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From Household Words.
| tache. In the best days of Greece few but the WHY SHAVE?
philosophers wore unpruned beards. A large
Howing beard and a large flowing inantle were THERE are misguided men- and I am one in those times as naturally and essentially a of them who defile daily their own beards, part of the business of a philosopher, as a rasp them away as fast as they peep out from signboard is part in these days of the business beneath the skin, mix them ignominiously of a publican. So there is a small joke rewith soap-suds, and cause them to be cast corded of an emperor, who, having been long away with the offscourings of the house. We teased by an importunate talker, asked him are at great pains and trouble to do this, and who or what he was. The man replied in we do it unwillingly, knowing that we deprive pique, “Do you not see by my beard and our faces of an ornament, and more or less mantle that I am a philosopher?” “I see suspecting that we take away from ourselves the beard and mantle," said the emperor, something given to us by nature for our use “ but the philosopher, where is he?" and our advantage; as indeed we do. Never- The idea that there existed a connection theless, we treat our beards as 80 much dirt between a man's vigor of mind and body, and that has to be removed daily from our persons, the vigor of growth in his beard, was confor no other reason than because it is the cus-firmed by the fact that Socrates, the wisest of tom of the country; or, because we wish the Greek philosophers, earned preëminently (according to the French philosopher whom the title of the bearded. Among races of men we largely quote in another paper in this capable of growing rich crops on the chin, the number), because we strive to make ourselves beard has always been regarded more or less prettier by assimilating our appearance to as a type of power. Some races, as the Monthat of women.
golians, do not get more than twenty or I ain no friend to gentlemen who wilfully thirty thick coarse hairs, and are us likely affect external• oddity, while they are within then to pluck them out after the fashion of all dull and commonplace. I am not disposed some northern tribes, as to esteem them in by carrying a beard myself to beard public an exaggerated way, as has been sometimes opinion. But opinions may change ; we were the case in China. In the world's history the not always a nation of shavers. The day may bearded races have at all times been the most again come when “ ' T will be merry in hall, important actors, and there is no part of the when beards wag all,” and Britons shall no body which on the whole they have shown more be slaves tu razors.
more readiness to honor. Among many paI have never read of savages who shaved tions, and through many centuries, developthemselves with lints ; nor have I been able ment of beard has been thought indicative of to discover who first introduced among civil- the development of strength, both bodily and ized men the tonsure of the chin. The shaven mental. In strict accordance with that feelpolls and faces of ecclesiastics date from the ing the strength of Samson was made to rest time of Pope Anacletus, who introduced the in his hair. The beard became naturally custom upon the same literal authority of honored, inasmuch as it is a characteristic Scripture that still causes women to wear feature of the chief of the two sexes (I speak bonnets in our churches, that they may not as an ancient), of man, and of man only, in pray uncovered.
Saint Paul, in the same the best years of his life, when he is capable chapter, further asks the Corinthians, “ Doth of putting forth his independent energies. not even nature itself teach you, that, if a As years multiply and judgment ripens the man have long hair it is a shame unto him?'' beard grows, and with it grows, or ought to Pope Anacletus determined, therefore, to grow, every man's title to respect. Gray remove all shame from churchmen, by order-beards became thus so closely connected with ing them to go shaven altogether. The shav- the idea of mature discretion, that they were ing of the beard by laymen was, however, a taken often as its sign or cause ; and thus it practice much more ancient. The Greeks was fabled of the wise king Numa that he taught shaving to the Romans, and Pliny re- was gray-haired even in his youth. cords that the first Greek barbers were taken To revert to the subject of shaving. Tacitus from Sicily to Rome by Publius Ticinius, in says that in his timo the Germans cut their the four hundred and fifty-fourth year after beards. In our times among that people the the building of the city. The Greeks, how-growth of a beard, or at least of a good mystax ever — certainly it was so with them in the or mustache, had come by the year eighteen time of Alexander - seem to have been more hundred and forty-eight to be regarded so much disposed to use their barbers for the pruning as a mark of aristocracy that after the revoluand trimming than for the absolute removal tions of that year the Germans took to the of the beard, and of that ornament upon the obliteration of the vain mark of distinction by upper lip which they termed the mystax, and growing hair on their own chins and upper which we call - using the same name that lips. Hairs have been thus made significant they gave to it, slightly corrupted — mus- in a new way. There are now such things to
be seen on the Continent as revolutionary to an extravagant extent. Shaving compels beards, and not long ago, in a small German the hair to grow at an undue rate. It has state, a barrister was denied a hearing because been calculated that a man mows off in the ho stood up in his place in the law court course of a year about six inches-and-a-half wearing a beard of the revolutionary cut. of beard, so that a man of eighty would have Not only custom, but even to this day law, reg- chopped up in the course of his life a twentyulates the cultivation of the hair on many of seven foot beard ; twenty feet more, perhaps, our faces.
