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

Theophrastus (c. 371–287 B.C.)

Of Slovenliness

From “The Characters”

THIS vice is a lazy and beastly negligence of a man’s person, whereby he becomes so filthy as to be offensive to those who are about him. You’ll see him come into a company when he is covered all over with a leprosy or scurf, or with very long nails, and he says those distempers are hereditary, that his father and grandfather had them before him. He will speak with his mouth full, and gurgle at his cup in drinking. He will intrude into the best company in ragged clothes. If he goes with his mother to the soothsayers, he cannot even then refrain from coarse and profane expressions. When he is making his oblations at the temple, he will let the dish fall out of his hand, and laugh as at some jocular exploit. At the finest concert of music he cannot forbear clapping his hands and making a rude noise. He will pretend to sing along with the singers, and rail at them when they leave off.—“The Characters.”