"All those top-knots must be cut off."
Miss Temple seemed to remonstrate.
"Madam," he pursued, "I have a Master to serve whose kingdom is not of
this world: my mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the
flesh; to teach them to clothe themselves with shame-facedness and
sobriety, not with braided hair and costly apparel; and each of the young
persons before us has a string of hair twisted in plaits which vanity
itself might have woven; these, I repeat, must be cut off; think of the
time wasted, of--"
Mr. Brocklehurst was here interrupted: three other visitors, ladies, now
entered the room. They ought to have come a little sooner to have heard
his lecture on dress, for they were splendidly attired in velvet, silk,
and furs. The two younger of the trio (fine girls of sixteen and
seventeen) had grey beaver hats, then in fashion, shaded with ostrich
plumes, and from under the brim of this graceful head-dress fell a
profusion of light tresses, elaborately curled; the elder lady was
enveloped in a costly velvet shawl, trimmed with ermine, and she wore a
false front of French curls.