Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/475

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361
DOMESTIC LIFE

little and little to this excess of pride, which grew daily more and more unreasonable."

The contemporary drama contains innumerable allusions to the extremity of fashion. "Apparel's grown a god." (Marston's What You Will, iii. 1.) "Poor citizens must not with courtiers wed Who will in silks and gay apparel spend, More in one year than I am worth, by far." (Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday, ii. 1.) "O, many have broke their backs with laying houses on 'em." (Henry VIII.)

This magnificent extreme obtained in all ranks of life, as Harrison says, from the courtier to the carter. The only difference was that the rich man dressed in more expensive stuffs; he wore diamonds and rubies where the poor man wore beads of coloured glass. He bought clothes oftener than the poor man; yet people were all alike in this; they dressed as fine and finer than their pockets would allow.

The kind of dress worn upon any occasion was not dependent upon the time of day. A man would appear at court in his gaudiest clothes, whether the time was day or night, morning or afternoon. The garments were stiffened and stuffed till the wearer could not move with any comfort. A man in full dress was laced from head to foot. His doublet was laced or buttoned in