Page images

hair is to part the front hair in three, so that the central parting shall be turned is back, as in the accompanying illustration. This covers the junction of the parting

of the other two, and when they have been († 87), the ladies wore chaplets of natural well brushed and brought down over the flowers, so in the present day they encircle side of the face, the central part is turned their back hair with wreaths of artificial back, while the two lateral or side partings roses, or other flowers, confining the plaits,

are brushed off the face and turned in which are ingeniously turned round and - behind the ears. The back hair in this round, with an ornamental tortoise-shell

case is sometimes used in with the other comb; a coronal plait is frequently brought hair, or plaited into some fancy plait.

over the head, but in some instances it is 129. À very effective manner of dress- omitted ; such as, for example, where the ing the hair is the one figured in the hair is not luxuriant enough to admit of it: accompanying illustration; the hair is but even this is often overcome by the

ingenuity of the hair-dresser introducing a false plait, or a coronal of satin-ribbon.

131. The semi-Grecian style of dressing the hair is admirably adapted to certain features, and has been universally admired when it has been suitably applied. The front hair is combed back over a slight roll of brown silk, stuffed with wool, and fastened round the head, and the hair is then turned back towards the back hair, which is cable-plaited ($ 138) and dressed in a similar manner to that in the preceding paragraph. When the hair has been dressed thus, a gold and crimson or other coloured rouleau is passed round the head and fastened with a common or Maltese filagree hair-pin. The second illustra

tion (2), shows another method of dressing simply parted and the side hair divided the hair. The front hair is formed into

[ocr errors]

plain or waving bandeaux, worn close to the face, or spread out according to fancy and effect. The back hair is then twisted and intermixed with a band of crimson velvet ribbon, or a string of pearls, or both, and turned up, as shown in the illustration.

132. The modern English style of head-dress is that shown in the figure below, where we observe that the side hair is dressed with ringlets; and the back hair plaited and turned up. On the right side of the head we also observe a bunch of roses, which, in many instances, is represented by two camellias, or other! flowers.

[ocr errors]

133. Perhaps the latest fashion is the ancient Phrygian net, or caul of gold network, for the young ladies' back hair, the same as that worn during the reigns of Henry III. (§ 87), Edward I. (§ 89), Richard II. (§ 93), and other monarchs.

134. All kinds or styles of hair-dressing must resolve themselves into ringlets, curls, plaits, braids, bands, fillets, folds, and a combination of all of them. You may modify, twist, invert, and crisp, curl, plait, and do what you please; but after all, you must acknowledge that there is nothing (in hair-dressing at, least) new, under the sun. If you doubt our assertion, peruse the historical part of this paper again.

135. The various plaits in general use are the Grecian, the basket or chain plait, and the cable plait.


136. The Grecian plait is woven as foilows:-Take a tolerably thick lock of hair, divide it into two equal parts; take from the outside of the left hand portion, a very small piece of hair,-about a sixth part,-pass it over into the centre, and unite it with the right hand portion; do the same from the right hand portion, and pass it over into the centre, and unite it with the left hand portion; proceed thus, taking the small and even-sized lock alternately from the left and right hand portions until all is plaited; be careful to keep this plait very smooth.

137. The Basket or Chain plait is made by taking four rather small strands of hair; plait with only three of these, weaving them over and under the fourth, which serves to draw the chain up, as in the way in which a plait of three is usually worked, taking first the left hand outside strand, and working it under one and over the next until it takes the place of the right outside strand, which in its turn is then worked to the left side, and so on alternately, always retaining one unmoved in the middle.

138. The Cable plait, is made by taking three pretty thick strands of hair of equal size; place one in the centre; take the left hand strand and lift it under the centre one, and over it, and back to its own place; take the right hand strand and lift that under the centre one, and over it, and back to its place; work on thus alternately to the end. The best way of weaving this is to divide the back hair into two equal portions, and then make two "cables," and having twisted them round each

[ocr errors]



other, to wind this double cable round the or moustaches, or both, or shaving his face head.

altogether. In the reign of Henry III. 139. Although Nature has done so much the people generally patronized razors, to adorn us, yet it appears, from all that we

and shaved their faces clean. How fashions have written, that Fashion has done more change, and people also : in the reign of to destroy the natural adornment than Edward I. the beard was admired for its might well be imagined. It is plain that length, and great pains were taken to curl it was never intended our hair should it; and we also find that much care and dangle over our eyes to blind us, nor that attention was bestowed upon the beard it should be twisted, frizzled, dyed, curled, during the reign of Edward II. by many greased, powdered, or otherwise tortured individuals. Again, during the reign of to please the tastes of the day. True it is Edward III., the beard was worn long and that the ancients set us the example in all pointed. In the reign of Richard II., the these matters, but that is no reason why knights and courtiers, aye, and even many we should follow them. Let us look at others, wore their beards peaked, and long the commencement of an improvement in moustaches, à la Haynau." With Henry V. the reign of George III. (§ 119—121), whiskers disappeared, moustaches were only that of brushing the hair off the forehead, partially worn, and beards were almost disand we shall find that it has gradually pro- carded ; and in the reign of Henry VII. gressed (see § 126, 127, 128), and we trust we find that only the soldiers and old men that it will be firmly established; for wore moustaches and beard, the people nothing is so becoming to most faces, and generally shaving their faces. In the reign it may be generally made so by a little of Henry VIII. nearly every person wore inodification.

