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are many of these chapineys of a great height even half a yard high, which maketh many of their women, that are very short, seem much taller than the tallest women we have in England. Also, I have heard it observed among them, that by how much the nobler a woman is, by so much the higher are her chapineys. All their gentlewomen, and most of their wives and widows that are of any wealth, are assisted and supported either by men or women, when they walk abroad, to the end they might not fall. They are borne up most commonly by the left arm; otherwise they might quickly take à fall.” In Douce's Illustrations of Shakspere, a woodcut of such a chapiney, or chopine, is given, which is here copied ; and it is an excellent ex
ample of the thing, showing the decoration which was at times bestowed on it.
Douce quotes some curious particulars of this fashion, in “Raymond's Voyage through Italy," 1648, and the following curious account of the chopine occurs : “ This place [Venice) is much frequented by the walking may-poles: I mean the
They wear their coats half too long for their bodies, being mounted on their chippeens (which are as high as a man's leg); they walke betweene two handmaids, majestically deliberating of every step they take.” Howel also says of the Venetian women: “They are low and of small stature for the most part, which makes them to raise their bodies upon high shoes, called chapins, which
gave me occasion to say that the Venetian ladies were made of three things, one part of them was wood, meaning their chapins, another part was their apparel, and the third part was a woman. The senate hath often endeavored to take away the wearing of those high shoes, but all women are so passionately delighted with this kind of state, that no law can
wean them from it.” Douce adds, that "some have supposed that the jealousy of Italian husbands gave rise to the invention of the chopine;" and quotes a story from a French author, to show their dislike to an alteration; he also says, that “the first ladies who rejected the use of the chopine, were the daughters of the doge Dominico Contareno, about the year 1670." The chopine, or some kind of high shoe, was occasionally used in England. Bulwer, in his « Artificial Changeling," p. 550, complains of this fashion as a monstrous affectation, and says that his countrywomen therein imitated the Venetian and Persian ladies. In “Sandy's Travels," 1615, there is a figure of a Turkish lady with chopines, and it is not improbable that the Venetians might have borrowed them from the Greek islands in the Archipelago. We know that something similar was in use among the ancient Greeks. Xenophon, in Economics, mentions the wife of Ischomachus as wearing high shoes, for increasing her stature. They are still worn by the women in many parts of Turkey, but more particularly at Aleppo. Douce's notice of their antiquity, is curiously corroborated by the discovery in the tombs of ancient Egypt of such shoes. They are formed of a stout sole of wood, to which is affixed four round props, raising the wearer a foot in height; specimens were among the collections of Mr. Salt, the British consul in Egypt, from which some of the choicest Egyptian antiquities in the national collection were obtained. The other remark of Douce's, that they were probably derived from the Greek islands of the Archipelago, is confirmed by the fact that highsoled boots and shoes were much coveted by the ladies there, to raise their stature, and were worn when chopines had long been disused; thus the high-soled boots delineated in plate IV., fig. 13, are found upon the feet of “a'young lady of Argentiera," one of these islands, in a print dated 1700; and, in another of the same date, giving the costume of a lady of the neighboring island of Naxos, the shoe shown in fig. 14, is worn.
Of the modern European nations with whom we have been most in contact-Spain, France, and the Netherlands — their boots and shoes have so nearly resembled our own, as to render a detailed description scarcely necessary. Indeed, as France has been tacitly submitted to as the arbiter elegantiarum in all matters of dress, much has been derived
There was, however, a French shoe that we do not ever appear to have adopted; it was made low in the quarters and ended at the instep; there was no covering for the heel, or the sides of the foot beyond it. The fashion spread to Venice, and the figure of a Venetian lady of 1750, has supplied us with the specimen in plate IV., fig. 15.
The sabots of France, is another peculiarity which we never adopted, and which our peasantry have always looked on with great distaste; and it became popularly said of William III., that he had saved us from popery, slavery, and wooden shoes. They are generally clumsy enough; their large size, and bad fit, are generally improved by the introduction of others made of list, which give warmth and steadiness to the foot. A small wooden shoe is, however, made in Normandy, and else where, much like that which came into fashion about 1790, with an imitation of its fringes and pointed toe, and which is generally painted black; the ordinary sabot being totally unadorned, and the color of the wood. In the cut here given, both introduced. Fig. 1, is the ordinary shoe; fig. 2, the extraordinary or genteel one.