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AMPH. Come here, you rascal, come here. Do you know, Master Villain, that your talk
is sufficient to cause me to knock you down, and that my wrath waits only for a stick to
thrash you as I intend?
SOS. If you take it in that way, Monsieur, I have nothing more to say; you will be always
in the right.
AMPH. So? You scoundrel, you wish to impose upon me as truths tales which I know to
be extravagantly far-fetched?
SOS. No; I am the servant, and you are the master; it shall not be otherwise than you
wish it, Monsieur.
AMPH. Come, I will choke down the anger that inflames me, and hear all you have to
say about your mission. I must unravel this confusion before I see my wife. Collect your
senses, think well over what you say, and answer each question word for word.
SOS. But, lest I make a mistake, tell me, I beseech you, beforehand, in what way it would
please you to have this affair healed. Shall I speak, Monsieur, according to my
conscience, or as usual when near the great? Shall I tell the truth or use a certain
AMPH. No; I only wish you to give me a perfectly unvarnished account.
SOS. Good. That is enough; leave it to me; you have, but to interrogate me.
AMPH. Upon the order which I lately gave you . . .
SOS. I set forth under skies veiled in black crape, swearing bitterly against you for this
wretched martyrdom, and cursing twenty times the order of which you speak.
AMPH. What do you mean, you villain?
SOS. You have only to speak, Monsieur, and I shall lie, if you desire it.
AMPH. That is how a valet shows his zeal for us. Never mind. What happened to you on
the way?
SOS. I had a mortal fright at the least thing I met.