William Shakespeare always could turn a phrase well. Never in the English language did anyone so deftly describe the human condition, nor succinctly give sound moral advice. Here’s an exquisite little nugget from Hamlet:
Hamlet [to Polonius]. Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time: after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.
Polonius. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Hamlet. God’s bodykins, man, much better: use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
Postscript: the following video clip leads right up to, but does not complete, the entire quote. However, the clip does present the First Player’s soliloquy, nicely delivered by Charleston Heston.