"his ash-grey beard, which he wears in a point down to his chest in imitation of Merlin"

Merlin advises King Arthur
Public DomainMerlin advises King Arthur - Credit: Gustave Doré
 Merlin was a legendary English wizard who, according to tradition, used magic to help bring about the birth of King Arthur and then acted as advisor during his reign. He is often depicted as an old man with a long pointed beard.