Quotations about:
    hospitality


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Visiting is a pleasure; being visited is usually a mixed or ambivalent joy. The visitee, unless he or she is unusually self-confident, probably felt it necessary to clean up the house or at least unhook the dirty socks from the lampshades and swab the sticky patch on the kitchen floor. Food had to be bought and cooked, possibly expensive or quirky food to accommodate the visitor’s latest dietary fad. The sheets on the guest bed had to be changed and clean towels ferreted out. And once ensconced, the visitor may come to seem like occupying troops and possibly permanent. The visitee is helpless: nice people don’t throw guests out into the street because their airspace feels crowded and they’re tired of thinking up entertainments. The visitor can always go home; the visitee is already home, trapped like a rat in a drainpipe.

Barbara Holland (1933-2010) American author
Endangered Pleasures, “Visiting” (1996)
    (Source)
 
Added on 25-Jul-22 | Last updated 25-Jul-22
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So come, young soldiers, welcome to our house.
My destiny, harrying me with trials hard as yours,
led me as well, at last, to anchor in this land.
Schooled in suffering, now I learn to comfort
those who suffer too.

[Quare agite, O tectis, iuvenes, succedite nostris.
Me quoque per multos similis fortuna labores
iactatam hac demum voluit consistere terra.
Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 627ff (1.627-630) [Dido] (29-19 BC) [tr. Fagles (2006), l. 748ff]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Enter, my noble guest, and you shall find,
If not a costly welcome, yet a kind:
For I myself, like you, have been distress'd,
Till Heav'n afforded me this place of rest;
Like you, an alien in a land unknown,
I learn to pity woes so like my own.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Then enter, chiefs, these friendly doors;
I too have had my fate, like yours,
Which, many a suffering overpast,
Has willed to fix me here at last.
Myself not ignorant of woe,
Compassion I have learned to show.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Come then, O warriors, enter our abodes!
I also from calamities like yours
Have suffered much, till here I set my feet.
Not ignorant of trouble, I have learned
To succor the distressed
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 817ff]

Come therefore, O men, and enter our house. Me too hath a like fortune driven through many a woe, and willed at last to find my rest in this land. Not ignorant of ill do I learn to succour the afflicted.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

So hasten now to enter in 'neath roofs of me and mine.
Me too a fortune such as yours, me tossed by many a toil,
Hath pleased to give abiding-place at last upon this soil,
Learned in illhaps full wise am I unhappy men to aid.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Welcome, then, heroes! Me hath Fortune willed
Long tost, like you, through sufferings, here to rest
And find at length a refuge. Not unskilled
In woe, I learn to succour the distrest.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 83, l. 739ff]

Therefore, behold, our portals are swung wide
for all your company. I also bore
hard fate like thine. I too was driven of storms
and after long toil was allowed at last
to call this land my home. O, I am wise
in sorrow, and I help all suffering souls!
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Come therefore, sirs, and pass within our halls. Me, too, has a like fortune driven through many toils, and willed that at last I should find rest in this land. Not ignorant of ill do I learn to befriend the unhappy.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Enter my house. I, too, am fortune-driven
Through many sufferings; this land at last
Has brought me rest. Not ignorant of evil,
I know one thing, at least, -- to help the wretched.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

So, gentlemen, do not hesitate to come under my roof.
I too have gone through much; like you, have been roughly handled
By fortune; but now at last it has willed me to settle here.
Being acquainted with grief, I am learning to help the unlucky.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Thus, young men, you are welcome to our halls.
My destiny, like yours, has willed that I,
a veteran of hardships, halt at last
in this country. Not ignorant of trials,
I now can learn to help the miserable.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 878ff]

Come, then, soldiers, be our guests. My life
Was one of hardship and forced wandering
Like your own, till in this land at length
Fortune would have me rest. Through pain I've learned
To comfort suffering men.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981)]

