A room in Polonius's house.

Enter Laertes and Ophelia.
Laer. My necessaries are embarked, 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? 5 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; 10 No more. 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

And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
The virtue of his will; but you must fear,
His greatness weighed, his will is not his

For he himself is subject to his birth.


He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself, for on his choice depends 20
The safety and health of this whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circum-

scribed 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 25 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, 30 Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure

open To his unmastered 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 disclosed, 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.



45 Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,

As watchman to my heart. But, good my

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whilst, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,

And recks not his own rede.

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. 55 Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for

shame! The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are stayed for. There; my blessing

with thee! And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no

60 Nor any unproportioned thought his act.

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption

Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;

But do not dull thy palm with entertainment 65 Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade.

Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,


Bear 't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, 70
But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and

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 own self be true,
And it must follow, 'as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. 80

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. Oph.

'Tis in my memory locked, 85 And you yourself shall keep the key of it. Laer. Farewell.

[Exit. 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

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 100 Of his affection to me. Pol. Affection! pooh! You speak like a green

Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.

Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should

I think. 105 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


Running it thus—you'll tender me a fool. 110 Oph. My lord, he hath importuned me with love

In honorable fashion. Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it. Go to, go to. Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech,

my lord,

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