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Tonsure   Listen
noun
Tonsure  n.  
1.
The act of clipping the hair, or of shaving the crown of the head; also, the state of being shorn.
2.
(R. C. Ch.)
(a)
The first ceremony used for devoting a person to the service of God and the church; the first degree of the clericate, given by a bishop, abbot, or cardinal priest, consisting in cutting off the hair from a circular space at the back of the head, with prayers and benedictions; hence, entrance or admission into minor orders.
(b)
The shaven corona, or crown, which priests wear as a mark of their order and of their rank.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Tonsure" Quotes from Famous Books



... against the wall, both hands clasped under his beardless chin, and might have been taken for a monk repeating his prayers. The long, brown doublet fastened around his hips by a Hemp rope, instead of a girdle, made him resemble a Franciscan. But his thick, flaxen hair lacked the tonsure, the rope the rosary, and he wore coarse leather ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... cloak, in bright green. An embroidered girdle sustained, in lieu of offensive weapons, an inkhorn with its appurtenances on the one side, on the other a knife for the purposes of the table. His hair was cut in imitation of the clerical tonsure, which was designed to intimate that he had arrived to a certain rank in his profession; for the Joyous Science, as the profession of minstrelsy was termed, had its various ranks, like the degrees in the church and in chivalry. The features and the manners of the man seemed to be ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... insult and indignity at the hands of a pack of godless Lutheran dogs." And, so saying, he seated himself and proceeded to remove his own head-covering, disclosing lean, ascetic features, cold, cruel, and domineering, crowned by the monk's tonsure. At the same time the others did the same, and with very similar result, the dominant expression of the faces thus disclosed being that of cold, stern ruthlessness, tempered, it must be confessed, in some cases, with very ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... answered the old man looking from him. "I could forgive this," he touched his battered tonsure, "and all thou hast done against me and mine. That is not little, for when I was a lad, a youth, before I took the priestly yoke upon me, I loved Maria Zerega—but that is nothing. What suffering comes upon me I can bear, but thou hast filled the cup of iniquity and ...
— Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer - A Romance of the Spanish Main • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... object is attained if I can but show that when my friend took me under his wing at the Institute long years agone, when the innocent-looking lad with the fair hair, that might have had an incipient tonsure superimposed without incongruity, drifted away from text-books of mechanics, and sat down with Schiller, Ducoudray, and Carlyle, he little imagined how adventurous a spirit there boiled under that demure disguise of retiring scholarship—a spirit fired with ...
— An Ocean Tramp • William McFee

... up to the altar to receive the tonsure, I was already terribly exercised by doubt, but I was forced onward, and I was told that it was always well to obey. I went forward therefore, but God is my witness, that my inmost thought and the vow which I made to myself, was that I would take for my part the truth which is the hidden ...
— Recollections of My Youth • Ernest Renan

... over his tonsure in sign of impatience. "One word," he began in the most conciliatory tone, though fuming with irritation, "here we're not dealing with the instruction in Castilian alone. Here there is an underhand fight between the students and the University of Santo ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... the mysteries of Eleusis; to the sacrificial rites of Phoenicia. The boys swung the censors as censors had been swung in the adoration of Bacchus. The girdle and cassock of the priests came from Persia; the veil and tonsure were from Egypt; the alb and chasuble were prescribed by Numa Pompilius; the stole was borrowed from the official who used to throw it on the back of the victim that was to be sacrificed; the white surplice was the same as described ...
— The Antediluvian World • Ignatius Donnelly

... that hospital, with a salary of one peso per day—which was not a bad stipend. But, that he might not obey his orders, the archbishop ordained the said Francisco Garcia on Tuesday, April 20, with the tonsure and with minor orders; and he, garbed in very reverend fashion as a cleric, began to walk through the city in sight of the governor—to whom those orders meant to give a slap in the face, although he passed it by. In truth, sir, I cannot see that they could be of ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXV, 1635-36 • Various

... 435 their ancestor, Duach Galach, King of Connaught, was baptized by St. Patrick on the banks of Loch Scola, and they had remained Christians of the old Irish Church, which appears to have been peculiar in its mode of tonsure, and of keeping Easter (and, since the twelfth century, firm adherents to the religion of the Pope, till Dowell O'Reilly, Esq., the father of the present head of the name, quarrelling with Father Dowling, of Stradbally, turned Protestant, about the ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... nervous, bustling man, with an expression of acuteness, and a trick of rubbing his head with a circular motion, as if he were trying to effect a tonsure by force of friction. He nodded a recognition of Wilder and his men, and sent a look of surprise at Von Rittenheim, whose appearance was not what was usual in the prisoners brought before him, although his dress seemed to ...
— A Tar-Heel Baron • Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton

... but ineffectually guarded against by the Lateran council, A.D. 1123. In the East, abbots, if in priests' orders, with the consent of the bishop, were, as we have seen, permitted by the second Nicene council, A.D. 787, to confer the tonsure and admit to the order of reader; but gradually abbots, in the West also, advanced higher claims, until we find them in A.D. 1489 permitted by Innocent IV. to confer both the subdiaconate and diaconate. Of course, they always and everywhere had the power of admitting their own monks ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... have nothing at all to complain of. Why, they have used me very much better than they did Father Jogues, Father Breboeuf, and a good many others whom I could mention. There were times, it is true, when I was quite hopeful of martyrdom, especially when they thought my tonsure was too small, which was their merry way of putting it. But I suppose I was not worthy of it; indeed I know that I was not, so it only ended in ...
— The Refugees • Arthur Conan Doyle

... us, marquis, how the fanaticism of your brother liberated you from the tonsure?" said ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... then?—he is no priest! If the tongue of scandal is over-free with his private life; still the ready reply, that he is not a priest! If Deacons are thus privileged, what latitude may we not claim who have not even assumed the tonsure? ...
— The Roman Question • Edmond About

... MAGDELEINE LEFEBVRE DE (1768-1836), French ecclesiastic, was born on the 28th of January 1768, in Mayenne, France, where his father was general civil judge and lieutenant of police. He studied at the college of Mayenne, received the tonsure when twelve, became prior of Torbechet while still little more than a child, thence derived sufficient income for his education, entered the College of Louis le Grand in 1781, and after completing his theological studies at the Seminary of St Magloire, was ordained ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 1 - "Chtelet" to "Chicago" • Various