This is why I now invite your warriors to come into my house. I, too, have known ill fortune like yours and been tossed from one wretchedness to another until at last I have been allowed to settle in this land. Through my own suffering, I am learning to help those who suffer.
[tr. West (1990)]

And so, young men, come under my roof.
My fortune too has long been adverse
But at last has allowed me to rest in this land.
My own acquaintance with suffering
Has taught me to aid others in need.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), l. 767]

So come, young men, enter my home. Fortune once harassed me with hardship like your own. At last, the fates let me settle in this land. Knowing pain, I can learn to help the pain of others.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 17-Feb-22 | Last updated 17-Feb-22
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More quotes by Virgil

The guest who deliberately wounds his Host strikes a Manacled Man.

No picture available
Minna Antrim (1861-1950) American epigrammatist, writer
Don’ts for Bachelors and Old Maids (1908)
    (Source)
 
Added on 19-Nov-21 | Last updated 19-Nov-21
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This man who has fetched up here is some unlucky wanderer; we must now look after him, because all strangers and beggars are under Zeus’ protection, and any gift, though small, is welcome.

[ἀλλ’ ὅδε τις δύστηνος ἀλώμενος ἐνθάδ’ ἱκάνει,
τὸν νῦν χρὴ κομέειν· πρὸς γὰρ Διός εἰσιν ἅπαντες
ξεῖνοί τε πτωχοί τε, δόσις δ’ ὀλίγη τε φίλη τε.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 6, l. 206ff (6.206) [Nausicaa] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Verity (2016)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). This is later echoed by Eumæus in Book 14. Alternate translations:

This man, minding nought
But his relief, a poor unhappy wretch,
Wrack’d here, and hath no other land to fetch,
Him now we must provide for. From Jove come
All strangers, and the needy of a home,
Who any gift, though ne’er so small it be,
Esteem as great, and take it gratefully.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

But by evil weather
To come to land this man hath forced been;
Let’s do him good. From Jove come beggars all,
And welcome to them is whate’er they get;
Our givings to him will be very small.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 195ff]

'Tis ours this son of sorrow to relieve,
Cheer the sad heart, nor let affliction grieve.
By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent;
And what to those we give to Jove is lent.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

This man, a miserable wand’rer comes,
Whom we are bound to cherish, for the poor
And stranger are from Jove, and trivial gifts
To such are welcome.
[tr. Cowper (1792)]

Now comes this wanderer -- let us treat him well;
All strangers and all poor by Zeus are sent,
And love can make a little gift excel.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 27]

But, he,
This wand'ring outcast, is before us come
For whom it well beseems us to take thought;
For not without the warrant of great Jove
Appeal the strangers and the abject poor.
However small the boon, 'tis dearly priz'd!
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 315ff]

But this -- some hapless wanderer -- hither comes:
Him it behoves us care for: since from Zeus
Come strangers all, and poor men: and a gift
Small to the giver -- blesses him that takes it.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

Nay, but this man is some helpless one come hither in his wanderings, whom now we must kindly entreat, for all strangers and beggars are from Zeus, and a little gift is dear.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

But this man, a hapless wanderer, to usward now is sent,
And him is it meet to cherish; since from Zeus come guestfolk all
And suppliants; and full welcome is the gift, albeit but small.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

But this poor man has come here having lost his way, and we should give him aid; for in the charge of Zeus all strangers and beggars stand, and a small gift is welcome.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

This is only some poor man who has lost his way, and we must be kind to him, for strangers and foreigners in distress are under Jove's protection, and will take what they can get and be thankful.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

This is some hapless wanderer that has come hither. Him must we now tend; for from Zeus are all strangers and beggars, and a gift, though small, is welcome.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

This man appeals as a luckless wanderer whom we must now kindly entertain. Homeless and broken men are all of them in the sight of Zeus, and it is a good deed to make them some small alms.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

The man you see is an unfortunate wanderer who has strayed here, and now commands our care, since all strangers and beggars come under the protection of Zeus, and the charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

