Posted by Jan (18.104.22.168) on July 01, 2003 at 01:13:03:
In Reply to: Theophrastus characters - shameless / impudent man posted by Jan den Breejen (22.214.171.124) on July 01, 2003 at 01:02:20:
LET us define shamelessness as disregard of reputation for the sake of base gain.
The shameless man is the sort of person who goes to the creditor whose money he has never paid and borrows more. When he has sacrificed to the gods he never gives the customary feast to his friends with the remains, but he preserves them in salt and dines out. When out at dinner he summons his valet and gives him bread and meat from the table, saying loud enough for all to hear 'Feast on that, friend Tibios.'1
While shopping he reminds the meat-seller of any benefits he may have done him. He stands near the scales and throws on some beef or at least a bone for soup. If he gets it, good and well if not, be grabs a bit of tripe and departs laughing.
He takes seats for an entertainment for foreign friends and enjoys the entertainment without paying his share, and next day brings his boys and their tutor. If he sees some one getting a good bargain he begs him to go halves. He goes to another's house and borrows barley or perhaps bran, and compels the lender to bring it to his house. He is wont to go up to the brazen vessels in the baths and himself plunge the ladle in2 -- while tbe bath-man seeing a two-penny fee vanishing, cries out in anger --; and pour the water over himself. Then he says I have had my bath, and as he goes out, shouts back, 'No thanks to you, my man.'
1 At Rome it was the custom for a guest to hand food to his slave, but it was recognised it was to be reserved for the use of his master next day. At Athens such an action was considered ill-bred. The shamelessness consists in saying "Feast on that' since it was to be reserved form himself.
2 A duty always performed by the bathman.
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