... referred to in that illumination does; and Mr. Walpole replies to that doubt. Upon the same subject, Mr. Cole says, qu. how Lord Orford came to know the kneeling figure in a clerical habit, was Caxton the printer? He is certainly a priest, as is evident from his tonsure, but I do not think that Caxton was in orders. I should rather suppose that it was designed for Jehan de Teonville, provost ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... Luther he grew to admire him. He resolved to eliminate the tonsure and dress in citizens' clothes. His resolution stuck, and as soon as his hair had grown out, he went home and told his father and patron that he had abandoned theology and wished to study law. And ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... monastery under an abbess, though nothing is known of its foundation. Some information about it is gained from the Life of S. Guthlac by Felix. Guthlac was a noble of Mercia, and in his youth a great warrior; but at the age of twenty-four, he went to Repton and received the tonsure under the abbess Aelfthryth. Her rule was apparently very strict, for we find Guthlac getting into trouble for breaking a rule by not ...
— Early Double Monasteries - A Paper read before the Heretics' Society on December 6th, 1914 • Constance Stoney

... infant son, he accounted a judgment of heaven upon his sin. He determined to quit the world, and devote himself to religion and prayer. I was then nine years of age. He placed me in the Academy of Arts, wound up his affairs, and retired to a remote convent, where he shortly afterwards assumed the tonsure. There, by the severity of his life, and by the unwearied punctuality with which he fulfilled the rules of his order, he struck the whole brotherhood with surprise and admiration. The superior of the monastery, hearing of his skill as a painter, requested him to execute an altar-piece for ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... in this dismal shroud of mine I would have had garments of silk and velvet, golden chains, a sword, and fair plumes like other handsome young cavaliers. My hair, instead of being dishonoured by the tonsure, would flow down upon my neck in waving curls; I would have a fine waxed moustache; I would be a gallant.' But one hour passed before an altar, a few hastily articulated words, had for ever cut me off from the number of the living, and I had myself sealed ...
— Clarimonde • Theophile Gautier

... stood at five minutes to eleven. 'The eleventh hour,' said Mateo, with his dry laugh. Bernaldez set the clock down again. He took off his hat and threw it down to mark the ground. 'Ten paces,' he said, and, turning on his heel, counted aloud. I looked half-instinctively at his bared head. The tonsure was still visible to any who sought it; for it was but half-grown over. Mateo counted his steps and then turned. The clock gave a little tick, as such clocks do, four minutes before they strike. ...
— Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories • Henry Seton Merriman

... induct, prefer, translate, consecrate, present. take orders, take the tonsure, take the veil, take vows. Adj. ecclesiastical, ecclesiological[obs3]; clerical, sacerdotal, priestly, prelatical, pastoral, ministerial, capitular[obs3], theocratic; hierarchical, archiepiscopal; episcopal, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... doubt, of horror, and despair. Oh! Isidora, is thy virgin heart Thus mated to a wild apostate monk? The midnight reveller, and morning priest, At e'en the gay guitar, at noon the cowl; The holy mummer, tonsure and the missal, The world, our blessed Church, and Heav'n defied. To love this man, I surely have become That which a Guzman ought to scorn to be. Is he not, too, a Guzman, and my cousin? Yet ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat

... Liosha, looking very handsome and fresh beneath the motor-veil, to her room, leaving me with Mr. Fendihook. As he preceded me into the drawing-room I saw a bald patch like a tonsure in the middle of a crop of coarse brown hair. Again he looked round appreciatively and again he said "Tiptop!" He advanced to ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... great learning in those days of ignorance and her sister superstition) being accounted a clerk or clericus, and allowed the benefit of clerkship, though neither initiated in holy orders, nor trimmed with the clerical tonsure."—Blackstone's "Com.," iv. b. iv, ch. 28. We have already seen that the king and nobles in this play called in the aid of Friar Tuck to read the inscription on the stag's collar, though the king could ascertain that ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) • Various

... "there is nothing like leather," exhibited themselves in ponderous over-alls, a la Hongroise, topped and strapped, and loaded down the side with buttons and chains. One man, in his rage for singularity, took the tonsure, shaving the hair off the crown of his head; and another, having covered his frock-coat with gold tags and lace, was furiously assaulted by a party of Portuguese sharpshooters, who, seeing him, in the midst of the enemy's riflemen, whither his headlong ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... it was indeed, but oh! how changed. His plump, olive-coloured countenance had shrunk to that of a skeleton still covered by yellow skin, in which the dark eyes rolled bloodshot and unnaturally large. His tonsure and jaws showed a growth of stubbly grey hair, his frame had become weak and small, his soft and delicate hands resembled those of a woman dead of some wasting disease, and, like his garments, were clogged with dirt. The mail shirt he wore hung loose upon him; one of ...
— The Lady Of Blossholme • H. Rider Haggard

... dress you think not, nor the worry Of meals e'er taken in a flurry, 70 And sleeping with my head so low My tonsure touched the ground, and no Comfort nor pillow for my head, And early mass, and late to bed. And I, your favour for to win, Served out-of-doors as well as in, Bought shell-fish in the market-place, To many an errand set my face —You know, ...
— Four Plays of Gil Vicente • Gil Vicente

... waistcoat, tightly gathered in at the waist, set off to great advantage the elegance of his figure: his black cassimere pantaloons disguised his feet, exactly fitted with lace boots, brilliantly polished. And all traces of his tonsure disappeared in the midst of the slight baldness which whitened slightly the back part of his head. There was nothing in his entire costume, or aspect, that revealed the priest, except, perhaps, the entire absence of beard, the more remarkable upon so manly a countenance. ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... didn't like him at all. She says now that she believes when she was Cleopatra he was Caesar, and that it's a pity he can't wear a wreath to hide his baldness, as she remembers his doing then. It's only a very little bald spot, really, and Rachel Guest says it reminds her of a tonsure on the head of a fine-looking monk. Aunt C. quite resents Sir Marcus being able to engage the services of you and Antoun. She wants you both to be there, but she doesn't like Sir M. to have a superior position to Antoun's. That day on the Enchantress Isis Sir M. invited us to ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... to God, when the bishops interrupted him, crying that they had waited long enough, for he was obstinate in his heresy. He was degraded in the usual manner, stripped of his sacerdotal vestments, his fingers scraped; but when the tonsure was to be disposed of, an absurd quarrel arose among the bishops as to whether the head should be shaved with a razor or the tonsure be destroyed with scissors. Scissors won the day, and a cross was cut in his ...
— The Profits of Religion, Fifth Edition • Upton Sinclair

... statues having been entirely destroyed at the time of the Reformation; but its restoration has been admirably executed, the figures of SS. Alban and Amphibalus being especially noticeable: the latter wears a Celtic, not a Roman tonsure. Note also the figures of our Lord and His apostles in alabaster, and those of Adrian IV., Bede, Hugh of Lincoln, St. Edmund ...
— Hertfordshire • Herbert W Tompkins

