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I am that Amphitryon, whose servant Sosia is the same that becomes Mercury when there is occasion--I, who dwell in the highest story1, who sometimes, when it pleases me, become Jupiter. But, hither soon as ever I turn my steps, I become Amphitryon that moment, and I change my garb. Now hither am I come for the sake of a compliment to you, that I may not leave this Comedy incomplete. I've come as well to bring assistance to Alcmena, whom, guiltless woman, her husband Amphitryon is accusing of dishonor, For what I myself have brought about, if that undeservedly should fall as an injury upon her in her innocence, it would be my blame. Now, as I have already begun, I'll again pretend that I am Amphitryon, and this day will I introduce extreme confusion into this household. Then afterwards, at last, I'll cause the matter to be disclosed, and to Alcmena timely aid will I bring, and will cause that at one birth she shall bring forth, without pangs2, both the child with which she is pregnant by her husband and that with which she is pregnant by myself. I have ordered Mercury forthwith to follow me, if I should wish to give him any commands. Now will I accost her. He stands apart.

1 The highest story: "Cænaculo." "Cænaculum" was a name given to garrets, or upper rooms, which were let out as lodgings to the poorer classes. The word here conveys a double sense, either as signifying the elevated habitation of the heavenly Jove or the humble lodging of the poor actor who is performing the part. Perhaps our cant term, "sky-parlour," which is sometimes applied to a garret, would be the happiest translation here of the word.

2 Without pangs: "Sine doloribus." Plautus has been censured here for inconsistency, as at the close of the Play he appears to represent Alcmena as enduring the pangs of childbirth; but it is to be remembered that is only the account given by Bromia, and, according to what was her impression, on hearing Alcmena invoke the Deities.

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