Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Modern, Quarto 2)

Enter Horatio and others [including a Gentleman].
Horatio What are they that would speak with me?
Gentleman Seafaring men, sir. They say they have letters for you.
2975Horatio Let them come in.
[Exit Gentleman.] I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
Enter Sailors.
Sailor God bless you, sir.
2980Horatio Let him bless thee too.
Sailor 'A shall, sir, an please him. There's a letter for you, sir. It came from th'ambassador that was bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
[He gives a letter.]
Horatio [Reads]
Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked 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 2990valor, and 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 turn for them. Let the King have the letters I have sent, and 2995repair thou to me with as much speed as thou wouldest 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. So that thou knowest thine, Hamlet.
Horatio Come, I will [give] you way for these your letters,
And do't the speedier that you may direct me
3005To him from whom you brought them.