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Discretion is the better part of valour

Posted by TheFallen on August 27, 2002

In Reply to: Discretion is the better part of valour posted by Pammie on August 27, 2002

: What does this Shakespearean phrase mean?

"The better part of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life." As said by Falstaff in Henry IV Part One. From memory, I think Falstaff is hinting that he has hidden or even played dead when on a battlefield in order to avoid any personal danger. These days, the phrase means more generically that caution is a smarter policy to adopt than hot-headedness.

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