[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[at-l] Shakespeare's Lessons of Life

For the young ones out there (and the oldies who missed this along the 
line), Polonius's advice to his son Laertes in Scene 1 Act 3 of Hamlet 
is generally considered to be Shakespeare's "Lessons of Life". I've know 
2 people in my life who keep these words on a piece of paper, to be read 
in times of need. I haven't changed The Bard's words to include both 
genders; but they appear equally applicable after almost 400 years 
(Hamlet was written around 1600-01). The words inside the square 
brackets are rough equivalents:

And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned [unbalanced] thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatched, unfledged courage [gallant youth]. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear't that th'opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure [opinion], but reserve thy judgement.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed 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 dulleth edge of husbandry [thrift].
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.
Farewell. My blessing season this in thee [make this fruitful]!

I'd be happy to send a printed copy of this to anybody. Just send me 
your mailing address privately....no charge of course.


       Doug Gibbons, Port aux Basques, Newfoundland       

       A happy heart goes on forever.
       (The Winter's Tale [Shakespeare])

-----------------------------------------------< http://www.hack.net/lists >--
This message is from the Appalachian Trail Mailing List             [AT-L]
To unsubscribe email at-l-request@saffron.hack.net with a message containing
the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the body.   List admin can be reached at ryan@inc.net