A monologue from Act I, Scene iii
by: William Shakespeare
|NOTE: Hamlet was first published in 1603. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.
- POLONIUS: Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame!
- The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
- And you are stayed for. There -- my blessing with thee,
- And these few precepts in thy memory
- Look 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 unto thy soul with hoops of steel,
- But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
- Of each new-hatched, unfledged courage . Beware
- Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
- Bear't that th' opposèd may beware of thee.
- Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
- Take each man's censure , but reserve thy judgment.
- 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 .
- 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!
1 engrave; inscribe
2 youthful person, idea, practice, etc...
3 criticism; judgment
7 ripen; make fruitful