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Another room in the castle.
Enter Horatio and a servant. Hor. What are they that would speak with me? Serv. Sea-faring men, 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 s I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
Enter Sailors. First Sail. God bless you, sir. Hor. Let him bless thee too. First Sail. He shall, sir, an 't please him. There's
& letter for you, sir-it comes from the ambassador that was bound for Englandif your name be Horatio, as I am let to know
it is. Hor. [Reads. ] “Horatio, when thou shalt have over
looked this, give these fellows some means to the 15 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, 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 sent, and repair thou to me with as
much speed as thou wouldest fly death. I have a
"He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet.” Come, I will make you way for these your
letters; And do 't the speedier, that you may direct
me To him from whom you brought them. 85
Another room in the castle.
Enter King and Laertes.
Pursued my life.
It well appears. But tell mes Why you proceeded not against these feats, So crimeful and so capital in nature,
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else,
You mainly were stirred up. King.
O, for two special reasons, 10 Which may to you, perhaps, seem much
And not where I had aimed them. 25 Laer. And so have I a noble father lost,
A sister driven into desperate terms,
King. Break not your sleeps for that. You must 30
not think That we are made of stuff so flat and dull That we can let our beard be shook with
danger And think it pastime. You shortly shall
hear more. I loved your father, and we love ourself, And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine— 35
Enter a Messenger with Letters. [How now! What news? Mess.
Letters, my lord, from Hamlet.] This to your majesty; this to the Queen. King. From Hamlet! Who brought them? Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say; I saw them not. They were given me by Claudio. He received 40
them Of him that brought them. King.
Laertes, you shall hear them. Leave us.
[Exit Messenger. [Reads.] “High and mighty, You shall know I am set
naked on your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your kingly eyes, when I shall, first 45 asking your pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of my sudden (and more strange) return.
Hamlet." What should this mean? Are all the rest I come back?
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing? 50 Labr, Know you the hand?
King. 'Tis Hamlet's character. "Naked!”
And in a postscript here, he says "alone."
Can you advise me? 55 Laer. I'm lost in it, iny lord. . But let him come.
It warms the very sickness in my heart,
“Thus didest thou.” King.
If it be so, LaertesAs how should it be so? How otherwise?60 Will you be ruled by me? Laer. ;
Ay, my lord,
practice And call it accident. Laer.
My lord, I will be ruled; 70 The rather, if you could devise it so
That I might be the organ. King.
It falls right. You have been talked of since your travel
much, And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality