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Neoptolemus
The service you have done me by your forethought, sir, unless I am unworthy, will remain in my grateful thoughts. But tell me just what the designs are that you mentioned, so that I may understand [560] what is the strange plan of the Greeks that you know.

Merchant
Pursuers are on the way in search of you with a fleet. They are the aged Phoenix and the sons of Theseus.

Neoptolemus
To bring me back by force, or through persuasion?

Merchant
I do not know; but I have come to tell you what I did hear.

Neoptolemus
[565] Are Phoenix and his comrades really so eager to do this favor for the Atreids?

Merchant
Be sure that it is being done, and without delay.

Neoptolemus
Then why was Odysseus not ready to sail on this mission, and bring the message himself? Or did some fear hold him back?

Merchant
[570] Oh, he and the son of Tydeus were readying for pursuit of another man, just as I was leaving port.

Neoptolemus
Who is this other after whom Odysseus himself was sailing?

Merchant
There was a man. . . . But tell me first who that is over there. And whatever you say, do speak quietly.

Neoptolemus
[575] There, sir, before your eyes is the renowned Philoctetes.

Merchant
Then do not question me further, but get yourself out of here as quickly as possible and sail away.

Philoctetes
What is he saying, boy? Why does the sailor traffic with you about me in these dark whispers?

Neoptolemus
[580] His meaning yet eludes me. But, whatever he will say, he must say openly—to you, me and my men here.

Merchant
Seed of Achilles, do not stir the army's resentment against me for saying what I should not. I receive many benefits for what services I do them, as a poor man may.

Neoptolemus
[585] I am the enemy of the Atreids, and this man is my closest friend precisely because he hates them. Since, then, you have come kindly disposed towards me, you must not hide from us any part of their plans that you have heard.

Merchant
Beware of what you are doing, boy.

Neoptolemus
I am well aware.

Merchant
[590] I will hold you accountable.

Neoptolemus
Do so, but speak.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 513-862
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 1160
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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