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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Jean de La Bruyère (1645–1696)


From “The Characters

IPHIS at church sees a new-fashioned shoe; he looks upon his own and blushes, and can no longer believe himself dressed. He came to prayers only to show himself, and now he hides himself. The foot keeps him in his room the rest of the day. He has a soft hand, with which he gives you a gentle pat. He is sure to laugh often to show his white teeth. He strains his mouth to a perpetual smile. He looks upon his legs, he views himself in the glass, and nobody can have so good an opinion of another as he has of himself. He has acquired a delicate and clear voice, and has a happy manner in talking. He has a turn of the head, a sweetness in his glance that he never fails to make use of. His gait is slow, and the prettiest he is able to contrive. He sometimes employs a little rouge, but seldom; he will not make a habit of it. It is true that he wears breeches and a hat, has neither earrings nor necklace, therefore I have not put him in the chapter on woman.