by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
My God, this is unbelievably strange.
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come,
170Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on),
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall—
175With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”
Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”
Or such ambiguous giving out—to note
180That you know aught of me. This not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,
Then give it a nice welcome, as you would give to any stranger. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than you’ve even dreamed of. But now listen to me. No matter how strangely I act (since I may find it appropriate to act a little crazy in the near future), you must never, ever let on—with a gesture of your hands or a certain expression on your face—that you know anything about what happened to me here tonight. You must never say anything like, “Ah, yes, just as we suspected,” or “We could tell you a thing or two about him,” or anything like that. Swear you won’t.
(beneath) Swear!
(from under the stage) Swear.
Rest, rest, perturbèd spirit!—So, gentlemen,
185With all my love I do commend me to you,
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do, to express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together,
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
190The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let’s go together.
Okay, then, unhappy ghost, you can rest now. So, gentlemen, I thank you heartily and with all my love, and I’ll repay you however I can some day. Let’s go back to court together, but shhh, please. No talking about this. There is so much out of whack in these times. And damn the fact that I’m supposed to fix it! Come on, let’s go.
They exit.