The chariest 8 maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes :
The cánker 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.'

O fear me not, I stay too long ;-But here


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


[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. 8 Most cautious. 9 Careless. * Regards not his own lessons,

2 Write.

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,4 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.7
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 8 this in thee!

Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Pol. The time invites you; go, your servants

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.


3 Palm of the hand. 4 Opinion. 5 Noble. Chiefly. 7 Economy.

8 Infix. 9 Wait.

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 bounte-


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.2

Pol. Ay, 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,

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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


presence; Set your

entreatments 3 at a higher rate,
Than a command to parley. For lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him, That he is

And with a larger tether 4 may he walk,
Then may be given you: In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows: for they are brokers, 5
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.



The Platform.

Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS. Ham. The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.

3 Company. 4 Longer line ; a horse fastened by a string to a stake, is

5 Pimps, 6 Implorers.

Hor. It is a nipping and an eager 7 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 is wont to walk. [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

rouse, 8 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. Hor.

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 : 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,)

7 Sharp. 8 Jovial draught, 9 Jollity, ' A dance.

2 Call,

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