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A CHAPTER ON SHOES.

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A CHAPTER ON SHOES. The legend of the Wooden Shoemaker of the Black Forest is one of the popular stories of that picturesque district, where wooden shoes and their makers are held in considerable esteem. Wooden shoes-sabots they call them-are rather rude wear for "our poor feet, and would look oddly in Regent-street, or going through quadrille figures on a carpet; but on rough roads, and for rough weather, they are admirable. The peasants are well used to them; and as for dancing, they can ofer* acceptable homage to Terpsichore in them, and put to shame-on the score of agility, if not of elegance -many a wearer of satin or of patent leather, who has acquired dancing and deportment" of the most re- nowned professors. No doubt the renowned professors would stand aghast at a comparison between their pupils and the rude peasantry of the Vosges. So might the leading boot and shoemakers of Paris and London at the carpenter bootmaker of the Black Forest. What of that P He does his work well; he serves his customers with what they want; he fulfils the duties of his vocation. What more need we re- quire ? Think you the great Saint Crispin smiles more kindly on leather than on wood? I don't. Your opinion may be different, and far be it from me to quarrel with a man for an opinion; but if I know any- thing of the character of Saint Crispin, as seen in the conduct of worthy sons, I judge him to be superior to all prejudices as to class distinction; that he would acknowledge as his disciple little Heelball round the corner, quite as readily as the most learned cultivator of his art-always supposing they were both good and true men. Leather, prunella, calf, French ki<a, or wood- A shoe's a shoe for a that And muckle mair than a' that." All honour to shoemakers-worthy brothers of an ancient guild-noble band of man farriers! They have done good work in the world; applying them- selves to the human understanding on carpet, floor, or heather; glorifying the annals of the past with their brave deeds leaving footprints in the sand of time. If I were not what I am, I would be a shoemaker; X would rap out truest music with polished hammer on well-worn stone; I would fall in love with the bright- eyed girl whose white and nimble fingers bound my work; I would marry her, and rear a host of Crispins. Towards you, Mr. Brogue; I give you the toast- "The last of the shoemaker." No heeltaps! Who was the first of the shoemakers? Benedict Baddouth, one of the most learned men of the six. teenth century (a shoemaker by trade), wrote a treatise on the Shoemaking of the ancients, in which he traced the art to Adam. Adam, he says, was a shoemaker, and Eve a tailoress. Without attempting to follow our authority to Eden, we may readily ascertain that those ancient nations with whom we are the most familiar, were early shod. Sandals were, probably, the original form of foot-gear. The Egyptians wore both shoes and sandals. Those of the priests were made of papyrus, the plant which was applied also to literary purposes, and has given its name to paper. Those worn by the women and the upper classes were made of flexible material, richly ornamented; and a slave was frequently painted on the inside of the sole, to express literally that those in bondage were trodden under foot. The Greeks and Romans who wore shoes, including generally all persons except youths and slaves, con. sulted their convenience and indulged their fancy, by inventing the greatest possible variety in the forms, colours, and materials employed. By a Roman edict, none but those who had served the office of sedile were permitted to appear in red slippers. The Roman senators wore black leather boots, with a gold or silver crescent at the top of the boot. The tragic actor wore the buskin; the comedian, a low shoe or seek. Aurelian, the emperor, forbade any but ladies of quality to wear coloured shoes. Heliogabalus, less kind, forbade ladies to wear their shoes jewelled. The Roman soldiers had their boots studded with iron nails, pointed outwards; and they came to Britain in these boots, expecting to find a' people whose opposition would, in all senses, be bootless. In this, as we all know, they were mistaken. Our ancient British forefathers made a brave resist- ance, and they made it in shoes of cowhide. Speci- mens of these shoes have been discovered in ancient British tumuli. The shoes of the early Saxons were constructed on the model of the Roman buskin; namely, a high shoo or half boot, laced up the front, not unlike the modern Blucher. Wooden shoes were used by the common people; but whether they were made of wood only, or of leather and wood, is a little doubtful. Shoes with wooden soles were, in Saxon times, worn by the most distinguished people; thus, the shoes of Bernard, King of Italy, the grandso,A of Charlemagne, are de- scribed by an Italian writer, as they were found upon opening his sepulchre:—"The shoes which covered his feet are remaining to this day; the