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Philoctetes   


Oh then by the gods
Pity me now, my son, nor let mankind
Reproach thee for a fraud so base.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Alas!
What shall I do? Would I were still at Scyros!
For I am most unhappy.
PHILOCTETES
O my son!
Thou art not base by nature, but misguided
By those who are, to deeds unworthy of thee.
Turn then thy fraud on them who best deserve it;
Restore my arms, and leave me.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Speak, my friends,
What's to be done?
(ULYSSES enters suddenly.)
ULYSSES
Ah! dost thou hesitate?
Traitor, be gone! Give me the arms.
PHILOCTETES
Ah me!
Ulysses here?
ULYSSES
Aye! 'tis Ulysses' self
That stands before thee.
PHILOCTETES
Then I'm lost, betrayed!
This was the cruel spoiler.
ULYSSES
Doubt it not.
'Twas I; I do confess it.
PHILOCTETES (to NEOPTOLEMUS)
O my son!
Give me them back.
ULYSSES
It must not be; with them
Thyself must go, or we shall drag thee hence.
PHILOCTETES
And will they force me? O thou daring villain!
ULYSSES
They will, unless thou dost consent to go.
PHILOCTETES
Wilt thou, O Lemnos! wilt thou, mighty Vulcan!
With thy all-conquering fire, permit me thus
To be torn from thee?
ULYSSES
Know, great Jove himself
Doth here preside. He hath decreed thy fate;
I but perform his will.
PHILOCTETES
Detested wretch,
Mak'st thou the gods a cover for thy crime?
Do they teach falsehood?
ULYSSES
No, they taught me truth,
And therefore, hence- that way thy journey lies.
(Pointing to the sea)
PHILOCTETES
It doth not.
ULYSSES
But I say it must be so.
PHILOCTETES
And Philoctetes then was born a slave!

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