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

An orator without judgment is a horse without a bridle

Grumbling is undue censure of one’s portion.

Superstition is cowardice in the face of the Divine.

The habit of Evil-speaking is a bent of the mind towards putting things in the worst light.

The Surly man is one who, when asked where so-and-so is, will say, ‘Don’t bother me’.

Anaximenes… also says that the underlying nature is one and infinite... but not undefined as Anaximander said but definite, for he identifies it as air; and it differs in its substantial nature by rarity and density. Being made finer it becomes fire; being made thicker it becomes wind, then cloud, then (when thickened still more) water, then earth, then stones; and the rest come into being from these.

He [the flatterer] is just the person, too, who can run errands to the women’s market without drawing breath. He is the first of the guests to praise the wine; and to say, as he reclines next the host, ‘How delicate is your fare!’ and (taking up something from the table)

Superstition would seem to be simply cowardice in regard to the supernatural.

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;

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