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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/266

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

Following the examples of these two revolutionists, men summoned up sufficient courage to wear their own hair, and powder was introduced as an extenuating circumstance.

In order to establish an important period of history before we pass on, we should remark that the first blow in the war of wigs was really struck by a Queen,—Christina of Sweden, who wore man's clothes, and who appeared in 1680, with her hair of golden brown, powdered, and brushed up from her head. She had besides, says Misson, a slight beard. The Pope, in his turn, by a bull issued in March, 1694, had lessened the popularity of the wig, by taking it from the heads of bishops and priests, and by ordering churchmen to let their hair grow.

Lord David, then, did not wear a wig, and he did wear cow-hide boots. Such deeds of prowess made him a mark for public admiration. There was not a club of which he was not the leader; not a boxing-match in which he was not desired as referee. The referee is the arbitrator. He had drawn up the rules of several aristocratic clubs. He founded several resorts of fashionable society,—of which one, the Lady Guinea, was still in existence in Pall Mall, in 1772. The Lady Guinea was a club in which all the youth of the peerage congregated. They gambled there; the lowest stake allowed was a rouleau of fifty guineas, and there was never less than twenty thousand guineas on the table. By the side of each player was a little stand, on which to place his cup of tea and a gilt bowl in which to put the rouleaux of guineas. The players, like servants when cleaning knives, wore leather sleeves to save their lace, breast-plates of leather to protect their ruffles, and on their heads, to shelter their eyes from the glare of the lamps and to keep their curls in order, broad-brimmed hats covered with flowers. They were masked