On Ruff-Makers (a dialogue)

Amphil: ...And if it be true, as I heare say, they have their starching houses made of purpose, to that use and end only, the better to trimme and dresse their ruffes to please the divels eies withall.
Theod.: Have they starching houses of purpose made to starch in? Now truly that passes of all that ever I heard. And do they nothing in those brothell houses (starching houses I shuld say) but only starch bands and ruffs?
Amphil.: No, nothing else, for to that end only were they erected, and therefore now are consecrate to Belzebub and Cerberus, archdivels of great ruffes.
Theod.: Have they not also houses to set their ruffes in, to trim them, and to trick them, as well as to starch them in?
Amphil.: Yea, marry have they, for either the same starching houses (I had almost said farting houses) do serve the turn, or else they have their other chambers and secret closets to the same use, wherein they tricke up these cartweels of the divels charet of pride, leading the direct way to the dungeon of hell.
Theod.: What tooles and instruments have they to set their ruffes withall. For I am persuaded they cannot set them artificially inough without some kind of tooles?
Amphil. : They be made of yron and steele, and some of brasse kept as bright as silver, yea, and some of silver it selfe; and it is well, if in processe of time they grow not to be gold. The fashion whereafter they be made, I cannot resemble to anything so well as to a squirt, or a squibbe, which little children used to squirt out water withall; and when they come to starching, and setting of their ruffes then must this instrument be heated in the fire, the better to stiffen the ruffe. For you know heate will drie and stiffen any thing. And if you would know the name of this goodly toole, forsooth the devill hath given it to name a putter, or else a putting sticke, as I hear say. They have also another instrument called a setting sticke, either of wood or bone, and sometimes of gold and silver, made forked wise at both ends, and with this (Si diis placet) they set their ruffes. But bicause this cursed fruit is not yet grown to his full perfection of ripeness, I will therefore at this time say no more of it, until I have more.

Citation Type  Prose
Citation Year 1583