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Who long for me haft tarried, I dismiss thee;
Yield thee to Day, that he at length may break
On mortals with a clear unclouded light :
And in proportion, Night, as thou wast lengthen'd 5
Beyond thy next career, by fo much Day
Shall fhorten his, that the disparity

Betwixt you may be fquar'd, and Day to Night
Duly fucceed.---I'll go, and follow Mercury.

[Exit JUPITER.

*The impatience of Jupiter (the false Amphitryon) to be gone, and the reluctance of the fond, fimple, unfufpecting Alcmena, at parting from him, is finely marked in this scene. It is worthy obfervation, that our Author has hardly dropt an expreffion throughout their dialogue, which can be wrested into indelicacy. Priùs abis, quàm lecti, ubi cubuifti, concaluit locus, has indeed furnished Dryden with an opportunity of giving scope to his imagination in the person of Alcmena, whose character he has made the direct reverse of that drawn by our Author. Moliere too is not fatisfied in this scene with the fimplicity of Plautus; for he makes Jupiter, in his double character, equivocate with Alcmena, in a dialogue about the difference of a lover and an husband. With all the delicacy of the writers of his country, he is at least fentimentally grofs: but Dryden, who copies the Frenchman's idea, rapturously explains it, without any fcruple, in the expreffion of it.

The End of the FIRST ACT.

ACT

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Enter AMPHITRYON and SOSIA, at the further End of the Stage.

AMPHITRYON.

OM E, follow me.

COME Sos. I do, I'm after you,

Close at your heels.

AMPH. Thou art the verieft rogue,--

Sos. For why?

AMPH. Because you tell me what is not,

Nor was, nor will be.

You ne'er believe

Sos. Look ye now,---'tis like you--

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AMPH. What !---how's that? 5

By heav'ns, thou villain, I'll at once cut out

That villainous tongue of thine.

V 6.]

Sos. I'm your's, and you

Herclè ego tibi iftam

Sceleftam, fcelus, linguam abfcindam.

Our Author frequently indulges himself in this kind of jingle, without refpect to character: yet we should not haftily condemn him for it, as perhaps it might poffibly have been idiomatic in his time, however disagreeable it may found to the modern ear, So in this scene, v. 43, Sofia says,

Of all grievances

This is moft grievous.
Miferrima hæc eft miferia.

E 2

May

May use me as you please, and as it fuits you;
But as I've told you the plain fact, you cannot
Make me recant my story.

AMPH. Why, you villain,---
Dare you affirm, that you are now at home,

And here too, at this very time?

Sos. 'Tis true though.

10

AмPн. A plague confound you !---which the Gods

will order,

And fo will I.

Sos. I'm your's, and in your power.

AMPH. Slave! dare you put your tricks upon your
mafter?

Dare you affirm, what man yet never faw?---
What never can be ?---that the self-fame perfon
Should at one time be in two different places ?
Sos. Indeed, 'tis fact I tell you.

15

!

AMPH. Jove Confound you Sos. In what have I deferv'd ill at your hands? 20 AMPH. Villain, d'ye afk, who make me thus your

fport?

Sos. With reafon you might curfe me, wer't not fo: I do not lye, but tell you the plain fact.

AMPH. The fellow's drunk, I think.

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Sos. I have told you

Ten times already.---I'm at home, I say;

And I,---d'ye mark me? I, that felf-fame Sofia,
Am here with you.---What think you? do I speak 30
Plain enough now, and to the purpose ?

AMPH. Hence,

Avaunt,---go, get thee from me.

Sos. What's the matter?

AмPH. The plague has feiz'd you.

I feel, Sir, very well.

Feel

Sos. Why d'ye fay fo ?---Faith

AMPH. But I fhall make you

very ill, and very miferable,

35

As you deserve, when I get home.---Come, follow me,

You, who abuse your' mafter's easy nature

With vain and frantic ftories; who, because

You have neglected to perform his orders,

Come to deride him.---You relate fuch grofs
Impoffibilities, fuch as before

Were never heard of---Knave !---But ev'ry lye
Your back fhall answer.

Sos. Of all grievances

This is moft grievous to a trufty servant;

That, though he tell his master truth, the truth

He is beat out of by authority.

40

45

AMPH. How can this be, convince me, thou vilę

plague,

With arguments.---I fain would have explain'd,

How you can be at home, and yet be here.

Sos. Troth I'm both here and there.---Well may

one wonder!

E 3

50

Nor

Nor can it feem more ftrange to you than me.

AMPH. As how?

Sos. I fay, it cannot feem more ftrange
To you than me; nor, as I hope for mercy,
Did I at firft believe Me-Myfelf Sofia,
Till Sofia, t'other I-myself, convinc'd me.
He told diftinctly ev'ry thing that past
During our fojourn with the enemy :---
Then he has robb'd me of my very figure
Together with my name.---One drop of milk
Is not more like another than that I

Is like to Me: for when you fent me home,

Before 'twas day-break, from the

port

55

60

AMPH. What then? Sos. I at the door was standing long before

I came there.

AMPH. Plague! what trifling ftuff is this?

Have you your fenfes ?

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AMPH. Sure, fince he left me, he has been bewitch'd, And work'd on by ill hands.

Sos. Ill hands, I own;

For he has maul'd me with his fifts moft fadly.

V. 67.-Work'd on by ill bands. Sos. Ill hands, I own.]
Huic homini nefcio quid fi mali malâ objectum manu.
Sos. Fateor; nam fum obtufus pugnis peffumè.

Mala manus, in the original, alludes to Sorcery, which gives a fair opportunity for Sia to pun upon it. Turnebus, as quoted by Cooke, finds out a particular beauty in it; for he supposes, that the particular Sorcery is defigned, which was practifed by herbs, in which manual operation is more required than in charms by the incantation of verfe. Agreeable to this refinement on our Author, we must fuppofe that obtufus pugnis fignifies pounded: but

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