There is scarcely an army in than would have sprouted, had he left nature Europe which is not subject to some regula- alone, and contented himself with so much tions that affect the beard and whiskers. In occasional trimming as would be required by England the chin and, except in some regi- the just laws of cleanliness and decency. ments, the upper lip have to be shaved ; else- It has been erroneously asserted that a where the beard is to be cultivated and the growth of beard would cover up the face, whiskers shaven. Such matters may have hide the expression of the features, and give their significance. The most significant of a deceitful mark of uniform sedateness to the whiskers are, however, those worn by the entire population. As for that last assertion, Jews in the East, and especially in Africa, it is the direct reverse of what is true. Sir who, in accordance with a traditional supersti- Charles Bell, in his essay on expression, tion, keep them at an uniform level of about properly observes that no one who has been half an inch in length, and cut them into present at an assembly of bearded men can cabalistic characters curiously scattered about have failed to remark the greater variety over the face.
and force of the expression they are able to As there are some communities especially convey. What can be more portentous, for bestowing care and houor on the beard, and example, than to see the brow cloud and the others more devoted to the whiskers, so there eyes lash and the nostrils dilate over a beard are nations, as the Hungarian, in which the curling visibly with anger? How ill does honor of the mustache is particularly cher- a smooth chin support at any time the charished. The mustaches of General Haynau acter assumed by the remainder of the face, were about half-a-yard long. A Hunga- except it be a character of sanctimonious rian dragoon who aspired to eminence in oiliness that does not belong honestly to that way, and had nursed a pair of mus- man, or such a pretty chin as makes the taches for two years until they were only charm that should belong only to a woman or second to Haynau's, fell asleep one day after a child ! dinner with a cigar in his mouth. He awoke Therefore I ask, why do we shave our with one of his fine nose-tails so terribly beards ? Why are we a bare-chinned people ? burnt at the roots, that he was obliged after- That the hair upon the face of man was wards to resort to an art used by many of his given to him for sufficient reasons it will companions, and to fortify the weak mustache take but little time to show. It has various by twining into its substance artificial hair. uses, physiological and mechanical. To take
Such freaks and absurdities are, of course, a physiological use first, we may point out inconsistent with the mature dignity of the fact that the formation of hair is one bearded men. Let us have wbisker, beard, method of extruding carbon from the system, and mustache, reverently worn, and trimmed and that the external hairs aid after their discreetly and with decency. I am not for the own way in the work that has to be done by cabalistic whisker, the Hungarian mustache, the internal lungs. Their use in this respect or a beard like that worn by the Venetian is not lessened by shaving ; on the contrary, magnate, of whom Sismondi relates that if the elimination of carbon through the hairs he did not lift it up, he would trip over it in of the face is made to go on with unnatural walking. Still worse was the beard of the activity, because the natural effort to cover carpenter depicted in the Prince's Court the chin with hair is increased in the vain at Eidam; who, because it was pine feet struggle to remove the state of artificial long, was obliged, when at work, to sling baldness, as a hen goes on laying if her eggs it about him in a bug. A beard like either be taken from her, and the production of of those is, however, very much of a phe hair on the chin is at least quadrupled by nomenon in nature. The hair of a man's the use of the razor. The natural balance head is finer, generally, than that on the is in this way destroyed. Whether the harm head of women, and if left uncut, would not so done is great I cannot tell; I do not know grow to nearly the same length. A woman's that it is, but the strict balance which back-bair is an appurtenance entirely and nature keeps between the production of hair, Datarally feminine. In the same way, the and the action of the lungs, is too constant development of the hair upon the face of and rigid to be altogether insignificant. We men, if left unchecked — although it would have all had too much opportunity for differ much in different climates, and in dif- noticing how in people whose lungs are conferent individuals — would very rarely go on (stitutionally weak, as in people with con
