Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


Hamlet: Act 4, Scene 6

           Enter HORATIO and others.

      HORATIO
  1   What are they that would speak with me?

      Gentleman
  2   Sea-faring men, sir: they say they have letters
  3   for you.

      HORATIO
  4   Let them come in.

           [Exit Gentleman.]

  5   I do not know from what part of the world
  6   I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.

           Enter SAILORS.

      First Sailor
  7   God bless you, sir.

      HORATIO
  8   Let him bless thee too.

      First Sailor
9. He shall, sir, an't please him: He shall sir, if it please him. ...more 10-11. the ambassador that was / bound for England: i.e., Hamlet. ...more 11-12. as I am let to know it is: i.e., as I have been told it is.
  9   He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for
 10   you, sir; it comes from the ambassador that was
 11   bound for England; if your name be Horatio, as I am
 12   let to know it is.

      HORATIO  [Reads.]
13-14. overlooked this: i.e., read this letter.
 13   "Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked
14. some means to the king: some means of communicating with the king.
 14   this, give these fellows some means to the king:
 15   they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old
16. appointment: equipment, appearance.
 16   at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us
17-18. we put on a compelled valour: i.e., because we had no choice, we pretended to be brave. 18. the grapple: the hand-to-hand combat.
 17   chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on
 18   a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded
 19   them: on the instant they got clear of our ship; so
 20   I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with
21. thieves of mercy: merciful thieves.
 21   me like thieves of mercy: but they knew what they
 22   did; I am to do a good turn for them. Let the king
23. repair thou to me: come back to me. —The phrase also carries the meaning that Hamlet and Horatio are old friends who find comfort in each others' company. 25. will make thee dumb: i.e., will shock you into silence. 26. bore: i.e., importance. —The larger the bore of a cannon, the heavier the shot it throws, and so the more destructive it is.
 23   have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me
 24   with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I have
 25   words to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb;
 26   yet are they much too light for the bore of the matter.
 27   These good fellows will bring thee where I am.
 28   Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course
 29   for England: of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.
 30   He that thou knowest thine,
 31                            HAMLET."
32. I will make you way for these your letters: i.e., I will clear the way for you to deliver your letters to the king.
 32   Come, I will make you way for these your letters;
 33   And do't the speedier, that you may direct me
34. him: i.e., Hamlet.
 34   To him from whom you brought them.

           Exeunt.