Page images
PDF
EPUB

If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your loves. So, fare ye well:
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.

All.

Our duty to your honour. Ham. Your love, as mine to you: farewell.

[Exeunt HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO. My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;

I doubt some foul-play: would the night were come
Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.

[Exit.

SCENE III-A Room in POLONIUS' House.

Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA.

Laer. 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.

Oph.

Do you doubt that?

Laer. 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 more.

[blocks in formation]

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 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 sanctity and 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 within 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
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,

Shew 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 rede.18

Laer.

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 you!

[Laying his hand on LAERTES' head.

And these few precepts in thy memory

See 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 hoops 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'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 judgment.
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.19
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 !

Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my 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? pooh! 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;
Or-not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Running it thus-you'll tender me a fool.

Oph. My lord, he hath importun'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 brokers ;—
Not of that dye which their investments shew,
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds,
The better to beguile. This is for all—

Have

I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
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.
Oph. I shall obey, my lord. [Exeunt.

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.

Mar. No, it is struck.

I think it lacks of twelve.

Hor. Indeed? I heard it not; then it draws near the season, Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

What does this mean, my lord?

[A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within.

Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse,

J

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »