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Philoctetes   


A fleet already sails to fetch thee back,
Conducted by old Phoenix, and the sons
Of valiant Theseus.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Come they then to force me?
Or am I to be won by their persuasion?
SPY
I know not that; you have what I could learn.
NEOPTOLEMUS
And did the' Atreidae send them?
SPY
Sent they are,
And will be with you soon.
NEOPTOLEMUS
But wherefore then
Came not Ulysses? Did his courage fail?
SPY
He, ere I left the camp, with Diomede
On some important embassy sailed forth
In search-
NEOPTOLEMUS
Of whom?
SPY
There was a man- but stay,
Who is thy friend here, tell me, but speak softly.
NEOPTOLEMUS (whispering to him)
The famous Philoctetes.
SPY
Ha! begone then!
Ask me no more- away, immediately!
PHILOCTETES
What do these dark mysterious whispers mean?
Concern they me, my son?
NEOPTOLEMUS
I know not what
He means to say, but I would have him speak
Boldly before us all, whate'er it be.
SPY
Do not betray me to the Grecian host,
Nor make me speak what I would fain conceal.
I am but poor- they have befriended me.
NEOPTOLEMUS
In me thou seest an enemy confest
To the Atreidae. This is my best friend
Because he hates them too; if thou art mine,
Hide nothing then.
SPY
Consider first.
NEOPTOLEMUS
I have.
SPY
The blame will be on you.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Why, let it be:
But speak, I charge thee.
SPY
Since I must then, know,
In solemn league combined, the bold Ulysses
And gallant Diomede have sworn by force
Or by persuasion to bring back thy friend:
The Grecians heard Laertes' son declare
His purpose; far more resolute he seemed
Than Diomede, and surer of success.
NEOPTOLEMUS

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