sumptive tendencies, the growth of hair is important of the hair-crops grown upon the excessive, even to the eyelashes. A skin human body. It preserves the brain from covered with downy hair is one of the marks all extremes of temperature, retains the of a scrofulous child, and who has not been warmth of the body, and transmits very saddened by the charm of the long eyelashes slowly any impression from without. The orer the lustrous eye of the consumptive girl! character of the hair depends very much
The very anomalies of growth show that upon the degree of protection needed by its the hair must fulfil more than å triling possessor. The same hair - whether of head purpose in the system. There has been an or beard - that is in Europe straight, smooth, account published in the present century by and soft, becomes after a little travel in hot Ruggieri, of a woman, twenty-seven years of climates crisp and curly, and will become age, who was covered from the shoulders to smooth again after a return to cooler latitudes. the knees with black woolly hair, like that By a natural action of the sun's light and of a poodle dog: Very recently, a French heat upon the hair that curliness is produced, physician has related the case of a young and it is produced in proportion as it is lady over whose skin, after a fever, hair grew required, until, as in the case of negroes so rapidly that, at the end of a month, she under the tropical suns of Africa, each hair was covered with a hairy coat, an inch long, becomes so intimately curled up with its over every part of her body, except the face, neighbors as to produce what we call a the palms of the hands, and the soles of the woolly head. All hair is wool, or rather all feet.
wool is hair, and the bair of the negro differs There are other less curious accounts of so much in appearance from that of the women who are obliged to shave regularly European, only because it is so much more once or twice a week; and it may be asked curled, and the distinct hairs are so much why are not all women compelled to share ? more intimately intertwined. The more hair If beards and whiskers serve a purpose, why curls, the more thoroughly does it form a web are they denied women ? That is à in which a stratum of air lies entangled to question certainly not difficult to answer. maintain an even temperature on the surface For the same reason that the rose is painted of the braio. For that reason it is made a and the violet perfumed, there are assigned law of nature, that the hair should be caused by nature to the woman attributes of grace to curl most in the hottest climates. heightened by physical weakness, and to the A protection of considerable importance is man attributes of dignity and strength. A provided in the same way by the hair of the face thousand delicate emotions were to play to a large and important knot of nerves that about the woman's mouth, expressions that lie under the skin near the angle of the lower would not look beautiful in man. We all jaw, somewhere about the point of junction know that there is nothing more ridiculous to between the whiskers and the beard. Man is look at than a ladies' man who assumes born to work out of doors and in all weathers femininity to please his huge body of sisters, for his bread; woman was created for duties and wins their confidence by making himself of another kind, which do not involve constant quite one of their own set. The character of exposure to sun, wind, and rain. Therefore woman's beauty would be marred by hair man only goes abroad whiskered and bearded, upon the face; moreover, what rest would with his face muffled by nature in a way that there be ever for an infant on the mother's shields every sonsitive part alike from wind, hosom tickled perpetually with a mother's rain, heat, or frost, with a perfection that beard ? Not being framed for active bodily could be equalled by no mufier of his own toil, the woman has not the man's capacious devising. The whiskerless seldom can bear lungs, and may need also less growth of hair. long exposure to a sharp wind that strikes on But the growth of hair in women really the bare cheek. The numbness then occais not much less than in the other sex. sioned by a temporary palsy of the nerves has The hair upon a woman's head is, as a in many cases become permanent; I will say general rule, coarser, longer, and the whole nothing of aches and pains that otherwise mass is naturally heavier, than the hair upon affect the face or teeth. For man who goes the head of a man. Here, by the way, I out to his labor in the morning, no better should like to hint a question, whether since summer shield or winter covering against the what is gained in one place seems to be lost sun or storm can be provided, than the hair in another, the increased growth at the chin which grows over those parts of the face produced by constant shaving may not help which need protection and descends as beard to account for some part of the weakness of in front of tho neck and chest, a defence intihair upon the crown, and of the tendency to nitely more useful as well as inore becoming premature baldness which is so common in than a cravat about the neck, or a prepared English civilized society?
