Act 4 Scene 1




ACT 4

Scene 1

[Enter Time, the Chorus.]


TIME 
 I, that please some, try all—both joy and terror
 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
[5]  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
[10]  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
 To th’ freshest things now reigning, and make stale
 The glistering of this present, as my tale
[15]  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,
 Th’ effects of his fond jealousies so grieving
 That he shuts up himself, imagine me,
[20]  Gentle spectators, that I now may be
 In fair Bohemia. And remember well
 I mentioned a son o’ th’ King’s, which Florizell
 I now name to you, and with speed so pace


 To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace
[25]  Equal with wond’ring. What of her ensues
 I list not prophesy; but let Time’s news
 Be known when ’tis brought forth. A shepherd’s
 daughter
 And what to her adheres, which follows after,
[30]  Is th’ 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.
[He exits.]



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