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“brogues” of Ireland; which upon the authority of Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall, especially deserve our attention. In their work on Ireland, they engrave the figure of this article, which we copy, plate IV., fig. 16, and say: “The brogue, or shoe, of the Irish peasantry, differs in its construction from the shoe of any other country. It was formerly made of untanned hide, but, for the last century at least, it has been made of tanned leather. The leather of the uppers is much stronger than what is used in the strongest shoes; being made of cowhide dressed for the purpose, and it never had an inside lining, like the ordinary shoe; the sole leather is generally of an inferior description. The process of making the brogue, is certainly different from that of shoemaking; and the tools used in the work, except the hammer, pinchers, and knife, bear little analogy. The awl, though used in common by those operators, is much larger than the largest used by the shoemaker, and unlike in the bend and form. The regular brogue was of two sorts, the single and double pump, the former consisted of the sole and uppers only; the latter had a welt sewed between the sole and upper leather, which gave
it a stouter appearance and stronger consistency; in modern times, the broguemaker has assimilated his manufacture to the shoe, by sewing the
welt on an inner sole, and then attaching the outer sole to it, in shoe-fashion. In the process of making the regular brogue, there formerly were neither hemp, wax, nor bristles, used by the workmen, the sewing all being performed with a thong, made of horsehide, prepared for the purpose.” Thus the construction of this article is quite different from that of the English shoe; and it is made and stitched without a last, the upper leather and side being secured by sewing together; it is then turned inside out, and for the first time put upon the last, and being well-fitted to it by a smooth iron surface, it is placed before the fire to dry and hard
“The heel of the brogue is made of what they call “jumps,' tanner's shavings stuck together with a kind of paste, and pressed hard, and dried, either before the fire or in the sun. This, when properly dried, is cut to the size of the heel, and sewed down with the thong, and then covered with a top-piece of very thin sole-leather, fastened on with deal or sally pegs; and in this one particular they had to boast over the shoemakers, in the neatness of execution. When the brogue is ready to be taken off the last, they give it the last finish by rubbing it over with a woollen rag saturated in tallow, and then the brogue is considered fit for sale. The brogue is
worn larger than the foot, and the space is filled up with a sap of hay or straw. They are con sidered by the country people more durable for field-labor, being less liable to rip in the sewing, than if put together with hemp and wax; and being cheaper than shoes, are in more general use, although there are few people, particularly females, who can afford it, who do not keep shoes for Sunday or holyday wear.
The broguemakers pride themselves in the antiquity of their trade; and boast over the shoemakers, whom they consider a spurious graft on their most noble art.”
Sir Walter Scott, in his "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," has noticed a peculiarity in the make of the "original" shoe of that country, in the notes to the ballad of the “ Souters," or shoemakers of Selkirk, who achieved immortality in song, by their bravery in aiding their sovereign, James IV.; in the fatal field of Flodden; he says
“ the singlesoled shoon,” made by the souters of Selkirk, were a sort of brogues, with a single thin sole; the purchaser himself performing the further operation of sewing on another of thick leather. The rude and imperfect state of this manufacture, sufficiently evinces the antiquity of the craft. He notices singular custom observed at conferring the freedom of the burgh. Four or five bristles, such as are
used by shoemakers, are attached to the seal of the burgess ticket. The new-made burgess must dip in his wine, and pass through his mouth, in token of respect for the souters of Selkirk. This ceremony is on no account dispensed with.” And when Sir Walter afterward adds, in a note that he has “himself the honor to be a souter of Selkirk," we may feel the additional zest that would give to the chorus of their old trade-song :
“Up wi' the souters of Selkirk,
And down wi' the Earl of Home;
COMMENCEMENT OF THE TRADE.
T what period of the world the trade in ques
tion became a separate means of obtaining a livelihood, it is now impossible to say. At first no doubt, every one made their own shoes ; the mere wrapping up of the foot in a piece of flexible skin being matter of little difficulty, but according to Rosseline, whom we quoted in a former chapter, shoemakers' shops existed in Egypt at a very early period.
That it became, however, in a very early age, a trade, we may infer from the fact of it being an injunction of the Jewish social system, that every one, no matter what his rank or wealth, should be compelled to acquire the means of self-support by an acquaintance with some art or other, the better to secure himself against the adverse vicissitudes of life. (See note on Mark vi. 3, in Pictorial Bible, vol. 3.) This obligation naturally affords reason for belief in a variety of professions ; and the