hareskin over the pit of the stomach. One The hair upon the scalp, so far as concerns of the finest living prose-writers in our lanits mechanical use, is no doubt the most Iguage suffered for many years from sore throat, which was incurable, until, following the ad-| for the purpose the mustache and beard vice of an Italian surgeon, he allowed bis around the mouth. bcard to grow; and Mr. Chadwick has Surely enough has been here said to make pointed out the fact that the sappers and it evident that the Englishman who, at the miners of the French army, who are all men end of his days, has spent about an entire with fine beards, are almost entirely free from year of his life in scraping off his beard, has affections of the lungs and air-passages. worried himself to no purpose, has submitted
Mr. Chadwick regards the subject entirely to a painful, vexatious, and not merely usefrom a sanitary point of view. He brought less, but actually unwbolesome, custom. He it under the discussion of the medical section has disfigured himself systematically throughengaged on sanitary inquiries at the York out life, accepted his share of unnecessary mecting of the British Association, and ob- tic-doloreaux and toothache, coughs and colds, tained among other support the concurrence has swallowed dust and inhaled smoke and of Dr. W. P. Alison of Edinburgh. We name fog out of complaisance to the social prejudice that physician because he has since persuaded which happens just now to prevail. We all the journeymen masons of his own city to abominate the razor while we
use it, and wear their beards as a preventive against con- would gladly lay it down. Now, if we see sumption that prevailed among them. clearly — and I think the fact is very clear —
For that is another use of the mustache that the use of it is a great blunder, and if and beard. They protect the opening of the we are no longer such a slovenly people as to mouth, and filter the air for a man working be afraid that, if we kept our beards, we in smoke or dust of any kind; they also act as should not wash, or comb, or trim them in a a respirator, and prevent the inhalation into decent way, why can we not put aside our the lungs of air that is too frosty. Mr. Chad morning plague and irritate our skin no more wick, years ago, was led to the discussion of as we do now? this subject by observing how, in the case of I recommend nobody to grow a beard in some blacksmiths who wore beards and such a way as to isolate himself in appearance mustaches, the hair about the mouth was from his neighbors. Moreover, I do not at discolored by the iron dust that had been all desire to bring about such a revolution as caught on its way into the mouth and lungs. would make shaven chins as singular as The same observer has also pointed out and bearded chins are now. What I should much applied to his argument the fact that travel prefer would be the old Roman custom, which lers wait, if necessary, until their mustaches preserved the first beard on a young man's have grown before they brave the sandy air face until it became comely, and then left it of deserts. He conceives, therefore, that the entirely a matter of choice with him whether absence of mustache and beard must involve he would remain bearded or not. Though it & serious loss to laborers in dusty trades, would be wise in an adult man to leave off such as millers and masons; to men employed shaving, he must not expect after ten or in grinding steel and iron, and to travellers twenty years of scraping at the chin, when he on dusty roads. Men who retain the hair has stimulated each hair into undue coarseabout the mouth are also, he says, much less pess and an undue rapidity of growth, that liable to decay, or achings of the teeth. To he can ever realize upon his own person the this list we would add, also, that apart from beauty of a virgin beard. If we could introthe incessant dust flying in town streets, and duce now a reform, we, that have been inured inseparable froin town life, there is the smoke to shaving, may develop very good black to be considered. Both dust and smoke do beards, most serviceable for all working get into the lungs, and only in a small degree purposes, and a great improvement on bald it is possible for them to be decomposed and chins ; but the true beauty of the beard removed by processes of life. The air-pas- remains to be developed in the next generasages of a Manchester man, or of a resident tion on the faces of those who may be induced in the city of London, if opened after death, from the beginning to abjure the use of are found to be more or less colored by the razors. dirt that has been breathed. Perhaps it does vot matter much ; but surely we had better not make dustholes or chimney funnels of our
THE ROCKET (eruca sativa) is used in salad lungs. Beyond a certain point this introduc- in Italy, though its smell is disagreeable, like tion of mechanical impurity into the delicate rancid bacon; and in Holland the yellow air-passages does cause a morbid irritation, stone-crop is eaten with lettuce. marked disease, and premature death. We had better keep our lungs clean altogether, The garden CRESS was thought by the and for that reason men working in cities ancients to make those who ate it strong and would find it always worth while to retain brave; wherefore it was much used by the air-filter supplied to them by nature ! gladiators.
