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... like a lady : And if he chance to speak , be ready straight , That done , conduct
him to the drunkard's chambe And , with a low submissive reverence , And call
him madam , do him obeisance : Say , —What is it your honour will command ?
No , by mine honour ; but I was bid to second , and so the third . Yonder they lie ,
the poor come for you . old man , their father , making such pitiful dole over Ros .
Where learned you that oath , fool ? them , that all the beholders take his part ...
Sir , but you shall come to it , by your honour's seest , thou wicked varlet now ,
what's come upon leave . And , I beseech you , look into master Froth thee : thou
art to continue ; now , thou varlet , thou here , sir ; a man of fourscore pound a
The mere word's a slave , Debauch'd on every tomb ; on every grave , A lying
trophy , and as oft is dumb , Where dust and damn'd oblivion , is the tomb Of
honour'd bones indeed . What should be said ? If thou canst like this creature as
a maid ...
For behold me , A fellow of the royal bed , which owe A moiety of the throne , a
great king's daughter , The mother to a hopeful prince , here standing To prate
and talk for life , and honour , ' fore Who please to come and hear . For life , I prize
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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.