Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/161

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155
NOTES.

passes the string through with a bodkin, brings the ears together that they may fasten the shoe, fits them to their intended place, and ties the knot with such force, that if it were possible to strangle a man by the neck of his foot, strangled the gallant would be. Then he makes the rose, with more care than grace. He goes then to take out the shoeing skin which is still hanging from the heel; he lays hold of this, strikes the sole of the foot with his other hand as if settling it, and draws out the skin, bringing out all with it. The gallant puts his foot to the ground, and remains looking at it. The shoemaker rises, wipes the sweat from his forehead with his fingers, and draws his breath like one who has been running. All this trouble might have been saved by making the shoe a little larger than the foot. Presently both have to go through the same pains with the other foot. Now comes the last and terrible act of payment. The tradesman collects his tools, receives his money, and goes out at the door, looking at the silver to see if it is good, and leaving the gallant walking as much at his ease as if he had been put in fetters.

"If they who wear tight shoes think that thereby they can lessen the size of their feet, they are mistaken. The bones cannot be squeezed one into another; if therefore the shoe is made short, the foot must be crooked at the joints, and grow upward if it is not allowed to grow forward. If it is pinched in