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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.


Our duty to your honour.

Ham. Your loves, as mine to you : Farewell.

[Exeunt HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO. 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.


SCENE III.—A room in POLONIUS' house.


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.


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 pérfume and suppliance' of a minute;

No more.



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

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Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now;
And now no soil, nor cautel,1 doth besmirch2
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 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'd3 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 best safety lies in fear;
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.


Oph. I shall th' 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,

'subtlety, deceit.

3 licentious.

taint, soil. 4chary, is cautious

Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks' not his own read.


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


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 charácter. 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't that th' 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 of a 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,

1 heeds not his own lessons. ⚫ strongly infix.

3 opinion.

4 chief, a term in heraldry. The meaning seems to be, they in France approve themselves of a most select and generous order by their dress.

5 thrift, economical prudence.

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.


Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you?
Oph. So please you, something touching the lord
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.


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,2) you'll tender me a fool.

Oph. My lord, he hath impórtun'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,

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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 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 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.

SCENE IV. The platform.


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?


Mar. No, it is struck.

I think it lacks of twelve.

[the season, Hor. Indeed? I heard it not; it then draws near Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

[A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off within.] What does this mean, my


company, conversation.


2 In brief.

3 Assuming the semblance of those sacred engagements entered into at the altar of wedlock.

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