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Philoctetes
Now by your father and by your mother, son, by all that you cherish at home— [470] I solemnly supplicate you, do not leave me alone like this, helpless amid these miseries in which I live, so harsh as you see, and so numerous as I have said! Consider me a small side-task. Great is [475] your disgust, well I know, at such a cargo. Yet bear with it all the same—to noble minds baseness is hateful, and a good deed is glorious. If you forsake this task, you will have a stain on your honor; but if you perform it, boy, you will win the prize of highest honor—if I return alive to Oeta's soil. [480] Come, the trouble will not last one full day. Endure it, take me and throw me where you will—in the hold, the prow, the stern, wherever I will least annoy my shipmates. Say yes, by the great god of suppliants, son; [485] be persuaded! I supplicate you at your knees, I am an infirm wretch, and lame! Do not leave me desolate like this, far from the paths of mankind! No, bring me safely to your own home, or to Euboea, Chalcodon's seat; [490] and from there it will be no long journey for me to Oeta and the Trachinian heights, and fair-flowing Spercheius, so that you may show me to my beloved father, though long I have feared that he may have departed me. For often [495] did I summon him by means of those who came here, sending imploring prayers that he would himself send a ship and get me safely home. But either he is dead, or else, as I think is likely, my messengers thought my concerns of little account and hurried on their homeward voyage. [500] Now, however, since in you I have found one who can be both an escort and a messenger, save me and show me mercy, keeping in mind that all human destiny is full of the fear and the danger that prosperity may be followed by its opposite. He who stands clear of trouble must beware of dangers, [505] and when a man lives at ease, then it is that he must look most closely to his livelihood, lest it secretly suffer ruin.

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load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1932)
load focus English (Robert Torrance)
load focus Greek (Francis Storr, 1913)
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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 250
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 906
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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