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Monologues for Men


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.

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