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must know very well that foreigners grow hair
to hide their yellow jaws. Ah, when shall I
see again fair English red and brown, see the
firm set of English lips, and the fun at play over
the earnest of an English mouth! A beard's
a mask; I like to see the mouth that speaks to

My friend the British Resident is no doubt
wrong in this. It begins to appear even in
English eyes that the beard goes more to
confession than the lip. Set your hand to your
beard and your character is in it under your
sign-manual. Leave your beard to nature, and in its
unfettered sweep every hair magnifies at the tip
the slightest movement at the root, so that a
play of the mouth perceptible to few becomes
an expression evident to all, that is to say,
whenever men are observant as they are in
England, and true beards are plentiful enough
to give room for a fair knowledge of their

"I hate everything that is not thoroughly
English," says John Limpet; but when he comes
to details, while he is just in a great deal of his
grumbling, I doubt very much whether he has
a clear notion of what is national. Once upon
a time cock-fighting was held to be thoroughly
English. Roger Ascham, one of our first
writcrs of fine English prose, tutor to three
English sovereigns, of whom Queen Elizabeth
was one, not only wrote a treatise in dialogue
upon the Art or Teaching and Tonophilus, or
the School of Shooting, which may pass as the
first of patriotic manuals for English volunteers,
but he was the author also of a lost book upon
cock-fighting, which will some day be unearthed
from among the manuscripts in an old library at
Cambridge or elsewhere. "Of all kind of
pastimes fit for a gentleman," he said, "I will,
God willing, in fitter place more at large declare
fully, in my Book of the Cock-pit." We shall
learn something by the disentombing of that
"Book of the Cock-pit," in which one of the
most accomplished scholars of the days of
Henry the Eighth, Edward the Sixth, Mary
and Elizabeth, said what a refined English
gentleman had then to say on behalf of a sport
which we should now esteem too brutal for the
untaught mob.

When, cock-fighting was thoroughly English
there was held to be something terribly
un-English in certain forms of dress. Even the
earnest, honest Latimer, who spoke so many
home truths, was as as angry with the women's
caps and with their way of hairdressing as with
their sins. "I would they would (as they have
much pranking) when they put on their caps, I
would, he says, "they would have this
meditation, I am now putting on my power upon
my head. . . . But now here is a vengeance
devil: we must have our power from Turkey of
velvet, and gay it must be, far fetched, dear
bought, and when it cometh it is a false sign.
I had rather have a true English sign, than
a false sign from Turkey. It is a false sign"
hear it, all modern wearers of neck-bonnets!
—"when it covereth not their head as it
should do. For if they would keep it under
the power as they ought to do, there should not
be any such thussocks nor tufts be seen as
there be, nor such laying out of the hair, nor
braiding to have it open." Latimer against
hair pads! Scripture, the preacher told women,
does indeed mention curls, but holy men of old
never saw women "in these thussocks that are
laid out now-a-days." Women had not in their
time "come to be so far out of order." His
advice to a lady was, "I will tell thee if thou
wilt needs lay it out, or if thou wilt needs show
thy hair and have it seen, go and poll thy head,
or round it, as men do: for to what purpose
is it to pull it out so, and to lay it out?"

The Satirist, instead of the preacher in a
later time, attacked the mouse-skin eyebrows of
the fair:

           Helen was just slipt into bed:
               Her eyebrows on the toilet lay:
          Away the kitten with them fled,
               As fees belonging to her prey.

Then, madam must get up herself to bait a
trap, sensible that

          On little things, as sages write,
             Depends our human joy or sorrow;
          If we don't catch a mouse to-night,
             Alas! no eyebrows for to-morrow.

The days of the mouse-skin eyebrow
preceded the time when bell-ringing was a
thoroughly national amusement. True Britons
made parties to the belfries, and rang triple bob
majors against each other and all the world.

I sometimes ask my friend Limpet what he
takes to have been the most British period of
British history. When the Anglo-Saxons came
in on the old Gaels, they were foreigners
themselves. They began to gad sooner than any
people, were among the first to voyage to the
Holy Land, the first to have a hostelry for their
own use at Romethe Anglo-Saxon Family
Hotel as we might call it. The Normans brought
a flood of foreign talk and foreign ways with
them. Though Chaucer was, in Spenser's mind,
the "well of English undefiled," he was a town-bred courtier who mixed many a French word
with his verse, while his contemporary, the
country-bred author of the Vision of Piers
Plowman seemed to write in another tongue, because
he held more closely by the homely Saxon phrase.
In Spenser's time every true British Resident
complained of the gadding of society at large to
Italy, and of the bringing thence of all manner
of outlandish intellectual and moral textures,
which were to be preferred to homespun. Ladies
and gentlemen of the court of good Queen Bess
served up to each other over supper-tables, such
outlandish and affected dishes of minced words,
and read such preposterous Italian novels, that
my friend Limpet, had he lived in the great days
of Elizabeth, would have been scared out of his
wits. He would even have had to cut holes in
his coat-sleeves, and carry cushions about in
the legs of his trousers. We ceased to feed on
Italian, only when we had French crammed into
our mouths. We bowed very humbly to the