Letters of Julian/Letter 44
"Entreat kindly the guest in your house, but speed him when he would be gone."
Thus did wise Homer decree. But the friendship that exists between us two is stronger than that between guest and host, because it is inspired by the best education attainable and by our pious devotion to the gods. So that no one could have fairly indicted me for transgressing the law of Homer if I had insisted that you should remain still longer with us. But I see that your feeble frame needs more care, and I have therefore given you permission to go to your own country, and have provided for your comfort on the journey. That is to say, you are allowed to use a state carriage, and may Asclepius and all the gods escort you on your way and grant that we may see you again!
- Hertlein, following an error in the editions of Martin and Estienne, makes Julian address this letter to Maximus. For the answer of Eustathius see Letter 83.
- Odyssey 15. 74; this had become a proverb, cf. Libanius, Letter 130.
- The premature death of Julian prevented the fulfilment of this wish.