Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

ROSENCRANTZ

God save you, sir!

ROSENCRANTZ

Thank you, sir.
Exit POLONIUS
POLONIUS exits.

GUILDENSTERN

My honored lord!

GUILDENSTERN

My lord!

ROSENCRANTZ

My most dear lord!

ROSENCRANTZ

My dear sir!

HAMLET

My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern?
215Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do you both?

HAMLET

Ah, my good old friends! How are you, Guildenstern?
And Rosencrantz! Boys, how are you both doing?

ROSENCRANTZ

As the indifferent children of the earth.

ROSENCRANTZ

Oh, as well as anybody.

GUILDENSTERN

Happy, in that we are not overhappy.
On Fortune’s cap we are not the very button.

GUILDENSTERN

Happy that we’re not too happy, lucky in being not too lucky. We’re not exactly at the top of our luck.

HAMLET

Nor the soles of her shoes?

HAMLET

But you’re not down and out, either, are you?

ROSENCRANTZ

220Neither, my lord.

ROSENCRANTZ

No, we’re just somewhere in the middle, my lord.

HAMLET

Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors?

HAMLET

So you’re around Lady Luck’s waist?

GUILDENSTERN

Faith, her privates we.

GUILDENSTERN

Yes, we’re the privates in her army.

HAMLET

In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true. She is a strumpet. What news?

HAMLET

Ha, ha, so you’ve gotten into her private parts? Of course—Lady Luck is such a slut. Anyway, what’s up?

ROSENCRANTZ

None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.

ROSENCRANTZ

Not much, my lord. Just that the world’s become honest.

HAMLET

Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune that she sends you to prison hither?

HAMLET

In that case, the end of the world is approaching. But you’re wrong. Let me ask you a particular question. What crimes have you committed to be sent here to this prison?