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While attending a dinner reception one evening (in his ninety-eighth year), Bernard de Fontenelle made several gallant remarks to an attractive young woman. When the guests were called to dine, however, Fontenelle raced ahead of her to secure a position at the table.

"So that's what your gallantries are worth," she complained. "You walk straight past me without even looking at me?" "Madame, if I had looked at you," Fontenelle replied, "I could not have passed you."

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