... well supplied from the lessons which I gave in music, and from assisting at the serenades. When I was sufficiently recovered to go out, I proceeded to a barber, and on the plea of continual headache, for which it had been recommended that I should shave my head, requested him to make me a false tonsure. In a few days it was ready, and being very well made, no difference could be perceived between the wig and my own hair, which was then removed. So far I had succeeded; but as the greatest caution was necessary in ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... moustaches, and what are now called imperials. On the top of the head the hair is shaved off like monks, and to the width of three fingers between their ears they also shave off the hair, letting what is between the tonsure and the back of the head grow to some length; in fact it is as long as a woman's in many cases, and plaited and tied in two tails behind the ear. They have small feet. He says there is but little difference perceptible in the dress of the men and women, all alike wearing long robes trimmed with ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... the family of the Otrepievs, of the lower nobility of Galicia; in his youth he took the tonsure, no one knows where, lived at Suzdal, in the Ephimievsky monastery, departed from there, wandered to various convents, finally arrived at my Chudov fraternity; but I, seeing that he was still young and inexperienced, entrusted him ...
— Boris Godunov - A Drama in Verse • Alexander Pushkin

... prevailed upon to summon in 664 a great council at Whitby, where the future ecclesiastical allegiance of his realm should be decided. The points actually contested were trivial enough. Colman, Aidan's successor at Holy Island, pleaded for the Irish fashion of the tonsure, and for the Irish time of keeping Easter: Wilfrid pleaded for the Roman. The one disputant appealed to the authority of Columba, the other to that of St. Peter. "You own," cried the king at last to Colman, "that Christ gave to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven—has He given such power to ...
— History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) - Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216 • John Richard Green

... several new passengers on board, and among others a monk, in a long brown frock of woollen cloth, with an immense cape, and a little black covering over his tonsure. He was a tall figure, with a gray beard, and might have walked, just as he stood, out of a picture by one of the old masters. This holy person addressed me very affably in Italian; but we found it impossible to ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... logic, might adopt the teaching, but he could not understand it. The "Congregation of the son of the C[a]kyas"—such was the earliest name for the Buddhistic brotherhood—were required only to renounce their family, put on the yellow robe, assume the tonsure and other outward signs, and be chaste and high-minded. But the teachers were instructed in the subtleties of the 'Path,' and it needed no little training to follow the leader's thought to its ...
— The Religions of India - Handbooks On The History Of Religions, Volume 1, Edited By Morris Jastrow • Edward Washburn Hopkins

... on the ground round the stove, as close as they could get without scorching, and the atmosphere was quickly heavy with their presence. When they slipped back their hoods it was seen that two of the men wore the "tartar tonsure," after the fashion ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... the "Perseus" in 1554. His autobiography is carried down to the year 1562, when it abruptly terminates. It appears that in 1558 he received the tonsure and the first ecclesiastical orders; but two years later on he married a wife, and died at the age of sixty-nine, leaving three legitimate children. He was buried honourably, and a funeral oration was pronounced above his bier in the Chapter ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... respectability of Entrammes, nor did he ever thus escape unaccompanied by his famous valise. The grey suit was an effectual disguise to his calling, and so jealous was he of the Church's honour that he never—unless in his cups—disclosed his tonsure. One of his innumerable loves confessed in the witness-box that Bruneau always retained his hat in the glare of the Cafe, protesting that a headache rendered him fatally susceptible to draught; and ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... of advancement in his profession—he had about L400 a year, and this, which includes his fellowship, was quite sufficient for his wants; his time would be devoted to church objects; in the intermediate region he considered himself as having the first tonsure. ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... ignorant of the world. He felt that his manhood had been killed in him: it gladdened him to feel himself a creature set apart, unsexed, turned from the usual paths of life, and, as became a lamb of the Lord, marked with the tonsure. ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... over a cell in better preservation than most of them, and was illuminating with his candle the bones of the dweller in it. The light flickered on the skull of the Early Christian and the tonsure of the modern one and made comparisons. It also cut the darkness into solid blocks, and showed us broken bits of marble, faint stains of old frescoes, strange rough letters, and where it wavered furthest the uncertain lines ...
— A Voyage of Consolation - (being in the nature of a sequel to the experiences of 'An - American girl in London') • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... clericalem; sed non est permissus.——Satelles vero eum arripiens, non per coifae ligamina sed per guttur eum apprehendens, traxit ad carcerem. And hence sir H. Spelman conjectures, (Glossar. 335.) that coifs were introduced to hide the tonsure of such renegade clerks, as were still tempted to remain in the secular courts in the quality of advocates or judges, notwithstanding their prohibition ...
— Commentaries on the Laws of England - Book the First • William Blackstone

... ferry so as nor to attract attention. A short time afterwards we met two more horsemen, one of whom asked us if he was going right for the house we had been at. As he was speaking a gust of wind blew off his hat. I fetched it and gave it to him, and as he stooped to put it on I saw that a tonsure was shaven on the top of his head. The matter had already seemed strange to us; but the fact that one of this number of men, all going to a lonely house, was a priest in disguise, seemed so suspicious that my brother and myself determined ...
— By England's Aid or The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604) • G.A. Henty

... by other desires than those for spiritual honors. He assumed the hated garb of the priest only on his father's command. Although he was an archbishop he had only the first tonsure. His life was wholly worldly. It was even said that the King of Naples wanted him to marry one of his natural daughters and that if he did so he would relinquish the priesthood. The Ferrarese ambassador called upon ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... barbarians. They knew little of the traditions of the Roman Church and diverged from its customs in some respects. They celebrated Easter upon a different date from that observed by the Roman Church and employed a different style of tonsure. Missionaries from this Irish church were busy converting the northern regions of Britain, when the Roman monks under Augustine began their work in the southern ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... and a black cap covered his head; he seemed occupied in arranging papers, which he then passed to the judges. The accusers, all ecclesiastics, sat upon the right hand of the judges; they wore their albs and stoles. Father Lactantius was distinguishable among them by his simple Capuchin habit, his tonsure, and the extreme hardness of his features. In a side gallery sat the Bishop of Poitiers, hidden from view; other galleries were filled with veiled women. Below the bench of judges a group of men and women, the dregs of the populace, ...
— Cinq Mars, Complete • Alfred de Vigny

... arrested stride, how splendid! and the hat crumpled in his hand, and his bare head and strong brows in the sunlight, and the damp points of hair clinging to his temples! No, he is not bald,—that was only a tonsure of white light on the top of his head; still, he must be hard on forty. It is the end of summer with him, too; and here he comes for water, thirsting, to satisfy himself where water was plentiful in spring, ...
— A Touch Of Sun And Other Stories • Mary Hallock Foote

... in his first monastery for seven years. At the end of the third year he received the tonsure and was ordained to the priesthood by the name of Sergius. The profession was an important event in his inner life. He had previously experienced a great consolation and spiritual exaltation when receiving communion, and now when he himself officiated, the performance ...
— Father Sergius • Leo Tolstoy

... vessel for the holy water enabled us to see a little. A shadow mounted to the pulpit at the left, while Koekli lighted two or three candles with his stick. The preacher might have been twenty-five or thirty years old, he had a pleasant, rosy face and heavy blonde hair below his tonsure, that fell in curls over his neck. They commenced by singing a psalm, the young girls of the village sang in the choir "What joy to be a Christian." After that the preacher from the desk said, that he ...
— Waterloo - A sequel to The Conscript of 1813 • Emile Erckmann

... said another, "our foeman is under the stole and the vestment as much as under the helmet and plate of proof. We have as much to fear from the tonsure as from the hauberk. Strike at the noble and the priest shrieks, strike at priest and the noble lays his hand upon glaive. They are twin thieves who live upon ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... of children dying before they are named, or before the tonsure ceremony is performed on them, are buried, and those of other persons are burnt. In the grave of a small child some of its mother's milk, or, if this is not available, cow's milk in a leaf-cup or earthen vessel, is placed. Before a body is burnt cakes of wheat-flour ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume II • R. V. Russell

... not that. I was talking this day with Warbel. He has been about in the world. He has seen priests and monks accused of heresy the one by the other; and none are so fearfully persecuted as those who wear the tonsure, if men do but ...
— The Secret Chamber at Chad • Evelyn Everett-Green

... The legal age for receiving the tonsure and taking the solemn vow of religion is the age of puberty, when a man is able to make use of his own will; but before the age of puberty it is possible to have reached the lawful age to receive the tonsure and be ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... still sitting Julius died and a new pope was chosen. This was the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the Medici Leo X. Having taken the tonsure at the age of seven, and received the red hat six years later, he donned the tiara at the early age of thirty-eight. His words, as reported by the Venetian ambassador at Rome, "Let us enjoy the papacy, since God has given it to us," exactly express his ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... not therefore a layman; but if twice married he must be counted among laymen, because such an one is deprived of all clerical privilege. If, however, he were married, albeit not twice, yet so long as he wears the clerical habit and tonsure he shall be held a clerk in two respects, to wit, that he may enjoy the clerical privilege in his person, and that he may not be brought before the secular judges. But in all other respects he shall be considered as ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... Robin saw who they were, and knew them. The first was the Bishop of Hereford, and a fine figure he cut, I wot. His vestments were of the richest silk, and around his neck was a fair chain of beaten gold. The cap that hid his tonsure was of black velvet, and around the edges of it were rows of jewels that flashed in the sunlight, each stone being set in gold. His hose were of flame-colored silk, and his shoes of black velvet, the long, pointed toes being turned ...
— The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood • Howard Pyle

... mountains; the carrying of images and relics in pompous procession, with numerous lights and with music and singing; flagellations at solemn seasons under the notion of penance; a great variety of religious orders and fraternities of priests; the shaving of priests, or the tonsure as it is called, on the crown of their heads; the imposing of celibacy and vows of chastity on the religious of both sexes—all these and many more rites and ceremonies are equally parts of pagan and popish superstition. Nay, the very same temples, the very same images, which ...
— History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science • John William Draper

... Sir Andrew," answered a shrill voice. "A posset must have time to boil. It is meet now that you wear a tonsure that you who are no longer a centurion should forget these 'Come, and he cometh,' ...
— Red Eve • H. Rider Haggard

... from Ireland, the first Sunday after Easter, passed the night. In the morning, having heard mass, he remained at his devotions till every one had quitted the chapel of St. Piranus. {82} As he mounted his horse at the door, a man of a fair complexion, with a round tonsure and meagre countenance, tall, and about forty years of age, habited in a white robe falling down to his naked feet, thus addressed him in the Teutonic tongue: "God hold the, cuing," which signifies, "May ...
— The Itinerary of Archibishop Baldwin through Wales • Giraldus Cambrensis

... at the bottom of the steps now stood out more distinctly. The man was wearing on his shabby infantry coat the white armlet with the red cross. He must have been a priest, for I could distinguish some traces of a neglected tonsure ...
— In the Field (1914-1915) - The Impressions of an Officer of Light Cavalry • Marcel Dupont

... Esmond, "all disguises are fair, you say; and all uniforms, say I, black or red,—a black cockade or a white one—or a laced hat, or a sombrero, with a tonsure under it. I cannot believe that St. Francis Xavier sailed over the sea in a cloak, or raised the dead—I tried, and very nearly did once, but cannot. Suffer me to do the right, and to hope for the best ...
— The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. • W. M. Thackeray

... heard why I was sailing so soon. And his daughter was like him in many ways, being perhaps the very darkest damsel I have ever seen, though she was handsome withal. With them was a priest of the old Western Church, a Cornishman, with his outlandish tonsure. He was somewhat advanced in years, and strangely wild looking at times, though silent. He seemed to be Dunwal's chaplain, or else was a friend who had made the pilgrimage with him. His name was Morfed, ...
— A Prince of Cornwall - A Story of Glastonbury and the West in the Days of Ina of Wessex • Charles W. Whistler

... just opposition of the nobles, against the formal charges of the magistrates, against the clamorous outcry, not only of Parisians, but of all France. This explains the indifference, or rather the firm resolve, on Mazarin's part; never to take orders, but to remain simply 'tonsure' or 'minore',—he who controls at least forty abbeys, ...
— The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete • Madame La Marquise De Montespan

... that the natural appetites are left behind. This is all right when on parade, but there is an esoteric doctrine as well as an exoteric, which all wise men know, namely, that men are men, and women are women—God made them so—and that the tonsure and the veil are vain when Eros ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers • Elbert Hubbard

... myself, I have been invested with the lesser orders; I have cast out from my soul the vanities of the world; I have received the tonsure; I have consecrated myself to the service of the altar. Yet I have a future full of ambition before me, and I dwell with pleasure on the thought that this future is within my reach. I please myself in thinking that the conditions ...
— Pepita Ximenez • Juan Valera

... had personal enemies too, such as the Duchess of Montpensier, sister to Henry of Guise, who was fond of saying that she would give him another crown by using the gold scissors at her waist. There was some talk of his entering a monastery where he would have had to adopt the tonsure. ...
— Heroes of Modern Europe • Alice Birkhead

... of Father Tom there was generally to be found a method. His exuberances when he was Prior of San Clemente, for instance, were attributed to his desire that his tonsure might not be made to bear the weight of a mitre: 'It got whispered among the cardinals' (writes Canon Brownlow), 'that their eminences were at times the objects of his jokes, and that he even presumed to mimic those exalted personages. Some of them spoke seriously ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 2, February 1886 • Various

... strongest wish. What can be more proper for me now that I am at the very gates of the tomb?" For eight days he laid in his cell, expecting every moment to breathe his last. He then, reviving a little, received the tonsure from the hands of the bishop, and renouncing the world, and all its cares and ambitions, devoted himself to the prayers and devotions of ...
— The Empire of Russia • John S. C. Abbott

