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THE FIRST EDITIONS; WITH INTRODUCTIONS,
NOTES ORIGINAL AND SELECTED, AND
A LIFE OF THE POET;
REV. H. N. HUDSON, A.M.
REVISED EDITION, WITH ADDITIONAL NOTES.
IN TWELVE VOLUMES.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
NOYES, HOLMES, AND COMPANY,
John WILSON AND Son, CAMBRIDGE.
THE WINTER'S TALE
The earliest notice we have of The WINTER'S TALE is froin the manuscript Diary of Dr. Simon Forman, lately discovered in the Ashmolean Museum. The description there given is so close as to leave no room for doubt or mistake; bearing date May 15, 1611, and runuing thus: “Observe there how Leontes, king of Sicilia, was overcome with jealousy of his wife with the king of Bohemia, his friend that came to see him ; and how he contrived his death, and would have had his cup-bearer to have poisoned him, who gave the king of Bohemia warning thereof, and fled with him to Bohemia. Remember, also, how he sent to the oracle of Apollo, and the answer of Apollo that she was guiltless, and that the king was jealous, &c.; and how, except the child was found again that was lost, the king should die without issue ; for the child was carried into Bohemia, and there laid in a forest. and brought up by a shepherd; and the king of Bohemia's son married that wench, and how they fled into Sicilia to Leontes ; and the shepherd having showed the letter of the nobleman whom Leontes sent, and by the jewels found about her she was known to be Leontes' daughter, and was then sixteen years old. Remember, also, the rogue that came in all tattered, like Coll Pipci, and how he feigned him sick, and to have been robbed of all he had; and how he cozened the poor man of all his money, and after came to the sheep-shear with a pedlar's pack, and there cozened them again of all their money. And how he changed apparel with the king of Bohemia's son, and then how he turned courtier, &c. Beware of trusting feigned beggars and fawning fellows.”
Malone once thought The Winter's Tale to have been written in 1604; but he gave up this opinion late in life upon finding it stated in the office-book of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels in 1623, that The Winter's Tale was “ an old play formerly allowed of by Sir George Buck.” Buck became Mastar