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النشر الإلكتروني

Mar. Ber. Longer, longer.

Hor. Not when I saw it.

Ham. His beard was grizzl'd? no?
Her. It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silver'd.

Ham. I will watch to-night;
Perchance, 'twill walk again.
Hor. I warrant, it will.

Ham. If it assume my noble father's person,
I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape,
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
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, you well :
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.

All. Our duty to your honour.

Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewell.

[Exe. 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.



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 ;6
No more.

Oph. No more but so?

Laer. Think it no more:

For nature, crescent, does not grow alone

[6] The perfume, and suppliance of a minute; what is supplied to us for a minute. The idea seems to be taken from the short duration of vegetable perfume.


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 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,9
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,

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.'

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[7] The virtue of his will means his virtuous intentions. Cautel means craft. So Coriolanus says:

Be caught by cautelous baits and practice."


f8] Unmaster'd-- i. e. licentious.

Do not advance so far as your affection would lead you.
That is, heeds not his own lessons. POPE.


Laer. 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,2

And you are staid for: There, my blessing with you;
[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.3 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:


Tak 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.

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

Lear. 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.

[2] The shoulder of your sail---this is a common sea-phrase.


[3] 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.

[4] Censure---opinion. So in K. Henry VI.


"The king is old enough to give his censure." STEEVENS.

[5] Season, for infuse. WARBURTON.It is more than to infuse, it is to infix it in such a manner as that it may never wear out.


Oph. 'Tis in my memory lock'd,

And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

Laer. Farewell.

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,
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, Wronging 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 :7 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;

[6] Sifted means tempted. See St. Luke xxxi. 22.


She uses fashion for manner, and he for a transient practice. JOHNSON. [8] Entreatments here means company, conversation, from the French entretien.


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And with a larger tether may he walk,9
Than may be given you: In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows: for they are brokers
Not of that die which their investments show,
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing life 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.



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 Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

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

What does this mean, my lord?

Ham. The king doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse, Keeps wassel, and the swaggering up-spring reels

And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,

The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out

The triumph of his pledge.

Hor. Is it a custom ?

Ham. Ay, marry, is't:

But to my mind, though I am native here,
And to the manner born,-it is a custom

More honour'd in the breach, than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel, east and west,

Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations :
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and, indeed it takes

From our achievements, though perform'd at height,

[9] Tether is that string by which an animal, set to graze in grounds uninclosed, is confined within the proper limits. JOHNSON.

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