Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinquepace; the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinquepace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 1, l. 73-80.
Her cynical view of marriage; "state and ancientry" means stateliness and old-fashioned formality; a "cinquepace" was a lively dance (French "cinq pas" means five paces), with a pun on "sink."