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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8

Saying and Doing

Saying and Doing.

The same spirit which teaches Christians that those who have no earthly friend have specially a friend above to care for and avenge them, taught the Greeks a proverb which appears again and again in Homer, that the stranger and the poor man are the patrimony of God; and it taught them also, that sometimes men entertained the Immortals unawares. It was a faith too which was more than words with them; for we hear of no vagrant acts, or alien acts, and it was sacrilege to turn away from the gate whoever asked its hospitality. Times are changed. The world was not so crowded as it is now, and perhaps rogues were less abundant; but at any rate those antique Greeks did what they said. We say what they said, while in the same breath we say, too, that it is impossible to do it.—J. A. Froude.