This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1860 edition. Excerpt: ... No. 18. THE BARBER. ATJR great authority in razors, razor-strops, and all connected with the civilized art of shaving, tells us, that "the great secret of easy shaving is the thorough softening of the beard with water before commencing the operation." From cases of casual personal experience, I fear that the " secret" is not yet divulged to the public, or that, if divulged, they are not yet satisfied of its utility. I may, however, add my mite to Mr. Mechi's assertion, by the mention of the fact that a nation of 180 millions of men, not including their Tartar conquerors, from whom they derived the custom, manage, without any pain or inconvenience, to take off all the hair on their heads, which is notorious for its coarseness, by the simple action of the razor, without any other preparatory process than that of thoroughly softening it with the hottest endurable water. While our young shavers find it difficult with all their Naples soap, wonderful creams, halfguinea razors, Mechi strops, et cetera, to get rid of the little more than downy covering of their skins, the coarse, thick, black stumps of Tartar and Chinese heads yield, without the use of any soap, to the action of a little bit of hardened iron, two inches long by an inch wide. I do not mean to deny the advantage of a little good lather in keeping moist the beard which has previously been well softened, and in assisting the passage of the razor over the face; but the chief advantage does not lie here. It no doubt looks pretty to cover the face with a creamy surface, and many a young gentleman admires every morning his snow-white upper Up and chin; it is also interesting to watch how this yields to the razor's stroke, so that you can tell to an inch what part has been gone over; but how...
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