On Barbers

There are no finer fellowes under the sunne, nor experter in their noble science of barbing than they be. And therefore in the fulnes of their overflowing knowledge they have invented such strange fashions and monstrous maners of cuttings, trimmings, shavings and washings, that you would wonder to see. They have one maner of cut called the French cut, another the Spanish cut, one the Dutch cut, another the Italian, one the newe cut, another the old, one of the bravado fashion, another of the meane fashion. One a gentlemans cut, another the common cut, one cut of the court, an other of the country, with infinite the like vanities, which I overpasse. They have also other kinds of cuts innumerable; and therefore when you come to be trimed, they will aske you whether you will be cut to looke terrible to your enimie, or amiable to your freend, grime & sterne in countenance, or pleasant & demure ( for they have divers kinds of cuts for all these purposes, or else they lie.) Then, when they have done al their feats, it is a world to consider, how their mowchatowes must be preserved and laid out, from one cheke to another, yea, almost from one eare to another, and turned up like two hornes towards the forehead. Besides that, when they come to the cutting of the haire, what snipping & snapping of the cycers is there, what tricking and toying, and al to tawe out mony, you may be sure. And when they come to washing, oh how gingerly they behave themselves therein. For then shall your mouth be boffed with the lather, or some that riseth of the balles (for they have their sweete balles wherewith-all they use to washe); your eyes closed must be anointed therewith also. Then snap go the fingers, ful bravely, god wot. Thus this tragedy ended, comes me warme clothes, to wipe and dry him withall; next, the eares must be picked, and closed togither again artificially forsooth. The haire of the nostrils cut away, and every thing done in order comely to behold...You shall have also your orient perfumes for your nose, your fragrant waters for your face, wherewith you shall bee all to besprinkled: your musick againe, and pleasant harmonie, shall sound in your eares, and all to tickle the same with vaine delight. And in the end your cloke shall be brushed, and "God be with you Gentleman!"

Citation Type  Prose
Citation Year 1583