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Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi
by Plautus Titus Maccius
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Well sir, you mark my words now: I warrant you you will come upon a second servant Sosia of yours besides me when you reach home, yes sir, one whose father was Davus the same as mine, and who is just like me and just my age, too. Enough said, sir. Sosia has twinned here for you.

Amph.

Nimia memoras mira. sed vidistin uxorem meam?

(impressed) Strange, very strange indeed! But did you see my wife?

Sos.

Quin intro ire in aedis numquam licitum est.

Why, sir, never a foot was I allowed to put in the house.

Amph.

Quis te prohibuit?

Who hindered you?

Sos.

Sosia ille, quem iam dudum dico, is qui me contudit.

That Sosia I have been telling of all along, the one that smashed me up.

Amph.

Quis istic Sosia est?

Who is that Sosia?

Amph.

Ego, inquam. quotiens dicendum est tibi?

I am, I say. How many times do you need to be told?

Amph.

Sed quid ais? num obdormivisti dudum?

(reflecting) But look here, you were not asleep a while ago, were you?

Sos.

Nusquam gentium. 620

Not a bit of it, sir.

Amph.

Ibi forte istum si vidisses quendam in somnis Sosiam—

Then perhaps, if you had seen that, well, that Sosia of yours in your dreams—

Sos.

Non soleo ego somniculose eri imperia persequi. vigilans vidi, vigilans nunc te video, vigilans fabulor, vigilantem ille me iam dudum vigilans pugnis contudit.

I don't do my master's orders drowsily. Wide awake I was, eyes open; I am wide awake with 'em open on you now; I am wide awake telling my story; and I was wide awake when he hammered me a while back, yes, and (ruefully) he was wide awake.

Amph.

Quis homo?

Who?

Sos.

Sosia, inquam, ego ille. quaeso, nonne intellegis?

Sosia, I tell you, that me. Pray do not you understand?

Amph.

Qui, malum, intellegere quisquam potis est? ita nugas blatis.

How the devil can any man understand? Such stuff and nonsense!

Sos.

Verum actutum nosces, quom illum nosces servom Sosiam.

(significantly) Well, you will know what I mean very soon, once you know that servant Sosia.

Amph.

Sequere hac igitur me, nam mi istuc primum exquisito est opus.[18] (628)

(going toward house) Come then, this way. This matter needs my investigation first of all. (stops to examine house from distance and talks with Sosia)

II. 2.

Scene 2.

ENTER Alcmena INTO DOORWAY.

Alc.

Satin parva res est voluptatum in vita atque in aetate agunda 633 praequam quod molestum est? ita cuique comparatum est in aetate hominum; ita divis est placitum, voluptatem ut maeror comes consequatur: quin incommodi plus malique ilico adsit, boni si optigit quid.

Oh, are not the pleasures in life, in this daily round, trifling compared with the pains! It is our common human lot, it is heaven's will, for sorrow to come following after joy: yes, yes, and to have a larger share of trouble and distress the moment something nice has happened.

nam ego id nunc experior domo atque ipsa de me scio, cui voluptas parumper datast, dum viri mei mihi potestas videndi fuit noctem unam modo; atque is repente abiit a me hinc ante lucem. sola hic mihi nunc videor, quia ille hinc abest quem ego amo praeter omnes. 640 plus aegri ex abitu viri, quam ex adventu voluptatis cepi.

Ah, I am learning this now at first hand, learning it of my own experience—a few short hours of happiness, allowed to see my husband for just one night; and then away he goes all of a sudden before daylight! It does seem so lonely here now, when the one I love best is gone. I have felt more unhappy at his going than happy at his coming.

sed hoc me beat saltem, quom perduellis vicit et domum laudis compos revenit: id solacio est. absit, dum modo laude parta domum recipiat se; feram et perferam usque abitum eius animo forti atque offirmato, id modo si mercedis datur mi, ut meus victor vir belli clueat.

But there is thus much to be thankful for, at least: he has been victorious and come home a hero—that is one comfort. He may leave me, if only he returns to me with a glorious name: I will bear his going, yes, and keep on bearing it to the end firmly and unflinchingly, only let me have the reward of hearing my husband hailed conqueror.

satis mi esse ducam. virtus praemium est optimum; virtus omnibus rebus anteit profecto: libertas salus vita res et parentes, patria et prognati 650 tutantur, servantur: virtus omnia in sese habet, omnia adsunt bona quem penest virtus

That is enough for me! Courage is the very best gift of all; courage stands before everything, it does, it does! It is what maintains and preserves our liberty, safety, life, and our homes and parents, our country and children. Courage comprises all things: a man with courage has every blessing.

Amph.

Edepol me uxori exoptatum credo adventurum domum, quae me amat, quam contra amo, praesertim re gesta bene, victis hostibus. quos nemo posse superari ratust, eos auspicio meo atque ductu primo coetu vicimus certe enim med illi expectatum optato venturum scio.

By Jove, my wife will certainly be delighted to have me home—loving each other as we do! Especially now that we have been successful, and the enemy, that every one thought invincible, beaten, beaten at the first set-to under my auspices and leadership. Ah yes, my arrival will surely be a very welcome event to her.

Sos.

Quid? me non rere expectatum amicae venturum meae?

What? And don't you think mine is going to be welcome to my lady friend?

Alc.

Meus vir hic quidem est.

(seeing them) Why, here is my husband!

Amph.

Sequere hac tu me.

(to Sosia) Here you, this way! (goes on toward house)

Alc.

Nam quid ille revortitur, 660 qui dudum properare se aibat? an ille me temptat sciens atque id se volt experiri, suom abitum ut desiderem? ecastor med haud invita se domum recipit suam.

(aside) What in the world is he back for so soon after saying he must hurry off! Is he trying me on purpose, does he want to test how much I miss him when he goes? Bless his heart, I have no objection to his coming home again!

Sos.

Amphitruo, redire ad navem meliust nos.

(seeing her) We had better make for the ship once more, sir.

Amph.

Qua gratia?

Why?

Sos.

Quia domi daturus nemo est prandium advenientibus

No one at home is going to give the new arrivals a breakfast, that is why.

Amph.

Qui tibi nunc istuc in mentemst?

And how does that thought happen to occur to you?

Sos.

Quia enim sero advenimus.

Because we've come too late.

Amph.

Qui?

How so?

Sos.

Quia Alcumenam ante aedis stare saturam intellego.

(pointing) Well, there's mistress in front of the house, and she has a sort of well-fed look about her.

Amph.

Gravidam ego illanc hic reliqui, quom abeo.

I had hopes when I went away, Sosia, of being made a father.

Sos.

Ei perii miser.

Heaven help me!

Amph.

Quid tibi est?

What is the matter?

Sos.

Ad aquam praebendam commodum adveni domum, decumo post mense, ut rationem te putare intellego 670

(disgustedly) I have got home exactly in time to draw the water: it is the tenth month since, according as I follow your reckoning.

Amph.

Bono animo es.

(laughing) Cheer up, cheer up!

Sos.

Scin quam bono animo sim? si situlam cepero, numquam edepol tu mihi divini creduis post hunc diem, ni ego illi puteo, si occepso, animam omnem inter traxero.

Know how cheerful I am, do you, sir? Let me get hold of a bucket, and by gad, don't ever trust my sacred oath again, if I do not drain that well of its last breath, once I begin.

Amph.

Sequere hac me modo, alium ego isti rei allegabo, ne time.

Come now, this way with me. (moves toward house again) I will appoint some one else to that office, never fear.

Alc.

Magis nunc me meum officium facere, si huic eam advorsum, arbitror.

(aside) I suppose it would be more duteous of me to go to meet him. (advances slowly)

Amph.

Amphitruo uxorem salutat laetus speratam suam, quam omnium Thebis vir unam esse optimam diiudicat, quamque adeo cives Thebani vero rumiferant probam. valuistin usque? exspectatum advenio?

(with playful courtliness) Gladly does Amphitryon greet his darling wife, whom her husband judges to be the one best lady in all Thebes; yea, and justly do the citizens of Thebes bruit her virtue. (earnestly) Have you been well all this time? Are you glad to see me?

Sos.

Haud vidi magis. exspectatum eum salutat magis haud quicquam quam canem. 680

(aside) Glad? None more so! Welcomes him about as warmly as she would a dog!

Amph.

Et quom te[19] gravidam et quom te pulchre plenam aspicio, gaudeo.

Ah, it is splendid to see your condition, dear, and to see you getting on so finely.

Alc.

Obsecro ecastor, quid tu me deridiculi gratia sic salutas atque appellas, quasi dudum non videris quasique nunc primum recipias te domum huc ex hostibus?[20] (684)

Good gracious! Why are you making fun of me with all these greetings and salutations, as if you had not seen me a little while ago and were just this moment back from the war?

Amph.

Immo equidem te nisi nunc hodie nusquam vidi gentium. (686)

(surprised) Why, why, but I have not seen you—no, nowhere at all except this very instant.

Alc.

Cur negas?

What makes you deny it?

Amph.

Quia vera didici dicere.

Because I have learned to tell the truth.

Alc.

Haud aequom facit qui quod didicit id dediscit. an periclitamini quid animi habeam? sed quid huc vos revortimini tam cito? an te auspicium commoratum est an tempestas continet 690 qui non abiisti ad legiones, ita uti dudum dixeras?

It is not a good plan to learn a thing and then unlearn it. Or is this a test of my feelings? But why are you returning so quickly? Were you delayed by bad omens, or is it the weather detains you, that you have not gone away to the army, as you spoke of doing a little while ago?

Amph.

Dudum? quam dudum istuc factum est?

A little while ago? How little a while ago was that?

Alc.

Temptas. iam dudum, modo.

Tease! Oh, quite a little while ago—just now.

Amph.

Qui istuc potis est fieri, quaeso, ut dicis: iam dudum, modo?

For heaven's sake, how can those statements agree—"quite a little while ago" and "just now"?

Alc.

Quid enim censes? te ut deludam contra lusorem meum, qui nunc primum te advenisse dicas, modo qui hinc abieris.

Well, how do you suppose? I am merely trying to make game of you for a change, after your making game of me by saying this is your first appearance here, when you just now left us.

Amph.

Haec quidem deliramenta loquitur.

(to Sosia) Upon my soul, she is raving!

Sos.

Paulisper mane, dum edormiscat unum somnum.

Wait a while till she has slept out just one sleep.

Amph.

Quaene vigilans somniat?

What, awake and dreaming?

Alc.

Equidem ecastor vigilo, et vigilans id quod factum est fabulor. nam dudum ante lucem et istunc et te vidi.

(indignantly) To be sure I am awake, and awake as I relate what happened. Why, just a little while ago before dawn I saw that man and you, both.

Amph.

Quo in loco?

Where was this?

Alc.

Hic in aedibus ubi tu habitas.

Here in your very own house, sir.

Amph.

Numquam factum est.

Impossible!

Sos.

Non taces? 700 quid si e portu navis huc nos dormientis detulit?

Hush, sir, hush! What if the ship carried us here from the harbour in our sleep?

Amph.

Etiam tu quoque adsentaris huic?

Ha! you are siding with her too, are you?

Sos.

Quid vis fieri? non tu scis? Bacchae bacchanti si velis advorsarier, ex insana insaniorem facies, feriet saepius; si obsequare, una resolvas plaga.

