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Philoctetes   


NEOPTOLEMUS
Know, to be just
Is better far than to be wise.
ULYSSES
But where,
Where is the justice, thus unauthorized,
To give a treasure back thou ow'st to me,
And to my counsels?
NEOPTOLEMUS
I have done a wrong,
And I will try to make atonement for it.
ULYSSES
Dost thou not fear the power of Greece?
NEOPTOLEMUS
I fear
Nor Greece nor thee, when I am doing right.
ULYSSES
'Tis not with Troy then we contend. but thee-
NEOPTOLEMUS
I know not that.
ULYSSES
Seest thou this hand? behold,
It grasps my sword.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Mine is alike prepared,
Nor seeks delay.
ULYSSES
But I will let thee go;
Greece shall know all thy guilt, and shall revenge it.
(ULYSSES departs.)
NEOPTOLEMUS
'Twas well determined; always be as wise
As now thou art, and thou mayst live in safety.
(He approaches the cave and calls.)
Ho! son of Poeas! Philoctetes, leave
Thy rocky habitation, and come forth.
PHILOCTETES (from the cave)
What noise was that? Who calls on Philoctetes?
(He comes out.)
Alas! what would you, strangers? Are you come
To heap fresh miseries on me?
NEOPTOLEMUS
Be of comfort,
And bear the tidings which I bring.
PHILOCTETES
I dare not;
Thy flattering tongue hath betrayed me.
NEOPTOLEMUS
And is there then no room for penitence?
PHILOCTETES
Such were thy words, when, seemingly sincere,
Yet meaning ill, thou stolst my arms away.
NEOPTOLEMUS
But now it is not so. I only came
To know if thou art resolute to stay,
Or sail with us.
PHILOCTETES
No more of that; 'tis vain
And useless all.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Art thou then fixed?
PHILOCTETES
I am;
It is impossible to say how firmly.

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