I am reading "Quality" by John Galsworthy and there are some phrases and lines which I could not grasp. I thought that this site would be the perfect place to ask this question. Below are some lines from the story from the beginning.
I knew him from the days of my extreme youth, because he made my father's boots; inhabiting with his elder brother two little shops let into one, in a small by-street--now no more, but then most fashionably placed in the West End.
That tenement had a certain quiet distinction; there was no sign upon its face that he made for any of the Royal Family–merely his own German name of Gessler Brothers; and in the window a few pairs of boots.
I remember that it always troubled me to account for those unvarying boots in the window, for he made only what was ordered, reaching nothing down, and it seemed so inconceivable that what he made could ever have failed to fit. Had he bought them to put there? That, too, seemed inconceivable. He would never have tolerated in his house leather on which he had not worked himself.
Besides, they were too beautiful–the pair of pumps, so inexpressibly slim, the patent leathers with cloth tops, making water come into one's mouth, the tall brown riding boots with marvelous sooty glow, as if, though new, they had been worn a hundred years. Those pairs could only have been made by one who saw before him the Soul of Boot–so truly were they prototypes incarnating the very spirit of all foot-gear.
These thoughts, of course, came to me later, though even when I was promoted to him, at the age of perhaps fourteen, some inkling haunted me of the dignity of himself and brother. For to make boots–such boots as he made–seemed to me then, and still seems to me, mysterious and wonderful.
What does the phrase "reaching nothing down" mean? I think it means that he did not make more shoes than required, that is, he only made what was required.
What does "These thoughts, of course, came to me later, though even when I was promoted to him, at the age of perhaps fourteen, some inkling haunted me of the dignity of himself and brother." mean? I am unsure of its meaning.
You can read the full story here: https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/g/galsworthy/john/inn/chapter2.html
Thanks for your help.