σύ μ᾽ αὐτὸς … ποτέ. Philoctetes has awakened to find that the acute pains have ceased (768); but, after the violent attack of the disease, a sense of faintness (κόπος) remains. He has been lying on his back (822). He now asks Neoptolemus to assist him in rising to his feet: ού μ᾽ αὐτὸς ἆρον, σύ με κατάστησον: where “αὐτός” means that he does not wish the Chorus to approach him at present. He is afraid that disgust might render them unwilling to take him on board (890). In his crippled state,— now aggravated by exhaustion,—the mere act of rising was a serious exertion. At v. 886 Neoptolemus gives the aid of his hands to the recumbent sufferer, at the same time asking him to make an effort, νῦν δ᾽ αἶρε σαυτόν: which is not, of course, contrasted with “σύ μ᾽ αὐτὸς ἆρον”, as if N. meant that Ph. must rise without help: that would be, “συ δ᾽ αὐτὸς αἶρε σαυτόν”. At the same time, N. says that, if Ph. prefers it, the sailors will lift him up and carry him. Ph. replies, ‘No, thank you—help me to rise, as you propose’ (889). N. assents (893), saying, ‘Stand up, and take hold of me yourself’ (as I am holding you). And v. 894 marks the moment at which Ph. slowly rises, leaning on N. Then there is naturally a pause, in order that Ph. may rest after this effort, and may feel whether he is yet strong enough to attempt walking. It is this pause which is foreshadowed by the words, ἵν̓, ἡνίκ᾽ ἂν κόπος μ᾽ ἀπαλλάξῃ ποτέ (880). And it is in this pause that the remorse of Neoptolemus gains the mastery. ZippmannA. , whom Nauck and Cavallin follow in their texts, deletes both v. 880 and v. 889 as spurious, and transposes 879 to a place between 888 and 890. His two main objections to the traditional text are:—Why should Ph. , formerly so eager to start, now wish to wait till his “κόπος” has passed off? (880). And why should he desire to rise before that moment, instead of resting on the ground? The view of the whole situation which I have given above will show why I believe the traditional text to be sound.
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