Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

Read Hamlet by William Shakespeare book online free

First 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.

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 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 wouldst 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.

‘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.

Exeunt

SCENE VII. Another room in the castle.

Enter KING CLAUDIUS and LAERTES

KING CLAUDIUS

Now must your conscience my acquaintance seal,

And you must put me in your heart for friend,

Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,

That he which hath your noble father slain

Pursued my life.

LAERTES

It well appears: but tell me

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 stirr’d up.

KING CLAUDIUS

O, for two special reasons;

Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew’d,

But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother

Lives almost by his looks; and for myself—

My virtue or my plague, be it either which—

She’s so conjunctive to my life and soul,

That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,

I could not but by her. The other motive,

Why to a public count I might not go,

Is the great love the general gender bear him;

Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,

Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,

Convert his gyves to graces; so that my arrows,

Too slightly timber’d for so loud a wind,

Would have reverted to my bow again,

And not where I had aim’d them.

LAERTES

And so have I a noble father lost;

A sister driven into desperate terms,

Whose worth, if praises may go back again,

Stood challenger on mount of all the age

For her perfections: but my revenge will come.

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