(wisely) Well, what do you want? Don't you understand? You but cross a Bacchante when the Bacchic frenzy fills her, and you'll make the crazy thing crazier still and she'll hit you all the more: humour her, and she'll call it quits after one blow.

Amph.

At pol qui certa res hanc est obiurgare, quae me hodie advenientem domum noluerit salutare.

Humour her? By the Lord, it will be bad humour, that's sure,—arriving home to-day and she unwilling to give me a decent welcome!

Sos.

Inritabis crabrones.

You'll be poking up a hornet's nest.

Amph.

Tace. Alcumena, unum rogare te volo.

Silence! (to Alcmena, sternly) Alcmena, there is something I wish to ask you.

Alc.

Quid vis roga.

Anything you please.

Amph.

Num tibi aut stultitia accessit aut superat superbia?

Are you obsessed by some foolish notion, or is this pride running away with you?

Alc.

Qui istuc in mentemst tibi ex me, mi vir, percontarier? 710

What makes it enter your head to ask me such a question, my husband?

Amph.

Quia salutare advenientem me solebas antidhac, appellare, itidem ut pudicae suos viros quae sunt solent. eo more expertem te factam adveniens offendi domi.

Because till to-day you used to welcome me on my arrival and greet me as modest wives generally do their husbands. Yet here I come home to find you have dropped the habit.

Alc.

Ecastor equidem te certo heri advenientem ilico, et salutavi et valuissesne usque exquisivi simul, mi vir, et manum prehendi et osculum tetuli tibi.

Why mercy me, when you came home yesterday I certainly did welcome you the moment you appeared, and asked you in the same breath if you had been well all the time, and seized your hand and gave you a kiss.

Sos.

Tun heri hunc salutavisti?

Welcomed him yesterday, did you?

Alc.

Et te quoque etiam, Sosia.

Yes, and you, too, Sosia.

Sos.

Amphitruo, speravi ego istam tibi parituram filium; verum non est puero gravida.

Sir, I hoped she was going to bear you a son; but it's no child she's got.

Amph.

Quid igitur?

What, then?

Sos.

Insania.

A crazy streak.

Alc.

Equidem sana sum et deos quaeso, ut salva pariam filium. 720 verum tu malum magnum habebis, si his suom officium facit: ob istuc omen, ominator, capies quod te condecet.

(angrily) Indeed I have not, and I pray heaven I may safely bear a son. But you, sir, shall have an ample supply of aches and pains, if your master here does his duty! You shall be well rewarded for that omen, Sir Omener.

Sos.

Enim vero praegnati oportet et malum et malum dari, ut quod obrodat sit, animo si male esse occeperit.

Really now, ma'am, it's a lady in your condition ought to have aches and pains, yes, and an apple supply, too, so as to have something to chew on in case she gets to feeling seedy.

Amph.

Tu me heri hic vidisti?

You saw me here yesterday?

Alc.

Ego, inquam, si vis decies dicere.

Yes, I,—if you must be told ten times over.

Amph.

In somnis fortasse?

In your sleep, perhaps?

Alc.

Immo vigilans vigilantem.

No, no, awake,—and you were awake, too.

Amph.

Ei misero mihi.

Oh, this is terrible, terrible!

Sos.

Quid tibi est?

What ails you?

Amph.

Delirat uxor.

My wife is raving!

Sos.

Atra bili percita est. nulla res tam delirantis homines concinnat cito.

Bilious attack, sir, black bile. There's nothing sets 'em raving so soon.

Amph.

Ubi primum tibi sensisti, mulier, impliciscier?

When did you first feel it coming on, woman?

Alc.

Equidem ecastor sana et salva sum.

Goodness me! I'm perfectly sane and sound.

Amph.

Quor igitur praedicas, 730 te heri me vidisse, qui hac noctu in portum advecti sumus? ibi cenavi atque ibi quievi in navi noctem perpetem, neque meum pedem huc intuli etiam in aedis, ut cum exercitu hinc profectus sum ad Teloboas hostis eosque ut vicimus.

Then why are you declaring you saw me yesterday, when we reached port last night? I took dinner there and spent the whole livelong night there on board my ship, and I have not set foot in this house from the time I and my troops started on our campaign against the Teloboians and conquered them.

Alc.

Immo mecum cenavisti et mecum cubuisti.

The idea! You had dinner with me and went to bed with me.

Amph.

Quid est?

What?

Alc.

Vera dico.

I tell you the truth, sir.

Amph.

Non de hac quidem hercle re; de aliis nescio.

Good God! Not in that, anyhow: about other matters I can't say.

Alc.

Primulo diluculo abiisti ad legiones.

And at the very break of day you went away to the army.

Amph.

Quo modo?

How's that?

Sos.

Recte dicit, ut commeminit: somnium narrat tibi. sed, mulier, postquam experrecta es, te prodigiali Iovi aut mola salsa hodie aut ture comprecatam oportuit. 740

Quite straight, sir, as far as her memory goes: she's giving you her dream. But I say, ma'am, this morning after you woke up you ought to have taken some salted cakes, or incense, and prayed to Jove—he has charge of prodigies.

Alc.

Vae capiti tuo.

Oh confound you, sir!

Sos.

Tua istuc refert—si curaveris.

(innocently) That would do you good, ma'am—if you would see to it.

Alc.

Iterum iam hic in me inclementer dicit, atque id sine malo.

There he is, rude to me again, and not suffering for it!

Amph.

Tace tu. tu dic: egone abs te abii hinc hodie cum diluculo?

(to Sosia) Keep still, you! (to Alcmena) And you—I left you this morning at daybreak, did I?

Alc.

Quis igitur nisi vos narravit mi, illi ut fuerit proelium?

Why, who else but you two told me how the battle there went?

Amph.

An etiam id tu scis?

You don't mean to say you know about that?

Alc.

Quippe qui ex te audivi, ut urbem maximam expugnavisses regemque Pterelam tute occideris.

Naturally, since I heard from your own lips how you took that great city and killed King Pterelas yourself.

Amph.

Egone istuc dixi?

I told you that, I?

Alc.

Tute istic, etiam adstante hoc Sosia.

Yes, you yourself,—with Sosia here standing by, too.

Amph.

Audivistin tu me narrare haec hodie?

(to Sosia) Have you ever heard me say a word of this?

Sos.

Ubi ego audiverim?

Heard you? Where?

Amph.

Hanc roga.

(sullenly) Ask her.

Sos.

Me quidem praesente numquam factum est, quod sciam.

You never did so far as I know, leastways with me at hand.

Alc.

Mirum quin te adversus dicat.

(ironically) It is strange he declines to contradict his own master.

Amph.

Sosia, age me huc aspice. 750

Sosia, here! Look me in the eye.

Sos.

Specto.

(obeying) Very good, sir.

Amph.

Vera volo loqui te, nolo adsentari mihi. audivistin tu hodie me illi dicere ea quae illa autumat?

What I want from you is the truth, no obsequiousness. Did you ever hear me utter a syllable of what she says?

Sos.

Quaeso edepol, num tu quoque etiam insanis, quom id me interrogas, qui ipsus equidem nunc primum istanc tecum conspicio simul?

Well, upon my word, I should like to ask if you are not crazy yourself, asking me a question like that—and I just this minute setting eyes on her for the first time along with you?

Amph.

Quid nunc, mulier? audin illum?

What now, madam? Do you hear him?

Alc.

Ego vero, ac falsum dicere.

To be sure I do—telling lies.

Amph.

Neque tu illi neque mihi viro ipsi credis?

You won't believe him, or me, your own husband, either?

Alc.

Eo fit quia mihi plurimum credo et scio istaec facta proinde ut proloquor.

That is only because I believe myself most of all, and I know everything occurred just as I tell you.

Amph.

Tun me heri advenisse dicis?

And you say that I arrived yesterday?

Alc.

Tun te abiisse hodie hinc negas?

And you deny that you left to-day?

Amph.

Nego enim vero, et me advenire nunc primum aio ad te domum.

Deny it? Of course I do. And I say I'm just now coming home to you for the first time.

Alc.

Obsecro, etiamne hoc negabis, te auream pateram mihi 760 dedisse dono hodie, qua te illi donatum esse dixeras?

And will you deny this, too, pray,—that you gave me the golden bowl to-day that was presented to you there, as you said?

Amph.

Neque edepol dedi neque dixi; verum ita animatus fui itaque nunc sum, ut ea te patera donem. sed quis istuc tibi dixit?

By heaven! I neither gave it nor said it. But I did intend to make you a gift of that bowl, and do still. Who told you of that, though?

Alc.

Ego equidem ex te audivi et ex tua accepi manu pateram.

Why, I heard about it from your own lips and received the bowl from your own hand.

Amph.

Mane, mane, obsecro te. nimis demiror, Sosia, qui illaec illic me donatum esse aurea patera sciat, nisi tu dudum hanc convenisti et narravisti haec omnia.

One moment, please, one moment! (turning to Sosia) It is very extraordinary. Sosia, how she knows I was presented with a golden bowl there, unless you met her a while ago yourself and told her the whole story.

Sos.

Neque edepol ego dixi neque istam vidi nisi tecum simul.

By gad, sir, I never told her, no, nor saw her, except here with you.

Amph.

Quid hoc sit hominis?

(helplessly) What sort of a creature have I got here?

Alc.

Vin proferri pateram?

Would you like to have the bowl brought?

Amph.

Proferri volo.

Indeed I should.

Alc.

Fiat heus tu, Thessala, intus pateram proferto foras, 770 qua hodie meus vir donavit me.

Very well. (calling to maid within) Ho, there! Thessala, bring out the bowl my husband gave me to day.

Amph.

Secede huc tu, Sosia, enim vero illud praeter alia mira miror maxime, si haec habet pateram illam.

Sosia! Come over here. (they withdraw somewhat) Upon my soul, it will be the most astounding of all these astounding circumstances, if she has that.

Sos.

An etiam credis id, quae in hac cistellula tuo signo obsignata fertur?

Do you really believe that, sir, when I've got it in this little chest here, sealed with your own signet?

Amph.

Salvom signum est?

Is the seal intact?

Sos.

Inspice.

(showing chest) Look and see.

Amph.

Recte, ita est ut obsignavi.

(doing so) It is all right—just as I sealed it.

Sos.

Quaeso, quin tu istanc iubes pro cerrita circumferri?

For heaven's sake, why don't you have her treated for lunacy?

Amph.

Edepol qui facto est opus; nam haec quidem edepol larvarum plenast.

By Jove, so I should! Why, bless my soul, she's full of evil spirits!

ENTER Thessala WITH BOWL.

Alc.

Quid verbis opust? em tibi pateram, eccam.

Are you satisfied, sir? There! Your bowl, see!

Amph.

Cedo mi.

(dumbfounded) Give it here!

Alc.

Age aspice huc sis nunciam tu qui quae facta infitiare, quem ego iam hic convincam palam estne haec patera qua donatu's illi?

Come now, be so good as to look at it, you that do a thing and then disown it. I shall refute you plainly, sir, here and now. Is this the bowl which they presented to you there, or not?

Amph.

Summe Iuppiter, 780 quid ego video? haec ea est profecto patera. perii, Sosia.

(taking it) Jove almighty! What do I see? The selfsame bowl, it is, it is! This is frightful, Sosia!

Sos.

