Hamlet

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

HORATIO

  Here, sweet lord, at your service.

HORATIO

Here I am at your service, my dear lord.

HAMLET

Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation coped withal.

HAMLET

Horatio, you’re the best man I’ve ever known.

HORATIO

O my dear lord—

HORATIO

Oh, sir—

HAMLET

  Nay, do not think I flatter.
50For what advancement may I hope from thee
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered?
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
55Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been—
As one in suffering all that suffers nothing—
60A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks. And blessed are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
65That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him
In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.—Something too much of this.—
There is a play tonight before the king.
One scene of it comes near the circumstance
70Which I have told thee of my father’s death.
I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,
Even with the very comment of thy soul
Observe mine uncle. If his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
75It is a damnèd ghost that we have seen,
And my imaginations are as foul

HAMLET

Don’t think I’m flattering you. What could I hope to get from you, who’ve got nothing but your charm to support you in life? Why would anyone flatter a poor person? No, keep flattery for kissing the hands of those who can pay well. You understand? Ever since I’ve been a free agent in my choice of friends, I’ve chosen you because you take everything life hands you with calm acceptance, grateful for both good and bad. Blessed are those who mix emotion with reason in just the right proportion, making them strong enough to resist the whims of Lady Luck. Show me the person who’s master of his emotions, and I’ll put him close to my heart—in my heart of hearts—as I do you. But I’m talking too much. The point is, there’s a play being performed for the king tonight. One of the scenes comes very close to depicting the circumstances of my father’s death, as I described them to you. Watch my uncle carefully when that scene begins. If his guilty secret does not reveal itself, then that ghost was just a devil, and my hunch wasn’t, in fact, worth anything.