Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/481

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365
DOMESTIC LIFE

were either pinned or tied. They were of all colours: black, however, was most popular.

People of high social rank often built the hair into towering masses on the crown of the head; but as a rule the hair was dressed plain, though frequently covered with jewels. The Elizabethan women, as well as the men, dyed their hair, not to conceal the fact that it was turning gray, but to please a passing fancy. There was no attempt to conceal the practice, nor was the same colour always used. In fact, the colour of the hair was made to harmonise with the garments worn upon any particular occasion. Those who did not care to dye their hair wore wigs. The Elizabethans revelled in wigs. The Records of the Wardrobe show that Elizabeth possessed eighty at one time. Mary Stuart, during a part of her captivity in England, changed her hair every day. So usual was this habit, and so great the demand for hair, that children with handsome locks were never allowed to walk alone in the London streets for fear they should be temporarily kidnapped and their tresses cut off.

That was also a day of face washes and complexion paints. "The old wrinkles are well filled up, but the vermillion is seen too thick." (Middleton's Old Law, iii. 1.) "Thou most ill-shrouded rottenness, thou piece made by a painter and a