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The Petulant

Picture of the Petulant man in Theophrastus' CharactersA petulant temper will make occasion, where it cannot find reason, for murmurings and rebukes.

If his friend sends the grumbler a portion from a feast, he returns by the bearer no other answer than this: What then, didst thou grudge me thy broth, and thy small wine, that I was not invited to supper? He repels the fondness of his mistress, while he mutters, I wonder now if you love me in truth: he quarrels with heaven, not, as he says, because it rains; but because the rain comes too late. If he finds a purse on the road, he exclaims, Copper ah! it is not my luck to find gold. Having purchased a slave, after long haggling with the vendor, at a very low price, he says, Do you think I should have got him so cheap if he had been of any worth? To the messenger who brings the happy tidings of the birth of a son, he replies, Ay, and if you were to add, that I have just lost half of my fortune, you would only say what is true. After he has gained a cause by the unanimous verdict of the judges, he turns on his advocate, whom he up braids for having omitted some particulars in his defence. When, on an emergency, his friends support him with ample loans, and say, Come, now, be joyful; he replies, How can I be joyful, seeing that all this money must be repaid; and that ever after I must owe to each of you a debt of gratitude?