William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale in the complete original text.
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The Winter's Tale

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Act IV.

Act IV.

Enter Time, the Chorus.

Time. 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; since it is in my power
To overthrow 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 grow-
ing
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 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. [Exit.
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