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At the Sign of the Barber's Pole

Studies In Hirsute History

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Author: William Andrews
Published: 1904
Language: English
Wordcount: 25,310 / 80 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 73.8
LoC Category: D
Downloads: 550
Added to site: 2006.11.28 15386
Genre: History

Connected with the barber and his calling are many curiosities of history. In the following pages, an attempt has been made, and I trust not without success, to bring together notices of the more interesting matters that gather round the man and his trade.

Show Excerpt

re of such a shameful modesty as they will ask nothing at all, but, standing to the courtesy and liberality of the giver, they will receive all that comes, how much soever it be, not giving any again, I warrant you; for take a barber with that fault, and strike off his head. No, no; such fellows are rarae aves in terris, nigrisque simillimæ cygnis--rare birds on the earth, and as scarce as black swans. You shall have also your fragrant waters for your face, wherewith you shall be all besprinkled; your musick again, and pleasant harmony shall sound in your ears, and all to tickle the same with rare delight, and in the end your cloak shall be brushed, and 'God be with you, gentlemen!'"

John Gay issued in 1727 the first series of his "Fables," and in the one entitled "The Goat Without a Beard" we get a description of the barber's shop of the period:--

"His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang'd cups that in the window stood, Lin'd with red rags, to look lik



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