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Neoptolemus
[865] Quiet, I say, and do not abandon your wits—the man is opening his eyes and lifts his head.

Philoctetes
Ah, light succeeding upon sleep! Ah, friendly watchers, sight unlooked for even in my dreams! I could never have expected this, son— [870] that you would have the patience to wait so tenderly upon my sufferings by staying close beside me and helping to relieve me. The Atreids, certainly, those valiant generals, had no heart to bear this burden so lightly. But your nature is noble and drawn of a noble line, [875] and so you have made little of all this, though loud cries and stenches afflicted you. And now, since the plague seems to allow me a space of forgetfulness and peace at last, lift me up yourself and set me on my feet, [880] so that, when the faintness releases me at length, we may set out to the ship, and not hold back our sailing.

Neoptolemus
It pleases me to see you living unpained and breathing still, however contrary to my expectation. For in view of your persistent sufferings, [885] your symptoms seemed to speak of death. But now lift yourself, or, if you prefer, these men will carry you. The labor will not be grudged, since you and I are of one mind.

Philoctetes
Thank you, son, and help me up, as you will. [890] Yet do not trouble your men, so that they may not suffer from the foul stench before it is necessary. It will be trial enough for them to live on board with me.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 559
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