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

Complaisance may be defined as a mode of address calculated to give pleasure, but not with the best tendency.

Officiousness would seem to be, in fact, a well-meaning presumption in word or deed.

The Chatty Man is one who will say to those whom he meets, if they speak a word to him, that they are quite wrong, and that he knows all about it, and that, if they listen to him, they will learn; then, while one is answering him, he will put in, ‘Do you tell me so? — don’t forget what you are going to say’ [...]

The Oligarchical temper would seem to consist in a love of authority, covetous, not of gain, but of power.

Cowardice would seem to be, in fact, the shrinking of the soul through fear.

One may define flattery as a base companionship which is most advantageous to the flatterer.

The Complaisant man is very much the kind of person who will hail one afar off with ‘my dear fellow’; and, after a large display of respect, seize and hold one by both hands.

The Patron of Rascals is one who will throw himself into the company of those who have lost lawsuits and have been found guilty in criminal causes; conceiving that, if he associates with such persons, he will become more a man of the world, and will inspire the greater awe.

Distrustfulness is a presumption that all men are unjust.

Our costliest expenditure is time.

The Coward is one who, on a voyage, will protest that the promontories are pirates; and, if a high sea gets up, will ask if there is any one on board who has not been initiated.

The Patronising of Rascals is a form of the appetite for vice.

Expense of time is the most costly of all expenses.

Penuriousness is too strict attention to profit and loss.?

The Distrustful man is one who, having sent his slave to market, will send another to ascertain what price he gave.

The Penurious man is one who, while the month is current, will come to one’s house and ask for a half-obol. When he is at table with others, he will count how many cups each of them has drunk; and will pour a smaller libation to Artemis than any of the company.

Flattery may be considered as a mode of companionship degrading but profitable to him who flatters.

Petty ambition would seem to be a mean craving for distinction.

The Evil-speaker is one who, when asked who so-and-so is, will reply, in the style of genealogists, ‘I will begin with his parentage.

The Reckless man is one who will lightly take an oath, being proof against abuse, and capable of giving it; in character a coarse fellow, defiant of decency, ready to do anything; just the person to dance the cordax, sober and without a mask, in a comic chorus.

Garrulity is the discoursing of much and ill-considered talk.

Recklessness is tolerance of shame in word and deed.

The Gossip is a person who, when he meets his friend, will assume a demure air, and ask with a smile — ‘Where are you from, and what are your tidings?

The Shameless man is one who, in the first place, will and borrow from the creditor whose money he is withholding.

Gossip is the framing of fictitious saying and doings at the pleasure of him who gossips.

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