The Grumbler

Grumbling is undue censure of one’s portion.

The Grumbler is one who, when his friend has sent him a present from his table, will say to the bearer, ‘You grudged me my soup and my poor wine, or you would have asked me to dinner.’ He will annoyed with Zeus, not for not raining, but for raining too late; and, if he finds a purse on the road, ‘Ah,’ he will say, ‘but I have never found a treasure!’ When he has bought a slave cheap after much coaxing of the seller, ‘It is strange,’ he will remark, ‘if I have got a sound lot such a bargain.’ To one who brings him good news, ‘A son is born to you,’ he will reply, ‘If you add that I have lost half my property, you will speak the truth.’ When he has won a lawsuit by a unanimous verdict, he will find fault with the composer of his speech for having left out several points in his case. If a subscription has been raised for him by his friends, and someone says to him ‘Cheer up!’ — ‘Cheer up?’ he will answer; ‘when I have to refund his money to every man, and to be grateful besides, as if I had been done a service!’

Theophrastus(371-287BC): Characters

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