... remains to explain why the legend grew up, above the name, why the name attached itself, in many instances, to the bravest work of other men. The Concert in the Pitti Palace, in which a monk, with cowl and tonsure, touches the keys of a harpsichord, while a clerk, placed behind him, grasps the handle of the viol, and a third, with hat and plume, seems to wait upon the true interval for beginning to sing, is undoubtedly Giorgione's. The outline of the lifted finger, ...
— The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Pater

... the Indies and of Cathay, who have to go to the pope or Catholicos of Armenia for consecration. Of their two patriarchs, one resides in the Indies, and the other in Cathay[31], their bishops residing in different cities as it may seem convenient. Their tonsure is made in form of ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... youngest and prettiest Faces for trading Girls; these are remarkable by their Hair, having a particular Tonsure by which they are known, and distinguish'd from those engag'd to Husbands. They are mercenary, and whoever makes Use of them, first hires them, the greatest Share of the Gain going to the King's Purse, who ...
— A New Voyage to Carolina • John Lawson

... broad daylight, and they could not leave the convent without being perceived by the other monks. Therefore, fearing the great perils and inconveniences which might arise, they arranged between them that each should wear a monk's gown, and have a tonsure made on her head, as though they belonged to the convent. So finally one day that they were in the convent, and whilst their husbands suspected nothing of it, a barber,—that is to say a monk belonging to the convent—was sent for secretly to the cells of the three brothers, ...
— One Hundred Merrie And Delightsome Stories - Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles • Various

... with a tonsure," replied Coristine, gazing on the detective's momentarily uncovered head, "are open ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... typically African. It is kinky and grows in the little clusters or "peppercorn" bunches peculiar to negro races. The Negrito man and woman usually wear the hair short, cutting it more or less closely so that it resembles a thick pad over the head. Sometimes a tonsure on the back is cut away, and among still other Negritos a considerable part of the hair is removed from the head. In persons of mixed Negrito-Malayan blood the hair, if left uncut, grows into a great wavy or frizzly mop standing ...
— The Negrito and Allied Types in the Philippines and The Ilongot or Ibilao of Luzon • David P. Barrows

... women, as well as the kisses of a few who, although not old, were not sorry to be considered so for the sake of embracing a young man without impropriety. The curate of Saint-Samuel, the Abbe Josello, presented me to Monsignor Correre, Patriarch of Venice, who gave me the tonsure, and who, four months afterwards, by special favour, admitted me to the four minor orders. No words could express the joy and the pride of my grandmother. Excellent masters were given to me to continue my studies, and M. Baffo chose ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... and smoothed off, and all by one man. The Japanese are but indifferent sewers, all their seams exhibiting numerous "holidays." Pretty children, with their hair clipped around their heads like a priest's tonsure, sport around us, but are not intrusive. Each child has a little pouch attached to his girdle, which, we are informed, contains the address of the child's parents, and also an invocation to the little one's protecting god, in case ...
— In Eastern Seas - The Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83 • J. J. Smith

... This splendid monument is entirely of black and white marble, of the early part of the sixteenth century. The figures just mentioned are of white marble, kneeling upon cushions, beneath a rich canopy of Gothic fretwork. They are in their professional robes; their heads are bare, exhibiting the tonsure, with the hair in one large curl behind. A small whole-length figure of St. George, their tutelary saint, is below them, in gilded marble: and the whole base, or lower frieze, of the monument, is surrounded by six ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... confessor of the parish, and the joke of the ungodly. Some said he had been a dancing-master before he entered the cloister, and it was no wonder he turned out a renegade and took to trading. Others declared that he had no right to the gray capote, and his tonsure was a natural loss of hair; in fact, that he never had been a friar at all. But in Kaskaskia nobody took him seriously, and Father Olivier was not severe upon him. Custom made his harlequin antics a matter ...
— Old Kaskaskia • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... completed, she begins to cast off her rich veil, costly vestments, all her splendid diamonds and brilliants—which, in many instances, have cost, perhaps, from ten to fifteen, or even twenty thousand dollars. Then her beautiful locks are submitted to the tonsure; and to signify her deadness forever to the world, she is clothed in a dress of coarse grey cloth, called serge, in which she is to pass the miserable remnant of her days. The dark sombre walls of her prison she can sever pass, and its iron-bound ...
— Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal • Sarah J Richardson

... dark, and not very evenly trimmed—for his wife or daughter has performed the tonsure with a pair of rusty shears; and the longer locks seem changed in hue, as if his dingy wool hat did not sufficiently protect them against the wind and rain. Over his shoulder he carries a heavy rifle, heavier than a "Harper's ferry ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... took her aside, and pressed upon her the claims of the ascetic life with such fervour that she instantly consented to renounce the world with him. She therefore went into a convent; and he received the tonsure, and was in due time made ...
— Helbeck of Bannisdale, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... scarcely a name at all, in the diffident syllables he uttered in answer to that question, on first coming there; but of names known to them it came nearest to a malignant one in Scripture, Apollyon. Apollyon had a just discernible tonsure, but probably no ...
— Miscellaneous Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... this, after a short delay, was granted. But Aimery, who dressed like a layman in 'divided and striped clothes' and wore a long beard, they refused to treat as a clerk, though it was afterwards alleged that the tonsure was plainly discernible upon his head until it was shaved by order of the Capitouls. Aimery was put to the torture, admitted his crime, and was sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out by hanging, after he had had his hand cut off on the scene of the crime, ...
— On the Art of Writing - Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914 • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... handling a relic; while the old Marquess, though he took his grandson seldomer on his rides, would sit staring at him with a frowning tenderness that once found vent in the growl—"Morbleu, but he's too good for the tonsure!" All this made it clear to Odo that he was indeed meant for the Church, and he learned without surprise that the following spring he was to be sent to the seminary ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... very tall, or, rather, he had been very tall. Now he was much bent with age and rheumatism. His long white hair hung low upon his neck, and fell back from a prominent brow. The top of the head was quite bald, like the tonsure of a priest, and shone and glistened in the lamplight, and round this oasis the thin white locks fell down. The face was shrivelled like the surface of a well-kept apple, and, like an apple, rosy ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... thousands by thousands, they were praying and kneeling; and their heads were all shaven with the tonsure of priests." ...
— Harold, Complete - The Last Of The Saxon Kings • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... inserted in the hair, which was separated into tufts, rolled and matted together. This decoration was denied the women: their hair was cropped close, with sharp crystal; some on the one side of the head only, in others like the tonsure of the priest. They were accustomed to ornament the body by several methods, differing perhaps with different tribes. Patches of ochre and grease formed a considerable portion of their adornment. With a shining mineral they drew symmetrical lines on the neck, shoulders and face, and ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... but they are the sort of human beings with which we are acquainted. Better yet, it is not only the men with crowns on their heads, or the women who wear jewelled and embroidered robes, or riders locked up in steel, or men under tonsure or tiara, that did great things and made the world move. Carleton shows how the milk-maid, the wagoner, the blacksmith, the spinster with the distaff, the rower of the boat, the common soldier on foot, the student in his ...
— Charles Carleton Coffin - War Correspondent, Traveller, Author, and Statesman • William Elliot Griffis

