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Think of the trouble we shall save if our proposal is adopted ! We doubt not but it might be carried into execution to so great an extent that one might find a sharp genius in a sharp comb, and trace the intricacies of a distorted imagination through the intricacies of a distorted curl. Perfumes and manners might be studied together, and a cavendish and a character might be scrutinized by one and the same glance.
Do not be alarmed at the importance we attach to a head of hair;—Homer would never have attributed to one of his warriors the perpetual epithet of Yellow-haired, if he had not seen in the expression something more than a mere external ornament; nor would Pope have
« Weigh'd the Men's wits against the Ladies' hair," if he had not discerned on the heads of his Belles something worthy of so exalted a comparison. The attention which is paid by certain of our companions to this part of the outward man, will with them be a sufficient excuse for the weight which we attach to the subject.
We might go back to the ages of antiquity, and traverse distant countries, in order to prove how constantly the manners of nations are designated by their Hair-dressing. We will omit, however, this superfluous voyage, concluding that our schoolfellows need not to be informed of the varieties of the ornaments for the poll, in which the Persian, the Greek, and the Roman character evinced itself. We shall find sufficient illustration of our position in the Annals of English Manners. In the days of our ancestors the flowered wig was the decoration of the gentlemen; and the hair, raised by cushions, stiffened with powder, and fastened with wires, formed the most becoming insignia of the lady. The behaviour of both sexes, was the counterpart of their occipital distinctions; among the gentlemen the formal gallantry of those days was denoted by a no less formal peruke, and among the ladies, the lover was prepared to expect a stiffness of decorum by the warning he received from so rigid a stiffness of tete. In our days the case is altered—altered, we think, for the better; unshackled politeness and innocent gaiety have by degrees succeeded to haughty repulsiveness and affected condescension ;, and, in the same proportion, the wig of one sex, and the tower of the other, have been gradually superseded by fashions less appalling and more becoming. The harmless freedom, which is the prevailing characteristic of the manners of the present age, is shown in no particular more strikingly than in the cultivation of the head; and the various shades by which the habits and dispositions of men are diversified, are not more distinct from each other than the various modes and tastes in which their heads are made up...
6 Cast your eye
This we believe is the substance of a series of observations which we heard from a stranger the last time we were at Coventgarden Theatre. We were seated in the pit; (in the fifth row from the orchestra, a situation which we recommend to our readers,) our companion was a middle-aged man, of a tolerable person, but marked by no peculiarity except that ease of deportment, and that ready conversational power, which are invariably the characteristics of a man of the world. We were imperceptibly engaged in a conversation with him, which finally turned upon the subject of this Paper. We are aware we have not done justice to his ideas. He expressed them with all the ease and perspicuity, mingled with playful humour, which denote a powerful mind employing its energies upon trivial pursuits. Then, pointing as he spoke with a curiously-knotted cane which he held in his hand, he proceeded in the following manner to exemplify his doctrines :for a moment upon
the pair of figures who are leaning towards each other in the stage box. The Gentleman wears his hair cut somewhat of the shortest, thrown up negligently in front, so as to discover a full high forehead—I fancy he must be a Naval Officer; open, bold, thoughtless. The character of the Lady is equally legible. Her long auburn hair, erected by the most assiduous attention into an artificial cone, has a bold and imposing appearance, and denotes that the Lady is a Beauty, and -knows it.
