ACT III
Scene X
 

JUPITER, CLEANTHIS, NAUCRATES, POLIDAS, SOSIE, AMPHITRYON, ARGATIPHONTIDAS, POSICLES

JUPITER
(In a cloud,) Behold, Amphitryon, who has imposed on you; under his own aspect you see Jupiter. By these signs you may easily know him; they are sufficient, I think, to restore your heart where it should be to bring back peace and happiness to your family. My name, which the whole earth continually adores, thus stifles all scandal that might be spread abroad. A share with Jupiter has nothing that in the least dishonours, for doubtless, it can be but glorious to find one's self the rival of the sovereign of the Gods. I do not see any reason why your love should murmur; it is I, God as I am, who ought to be jealous in this affair. Alcmene is wholly yours, whatever means one may employ; it must be gratifying to your passion to see that there is no other way of pleasing her than to appear as her husband. Even Jupiter, clothed in his immortal glory, could not by himself undermine her fidelity; what he has received from her was granted by her ardent heart only to you.

SOSIE
The Seigneur Jupiter knows how to gild the pill.

JUPITER
Cast aside, therefore, the black care that stifles your heart; restore perfect peace to the ardour which consumes you. In your house shall be born a son, who, under the name of Hercules, shall cause the vast universe to ring with his deeds. A glorious future crowned with a thousand blessings shall let every one see I am your support; I will make your fate the envy of the whole world. You may boldly flatter yourself with what these promises confer. It is a crime to doubt them, for the words of Jupiter are the decrees of fate. (He is lost in the clouds.)

NAUCRATES
Truly, I am delighted at these evident marks . . .

SOSIE
Gentlemen, will you please take my advice? Do not embark in these sugary congratulations; it is a bad speculation; phrases are embarrassing on either side, in such a compliment. The great God Jupiter has done us much honour, and, unquestionaby, his kindness towards us is unparalleled; he promises us the infallible happiness of a fortune crowned with a thousand blessings, and in our house shall be born a brave son. Nothing could be better than this. But, nevertheless, let us cut short our speeches, and each one retire quietly to his own house. In such affairs as these, it is always best not to say anything.