When he went to the barber he almost drew tears from his eyes. Seating himself mournfully on the match-tub, he looked sideways, and said to the barber, who was slithering his sheep-shears in readiness to begin: ‘My friend, I trust your scissors are consecrated. Let them not touch this beard if they have yet to be dipped in holy water; beards are sacred things, barber. Have you no feeling for beards, my friend? think of it;’ and mournfully he laid his deep-dyed, russet cheek upon his hand. ‘Two summers have gone by since my chin has been reaped. I was in Coquimbo then, on the Spanish Main; and when the husband-man was sowing his Autumnal grain on the Vega, I started this blessed beard; and when the vine-dressers were trimming their vines in the vineyards, I first trimmed it to the sound of a flute. Ah! barber, have you no heart? This beard has been caressed by the snow-white hand of the lovely Tomasita of Tombez—the Castilian belle of all lower Peru. Think of that, barber! I have worn it as an officer on the quarter-deck of a Peruvian man-of-war. I have sported it at brilliant fandangoes in Lima. I have been alow and aloft with it at sea. Yea, barber! it has streamed like an Admiral’s pennant at the mast-head of this same gallant frigate, the Neversink! Oh! barber, barber! it stabs me to the heart.—Talk not of hauling down your ensigns and standards when vanquished—what is that, barber! to striking the flag that Nature herself has nailed to the mast!

When he went to the barber he almost drew tears from his eyes. Seating himself mournfully on the match-tub, he looked sideways, and said to the barber, who was slithering his sheep-shears in readiness to begin: ‘My friend, I trust your scissors are consecrated. Let them not touch this beard if they have yet to be dipped in holy water; beards are sacred things, barber. Have you no feeling for beards, my friend? think of it;’ and mournfully he laid his deep-dyed, russet cheek upon his hand. ‘Two summers have gone by since my chin has been reaped. I was in Coquimbo then, on the Spanish Main; and when the husband-man was sowing his Autumnal grain on the Vega, I started this blessed beard; and when the vine-dressers were trimming their vines in the vineyards, I first trimmed it to the sound of a flute. Ah! barber, have you no heart? This beard has been caressed by the snow-white hand of the lovely Tomasita of Tombez—the Castilian belle of all lower Peru. Think of that, barber! I have worn it as an officer on the quarter-deck of a Peruvian man-of-war. I have sported it at brilliant fandangoes in Lima. I have been alow and aloft with it at sea. Yea, barber! it has streamed like an Admiral’s pennant at the mast-head of this same gallant frigate, the Neversink! Oh! barber, barber! it stabs me to the heart.—Talk not of hauling down your ensigns and standards when vanquished—what is that, barber! to striking the flag that Nature herself has nailed to the mast!
—Happy 193rd birthday to my man Melville, defender of beards.  From White-Jacket.