His cot-boy used to enter­tain the sailors with all man­ner of sto­ries about the sil­ver-key­ed flu­tes and fla­geo­lets, fine oil pain­tings, moroc­co bound volu­mes, Chi­ne­se chess-men, gold shirt-but­tons, ena­mel­led pen­cil cases, extra­or­di­na­ry fine French boots with soles no thi­c­ker than a sheet of scen­ted note-paper, embro­ide­red vests, incen­se-bur­ning sealing-wax, ala­bas­ter sta­tu­et­tes of Venus and Ado­nis, tor­toi­se-shell snuff-boxes, inlaid toi­let-cases, ivory-hand­led hair-brushes and mother-of-pearl combs, and a hund­red other luxu­rious appen­da­ges scat­te­red about this magni­ficent secretary’s state-room.

Her­man Mel­vil­le: White Jacket