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sorte of other vanities doe come besides: and so common a thing it is, that every servyng-man, countrieman, and other, even all indifferently, dooe weare of these hattes; for he is of no account, or estimation amongst men, if he have not a velvet or taffatie hatte; and that must be pincked, and cunnyngly carved of the beste fashion. And good profitable hattes be these; for, the longer you weare them, the fewer holes they have."
And some are not content with these extravagant hats, without a greate bunche of feathers, of divers and sundrie colours, peakyng on top of their heades." But the zeal of the author is kindled to tenfold rage as he comes in contact with the manifold abominations of THE RUFF, and its diabolical auxiliary, STARCH.
"They have great and monstrous ruffes, made either of cambricke, holland, lawne, or els of some other the finest cloth that can be got for money, whereof some be a quarter of a yarde deepe; yea, some more, very few lesse; so that they stande a full quarter of a yarde (and more) from their neckes, hanging over their shoulder-points, insteade of a vaile. But if Eolus with his blasts, or Neptune with his storms, chaunce to hit upon the crasie barke of their brused ruffes, then they goeth flipflap in the winde, like ragges that flew abroad, lying upon their shoulders like the dishcloute of a slut. But, wot you what? The devil, as he, in the fullnesse of his malice, first invented these great ruffes, so hath he now found out also two great pillers to beare up and maintaine this his kyngdome of greate ruffes (for the devil is kyng and prince over all the children of pride). The one arche or piller, whereby his kyngdome of great ruffes is underpropped, is a certain kinde of liquid matter, which they call starch, wherein the devil hath willed them to wash and dive their ruffes well; which, beyng drie, will then stand stiff and inflexible about their neckes. The other piller is a certaine device made of wiers, crested for the purpose, whipped over either with gold, thred, silver, or silke; and this he calleth a supportasse, or underpropper. This is to bee applied round about their neckes, under the ruffe, upon the outside of the bande, to beare up the whole frame and bodie of the ruffe from fallyng and hangyng doune.
"Their shirtes, whiche all in a maner doe weare (for, if the nobilitie or gentrie onely did weare them, it were some deale more tollerable), are either of cambricke, holland, lawne, or els of the finest cloth that maie be got: and of these kindes of shirtes every one nowe doeth weare alike; so as it maie be thought our forefathers have made them bandes and ruffes (if they had any at all) of grosser clothe and baser stuffes than the worst of our shirtes are made of now-a-daies. And these shirtes (sometimes it happeneth) are wrought throughout with needleworke of silke, and such like, and curiously stitched with open seame, and many other knackes besides, more than I can describe: insomuch I have heard of shirtes that have cost some ten shillynges, some twentie, some fortie, some five pound, some twentie no
bles, and (whiche is horrible to heare) some ten pounde a peice: yea, the meanest shirt that commonly is worne of any doeth cost a crowne, or a noble at the least; and yet this is scarsly thought fine enough for the simplest person that is.
"Their dublets are no lesse monstrous than the reste, for now the fashion is to have them hang downe to the middle of their thighes, being so hard quilted, stuffed, bombasted, and sewed, as they can neither woorke, nor yet plaie, in them, through the excessive heate thereof; and therefore are forced to wear them loose about them, for the most part; otherwise they could very hardly either stoupe or decline to the grounde, so stiff and sturdie they stand about them. Certaine I am, there was never any kinde of apparell ever invented that could more disproportion the body of man than these dublettes with great bellies hangyng downe, and stuffed with four, five, or sixe pound of bombast at the least. I saye nothyng of what their dublettes bee made some of saten, taffetie, silke, grograine, chamlet, gold, silver, and what not; slashed, jagged, cut, carved, pinked, and laced with all kinde of costly lace, of divers and sundrie colours; for, if I should stande upon these particularities, rather tyme than matter would be wantyng.
