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      Jonathan Hadwen


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      LAERTES

      My necessaries are inbark’d. Farewell.

      And, sister, as the winds give benefit

      And convey 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 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 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 honor may sustain

      If with too credent ear you list his songs,

      Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open

      To his unmast’red 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 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.

      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,

      Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,

      Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,

      And recks not his own rede.

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