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Philoctetes   


NEOPTOLEMUS
I thought I could have moved thee, but I've done.
PHILOCTETES
'Tis well thou hast; thy labour had been vain;
For never could my soul esteem the man
Who robbed me of my dearest, best possession,
And now would have me listen to his counsels-
Unworthy offspring of the best of men!
Perish th' Atreidae! perish first Ulysses!
Perish thyself!
NEOPTOLEMUS
Withhold thy imprecations,
And take thy arrows back.
PHILOCTETES
A second time
Wouldst thou deceive me?
NEOPTOLEMUS
By th' almighty power
Of sacred Jove I swear.
PHILOCTETES
O joyful sound!
If thou sayst truly.
NEOPTOLEMUS
Let my actions speak.
Stretch forth thy hand, and take thy arms again.

(As NEOPTOLEMUS gives the bow and arrows
to PHILOCTETES, ULYSSES suddenly enters.)


ULYSSES
Witness ye gods! Here, in the name of Greece
And the Atreidae, I forbid it.
PHILOCTETES
Ha!
What voice is that? Ulysses'?
ULYSSES
Aye, 'tis I-
I who perforce will carry thee to Troy
Spite of Achilles' son.
PHILOCTETES
(He aims an arrow directly at ULYSSES.)
Not if I aim
This shaft aright.
NEOPTOLEMUS (laying hold of him)
Now, by the gods, I beg thee
Stop thy rash hand!
PHILOCTETES
Let go my arm.
NEOPTOLEMUS
I will not.
PHILOCTETES
Shall I not slay my enemy?
NEOPTOLEMUS
Oh, no!
'Twould cast dishonour on us both.
(ULYSSES hastily departs.)
PHILOCTETES
Thou knowst,
These Grecian chiefs are loud pretending boasters,
Brave but in tongue, and cowards in the field.
NEOPTOLEMUS
I know it; but remember, I restored
Thy arrows to thee, and thou hast no cause
For rage or for complaint against thy friend.

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