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SCENE III. A Room in Polonius' House.
Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA.
Laer. My necessaries are embark'd; farewell :
And, sister, as the winds give benefit,
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood;
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute ;
Oph. No more but so?
Think it no more:
For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews, and bulk; but as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now;
And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch
The virtue of his will: but, you must fear,
His greatness weigh’d, his will is not his own;
For he himself is subject to his birth:
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The safety and the bealth of the whole state;
And therefore inust his choice be circumscrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body,
Whereof he is the head : Then if he says he loves you,
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed; which is no further,
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,
If with too credent ear you list his songs;
Or lose your heart; or your chaste treasure open
To his unmaster'd importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister ;
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon :
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes:
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then : beat safety lies in fear;
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.
Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way lo heaven;
Whilst, like a puild and reckless libertinc,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance lreads,
And recks not his own read.
0, fear me not. I stay too long ;-But here iny father comes.
Enter PoloniUS. A double blessing is a double grace; Occasion sıniles upon a second leave.
Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame; The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are staid for: There,-my blessing with you;
[Laying his Hand on Laertes' Hcud. And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel: but, being in, Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice: Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all,To thine ownself be true :
And it must fi low, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!
Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Pol. The time invites you; go, your servants tend.
Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
What I have said to you.
'Tis in my memory lock’d, And you yourself shall keep the key of it. Laer. Farewell.
[Exit Laertes. Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you? Oph. So please you, something touching the lord Pol. Marry, well bethought:
[Hamlet. 'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late Given private time to you: and you yourself Have of your audience been most free and bounteous : If it be so (as so 'tis put on me, And that in way of caution), I must tell you, You do not understand yourself so clearly, As it behoves my daughter, and your honour : What is between you give me up the truth.
Oph. He hath, my lord, of late, made many tenders Of his affection to me.
Pol. Affection? puh! you speak like a green girl, Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?
Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should think. Pol. Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby; That you have ta’en these tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly; Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, Wronging it thus), you'll tender me a fool.
Oph. My lord, he hath importun'd me with love, In honourable fashion.
Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to. Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech, my With almost all the holy vows of heaven. [lord,
Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows: these blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat,-extinct in both,
Even in their promise, as it is a making,-
You must not take for fire. From this time,
Be somewhat scanter of
Set your entreatments at a higher rate,
Than a command to parley. For lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him, That he is young;
And with a larger tether may he walk,
Than may be given you: In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows: for they are brokers,
Not of that die which their investments show,
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,
The better to beguile. This is for all,
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
Have you so slander any inoment's leisure,
As to give words or talk with the lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you ; come your ways.
Oph. I shall obey, my lord.
SCENE IV. The Platform.
Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS.
Ham. The air biles shrewdly; it is very cold.
Hor. It is a nipping and an eager air.
Ham. What hour now?
I think, it lacks of twelve. Mar. No, it is struck.
Hor. Indeed? heard it not; it then draws near the Wherein the spirit held is wont to walk. (season,
(A flourish of Trumpets, and Ordnance shot off within. What does this mean, my lord ?
Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes his
Keeps wassel, and the swaggering up-spring reels;
And, as he drains his draughts of Rlienish down,
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
The triumph of his pledge.
Is it a custom?
Ham. Ay, marry, is't :
But to my mind,- though I am native here,
And to the manner born,-it is a custom
More honour'd in the breach, than the observance.
This heavy-headeď revel, east and west,
Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nalions :
They clepe us, drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and, indeed, it takes
From our achievements, though perform'd at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
So, oft it chances in particular men,
That, for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As, in their birth (wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin),
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason;
Or by some habit, that ioo much o'er-leavens
The form of plausive manners;—that these men,-
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect;
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star, -
Their virtues else (be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo),
Shall, in the general censure, take corruption
From that particular fault: The dram of base
Doth all the noble substance often dout,
To his own scandal.
Enter Ghost. Hor.
Look, my lord, it comes ! Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us ! Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damu'd, Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell, Be thy intents wicked, or charitable,