This man is a castaway, poor fellow; we must take care of him. Strangers and beggars come from Zeus: a small gift, then, is friendly.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

But, since this is some poor wanderer who has come to us,
we must now take care of him, since all strangers and wanderers
are sacred in the sight of Zeus, and the gift is a light and a dear one.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

But this man is a luckless fellow, one
who wandered here, and he deserves our care;
the stranger and the beggar -- both are sent
by Zeus, and even small gifts win their thanks.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]

But here's an unlucky wanderer strayed our way
and we must tend him well. Every stranger and beggar
comes from Zeus, and whatever scrap we give him
he'll be glad to get.
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

This poor man comes here as a wanderer,
And we must take care of him now. All strangers,
All beggars, are under the protection of Zeus,
And even small gifts are welcome.
[tr. Lombardo (2000)]

No, this man is a luckless wanderer who has arrived here; we must now give him succor, for every stranger and beggar has the protection of Zeus, and a gift though little is welcome.
[tr. Merrill (2002)]

This man is an unfortunate wanderer who has strayed here, and we must look after him, since all strangers and beggars come under the protection of Zeus, and to such people a small gift can mean much.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

But this man is lost, poor thing. We must look after him. All foreigners and beggars come from Zeus, and any act of kindness is a blessing.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

No, this is some ill-starred drifter who's ended up here, and we must now take of, since from Zeus are all strangers and beggars: any gift, though small, is welcome.
[tr. Green (2018)]

So this man
is some poor wanderer who’s just come here.
We must look after him, for every stranger,
every beggar, comes from Zeus, and any gift,
even something small, is to be cherished.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 264]

But this man who has wandered here, who is so ill-starred,
It is right to care for him now. For all are from Zeus,
The strangers and the beggars, and our gift is small but dear to them.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]

 
Added on 4-Aug-21 | Last updated 9-Dec-21
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More quotes by Homer

For a guest remembers all his days the hospitable man who showed him kindness.

[Τοῦ γάρ τε ξεῖνος μιμνῄσκεται ἤματα πάντα
ἀνδρὸς ξεινοδόκου, ὅς κεν φιλότητα παράσχῃ.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 15, l. 54ff (15.54) [Pisistratus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Palmer (1891)]
    (Source)

(Greek Source). Alternate translations:

Not a guest
Shall touch at his house, but shall store his breast
With fit mind of an hospitable man,
To last as long as any daylight can
His eyes recomfort, in such gifts as he
Will proofs make of his hearty royalty.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

For guests use always to remember those
By whom they have been entertain’d with love.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), ll. 49-50]

For the guest in mem’ry holds
Through life, the host who treats him as a friend.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 64-65]

For when a host with friendship void of blame
Gives of his choicest, men observe his name,
And hold it all their lives exceeding dear.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 7]

Throughout his life,
A guest the gen'rous man should keep in mind
Who to is home hath welcom'd him.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 88ff]

A guest remembers thro' life's livelong days
That host, who gives him sterling proofs of love!
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

For of him a guest is mindful all the days of his life, even of the host that shows him loving-kindness.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

Since forsooth the guest remembereth that man for all his days
Who giveth him good guesting in friendly wise and dear.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

So long as he lives a guest should never forget a host who has shown him kindness.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

For a guest remembers all his days the host who shews him kindness.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

A guest never forgets the host who has treated him kindly.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

A guest remembers all his days that hose who makes provision for him kindly.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

For a guest remembers all his days the man who received him as a host receives a guest, and gave him the gifts of friendship.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

A guest will keep in memory, held close, the gift of friendship given by his host.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]

That’s the man a guest will remember all his days:
the lavish host who showers him with kindness.
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

A guest remembers
A host's hospitality for as long as he lives.
[tr. Lombardo (2000)]

As you know, a guest remembers for all his days the man who has welcomed him hospitably and shown friendship towards him.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

For a guest remembers with gratitude all his days the man who was his host, who showed him kindness.
[tr. Green (2018)]

A guest remembers all his life the man
who gave him hospitality and kindness.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 74-85]

 
Added on 21-Jul-21 | Last updated 5-Jan-22
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It’s wrong, my friend, to send any stranger packing —
even one who arrives in worse shape than you.
Every stranger and beggar comes from Zeus
and whatever scrap they get from the likes of us,
they’ll find it welcome.

