And these few precepts

from William Shakespeare – Hamlet Act 1 Scene 3 on Rap Genius

Meaning

Paraphrases and parodies the advice given in Lyly’s Euphues and his England:

And to thee, Philautus, I begin to address my speech, having made an end of mine hermit’s tale ; and if these, few precepts I give thee be observed, then doubt not but we both shall learn that we best like. And these they are….

As with Polonius, these “few precepts” go ON. Polonius’s speech hits the high points (“Be not lavish of thy tongue”//“Give thy thoughts no tongue”; “Beware of entrance to a quarrel”//“Be not quarrellous for every light occasion”), etc., but even he is less long-winded. Euphues and its sequel were published in 1578 & 1580, more than 20 years before Hamlet — – Polonius is bloviating in a rhetorical style which was fashionable two decades ago.

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