Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/159

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the shoe, fits the other upon the point of the foot, and then begins to guide the shoe over the shoeing skin. Scarcely has it got farther than the toes when it is found necessary to draw it on with pincers, and even then it is hard work. The patient stands up, fatigued with the operation, but well pleased that the shoes are tight: and by the shoemaker's directions he stamps three or four times on the floor, with such force that it must be of iron if it does not give way.

"The cordovan and the souls being thus beaten, submit; they are the skins of animals who obey blows. Our gallant returns to his seat, he turns up the upper leather of the shoe, and lays hold on it with the pincers; the tradesman kneels close by him on both knees, rests on the ground with his left hand, and bending in this all-four's position over the foot, making an arch with those fingers of the right hand which form the span, assists in drawing on the upper part of the cordovan, the gallant pulling the while with the pincers. He then puts himself on one knee, lays hold of the end of the foot with one hand, and with the palm of the other strikes his own hand, as hard as if he were striking a ball with a racket. For necessity is so discreet that the poor man inflicts this pain upon himself that he may give none to the person of whose custom he stands in need.

"The end of the foot being thus adjusted he repairs to the heel, and with his tongue moistens the