I should lay out exactly a half-acre of whiskers, in the form of a triangle, leaving to nature that sweet little bunch of hair over the chin, so poetically denominated a goatee. Goatees are the admiration of ladies — the poetry of hair. No wonder they love them, they can pull and twist them so bewitchingly. Goatees are the handle of the head. Hurrah for the handles! ~Richard Doe, “Human Nature in Chunks: Modern Clerks,” 1855
Young ladies don’t like goatees. There are sweeter things in the gift of Cupid than being run in the neck with a whisk-broom. ~Williston Fish, “The Goat and the Goatee,” 1886
Nicholas was tall and well formed. The ladies said he was a perfect Apollo in form, and I’m inclined to believe that he was, although, as I was never intimately acquainted with the original Apollo, I can’t be positively sure. Nicholas wore black hair, glossy and curly; and he had a pair of beautiful dark eyes, and a Grecian nose; but his goatee was what did it. Yes, it took an uncommonly stout-hearted woman to face that goatee unmoved. You could not do it, my dear little girl, although you think you can face anything. But you never saw Nicholas Lymberleg’s goatee, and well it is for your peace of mind that you haven’t… ~N. P. Darling, “What My Friend Did For Me,” in Ballou’s Monthly Magazine, September 1891
In bounded De Courci, hair and all! Cloak, hat, and hair were instantly thrown aside, and a smooth, young, laughing face revealed itself from behind whiskers, moustaches, imperials, and goatee. ~T. S. Arthur, “Marrying a Count,” Off-Hand Sketches, A Little Dashed with Humour, 1851
The little white goatee that stuck out from the side of his chin was as crooked as his temper. ~Margaret Sutton Briscoe, “The Price of Peace,” Jimty, and Others, 1897
Slyder Downehylle was rather good-looking… He cultivated whiskers, “fringing the base of his countenance;” he set up a moustache; he starred his under lip with an imperial, and he balanced the superstructure with the classical “goatee.” Medusa herself never had more luxurious curls. ~Joseph C. Neal, “Slyder Downehylle: A Search After Happiness,” Peter Ploddy, and Other Oddities, 1844
An universal impression prevails that genuine poets should have an abundance of hair like Bryant, Longfellow, Tennyson, and Walt Whitman, who rather suggest this as an infallible test of the true virile bard and seer. Consequently a poet, even if he is not hairy, is popularly and paradoxically regarded — if you will pardon the vulgarism — as a hairy poet. See now how eccentric is my Axeman Bard.
His dark hair is cut short; a modest moustache covers his firm upper lip, and — in flagrant violation of every canon relating to the external appearance of poets from Homer down to the sweet singer of Michigan — from beneath the swell of his lower lip there depends a thin goatee barely an inch in length. Upon the wisdom or taste of this whim I must remain mute. It hardly seems right to me that a poet should wear a goatee; but then did not Pope wear a canvas bodice and three pairs of stockings? ~Melville Philips, “Discovery of a Poet,” in Chicago Current, 1892 [George Washington Kettoman, a.k.a. the Axeman Bard, was a police officer by day and a poet and artist by night.
Original post date: 2013 Oct 2
1st major revision: 2018 Oct 15