ACT III
Scene IV
 

SOSIE, NAUCRATES, POLIDAS, AMPHITRYON

SOSIE
All I have been able to do, Monsieur, with all my diligence, is to have brought these gentlemen here.

AMPHITRYON
Ah! You are here?

SOSIE
Monsieur.

AMPHITRYON
Insolent, bold rascal!

SOSIE
What?

AMPHITRYON
I shall teach you to treat me thus.

SOSIE
What is it? What is the matter with you?

AMPHITRYON
What is the matter with me, villain?

SOSIE
Hullo, gentlemen, come here quickly.

NAUCRATES
Ah! Stay, I beseech you.

SOSIE
Of what am I guilty?

AMPHITRYON
You ask me that, you scoundrel? Let me satisfy my righteous anger.

SOSIE
When they hang any one, they tell him why they do it.

NAUCRATES
At least condescend to tell us what his crime may be.

SOSIE
I beseech you, gentlemen, keep a tight hold of me.

AMPHITRYON
Yes! He has just had the audacity to shut the door in my face, and to add threats to a thousand impudent jeers! Ah! You villain!

SOSIE
I am dead.

NAUCRATES
Restrain this anger.

SOSIE
Gentlemen.

POLIDAS
What is it?

SOSIE
Has he struck me?

AMPHITRYON
No, he must have his reward for the language he has made free to use just now.

SOSIE
How could that be when I was elsewhere busy carrying out your orders? These gentlemen here can bear witness that I have just invited them to dine with you.

NAUCRATES
That is true: he has just delivered us this message, and would not quit us.

AMPHITRYON
Who gave you that order?

SOSIE
You.

AMPHITRYON
When?

SOSIE
After you made your peace, when you were rejoicing at the delight of having appeased Alcmene's anger.

AMPHITRYON
O Heaven! Every instant, every step, adds something to my cruel martyrdom; I am so utterly confused that I no longer know either what to believe or what to say.

NAUCRATES
All he has just told us, of what has happened at your house, surpasses what is natural so much, that before doing anything and before flying into such a passion, you ought to clear up the whole of this adventure.

AMPHITRYON
Come; you can second my efforts; Heaven has brought you here most opportunely. Let me see what fortune brings me today; let me solve this mystery, and know my fate. Alas! I burn to learn it, and I dread it more than death.