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O excellent device ! was there ever heard a better , That my master , being scribe
, to himself should write the letter ? Val . How now , sir ! what , are you reasoning
with yourself ! Speed . Nay , I was rhyming : ' tis you that have the reason . Val .
Ay , so true love should do : it cannot speak ; For truth hath better deeds , than
words , to grace it . Enter Paxthino . Pant . Sir Proteus , you are stay'd for . Pro .
Go ; I come , I come.Alas ! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb . Exeunt . SCENE
And he wants wit , that wants resolved will I'll be as patient as a gentle stream , To
learn his wit t exchange the bad for better . And make a pastime of each weary
step , Fie , fie , unreverend tongue ! to call her bad , Till the last step have brought
But you , sir Thurio , are not sharp enough ; Proteus , the good conceit I hold of
thee , You must lay lime to tangle her desires ( For thou hast shown some sign of
good desert , ) By wailful sonnets , whose composed rhymes Makes me the better
What dangerous action , stood it next to This shadowy desert , unfrequented
woods , death , I better brook than flourishing peopled towns . Would I not
undergo for one calm look . Here can I sit alone , unseen of any , O ! ' tis the curse
in love ...
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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.