AMPHITRYON, ARGATIPHONTIDAS, POSICLES, SOSIE
Stay here, gentlemen, follow me a little way off, and do not
all advance, I pray you, until there is need for it.
I quite understand this blow touches you to the heart.
Ah! My sorrow is bitter through and through: I suffer in my
affection, as much as in my honour.
If this resemblance is such as is said, Alcmene, without being
guilty . . .
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.
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.
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.
Get up. What is the matter?
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.
Is it not better to see if anybody is coming?