Act 1, Scene 3

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[A room in Polonius' house. Enter Laertes and Ophelia.]

Laertes 

My necessaries are embarked. Farewell.
And, sister, as the winds give benefit
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep
But let me hear from you.

Ophelia

                                              Do you doubt that?

Laertes

For Hamlet and the trifling of his favor,
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 more.

Ophelia

                   No more but so?

Laertes

                                                  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 besmirch
The virtue of his will. But you must fear,
His greatness weighed, 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 sanctity and health of this whole state; 
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
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 sect and place,
May give his saying deed, which is no further
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honor may sustain, 
If with too credent ear you list his songs,
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
To his unmastered 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 disclosed
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. 

Ophelia

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 puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede

Laertes

                                                   Oh, fear me not.
[Enter Polonius.]

Laertes 

I stay too long — but here my father comes. 
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave.

Polonius 

Yet here, Laertes! Aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stayed 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 vulgar.
Those 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-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware 
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, 
Bear't that the opposèd may beware of thee. 
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. 
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, 
But not expressed 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, 
For loan oft loses both itself and friend, 
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry
This above all — to thine own self 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! 

Laertes 

Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.  

Polonius 

The time invites you, go. Your servants tend.

Laertes 

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

Ophelia

                                          'Tis in my memory locked,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

Laertes 

Farewell.
[Exit Laertes.]

Polonius 

What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you?

Ophelia

So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.

Polonius 

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 honor.
What is between you? Give me up the truth.

Ophelia

He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders
Of his affection to me.

Polonius 

Affection? Pooh! You speak like a green girl
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?

Ophelia

I do not know, my lord, what I should think.

Polonius 

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
Running it thus — you'll tender me a fool. 

Ophelia

My lord, he hath importuned me with love
In honorable fashion. 

Polonius 

Ay, fashion you may call it. Go to, go to.

Ophelia

And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.

Polonius 

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 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 —
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.     
Look to't, I charge you. Come your ways.

Ophelia

I shall obey, my lord.     
[Exit.]