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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, The Puritan minister. (search)
days, and the statute-books and private journals are full of such plaintive inventories of the implements of sin. Things known as slash apparel seem to have been an infinite source of anxiety; there must be only one slash on each sleeve and one in the back. Men also must be prohibited from shoulder-bands of undue width, double ruffs and cuffs, and immoderate great breeches. Part of the solicitude was for modesty, part for gravity, part for economy: none must dress above their condition. In 1652, three men and a woman were fined ten shillings each and costs for wearing silver-lace, another for broad bone-lace, another for tiffany, and another for a silk hood. Alice Flynt was accused of a silk hood, but, proving herself worth more than two hundred pounds, escaped unpunished. Jonas Fairbanks, about the same time, was charged with great boots, and the evidence went hard against him; but he was fortunately acquitted, and the credit of the family saved. The question of veils seems t