The Comedy of Errors

by: William Shakespeare

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ADRIANA

85His company must do his minions grace,
Whilst I at home starve for a merry look.
Hath homely age th' alluring beauty took
From my poor cheek? Then he hath wasted it.
Are my discourses dull? Barren my wit?
90If voluble and sharp discourse be marred,
Unkindness blunts it more than marble hard.
Do their gay vestments his affections bait?
That’s not my fault; he’s master of my state.
What ruins are in me that can be found
95By him not ruined? Then is he the ground
Of my defeatures. My decayèd fair
A sunny look of his would soon repair.
But, too unruly deer, he breaks the pale
And feeds from home. Poor I am but his stale.

ADRIANA

He feels the need to grace all his other tramps with his presence while I sit at home starving for a smile from him. Has homely old age taken the alluring beauty from my poor cheeks? That’s because he has squandered my beauty. Am I boring? Have I lost my wit? If my conversation is no longer free and clever, that’s because he’s dulled it—I’m like a sharp tool he’s blunted with a hard piece of marble. Is he charmed by their pretty clothes? Well, that’s not my fault—he’s the one in charge of my spending. What faults can you find in me that weren’t first caused by him? One smile from him would repair my decayed beauty. But like an unruly deer, he’s always trespassing past the park borders and straying away from home to feed in new pastures. I am nothing but a poor, used fool.

LUCIANA

100Self-harming jealousy, fie, beat it hence.

LUCIANA

This jealousy is harming only you! Drive it out of you.

ADRIANA

Unfeeling fools can with such wrongs dispense.
I know his eye doth homage otherwhere,
Or else what lets it but he would be here?
Sister, you know he promised me a chain.
105Would that alone o' love he would detain,
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed.
I see the jewel best enamelèd
Will lose his beauty. Yet the gold bides still
That others touch, and often touching will
110Wear gold; yet no man that hath a name
By falsehood and corruption doth it shame.
Since that my beauty cannot please his eye,
I’ll weep what’s left away, and weeping die.

ADRIANA

Only someone who doesn’t feel this pain could tell me to ignore it. I know his eyes are worshiping some other woman, or why wouldn’t he be here? Sister, you know he promised to give me a necklace. I would gladly do without that if he would only stay faithful to me. Even the best jewel can be tarnished. Gold, however, can’t be corrupted—though it can be worn down if it’s touched too often. And no man with a reputation will tarnish that name with lies and bad behavior. Since my beauty no longer pleases my husband, I’ll weep away what’s left and then die with weeping.

LUCIANA

How many fond fools serve mad jealousy!

LUCIANA

How many infatuated people go mad with jealousy!
Exeunt
They exit.