Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/493

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373
DOMESTIC LIFE

material. It was sometimes laced, but was more frequently buttoned up the front. Two or three buttons at the top were left open and the shirt of delicate white lawn pulled out a little way. This has become the open vest and necktie of our own time. The doublet sometimes projected downward in front, when it was called a peascod bellied doublet; sometimes it surrounded the hips like a short skirt. The sleeves were generally removable and laced to the doublet at the arm-holes. Working people, who, of course, wore doublets, or jerkins, that were but slightly padded, frequently did without the sleeves altogether, the arms covered by the sleeves of the shirt. A pair of drawstrings working in opposite directions at the small of the back enabled one to tighten or loosen one's doublet at will.

There used to be a punishment in use in the Colony of New York by which a man was compelled to walk about encased in a barrel; his head projecting from one end, his feet from the other. The Elizabethan women did not carry a barrel about their hips, but they carried a corresponding bulk. What would correspond to a skirt in our time was then called a farthingale. This name, however, was properly applied to the framework of whalebone and wire which the woman buckled on before she began to dress. It