Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/477

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


363
DOMESTIC LIFE

relates the following: "About the middle of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the slops, or trunk hose, with peascod-bellied doublets, were much esteemed, which young men used to stuff with rags and other like things to extend them in compass, with as great eagerness as women did take pleasure to wear great and stately verdingales; for this was the same in effect, being a sort of verdingale breeches. And so excessive were they herein, that a law was made against them as did stuff their breeches to make them stand out; whereas when a certain prisoner (in these times) was accused for wearing such breeches contrary to law, he began to excuse himself for the offence, and endeavoured by little and little to discharge himself of that which he did wear within them; he drew out of his breeches a pair of sheets, two table cloths, ten napkins, four shirts, a brush, a glass, a comb, and night-caps, with other things of use, saying: your lordships may understand that because I have no safer a storehouse, these pockets do serve me for a room to lay my goods in; and though it be a straight prison, yet it is a storehouse big enough for them, for I have many things more yet of value within them. And so his discharge was accepted and well laughed at: and they commanded him that he should not alter the furniture of his storehouse.