Aut pol haec praestigiatrix multo mulier maxima est aut pateram hic inesse oportet.

By gad, she's either the greatest enchantress alive, easily, or the bowl must be inside here. (pointing to chest)

Amph.

Agedum, exsolve cistulam.

Come, come, unfasten the chest!

Sos.

Quid ego istam exsolvam? obsignatast recte, res gesta est bene: tu peperisti Amphitruonem, ego alium peperi Sosiam; nunc si patera pateram peperit, omnes congeminavimus.

Unfasten it? Why? It's sealed all right, everything is shipshape. You have spawned another Amphitryon; I have spawned another Sosia; now if the bowl has spawned another bowl, we've all doubled.

Amph.

Certum est aperire atque inspicere.

I'm resolved: it must be opened and inspected.

Sos.

Vide sis signi quid siet, ne posterius in me culpam conferas.

You please take a look at the seal, sir, so that you won't blame me later.

Amph.

Aperi modo; nam haec quidem nos delirantis facere dictis postulat.

(looking) Yes, yes, open up! Why, the woman is bent on driving us mad with her talk.

Alc.

Unde haec igitur est nisi abs te quae mihi dono data est? 790

Where did this come from, then, if not as a present from you?

Amph.

Opus mi est istuc exquisito.

(curtly) This matter needs my investigation.

Sos.

Iuppiter, pro Iuppiter.

(busy with chest) By Jove! Oh, by Jove!

Amph.

Quid tibi est?

(excited) What is it?

Sos.

Hic patera nulla in cistulast.

There's no bowl in the chest here at all!

Amph.

Quid ego audio?

What's that you say?

Sos.

Id quod verumst.

It's the honest truth.

Amph.

At cum cruciatu iam, nisi apparet, tuo.

But your skin shall soon pay for it, if it's not forthcoming.

Alc.

Haec quidem apparet.

This one is forthcoming, at any rate.

Amph.

Quis igitur tibi dedit?

(roughly) Who gave it you, then?

Alc.

Qui me rogat.

(calmly) My questioner.

Sos.

Me captas, quia tute ab navi clanculum huc alia via praecucurristi, atque hinc pateram tute exemisti atque eam huic dedisti, post hanc rursum obsignasti clanculum.

(to Amphitryon) Trying to catch me! The fact is you ran on ahead from the ship yourself by another road on the sly, and took the bowl out yourself, and gave it to her, and then sealed up the chest again on the sly.

Amph.

Ei mihi, iam tu quoque huius adiuvas insaniam? an heri nos advenisse huc?

Oh, ye gods! So now you are abetting her delusions, too! (to Alcmena, with forced calmness) We came here yesterday, you say?

Alc.

Aio, adveniensque ilico me salutavisti, et ego te, et osculum tetuli tibi. 800

Yes, and the moment you arrived you greeted me, and I you, and I gave you a kiss.

Sos.

Iam illud non placet principium de osculo.

Now I don't like that, that beginning with a kiss!

Amph.

Perge exsequi.

Go on, go on!

Alc.

Lavisti.

Then you bathed.

Amph.

Quid postquam lavi?

And after bathing?

Alc.

Accubuisti.

You took your place on the dining couch.

Sos.

Euge optime, nunc exquire.

Bravo, sir! Great work! Now get to the bottom of it.

Amph.

Ne interpella. perge porro dicere.

(to Sosia) No interruptions! (to Alcmena) Go on with your story.

Alc.

Cena adposita est, cenavisti mecum, ego accubui simul.

Dinner was served: we dined together: I took my place on the couch, too.

Amph.

In eodem lecto?

The same couch?

Alc.

In eodem.

Surely.

Sos.

Ei, non placet convivium.

Oho! This banqueting looks bad!

Amph.

Sine modo argumenta dicat. quid postquam cenavimus?

(to Sosia) That will do. Let her state her case. (to Alcmena) What after we dined?

Alc.

Te dormitare aibas, mensa ablata est. cubitum hinc abiimus.

You said you were sleepy: the table was removed: we went off to bed.

Amph.

Ubi tu cubuisti?

Where did you sleep?

Alc.

In eodem lecto tecum una in cubiculo.

Why, with you, in our room.

Amph.

Perdidisti.

Oh, my God!

Sos.

Quid tibi est?

What ails you?

Amph.

Haec me modo ad mortem dedit.

She has killed me, killed me!

Alc.

Quid iam, amabo?

Why, my dear man, what do you mean?

Amph.

Ne me appella.

(furiously) Don't speak to me!

Sos.

Quid tibi est?

What ails you?

Amph.

Perii miser, 810 quia pudicitiae huius vitium me hinc absente est additum.

Oh, God help me! She's been seduced while I was gone!

Alc.

Obsecro ecastor, cur istuc, mi vir, ex ted audio?

Good heavens! For mercy's sake how can you say such a thing, my dear husband?

Amph.

Vir ego tuos sim? ne me appella, falsa, falso nomine.

Am I your husband? Oh, you false wretch, none of your false names for me!

Sos

Haeret haec res, si quidem haec iam mulier facta est ex viro.

Here's a pretty mess, if he is turned into a woman and is not her husband!

Alc

Quid ego feci, qua istaec propter dicta dicantur mihi?

What have I done to be talked to like that?

Amph.

Tute edictas facta tua, ex me quaeris quid deliqueris.

You have recounted your doings yourself—and you ask me what the harm is!

Alc

Quid ego tibi deliqui, si, cum nupta sum, tecum fui?

Pray tell me what I have done in being with you, the man I married?

Amph.

Tun mecum fueris? quid illac impudente audacius? saltem, tute si pudoris egeas, sumas mutuom.

You with me? Of all brazen shamelessness! You might at least borrow some sense of decency, if you have none of your own!

Alc.

Istuc facinus, quod tu insimulas, nostro generi non decet. 820 tu si me inpudicitiai captas, capere non potes.

Such behaviour as you accuse me of does not become members of my family, sir. Angle for me if you wish, you cannot catch me in such unspeakable conduct.

Amph.

Pro di immortales, cognoscin tu me saltem, Sosia?

Great God! You know me, anyhow, Sosia, don't you?

Sos

Propemodum.

Well, rather!

Amph.

Cenavin ego heri in navi in portu Persico?

Didn't I dine yesterday on shipboard at Port Persicus?

Alc.

Mihi quoque adsunt testes, qui illud quod ego dicam adsentiant.

Yes, and I too have witnesses to corroborate what I say.

Sos.

Nescio quid istuc negoti dicam, nisi si quispiam est Amphitruo alius, qui forte ted hinc absenti tamen tuam rem curet teque absente hic munus fungatur tuom. nam quod de illo subditivo Sosia mirum nimis, certe de istoc Amphitruone iam alterum mirum est magis.

I can't puzzle it out, sir, unless there's some other Amphitryon to manage your business, no matter if you are away, and to do your job for you when you have gone. I tell you what, that sham Sosia was monstrous surprising, but this second Amphitryon is certainly more so.

Amph.

Nescio quis praestigiator hanc frustratur mulierem. 830

Some magician or other has bedevilled the woman!

Alc.

Per supremi regis regnum iuro et matrem familias Iunonem, quam me vereri et metuere est par maxume, ut mi extra unum te mortalis nemo corpus corpore contigit, quo me impudicam faceret.

(slowly and impressively) I swear by the kingdom of the King on high and by Juno, the matron goddess I most should reverence and fear—so may she bless me as no mortal man, save you only, has taken me to him as a wife.

Amph.

Vera istaec velim.

Ah, I wish it was the truth!

Alc.

Vera dico, sed nequiquam, quoniam non vis credere.

It is the truth, but what of that, when you refuse to believe me!

Amph.

Mulier es, audacter iuras.

You're a woman; you swear boldly.

Alc.

Quae non deliquit, decet audacem esse, confidenter pro se et proterve loqui.

A woman who has done nothing wrong ought to be bold, yes, and self confident and forward in her own defence.

Amph.

Satis audacter.

Bold, with a vengeance!

Alc.

Ut pudicam decet.

As innocence should be.

Amph.

Enim verbis proba's.[21]

Yes, you're immaculate as far as talk goes.

Alc.

Non ego illam mihi dotem duco esse, quae dos dicitur, sed pudicitiam et pudorem et sedatum cupidinem, 840 deum metum, parentum amorem et cognatum concordiam, tibi morigera atque ut munifica sim bonis, prosim probis.

(quietly) Personally I do not feel that my dowry is that which people call a dowry, but purity and honour and self control, fear of God, love of parents, and affection for my family, and being a dutiful wife to you, sir, lavish of loving-kindness and helpful through honest service.

Sos.

Ne ista edepol, si haec vera loquitur, examussim est optima.

My word! She's a regular pattern of perfection, if she's telling the truth.

Amph.

Delenitus sum profecto ita, ut me qui sim nesciam.

Upon my soul, I have been so bewitched I don't know who I am!

Sos.

Amphitruo es profecto, cave sis ne tu te usu perduis: ita nunc homines immutantur, postquam peregre advenimus.

You're Amphitryon right enough, sir—but just look out you don't lose your title to yourself by limitation, the way folks are getting changed about these days since we came back from abroad.

Amph.

Mulier, istam rem inquisitam certum est non amittere.

(to Alcmena, sternly) This matter shall not escape investigation, madam, I am resolved on that.

Alc.

Edepol me libente facies.

Dear me, sir, do investigate, and welcome!

Amph.

Quid ais? responde mihi. quid si adduco tuom cognatum huc ab navi Naucratem, qui mecum una vectust una navi, atque is si denegat 850 facta quae tu facta dicis, quid tibi aequom est fieri? numquid causam dicis, quin te hoc multem matrimionio?

See here, answer me this—what if I bring your own relative, Naucrates, over from the ship? He made the voyaage with me on the same vessel—now if he denies that I did as you say what do you deserve? Have you any reason to give that I should not divorce you?

Alc.

Si deliqui, nulla causa est.

None, if I have done wrong.

Amph.

Convenit. tu, Sosia, duc hos intro. ego huc ab navi mecum adducam Naucratem.

Agreed! (turning to Sosia) Sosia, take these fellows in. (pointing to slaves with luggage) I will bring Naucrates here from the ship. (Sosia sends slaves inside) [EXIT Amphitryon.

Sos.

Nunc quidem praeter nos nemo est. dic mihi verum serio: ecquis alius Sosia intust, qui mei similis siet?

(to Alcmena, confidentially) Now then, ma'am, no one's here besides us. (elaborately makes sure of it) Do be serious and tell me the truth—is there another Sosia inside who's just like me?

Alc.

Abin hinc a me dignus domino servos?

(indignantly) Will you leave my sight, sir—you slave worthy of your master!

Sos.

Abeo, si iubes.

Sure, ma'am, if you say so. [EXIT INTO HOUSE.

Alc.

Nimis ecastor facinus mirum est, qui illi conlibitum siet meo viro sic me insimulare falso facinus tam malum. quicquid est, iam ex Naucrate cognato id cognoscam meo. 860

Merciful heavens! It's simply unintelligible, how my husband could think fit to accuse me of such atrocious conduct without the slightest cause. Well, whatever it is, I shall soon know about it from Naucrates, one of my own family. [EXIT INTO HOUSE.



ACTVS III

ACT III

(A couple of hours have elapsed)

ENTER Jupiter.

Iup. Jup.