... denomination to them. There exists some differences of opinion among judicial antiquarians as to the origin of the coif. It is supposed by some to have been invented about the time of Henry III, for the purpose of concealing the clerical tonsure, and thus disguising those renegade clerks, who were desirous of eluding the canon, restraining the clergy from practising as counsel in the secular courts. Hortensius, 349. By others it is referred to a much earlier period, when the practice in the higher courts was monopolized by the clergy, ...
— An Essay on Professional Ethics - Second Edition • George Sharswood

... who have vowed themselves to the service of the Church walking gaily in the dress of soldiers, engaged in carnal matters, letting their hair hang down their shoulders curled and powdered, and thinking scorn of the tonsure, which is the mark of the Kingdom of Heaven. And does not God see? Will He not recompense to His people their sins? Yea, verily He will; and in an hour when they little think it, the wrath of God shall fall upon them. It is even now upon its way. I have seen it; ...
— In the Days of Chivalry • Evelyn Everett-Green

... preaching, and immense crowds gathered to hear his conferences, as they were called, in the church of Notre Dame, where, to the astonishment of all, he appeared in the pulpit in guise of a Dominican monk with the tonsure; he was afterwards elected member of the Constitutent Assembly, where he sat in his monk's attire, but he soon retired; he ended his days as head of the Military College of ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... a hill that rose out of green meadows. It was covered with dingy pine trees except the top that was bared like a tonsure. A trail ran through the woods; a trail singularly morose and unattractive. The pines looked shabby and black in comparison to the sun on the spring meadows. This was Break-Neck Hill. Perhaps Cuddy ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 • Various

... garments, that these, piece by piece, and each with an appropriate insult malediction, may be stripped from him again. The sacred vessels are placed in his hands, that from him, "accursed Judas that he is," they may be taken again. There is some difficulty in erasing his tonsure; but this difficulty with a little violence and cruelty is overcome. A tall paper cap, painted over with flames and devils, and inscribed "Heresiarch," is placed upon his head. This done, and his soul having been duly delivered to Satan, his body is surrendered to the secular arm. One last ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... their top full high and smooth y-shore: that are eminent among the clergy, who wear the tonsure. ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... soldier of such a boy, he allowed me to enter a seminary. I was very happy, and my love of books and my earnest desire to be a priest continued to increase. I was made a deacon and received the tonsure. Then I fell ill. It was the will of Heaven, for I never was ill before that, nor have been since. It was a long illness, a dangerous fever. Just before that time, while I was in the seminary, my father had married a second time, a young and very beautiful ...
— Taquisara • F. Marion Crawford

... asking", said Hogarth, eyeing the face of the prelate—a man of very coarse feature; a small head, made to receive the tonsure, with a low brow; a stern bottom lip, and long upper; a fat neck held majestically erect; and up stuck his double chin. In profile, the part between the sharp edge of the bottom lip and the chin-tip was divided, down near the chin tip, by an angle and crease; and the lower face seemed too ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... people would accept the Shepherdess and this black dog of yours as their gods. But did I not tell you also that the death of the rest of us lies in the matter? If not, I say so now. You have not been named a god, Deliverer, nor has yonder Bald-pate"—the natives called Francisco thus because of his tonsure—"and your black dog will betray you by his yapping. When you look down the jaws of the Snake, remember then that Soa told you the truth, Deliverer. Perchance you shall find the red stones you seek hidden in ...
— The People Of The Mist • H. Rider Haggard

... the University in expert tonsure is now well understood, but the craving for the subjugation of falsifying hair must have been quite secondary to that for the sustenance of the bodily powers, and accordingly the cooks stood very near to the purveyors ...
— The Customs of Old England • F. J. Snell

... oyster-knife. He thus finally succeeded, in less than an hour, in setting Joe once more at liberty, at the price of his queue, which was totally lost, and of the exposure of his raw and bleeding occiput. The operation was, indeed, of a mongrel description—somewhat between a complete tonsure and an imperfect scalping, to both of which denominations it certainly presented claims. However, it is an ill wind that blows nobody good! Bob Casey got the making of a skull-piece for Joe, and my brother French had the pleasure of paying for it, as gentlemen in those ...
— The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; • Various

... customs which differed from those observed by Roman Christians. They computed the date on which Easter fell according to a system unlike that of the Romans. They permitted their priests to marry; the Romans forbade the practice. Their monks shaved the front of the head from ear to ear as a tonsure, while Roman monks shaved the top of the head, leaving a "crown of thorns." These differences may not seem very important, but they were enough to prevent the cooperation of Celtic and Roman missionaries for ...
— EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY • HUTTON WEBSTER

... But by adopting an average for the students in the conciliar seminary of Manila in 1842 and 48 [sic; 43?]—namely, some twenty-five, counting priests, deacons, subdeacons, those who have taken the lesser orders, and those who have taken the tonsure—one may calculate that the four seminaries will contain about one hundred students; so that, adding these to the ninety-three preceding, belonging also to the secular clergy, the number increases to one hundred and ninety-three. There ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 (Vol 28 of 55) • Various

... as infinitely ludicrous when I saw them on the heads of the judges and counsel in Westminster Hall. Originally the clergy were forbidden to practise law, and, as they were the best lawyers, the wig was worn to conceal the tonsure. He had anecdotes to tell of Johnson, Lamb, Macaulay, Voltaire, Talleyrand, etc., and quoted passages from Burke and from Junius at length in the exact words. Junius he considers proved to be Sir Philip Francis. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., April, 1863, No. LXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics. • Various

... world. His quietude is equal to that of the fatalist; his resignation does truly enable him to bear all. The true priest, such a one as the Abbe de Veze, lives like a child with its mother; for the Church, my dear Monsieur Godefroid, is a good mother. Well, a man can be a priest without the tonsure; all priests are not in orders. To vow one's self to good, that is imitating a true priest; it is obedience to God. I am not preaching to you; I am not trying to convert you; I am explaining ...
— The Brotherhood of Consolation • Honore de Balzac

