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Philoctetes   


NEOPTOLEMUS
Bear thyself up.
PHILOCTETES
I will,
If possible.
NEOPTOLEMUS
But how shall I escape
The wrath of Greece?
PHILOCTETES
Oh! think not of it.
NEOPTOLEMUS
What
If they should waste my kingdom?
PHILOCTETES
I'll be there.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Alas! what canst thou do?
PHILOCTETES
And with these arrows
Of my Alcides-
NEOPTOLEMUS
Ha! What sayst thou?
PHILOCTETES
Drive
Thy foes before me. Not a Greek shall dare
Approach thy borders.
NEOPTOLEMUS
If thou wilt do this,
Salute the earth, and instant hence. Away!

(HERCULES appears from above,
and speaks as he moves forward.)


HERCULES
Stay, son of Poeas! Lo to thee 'tis given
Once more to see and hear thy loved Alcides,
Who for thy sake hath left yon heavenly mansions,
And comes to tell thee the decrees of Jove;
To turn thee from the paths thou meanst to tread,
And guide thy footsteps right. Therefore attend.
Thou knowst what toils, what labours I endured,
Ere I by virtue gained immortal fame;
Thou too like me by toils must rise to glory-
Thou too must suffer, ere thou canst be happy;
Hence with thy friend to Troy, where honour calls,
Where health awaits thee- where, by virtue raised
To highest rank, and leader of the war,
Paris, its hateful author, shalt thou slay,
Lay waste proud Troy, and send thy trophies home,
Thy valour's due reward, to glad thy sire
On Oeta's top. The gifts which Greece bestows
Must thou reserve to grace my funeral pile,
And be a monument to after-ages
Of these all-conquering arms. Son of Achilles
(Turning to NEOPTOLEMUS)
(For now to thee I speak), remember this,
Without his aid thou canst not conquer Troy,
Nor Philoctetes without thee succeed;
Go then, and, like two lions in the field
Roaming for prey, guard ye each other well;
My Aesculapius will I send e'en now
To heal thy wounds-Then go, and conquer Troy;
But when you lay the vanquished city waste.
Be careful that you venerate the gods;

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