Ego sum ille Amphitruo, cui est servos Sosia. idem Mercurius qui fit, quando commodumst, in superiore qui habito cenaculo, qui interdum fio Iuppiter, quando lubet; huc autem quom extemplo adventum adporto, ilico Amphitruo fio et vestitum immuto meum.

(in jocular, self-satisfied tone) I am that Amphitryon who has a servant Sosia, which same turns into Mercury on occasion, I being the Amphitryon who lodge in the upper attic (pointing heavenward) and become Jupiter at times, when the humour seizes me. As soon as I wend my way into these parts, however, on the spot I am Amphitryon and change my clothes.

nunc huc honoris vostri venio gratia, ne hanc incohatam transigam comoediam; simul Alcumenae, quam vir insontem probri Amphitruo accusat, veni ut auxilium feram: 870 nam mea sit culpa, quod egomet contraxerim, si id Alcumenae innocenti expetat.

I now appear out of regard for you, so as not to terminate this inchoate comedy. At the same time I am here to help out Alcmena, poor innocent, denounced as disloyal by her lord, Amphitryon. For it would be sinful of me, if the storm I have brewed should descend on the head of guileless Alcmena.

nunc Amphitruonem memet, ut occepi semel, esse adsimulabo, atque in horum familiam frustrationem hodie iniciam maxumam; post igitur demum faciam res fiat palam atque Alcumenae in tempore auxilium feram faciamque ut uno fetu et quod gravida est viro et me quod gravidast pariat sine doloribus. Mercurium iussi me continue consequi, 880 si quid vellem imperare. nunc hanc adloquar.

I will pretend for the present to be Amphitryon myself, as I have already, and thoroughly confound this family to-day, Then, after that, I will eventually clear matters up, yes, and aid Alcmena in due season, contriving that she give birth at one time to both the children she carries, her husband's and my own, without a pang. Mercury has his orders to attend me closely, in case I have commands to give. Now for a word with the lady.

III. 2.

Scene 2.

ENTER Alcmena FROM HOUSE.

Alc.

Durare nequeo in aedibus. ita me probri, stupri, dedecoris a viro argutam meo! ea quae sunt facta infecta ut reddat clamitat. quae neque sunt facta neque ego in me admisi arguit; atque id me susque deque esse habituram putat.

I can't stand staying in the house! To be branded so with shame, disloyalty, disgrace, by my own husband! How he clamours to make facts no facts! And what never happened, things I never, never did, he accuses me of, and thinks I'll consider it quite immaterial.

non edepol faciam, neque me perpetiar probri falso insimulatam, quin ego illum aut deseram aut satis faciat mi ille atque adiuret insuper, nolle esse dicta quae in me insontem protulit. 890

Good gracious, but I won't! I won't endure such an awful, unjustified accusation: I will leave him, or he must apologize, one or the other, yes, and swear he is sorry, too, for the things he has said to an innocent woman.

Iup. Jup.

Faciundum est mi illud, fieri quod illaec postulat, si me illam amantem ad sese studeam recipere, quando ego quod feci, id factum Amphitruoni offuit atque illi dudum meus amor negotium insonti exhibuit, nunc autem insonti mihi illius ira in hanc et male dicta expetent.

(aside, dryly) Hm! It's incumbent upon me to meet her demands, if I wish the loving creature to take me into her good graces again. Since my doings offended Amphitryon, and this love affair of mine lately occasioned his guiltless self some consternation, it is turn about now, and my guiltless self has to suffer for the scorn and contumely he heaped on her.

Alc.

Sed eccum video qui me miseram arguit stupri, dedecoris.

(aside, seeing him) Ah, there he is—the man that charges his wretched wife with disloyalty and shame!

Iup. Jup.

Te volo, uxor, conloqui. quo te avortisti?[22]

I wish to speak with you, my dear. (circling her as she turns her back on him) Turned away? Where to?

Alc.

Ita ingenium meumst: inimicos semper osa sum optuerier. 900

It is natural I should, sir: I always loathed looking at enemies.

Iup. Jup.

Heia autem inimicos?

Oh, I say now! Enemies?

Alc.

Sic est, vera praedico; nisi etiam hoc falso dici insimulaturus es.

Yes, enemies: and that's the truth of it—unless you intend to term this a lie, too.

Iup. Jup.

Nimis iracunda es.

(trying to fondle her) You're too irritable.

Alc.

Potin ut abstineas manum? nam certo, si sis sanus aut sapias satis, quam tu impudicam esse arbitrere et praedices, cum ea tu sermonem nec ioco nec serio tibi habeas, nisi sis stultior stultissimo.

(pulling away) Can't you keep your hands off? Why surely, sir, if you were sane or had a particle of sense about you, when you think your wife is immodest and tell her so yourself, you wouldn't hold any conversation with her at all in jest or earnest, unless you were the silliest of silly men.

Iup. Jup.

Si dixi, nihilo magis es, neque ego esse arbitror, et id huc revorti uti me purgarem tibi. nam numquam quicquam meo animo fuit aegrius, 910 quam postquam audivi ted esse iratam mihi. cur dixisti? inquies. ego expediam tibi.

My saying so doesn't make you so any the more, And I don't think you so, either; and I've come back to set myself right with you. For I never did feel sicker at heart about anything than after I heard you were provoked with me. "Why did you say it?" you'll ask. I'll clear up that point for you.

non edepol quo te esse impudicam crederem; verum periclitatus sum animum tuom, quid faceres et quo pacto id ferre induceres. equidem ioco illa dixeram dudum tibi, ridiculi causa. vel hunc rogato Sosiam.

Bless your heart, it wasn't because I believed you were immodest. I was just testing your feelings to see what you'd do and how you'd take it. (forcing a laugh) Really it was all a joke, what I said just now, merely a bit of fun. Why, you can ask Sosia here. (pointing to house)

Alc.

Quin huc adducis meum cognatum Naucratem, testem quem dudum te adducturum dixeras, te huc non venisse?

(coldly) Why do you not bring my relative Naucrates, as you just now said you would, to prove you had not been here?

Iup. Jup.

Si quid dictum est per iocum, 920 non aequom est id te serio praevortier.

If something is said in joke, it's not fair to take it in earnest.

Alc.

Ego illud scio quam doluerit cordi meo.

I know one thing—that joke of yours cut me to the heart, sir.

Iup. Jup.

Per dexteram tuam te, Alcumena, oro obsecro. da mihi hanc veniam, ignosce, irata ne sies.

(seizing her hand) I beg and beseech you, Alcmena, by this right hand of yours, do forgive me for it; pardon me: don't be angry!

Alc.

Ego istaec feci verba virtute irrita; nunc, quando factis me impudicis abstini, ab impudicis dictis avorti volo. valeas, tibi habeas res tuas, reddas meas. iuben mi ire comites

Your charges are refuted by my honest life; now, sir, having been guiltless of gross behaviour, I will not be subjected to gross language. Good bye. Keep your own things and return me mine. Will you older my attendants to follow me? (turns to go)

Iup. Jup.

Sanan es?

Are you in your senses?

Alc.

Si non iubes, ibo egomet; comitem mihi Pudicitiam duxero.[23] 930

If you decline to do so, I will go with my woman's honour as my only escort. (walks away)

Iup. Jup.

Mane. arbitratu tuo ius iurandum dabo, me meam pudicam esse uxorem arbitrarier. id ego si fallo, tum te, summe Iuppiter, quaeso, Amphitruoni ut semper iratus sies.

(holding her) Wait, wait! I'll swear to it—at your dictation—that I believe my wife is virtuous. If I deceive you in this, then, Jove almighty, I invoke thy curse upon Amphitryon for evermore.

Alc.

A, propitius sit potius.

(hurriedly) Oh no! His blessing, his blessing!

Iup. Jup.

Confido fore; nam ius iurandum verum te advorsum dedi. iam nunc irata non es?

I trust to have it, for it is a reliable oath I have given you. (drawing her close) Now you're not angry, are you?

Alc.

Non sum.

(submitting) No.

Iup. Jup.

Bene facis. nam in hominum aetate multa eveniunt huius modi: capiunt voluptates, capiunt rursum miserias; irae interveniunt, redeunt rursum in gratiam. 940 verum irae si quae forte eveniunt huius modi inter eos, rursum si reventum in gratiam est, bis tanto amici sunt inter se quam prius.

(caressing her) That's a good girl. Why, life is full of incidents of this sort. Human beings lay hold on pleasures and then again on pains. Quarrels come between them, and then they are reconciled again. But if any such quarrel as this does happen to arise between them, then when it blows over they are twice as fond of one another as they were before.

Alc.

Primum cavisse oportuit ne diceres, verum eadem si isdem purgas mi, patiunda sunt.

You should have been careful not to say such a thing in the first place; but if you apologize so nicely for hurting me so, I can't complain.

Iup. Jup.

Iube vero vasa pura adornari mihi, ut quae apud legionem vota vovi. si domum rediissem salvos, ea ego exsolvam omnia.

Well, well, then, have the sacrificial vessel prepared for me so that I can pay all the vows I vowed for a safe return home when I was in the field.

Alc.

Ego istuc curabo.

I will attend to that.

Iup. Jup.

Evocate huc Sosiam; gubernatorem, qui in mea navi fuit 950 Blepharonem arcessat, qui nobiscum prandeat is adeo[24] inpransus ludificabitur, cum ego Amphitruonem collo hinc obstricto traham.

(to maids in doorway) Call Sosia out. I want him to invite Blepharo, the pilot aboard my ship, to lunch with us. (EXEUNT maids) (aside) As a matter of fact, friend Blepharo will be left unlunched and looking foolish when I turn Amphitryon out neck and crop.

Alc.

Mirum quid solus secum secreto ille agat. atque aperiuntur aedis. exit Sosia.

(aside) I wonder what he's talking about all to himself! Ah, there goes the door! Sosia's coming out.

III. 3.

Scene 3.

ENTER Sosia.

Sos.

Amphitruo, assum. si quid opus est, impera, imperium exequar.

Present, sir. If anything's needed, order away and I'll fulfil orders.

Iup. Jup.

Sosia, optume advenis.

Sosia, you are the very man I want.

Sos.

Iam pax est inter vos duos? nam quia vos tranquillos video, gaudeo et volup est mihi. atque ita servom par videtur frugi sese instituere proinde eri ut sint, ipse item sit; voltum e voltu comparet 960 tristis sit, si eri sint tristes; hilarus sit, si gaudeant sed age responde: iam vos rediistis in concordiam?

Is there peace between you two now, sir? I tell you what, it's a pleasure, it's a joy, to see you looking peaceful. Yes, and to my way of thinking, an honest servant ought to stick to this principle: be like what his betters are, model his expression on theirs, be in the dumps if they are in the dumps, and jolly if they are happy. But come, sir, answer me. Have you made friends again now, eh?

Iup. Jup.

Derides, qui scis haec dudum me dixisse per iocum.

(reprovingly) Mocker! What I said a while ago was all in fun, and you know it.

Sos.

An id ioco dixisti? equidem serio ac vero ratus.

In fun, was it? Upon my soul, I thought it was the solemn truth.

Iup. Jup.

Habui expurigationem; facta pax est.

I have explained: peace is made.

Sos.

Optume est.

That's grand, sir.

Iup. Jup.

Ego rem divinam intus faciam, vota quae sunt.

I will make those offerings I vowed, inside.

