Philoctetes

Sophocles

Sophocles, creator; Sophocles the plays and fragments with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose Part 4 The Philoctetes; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, 1841-1905, editor, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1898.

  1. Not so; this weather is against them also.
Philoctetes
  1. No wind stands in the way of pirates who sense a chance to steal and plunder by force.
Neoptolemus
  1. Well, if you are so resolved, let us go, once you have taken from the cave whatever you need or desire most.
Philoctetes
  1. Yes, there are some things that I need, though the choice is not large.
Neoptolemus
  1. What is there that will not be available on board my ship?
Philoctetes
  1. I have a store of a certain herb, whereby I can always
  2. best lull this wound, until it is wholly tamed.
Neoptolemus
  1. Fetch it, then. Now, what else do you wish to take?
Philoctetes
  1. Any of these arrows that may have been forgotten, and may have slipped away from me, so that I not leave it for another to take.
Neoptolemus
  1. Is that indeed the famous bow which you hold?
Philoctetes
  1. This, and no other, that I carry in my hand.
Neoptolemus
  1. Is there any way that I might have a closer view of it—and handle it, and salute it as divine?
Philoctetes
  1. To you alone, my son, this shall be granted, along with anything else in my power that is in your interest.
Neoptolemus
  1. I do indeed crave to touch it, but my craving takes this form: if it is lawful, I would be glad. If not, think no more of it.
Philoctetes
  1. Your words are reverent, son, and your wish is lawful. For you alone have given to my eyes the light of life and the hope of seeing the land of Oeta, of seeing
  2. my aged father and my friends; and you alone, when I lay beneath the feet of my enemies, have lifted me beyond their reach. Be bold. The bow shall be yours to handle and to return to the hand that gave it, and you will be able to boast aloud that in reward for your goodness, you alone of mortals have touched it.
  3. Yes, it was by a good deed that I myself won it.
Neoptolemus
  1. I am not sorry that I found you and have gained your friendship, since whoever knows how to render benefit for a benefit received must prove a friend more valuable than any possession. Please, do go inside.
Philoctetes
  1. Agreed, and I will bring you also.
  2. My sickness craves the comfort of your presence.Philoctetes and Neoptolemus enter the cave.