From Chambers' Journal.
manner, would make effort impossible. My
aunt had lost all confidence in me AN INCIDENT OF MY CHILDHOOD.
terrible ; what was worse, I had lost all con“ MABEL,” said my aunt, facing me sternly, Gidence in myself
. I saw myself, mean, onand speaking with solemn emphasis — " you generous, a liar! I had no more self-respect. are lowered forever in my eyes! When Mr. When my cousins whispered together about Ellison comes, he shall assuredly know of me, or the servants nodded and smiled signithis. Go !” she added, with a gesture as if ficantly, I should have nothing to fall back upthe sight of me were intolerable : "I shall on. Why, I was what they thought me; never bave confidence in you again.” I could not defy their contempt, but must
I ran out of the room into the garden take it as my due. I might get angry, but through the side-door, which always stood who would mind my anger? A thousand open in hot weather ; but my cousins were at thoughts exasperated my anguish. play on the lawn ; so I few on in the bitter- I was very fond of reading, and had a likness of my wounded spirit, until I found the ing for heroic biographies. Noble actione, shade and quiet I wanted under a large hoary fine principles, always awoke a passionate apple-tree, which stood in the neighboring enthusiasm in my mind, caused strong throbs orchard. Under its spreading branches I threw of ambition, and very often my aunt had lent myself down.
a kind ear to the outpouring of such emotions. I have a vivid impression of the aspect and The case would be altered now. I might “feel” of that summer afternoon. The heat read, indeed, but such feelings I must hencewas intense ; even the ground on which I lay forth keep to myself: who would have seemned to burn the bare arms crossed beneath patience to hear me thus expatiate ? I was my humbled head. I knew there was not a cut off from fellowship with the good. grateful cloud in the radiant sky above me; I I must give up, too, my little class at the felt there was not a breath of wind stirring, village Sunday-school, which I had been 80 not enough even to rustle the thick leaves of proud to undertake. How could I, despised the orchard trees. The gairish brilliancy, the at home, go among the children as before? I sultry stillness, oppressed me almost more could never talk to them as I used to venture than I could bear. If I could have hidden to do. They would know it, as all the world myself from the sight of the sun, if I could would know; they would mock me in their have cheated my own consciousness, I would hearts - each feeling she was better than I. have gladly done so. I will not believe the I rose up from the grass, for
my state of mind world held at that moment a more wretched would bear the prone attitude no longer, and being than I was, that any grown-up man or leaning against the tree, looked around me. woman with developed faculties ever suffered Oh! the merry games I had had in this ormore keenly from the pangs of self-contempt. chard. The recollection brought a food of
For, let me at once tell the reader, I was bitter tears to my eyes - I had not cried do victim of injustice or misconstruction ; the before - for I was sure that time was past; words with which I had been driven from the I should never have another. “ Never, house were justified by what I had done. I never!” I cried, wringing my hands ; “I was fourteen years of age, I had been care- shall never have the heart to play again, even fully and kindly educated, none knew better if they would play with me. I am another than I the differences between right and girl now! wrong; yet in spite of age, teaching, and the In truth, my brief esperience seemed to intellect's enlightenment, I had just_been have oldened ine, to have matured my faculguilty of a gross moral transgression : I had ties. I saw myself in a kind of vague conbeen convicted of a falsehood ; and, more fused vision as I might have been, as I could than that, it was no impulsive lie escaping never now become. No; life was an altered me in some exigency, but a deliberate one, thing from what it had appeared yesterday : and calculated to do another hurt. The whole I had its capabilities on the threshold. I house knew of it - servants, cousins, and all ; could get a glimpse of the house through the the coming guest was to know of it too. My trees ; I could see the parlor windows where, shame was complete. " What shall I do? within the shady room, tea was what will become of me?". I cried aloud. being prepared for the expected visitor. Ah! " I shall never be happy again!
that visitor, with whom I used to be a favoIt seemed so to me. I had lost my position rite, who had always been so kind - he was in the house where I had been so favored and now on his way with the same heart tohappy ; I had compromised my character wards me, little knowing what had happened, from that day henceforward. I, who had little knowing I was lost and ruined ! meant to do such good in the world, had Does this description of my state of mind, lost my chance ; for that sin clinging to my of my sense of guilt, seem overstrained ? It conscience, the remembrance of which I is just possible I give a little more coherence should read in everybody's face and altered | to my reflections than they had at the time,