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Polonius' Advice to Laertes
Transcript of Polonius' Advice to Laertes
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
Before Laertes would leave, Polonius wanted to give him some fatherly advice; he says to keep these in his memory. First, he says be yourself, but don't say things without thinking about them or behave irrationally. Next, he says be social and meet new people, but don't overdo it
Those friends thy 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' opposed may beware of thee
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice
The first piece of advice he gives in this section is to hold on to anyone who has earned your trust. When he says "do not dull thy palm with entertainment," he is literally saying don't shake everyone's hand. What he really means is that don't make a friend out of everyone you meet.
Next, he say beware of getting into fights, but if you're in one, know that your opponent might be scared of you too.
Lastly he is saying listen to everyone's opinion, but don't give everyone your own.
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 (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.
Farewell. My blessing season his in thee.
Polonius tells Laertes to only buy the things that he can afford. He says that even though clothes do make the man, it's not always the fancies clothes that are the best. This is especially important in France, he says, because people are of high ranks and
Lastly, Polonius warns Laertes about lending and borrowing money: he advises him to do neither. He tells him that if you lend, you lose your money, and your friendship; and if you borrow, you lose your ability to conserve money.
Polonius' final piece of advice is to be true to yourself because if you are, you won't be false to any man.
He ends his speech, by saying goodbye to his son, and then once again, giving him his blessing
Here, Polonius is giving Laertes his blessing. Essentially, he's saying that he's okay with him going back to France.
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no toungue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.