Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > The Winter's Tale > Act IV, scene I

	[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
	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 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 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 wondering: 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.



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