... village-pulpit in his own kingdom, while the sister of Mucio, the Duchess of Montpensier, carried the scissors at her girdle, with which she threatened to provide Henry with a third crown, in addition to those of France and Poland, which he had disgraced—the coronal tonsure of a monk. The convent should be, it was intimated, the eventual fate of the modern Childeric, but meantime it was more important than ever to supersede the ultimate pretensions of Henry of Navarre. To prevent that heretic of heretics, who ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... the tonsure disquiets you, for it is rather a delicate operation, the prettiest hands and the prettiest scissors—golden scissors, ma foi!—will give you this precious symbol, which would raise to three the number of the crowns ...
— The Forty-Five Guardsmen • Alexandre Dumas

... of faith, When parable was life, When the red cross in Holy Land Led on the glorious strife. Oh! for the days of golden spurs, Of tournament and tilt, Of pilgrim vow, and prowess high, When minsters fair were built; When holy priest the tonsure wore, The friar had his cord, And honour, truth, and loyalty ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... wise man,—and probably, on the whole, a good man; that he did good service in his parish, and helped his people along in their lives not inefficiently. He was a small man, with dark hair very closely cut, with a tonsure that was visible but not more than visible; with a black beard that was shaved every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, but which was very black indeed on the Tuesday and Friday mornings. He always wore the black gown of his office, but would ...
— The Golden Lion of Granpere • Anthony Trollope

... to me that only the inmates of their monasteries and the recluses of both systems should be enumerated as Buddhists and Taoists; but I was in the end constrained to widen that judgment, and to admit a considerable following of both among the people, who have neither received the tonsure nor assumed the yellow top. Dr. Eitel, in concluding his discussion of this point in his "Lecture on Buddhism, an Event in History," says: "It is not too much to say that most Chinese are theoretically Confucianists, but emotionally Buddhists or Taoists. ...
— Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms • Fa-Hien

... a very deep interest in the regards of all the female domestics over the country, not on the strength of his personal charms, for Larry had a hanging lip, a snub nose, a low forehead, a large ugly head, whose scrubby grizzled hair grew round the crown somewhat in the form of a priest's tonsure. Not on the strength of his gallantry, for Larry was always talking morality and making sage reflections, while he supplied the womankind with bits of lace, rolls of ribbon, and now and then silk ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... temperament, and cultural development. In Ireland the primitive Catholic Church underwent a distinctive development. It was closely bound up in the tribal organization of the Irish people, lacked the system, order and magnificence of the Latinized Church, had its peculiar tonsure for monks, and its own date for celebrating Easter for nearly three hundred years after the coming of St. Patrick.[840] The Japanese, in their physical and mental characteristics, as in their whole national spirit, are more strikingly differentiated from the Chinese than the agricultural ...
— Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography • Ellen Churchill Semple

... chapter house, then goes over to the crucifix and stops in front of it. The last strophe of the choral service can be heard from across the courtyard. The CONFESSOR enters from the back; he is dressed in black and white; he has long hair and along beard and a very small tonsure ...
— The Road to Damascus - A Trilogy • August Strindberg

... the summer I pitied them that they ware necessitat by the first institution of their orders never to quate their gounes which cannot be but to hot for them; yea, never to suffer any linnen only wooll to come neirest their skine), notwithstanding of this its easy to distinguish them by the Clerical Tonsure, you sall never find a capuchin but wt a very liberall bard: for the Minime he most not have any. Again in their diet and other such things they differ much: the Minime most renounce for ever the eating of fleche, their only food is fishes and roots; hence ...
— Publications of the Scottish History Society, Vol. 36 • Sir John Lauder

... in to stand at the foot, motionless for a time; or, through the open door, I would see the cassock of Father Antonio, flung on his knees, with his forehead resting on the edge of the bed, his hands clasped above his tonsure. ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... political economy allowed him to pay a large tribute in exchange for German interference and the remains of a saint. He lavished money on the Church, whereas strongholds were required in defence of Christendom, and finally he adopted the tonsure. This struck home to the family and made Boleslav's cup of bitterness o'erflow; he plotted more persistently than ever against Wenceslaus. Another habit of the pious Prince was that of attending Church dedication festivals and their anniversaries, in every part of ...
— From a Terrace in Prague • Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

... Beeleigh. They appear to have been admirable priests; the official Visitor (for they were free from Episcopal control) could on one occasion find nothing amiss save that the Canons wore more luxuriant hair than befitted those who bear the chastening sign of the tonsure, and their abbots seem to have been exceptionally wise and prudent. This sweet pastoral scenery, these slow streams with luxuriant banks and pleasant, sheltered walks, were altogether to their taste. Here were ...
— Impressions And Comments • Havelock Ellis

... let him come here," cried the Major, "or I'll let him know what tonsure is, and read him the order of Melchisedec. A priest! After going round the world three times, to come home and be hailed as the father of a priest! Don't let him come near me, ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... is a fashion, and nothing more, is unhappily fully established on ample and high authority within the medical prescriptive pale. And, in fact, even as "The Tonsure" or shaving of the crown, became by fashion and mendicity a feature of priesthood and monastic piety, so has the slaughter of the Tonsils come to be regarded by fashion and mendacity as a feature of childhood ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... restore the old worship within the city was often met with scornful mockery, sometimes attended with violence. A dead cat, for instance, was one day found hanging in Cheapside, its head shorn in imitation of a priest's tonsure, and its body clothed in a mock ecclesiastical vestment, with cross before and behind, whilst a piece of white paper to represent a singing-cake was placed between its forefeet, which had been tied together. Bonner was very angry at this travesty of religion, and caused the effigy to be publicly ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume I • Reginald R. Sharpe

... rendered "shear his front hair" is thought to mean "brand his forehead." The Code fixes a severe penalty for the putting of an indelible mark on a slave without his owner's consent. This could hardly be enforced for merely giving the slave a bald forehead, like the Hebrew peot, or like a "tonsure." The mark borne on the forehead by Cain, or by the "sealed" in the Apocalypse, is far more to the point as a parallel. The slaves also wore little clay tablets with the name of their owner inscribed upon them. There are a number of these preserved in the Louvre. ...
— Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters • C. H. W. Johns

... priests, with three or four mounted archers, the nucleus that, moving through the streets, had drawn together this concourse. And these with threats and curse and gleaming eyes stood fast, even Tavannes' dare-devils recoiling before the tonsure. The check thus caused allowed those who had budged a breathing space. They rallied behind the black robes, and began to stone the pikes; who in their turn withdrew until they formed two groups, standing ...
— Count Hannibal - A Romance of the Court of France • Stanley J. Weyman

... side. Fear had the least place in my thoughts as I waited, breathless, for the outcome of this strange situation. My eyes wandered round the circle of barbarians, and I noted with some wonderment that numbers of the men wore their crowns shaven, after the manner of a priest's tonsure. ...
— Margaret Tudor - A Romance of Old St. Augustine • Annie T. Colcock

