20-21) The female customers are "tittering with pleasure" as the salesman is "taking their measure"--a sly pun not only on his sizing them up while wrapping limbs, feet, waists, and heads in a tape measure but also on the source of his power in the measures of verse: the rapid-fire, rhymed sequence of metrical patter, a fytte
that attracts them until they are fit to be tied: "And when the wig's tied I With a sweet vacant stare / They cry, charming wigman!
On another occasion, a single word is made to work a bit too hard, as when Catherine Richardson makes much of the legal testimony made by a suitor's go-between who claims that the object of the suitor's affection, Godlene, kept a hat he gave her and, in his words, "she marvelled that the said Richard [her wooer] could happen to buye such a verye fytte
hatt for her as the same hatt was." Various meanings of "fytte
" are then posed by the author--from the moral to the physical--and she implies that Godlene's mentioning that the hat "fit" her head suggests a mutually felt intimacy between wooed and wooer with the female body (294).
From Fa (a syllable used to represent the fourth tone of a major scale or sometimes the tone F) to Fytte
(archaic version of Fit), there are roughly eight thousand six hundred words in the English language that begin with the letter F.