Theophrastus

Theophrastus
c. 370 B.C.
c. 287 B.C.

Greek Philosopher, Botanist, Naturalist and Humorist, Man of Letters, Successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic School

Author Quotes

The Ironical Man is one who goes up to his enemies, and volunteers to chat with them, instead of showing hatred

The Unpleasant man is one who will come in an awake a person who has just gone to sleep, in order to chat with him.

And he will borrow from his acquaintances things of a kind that no one would ask back, — or readily take back, if it were proposed to restore them.

Hearing, he [the ironic type] will affect not to have heard, seeing, not to have seen; if he has made an admission, he will say that he does not remember it. Sometimes he has ‘been considering the question’; sometimes he does ‘not know’; sometimes he is ‘surprised’; sometimes it is ‘the very conclusion’ at which he ‘once arrived’ himself. And, in general, he is very apt to use this kind of phrase: ‘I do not believe it’; ‘I do not understand it’; ‘I am astonished.’ Or he will say that he has heard it from some one else: ‘This, however, was not the story that he told me.’ ‘The thing surprises me’; ‘Don’t tell me’; ‘I do not know how I am to disbelieve you, or to condemn him’; ‘Take care that you are not too credulous.’

Surliness is discourtesy in words.

The Late-Learner is one who will study passages for recitation when he is sixty, and break down in repeating them over his wine.

The Unseasonable man is one who will go up to a busy person, and open his heart to him.

Arrogance is a certain scorn for all the world beside oneself.

I would define boastfulness to be the pretension to good which the boaster does not possess.

Surliness is incivility in speech.

The man of Petty Ambition is one who, when asked to dinner, will be anxious to be placed next to the host at table.

The unseasonable man is the sort of person who comes up to you when you are head over ears in work and confides to you all about it. He serenades his mistress when she is ill with fever. He approaches a man who has been cast in a surety case and asks him to stand surety for him. He appears to give evidence after the verdict is given.

Avarice is excessive desire of base gain.

Irony, roughly defined, would seem to be an affectation of the worse in word or deed.

The Arrogant man is one who will say to a person who is in a hurry that he will see him after dinner when he is taking his walk.

The Mean man is one who, when he has gained the prize in a tragic contest, will dedicate a wooden scroll to Dionysus, having had it inscribed with his own name.

Then, warming to the work, he [the garrulous type] will remark that the men of the present day are greatly inferior to the ancients; and how cheap wheat has become in the market; and what a number of foreigners are in town; and that the sea is navigable after the Dionysia; and that, if Zeus would send more rain, the crops would be better;

Boastfulness would seem to be, in fact, pretension to advantages which one does not possess.

Late-learning would seem to mean the pursuit of exercises for which one is too old.

The Avaricious man is one who, when he entertains, will not set enough bread upon the table.

The Offensive man is one who will go about with a scrofulous or leprous affection, or with his nails overgrown, and say that these are hereditary complaints with him; his father had them, and his grandfather, and it is not easy to be smuggled into his family …

Unpleasantness may be defined as a mode of address which gives harmless annoyance.

Boorishness would seem to be ignorance offending against propriety.

Meanness is an excessive indifference to honor where expense is concerned.

The Boastful Man is one who will stand in the bazaar talking to foreigners of the great sums which he has at sea; he will discourse of the vastness of his money-lending business, and the extent of his personal gains and losses; and, while thus drawing the long-bow, will send of his boy to the bank, where he keeps — a drachma.

Author Picture
First Name
Theophrastus
Birth Date
c. 370 B.C.
Death Date
c. 287 B.C.
Bio

Greek Philosopher, Botanist, Naturalist and Humorist, Man of Letters, Successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic School