Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

HAMLET

No such matter. I will not sort you with the rest of my servants, for, to speak to you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully attended. But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?

HAMLET

No, no, I won’t class you with my servants, since—to be frank with you—my servants are terrible. But tell me as my friends, what are you doing here at Elsinore?

ROSENCRANTZ

To visit you, my lord, no other occasion.

ROSENCRANTZ

Visiting you, my lord. There’s no other reason.

HAMLET

Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you, and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal justly with me. Come, come. Nay, speak.

HAMLET

Well, then, I thank you, though I’m such a beggar that even my thanks are not worth much. Did someone tell you to visit me? Or was it just your whim, on your own initiative? Come on, tell me the truth.

GUILDENSTERN

What should we say, my lord?

GUILDENSTERN

What should we say, my lord?

HAMLET

Why, any thing, but to th' purpose. You were sent for, and there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to color. I know the good king and queen have sent for you.

HAMLET

Anything you like, as long as it answers my question. You were sent for. You’ve got a guilty look on your faces, which you’re too honest to disguise. I know the king and queen sent for you.

ROSENCRANTZ

To what end, my lord?

ROSENCRANTZ

Why would they do that, my lord?

HAMLET

That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal: be even and direct with me whether you were sent for or no.

HAMLET

That’s what I want you to tell me. Let me remind you of our old friendship, our youth spent together, the duties of our love for each other, and whatever else will make you answer me straight.

ROSENCRANTZ

(to GUILDENSTERN) What say you?

ROSENCRANTZ

(to GUILDENSTERN) What do you think?

HAMLET

(aside) Nay, then, I have an eye of you—If you love me, hold not off.

HAMLET

(to himself) I’ve got my eye on you. (to GUILDENSTERN) If you care about me, you’ll be honest with me.

GUILDENSTERN

My lord, we were sent for.

GUILDENSTERN

My lord, we were sent for.