soles of wood, and the upper parts of red leather, laced together with thongs. They were so closely fitted to the feet that the order of the toes, terminating in a point at the great toe, might easily be discerned; so that the shoe belonging to the right foot could not be put on the left, nor that of the left on the right." This is all- im.portant-first, because it puts honour on wood as a material for shoe-soles; secondly, because it acquits our great dramatist of the charge of anachronism. You remember the tailor in "King John," eager to acquaint his friend of the smithy with the prodigies of the sky. Hubert saw him— "Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet." Sadly the commentators shake their reverend heads; for rights and lefts, they argue, are of modern date. "Shakespeare," says Johnson, "seems to have con- founded the man's shoes with his gloves. He that is frighted or hurried may put his hand in the wrong glove; but either shoe will equally admit either foot. The author seems to be disturbed by the disorder which he describes." Grandly solemn is the critic- awe-insnir in g Johnson who tells us that the garret is the top room of the house, and the attic the room above the garret! Had he taken the trouble to in- quire, he might have ascertained, not only that rights and lefts were known to the early Saxons, but that they were common at the time of King John, and went out of fashion centuries later. The religious people-bishops, priests, and deacons -those who went on pilgrimages, &o., adhered to aandale- How should I my true love know From another one ? By his cockle hat and staff, And his sandal shoon." The Normans were exceedingly particular as to their ,noes-they were a criterion of respectability. Says Boots at the Swan," First, I looks at his boots." I/hiss is to detect a gentleman; the inquiry might have jeon conducted after the same fashion 800 years ago. Richard Lionheart had his boots striped with gold; John Lackland, his brother, had his boots spotted with golden circles and Henry III. had his boots shequered with golden lines, every square enriched with a lion. In the splendid court of Edward III., the boots and shoes were of the most magnificent character. The clergy even adopted the habit of the laity; and, according to Chaucer, the young priest Absalom had 11 Paul's window carved on his shoes;" that is to say, a device analogous to the pattern of the rare window in the transept of old St. Paul's. Some of the dandies of that day were not content with embroidered shoes, but added gilt pants to them, and confined their pants by gilded chains to their girdles. When long-toed shoes went out of fashion, broad- toed shoes came in, and were worn several inches in width. Shoes during the Tudor period scarcely covered the toes, and their uppers were generally of puffed satin. Large lace roses, sometimes jewelled, were worn in the shoes till the Protectorate of Cromwell; they were mentioned, with other "gewgaws innume- rable," by the anatomiser of abuses, Philip Stubbs. Chopmes, distinguished by their high heels of wood, were very common on the Continent and in England during the reign of James I. They were used in Venice in 1670. The boots of the Stuart period were broad-toed, thick, with clumsy heels, and reaching about to the knee, where the top flaps were turned over, and usually ornamented with lace when used for riding the flaps were turned up, and came half-way over the thigh. The courtiers of Louis XIV. were remarkable for the extravagance of their boots, and for the elegant and costly lace with which they decorated them. Shoes and buckles became fashionable after the Revolution (1688), but heavy boots were still worn for riding. High-heeled shoes were worn by the ladies for three-parts of the eighteenth century. They raised their fair wearers some inches, rendered walk- ing difficult, running impossible—except running into debt. But all this has changed; the shoemakers, of whom it was said that they love to put ladies in the stocks," have grown wise and merciful; have shown both ladies aRd gentlemen that comfort and conve- nience are consistent with the truest elegance; that a high-heeled boot raises no one in the estimation of others; and that a tight shoe, at the best, can but exhibit a narrowness of understanding. But, in talking of shoemakers, we must not forget that they have done something else besides make boots and shoes. Who founded the science of botany? Linnseus—a shoemaker. Who disclosed the beauties and the marvels of antique sculpture P Wincklemann --a, shoemaker. Who was the mainstay of the Society of Antiquaries ? John Bond-a shoemaker. Who wrote the "Farmer's Boy?" Bloomfield-a shoe- maker. Who established the London Quarterly Review? Gifford-a shoemaker. Who founded the Society of Friends ? John Fox-a shoemaker. Who started the ragged-school movement ? John Pounds- a shoemaker. All hail to you, brave sons of Crispin! You have done good work in the world.—From Shoes and Shoemakers," in Cassell's Illustrated Family Paper."

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