Punish the miserable treachery of an impostor.
Gently, gently! There is very little need of being carried away
by passion; when a man bursts out in such a rage as this, it makes
one think he has bad reasons.
Yes; it is an enchanter, who has a talisman that enables him to
resemble the masters of houses.
For your share in this insulting language, I shall make you
feel a thousand blows.
My master is a man of courage: he will not allow his followers
to be thrashed.
Let me assuage my deep anger, and wash out my affront in the
We shall not suffer this strange combat of Amphitryon against himself.
What? Does my honour receive this treatment from you? Do my
friends undertake the defence of a rogue? Far from being the first
to take up my vengeance, they themselves place obstacles in the way
of my resentment?
What do you wish us to decide, when two Amphitryons are before
us and all the warmth of our friendship is in suspense? If we were
now to show towards you, we fear we might make a mistake, and not
recognise you. Truly we see in you the appearance of Amphitryon, the
glorious support of the Thebans' well-being; but we also see the
same appearance in him, and we cannot judge which he is. Our duty is
not doubtful, the impostor ought to bite the dust at our hands; but
this perfect resemblance hides him between you two; and it is too
hazardous a stroke to undertake in the dark. Let us find out quietly
on which side the imposture may be; then, as soon as we have
unravelled the adventure, it will not be necessary for you to tell us our duty.
Yes, you are right, this resemblance authorises you to doubt
both of us. I am not offended to see you cannot make up your minds:
I am more reasonable, and excuse you. The eye cannot differentiate
between us. I see one can easily be mistaken. You do not see me give
way to anger, nor draw my sword: that is a bad way to enlighten a
mystery; I can find one more gentle and more certain. One of us is
Amphitryon; and both of us may seem so in your eyes. It is for me to
end this confusion. I intend to make myself so well known to all,
that, at the overwhelming proofs I shall bring forward to show who I
am, be himself shall agree concerning the blood from which I sprang,
and he shall no longer have occasion to say anything. Before all the
Thebans I will reveal the truth to you; the affair is,
unquestionably, of sufficient importance to justify my seeking to
clear it up in the sight of all. Alcmene expects this public
testimony from me; her virtue, which is outraged by the noise of
this mischance, demands justification, and I will see justice is
done it. My love for her compels me to it. I shall call together an
assembly of the noblest chiefs, for the explanation her honour
requires. While waiting with you for these desirable witnesses, I
pray you to condescend to honour the table to which Sosie has invited you.
I was not mistaken, gentlemen, this word puts an end to all
irresolution: the real Amphitryon is the Amphitryon who gives dinners.
O Heaven! Can my humiliation go further? Must I indeed suffer
the martyrdom of listening to all that this impostor has just said
to my face, my arms bound, though his words drive me mad?
You are wrong to complain. Let us await the explanation which
shall render resentment seasonable. I do not know whether he imposes
upon us or not; but he speaks on the matter as though he were right.
Go, you weak-kneed friends, and flatter the imposture. Thebes
has other friends who will flock round me, different from you. I
will go and find some who, sharing the insult, will know bow to lend
their hand in my just cause.
Ah well! I await them; I shall know how to decide the
discussion in their presence.
You rogue, you think perhaps to evade justice thus; but
nothing shall shield you from my vengeance.
I shall not now condescend to answer this insulting language;
soon I shall be able to confound your fury with two words.
Not Heaven, not Heaven itself can protect you: I shall dog
your footsteps even to Hell.
It will not be necessary; you will soon see I shall not fly away.
Now, before he goes away with these, I will make haste to
gather together friends who will aid my cause; they will come to my
house and help me to pierce him with a thousand thrusts.
No ceremony, I implore you; let us go quickly into the house.
Really, this adventure utterly confounds the senses and the reason.
A truce, gentlemen, to all your surprises; let us joyfully sit
down to feed until the morning. I intend to feast well, so that I
may be in good condition to relate our valiant deeds! I am itching
to attack the dishes; I never felt so hungry.