Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/844

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826
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

blackening her teeth!—yet this fashion prevails throughout Algeria, Tunis, and Tripoli.

It has never been fully explained how we came to be prejudiced against red hair, though Baron Bunsen suggests that it distinguished the aborigines of Northern Europe, whose descendants have survived in Jutland and Connaught, and that at a time when these F. F.'s resisted the inroads of the Indo-Germanic tribes, and every man's hand was against them, the aversion to their national characteristics, red hair and a freckled skin, became an instinct of Norman and Saxon nature. However that may be, the existence of the prejudice can not be denied, and, in certain border districts of Sleswig where yellowish-red hair has become hereditary, the local drug-stores do a rushing business in lead combs, which have been found to change the objectionable tint to auburn. But, when the Venetian Republic was in the zenith of its power, a considerable portion of the internal revenue was derived from a tax on artificial red hair, which had become a staple of commerce, and was bought and substituted for their own raven locks by all the fashionable ladies from Trieste to Fiorenza.

St. Paul asserts that "if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him" (1 Cor. xi, 14), and, with some phenomenal exceptions, our Caucasian contemporaries seem to share his opinion, though only a century ago North America and Western Europe indulged in perukes and pigtails of stately dimensions. But the Grecian aristocrats, from the days of Theseus to the accession of the Macedonian madman, sought to distinguish themselves by the length of their hair, as the Chinese mandarins by that of their finger-nails. When Alexander marched his troops against the Persian Empire, he insisted that his Grecian auxiliaries must submit to a wholesale shearing, as in a hand-to-hand fight their pendent tresses would give the enemy an unfair advantage; and Heinrich Heine is malicious enough to insinuate that the final abolition of the Zopf, the orthodox Prussian pigtail, was prompted by similar considerations. "If the old lady once had you by the Zopf," he says, "all resistance ended in an unconditional surrender."

 

[To be continued.]

 

THE FORMATION OF SALINE MINERAL WATERS.
By M. DIEULAFAIT.

AS far back as we may go in the annals of mankind, we find mineral waters occupying a considerable place in the life of the peoples, and at last reach a point when they were the object of a veritable worship. Notwithstanding, however, the antiquity of the subject, and the importance that has always been attached to mineral