Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 206

to death;" Eumaeus rejects the proposal,
as what would be attended with both infamy and misfortune, saying

"Doubtless, oh guest, great laud and praise were mine,
If, after social rites and gifts bestowed,
I stained my hospitable hearth with blood.
How would the gods my righteous toils succeed,
And bless the hand that made a stranger bleed?
No more."

Even an open enemy, in the heat of battle, throwing down his arms,
submitting to the foe, and asking life and protection, was supposed to
acquire an immediate right to that protection. Thus one describes his
being saved when his party was defeated:

"We turned to flight; the gathering vengeance spread
On all parts round, and heaps on heaps lie dead.
The radiant helmet from my brows unlaced,
And lo, on earth my shield and javelin cast,
I meet the monarch with a suppliant's face,
Approach his chariot, and his knees embrace.
He heard, he saved, he placed me at his side;
My state he pitied, and my tears he dried;
Restrained the rage the vengeful foe expressed,
And turned the deadly weapons from my breast.
Pious to guard the hospitable rite,
And fearing Jove, whom mercy's works delight."

The suiters of Penelope are, by the same ancient poet, described as a
set of lawless men, who were regardless of the sacred rites of
hospitality. And, therefore, when the queen was informed they were
slain, and that by Ulysses, she, not believing that Ulysses was
returned, says,

"Ah no! some god the suiters' deaths decreed,
Some god descends, and by his hand they bleed;
Blind, to contemn the stranger's righteous cause
And violate all hospitable laws!
... The powers they defied;
But Heaven is just, and by a god they died."

Thus much for the sentiments of the ancient heathens. As for the Turks,
it is recorded in the Life of Mohammed, the founder of their religion,
that Khaled, one of his captains, having divided a number of prisoners
between himself and those that were with him, he commanded the hands of
his own

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_ The Following is the last.