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There seems no reasonable groun for such opinion ; which has , indeed , been
fully refuted by Johnson , and rejected by all succeeding critics . On the contrary ,
the play is full of undeniable marks of the author , in its strong resemblance in ...
Seem you that you are not ? Val . Haply , I do . T'hu . So do counterfeits . Val . So
do you . Thu. What seem I that I am not ? l'al . Wise . Thu. What instance of the
contrary ? Val . Your folly . Thu. And how quote you my folly ? Val . I quote it in
... clearly show to have “ - too harsh a DESCANT ” — “ The descant ' formerly
been a slang phrase of the day , to express a courtezan . signified a variation of
the original air ; the mean , ' or tenor . " - STEVENS . But as this seems to some of
Either had sleeves or not , seems ihat the expression was in general use then ,
as the wearer fancied ; for by the inventories and wardthough probably derived
from that ancient show . robe accounts of the time , we find that the sleeves were
for she hath had gossips " - " The meaning seems to be that she has had old
women attending her at her lying - in . Gossip generally means a sponsor at
baptism , aud Launce may intend to say , of the girl had required .gossips .
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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.