Old School

"There are noble mausoleums rooted for centuries in retired glades of parks among the growing timber and the fern, which perhaps hold fewer noble secrets than walk abroad among men, shut up in the breast of Mr. Tulkinghorn.
Tulkinghorn, Guppy, Dedlock. From here.
 He is of what is called the old school—a phrase generally meaning any school that seems never to have been young—and wears knee-breeches tied with ribbons, and gaiters or stockings. One peculiarity of his black clothes and of his black stockings, be they silk or worsted, is that they never shine. Mute, close, irresponsive to any glancing light, his dress is like himself. He never converses when not professionally consulted."


Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. Originally serialized 1853-54.


What a perfectly direct observation (really spelling it out for the reader): "his dress is like himself." The relativity of "old school" is lovely here. The man sounds a bit like Hawthorne's old, mourning New England women in their muted crapes. Great description of textiles also--that texture is not only noticeable but significant to one's character.

...secretly, I haven't read Bleak House yet, but thanks to Katie for the tip!