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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene VI

Act IV

[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 worldI 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.[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, 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 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,
  • HAMLET.”
  • Come, I will give you way for these your letters;And do ’t the speedier, that you may direct meTo him from whom you brought them.Exeunt.