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No more but so?

Think it no more:

For nature, crescent, does not grow alone

In thews,2 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 besmirch
The virtue of his will:3 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


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.

2 In thews,] i. e. in sinews, muscular strength. And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch

The virtue of his will;] From cautela, which signifies only a prudent foresight or caution; but, passing through French hands, it lost its innocence, and now signifies fraud, deceit. The virtue of his will means, his virtuous intentions.


unmaster'd-] i. e. licentious.

keep you in the rear, &c.] That is, do not advance so far as your affection would lead you.

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
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 my 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 charácter. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.

• The chariest maid-] Chary is cautious.




recks not his own read.] That is, heeds not his own

the shoulder of your sail,] This is a common sea phrase.

• Look thou charácter.] i. e. write, strongly infix.

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.1 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 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.3
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 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 this in thee!5

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

1 But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade.] The literal sense is, Do not make thy palm callous by shaking every man by the hand. The figurative meaning may be, Do not by promiscuous conversation make thy mind insensible to the difference of characters.

2 each man's censure,] Censure is opinion.


Are most select and generous, chief in that.] i. e. the nobility of France are select and generous above all other nations, and chiefly in the point of apparel; the richness and elegance of their dress.


of husbandry.] i. e. of thrift; economical prudence. my blessing season this in thee!] Infix it in such a manner as that it never may wear out.


servants tend.] i. e. your servants are waiting for you.

Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well What I have said to you.


And you yourself shall keep the key of it."

Laer. Farewell.

'Tis in my memory lock'd,


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 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


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;9

yourself shall keep the key of it.] i. e. your counsels are as sure of remaining locked up in my memory, as if yourself carried the key of it. Unsifted-] Unsifted for untried. Untried signifies either not tempted, or not refined; unsifted signifies the latter only, though the sense requires the former.


9 Tender yourself more dearly;] To tender is to regard with affection.

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Or, (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Wronging it thus,) you'll tender me a fool.

Oph. My lord, he hath impórtun'd 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 almost all the holy vows of heaven.

Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know, 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 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 brokers3
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.



fashion you may call it ;] She uses fashion for manner, and he for a transient practice.

2 Set your entreatments-] i. e. the objects of entreaty; the favours for which lovers sue.

• Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers-] A broker in old English meant a bawd or pimp.


Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,] i. e. bonds or engagements of love.

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