a beard and moustache, real or false.
During the reign of Charles I. and the
Commonwealth, the moustaches were worn

small, peaked, and turned up, and the beard 140. We cannot enter fully into the very peaked. In the reign of Charles II. history of the ornamental hair assigned to moustaches were much worn, but not inan's face; but nevertheless we purpose beards, and the imperial is said to have giving a brief outline of the changes of been first introduced into England. A very fashion in England with respect to them. amusing incident with respect to beards is

141. The Teutonic tribes held the beard said to have occurred during the year 1561. in great reverence, and considered the When Philip I. sent the young Constable laying of the hand upon, or the touching de Castile to Rome to congratulate Sextus of, the beard, equivalent to an oath. it the Fifth on his advancement, the Pope was generally kept long, forked, and ample, immediately said—“Are there so few men and in some instances was dyed, or pow- in Spain that your king sends me one dered with coloured hair-powder. From without a beard?” “Sir,” said the fierce A.D. 450 to 1016, beards were forbidden to Spaniard, “if his Majesty possessed the the higher clergy, but the lower class were least idea that you imagined merit lay in a permitted to wear them.

beard, he would have deputed a goat to 142. In the reign of Edward the Con- you, not a gentleman." fessor, the people wore the moustache, but 143. The Turks are very particular about shaved their chins. But in the reign of their beards and moustaches, and use depiWilliam the Conqueror, we find the priests latory tweezers to remove all irregular eschewing

razors altogether, and some of hairs from the cheeks and brows; and the people following their example, while many nations pride themselves upon their others adopted the Norman fashion, and beards, while others are equally important shaved off the natural adornments of the upon the matter of moustaches. face. In the reign of Henry I. the clergy 144. We admire beards, whiskers, and themselves exclaim against beards, and moustaches, in their place, in proper time, compare those who wear them to “ filthy season, and climate. We like a good goats.” During the reigns of Henry II., shave, with a keen razor, but must always Richard I., and John, a person might | vote for the rational employment of hair as please himself, by either wearing the beard | an ornament.



LET us turn our attention to the Sloth, whose native haunts have hitherto been so little known, and probably little looked into. Those who have written on this singular animal have remarked that he is in a perpetual state of pain; that he is proverbially slow in his movements; that he is a prisoner in space; and that, as soon as he has consumed all the leaves of the tree upon which he had mounted, he 1olls himself up in the form of a ball, and then falls to the ground. This is not the case. If the naturalists who have written the history of the Sloth had gone into the wilds, in order to examine his haunts and economy, they would not have drawn the foregoing conclusions; they would have learned, that though all other quadrupeds may be described while resting upon the ground, the Sloth is an exception to this rule, and that his history must be written while he is in the tree.

This singular animal is destined by nature to be produced, to live, and to die in the trees; and, to do justice to him, naturalists must examine him in this upper element. He is a scarce and solitary animal, and being good food he is never allowed to escape. He inhabits remote and gloomy forests, where snakes take up their abode, and where cruelly stinging ants and scorpions, and swamps and innumerable thorny shrubs and bushes obstruct the steps of civilized man.Were you to draw your own conclusions from the descriptions which have been given to the Sloth, you would probably suspect that no naturalist has actually gone into the wilds with the fixed determination to find him out, and examine his haunts, and see whether nature has committed any blunder in the formation of this extraordinary creature, which appears to us so forlorn and miserable, so ill put together, and so totally unfit to enjoy the blessings which have been so bountifully given to the rest of animated nature; for he has no soles to his feet, and he is evidently ill at ease when he tries to move on the ground; and it is then that he looks up in your face with a countenance that says, "Have pity on me, for I am in pain and sorrow."

It mostly happens that Indians and Negroes are the people who catch the sloth and bring it to the white man; hence it may be conjectured that the erroneous accounts we have hitherto had of the Sloth, have not been penned down with the slightest intention to mislead the reader, or give him an exaggerated history, but that these errors have naturally arisen by examining the Sloth in those places where nature never intended that he should be exhibited.

However, we are now in his own domain. Man but little frequents these thick and noble forests which extend far and wide on every side of us. This, then, is the proper place to go in quest of the Sloth. We will first take a near view of him. By obtaining a knowledge of his anatomy, we shall be enabled to account for his movements hereafter when we see him in his proper haunts. His fore legs, or, more correctly speaking his arms, are apparently much too long: while his hind legs are very short, and look as if they could be bent almost to the shape of a corkscrew. Both the fore and hind legs, by their form and by the manner in which they are joined to the body, are quite incapacitated from acting in a perpendicular direction, or in supporting it on the earth as the bodies of other quadrupeds are supported by their legs. "Hence, when you place him on the floor, his belly touches the ground," Now, granted that he supported himself on his legs like other animals, nevertheless he would be in pain, for he has no soles to his feet, and his claws are very sharp and long, and curved; so that, were his body supported by his feet, it would be by their extremities just as your body would be, were you to throw yourself on all fours, and try to support it on the ends of your toes and fingers-a trying position. Were the floor of glass, or of a polished surface, the sloth would actually be quite stationary; but as the ground is generally rough, with little protuberances upon it, such as stones, or roots of grass, &c., this just suits the Sloth, and he moves his fore legs in all directions in order to find something to lay hold of; and when he has succeeded, he pulls himself forward, and is thus enabled to travel onwards, but at the same time in so tardy and awkward


[ocr errors]


a manner as to acquire him the name of vampire. When asleep, he supports him

self from a branch parallel to the earth. Indeed, his looks and his gestures He first seizes the branch with one arm, evidently betray his uncomfortable situa- and then with the other; and, after that, tion; and, as a sigh every now and then brings up both his legs, one by one, to escapes him, we may be entitled to con- the same branch: so that all four are in a clude that he is actually in pain.

line; he seems perfectly at rest in this Some years ago I kept a Sloth in my position. Now, had he a tail, he would room for several months. I often took be at a loss to know what to do with it in him out of the house and placed him this position ; were he to draw it up within upon the ground in order to have an his legs, it would interfere with them ; opportunity of observing his motions. If were he to let it hang down, it would the ground were rough, he would pull become the sport of the winds. Thus himself forwards by means of his fore legs his deficiency of tail is a benefit to him ; at a pretty good pace; and he invariably it is merely an apology for a tail, immediately shaped his course towards soarcely exceeding an inch and a half in the nearest tree. But if I put him upon a length. smooth and well-trodden part of the road, I observed, when he was climbing, he he appeared to be in trouble and distress; never used his arms both together, but his favourite abode was the back of a first one, and then the other, and so on chair ; and after getting all his legs in a alternately. There is a singularity in his line

upon the topmost part of it, he would hair, different from that of all other hang there for hours together, and often animals, and, I believe, hitherto unwith a low and inward cry would seem to noticed by naturalists; his hair is thick invite me to take notice of him.

and coarse at the extremity, and graduThe Sloth, in its wild state, spends its ally tapers to the root, where it becomes whole life in trees, and never leaves them fine as a spider's web. His fur has so but through force, or by accident. An much of the hue of the moss which grows all-ruling Providence has ordered man to on the branches of the trees, that it is tread on the surface of the earth, the very difficult to make him out when he eagle to soar in the expanse of the skies, is at rest. and the monkey and squirrel to inhabit the The male of the three-toed Sloth has a

still these may change their relative longitudinal bar of very fine black hair on situations without feeling much inconve- his back, rather lower than the shouldernience; but the Sloth is doomed to spend blades; on each side of this black bar his whole life in the trees; and, what is there is a space of yellow hair, equally more extraordinary, not upon the branches, fine; it has the appearance of being like the squirrel and the monkey, but pressed into the body, and looks exactly under them. He moves suspended from as if it had been singed. If we examine the branch, he rests suspended from the anatomy of his fore-legs, we shall it, and he sleeps suspended from it. To immediately perceive, by their firm and enable him to do this, he must have a very muscular texture, how very capable they different formation from that of any other are of supporting the pendant weight of

his body, both in climbing and at rest; Hence his seemingly bungled conforma- and, instead of pronouncing them a tion is at once accounted for; and in lieu bungled composition, as a celebrated of the Sloth leading a painful life, and naturalist has done, we shall consider them en alling a melancholy and miserable as remarkably well calculated to perform existence on its progeny, it is but fair to their extraordinary functions. surmise that it just enjoys life as much as As the Sloth is an inhabitant of forests any other animal, and that its extraordi- within the tropics, where the trees touch nary formation and singular habits are each other in the greatest profusion, there but further proofs to engage us to admire seems to be no reason why he should conthe wonderful works of Omnipotence. fine himself to one tree alone for food, and

It must be observed that the Sloth does entirely strip it of its leaves. During the not hang his head downwards like the many years I have ranged the forests, I


known quadruped.

« PreviousContinue »