Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Hardin Aasand
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-367-0

    Copyright Hardin Aasand. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Hardin Aasand
    Peer Reviewed

    The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

    Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.
    Enter Time, the Chorus.
    1580Time. I that please some, try all: both ioy and terror
    Of good, and bad: that makes, and vnfolds error,
    Now take vpon me (in the name of Time)
    To vse my wings: Impute it not a crime
    To me, or my swift passage, that I slide
    1585Ore sixteene yeeres, and leaue the growth vntride
    Of that wide gap, since it is in my powre
    To orethrow Law, and in one selfe-borne howre
    To plant, and ore-whelme Custome. Let me passe
    The same I am, ere ancient'st Order was,
    1590Or what is now receiu'd. I witnesse 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
    Now seemes to it: your patience this allowing,
    1595I turne my glasse, and giue my Scene such growing
    As you had slept betweene: Leontes leauing
    Th' effects of his fond iealousies, so greeuing
    That he shuts vp himselfe. Imagine me
    (Gentle Spectators) that I now may be
    1600In faire Bohemia, and remember well,
    I mentioned a sonne o'th' Kings, which Florizell
    I now name to you: and with speed so pace
    To speake of Perdita, now growne in grace
    Equall with wond'ring. What of her insues
    1605I list not prophesie: but let Times newes
    Be knowne when 'tis brought forth. A shepherds daugh-
    And what to her adheres, which followes after,
    Is th' argument of Time: of this allow,
    If euer you haue spent time worse, ere now:
    1610If neuer, yet that Time himselfe doth say,
    He wishes earnestly, you neuer may.