HOMER wrote his Poem, called the Odyssey, some Hundred Years before the Birth of Christ. He frequently speaks of what he calls not only the Duties, but the sacred Rites of Hospitality, (exercised towards Strangers, while in our House or Territory) as including, besides all the common Circumstances of Entertainment, full Safety and Protection of Person, from all Danger of Life, from all Injuries, and even Insults. The Rites of Hospitality were called sacred, because the Stranger, the Poor and the Weak, when they applied for Protection and Relief, were, from the Religion of those Times, supposed to be sent by the Deity to try the Goodness of Men, and that he would avenge the Injuries they might receive, where they ought to have been protected. —These Sentiments therefore influenced the Manners of all Ranks of People, even the meanest; for we find that when Ulysses came, as a poor Stranger, to the Hut of Eumaeus, the Swineherd, and his great Dogs ran out to tear the ragged Man, Eumaeus, drave them away with Stones; and
Unhappy Stranger! (thus the faithful Swain
Began, with Accent gracious and humane)
What Sorrow had been mine, if at my Gate
Thy rev’rend Age had met a shameful Fate?