The Proud

A picture of the Proud man from Theophrastus' Characters.The proud man regards the whole human race with contempt; himself excepted.

If you wait on this arrogant personage, even on the most urgent business, you must attend his pleasure: I will speak with thee, says he, after supper, as I take my walk. If he has rendered a service to a man, he will remind him of it as he meets him in the street, and in a loud voice goad him with the obligation. He is never the first to accost any man. He commands tradesmen, or others who transact business with him, to be in attendance at break of day. He returns the salute of no one in the public ways; and even endeavors to avoid seeing his acquaintance by looking on the ground: or he tosses his head, as if the earth and all who walk on it were unworthy of a glance. When he invites a party of his friends, he deigns not to sup with them; but commits the care of entertaining the guests to one of his servants. He is preceded in his visits by a footman, who announces his approach. He suffers no more to enter his apartment while he dresses, or while he dines. If he has money to pay or to receive, he calls in a servant to cast the counters, and afterwards to make out the bill. When he writes a letter of business, he condescends to employ none of the ordinary forms, as, You will oblige me by doing so and so; but it is his manner to say, This is my pleasure: I have sent one who will receive what you have to deliver: let the business be thus ordered; and that without delay.