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Chapter VI.—Of Dyeing the Hair.

I see some (women) turn (the colour of) their hair with saffron.  They are ashamed even of their own nation, (ashamed) that their procreation did not assign them to Germany and to Gaul:  thus, as it is, they transfer their hair185185    Jam capillos:  so Oehler and Rig.  But the others read patriam capillo:  “they change their country by the instrumentality of their hair.” (thither)!  Ill, ay, most ill, do they augur for themselves with their flame-coloured head,186186    Comp. ad Ux., b. i. c. vi. and think that graceful which (in fact) they are polluting!  Nay, moreover, the force of the cosmetics burns ruin into the hair; and the constant application of even any undrugged moisture, lays up a store of harm for the head; while the sun’s warmth, too, so desirable for imparting to the hair at once growth and dryness, is hurtful.  What “grace” is compatible with “injury?”  What “beauty” with “impurities?”  Shall a Christian woman heap saffron on her head, as upon an altar?187187    Aram.  For, whatever is wont to be burned to the honour of the unclean spirit, that—unless it is applied for honest, and necessary, and salutary uses, for which God’s creature was provided—may seem to be a sacrifice.  But, however, God saith, “Which of you can make a white hair black, or out of a black a white?”188188    See Matt. v. 36.  And so they refute the Lord!  “Behold!” say they, “instead of white or black, we make it yellow,—more winning in grace.”189189    Gratia faciliorem.  And yet such as repent of having lived to old age do attempt to change it even from white to black!  O temerity!  The age which is the object of our wishes and prayers blushes (for itself)! a theft is effected! youth, wherein we have sinned,190190    Comp. Ps. xxv. 7 (in LXX. xxiv. 7). is sighed after! the opportunity of sobriety is spoiled!  Far from Wisdom’s daughters be folly so great!  The more old age tries to conceal itself, the more will it be detected.  Here is a veritable eternity, in the (perennial) youth of your head!  Here we have an “incorruptibility” to “put on,”191191    Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 53. with a view to the new house of the Lord192192    Comp. 2 Cor. v. 1. which the divine monarchy promises!  Well do you speed toward the Lord; well do you hasten to be quit of this most iniquitous world,193193    Sæculo. to whom it is unsightly to approach (your own) end!


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