His personal appearance was remarkable. He was over six feet high—a tower of bones, with a complexion absolutely colourless, fair hair, and a light unscrupulous gray eye, twinkling occasionally at the very devil of mischief. Among the crew, he went by the name of the Long Doctor, or more frequently still, Doctor Long Ghost. And from whatever high estate Doctor Long Ghost might have fallen, he had certainly at some time or other spent money, drunk Burgundy, and associated with gentlemen.
As for his learning, he quoted Virgil, and talked of Hobbs of Malmsbury, beside repeating poetry by the canto, especially Hudibras. He was, moreover, a man who had seen the world. In the easiest way imaginable, he could refer to an amour he had in Palermo, his lion-hunting before breakfast among the Caffres, and the quality of the coffee to be drunk in Muscat; and about these places, and a hundred others, he had more anecdotes than I can tell of. Then such mellow old songs as he sang, in a voice so round and racy, the real juice of sound. How such notes came forth from his lank body was a constant marvel.
- Herman Melville, Omoo
Okay, Doctor, we get it. That magic blue box can take you anywhere, even the Land of Fiction. You don’t need to keep showing up in old books and bothering the sailors just to impress me.