“If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces – it is a good divine that follows his own instructions.” (Merchant of Venice act 1, sc. 2)
Tips for use. Encapsulation of an unavoidable truth – knowing what needs to be done but falling out at the time of implementation. Which is but one of the reasons for being skeptical of “miraculous” systems or methods that promise spectacular results based on the charisma of the instructor. In fact Portia continues, “I’d rather teach twenty what were to be done than be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching”. If you ever have had this feeling, accompanied maybe by a diffuse sense of listlessness, as you see, the phenomenon is neither new or uncommon. The quote may be suitable in a presentation in which you are the give of good ideas to an audience that must carry them out.
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In the play. Portia acknowledges a universal truth.