Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 3
A room in Polonius' house.
Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA
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?
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; No
No more but so?
Think it no more;
For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
In thews and bulk, but, as this temple
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now,
no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
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 health of this whole state;
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
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
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.
it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger
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,
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.
I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff'd
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.
A double blessing is a double grace,
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.
Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character.
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
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
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
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;
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,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
blessing season this in thee!
Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
The time invites you; go; your servants tend.
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.
What is't, Ophelia, be hath said to you?
So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.
Marry, well bethought:
'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late
Given private time to you; and you
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
What is between you? give me up the truth.
He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders
Of his affection to me.
Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
believe his tenders, as you call them?
I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby;
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,
are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly;
Ornot to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Running it thusyou'll
tender me a fool.
My lord, he hath importuned me with love
In honourable fashion.
Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to.
And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
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;
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,
believe his vows; for they are brokers,
Not of that dye which their investments show,
But mere implorators
of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds,
The better to beguile. This is for all:
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.
Look to't, I charge you: come your ways.
I shall obey, my lord.