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Philoctetes   


Thou art in misery. Tell me- wilt thou not?
What is it?
PHILOCTETES
O my son! I can no longer
Conceal it from thee. Oh! I die, I perish;
By the great gods let me implore thee, now
This moment, if thou hast a sword. oh! strike,
Cut off this painful limb, and end my being!
NEOPTOLEMUS
What can this mean, that unexpected thus
It should torment thee?
PHILOCTETES
Know you not, my son?
NEOPTOLEMUS
What is the cause?
PHILOCTETES
Can you not guess it?
NEOPTOLEMUS
No.
PHILOCTETES
Nor I.
NEOPTOLEMUS
That's stranger still.
PHILOCTETES
My son, my son
NEOPTOLEMUS
This new attack is terrible indeed!
PHILOCTETES
'Tis inexpressible! Have pity on me!
NEOPTOLEMUS
What shall I do?
PHILOCTETES
Do not be terrified,
And leave me. Its returns are regular,
And like the traveller, when its appetite
Is satisfied, it will depart. Oh! oh!
NEOPTOLEMUS
Thou art oppressed with ills on every side.
Give me thy hand. Come, wilt thou lean upon me?
PHILOCTETES
No; but these arrows take; preserve 'em for me.
A little while, till I grow better. Sleep
Is coming on me, and my pains will cease.
Let me be quiet. If meantime our foes
Surprise thee, let nor force nor artifice
Deprive thee of the great, the precious trust
I have reposed in thee; that were ruin
To thee, and to thy friend.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Be not afraid-
No hands but mine shall touch them; give them to me.
PHILOCTETES
Receive them, son; and let it be thy prayer
They bring not woes on thee, as they have done
To me and to Alcides.
(PHILOCTETES gives him the bow and arrows.)
NEOPTOLEMUS
May the gods
Forbid it ever! May they guide our course
And speed our prosperous sails!
PHILOCTETES
Alas! my son,
I fear thy vows are vain. Behold my blood
Flows from the wound? Oh how it pains me! Now

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