Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > Hamlet
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act IV
Scene VI
[Another room in the castle]
Enter HORATIO with an Attendant

  Hor.  What are they that would speak with me?
  Att.  Sailors, sir. They say they have letters for you.
  Hor.  Let them come in.  [Exit Attendant.]
I do not know from what part of the world        4
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
Enter Sailor

  Sail.  God bless you, sir.
  Hor.  Let Him bless thee too.
  Sail.  He shall, sir, an ’t please Him. There’s a letter for you, sir—it comes from the ambassador that was bound for England—if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.        8
  [Hor.] (Reads.)  “Horatio, when thou shalt have overlook’d this, give these fellows some means to the King; they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour. In the grapple I boarded them. On the instant they got clear of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy, 1 but they knew what they did: I am to do a good turn for them. Let the King have the letters I have sent, and repair thou to me with as much haste as thou wouldest fly death. I have words to speak in your ear will make thee dumb, yet are they much too light for the bore 2 of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England; of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.
        “He that thou knowest thine,
Come, I will give you way for these your letters;
And do ’t the speedier, that you may direct me
To him from whom you brought them.  Exeunt.
Note 1. Merciful thieves. [back]
Note 2. Calibre, greatness. [back]


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