ACT III
Scene VII
 

AMPHITRYON, ARGATIPHONTIDAS, POSICLES, SOSIE

AMPHITRYON
Stay here, gentlemen, follow me a little way off, and do not all advance, I pray you, until there is need for it.

POSICLES
I quite understand this blow touches you to the heart.

AMPHITRYON
Ah! My sorrow is bitter through and through: I suffer in my affection, as much as in my honour.

POSICLES
If this resemblance is such as is said, Alcmene, without being guilty . . .

AMPHITRYON
Ah! In this affair, a simple error becomes a veritable crime, and, though no way consenting, innocence perishes in it. Such errors, in whatever way we look at them, affect us in the most sensitive parts; reason often, often pardons them, when honour and love cannot.

ARGAT
I do not bother my thoughts about that; but I hate your gentlemen for their disgraceful delay; it is a proceeding which wounds me to the quick, and one which courageous people will never approve. When any man has need of us, we ought to throw ourselves headforemost into his concerns. Argatiphontidas is not one for compromising matters. It is not seemly for men of honour to listen to the arguments of a friend's adversary; one should only listen to vengeance at such times. The proceeding does not please me; in quarrels such as these we ought always to begin sending the sword through the body, without any nonsense. Yes, whatever happens, you shall see that Argatiphontidas goes straight to the point. I entreat you not to let the villain die by any other hand than mine.

AMPHITRYON
Come on.

SOSIE
I come, Monsieur, to undergo at your knees the just punishment of cursed audacity. Strike, beat, drub, overwhelm me with blows, kill me in your anger; you will do well, I deserve it; I shall not say a single word against you.

AMPHITRYON
Get up. What is the matter?

SOSIE
I have been turned away unceremoniously; thinking to eat and rejoice like them, I did not think that, as it turned out, I was waiting there to thrash myself. Yes, the other I, valet to the other you, has played the very devil with me once more. The same cruel fate seems to pursue us both today, Monsieur. In short, they have un-Sosied me, as they un-Amphitryon'd you.

AMPHITRYON
Follow me.

SOSIE
Is it not better to see if anybody is coming?