CHAP. 56.—THE HAIR OF THE EYE-LIDS; WHAT ANIMALS ARE
WITHOUT THEM. ANIMALS WHICH CAN SEE ON ONE SIDE ONLY.
Man has lashes on the eye-lids on either side; and women
even make it their daily care to stain them;1
so ardent are they
in the pursuit of beauty, that they must even colour their
very eyes. It was with another view, however, that Nature
had provided the hair of the eyelids—they were to have acted,
so to say, as a kind of rampart for the protection of the sight,
and as an advanced bulwark against the approach of insects
or other objects which might accidentally come in their way.
It is not without some reason that it is said that the eye-
fall off with those persons who are too much given to
venereal pleasures. Of the other animals, the only ones that
have eyelashes are those that have hair on the rest of the
body as well; but the quadrupeds have them on the upper
eyelid only, and the birds on the lower one: the same is the
case also with those which have a soft skin, such as the serpent,
and those among the quadrupeds that are oviparous, the lizard,
for instance. The ostrich is the only one among the birds
that, like man, has eyelashes on either side.