“ There are three old gentlemen in the next box, who are worth a moment's notice. . I mean the three in the second row, who discussing some question with no little vehemence of action and attitude. The first of them, who has his hair so sprucely trimmed, and fitted to the sides of his head with such scrupulous exactness, appears to be a sinecure holder who receives yearly a large salary, and finds his only occupation in his brush ;- the second, whose hair seems to have been too much neglected by the scissars, although it is powdered for the occasion, and tied behind en queue, is, I should conceive, a disappointed and disaffected military officer ; the third, whose locks seem to have a natural tendency to what was the newest fashion ten years ago, must be a country gentleman come up to town to benefit his constituents and ruin his heirs. By the earnest manner in which they are speaking, their topic is probably some political change ; and the fat old gentleman, in the close wig, who is listening to them in the third row, is reflecting upon the influence which such an event would have on the five
"In the centre box there are a large body of fashionables, with some of whom I have a trifling acquaintance. Let us see how far they comply with my wishes in making the head an index of the heart. Look at the young man to the right. His locks are com
posed into a studied negligence by the labour of two hours; they are glossy with all the invention of Delcroix, fragrant with a melonge of rose, jasmin, and jonquil. You need not proceed to the inspection of his neckcloth or his waist, in order to be convinced that such a being is an Exquisite.
“ The lady next to him is a languissante. You might, with no great effort of ingenuity, divine it from the state of her head. Its
! curls hang over the ivory surface of her neck in a sort of artful listlessness, which is admirably adapted to her torpid style of beauty, and her yet more torpid style of mind. The other lady, in the front row, is her sister. She has more fashion than beauty, more vivacity than fashion, and more malice than either. With such qualifications the course of conquest she was to pursue was obvious. She studies singularity, dresses her hair à la grecque, and sets up for a Spirituelle. The success of these light troops is frequently more brilliant than that of the Regulars. The fop with whom she is coquetting is a young author striving to be known. » His character is written legibly on his forehead. The spruceness with which every hair is bound down in its proper station, and the stiff pertness with which the top-knot is forced up, as if disdainful of the compression of the hat, plainly show that he is, at least in his own estimation, a favourite of Apollo.
“ There is a gentleman in the next box, of whom it was once remarked, that his countenance bore some resemblance to that of Lord Byron. Since this luckless expression the poor man has studied much to make himself ridiculous by imitating his Lordship in his eccentricity, since to copy his genius is out of the question. Without looking at the eye, which takes great pains to le be “fixed in vacancy," or the lip, which endeavours to quiver with an expression of moroseness, you may tell, from the wild and foreign costume of his tresses, that Lord Fanny is a would be Furioso.
“ It is needless to multiply examples. You will see them at every glance which you throw around you. Aurelia shows her reigning passion for rule or misrule by the circlet of gold with which her head is encompassed; and her husband, by the lank and dejected condition of his scanty forelock, gives room for a conjecture that the principal feature of his character is submission. Old Golding, the usurer, shows his aversion for extravagance by the paucity of his visits to the barber'; and his
bride, Chloe, takes care to evince a contrary taste by the diamonds which are so bountifully scattered amidst her profusion of dark ringlets. Anna, by the unvaried sameness of her head-dress, gives you warning of the unvaried sameness of her disposition; and Matilda, by the diversity of modes which her forehead assumes, gives you to understand that her temper and character are diversified as often.
It is not surprising that this should be the case. Look to the stage, from which, indeed, our attention has been too long withdrawn. Would you not smile if Juliet were to soliloquize in Mrs. Hardcastle's tete, or the Royal Dane to moralize in the peruke of Sir Peter Teazle ?”
Here the stranger paused, and we shortly became interested to such a degree in the sorrows of Belvidera, that we know not what further remarks he communicated, nor at what time he ceased to
be our companion. As the curtain fell we looked round, and he =was no longer by our side.
ON LEAVING LLANDOGO, A VILLA ON THE BANKS OF THE WYE.
Sweet spot! I leave thee with an aching heart,
As down the stream my boat glides smoothly on,
And thou the maiden that I doated on.
I ne'er shall view yon woody glen again ;
That lowly church, calm promiser of rest;
Fantastic gems upon the mountain's breast.
Fast, fast, thou'rt fading from my longing sight;
The next bold turn, and thou art gone for aye,
The faint remembrance of a love gone by.
Farewell! and if Fate's distant unknown page
Doom me to wreck on Passion's angry sea,
And charm the tempest with a thought on thee.
Is this thine ancient glory, stately Queen?
Time was—imperial Rome, thy Flavian line
gone, While in those rents the waste of years