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And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
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;
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 stay'd for. There, my blessing with
(Laying his hand on LAERTES' head. And these few precepts in thy memory See 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 hoops of steel ; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Be. Of entrance to a quarrel : but, being in, Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice : Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judg.
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 of a most select and generous sheaf in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be : For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
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 lock’d, 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 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
Pol. Marry, I'll teach you : think yourself a
baby ; That have ta'en his tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more
dearly; Or, (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, Running it thus,) you'll tender me a fool. Oph. My lord, he hath importuned 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 lord, With all the vows of heaven. Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do
know, When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul Gives 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,
daughter, 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 the eye 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 leisure,
As to give words or talk with the lord Hamlet.
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? Hor.
I think, it lacks of twelve. Mar. No, it is struck. Hor. Indeed ? I heard it not; then it 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. The king doth wake to-night, and
takes his rouse, Keeps wassail, and the swaggering up-spring
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
Is it a custom ?