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Enter Time, as Chorus.
T'ime. 1,--that please some, try all; both joy, and
terror, Of good and bad; that make, and unfold 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 untried 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 ain, ere ancient'st order was, Or what is now received: I witness to The times that brought them in; so shall I do 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 king's, which Florizel I now name to you; and with speed so pace To speak of Perdita, now grown
in grace Ti.e. Leave unexamined the progress of the intermediate time which filled up the gap in Perdita's story.
2 Imagine for me.
Equal with wond'ring: What of her ensues,
A Room in the Palace of Polixenes.
Enter POLIXENES and CAMILLO.
Pol. I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more ime portunate: 'tis a sickness, denying thee any thing; a death, to grant this.
Cum. 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'erweens 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
5 Think too highly.
services thou hast done: which if I have not enough considered, (as too much I cannot,) to be more thankful to thee, shall be my study; and my profit therein, the heaping friendships. Of that fatal country Sicilia, pr’ythee speak no more: whose very naming punishes me with the remembrance of that penitent, as thou call'st 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 saw'st thou the prince Florizel my son? Kings 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 exercises, than formerly he hath appeared.
Pol. I have considered so much, Camillo; and 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 neighbours, 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 her is extended more, than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.
Pol. That's likewise part of my intelligence. But,
5 Friendly offices.
6 Observed at intervals.
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, Pr’ythee, be my present partner in this business, and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.
Cam. I willingly obey your command.
Pol. My best Camillo !-We must disguise ourselves.
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.S The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With, hey! the sweet birds, 0, how they singlese Doth set my pugging, tooth on edge ;
For a quurt of ale is a dish for a king. The lark, that tirra-lirra chants,
With, hey! with, hey! the thrush and the jay: Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
While we lie tumbling in the hay.
7 Talk. Si. e. The spring blood reigns over the parts lately underthe dominion of winter. 9 Thieyish.
i Doxies. ·
I have served prince Florizel, and, in my time, wore
The pale moon shines by night :
I then do most go right.
And bear the sow-skin budget ;
And in the stocks arouch it.
My traffick is sheets; when the kite builds, look to lesser linen. My father named me, Autolycus; who, being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles : With die, and drab, I purchased this caparison; and my revenue is the silly cheat:3 Gallows, and knock, are too powerful on the highway: beating, and hanging, are terrors to me; for the life to come, I sleep out the thought of it.- A prize! a prize!
Clo. Let me see :-Every 'leven wether-tods; every tod yields-pound and odd shilling: fifteen hundred shorn,-What comes the wool to?
Aut. If the springe hold, the cock's mine. [Aside. Clo. I cannot do't without counters,5_Let me
2 Rich velvet.
3 Picking pockets. . 4 Every eleven sheep will produce a tod or 28 pounds of wool.
s Circular pieces of base metal antiently used by the illiterate to adjust their reckonings.