Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: Hamlet (Modern, Editor's Version)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Modern, Editor's Version)

    Enter Horatio, with an Attendant [i.e., Servingman].
    What are they that would speak with me?
    Sailors, sir. They say they have letters for you.
    Let them come in.
    [Exit Servingman.]
    I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
    Enter Sailors.
    God bless you, sir.
    Let him bless thee too.
    'A shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir. It comes 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.]
    Reads the letter
    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 2990slow of sail, we put on a compelled valor, 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 good turn for them. Let the King have the letters I have 2995sent, and repair thou to me with as much haste 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 3000I 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 me
    3005To him from whom you brought them.