Sos.

Censeo.

Very good, sir.

Iup. Jup.

Tu gubernatorem a navi huc evoca verbis meis Blepharonem, qui re divina facta mecum prandeat.

As for you, convey my invitation to Pilot Blepharo to come over from the ship and lunch with me after the sacrifice is done.

Sos.

Iam hic ero, cum illic censebis esse me.

I'll be here by the time you think I'm there, sir.

Iup. Jup.

Actutum huc redi.

Yes, hurry back home. [EXIT Sosia.

Alc.

Numquid vis, quin abeam iam intro, ut apparentur quibus opust? 970

Is there anything else, or shall I go in now and see to the things you'll need?

Iup. Jup.

I sane, et quantum potest parata fac sint omnia.

Do, by all means, and get everything ready as quickly as you can.

Alc.

Quin venis quando vis intro? faxo haud quicquam sit morae.

Come in as soon as you wish. I'll make sure there's nothing to delay you.

Iup. Jup.

Recte loquere et proinde diligentem ut uxorem decet.

(tenderly) That's the way for an attentive wife to talk. [EXIT Alcmena.

iam hisce ambo, et servos et era, frustra sunt duo, qui me Amphitruonem rentur esse: errant probe. nunc tu divine huc fac adsis Sosia— audis quae dico, tam etsi praesens non ades— fac Amphitruonem advenientem ab aedibus ut abigas; quovis pacto fac commentus sis.

There we are! Both of 'em fooled, servant and mistress, took in thinking me Amphitryon. A sad mistake! Hark ye, Sosia the divine, appear! You hear what I say, even though absent in the flesh. Drive Amphitryon away from the house when he arrives—any device you please.

volo deludi illunc, dum cum hac usuraria 980 uxore nunc mihi morigero. haec curata sint fac sis, proinde adeo ut velle med intellegis, atque ut ministres mihi, mihi cum sacruficem.

He must be hoodwinked while I proceed to divert myself with my wife on loan. Kindly see that this is managed precisely as you know I wish it to be, and do me service while I am sacrificing to myself. [EXIT Jupiter.

III. 4.

Scene 4.

ENTER Mercury HURRIEDLY WITH BURLESQUE IMPORTANCE.

Mer.

Concedite atque abscedite omnes, de via decedite, nec quisquam tam audax fuat homo, qui obviam obsistat mihi. nam mihi quidem hercle qui minus liceat deo minitarier populo, ni decedat mihi, quam servolo in comoediis? ille navem salvam nuntiat aut irati adventum senis: ego sum Iovi dicto audiens, eius iussu nunc huc me adfero. quam ob rem mihi magis par est via decedere et concedere. 990

(to imaginary passers-by) Get away, get out, get off the street, every one! Let no man be so bold as to block my path. (to audience) For damme, just tell me why a god like me hasn't as much right to hector people that hinder him as your paltry slave in the comedies? He brings word the ship is safe, or the choleric old man approaching: (magnificently) as for me, I hearken to the word of Jove and at his bidding do I now hie me hither. Wherefore 'tis still more seemly to get out, to get off the street for me.

pater vocat me, eum sequor, eius dicto imperio sum audiens; ut filium bonum patri esse oportet, itidem ego sum patri. amanti sub parasitor, hortor, adsto, admoneo, gaudeo. si quid patri volup est, voluptas ea mihi multo maxumast.

My father calls me; I come, obedient to his best and will. (confidingly) I am a good son to my father, as a son should be. I back him up in his gallantries, encourage him, stand by him, advise him, rejoice with him. If anything gratifies my father, it gratifies me infinitely more.

amat: sapit; recte facit, animo quando obsequitur suo, quod omnis homines facere oportet, dum id modo fiat bono. nunc Amphitruonem volt deludi meus pater: faxo probe iam his deludetur, spectatores, vobis inspectantibus.

He's in love: he's wise; he does well to indulge his inclinations. It is what every one ought to do, that is within due bounds. At present my father wishes Amphitryon to be fooled: fooled he shall be finely, I promise you, here and now, spectators, and under your inspection.

capiam coronam mi ni caput, adsimulabo me esse ebrium; atque illuc sursum escendero: inde optume aspellam virum 1000 de supero, cum huc accesserit; faciam ut sit madidus sobrius. deinde illi actutum sufferet suos servos poenas Sosia: eum fecisse ille hodie arguet quae ego fecero hic. quid mea? meo me aequomst morigerum patri, eius studio servire addecet.

I'm going to put a garland on my head and make believe I'm drunk, yes, and I'll climb out on the roof yonder (pointing to Amphitryon's house) and repel our returning hero in glorious style from up above there. I'll see that he's both soaked and sober. Then that servant Sosia of his shall promptly smart for it, Sosia being accused of doing what I do here. But what of that? I must humour my own father: it is only dutiful to meet his desires.

sed eccum Amphitruonem, advenit; iam ille hic deludetur probe, siquidem vos voltis auscultando operam dare. ibo intro, ornatum capiam qui potis decet; dein susum ascendam in tectum, ut illum hinc prohibeam.

(looking down street) But there's Amphitryon coming! Here and now he'll be finely fooled—if you'll only take the trouble to attend. I'll go inside and make up as a person flown with wine; then I'll up on the roof to keep him off. [EXIT INTO HOUSE.



ACTVS IV

ACT IV

ENTER Amphitryon WEARILY.

Amph.

Naucratem quem convenire volui, in navi non erat, neque domi neque in urbe invenio quemquam qui illum viderit. 1010 nam omnis plateas perreptavi, gymnasia et myropolia; apud emporium atque in macello, in palaestra atque in foro, in medicinis, in tonstrinis, apud omnis aedis sacras sum defessus quaeritando. nusquam invenio Naucratem.

Naucrates, whom I wanted to get hold of wasn't on the ship, and not a soul can I find at his house or in the city who has seen him. Why, I've hobbled through every street, gymnasium, and perfumery shop: down in the bazaar and the market, at the athletic field and the forum, too, at the doctor's, the barber's, the holy temples from first to last,—I'm tired to death looking for him and not a sign of Naucrates anywhere.

nunc domum ibo atque ex uxore hanc rem pergam exquirere, quis fuerit quem propter corpus suom stupri compleverit nam me, quam illam quaestionem inquisitam hodie amittere, mortuom satrust. sed aedis occluserunt. eugepae, pariter hoc fit atque ut alia facta sunt. feriam foris. aperite hoc. heus, ecquis hic est? ecquis hoc aperit ostium? 1020

Now I'm going home and ask my wife some more questions about this, and (savagely) find out who it is she has prostituted herself for. Ah, I'd sooner die than let the day pass without having this matter settled. (trying door) Well! they've locked up the house! Nice doings! Quite in accord with the rest of it. I'll knock. (does so) Open up here! Hey! is anyone in? Open—somebody! (knocks more lustily)

IV. 2.

Scene 2.

Mercury, MUCH DISHEVELED, APPEARS ON ROOF.

Mer.

Quis ad fores est?

(thickly) Who's at the door?

Amph.

Ego sum.

I am.

Mer.

Quid ego sum?

I am, eh?

Amph.

Ita loquor.

(sharply) So I say.

Mer.

Tibi Iuppiter dique omnes nati certo sunt, qui sic frangas fores.

Jupiter and ... all the ... gods ... are surely angry at you ... demolishing our door so.

Amph.

Quo modo?

What do you mean!

Mer.

Eo modo, ut profecto vivas aetatem miser.

Here's ... what I mean ... you're certainly going to have a bad, bad time of it.

Amph.

Sosia.

(sternly) Sosia!

Mer.

Ita, sum Sosia, nisi me esse oblitum existimas. quid nunc vis?

Just so! That's me ... unless you think I've forgotten. Now what do ... you want?

Amph.

Sceleste, at etiam quid velim, id tu me rogas.

Rascal! Do you actually dare ask me that—what I want?

Mer.

Ita, rogo. paene effregisti, fatue, foribus cardines an foris censebas nobis publicitus praeberier? quid me aspectas, stolide? quid nunc vis tibi? aut quid tu es homo?

Of course I do. You've almost hammered the doors off their hinges, you ... stupid. Didn't suppose we were supplied with doors at public expense, did you? What are you staring at me for, you ... booby? What are you after now? Who are you?

Amph.

Verbero, etiam quis ego sim me rogitas, ulmorum Acheruns? quem pol ego hodie ob istaec dicta faciam ferventem flagris. 1030

You scoundrel! Still asking me who I am, you death on rods, you? By gad, I'll warm you up with a whip to day for this insolence!

Mer.

Prodigum te fuisse oportet olim in adulescentia.

You must have been a waster ... in your ... younger days.

Amph.

Quidum?

How so?

Mer.

Quia senecta aetate a me mendicas malum.

Well ... here you are in your declining years begging ... me for trouble.

Amph.

Cum cruciatu tuo istaec hodie, verna, verba funditas.

You shall soon suffer for this flow of language, you drudge.

Mer.

Sacrufico ego tibi.

I'm sacrificing to ye, I am.

Amph.

Qui?

How?

Mer.

Quia enim te macto infortunio.

(slyly poising a pail of water) Why, because I'm making you an offering of a ... calamity.

[At this point there is a gap in the MSS. Only a few lines have been preserved. Leo outlines the lost part as follows: After Mercury has had sufficient amusement with Amphitryon, the disturbance calls Alcmena from within. She has a dispute with her husband—Jupiter had left her earlier so that he might offer sacrifice—and shuts him out of the house. Perhaps Amphitryon went away to summon friends to aid him: at any rate, Sosia appears with Blepharo and gets a bad welcome from his master, despite Blepharo's patronage, and then escapes. Jupiter comes out of the house. Husband and lover abuse each other vigorously and a scuffle ensues. Blepharo is appealed to by Amphitryon, only to be made ridiculous by Jupiter.]

Amph.

At ego te cruce et cruciatu mactabo, mastigia. I

But I'll make you an offering of torture and torment, you whipping post.

Mer.

Erus Amphitruost occupatus. II

The master, Amphitryon, is busy.

Mer.

abiendi nunc tibi etiam occasiost. III (XV LG)

—— now you still have a chance to leave.

Mer.

Optimo iure infringatur aula cineris in caput. IV (III)

It would serve you right to have a pot of ashes broken on your head.

Mer.

Ne tu postules matulam unam tibi aquae infundi in caput V (IV)

You would certainly ask to have one jar of water emptied on your head.

Mer.

Larvatu's edepol hominem miserum medicum quaerita. VI (VII)

Bewitched! Dear, dear! poor man! Look for a doctor.

Alc.

Exiuravisti te mihi dixe per iocum. VII (XI)

You swore solemnly that you said it to me in fun.

Alc.

Quaeso advenienti morbo medicari iube VIII (XII) tu certe aut larvatus aut cerritus es.

For mercy's sake have this disease treated at the outset; you surely are bewitched or crazed.

Alc.

Nisi hoc ita factum est, proinde ut factum esse autumo, IX (XIII) non causam dico quin vero insimules probri.

If this did not take place just as I state, you have every right to accuse me of unchastity.

Amph.

Cuius? quae me absente corpus volgavit suom. X (XVI)

Whose? A woman that prostituted herself in my absence!

Amph.

Quid minitabas te facturum, si istas pepulissem fores? XI (V)

What were you threatening to do, if I pounded on that door?

