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To me, or my swift passage, that I slide
O'er sixteen years 41, and leave the growth untried
Of that wide gap 42; 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 receiv'd: 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 Equal with wond'ring: What of her ensues, I list not prophecy; but let Time's news Be known, when 'tis brought forth :-a shepherd'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. [Exit. SCENE I.

The same. A Room in the Palace of Polirenes,

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Enter POLIXENES and CAMILLO. Pol. I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more importunate: 'tis a sickness, denying thee any thing; a death, to grant this.

Cam. It is fifteen years 43, 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 consider'd, (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, prythee 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 44, he is of late much retired from court; and is less frequent to his princely exercises, than formerly he hath appeared.

Pol. I have consider'd 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, 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.

[Ereunt.

SCENE II.

The same.

A Road near the Shepherd's Cottage.

Enter AutoLycus, singing.
When daffodils begin to peer,

With heigh! the dory over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o’the year;

For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale +5.

The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,

With, hey! the sweet birds, 0, how they sing !Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;

For a quart 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 46,

While we lie tumbling in the hay.

I have serv'd prince Florizel, and, in my time, wore three-pile; but now I am out of service:

But shall I go mourn for that my

dear? The pale moon shines by night: And when I wander here and there,

I then do most go right.

If tinkers may have leave to live,

And bear the sow-skin budget; Then my account I well may give,

And in the stocks avouch it. My traffick is sheets 47; when the kite builds, look to lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus 48; who, being, as I am, litter'd under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles: With die and drab 49, I purchased this caparison; and my revenue is the silly cheat 5°; 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!

Enter Clown. Clown. 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.

Clown. I cannot do't without counters — Let me see; what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound of sugar; five pound of currants; rice

What will this sister of mine do with rice? But my father hath made her mistress of the feast, and she lays it on.

She hath made me four and twenty nosegays for the shearers: three-man song-men all s', and

very good ones; but they are most of them means and bases: but one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I must have saffron, to colour the warden pies 52; mace,-dates,-none;

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