Recognized HTML document


not now discuss the effects of public opinion on such a serious question. I will take a much smaller instance which occurred before the time to which the recollections of most persons can now reach, but which I myself recall vividly. It is the simple matter of hair on the face of male adults. When I was young, it was an unpardonable offence for any English person other than a cavalry officer, or perhaps someone of high social rank, to wear a moustache. Foreigners did so and were tolerated, otherwise the assumption of a moustache was in popular opinion worse than wicked, for it was atrociously bad style. Then came the Crimean War and the winter of Balaclava, during which it was cruel to compel the infantry to shave themselves every morning. So their beards began to grow, and this broke a long established custom. On the return of the army to England the fashion of beards spread among the laity, but stopped short of the clergy. These, however, soon began to show dissatisfaction ; they said the beard was a sign of manliness that ought not to be suppressed, and so forth, and at length the moment arrived. A distinguished clergyman, happily still living, ' bearded' his Bishop on a critical occasion, The Bishop yielded without protest, and forthwith hair began to sprout in a thousand pulpits where it had never appeared before within the memory of man.

It would be no small shock to public