Amph.

Ibi scrobes ecfodito tu plus sexagenos in die. XII (VI)

There dig more than sixty ditches a day.

Amph.

Noli pessimo precari XIII (XVII)

Don't intercede for an utter rascal.

Bleph.

animam comprime XIV (XVIII)

—— save your breath.

Iup. Jup.

Manifestum hunc optorto collo teneo furem flagiti XV (IX)

I have him by the scruff of the neck, an outrageous thief caught in the act.

Amph.

Immo ego hunc, Thebani cives, qui domi uxorem meam XVI (X) impudicitia impedivit, teneo, thensaurum stupri

No, no, Theban citizens, I have him, the monster of lust who has brought disgrace on my wife at home.

Amph.

Nilne te pudet, sceleste, populi in conspectum ingredi? XVII (VIII)

Aren't you at all ashamed, you villain, to come out into public sight?

Amph.

clandestino. XVIII (XIX)

—— clandestinely.

Amph. sive Iup. Amph. or Jup.

Qui nequeas nostrorum uter sit Amphitruo decernere. XIX (XIV)

You who are unable to decide which of us is Amphitryon.

IV. 3.

Scene 3.

Bleph.

Vos inter vos partite; ego abeo, mihi negotium est; neque ego umquam usquam tanta mira me vidisse censeo.

(disgustedly) You must untangle your own selves: I'm going: I have an engagement. (aside) Never did I see such marvels anywhere, I do believe. (turns to go)

Amph.

Blepharo, quaeso ut advocatus mi adsis neve abeas.

Blepharo! Stand by me, for mercy's sake, and be my assistant: don't go!

Bleph.

Vale. quid opust me advocato, qui utri sim advocatus nescio?

Good-bye. What's the use of my being an assistant when I don't know which to be it to? [EXIT Blepharo.



Iup. Jup.

Intro ego hinc eo. Alcumena parturit.

(aside) I'm going inside myself: Alcmena's delivery is at hand. [EXIT Jupiter INTO HOUSE, UNSEEN BY Amphitryon.

Amph.

Perii miser. quid ego faciam, quem advocati iam atque amici deserunt? 1040 numquam edepol me inultus istic ludificabit, quisquis est; nam iam ad regem recta me ducam resque ut facta est eloquar.[25] ego pol illum ulciscar hodie Thessalum veneficum, qui pervorse perturbavit familiae mentem meae. sed ubi illest? intro edepol abiit, credo ad uxorem meam.

(wildly) Heavens! oh, Heavens! What shall I do now when assistants and friends desert me? By the Lord, that villain shall never make game of me and escape, whoever he is! I'll go straight to the king this moment and tell him all as it happened. I swear I'll have my revenge this day on that Thessalian sorcerer who has turned the wits of my household topsy-turvy. (looking around) Where is he, though? Good God! He's gone inside—to my wife, no doubt!

qui me Thebis alter vivit miserior? quid nunc agam? quem omnes mortales ignorant et ludificant ut lubet. certumst, intro rumpam in aedis: ubi quemque hominem aspexero, si ancillam seu servom sive uxorem sive adulterum seu patrem sive avom videbo, obtruncabo in aedibus. 1050 neque me Iuppiter neque di omnes id prohibebunt, si volent, quin sic faciam ut constitui. pergam in aedis nunciam.

Oh, of all miserable men in Thebes! What shall I do now? Disowned and humbugged by every mortal soul to suit their humour! (pause) My mind's made up—I'll burst into the house, and every human creature there I set my eyes on, maid or man, wife or paramour, father or grandfather, I'll cut them down in my halls! And not the will of Jupiter and all the gods shall stop my doing as I've determined! I'll in this minute! (he rushes toward door: a peal of thunder: he falls to ground motionless)



ACTVS V

ACT V

(Half an hour has elapsed.)

ENTER Bromia FROM HOUSE, IN A PANIC.

Brom.

Spes atque opes vitae meae iacent sepultae in pectore, neque ullast confidentia iam in corde, quin amiserim; ita mihi videntur omnia, mare terra caelum, consequi, iam ut opprimar, ut enicer. me miseram, quid agam nescio.

Oh, my hopes and chances of getting out of this alive are dead and buried inside of me! There's not a thing left to keep my courage up now! The way everything—sea, land, sky— does seem set on crushing me, killing me off this instant! Oh dear, oh dear! What to do I don't know.

ita tanta mira in aedibus sunt facta. vae miserae mihi, animo malest, aquam velim. corrupta sum atque absumpta sum. caput dolet, neque audio, nec oculis prospicio satis, nec me miserior femina est neque ulla videatur magis. 1060

Such amazing things as did happen in there! Oh, poor me! I feel faint. Oh, for some water! I'm a wreck, I'm all done up. My head's splitting, and I can't hear or see right, either. There isn't a wretcheder woman on earth, or one that could seem so, either.

ita erae meae hodie contigit. nam ubi parturit, deos sibi invocat, strepitus, crepitus, sonitus, tonitrus: ut subito, ut propere, ut valide tonuit! ubi quisque institerat, concidit crepitu. ibi nescio quis maxuma voce exclamat: "Alcumena, adest auxilium, ne time: et tibi et tuis propitius caeli cultor advenit. exsurgite" inquit "qui terrore meo occidistis prae metu."

The experience mistress did have this day! As soon as her time comes she calls on the gods to help her, and there's a grumbling and rumbling and smashing and crashing—what a crash, so sudden and quick and heavy it was! Every one fell flat where he stood at the peal. And then some one or other called out in a mighty voice: "Alcmena, help is at hand: be not afraid. To thee and thine the sovereign of the skies comes in kindliness. Rise," he said, "ye who have fallen in terror, from dread of me."

ut iacui, exsurgo. ardere censui aedis, ita tum confulgebant. ibi me inclamat Alcumena; iam ea res me horrore adficit, erilis praevertit metus: accurro, ut sciscam quid velit. atque illam geminos filios pueros peperisse conspicor; 1070 neque nostrum quisquam sensimus, quom peperit, neque providimus.

Having dropped, I got on my feet: I thought the house was afire, the way it was all lit up then. Just then Alcmena calls for me to come. I was trembling already at what happened, but fear of mistress prevailed, and up I run to find out what she wants. And there I see she has given birth to twins, boys, and not a soul of us noticed when it happened, or is ready for it!

sed quid hoc? quis hic est senex, qui ante aedis nostras sic iacet? numnam hunc percussit Iuppiter? credo edepol, nam, pro Iuppiter, sepultust quasi sit mortuos. ibo et cognoscam, quisquis est. Amphitruo hic quidem est erus meus. Amphitruo.

(sees prostrate Amphitryon) But what's this? Who's this old man lying like this in front of our house? Why, can it be he's struck by lightning? Why, mercy me, I do believe so! For, good gracious, he's as completely disposed of as if he was a corpse! I'll go find out, whoever it is. (approaches) It's Amphitryon! It's my master! (calling) Amphitryon!

Amph.

Perii.

(feebly) Heaven help me!

Brom.

Surge.

Get up, sir.

Amph.

Interii.

I'm dead!

Brom.

Cedo manum.

Give me your hand, sir. (takes it)

Amph.

Quis me tenet?

Who has hold of me?

Brom.

Tua Bromia ancilla.

Your servant maid, sir, Bromia.

Amph.

Totus timeo, ita me increpuit Iuppiter. nec secus est, quasi si ab Acherunte veniam. sed quid tu foras egressa es?

I'm paralysed with fear! Oh, Jove, what a bolt! I feel as if I were getting back—from the next world. (he gets up) But what made you come out?

Brom.

Eadem nos formido timidas terrore impulit in aedibus, tu ubi habitas. nimia mira vidi. vae mihi, 1080 Amphitruo, ita mihi animus etiam nunc abest.

We poor women were struck with the same terror in this house of yours, sir. I've seen the most amazing things! Oh deary me, master, I'm just clean dazed even now!

Amph.

Agedum expedi: scin me tuom esse erum Amphitruonem?

Come, come, quick, tell me—do you know me for your master, Amphitryon?

Brom.

Scio.

Surely, sir.

Amph.

Vide etiam nunc.

Here, look, look again!

Brom.

Scio.

(obeying) Surely, sir.

Amph.

Haec sola sanam mentem gestat meorum familiarium.

(half aside) She's the only one of my household that has any sanity about her.

Brom.

Immo omnes sani sunt profecto.

Oh no, sir, they're all sane, of course they are.

Amph.

At me uxor insanum facit suis foedis factis.

Well, my wife had driven me insane with her infamous actions!

Brom.

At ego faciam, tu idem ut aliter praedices, Amphitruo, piam et pudicam esse tuam uxorem ut scias. de ea re signa atque argumenta paucis verbis eloquar. omnium primum: Alcumena geminos peperit filios.

(warmly) Well, I'll make you change that tune, sir, your very own self, and make you realize that your wife is a pious, honest woman, sir. I'll soon give you signs and proofs of that. First of all, she has given birth to twin sons.

Amph.

Ain tu, geminos?

What's that—twins?

Brom.

Geminos.

Twins.

Amph.

Di me servant.

The gods are with me!

Brom.

Sine me dicere, ut scias tibi tuaeque uxori decs esse omnis propitios. 1090

Let me go on, so that you may know all the gods mean well by you and your wife, sir.

Amph.

Loquere.

Yes, yes.

Brom.

Postquam parturire hodie uxor occepit tua, ubi utero exorti dolores, ut solent puerperae invocat deos immortales, ut sibi auxilium ferant, manibus puris, capite operto. ibi continuo contonat sonitu maxumo; aedes primo ruere rebamur tuas. aedes totae confulgebant tuae, quasi essent aureae.

After she began to feel near her time to-day and her pains were setting in, she called on the immortal gods to help her—as women do, sir, in labour—with clean washed hands and covered head. She had no sooner begun than there was a frightful thunder clap. At first we thought your house was tumbling down: your whole house was shining, sir, just as if it was gold.

Amph.

Quaeso absolvito hinc me extemplo, quando satis deluseris. quid fit deinde?

For heaven's sake hurry up and don't keep me on tenterhooks! I have had enough of your trifling! What happened next?

Brom.

Dum haec aguntur, interea uxorem tuam neque gementem neque plorantem nostrum quisquam audivimus; ita profecto sine dolore peperit.

While this was going on, not one of us heard your wife groan or whimper a bit, sir, the whole time: that's how she bore those boys, sir—never a pang, that's plain.

Amph.

Iam istuc gaudeo, 1100 utut erga me merita est.

(heartily) Well now, I'm glad of that, no matter what her behaviour to me has been.

Brom.

Mitte ista atque haec quae dicam accipe. postquam peperit, pueros lavere iussit nos. occepimus. sed puer ille quem ego lavi, ut magnust et multum valet! neque eum quisquam colligare quivit incunabulis.

Do let that be, sir, and listen. After they were born she told us to bathe them. We began. But that boy I bathed! How big and strong he was! Not a soul of us could wrap him in his swaddling clothes.

Amph.

Nimia mira memoras; si istaec vera sunt, divinitus non metuo quin meae uxori latae suppetiae sient.

A most astounding story! If it be true, there's no doubt that my wife received divine aid.

Brom.

Magis iam faxo mira dices. postquam in cunas conditust, devolant angues iubati deorsum in impluvium duo maximi: continuo extollunt ambo capita.

