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Oph. No more but so?
Laer. 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 now; And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besinirch 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'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 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
Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
Laer. O fear me not,
Pol. Yet here, Laertes ! aboard, aboard, for shame;
[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, but reserve thy judgement.
Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
Oph. 'Tis in my memory lock’d,
[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,
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,
Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to.
Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
The better to beguile. This is for all,
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; it then draws near the
season, Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
[4 flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within. What does this mean, my lord ? Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes his ·
Hor. Is it a custom ?
Ham. Ay, marry, is't: