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HAR , JNIV STY ARY MAR 23 1961 Entered , according to Act of Congress , in
the year one thousand eight hundred and forty - seven , by HARPER &
BROTHERS . in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of
New York .
Caesare Vecellio , the brother of Titian , in his curious work , ' Habiti Antiche e
Moderni di tutto il Mondo , ' completed in 1589 , presents us with the general
costume of the noblemen and gentlemen of Italy at the commencement of the
... brother held you in the cloister ? Pant . ' Twas of his nephew Proteus , your son
. Ant . Why , what of him ? Pant . He wonder'd , that your lordship Would suffer
him to spend his youth at home , While other men , of slender reputation , Put
If I had not had more wit than he , to up of a puppy ; one that I saved from
drowning , take a fault upon me that he did , I think verily , he when three or four
of his blind brothers and sisters had been hang'd for't : sure as I live , he had
sufwent to it ...
Among these is the story of the Menæchmi of Plautus , founded on the whimsical
mistakes and confusion arising from the perfect resemblance of twin brothers .
Plautus is to us the original author of this amusing plot ; but it is quite probable
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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.