I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules’ labours, which is, to bring Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection the one with the other.
I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed: she would have made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too.
But manhood is melted into cursies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie and swears it.
Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is? how giddily he turns about all the hot bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty? sometime fashioning them like Pharaoh’s soldiers in the reechy painting; sometime like god Bel’s priests in the old church-window; sometime like the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massy as his club?
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Heracles is the Greek mythological equivalent of the Roman Hercules.