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Hermione, Queen to Leontes.
Perdita, daughter to Leontes and Hermione.
Paulina, wife to Antigonus.
Emilia, a Lady,
} attending the Queen.
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants: Satyrs for a dance; Shepherds, Shepherdesses, Guards, &c.
SCENE, sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in Bohemia.
THIS play, throughout, is written in the very spirit of its author. And in telling this homely and simple, though agreeable, country tale,
Our sweetest Shakspeare, fancy's child,
This was necessary to observe in mere justice to the play; as the meanness of the fable, and the extravagant conduct of it, had misled some of great name into a wrong judgement of its merit; which, as far as it regards sentiment and character, is scarce inferior to any in the whole collection. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton, by "some of great name," means Dryden and Pope. See the Essay the end of the Second Part of The Conquest of Granada: "Witness the lameness of their plots; [the plots of Shakspeare and Fletcher ;] many of which, especially those which they wrote first, (for even that age refined itself in some measure,) were made up of some ridiculous incoherent story, which in one play many times took up the business of an age. I suppose I need not name Pericles, Prince of Tyre, [and here, bythe-by, Dryden expressly names Pericles as our author's production,] nor the historical plays of Shakspeare; besides many of the rest, as The Winter's Tale, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure, which were either grounded on impossibilities, or at