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Gil Blas

(g soft). The hero of Le Sage's novel of the same name. Timid, but audacious; well-disposed, but easily led astray; shrewd, but easily gulled by practising on his vanity; good-natured, but without moral principle. The tale, according to one account, is based on Matteo Aleman's Spanish romance, called the Life of Guzman; others maintain that the original was the comic romance entitled Relaciones de la Vida del Escudero Marcos de Obregon.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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