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Let me pass

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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.
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 prophesy ; 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 arguinent 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

. 8. self-born, self-begotten, i.e. clearer by Lloyd's punctuation, the issue of Time.

in which Since ...

I am form 9. Let me pass the same I am. a single sentence. But the Time pleads that as he can bring following Ere ancient'st order about sudden revolutions, he is received does not very well not deserving his character in connect with I witness ... in. passing suddenly over the slow 25. wondering, the admiring changes of sixteen years.

The

wonder she excites. argument is certainly made 29. allow, approve.

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SCENE II.

Bohemia.

The palace of POLIXENES.

saw

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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 since I 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 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, prithee speak no more; whose very naming punishes me with the remembrance of that penitent, as thou callest 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 sawest thou

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of

4. fifteen, probably an error 8. feeling, keenly felt. for sixteen, which Hanmer 22. friendships, marks substituted.

friendship.

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the Prince Florizel, my son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue not being gracious, than 30 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, 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. Prithee, 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.

[Exeunt.

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60

31. they, i.e. the children.

31. approved, given evidence of, 35. missingly, regretfully.

SCENE III. 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. The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,

With heigh! the sweet birds, O, 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-lyra chants,

With heigh! with heigh ! the thrush and the jay, to Are summer songs for me and my aunts,

While we lie tumbling in the hay.
I have served 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 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 traffic is sheets; when the kite builds, look to I. peer, appear.

14. three-pile, sc. velvet. 2. doxy, lass, mistress (thieves' 23. when the kite builds, cant term for the women who look to lesser linen. Autolycus accompanied them).

is drawing an illustration, not 7. Pugging, thievish (like a contrast, from the kite's pro'sweet tooth'); also a cant term, cedure ; • You look after your from which a noun 'puggard' small linen when the kite builds ; was formed.

for the same reason look after II. aunts, doxies.'

your sheets now.

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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. Gallows and knock are too powerful on the highway: beating and hanging are terrors to me: for the life to 30 come, I sleep out the thought of it. A prize! a prize!

Enter Clown.

Let me

Clo. Let me see: every 'leven wether tods ; every tod yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?

Aut. [Aside] If the springe hold, the cock's mine.

Clo. I cannot do 't without counters. see; what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound of sugar, five pound of cur- 40 rants, 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, threeman-song-men all, and very good ones; but they are most of them means and bases; but one puritan

24. Autolycus, in Greek myth 28. silly cheat, petty theft, a son of Hermes, whom the pilfering. Romans identified with their god 29. knock, the hard blows Mercury, and, like his father, incident to highway robbery. reputed for his skill in theft. 33. tods, yield a tod (28 lbs.) Both facts are played on in the of wool. assertion that he is littered 34. odd shilling, one shilling. under (the planet) Mercury.' Cf. 36. cock, ‘woodcock,'i.e. fool. note to i. 2. 201.

44. three-man-song-men, able 27. die and drab, dice and

to sing in trios. harlots.

46. means, tenors ; it is prob

ably meant that there were few 27. this caparison, his ragged counter-tenors, the highest male attire :. properly, a horse-cloth. voice. VOL. IV 337

Z

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