Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/499

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377
DOMESTIC LIFE

The shoes of this period were of various shapes and of many colours. They were frequently slashed below the instep in order to show the colour of the stocking. At parting, Ralph, in The Shoemaker's Holiday (i. 1), gives Jane a pair of shoes "made up and pinked with letters of thy name." Hamlet speaks of "provincial roses in my razed shoes." "Provincial roses" refers to the habit of wearing roses, or rosettes, upon the instep. They were generally made of lace, and often decorated with gold thread, spangles, or even jewels. At times the roses were worn large—four or five inches in diameter. "Why, 'tis the devil; I know him by a great rose he wears on's shoe To hide his cloven foot." (Webster's White Devil, v. 3.) Corks, so often referred to in the old plays, were shoes with cork soles that increased in thickness towards the heel, where they might be two or three inches thick. Their purpose was the same as high heels, and, when more fully developed, became known by another name. "Thy voice squeaks like a dry cork shoe." (Marston's Antonio and Mellida, Part I. v. 1.) The chopine was a device used by women principally for the purpose of increasing their height, and to keep their embroidered shoes and farthingales out of the dust and dirt when they walked abroad. The chopine was an expansion of the high heel cork;