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3.7. Of their apparell and attire. Chap. 7.

Of their apparell and attire. Chap. 7.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _AN Englishman, indeuoring sometime to write of our at|tire, made sundrie platformes for his purpose, supposing by some of them to find out one stedfast ground whereon to build the summe of his dis|course. But in the end (like an oratour long without exercise) when he saw what EEBO page image 172 a difficult péece of worke he had taken in hand, he gaue ouer his trauell, and onelie drue the picture of a naked man, vnto whome he gaue a paire of sheares in the one hand, and a peece of cloth in the other, to the end he should shape his apparell after such fashion as himselfe liked, sith he cuold find no kind of gar|ment that could please him anie while togither, and this he called an Englishman.Andrew Boord. Certes this writer (otherwise being a lewd popish hypocrite and vn|gratious priest) shewed himselfe herein not to be al|together void of iudgement, sith the phantasticall fol|lie of our nation, euen from the courtier to the car|ter is such, that no forme of apparell liketh vs longer than the first garment is in the wearing, if it conti|nue so long and be not laid aside, to receiue some o|ther trinket newlie deuised by the fickle he aded tai|lors, who couet to haue seurall trickes in cutting, thereby to draw fond customers to more expense of monie.Strange cu [...]s. For my part I can tell better how to in|ueigh against this enormitie, than describe anie cer|teintie of our attire: sithence such is our mutabilitie, that to daie there is none to the Spanish guise, to morrow the French toies are most fine and delecta|ble, yer long no such apparell as that which is after the high Alman fashion, by and by the Turkish ma|ner is generallie best liked of, otherwise the Morisco gowns, the Barbarian sléeues, the mandilion worne to Collie weston ward, and the short French breches make such a comelie vesture, that except it were a dog in a doublet, you shall not sée anie so disguised, as are my countrie men of England. And as these fashi|ons are diuerse, so likewise it is a world to see the costlinesse and the curiositie: the excesse and the vani|tie: the pompe and the brauerie: the change and the varietie: and finallie the ficklenesse and the follie that is in all degrees: in somuch that nothing is more constant in England than inconstancie of at|tire. Oh how much cost is bestowed now adaies vp|on our bodies and how little vpon our soules! howMuch cost vpon the bo|die, and little vpon the soule manie sutes of apparell hath the one and how little furniture hath the other? how long time is asked in decking vp of the first, and how little space left wher|in to féed the later? how curious, how nice also are a number of men and women, and how hardlie can the tailor please them in making it fit for their bo|dies? how manie times must it be sent backe againe to him that made it? what chafing, what fretting, what reprochful language doth the poore workeman beare awaie? and manie times when he dooth nothing to it at all, yet when it is brought home againe it is verie fit and handsome; then must we put it on, then must the long seames of our hose be set by a plumb-line, then we puffe, then we blow, and finallie sweat till we drop, that our clothes may stand well vpon vs. I will saie nothing of our heads, which sometimes are polled, sometimes curled, or suffered to grow at length like womans lockes, manie times cut off a|boue or vnder the eares round as by a woodden dish. Neither will I meddle with our varietie of beards,Beards. of which some are shauen from the chin like those of Turks, not a few cut short like to the beard of mar|ques Otto, some made round like a rubbing brush, other with a pique de vant (O fine fashion!) or now and then suffered to grow long, the barbers being growen to be so cunning in this behalfe as the tai|lors. And therefore if a man haue a leane and streight face, a marquesse Ottons cut will make it broad and large; if it be platter like, a long slender beard will make it séeme the narrower; if he be wesell bec|ked, then much heare left on the chéekes will make the owner looke big like a bowdled hen, and so grim as a goose, if Cornelis of Chelmeresford saie true: manie old men doo weare no beards at all. Some lustie courtiers also and gentlemen of courage, doo weare either rings of gold, stones, or pearle in their eares, whereby they imagine the workeman|ship of God not to be a little amended. But here|in they rather disgrace than adorne their persons, as by their nicenesse in apparell, for which I saie most nations doo not vniustlie deride vs, as also for that we doo séeme to imitate all nations round about, vs wherein we be like to the Polypus or Cha|meleon; and therevnto bestow most cost vpon our arses, & much more than vpon all the rest of our bo|dies, as women doo likewise vpon their heads and shoulders.Excesse in women. In women also it is most to be lamen|ted, that they doo now farre excéed the lightnesse of our men (who neuerthelesse are transformed from the cap euen to the verie shoo) and such staring attire as in time past was supposed méet for none but light housewiues onelie, is now become an habit for chast and sober matrones. What should I saie of their doublets with pendant codpéeses on the brest full of iags & cuts, and sléeues of sundrie colours? their gal|ligascons to beare out their bums & make their at|tire to sit plum round (as they terme it) about them? their fardingals, and diuerslie coloured nether stocks of silke, ierdseie, and such like, whereby their bodies are rather deformed than commended? I haue met with some of these trulles in London so disguised, that it hath passed my skill to discerne whether they were men or women.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Thus it is now come to passe, that women are be|come men, and men transformed into monsters: and those good gifts which almightie God hath giuen vnto vs to reléeue our necessities withall (as a nati|on turning altogither the grace of God into wan|tonnesse, for

Luxuriant animi rebus plerunque secundis)
not otherwise bestowed than in all excesse, as if we wist not otherwise how to consume and wast them. I praie God that in this behalfe our sinne be not like vnto that of Sodoma and Gomorha,Eze [...]h. 16. whose errors were pride, excesse of diet, and abuse of Gods bene|fits aboundantlie bestowed vpon them, beside want of charitie toward the poore, and certeine other points which the prophet shutteth vp in silence. Certes the common-wealth cannot be said to florish where these abuses reigne, but is rather oppressed by vnteasona|ble exactions made vpon rich farmers, and of poore tenants, wherewith to mainteine the same. Neither was it euer merier with England, than when an Englishman was knowne abroad by his owne cloth, and contented himselfe at home with his fine carsie hosen, and a meane slop: his coat, gowne, and cloake of browne blue or puke, with some pretie fur|niture of veluet or furre, and a doublet of sad taw|nie, or blacke veluet, or other comelie silke, without such cuts and gawrish colours as are worne in these daies, and neuer brought in but by the consent of the French, who thinke themselues the gaiest men, when they haue most diuersities of iagges and change of colours about them.Attire of merchants. Certes of all estates our mer|chants doo least alter their attire, and therefore are most to be commended: for albeit that which they weare be verie fine and costlie, yet in forme and co|lour it representeth a great péece of the ancient gra|uitie apperteining to citizens and burgesses, albeit the yoonger sort of their wiues both in attire and cost|lie housekeeping can not tell when and how to make an end, as being women in déed in whome all kind of curiositie is to be found and seene, and in farre greater measure than in women of higher calling. I might here name a sort of hewes deuised for the nonce, wherewith to please phantasticall heads, as gooseturd gréene, pease porrige tawnie, popingaie blue, lustie gallant, the diuell in the head (I should saie the hedge) and such like: but I passe them ouer EEBO page image 173 thinking it sufficient to haue said thus much of ap|parell generallie, when nothing can particularlie be spoken of anie constancie thereof.

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