• Enter HORATIO and a SERVANT

    HORATIO

    What are they that would speak with me?

    SERVANT

    Seafaring men, sir. They say they have letters for you.

    HORATIO

    Let them come in.
    Exit SERVANT
    I do not know from what part of the world
    5I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.
    Enter SAILORS

    SAILOR

    God bless you, sir.

    HORATIO

    Let him bless thee too.

    SAILOR

    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. (gives HORATIO 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 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.
  • HORATIO and a SERVANT enter.

    HORATIO

    Who are the people who want to speak with me?

    SERVANT

    Sailors, sir. They say they have letters for you.

    HORATIO

    Show them in.
    SERVANT exits.
    I don’t know who else would send me a letter from abroad except Hamlet.
    SAILORS enter.

    SAILOR

    Hello, sir. God bless you.

    HORATIO

    May He bless you, too.

    SAILOR

    He will, sir, if He wants to. There’s a letter for you, sir. It’s from the ambassador, Lord Hamlet, who was going to England—if your name’s Horatio, as they told me it is. (he hands HORATIO a letter)

    HORATIO

    (reading the letter)
     “Horatio,
     When you’ve read this letter, find a way to let these guys see the king. They have letters for him. Before we were at sea for even two days, a pirate ship equipped for battle pursued us. We were too slow to escape, so we were forced to stand and fight. In the battle that followed I ended up on the pirate ship. Just then they left our ship behind, so I became the only prisoner on board. They’ve treated me quite mercifully for thieves, but they knew what they were doing. They want me to do a favor for them.