[Ξεῖν’, οὔ μοι θέμις ἔστ’, οὐδ’ εἰ κακίων σέθεν ἔλθοι,
ξεῖνον ἀτιμῆσαι· πρὸς γὰρ Διός εἰσιν ἅπαντες
ξεῖνοί τε πτωχοί τε. δόσις δ’ ὀλίγη τε φίλη τε
γίνεται ἡμετέρη.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 14, l. 56ff (14.56) [Eumæus/Eumaios] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Fagles (1996)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). The language is an echo of Nausicaa in Book 6. Alternate translations:

Guest! If one much worse
Arriv’d here than thyself, it were a curse
To my poor means, to let a stranger taste
Contempt for fit food. Poor men, and unplac’d
In free seats of their own, are all from Jove
Commended to our entertaining love.
But poor is th’ entertainment I can give,
Yet free and loving.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

Stranger, then said Eumæus, it was never
My custom any stranger to neglect;
The poor and stranger are in God’s hand ever.
Few are my gifts, and but of small effect.
[tr. Hobbes (1675)]

It never was our guise
To slight the poor, or aught humane despise:
For Jove unfold our hospitable door,
'Tis Jove that sends the stranger and the poor.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

My guest! I should offend, treating with scorn
The stranger, though a poorer should arrive
Than ev’n thyself; for all the poor that are,
And all the strangers are the care of Jove.
Little, and with good will, is all that lies
Within my scope.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 68ff]

O friend, I dare not, though a worse man sought
These doors, a stranger use discourteously.
All strangers and all poor by Zeus are brought;
Sweet is our gift, yet small.
[tr. Worsley (1862), st. 7]

O stranger! 'Twere a wrongful act of mine,
Ev'n should a wretch more hapless than thyself
Before me come, on such a stranger's claim
To cast contempt: for ev'ry one Unknown
And ev'ry Mendicant from Jove Himself
His claim prefers. But, small, indeed, though kind
Are our donations all.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 90ff]

Sir guest, 'tis not my wont, not e'en should come
A worser man than thou, to slight a guest.
From Zeus are strangers all, and begger-men:
My gift is small, tho' proof of kindliness.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

Guest of mine, it were an impious thing for me to slight a stranger, even if there came a meaner man than thou; for from Zeus are all strangers and beggars; and a little gift from such as we, is dear.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

O guest, it were not rightful, though e'en worser than thou he were sped,
To put shame upon a stranger; since guest and bedesman all,
From Zeus they are; and our giving, although it be but small,
Is dear.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Stranger, it is not right for me to slight a stranger, not even one in poorer plight than you; for in the charge of Zeus all strangers and beggars stand, and our small gift is welcome.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Stranger, though a still poorer man should come here, it would not be right for me to insult him, for all strangers and beggars are from Jove. You must take what you can get and be thankful.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Nay, stranger, it were not right for me, even though one meaner than thou were to come, to slight a stranger: for from Zeus are all strangers and beggars, and a gift, though small, is welcome from such as we.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

My guest, I should sin if I failed in attention to any stranger, even one poorer than yourself. The needy and the strangers are all from Zeus; and with the likes of us a quite slender gift can convey goodwill.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

"Sir," said the swineherd Eumaeus, "my conscience would not let me turn away a stranger in a worse state even than yourself, for strangers and beggars all come in Zeus’ name, and a gift from folk like us is none the less welcome for being small."
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

