Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good Advice Then, Still Good Advice Now

In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Polonius comes to bid farewell to his son Laertes, who is going off to university in France. The following are his final words of advice to his son. A lot in here that we need to be reminded of from time to time.

Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned 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 hoops 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,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a 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!

(Act I, scene iii)


Anonymous said...

Shakespeare as a guest poster on your blog? You do have interesting friends.

Anonymous said...

Only problem with this speech is that too many of those who need the messages it has are going to get hung up on the English and never bother getting through all of it. Shakespeare is not all that popular in the more right wing circles and most of those students will break their teeth with this speech.

G said...

"This above all: to thine ownself be true,"

Displayed boldly on the G family crest...directly above a pillow w/ a slice of cake on it.