I have heard, (but not believ'd,) the spirits of the dead
May walk again: if such thing be, thy mother
Appear'd to me last night; for ne'er was dream
So like a waking. To me comes a creature,
Sometimes her head on one side, some another;
I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,

So fill'd, and so becoming: in pure white robes,
Like very sanctity, she did approach

My cabin where I lay thrice bow'd before me,
And, gasping to begin some speech, her eyes
Became two spouts: the fury spent, anon
Did this break from her: Good Antigonus,
Since fate, against thy better disposition,
Hath made thy person for the thrower-out
Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,-
Places remote enough are in Bohemia,

There weep, and leave it crying; and, for the babe
Is counted lost for ever, Perdita,

I pr'ythee, callt: for this ungentle business,
Put on thee by my lord, thou ne'er shalt see
Thy wife Paulina more :-and so, with shrieks,
She melted into air. Affrighted much,

I did in time collect myself; and thought

This was so, and no slumber. Dreams are toys:
Yet, for this once, yea, superstitiously,

I will be squar'd by this. I do believe,
Hermione hath suffer'd death; and that
Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
Of king Polixenes, it should here be laid,
Either for life, or death, upon the earth
Of its right father.- Blossom, speed thee well!
[Laying down the child.

There lie; and there thy character:5 there these;
[Laying down a bundle.
Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,
And still rest thine.The storm begins:-Poor wretch,
That, for thy mother's fault, art thus expos'd
To loss, and what may follow!-weep I cannot,
But my heart bleeds and most accurs'd am I,
To be by oath enjoin'd to this.-Farewell!

The day frowns more and more; thou art like to have
A lullaby too rough: I never saw

[5] Thy description; i. e. the writing afterwards discovered with Perdita,


The heavens so dim by day.—A savage clamour !6— Well may I get aboard!This is the chace ; [Exit, pursued by a bear,

I am gone for ever.

Enter an old Shepherd.

Shep. I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty; or that youth would sleep out the rest for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting.Hark you nowWould any but these boiled brains of nineteen, and two-and-twenty, hunt this weather? They have scared away two of my best sheep; which, I fear, the wolf will sooner find, than the master: if any where I have them, 'tis by the sea-side, browzing on ivy. Good luck, an't be thy will! what have we here? [Taking up the Child.] Mercy on's, a barne ; a very pretty barne! A boy, or a child, I wonder? A pretty one; a very pretty one: Sure, some scape though I am not bookish, yet I can read waiting-gentlewoman in the scape. This has been some stair-work, some trunk-work, some behind-door-work : they were warmer that got this, than the poor thing is here. I'll take it up for pity: yet I'll tarry till my son come; he hollaed but even now. Whoa, họ hoa

Clo. Hilloa, loa!

Enter Clown.

Shep. What, art so near? If thou'lt see a thing to talk on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither. What ailest thou, man?

Clo. I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land ; -but I am not to say, it is a sea, for it is now the sky; betwixt the firmament and it, you cannot thrust a bodkin's point.

Shep. Why, boy, how is it?

Clo. I would, you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore! but that's not to the point: O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls! sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em : now the ship boring the moon with her main-mast; and anon swallowed with yest and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead. And then for the land service,- -To see how the bear tore out his shoulder-bone; how he cried to me for help, and said, his name was Antigonus, a nobleman - -But to make an end of the ship :-to see

[6] This clamour was the cy of the dogs and hunters; then seeing the bear, he cries, this is the chace, or, the animal pursued. JOHNS.

how the sea flap-dragoned it :6-but, first, how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked them ;—and how the poor gentleman roared, and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea, or weather.

Shep. 'Name of mercy, when was this, boy?

Clo. Now, now; I have not winked since I saw these sights the men are not yet cold under water, nor the bear half dined on the gentleman; he's at it now.

She. Would, I had been by, to have helped the old man! Clo. I would, you had been by the ship-side, to have helped her; there your charity would have lacked footing. [Aside.

Shep. Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here, boy. Now bless thyself; thou met'st with things dying, I with things new born. Here's a sight for thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth? for a squire's child! Look thee here; take up, take up, boy; open't. So, let's see; It was told me, I should be rich by the fairies: this is some changeling :-open't: What's within, boy?

Clo. You're a made old man; if the sins of your youth are forgiven you, you're well to live. Gold all gold! Shep. This is fairy gold, boy, and will prove so: up with it, keep it close; home, home, the next way.s We are lucky, boy; and to be so still, requires nothing but secrecy. Let my sheep go :-Come, good boy, the next way home.

Clo. Go you the next way with your findings; I'll go see if the bear be gone from the gentleman, and how much he hath eaten: they are never curst but when they are hungry if there be any of him left, I'll bury it.

Shep. That's a good deed: If thou may'st discern by that which is left of him, what he is, fetch me to the sight of him.

Clo. Marry, will I; and you shall help to put him i' the ground.

Shep. 'Tis a lucky day, boy; and we'll do good deeds on't. [Exeunt.

[6] i. e. swallowed as our ancient topers swallowed flap-dragons. STEEV. [7] A bearing cloth is the fine mantle or cloth with which a child is usually covered, when it is carried to the church to be baptized, PERCY.

[8] i. e. some child left behind by the fairies, in the room of one which they had stolen. STEEV

[9] i. e. the nearest way. So, in King Henry IV. P. I: «Tis the next way

to turn tailor, or be red-breast teacher.


[1] Curst, signifies mischievous. Thus the adage: "Curst cows have short horns." HENLEY.



Enter TIME, as Chorus.


I,-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 ;2 since it is in my power
To o'erthrow law, and in one self-born hour
To plant and o'erwhelm custom :3 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

[2] Our author attends more to his ideas than to his words. The growth of the wide gap, is somewhat irregular; but he means, the growth, or progres sion of the time which filled up the gap of the story between Perdita's birth and her sixteenth year. To leave this growth untried, is, to leave the passages of the intermediate years unnoted and unexamined. Untried is not, perhaps, the word which he would have chosen, but which his rhyme required JOHNS.

[3] The reasoning of Time is not very clear; he seems to mean, that he who has broke so many laws may now break another; that he who introduced every thing, may introduce Perdita in her sixteenth year; and he intreats that he may pass as of old, before any order or succession of objects ancient or modern, distinguished his periods. JOHNS.

[4] Time is every where alike. I know not whether both sense and gram. mar may not dictate :

-imagine we

Gentle spectators, that you now may be, &c.

Let us imagine that you, who behold these scenes, are now in Bohemia.


Imagine me, means imagine with me, or imagine for me; and is a common mode of expression. Thus we say "do me such a thing, "-" spell me such a word."


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,5
If ever you have spent time worse ere now ;
If never yet, that time himself doth say,
He wishes earnestly, you never may.

The same.



A Room in the Palace of POLIXENES. Enter POL-

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 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, 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.

[5] To allow in our author's time signified to approve.


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