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Enter Philoctetes, on the spectators' right.

Philoctetes
O strangers!

[220] Who can you be, and from what country, that you have put into this harborless and desolate land? What would I rightly say is your city or your ancestry? The fashion of your equipment is Greek, and most welcome to my [225] sight; but it would please me to hear your voices. And do not shrink from me in fear, or be frightened by my savage looks. No, pity one so wretched and so lonely, a castaway, so friendless and so miserable. Speak to me, if indeed you have come as friends. [230] Oh, answer! It is not right that I be disappointed by you in this request, at least, nor you by me.

Neoptolemus
Well, know first, stranger, that we are Greeks, since you desire to learn this.

Philoctetes
O cherished sound! Ah, that I should truly be [235] greeted by such a man, after so long a time! What need, young man, has made you land here and brought you to this spot? What business? What wind so kind? Speak, tell me all, so that I may know who you are.

Neoptolemus
My birthplace is the island Scyros, and I am sailing [240] homeward. I am the son of Achilles, by name Neoptolemus. Now you know everything.

Philoctetes
O son of a father I loved, and of soil I cherished! Ward of aged Lycomedes, on what mission have you touched this shore? From where are you sailing?

Neoptolemus
[245] Well, since you ask, it is from Ilium that I am now guiding my ship.

Philoctetes
What? You were certainly not our shipmate at the beginning of the expedition there.

Neoptolemus
And did you have a part in that toil?

Philoctetes
Then you do not know who I am?

Neoptolemus
[250] How should I know one whom I have never seen before?

Philoctetes
Then you have not even heard my name, or any rumor of those sufferings under which I have been perishing?

Neoptolemus
Be sure that I know nothing of what you ask.

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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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