Image from Wiki Common
The origin of the tale from which this pantomime was adopted is sufficient curious. It was about the year 1870 that a French actor, of equal talent and wealth, named Thevenard, in passing through the streets of Paris, observed upon a cobler’s stall, the shoe of a female, which struck him by the remarkable smallness of its size. After admiring it for some time he returned to the house; but his thoughts reverted to the shoe with such intensity, that he reappeared at the stall the next day; but the cobler could give no other clue to the owner than that it had been left in his absence for the purpose of being repaired. Day after day did Thevenard return to his post to watch the reintegration of this slipper, which proceeded slowly; nor did the proprieter appear to claim it. Although he had completed the sixtieth year of his ae, so extravagant became his passion for the unknown fair one, that he became (were it possible for a Frenchman at that day to be so) melancholy and miserable. His pain was, however, somewhat appeased by the avater of the little foot itself, appertaining to a pretty and youthful girl in the very humblest class of life. All distinctions were leveled at once by love. The actor sought the parents of the female, procured their consent to the match, and actually made her his wife.
Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jun 2, 1852
*Spelling differences/errors were in the original newspaper article.
A little about Thevenard from:
Title: The fascinating Duc de Richelieu, Louis Franqois Armand du Plessis (1696-1788).
Author: Hugh Noel Williams
Publisher: Methuen, 1910