expressions in the Poet's time.-H. N. H.

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