Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

The Dark Ages

The Dark Ages.

In the dark ages, the period from 500 A.D. up to the birth of the Renaissance, scant attention was paid to the systematic cultivation of either body or mind by the great majority of the population. Education was practically submerged with the fall of the Roman Empire and the overrunning of Europe by the Goths. He could not better show how far we had fallen from the Greek deal than by this exhibit that he held in his hand—a lady's shoe, very sharply pointed. "I cannot think," he said, "how a being created in the image of his God could show more contempt for his Creator than by trying to jam his foot into a thing like that. It is, surely, the negation of practical religion. I cannot understand such meat idiocy." Elaborating this point, the lecturer said that in China they cut bones out of the women's feet in order that they might be compressed, and as to a great many of the feet that wore boots like this (holding up the shoe) they would be the better for having a bone cut out. He didn't wish to blame women only—the bootmaker from whom he got that shoe told him that the men were almost as vain. They would never get a reasonable ideal of human life until they went back somewhere near to the Greek system—until public opinion was educated to such an extent that there would be nothing but contempt for a woman who wore a shoe like that. Then, and not till then, bootmakers would keep reasonable boots. "Tightlacing" was not so bad as it used to be, though no one could go along Princes street today without seeing many women still doing themselves and those who were to come after them irreparable injury. Tight-lacing struck directly at the organism of woman and at her duties towards posterity.