"Then have they hozen, which, as they bee of divers fashions, so are they of sundrie names. Some be called French hose, some Gallic, and some Venetians. The French hose are of two divers makynges, for the common French hose (as they list to call them) containeth length, breadth, and widenesse sufficient, and is made verie sounde. The other containeth neither length, breadth, nor widenesse; being not past a quarter of a yard wide, whereof some be paned, cut and drawn out with costly ornamentes, with canions annexed, reachyng doune beneath their knees. The Gally-hozen are made very large and wide, reachynge doune to their knees onely, with three or foure guardes a peece laid doune along either hose. And the Venetian hozen, they reckon beneath the knee to the garterynge place of the legge beneathe the knee, where they are tied finely with silke pointes, or some such like, and laied on also with rowes of lace or gardes, as the other before. And yet, notwithstandyng all this is not sufficient except they be made of silke, velvet, satin, damaste, and other like precious thinges beside: yea, every one, servying-man, and other inferior to them in every condition, will not stick to flaunt it out in these kinde of hozen, with all other their apparell sutable thereunto. In times past, kynges (as olde historiographers in their bookes, yet extant, do recorde) would not disdain to wear a pair of hozen of a noble, tenne shillynges, or a marke price, with all the rest of their apparel after the same rate: but now it is a small matter to bestow seventie nobles, tenne poundé, twentie pounde, fortie pounde, yea, a hundred pounde of one paire of breeches; (God be mercifull unto us,) and yet is this thought no abuse neither.
"Then have they nether-stockes to these gai hozen, not of cloth, (though never so fine,) for that is thought too base, but of jamsey, worsted, crewell, silke, thred, and such like; or else at the least of the
finest yearne that can be got, and so curiously knitte with open seame downe the legge, with quirks and clocks about the ancles, and sometyme (haply) interlaced with golde or silver threds, as is wonderful to beholde.
"To these their nether-stockes, they have corked shooes, pinsnets, and fine pantoffles, which bear them up a finger or two from the ground; whereof some be of white leather, some of blacke, and some of red; some of blacke velvette, some of white, some of red, some of greene, laced, carved, cut, and stitched all over with silke, and laid on with golde, silver, and suche like; yet, notwithstanding, to what good uses serve these pantoffles, except it be to weare in a private house, or in a man's chamber to keepe him warme (for this is the only use whereto they best serve in my judgment) but to goe abroade in them as they are now used altogether, is rather a let or hinderance to a man than otherwise, for shall he not be fain to knocke and spurne at every wall, stone or poste to keepe them on his feete: wherefore to disclose even the bowelles of my judgement unto you; I think they be rather worne abroad for niceness, than either for any ease which they bring (for the contrary is most true,) or any hansomnesse which is in them. For how should they be easie, when a man cannot go stedfastly in them, without slipping and sliding at every pace ready to fall doune : Againe, how should they be easie when as the hele hangeth an inche or two over the slipper from the grounde. Insomuche as I have knoune divers menne's legges swell with the same. And handsome should they be, when as with their flipping and flapping up and doune in the dirte, they exaggerate a mountaine of mire, and gather a heape of claie and baggage together, loding the wearer with importable burthen. "Their coates and jerkins as they be divers in colours, so be they divers in fashions, for some be made with collars, some without; some close to the bodie, some loose, covering the whole bodie doune to the thigh, like bagges or sackes that were drawne over them, hidyng the dimensions and lineaments of the bodie: some are buttened doune the breast, some under the arme, and some doune the backe; some with flappes over the breast, some without; some with great sleves, some with small, and some with none at all; some pleated and crested behinde, and curiously gathered, some not; and how manie daies,. (I might saie hours in the yeare,) so manie sortes of apparell, some one man will have, and thinketh it goode provision in faire weather, to laie up against a storm.
They have clokes there also in nothing discrepant from the rest, of divers and sundrie colours, white, red, tawnie, blacke, greene, yellowe, russet, purple, violet, and infinite other colours: some of clothe, silk, velvet, taffetie, and such like, whereof some be of the Spanish, French, and Dutch fashions; some shorte, scarcely reachyng to the girdlesteade, or waste, some to the knee, and other some trailing upon the grounde, (almost liker gownes than clokes.) Then are they garded with velvette gardes, or els laced with costly lace, either of golde, silver, or at the leaste of silke three or fouer fingers broade doune the back, about the skirtes and every where els. And nowe of late they use to garde their clokes rounde about the skirtes with (bables,) I
should saie bugles, and other kinde of glasse, and all to shine to the eye. Besides all this, they are so faced and withall so lined, as the inner side standeth almost in as muche as the outside: some have sleeves, othersome have none, some have hoodes to pull over the heade, some have none, some are hanged with pointes and tasselles of gold, silver, or silke, some without all this.
"To these have they their rapiers, swordes, and daggers, gilt twise or thrise over the hiltes with good angell golde, or els argented over with silver both within and without: and, if it be true as I heare say it is, there be some hiltes made all of pure silver itself, and covered with golde. Other some, at the least, are damasked, vernished, and ingraven marveilous goodly; and, least any thyng should be wantyng to set forth their pride, their scaberdes and sheathes are of velvet, or the like."
