Home » Classical Catholic Library » Theophrastus, Characters » The Suspicious

The Suspicious

The suspicious man imputes a fraudulent intention to every one with whom he has to do.

When he sends a servant to market, he presently dispatches another after him, to inquire the price of the articles purchased. On a journey, he counts the money in his purse at every stage. He is scarcely in bed before he asks his wife if the chests are locked, the cupboard sealed, and the bar put to the hall-door. In vain she assures him that all is safe, and up he jumps, undressed and barefooted as he is; and lighting a candle, goes prying round the house; and hardly then resigns himself to sleep. He goes to receive interest for his loans, accompanied by witnesses, lest his debtors should deny their bonds. He sends his cloak to be cleaned, not to the best fuller, but to him whose surety he thinks the most responsible. He will invent any excuse rather than lend a plate to a neighbor. He suffers not his slave to follow him, but commands him to walk before, lest he should make his escape. If a customer who comes into his shop takes up an article, and intimates that he wishes for credit, he says, No: if you have not the money, leave the article; for I shall have no opportunity to send for the money.