Shakespeare on Disliking a Person

the gentleman is not in your booksMESSENGER. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
BEATRICE. No; and if he were, I would burn my study.”

(Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, sc. 1)

Tips for Use.  Express displeasure and distance yourself from the object of your displeasure. E.G. ‘He is not in my books and if he were, I would burn my study’. Locutions to express displeasure at certain people have a long history. Latin poet and epigrammist Martial, for example, to indicate his disappointed with a girlfriend says, “I could do without your face, and without your peck, and your hands, and your limbs, and, to save myself the trouble of mentioning all points in detail, I could do without you altogether.” For the Latin lovers, or rather, for the lovers of Latin here is the original, “Et voltu poteram tuo carere – et collo manibusque cruribusque et mammis natibusque clunibusque, et, ne singular persequi laborem, tota te poteram, Chloe, career.”
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In the Play.  The gentleman in question is Benedick. The lady is Beatrice. Beatrice is only pretending as later they will marry and live happily ever after.

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