Tush, friend,
rudeness to a stranger is not decency,
poor though he may be, poorer than you.
All wanderers
and beggars come from Zeus. What we can give
is slight but well-meant.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

Stranger, I have no right to deny the stranger, not
even if one came to me who was meaner than you. All vagabonds
and strangers are under Zeus, and the gift is a light and a dear one
that comes from us.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Dear guest. I'd never slight the least of strangers. Not even one more wretched than you are; for it is Zeus who sends to us all beggars and strangers; and a gift, however small, means much when given by a man like me.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]

Stranger, for me it would not be right to dishonor a stranger, though one baser than you came, for every stranger and beggar has the protection of Zeus; and a gift, though little, but welcome, lies in our power to give.
[tr. Merrill (2002)]

Stranger, it is not right for me to turn away any stranger, even one in a worse state than you are, for strangers and beggars all come in Zeus' name, and a gift from folk like us is none the less welcome for being small.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

Stranger, it is not right for me to treat a guest dishonorably, not even one in a worse state than you; all strangers and beggars are under the protection of Zeus. What I can offer is small, but you are welcome to it.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

One must honor guests and foreigners and strangers, even those much poorer than oneself. Zeus watches over beggars and guests and strangers. What I have to give is small, but I will give it gladly.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

Stranger, were one even meaner than you than you to come here, I'd still have no right to reject him, for all strangers and beggars are from Zeus, and a gift, however small, is friendly from folk such as us.
[tr. Green (2018)]

It would be wrong,
stranger, for me to disrespect a guest,
even if one worse off than you arrived,
for every guest and beggar comes from Zeus,
and any gift from people like ourselves,
though small, is welcome.
[tr. Johnston (2019)]

 
Added on 7-Jul-21 | Last updated 25-Dec-21
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A successful party is a creative act, and creation is always painful.

Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) American author, poet
“Party Line,” Ladies’ Home Journal (1962)
    (Source)

Later reprinted in Sixpence in Her Shoe (1964).
 
Added on 9-Jan-20 | Last updated 9-Jan-20
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You ought to get out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini.

Mae West (1892-1980) American film actress
Every Day’s a Holiday (movie) [Larmadou Graves] (1937)

West both starred in the film (as the recipient of this line, Peaches O'Day) and wrote the screenplay. Often attributed to Robert Benchley, who used the line in a film a few years later, and claimed he got it from a joke book. Also attributed to Groucho Marx.
 
Added on 16-Feb-18 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest;
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) American author and poet.
“Life’s Scars” (1896)
    (Source)

Originally published in Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, Vol. 42, #4 (Oct 1896)
 
Added on 1-Jul-16 | Last updated 26-Oct-20
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The world’s an Inn; and I her guest.
I eat; I drink; I take my rest.
My hostess, nature, does deny me
Nothing, wherewith she can supply me;
Where, having stayed a while, I pay
Her lavish bills, and go my way.

Quarles - worlds an inn - wist_info quote

Francis Quarles (1592-1644) English poet
“On the World”
    (Source)
 
Added on 6-Jun-16 | Last updated 7-Jun-16
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Home is where, when you go there and tell people to get out, they have to leave.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Skin Game (2014)
 
Added on 7-Dec-15 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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All things are best when done without excess: it is as wrong to hurry off a guest who does not wish to leave as to detain a man who longs for home. Kind care for those who stay — and warm farewells for those who go.

[ἶσόν τοι κακόν ἐσθ᾽, ὅς τ᾽ οὐκ ἐθέλοντα νέεσθαι
ξεῖνον ἐποτρύνει καὶ ὃς ἐσσύμενον κατερύκει.
χρὴ ξεῖνον παρεόντα φιλεῖν, ἐθέλοντα δὲ πέμπειν.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 15, l. 72ff (15.72) [Menelaus to Telemachus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

A like ill ’tis, to thrust out such a guest
As would not go, as to detain the rest.
We should a guest love, while he loves to stay,
And, when he likes not, give him loving way.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

