Enter Time, the Chorus


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.



As if the tale were not remarkable enough already, Time intervened to propel the story forward: "I, who please some, test all -a joy and a terror to the good and the bad. I, making and exposing error, take upon it myself, in the name of Time, to use my wings. Don’t say I’m taking liberties with my swift passage, I move this tale on sixteen years and leave the events of that gap unseen and unexplained, since it is in my power to overthrow the laws of logic by using the hours birthed by me to change the custom of storytelling. Let me be that which has always been, that which existed prior to the most ancient traditions and prior to that which is now the custom. I, witness to the times that brought them and so I shall make your current tastes seem as stale as my old story seems to you. Be patient and allow me to turn my hour glass and give you sixteen years passing as though you simply dozed through it. Forget Leontes, he lives in a prison built by his idiotic jealousy, and watch me gentle people, that I now may be in fair Bohemia, and remember earlier I mentioned a son of King Polixenes, Florizel, I now tell you is his name. And with speed so fantastic I speak of Perdita, grown and lovely, equal to all the compliments bestowed upon her. What becomes of her, I’d rather not yet prophesise, but let Time's news be known when it is time. A shepherd's daughter, and what happens to her is my story. Of this admit, you have wasted more time before on sillier stories, if not then let Time wish you never will."