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The Boot

The Boot image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The obstinate survival of the human boot haslong been a subject of amazemont to the student of social customs. At the present moment, while the thermometer íh among the nineties, and Manitoba ia sending hot waves in all directions, thousands of comparatively intelligent men are wearing boots that heat thcir feot and legs cruelly and unneoessarily. They wear boots nicrely beense previous genorations of men living undcr peculiar conditions found boots usetul. Thid is the dullest and most inexcusable kind of conserratism. The boot was originally an outside article of dress. In earlier day Europe was terribly muddy, and trousers and stockings were costly. The male Kuropcan, therefore, wore boots with cnorinously long legp. lïy thii means ho protected hislower garments from mud and kept his feet compnratively dry._ With the progress of civilization the mud of Europe dried up. Weather bureaus wcre established whieh continually prophesied areas of rain and frequent local showers. Of course, these never made their appearance, and ono Decessary ingrediënt of mud was therefore wanting. Street pavements beeame common, and street-sweepers occasionally swept theru clean. In these cireumstances boots ceased to be either necessary or uscful, but the conservativo European mind was unable to abandon them. Instead of woaring boots outaide of their trousers, the Europeans drew their trousers over their boot-legs. This was an open eonfession that boots wcre uselcss, ana that all the wants of the human foot could be met by shoes. The boot-leg survived merely becauso of the stupid conservatism of' its woarers ; and should the climate of Europo ever become so hot that overcoats would lose their reason for being, wc might expect to see the respectable conservative wearing his overcoat under his shirt. In the oivilizod parts of this country the boot is worn for the same reason that it u worn on the other side of the Atlantic. In the far west, whererattlesnakes abound,and where paved streets are unknown, the boot fulfils its normal purpose, and is worn outside of the trousers. Elsewhere, however, it is merely an illustration of human folly, and there is not the slightost excuse íor its existenee. It has been maintained withmuch plausibility that the black silk hat is the highest developmont of human idiocy. This is probably true, for the black hat has not the excuse of ever having been useful orjustifiable. While in behalf of the boot it can be urged that it once had itó uses, its reten - tion in civilized communities is at least as preposterous as the continual wearing of the black hat, and the day is coming when both wijl bc discarded, oxcept by professional idiota and tramps lost to all pelf-respect. __________


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier