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countrymen, after having received sentence, was taken into custody by a couple of evil spirits; but that his guides happened to disorder his mustachoes, they were forced to recompose them with a pair of curling-irons before they could get him to file off.
If we look into the history of our own nation, we shall find, that the beard flourished in the Saxon heptarchy, but was very much discouraged under the Norman line. It shot out, however, from time to time, in several reigns, under different shapes. The last effort it made seems to have been in Queen Mary's days, as the curious reader may find, if he pleases to peruse the figures of Cardinal Pole and Bishop Gardiner; though at the same time, I think it
be questioned, if zeal against popery has not induced our protestant painters to extend the beards of these two persecutors beyond their natural dimensions, in order to make them appear the more terrible.
I find but few beards worth taking notice of in the reign of King James the First.
During the civil wars there appeared one, which makes too great a figure in story to be passed over in silence; I mean that of the redoubted Hudibras, an account of which Butler has trans. mitted to posterity in the following lines:
His tawny beard was th' equal grace,
The whisker continued for some time among us after the extirpation of beards; but this is a subject which I shall not here enter upon, having discussed it at large in a distinct treatise, which I keep by me in manuscript, upon the mustachoe.
If my friend Sir Roger's project of introducing beards should take effect, I fear the luxury of the present age would make it a very expensive fashion. There is no question but the beaux would soon provide themselves with false ones of the lightest colours, and the most immoderate lengths. A fair beard of the tapestry-size, which Sir Roger seems to approve, could not come under twenty guineas. The famous golden beard of Æsculapius would hardly be more valuable than one made in the extravagance of the fashion.
Besides, weare not certain that the ladies would not come into the mode, when they take the air on horseback. They already appear in hats and feathers, coats and periwigs; and I see no reason why we may not suppose that they would have their riding-beards on the same occasion. I may give
the moral of this discourse in ano
No. 332. FRIDAY, MARCH 21.
Minùs aptus acutis
6 DEAR SHORT FACE,
* In your speculation of Wednesday last, you have given us some account of that worthy society of brutes, the Mohocks; wherein you have particularly specified the ingenious performances of the lion-tippers, the dancing masters, and the tumblers: but as you acknowledge you had not then a perfect history of the whole club, you might very easily omit one of the most notable species of it, the sweaters, which may be reckoned a sort of dancing masters too. It is, it seems, the custom for half a dozen, or more, of these well-disposed savages, as soon as they have enclosed the person upon whom they design the favour of a sweat, to whip out their. swords, and holding them parallel to the horizon, they describe a sort of magic circle round about him with the points. As soon as this piece of conjuration is performed, and the patient without doubt already beginning to wax warm, to forward the operation, that member of the circle towards whom he is so rude as to turn his back first, runs his sword directly into that part of the patient whereon school-boys are punished; and as it is very natural to imagine this will soon make him tack about to some other point, every gentleman does himself the same justice as often as ne receives the affront. After this jig is gone
two or three times round, and the patient is thought to have sweat sufficiently, he is very handsomely rubbed down by some attendants, who carry with them instruments for that purpose, and so discharged. This relation I had from a friend of mine, who has lately been under this discipline. He tells me he had the honour to dance before the emperor himself, not without the applause and acclamations both of his imperial majesty and the whole ring; though I dare say, neither I nor any of his acquaintance ever dreamed he would have merited any reputation by his activity.
• I can assure you, Mr. Spec, I was very near į being qualified to have given you a faithful and
painful account of this walking bagnio, if I may so call it, myself; for going the other night along Fleet-street, and having, out of curiosity, just entered into discourse with a wandering female who was travelling the same way, a couple of fellows advanced towards us, drew their swords, and cried out to each other, a sweat! a sweat! Whereupon, suspecting they were some of the ringleaders of the bagnio, I also drew my sword, and demanded a parley; but finding none would be granted me, and perceiving others behind them filing cff with great diligence to take me in flank, I began to sweat for fear of being forced to it; but very luckily betaking myself to a pair of heels, which I had good reason to believe would do me justice, I instantly got possession of a very snug corner in a neighbouring alley that lay in my rear, which post I maintained for above half an hour with great firmness and resolution, though not letting this success so far overcome me, as to make me unmindful of the circumspection that
was necessary to be observed
upon my advancing again towards the street; by which prudence and good management I made a handsome and orderly retreat, having suffered no other damage in this action than the loss of my baggage, and the dislocation of one of
my shoe-heels, which last I am just now informed is in a fair way of recovery. These sweaters, by what I can learn from my friend, and by as near a view as I was able to take of them myself, seem to me to have at present but a rude kind of discipline amongst them. It is probable, if you would take a little pains with them, they might be brought into better order. But I'll leave this to your own discretion; and will only add, that if you think it worth while to insert this by way of caution to those who have a mind to preserve their skins whole from this sort of cupping, and tell them at the same time the hazard of treating with night-walkers, you will perhaps oblige others, as well as your very humble servant,
JACK LIGHTFOOT.'. •P. S. My friend will have me acquaint you, that though he would not willingly detract from the merit of that extraordinary strokesman, Mr. Sprightly, (No. 319) yet it is his real opinion, that some of those fellows, who are employed as rubbers to this new-fashioned bagnio, have struck as bold strokes as ever he did in his life.
I had sent this four and twenty hours sooner, if I had not had the misfortune of being in a great doubt about the orthography of the word bagnio. I consulted several dictionaries, but found no relief; at last, having recourse both to the bagnio in Newgate-street, and to that in Chancery-lane,