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... now witnessed in a modern circus . From the coarse farce of “ Gammar
Gurton's Needle ” to Launce and Speed was a gigantic stride , even with
reference to the probability of the scene ; although fastidious criticism may still
find ample cause ...
TEURIO , a foolish Rival to VALENTINE EGLAMOUR , Agent for SILVIA , in her
escape SPEED , a clownish Servant to VALENTINE . LAUNCE , Servant to
PROTEUS PANTEINO , Servant to ANTONIO Host , where JULIA lodges in
Thou , Julia , thou hast metamorphosd me ; Made me neglect my studies , lose
my time , War with good counsel , set the world at pought , Made wit with musing
weak , heart sick with thought . Enter SPEED . Speed . Sir Proteus , save you .
Speed . Such another proof will make me cry Jul . But say , Lucetta , now we are
alone , * baa . " Wouldst thou , then ... Speed . Ay , sir : I , a lost mutton , gave your
letter Jul . Of all the fair resort of gentlemen , to her , a laced mutton ; and she , a ...
Speed . Sir , I know that well enough . Val . What dost thou know ? Enter
VALENTINE , and SPEED . Speed . That she is not so fair , as ( of you )
wellSpeed . Sir , your glove . favour'd . Val . Not mine ; my gloves are on . Val . I
mean , that her ...
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"like a wood woman" might indeed have meant "frantic" or "wild" (with grief) which Launce mentions referring to the "shoe" which he adopts for the sake of illustration. However, Shakespeare, even at his earliest writings, was vastly entertained by double entendres and his love of puns is so well documented. In that time in Italy, women wore platform shoes which were raised to elevate the shoes from the mud and other unpleasant "stuff". These were called "chopines" and the platforms were constructed of wood. The higher the platform, the higher the pretentiousness of the lady. Her height could have put her above many others. Since Launce has his father and mother represented as shoes, this second meaning is certainly not outside of the possibility for Shakespeare's intention. Naturally, it would have had the effect of a rather "localized" and "temporary" idea, but the fact of its having been very popular in that day makes it a candidate for the Bard's delight.