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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene VI.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Another Room in the Same.

Enter HORATIO and a Servant.

Hor.What are they that would speak with me?

Serv.Sailors, sir: they say, they have letters for you.

Hor.Let them come in.[Exit Servant.

I do not know from what part of the world

I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors.

First Sail.God bless you, sir.

Hor.Let him bless thee too.

Sec. 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.Horatio, when thou shalt have over-looked 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 war-like 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 wouldst fly death. I have words to speak in thine 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,

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.