Though hospitality is a virtue that can be practiced with magnificence only by the rich, yet it is also found in a simple and untainted form among the poor, who show an amazing willingness to share their scanty pittances with others who at the time happen to be less fortunate than themselves.
The poor urchin, who shares his loaf of bread with another, stands out as an example of the truest and most unselfish hospitality.
Among primitive people, all over the world, the virtue of hospitality was regarded with greater reverence and practiced with stricter observance than in modern times. They would receive strangers in their houses, give them food and shelter, and speed them upon their travels with such help as was in their power to give.
A traveler who was not suspected of unworthy motives, if he reached a village at nightfall, would have no hesitation in going to the house of the headman, secure in the belief that a welcome would be waiting for him.
Even an enemy, if he were once to cross the threshold and ask for shelter in the name of hospitality, would be treated as well as his host could treat him and might rest assured that, in case of discovery, his life would be as safe as in his own house, so long as he remained under that roof.
The Arabs particularly are famous for their generous hospitality, and many stories are told of the bitterest enemies being treated with consideration during the times they have chanced to…