The Comedy of Errors

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 2 Scene 1
No Fear Act 2 Scene 1 Page 2

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Lord of the wide world and wild wat'ry seas,
Endued with intellectual sense and souls,
Of more preeminence than fish and fowls,
Are masters to their females, and their lords.
25Then let your will attend on their accords.
world and the wild watery seas, gifted with intellectual sense and souls, greater than the fish and the birds—are the masters of women and their lords. Therefore, you should obey their wishes.

ADRIANA

This servitude makes you to keep unwed.

ADRIANA

It’s this servantlike mentality that’s keeping you unmarried.

LUCIANA

Not this, but troubles of the marriage bed.

LUCIANA

No, that’s not it—it’s because of what happens in the marriage bed.

ADRIANA

But, were you wedded, you would bear some sway.

ADRIANA

But if you were married, you’d wield some influence.

LUCIANA

Ere I learn love, I’ll practice to obey.

LUCIANA

Before I learn how to love, I’ll learn how to follow orders.

ADRIANA

30How if your husband start some otherwhere?

ADRIANA

What if your husband strays elsewhere?

LUCIANA

Till he come home again, I would forbear.

LUCIANA

I’d endure it until he came home again.

ADRIANA

Patience unmoved! No marvel though she pause;
They can be meek that have no other cause.
A wretched soul, bruised with adversity
35We bid be quiet when we hear it cry,
But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
As much or more we should ourselves complain.
So thou, that hast no unkind mate to grieve thee,
With urging helpless patience would relieve me;
40But, if thou live to see like right bereft,
This fool-begged patience in thee will be left.

ADRIANA

Now that’s patience! No wonder she’s waiting to get married. It’s easy to preach meekness when you have no reason to act otherwise. When we’re faced with a wretched person, bruised and crying with hardship, we try to get them to shush up. And yet, if we were suffering the same kind of pain, we’d complain just as much—if not more! So you, who have no husband causing you problems, want to comfort me by preaching the virtue of feeble patience. But if you live to see yourself similarly denied your rights, this foolish patience will abandon you.

LUCIANA

Well, I will marry one day, but to try.
Here comes your man. Now is your husband nigh.

LUCIANA

Well, I’ll get married one day, just to see. Here comes your servant—your husband must be coming soon.

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