You'll call this more astounding still, sir, I warrant you. After he was tucked in his cradle, two enormous crested serpents came slipping down into the fountain basin: the next second both of them were lifting up their heads.

Amph.

Ei mihi.

Heavens and earth!

Brom.

Ne pave. sed angues occulis omnis cirumvisere. 1110 postquam pueros conspicati, pergunt ad cunas citi. ego cunas recessim rursum vorsum trahere et ducere, metuens pueris, mihi formidans; tantoque angues acrius persequi. postquam conspexit angues ille alter puer, citus e cunis exilit, facit recta in anguis impetum: alterum altera prehendit eos manu perniciter.

Don't be scared. Well, the serpents glared around at all of us. As soon as they spied the boys they made for the cradles like a flash. I backed away, fearful for the boys and frightened for myself, pulling and hauling the cradles along after me with the serpents a-chasing us all the angrier. The minute that boy I was telling of sets eyes on the serpents he's up and out of that cradle in a trice, rushing straight for 'em and grabbing 'em one in each hand quick as a wink.

Amph.

Mira memoras, nimis formidolosum facinus praedicas; nam mihi horror membra misero percipit dictis tuis. quid fit deinde? porro loquere.

Astounding! Astounding! A perfectly horrifying tale! Mercy on us! why, your very words palsy me! What then? Go on, go on!

Brom.

Puer ambo angues enicat. dum haec aguntur, voce clara exclamat uxorem tuam— 1120

The boy chokes both serpents to death. While this is going on, in a clear voice he calls out the name of your wife—

Amph.

Quis homo?

Who does?

Brom.

Summus imperator divom atque hominum Iuppiter. is se dixit cum Alcumena clam consuetum cubitibus, eumque filium suom esse qui illos angues vicerit; alterum tuom esse dixit puerum.

The almighty ruler of gods and men, Jupiter. He said that he himself had secretly shared Alcmena's bed and that that was his son who had crushed the serpents: the other one, he said, was your own child.

Amph.

Pol me haud paenitet, si licet boni dimidium mihi dividere cum Iove. abi domum, iube vasa pura actutum adornari mihi, ut Iovis supremi multis hostiis pacem expetam.

Well, well, well! I make no complaint at being permitted to have Jove as partner in my blessings. In with you, girl! Have sacrificial vessels made ready for me instantly so that I may seek the favour of omnipotent Jove with ample offerings. [EXIT Bromia.

ego Teresiam coniectorem advocabo et consulam quid faciundum censeat; simul hanc rem ut facta est eloquar. sed quid hoc? quam valide tonuit. di, obsecro vostram fidem. 1130

I'll summon Tiresias the prophet and consult with him as to what he thinks should be done, and at the same time tell him all that's happened, (thunder) But what's this? That awful thunder peal! Heaven preserve us!

V. 2.

Scene 2.

Jupiter APPEARS ABOVE.

Iup. Jup.

Bono animo es, adsum auxilio, Amphitruo, tibi et tuis: nihil est quod timeas. hariolos, haruspices mitte omnes; quae futura et quae facta eloquar, multo adeo melius quam illi, quom sum Iuppiter. primum omnium Alcumenae usuram corporis cepi, et concubitu gravidam feci filio.

Be of good cheer. I am here with aid, Amphitryon, for thee and thine. Thou hast naught to fear. Seers, soothsayers— have none of them. I will make known to thee future and past alike, and better far than they, moreover, for I am Jupiter. First of all, then, I took thy Alcmena to myself and by me she was made a mother.

tu gravidam item fecisti, cum in exercitum profectu's: uno partu duos peperit simul. eorum alter, nostro qui est susceptus semine, suis factis te immortali adficiet gloria. 1140 tu cum Alcumena uxore antiquam in gratiam redi: haud promeruit quam ob rem vitio vorteres; mea vi subactast facere. ego in caelum migro.

By thee too was she with child when thou didst go forth to war: at one birth she bore them both. The one begotten of my seed shall win thee undying glory by his works. Live again in fond concord as of old with thy wife Alcmena: she has done naught to merit thy reproach: my power was on her. I now depart to heaven. [EXIT Jupiter.

V. 3.

Scene 3.

Amph.

Faciam ita ut iubes et te oro, promissa ut serves tua, ibo ad uxorem intro, missum facio Teresiam senem.

(reverently) Thy will shall be done: and keep thy word with me, I beg thee. (after a pause) I'll in and see my wife! No more of old Tiresias!

nunc, spectatores, Iovis summi causa clare plaudite.

(to the audience) Now, spectators, for the sake of Jove almighty, give us some loud applause.

[EXIT.

[Footnote 2: Corrupt (Leo): Alcumena MSS: illa Bothe.]

[Footnote 4: Leo brackets following v., 14: lucrum ut perenne vobis semper suppetat.]

[Footnote 5: Corrupt (Leo): affero MSS: fero Acidalius, followed by Lindsay and others.]

[Footnote 6: Leo assumes lacuna here.]

[Footnote 7: architectust Pareus: architectus MSS. Lambinus suggests that the actor who took the part of Jupiter may have been a builder.]

[Footnote 8: Corrupt (Leo): illi MSS: ille illi Ussing, followed by Lindsay.]

[Footnote 9: Leo brackets following v., 93: praeterea certo prodit in tragoedia.]

[Footnote 10: Leo brackets following v., 173: nec aequom anne iniquom imperet cogitabit.]

[Footnote 11: vicimus vi MSS: Leo brackets vicimus.]

[Footnote 12: Corrupt (Leo): "Convertitur pro convertit," Nonius 480.]

[Footnote 13: Corrupt (Leo): neme esse MSS: among the many emendations is sane (Palmer).]

[Footnote 14: Leo brackets following v., 401: qui cum Amphitruone hinc una ieram in exercitum.]

[Footnote 15: Leo brackets following v., 489-90: et ne in suspicione ponatur stupri et clandestina ut celetur consuetio.]

[Footnote 16: Corrupt (Leo): si non id ita J.]

[Footnote 17: Leo notes slight lacuna here: mirum MSS: mirum mirum Spengel.]

[Footnote 18: Leo brackets following v., 629-632:

sed vide ex navi efferantur quae imperavi iam omnia. Sos. Et memor sum et diligens, ut quae imperes comparcant; non ego cum vino simitu ebibi imperium tuom. Amph. Vtinam di faxint, infecta dicta re eveniant tua.]

[Footnote 19: Corrupt (Leo): quom te gravidam MSS: quom gravidam Pylades.]

[Footnote 20: Leo brackets following v., 685: atque me nunc proinde appellas quasi multo post videris?]

[Footnote 21: enim verbis probas Lachmann: probas vel proba's Lindsay: in verbis probas MSS.]

[Footnote 22: Leo notes lacuna here. Ita ingenium MSS: Ita ingeni ingenium Seyffert, followed by Lindsay.]

[Footnote 23: Corrupt (Leo): duxero MSS: adsero Leo

[Footnote 24: Leo notes lacuna here and suggests is a Mercurio impransus.]

[Footnote 25: Corrupt (Leo): nam iam MSS: iam Gruter.]

* * * * *

[Transcriber's Corrections: Amphitryon

Personae: MERCVRIVS DEUS, SOSIA SERVUS... spelling unchanged, as in Captivi

I. 1. l. 314 nam continuas has tris noctes pervigilavi text reads contiuas

I. 1. Sos. ...and my name is Sosia text reads my same is Sosia ]

II. 1. l. 580 Sos.: Quid est negoti? Latin text omits speaker's name

V. 2. l. 1142 haud promeruit quam ob rem vitio vorteres text reads quam ob tem ]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

ASINARIA

THE COMEDY OF ASSES

* * * * *

ARGVMENTVM

ARGUMENT OF THE PLAY

*A*manti argento filio auxiliarier *S*ub imperio vivens volt senex uxorio. *I*taque ob asinos relatum pretium Saureae *N*umerari iussit servolo Leonidae. *A*d amicam id fertur. cedit noctem filius. *R*ivalis amens ob praereptam mulierem, *I*s rem omnem uxori per parasitum nuntiat. *A*ccurrit uxor ac virum e lustris rapit.

An old gentleman, whose wife is the head of the household, desires to give his son financial support in a love affair. He therefore had some money, brought to Saurea in payment for some asses, counted out to a certain rascally servant of his own, Leonida. This money goes to the young fellow's mistress, and he concedes his father an evening with her. A rival of his, beside himself at being deprived of the girl, sends word, by a parasite, to the old gentleman's wife, of the whole matter. In rushes the wife and drags her husband from the house of vice.



PERSONAE

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

LIBANVS SERVVS DEMAENETVS SENEX ARGYRIPPVS ADVLESCENS CLEARETA LENA LEONIDA SERVVS MERCATOR PHILAENIVM MERETRIX DIABOLVS ADVLESCENS PARASITVS ARTEMONA MATRONA

LIBANUS, slave of Demaenetus. DEMAENETUS, an old gentleman of Athens. ARGYRIPPUS, his son. CLEARETA, a procuress. LEONIDA, slave of Demaenetus. A TRADER. PHILAENIUM, a courtesan, daughter of Cleareta. DIABOLUS, a young gentleman of Athens. A PARASITE. ARTEMONA, wife of Demaenetus.



Scene:—Athens. A street running in front of the houses of Demaenetus and Cleareta: between the houses is a narrow lane.

PROLOGVS

PROLOGUE

Hoc agite sultis, spectatores, nunciam, quae quidem mihi atque vobis res vertat bene gregique huic et dominis atque conductoribus. face nunciam tu, praeco, omnem auritum poplum.

Kindly give us your entire attention now, spectators: I heartily hope it will result in benefit to me, also to you, and to this company and its managers, and to those that hire them. (turning to a herald) Herald, provide all this crowd with ears at once. (the herald proclaims silence)

age nunc reside, cave modo ne gratiis. nunc quid processerim huc et quid mihi voluerim dicam: ut sciretis nomen huius fabulae; nam quod ad argumentum attinet, sane brevest.

Enough enough! Sit down—and be sure you put that in your bill! (to audience) Now I shall say why I have come out before you here and what I wished: I have come to acquaint you with the name of this play. For as far as the plot is concerned, that is quite simple.

nunc quod me dixi velle vobis dicere, dicam: huic nomen Graece Onagost fabulae; 10 Demophilus scripsit, Maccus vortit barbare; Asinariam volt esse, si per vos licet. inest lepos ludusque in hac comoedia, ridicula res est. date benigne operam mihi, ut vos, ut alias, pariter nunc Mars adiuvet.

Now I shall say what I said I wished to say: the Greek name of this play is ONAGOS: Demophilus wrote it: Maccus translated it into a foreign tongue. He wishes to call it THE COMEDY OF ASSES, by your leave. It is a clever comedy, full of drollery and laughable situations. Do oblige me by being attentive, that now too, as in other days, Mars may be with you.



ACTVS I

ACT I

ENTER Demaenetus, FROM HIS HOUSE, BRINGING Libanus.

Lib.

Sicut tuom vis unicum gnatum tuae superesse vitae sospitem et superstitem, ita ted obtestor per senectutem tuam perque illam, quam tu metuis, uxorem tuam, si quid med erga hodie falsum dixeris, 20 ut tibi superstes uxor aetatem siet atque illa viva vivos ut pestem oppetas.

