At the best of times it is hazardous for the mental equilibrium of a rational person randomly to turn on the television set, and it is probably especially so in summer. Last week, in a cavalierly daredevil moment, I did so, and was almost reduced to the incommunicable state of Zechariah in the Temple as a result. First, I unluckily happened upon what purported to be a serious discussion of the supposed difference in public responses to men’s and women’s weeping. The party of vintage, quaveringly emotional feminism, twitching and squirming as they emitted the unimaginable frustrations of their benighted lot, apparently unmitigated by their license to inflict themselves on the silent armies of unsuspecting tele-spectators, complained that men who wept were deemed to be sensitive and that women who wept in public were deemed to be weak. Another grievous count was thus added to the long charge-sheet of male attitudinal atrocities.It continues:
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!