Home » Classical Catholic Library » Theophrastus, Characters » The Old Trifler

The Old Trifler

Picture of the Old Trifler in Theophrastus' Characters.This foolish fellow, although he is threescore; would ſain distinguish himself in accomplishments and exercises proper only to youth.

He commits verses to memory; and, attempting to sing them over the bottle, cannot recollect two lines together. He learns from his son to use the spear and shield; to the right, to the left, and behind. Making a visit in the country, he mounts a strange horse, and while he aims to display his skill and agility in riding, he is thrown, and breaks his head. He may be seen fencing and thrusting at a wooden figure; or contending with his own servant for mastery in the bow and lance; and in this worthy employment he will give or receive instruction with equal condescension. Even in the bath he is the finished performer; which he makes apparent by the ridiculous alertness of his turns and capers. But to see him in perfection, you must observe him when, to please a party of ladies, he undertakes to fiddle, and dance to his own tune.