Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/470

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358
THE ELIZABETHAN PEOPLE

that one of no small reputation amongst them said after this manner: "These English (quoth he) have their houses made of sticks and durt, but they fare commonly as well as the king." ' ... The cottages of the peasantry usually consisted of but two rooms on the ground floor, the outer for the servants, the inner for the master and his family, and they were thatched with straw or sedge; while the dwelling of the substantial farmer was distributed into several rooms above and beneath, and was very neatly roofed with reed." (Vol. I, p. 99.)

II

One who would comprehend the style of Elizabethan dress must, for the time being, set aside all notion of simplicity or fit. In fact, the people of that time carried their idea of what was proper in wearing apparel to such a ridiculous extreme that they were made the subject of innumerable satires; and dress was the most popular point of attack by all the abusive writers on reform. Bright colours, elaborate trimmings, and excessive padding are the most notable characteristics of Elizabethan dress. Padding was so full that all outward semblance to the human form was completely lost, both to men and to women.

"There is not any people under the zodiac