... animal. The part of the head covered by this bonnet is shaved, with the exception of a tuft, about the size of a crown piece, and which is suffered to grow to the length of seven or eight inches, precisely where our priests place their tonsure. It is by this tuft of hair, worn by the majority of Mussulmen, that the angel of the tomb is to take the elect and carry them ...
— The Ruins • C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

... a stained-glass window in honour of the saint at Croyland. They quaintly describe, in exquisite delicacy of form and colour, how the young Guthlac, after taking leave of his parents, renounces the profession of arms, and receives the tonsure at the hands of Bishop Hedda. Then, sailing away in a boat to Croyland, he builds an oratory with the help of two companions, Becelin and Tatwin, and an angel converses with him. No sooner is he launched on his new career of prayer, good works, ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... destined by his parents as securing a wealthy provision for a younger son, but educated by his good tutor with more real sense of his obligations—felt the question in its full import. He was under no vows; he had, indeed, received the tonsure, but was otherwise unpledged, and he was bent on proving all things. The gaieties in which he had at first mingled had become abhorrent to him, and he studied with the earnestness of a newly-awakened mind in search ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... year, but the beauty of his features, the elevation of his stature, and the freshness of his colour, made him appear much younger. His dress, from its colour and make, befitted his sacred profession, and his hair was so cut as to show the tonsure of the priest, so long covered by the ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII. - Modern History • Arthur Mee

... chapel of the clouds to pray, is it not the religion of his wonderful earthly situation and prospect that speaks to him loudly, rather than the religion of the far-off Power whose hands he believes to hold the threads of his destinies? Even the tonsure is a psalm to some, and the robe and cowl a litany. The knotted cord is a mass ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... off his hat and put it on the seat; his dark smooth-shaven face reminded me of a Romish priest, but he had no tonsure; instead of that he had thick closely-cropped hair without a hint or suspicion of baldness, was strongly built and very broad, and looked like a man who had ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... confusion; but the Emir had been struck by the appearance of the clerk, a small, deformed man, with a dark, Jewish face, one arm longer than the other, misshapen fingers, wearing the tonsure and clerical habit; and thinking there must be superior intelligence to counterbalance so unprepossessing an aspect, he sent for him in private, and asked him on oath respecting the morals and character of his master. He was obliged to confess ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... although, like the Indians, he wore a garb of dressed deerskin. His face, albeit no stranger to the use of their pigments and unguents, still showed fair and freckled. His hair bore no resemblance to their lank black locks; of an auburn hue and resolutely curling, it defied the tonsure to which it had been for years subjected, coming out crisp and ringleted close to his head where he was designed to be bald, and on the top, where the "war-lock" was permitted to grow, it floated backward in two long tangled red curls that gave the ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... huge horse-chestnuts, and set round with dahlias, and geraniums, and delicate tinted German stocks, which fill the air with fragrance; a place made only for young lovers:—certainly not for those black, petticoated worthies, each with that sham of a sham, the modern tonsure, pared down to a poor florin's breadth among their bushy, well-oiled curls, who sit at little tables, passing the lazy day "a muguetter les bourgeoises" of Sarrebruck and Treves, and sipping the fragrant Josephshofer—perhaps at the ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume II. • Charles Kingsley

... without religion, and had always hated my being a monk. I told him all, without reserve. I said, 'Help me to go away. Let me go anywhere—alone.' He gave me clothes, money. I shaved off my beard and moustache. I shaved my head, so that the tonsure was no longer visible. In the afternoon of that day I left Tunis. I was let loose into life. Domini—Domini, I won't tell you where I wandered till I came to the desert, till I ...
— The Garden Of Allah • Robert Hichens

... "Maybe your tonsure might save you, father," said Hakon; "but I would not risk it. One cannot see much of a ...
— A Sea Queen's Sailing • Charles Whistler

... transformed into a rope-girt praying clerk. But so it was. I was given a square black cap and a brown robe, and sent to join the lay brethren. For my hair grew thick as a mat on top and there was no time to tonsure it. ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... twenty-one years old. It was reported that he had lost his reason, which may have been true or false. Catherine disposed of him. She said: "It is my opinion that he should not be allowed to escape, so as to place him beyond the power of doing harm. It would be best to tonsure him (that is, to make a monk of him), and to transfer him to some monastery, neither too near nor too far off; it will suffice if it does not become a shrine." She did not desire that the people should ...
— The Story of Russia • R. Van Bergen

... entering the Roman Catholic chapel of a fashionable district-chapel erected on pervert's legacies, down a small street at the corner of a grandee square, by tolerance or connivance of our constabulary,—entering it linked; and linked they issued, their heads bent; for the operation of the tonsure, you would say. Two English noblemen! But is there no legislation to stop the disease? Our female government asks it vixenly of our impotent male; which pretends, beneath an air of sympathy, that we should abstain from any compulsory action upon the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... again, summoned three horsemen who dismounted and came to him. By the emerald color of their head-fillets and jackets, as well as by their tonsure, the Master recognized them as mystics of ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... were evidently of like mind with him in their desire to avoid the press. He lifted his hat in apology, and recognized one of them as the occupant of the proscenium box, the gentleman who had given the roses to the little singer. The other, although in citizen's dress, he saw by the tonsure ...
— Flamsted quarries • Mary E. Waller

... gowns. The Carmelites used undyed cloth, which was white in comparison with the black of the Dominicans. The Benedictine monks of St. Mary's Abbey wore black garments. Their heads were shaved on the crown, the technical term for which was the tonsure. ...
— Life in a Medival City - Illustrated by York in the XVth Century • Edwin Benson

... set in the choir by the hand of Paolo Sasono." He died in the 68th year of his age, and was buried in S. Maria in Organo. He is called "prior" in a chronicle of the monastery under date 1511, and in the list of dead. In his portrait in the sacristy, by Caroto, he is represented with the tonsure and with the hood and cowl of the form which was proper to monks ...
— Intarsia and Marquetry • F. Hamilton Jackson

... prerogative of gentle blood, extra intelligence in the lower classes being almost an impertinence. The only exception to this rule lay with the Church. She was allowed to develop a brain in whom she would. The sacredness of her tonsure protected the man who wore it, permitting him to exhibit as much (or as little) of manners, intellect, and morals, as he might ...
— The White Lady of Hazelwood - A Tale of the Fourteenth Century • Emily Sarah Holt

... each one who was rich makes himself poor. What he has, he gives to all. He who was what is called noble, a gentleman and a lord, is the equal of him who was a peasant. The cell is identical for all. All undergo the same tonsure, wear the same frock, eat the same black bread, sleep on the same straw, die on the same ashes. The same sack on their backs, the same rope around their loins. If the decision has been to go barefoot, all go barefoot. There may be a prince among them; that ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo



Words linked to "Tonsure" :   shave, crown, shaving, pate, poll



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