What a poor unfledged animal does the best accoutred dandy of these degenerate days appear by the side of the exquisite of the sixteenth century, with his spherical hat surmounted by a gallant plume of party-coloured feathers; his neck defended by a broad cheveux de frise of ruff, with its buttresses of starch and wire; his curving sweep of doublet, well padded, pinked and slashed; his damask hosen; his nether-stocks curiously knit with quirks and clocks; his cork-heeled pantofles, embroidered with silk and gold; equipped with his cloak of fine cloth, bordered with gold lace; and armed with rapier and dagger, with silver hilts and velvet scabbards!
This ungallant puritan shews little mercy to the frivolities and vanities of the fair sex, which, he observes,
"If I should endeavour myself to express, I might with like facilitie number the sands of the sea, the starres in the skye, or the grasse upon the earth, so infinite and innumerable be their abuses. For, were I never so expert an arithmetician, or never so skillfull a mathematician, I were never capable of the one half of them, the devil brocheth so many newe fashions every daie."
He draws up all the fathers of the church in battle-array against the practice of colouring the face "with certaine oyles, liquors, unguents, and waters, made to that end ;" and denounces it, in a marginal anathema, as blasphemous, idolatrous, and what not. The iniquity of false hair is not forgotten; and starch and ruffs come in for a second castigation. We are next regaled with a delectable story of "a faire gentlewoman of Eprautna," who, being invited to a wedding, decked herself out in her finest array, dyed her hair and painted her face; but her attendants could not please her in starching and setting her ruffs. On this she began to sweare and teare, to curse and ban," wishing the devil might take her if she wore any of those ruffes and neckerchers again. That gentleman immediately stepped in, in
the shape of a proper young man, to pay his devoirs; and, seeing the lady in such a "peltyng chafe," inquired the cause of her perturbation. On being informed of the obstinacy of the ruffs, he gallantly offered his services, and adjusted them so much to her heart's content, that she permitted him to salute her, and in so doing he took the liberty of wringing her neck asunder. The body immediately changed to all manner of colours, "most ugglesome to behold ;" and, when placed in a coffin, the strength of all the assistants was insufficient to lift it. On opening the coffin, to discover the cause of this phenomenon, they found the body was gone, and "a black catte, verie leane and deformed, sittyng in the coffin, settyng of great ruffes and frizling of haire, to the greate feare and wonder of all beholders." We cannot follow our anatomist in his account of perfumes, nosegays, ringes, bracelettes, amlettes, and velvet maskes to ride abroad with, which are severally condemned, as well as looking-glasses, which are designated as "the devil's spectacles:" we must, however, find room for such an article of dress as the gown.
"Their gounes be no lesse famous than the rest, for some are of silke, some of velvet, some of grograine, some of taffatie, some of scarlet, and some of fine clothe, of ten, twentie, or fortie shillynges a yard. But if the whole goune be not silke or velvet, then the same shall be laied with lace, two or three fingers broade, all over the goune, or els the moste parte. Or if not so, (as lace is not fine enough sometymes) then it must be garded with greate gardes of velvet, every gard fouer or sixe fingers broade at the least, and edged with costly lace, and as these gounes be of divers and sundrie colours, so are they of divers fashions, changyng with the moone: for some be of the newe fashion, some of the old, some of this fashion, some of that, some with sleeves hanging downe to their skirtes trailyng on the ground, and cast over their shoulders, like cowe-tailes. Some have sleeves much shorter, cut up the arme, and poincted with silke ribbons verie gallantly, tied with true loves' knottes (for so they call them.) Some have capes reachynge doune to the middest of their backes, faced with velvet or els with some fine wrought silke taffatie, at the least, and fringed about verie bravely; and (to shut up alle in a woord) some are pleated and riveted doune the backe wonderfully with more knacks than I can declare. Then have they petticoats of the best clothe that can be bought, and of the fairest dye that can be made. And sometimes they are not of clothe neither, for that is thought too base, but of scarlet, grograine, taffatie, silke, and such like, fringed about the skirtes with silke fringe, of changable colour. But which is more vaine, of whatsoever their petticoats be, yet must they have kirtles (for so they call them) either of silke, velvett, grograine, taffetie, satten, or scarlett, bordered with gardes, lace, fringe, and I cannot tell what besides. Soe that when they have all these goodly robes upon them, women seeme to be the smallest part