A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more.

– William Shakespeare

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3. Laertes plays the role of protective brother as he exhorts Ophelia to refuse Hamlet’s romantic advances. He dismisses the prince’s attentions as no more than a passing thing, claiming he is using her as a plaything – “a toy in blood” he describes it in the line before this passage. Using a metaphor, he compares Hamlet’s kind of love to a violet, sweet and perfumed, but only lasting a minute.