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Servant
You speak the truth, though it was long ago.

Messenger
Come, tell me now: do you remember having given me a boy in those days, to be reared as my own foster-son?

Servant
What now? Why do you ask the question?

Messenger
[1145] This man, my friend, is he who then was young.

Servant
Damn you! Be silent once and for all!

Oedipus
Do not rebuke him, old man. Your words need rebuking more than his.

Servant
And in what way, most noble master, do I offend?

Oedipus
[1150] In not telling of the boy about whom he asks.

Servant
He speaks without knowledge, but is busy to no purpose.

Oedipus
You will not speak with good grace, but will in pain.

Servant
No, in the name of the gods, do not mistreat an old man.

Oedipus
Someone, quick—tie his hands him this instant!

Servant
[1155] Alas, why? What do you want to learn?

Oedipus
Did you give this man the child about whom he asks?

Servant
I did. Would that I had perished that day!

Oedipus
Well, you will come to that, unless you tell the honest truth.

Servant
But if I speak I will be destroyed all the more.

Oedipus
[1160] This man is bent, I think, on more delays.

Servant
No, no! I said before that I gave it to him.

Oedipus
Where did you get it from? From your own house, or from another?

Servant
It was not my own: I received it from another.

Oedipus
From whom of the citizens here? From what home?

Servant
[1165] For the love of the gods, master, ask no more!

Oedipus
You are dead if I have to question you again.

Servant
It was a child, then, of the house of Laius.

Oedipus
A slave? Or one of his own clan?

Servant
Alas! I am on the brink of speaking the dreaded words.

Oedipus
[1170] And I of hearing: I must hear nevertheless.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 130
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