A beard signifies lice, not brains.
He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.
If you teach a poor young man to shave himself, and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas. This sum may be soon spent, the regret only remaining of having foolishly consumed it; but in the other case, he escapes the frequent vexation of waiting for barbers, and of their sometimes dirty fingers, offensive breaths, and dull razors.
In England and America a beard usually means that its owner would rather be considered venerable than virile; on the continent of Europe it often means that its owner makes a special claim to virility.
There is always a period when a man with a beard shaves it off. This period does not last. He returns headlong to his beard.