We analyze optical-absorption and Raman-scattering measurements of CdS- and Zn-doped borosilicate glass, heat treated at 600 degrees C to 725 degrees C, to study the nucleation and growth of II-VI nanoparticles. The energy of vibrational Raman modes indicates that Cd1-xZnxS crystallites form where x is initially zero and increases to 0.15 with time. In glass which is quenched from high temperature (> 1000 degrees C) there is a weak, monotonic optical absorption which increases with photon energy. Heat treatment at 600 degrees C to 725 degrees C causes the optical absorption to increase and to form a peak between 3.0 and 3.2 eV. After the peak reaches its maximum value, it begins to shift to lower energy. We interpret the optical data in terms of quantum confinement of electron and hole excited states. We conclude that nucleation of particles in this glass composition is homogeneous. Typical critical nuclei are in the range from 1.5 to 2 nm. The particle size distribution is narrowest (25% full width at half maximum) at the end of the homogeneous nucleation stage and broadens when coarsening begins.