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wounded traveller where all might have recourse. They used poles, as some inns still gibbet their signs, across a town.”
I am better pleased with the subsequent explanation which I find in the Antiquarian Repertory: “The barber's pole has been the subject of many conjectures, some conceiving it to have originated from the word poll or head, with several other conceits as far-fetched and as unmeaning ; but the true intention of that party-coloured staff was to show that the master of the shop practised surgery, and could breathe a vein as well as mow a beard : such a staff being to this day, by every village practitioner, put into the hand of a patient undergoing the operation of phlebotomy. The white band, which encompasses the staff, was meant to represent the fillet thus elegantly twined about it.” In confirmation of this opinion the reader may be referred to the cut of the barber's shop in Comenii Orbis Pictus, where the patient under phlebotomy is represented with a pole or staff in his hand. And that this is a very ancient practice, appears from an illumination in a missal of the time of Edward the First, in the possession of Mr. Wild
Lord Thurlow, in his speech for postponing the further reading of the Surgeons' Incorporation Bill, July 17th, 1797, to that day three months, in the House of Peers, stated that by a statute still in force, the barbers and surgeons were each to use a pole. The barbers were to have theirs blue and white, striped, with no other appendage ; but the surgeons', which was the same in other respects, was likewise to have a galley-pot and a red rag, to denote the particular nature of their vocation.”
Gay, in his fable of the Goat without a Beard, thus describes a barber's shop:
“ His pole with pewter basons hung,
Black rotten teeth in order strung,
Who shay'd, drew teeth, and breath'd a vein." In the British Apollo, fol. Lond. 1708, vol. i. No. 3, a querist says:
“ I'de know why he that selleth ale
Hangs out a chequer'd part per pale;
And why a barber at port-hole
Puts forth a party-coloured pole ?
And wounds and scars took much delight in,
Thus twisted both their trades together."
“A jolly hostess
O'er door they've blazon'd such a banner !"
upon Don Quixote, p. 111: “The barber bath a long pole elevated ; and at the end of it a labell, wherein is in a fair text-hand written this word, money. Now the pole signifies itself, which joined to the written word makes pole-money. There's the rebus, that Cut-bert is no-body without polemoney."
The subsequent is an extract from Green's Quip for an Upstart Courtier, or a Quaint Dispute between Velvet Breeches and Cloth Breeches, 1620 : “Barber, when you come to poor cloth breeches, you either cut his beard at your own pleasure, or else in disdaine aske him if he will be trimm'd with Christ's cut, round like the half of a Holland cheese, mocking both Christ and us.
In Wits, Fits, and Fancies, 1614, p. 177, we read : “A gentleman gave a gentlewoman a fine twisted bracelet of silke and golde, and seeing it the next day upon another gentlewoman's wrist, said it was like a barber's girdle, soon slipt from one side to another."
On that passage in Measure for Measure:
“The strong statutes
As much in mock as mark;" Dr. Warburton observes : “Barbers' shops were, at all times, the resort of idle people :
Tonstrina erat quædam : hic solebamus ferè
Plerumque eam operiri : which Donatus calls apta sedes otiosis. Formerly with us the better sort of people went to the barber's shop to be trimmed; who then practised the under parts of surgery: so that he had occasion for numerous instruments which lay there ready for use; and the idle people with whom his shop was generally crowded, would be perpetually handling and misusing them. To remedy which, I suppose, there was placed up against the wall a table of forfeitures, adapted to every offence of this kind; which it is not likely would long preserve its authority.” Steevens says: “I have conversed with several people who had repeatedly read the list of forfeits alluded to by Shakespeare, but have failed in my endeavours to procure
The metrical one published by the late Dr. Kenrick was a forgery.”
Dr. Henley observes: "I believe Dr. Warburton's explanation in the main to be right, only that instead of chirurgical instruments, the barber's implements were principally his razors ; his whole stock of which, from the number and impatience of his customers on a Saturday night or a market morning, being necessarily laid out for use, were exposed to the idle fingers of the bystanders in waiting for succession to the chair. These forfeits were as much in mock as mark, both because the barber had no authority of himself to enforce them, and also as they were of a ludicrous nature. I perfectly remember to have seen them in Devonshire (printed like King Charles's rules), though I cannot recollect the contents.”
Steevens adds: “It was formerly part of a barber's occupation to pick the teeth and eares. So, in the old play of Herod and Antipater, 1622, Tryphon the barber enters with a case of instruments, to each of which he addresses himself separately :
“ Toothpick, dear toothpick ; earpick, both of you
Have been her sweet companions !" &c.
a copy of it.
The following is an extract from the World of Wonders, 1607, p. 125. Speaking of the "gross ignorance of the barbers, the author says : “ This puts me in minde of a barber who after he had cupped me (as the physitian had prescribed) to turne away a catarrhe, asked me if I would be sacrificed. Sacrificed I said I ; did the physitian tell you any such thing! No (quoth he), but I have sacrificed many, who have bene the better for it. Then musing a little with myselfe, I told him, Surely, sir, you mistake yourself, you meane scarified. O sir, by your favour (quoth he), I have ever heard it called sacrificing, and as for scarifying I never heard of it before. In a word, I could by no means perswade him but that it was the barber's office to sacrifice men. Since which time I never saw any man in a barber's hands, but that sacrificing barber came to my mind.”
TOBACCO IN ALEHOUSES. A FOREIGN weed, which has made so many Englishmen, especially of the common sort, become its slaves, must not be omitted in our catalogue of Popular Antiquities. It is said to have been first brought into England by Captain R. Greenfield and Sir Francis Drake about the year 1586, during the reign of Elizabeth.
A pleasant kind of tale, but for one item of the veracity of which I will not vouch, is given in the Athenian Oracle, by way of accounting for the frequent use and continuance of taking it.
“ When the Christians first discovered America, the Devil was afraid of losing his hold of the people there by the appearance of Christianity. He is reported to have told some Indians of his acquaintance that he had found a way to be revenged upon the Christians for beating up his quarters, for he would teach them to take tobacco, to which, when they had once tasted it, they should become perpetual slaves.”
Alehouses are at present licensed to deal in tobacco; but it was not so from the beginning; for so great an incentive was it thought to drunkenness, that it was strictly forbidden to be taken in any alehouse in the time of James the First.
There is a curious Collection of Proclamations, Prints, &c. in the Archives of the Society of Antiquaries of London. In vol. 8 is an alehouse licence granted by six Kentish justices of the peace, at the bottom of which the following item occurs, among other directions to the inn-holder: "Item, you shall not utter, nor willingly suffer to be utter'd, drunke, or taken, any tobacco within your house, cellar, or other place thereunto belonging."
The following ironical encomium on, and serious invective against tobacco, occurs in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621, p. 452: “Tobacco, divine, rare, super excellent tobacco, which goes farre beyond all their panaceas, potable gold, and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all dis
A good vomit, I confesse, a vertuous herbe, if it be well qualified, opportunely taken, and medicinally used ; but as it is commonly used by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a mischiefe, a violent purger of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish, and damnd tobacco, the ruine, and overthrow of body and soule.”
In the Apophthegms of King James, 1658, p. 4, I read as follows: "His majesty professed that were he to invite the Devil to a dinner, he should have these three dishes : 1, a pig; 2, a poll of ling and mustard ; and 3, a pipe of tobacco for digesture.” The following quaint thought is found in an old Collection of Epigrams :
“121. A Tobacconist.
Which feed men fat as swine :
That on a leaf can dine.
His fingers' ends to wipe,
And roast meat in a pipe." In the Hymnus Tabaci by Raphael Thorius, made English by Peter Hausted, Master of Arts, Camb. 1651, we meet with the strongest invective against tobacco :
“ Let it be damn'd to hell, and call'd from thence