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And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your loves: So, fare you well:
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,

I'll visit you.

All. Our duty to your

honour. Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewell. [Exeunt HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and Ber

NARDO. My father's spirit in arms! all is not well; I doubt some foul play: 'would, the night were come! Till then sit still, my soul: Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.

[Exit.

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.
Oph.

Do
you

doubt that?
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;'
No more.

' The perfume and suppliance of a minute;} i. e. what was supplied to us for a minute; or, perhaps, an amusement to fill up a vacant moment, and render it agreeable,

Oph. No more but so?
Laer.

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:3 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 health of the whole state;
And therefore must 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’dimportunity.
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.

? In thews,] i. e. in sinews, muscular strength. s And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch

The virtue of his will;] From cautela, which signifies only a prudent foresight or caution; but, passing through French hands, it lost its innocence, and now signifies fraud, deceit. The virtue of his will means, his virtuous intentions.

unmaster'd-] i. e. licentious.

keep you in the rear, &c.] That is, do not advance so far as your affection would lead you.

5

The chariest maido 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: best 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 to heaven;
Whilst, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own read.?
Laer.

O fear me not. I stay too long ;—But here my father comes.

Enter POLONIUS. A double blessing is a double grace; Occasion smiles 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' Head. And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.

The chariest maid-] Chary is cautious.

i recks not his own read.] That is, heeds not his own lessons.

the shoulder of your sail,] This is a common sea phrase. 9 Look thou character,j i, e. write, strongly intix.

1

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 judge-

ment.
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 follow, 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.

2

· But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. ] The literal sense is, Do not make thy palm callous by shaking every man by the hand. The figurative meaning may be, Do not by promiscuous conversation make thy mind insensible to the difference of characters.

JOHNSON. each man's censure,] Censure is opinion. s Are most select and generous, chief in that.] i. e. the nobility of France are select and generous above all other nations, and chiefly in the point of apparel; the richness and elegance of their dress.

of husbandry.] i. e. of thrift; ceconomical prudence.

my blessing season this in thee!] Infix it in such a mananer as that it never may wear out.

servants tend.) i. e. your servants are waiting for you.

5

6

Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
What I have said to you.
Oph.

'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

Hamlet. Pol. Marry, well bethought: '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 bounte.

ous:

your honour:

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
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;

7

- yourself shall keep the key of it.] i. e. your counsels are as sure of remaining locked up in my memory, as if yourself carried the key of it.

Unsifted-] Unsifted for untried. Untried signifies either not tempted, or not refined; unsifted signifies the latter only, though the sense requires the former.

9-Tender yourself more dearly;] To tender is to regard with affection. VOL. X.

N

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