(very solemnly) As you hope to have your only son survive hale and hearty, sir, when you're gone yourself, I implore you, sir, by your hoary hairs and by the one you dread, your wife, sir—if you tell me any lie to-day, may she outlast you by years and years, yes, sir, and you die a living death with her alive.

Dem.

Per Dium Fidium quaeris: iurato mihi video necesse esse eloqui quidquid roges.[1] (24) proinde actutum istuc quid sit quod scire expetis (27) eloquere: ut ipse scibo, te faciam ut scias.

(laughing) You beg me by the very God of Truth. Once under oath, I see I must tell you whatever you ask. Come then, quick! Let me hear what you wish to know, and so far as I know myself, I shall let you know.

Lib.

Die obsecro hercle serio quod te rogem, cave mihi mendaci quicquam.

For God's sake, sir, do please answer my question seriously! No lying to me, sir, mind that!

Dem.

Quin tu ergo rogas? 30

Then why not ask your question?

Lib.

Num me illuc ducis, ubi lapis lapidem terit?

(anxiously) You won't take me where stone rubs stone, sir?

Dem.

Quid istuc est? aut ubi istuc est terrarum loci?[2] (32)

What do you mean? Where in the world is that?

Lib.

Apud fustitudinas, ferricrepinas insulas, (34) ubi vivos homines mortui incursant boves.

There at the Clubbangian-Chainclangian Islands, sir, where dead oxen attack living men.

Dem.

Modo pol percepi, Libane, quid istuc sit loci: ubi fit polenta, te fortasse dicere.

(reflecting, then with a chuckle) Bless my soul! At last I get your meaning, Libanus—the barley mill[A]: I daresay that's the place you mention.

[Footnote A: Where he might be beaten with ox-hide whips.]

Lib.

Ah, neque hercle ego istuc dico nec dictum volo, teque obsecro hercle, ut quae locutu's despuas.

(in grotesque terror) Oh Lord, no! I'm not mentioning that, and I don't want it mentioned, either, and for the love of heaven, sir, do spit away that word!

Dem.

Fiat, geratur mos tibi.

(spitting) All right. Anything to humour you.

Lib.

Age, age usque excrea. 40

Go on, sir, go on! Hawk it way up!

Dem.

Etiamne?

(spitting again) Will that do?

Lib.

Age quaeso hercle usque ex penitis faucibus, etiam amplius.

Go on, sir, for God's sake, way from the bottom of your gullet! (Demaenetus spits violently) Farther down still, sir!

Dem.

Nam quo usque?

Eh? How far?

Lib.

Usque ad mortem volo.

(half aside) To the door of death, I hope.

Dem.

Cave sis malam rem.

(angrily) Kindly look out, my man, look out!

Lib.

Uxoris dico, non tuam.

(hastily) Your wife's, sir, I mean, not yours.

Dem.

Dono te ob istuc dictum, ut expers sis metu.

(laughing) Never fear—for that remark I grant you immunity.

Lib.

Di tibi dent quaecumque optes.

And heaven grant you all your prayers, sir.

Dem.

Redde operam mihi. cur hoc ego ex te quaeram? aut cur miniter tibi propterea quod me non scientem feceris? aut cur postremo filio suscenseam, patres ut faciunt ceteri?

Now listen to me for a change. Why should I ask you about this? Or threaten you because you haven't informed me? Or for that matter, why should I fly into a rage at my son, as other fathers do?

Lib.

Quid istuc novi est? 50 demiror quid sit et quo evadat sum in metu.

(aside) Hm! What's this surprise? Wonder what it means! Where it will end is what scares me.

Dem.

Equidem scio iam, filius quod amet meus istanc meretricem e proxumo Philaenium. estne hoc ut dico, Libane?

As a matter of fact, I know already that my son has an affair with that wench, Philaenium, next door. Isn't that so, Libanus?

Lib.

Rectam instas viam. ea res est. sed eum morbus invasit gravis.

You're on the right track, sir. That's how it is. But he has suffered a severe shock.

Dem.

Quid morbi est?

Shock? What?

Lib.

Quia non suppetunt dictis data.

Well, his presents are falling short of his promises.

Dem.

Tune es adiutor nunc amanti filio?

Are you aiding my son in this amour?

Lib.

Sum vero, et alter noster est Leonida.

Indeed I am, sir, and so is my mate, your servant Leonida.

Dem.

Bene hercle facitis et a me initis gratiam. verum meam uxorem, Libane, nescis qualis sit? 60

Well, well, my lad, thanks! You are both earning my gratitude. But (looking cautiously around) my wife, Libanus, don't you know her temperament?

Lib.

Tu primus sentis, nos tamen in pretio sumus.

(with certainty) You feel it first, sir, but we get plenty of it.

Dem.

Fateor eam esse importunam atque incommodam.

(awkwardly) I confess that she is ... high-handed and ... hard to get along with.

Lib.

Posterius istuc dicis quam credo tibi.

I believe that before you speak a word, sir.

Dem.

Omnes parentes, Libane, liberis suis qui mi auscultabunt, facient obsequellam[3] quippe qui mage amico utantur gnato et benevolo. atque ego me id facere studeo, volo amari a meis;

(with an air of profound moral conviction) Libanus, all parents who take my advice will be a bit indulgent to their children, seeing it makes a son more friendly and affectionate. Yes, and I am anxious to be so myself. I wish to be loved by my own flesh and blood;

volo me patris mei similem, qui causa mea nauclerico ipse ornatu per fallaciam quam amabam abduxit ab lenone mulierem; 70 neque puduit eum id aetatis sycophantias struere et beneficiis me emere gnatum suom sibi. eos me decretumst persequi mores patris.

I wish to model myself on my own father who dressed up as a shipmaster for my sake and swindled a slave-dealer out of a girl I was in love with. He felt no shame at going in for hocus-pocus at his time of life, and buying his son's affection, mine, by his kindnesses. These methods of my father's I have resolved to follow out myself.

nam me hodie oravit Argyrippus filius, uti sibi amanti facerem argenti copiam; et id ego percupio obsequi gnato meo.[4] (76) quamquam illum mater arte contenteque habet, (78) patres ut consueverunt: ego mitto omnia haec.

Well now, this very day my boy Argyrippus begged me to supply him with some money, saying he was in love: and I heartily desire to oblige the dear lad. No matter if his mother does keep a firm, tight rein on him and play the ordinary father's part, none of that for me.

praesertim quom is me dignum quoi concrederet 80 habuit, me habere honorem eius ingenio decet; quom me adiit, ut pudentem gnatum acquomst patrem, cupio esse amicae quod det argentum suae.

And seeing he has regarded me as worthy of his confidence, I have special reason to respect his inclinations. Now that he has applied to me, as a respectful son should to his father, I am desirous that he should have some money for his mistress.

Lib.

Cupis id quod cupere te nequiquam intellego. dotalem servom Sauream uxor tua adduxit, cui plus in manu sit quam tibi.

You're desirous of something you'll desire in vain, sir, I reckon. Your wife's brought along Saurea, that dower slave of hers, to have more power than you.

Dem.

Argentum accepi, dote imperium vendidi. nunc verba in pauca conferam quid te velim. viginti iam usust filio argenti minis: face id ut paratum iam sit.

(bitterly) Sold myself! Gave up my authority for a dowry! (pause) Now, in a word, here is what I want of you. My son needs eighty pounds[B] at once: will you see it is procured at once.

[Footnote B: It has seemed advisable to use the terms of the English coinage system throughout this version; the value of the money metals, however, has shrunk very considerably since Plautus's day.]

Lib.

Unde gentium? 90

Where in the world from?

Dem.

Me defraudato.

Cheat me out of it.

Lib.

Maxumas nugas agis: nudo detrahere vestimenta me iubes. defraudem te ego? age sis, tu sine pennis vola. tene ego defraudem, cui ipsi nihil est in manu, nisi quid tu porro uxorem defraudaveris?

What awful nonsense you do talk! You're telling me to strip the clothes off a naked man. I cheat you out of it? Come, sir, will you kindly fly without wings! I cheat you out of it, when you don't own a thing, unless you've played the same game and cheated your wife out of something?

Dem.

Qua me, qua uxorem, qua tu servom Sauream potes, circumduce, aufer; promitto tibi non offuturum, si id hodie effeceris.

Well, me, or my wife, or servant Saurea—do your best, swindle us, rook us, I promise you your interests won't suffer, if you accomplish this to-day.

Lib.

Iubeas una opera me piscari in aere, venari autem rete iaculo in medio mari.[5] 100

You might as well order me to go a-fishing in the air, yes, and to take my casting net and do some deep sea—hunting.

Dem.

Tibi optionem sumito Leonidam, fabricare quidvis, quidvis comminiscere: perficito, argentum hodie ut habeat filius, amicae quod det.

Have Leonida for your adjutant: manufacture something, devise something—anything: see you get the money to-day for my son to give his girl.

Lib.

Quid ais tu, Demaenete?

Look here.

Dem.

Quid vis?

Well?

Lib.

Si forte in insidias devenero, tun redimes me, si me hostes interceperint?

Suppose I happen to fall into an ambuscade, ransom me, will you, if I'm intercepted by the enemy?

Dem.

Redimam.

I will.

Lib.

Tum tu igitur aliud cura quid lubet. ego eo ad forum, nisi quid vis.

(after a pause, airily) Well then, in that case you may dismiss the matter from your mind. I'm off to the forum, unless you want me further.

Dem.

Ei, bene ambula. atque audin etiam?

Go ahead! A pleasant stroll to you! (Libanus walks away) And I say,—listening still, are you?

Lib.

Ecce.

(pertly, without turning) Behold me!

Dem.

Si quid te volam, ubi eris?

If I want you for anything, where will you be?

Lib.

Ubicumque libitum erit animo meo 110 profecto nemo est quem iam dehinc metuam mihi ne quid nocere possit, cum tu mihi tua oratione omnem animum ostendisti tuom quin te quoque ipsum facio haud magni, si hoc patro. pergam quo occepi atque ibi consilia exordiar.

Precisely where it pleases my fancy. (half aside) I tell you what, from now on I won't be scared of a man alive, for fear he can do me any harm, after your showing me all the secrets of your soul. Why, you won't count for much with me your own self, either, if I carry this through. (setting off again) I'll go along to where I was bound and lay my plans there.

Dem.

Audin tu? apud Archibulum ego ero argentarium.

Look here! I shall be at banker Archibulus's.

Lib.

Nempe in foro?

In the forum, you mean?

Dem.

Ibi, si quid opus fuerit.

Yes, there,—if anything's needed.

Lib.

Meminero.

(nonchalantly) I'll keep it in mind. [EXIT Libanus TO FORUM.

Dem.

Non esse servos peior hoc quisquam potest nec magis versutus nec quo ab caveas aegrius eidem homini, si quid recte curatum velis, 120 mandes: moriri sese misere mavolet, quam non perfectum reddat quod promiserit.

A more rascally servant than this of mine can't be found, or a wilier one, or one harder to guard against. But he's just your man to commit a matter to, if you want it well managed: he'd prefer to expire in pain and torment rather than fail to fulfil his promise to the letter.

nam ego illud argentum tam paratum filio scio esse quam me hunc scipionem contui. sed quid ego cesso ire ad forum, quo inceperam? [6]atque ibi manebo apud argentarium.

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