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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 18 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: 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 '9.
O, fear me not. I stay too long ;-But here my father comes.
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.
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 80, but reserve thy judge-
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.
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. Luer. 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 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, 21 fashion you may call it; go to, go to.
Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech, my
lord, With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
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 your maiden presence;
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 R2 may
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 moment'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.
Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS.
Ham. The air bites 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? I heard it not; it then draws near the
season, Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
[A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within. What does this mean, my lord?
Ham. 4 The king doth wake to-night, and takes
Keeps wassel, and the swaggering up-spring reels;
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish 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-headed revel, east and west,
Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations: