Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed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.