I purpose not to make you longer stay;
For I conceive ’tis not a good man’s part,
To make too much or little of his guest,
To hold him when he gladly would depart,
Or press him to begone e’er he thinks best.
In hospitality this rule is true:
Love him that stays, help forth the going guest.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 60ff]

Alike he thwarts the hospitable end,
Who drives the free, or stays the hasty friend:
True friendship's laws are by this rule express'd,
Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

The middle course is best; alike we err,
Him thrusting forth whose wish is to remain,
And hind’ring the impatient to depart.
This only is true kindness -- To regale
The present guest, and speed him when he would.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 82ff]

Let us in all things the true mean apply;
Roughness offends, and over-courtesy.
He to my mind an equal sin doth show
Who, when a guest would linger, hints good-bye,
And who, if one desire to part, says no.
Love well the tarrying guest, and speed him fain to go.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 9]

An equal wrong it is to drive away
The guest, who fain would tarry; and to keep
Against his will the guest who fain would go!
'Tis right to treat with love the tarrying guest;
And speed on his way the guest, who wills to go!
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869), l. 72ff]

Those acts which to strict equity conform
Are worthiest ever: and the selfsame wrong
Doth he commit who from his home would drive
The guest who fain would linger there, -- with him
Who stays the man that on his way would speed.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 113ff]

He does equal wrong who speeds a guest that would fain abide, and stays one who is in haste to be gone. Men should lovingly entreat the present guest and speed the parting.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

For in all things measure is best.
And good is neither fashion, to thrust out the willing guest
Who is fain to abide, or to stay him who longeth to be on the road;
But to cherish the guest that abideth and to speed the departer is good.
[tr. Morris (1887), l. 71ff]

It is an equal fault to thrust away the guest who does not care to go, and to detain the impatient. Best make the stranger welcome while he stays, and speed him when he wishes.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Moderation is best in all things, and not letting a man go when he wants to do so is as bad as telling him to go if he would like to stay. One should treat a guest well as long as he is in the house and speed him when he wants to leave it.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

'Tis equal wrong if a man speed on a guest who is loath to go, and if he keep back one that is eager to be gone. One should make welcome the present guest, and send forth him that would go.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

There should be moderation in all things, and it is equally offensive to speed a guest who would like to stay and to detain one who is anxious to leave. What I say is, treat a man well while he’s with you, but let him go when he wishes.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

It is equally bad when one speeds on the guest unwilling to go, and when he holds back one who is hastening. Rather one should befriend the guest who is there, but speed him when he wishes.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Balance is best in all things. It’s bad either way,
spurring the stranger home who wants to linger,
holding the one who longs to leave -- you know,
‘Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest!’
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

It's just as wrong to rush a guest's departure
When he doesn't want to go, as it is
To hold him back when he is ready to leave.
Make a guest welcome for as long as he stays
And send him off whenever he wants to go.
[tr. Lombardo (2000), l. 74ff]

There should be moderation in all things, and it is equally offensive to speed a guest who would like to stay and to detain one who is anxious to leave. Treat a man well while he's with you, but let him go when he wishes.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

It is, I think, an equal failing to speed a guest's departure when he is reluctant to leave and to detain him when eager to go. One must care for the guest in one's house, but send him on when he wishes.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

To force a visitor to stay is just as bad as pushing him to go. Be kind to guests while they are visiting, then help them on their way.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

It's just as wrong to urge a guest's departure against his will as to keep him when it's itching to be off. Treat your guest well while he's there, let him go when he wants.
[tr. Green (2018)]

It’s bad when someone does not want to leave
to be too quick to send him on his way,
but just as bad is holding someone back
when he’s ready to depart. For a host
should welcome any guest in front of him
and send away the one who wants to go.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 94ff]

 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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In the end, as every human being who has ever breakfasted on their own in someone else’s kitchen has done since nearly the dawn of time, he made do with unsweetened instant black coffee.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Jun-21
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