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Philoctetes   


Rather, much rather would I fall by virtue
Than rise by guilt to certain victory.
ULYSSES
O noble youth! and worthy of thy sire!
When I like thee was young, like thee of strength
And courage boastful, little did I deem
Of human policy; but long experience
Hath taught me, son, 'tis not the powerful arm,
But soft enchanting tongue that governs all.
NEOPTOLEMUS
And thou wouldst have me tell an odious falsehood?
ULYSSES
He must be gained by fraud.
NEOPTOLEMUS
By fraud? And why
Not by persuasion?
ULYSSES
He'll not listen to it;
And force were vainer still.
NEOPTOLEMUS
What mighty power
Hath he to boast?
ULYSSES
His arrows winged with death
Inevitable.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Then it were not safe
E'en to approach him.
ULYSSES
No; unless by fraud
He be secured.
NEOPTOLEMUS
And thinkst thou 'tis not base
To tell a lie then?
ULYSSES
Not if on that lie
Depends our safety.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Who shall dare to tell it
Without a blush?
ULYSSES
We need not blush at aught
That may promote our interest and success.
NEOPTOLEMUS
But where's the interest that should bias me?
Come he or not to Troy, imports it aught
To Neoptolemus?
ULYSSES
Troy cannot fall
Without his arrows.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Saidst thou not that I
Was destined to destroy her?
ULYSSES
Without them
Naught canst thou do, and they without thee nothing.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Then I must have them.
ULYSSES
When thou hast, remember
A double prize awaits thee.
NEOPTOLEMUS
What, Ulysses?
ULYSSES

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