Shakespeare's Counsel





(Polonius' Advice to His Son Laertes.)



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.

Those 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, unfledged comrade. Beware

Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in,

Bear 't that the opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thy 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. * * *

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 own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

--Hamlet, 1 :3.





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