Uninvited but Welcome

Quick Quotes 5. The following is taken from George Head’s Forest Scenes and Incidents in the Wilds of North America (1829):

As countries become more civilized, the social feeling is proportionably restrained; amd hospitality and barbarism are, it is said, generally met with together. Still humanity is consoling, which, flowing from the heart, offers shelter to the stranger, who elsewhere might seek it in vain. The circumstances of he country induce a necessity for the exertion of hospitality; for in a climate so severe, and where houses of public entertainment are not everywhere to be met with, common consent establishes a reciprocity of accommodation, where to remain out of doors all night would be the cost of life. In fact, a man cannot be said to be master of his own house so as to exclude the visitors whom chance may throw in upon him. Without any other fastening than a latch to his door, a dozen strangers probably enter one after another, each dropping down to rest before the fire, and taking up their quarters for the night without the ceremony of asking leave of any body. The poorest person is not the least welcome, nor in the exercise of hospitality, is any regard paid to condition and appearance. The people have enough to answer their own wants, and, secluded from the world in a manner, are remunerated by the news they occasionally receive from the passing traveller; indeed it is a question, which of the two is the best off, the pennyless guest or the host himself; who perhaps cannot, in his own house, walk across his bed-room after nine o’clock at night without the risk of, disturbing some great fellow stretched out and snoring before his fire, and who, if he happen to be trodden upon, will swear as loudly as if the whole house belonged to him.


“Quick Quotes” are some bonus content for the blog. Each time I find an interesting or amusing little quote from and old (verging on forgotten) book, that does not really need any further explanation or background information, it will appear on Windows into History under this heading. You can keep updated each time I post a new entry by clicking on the follow button on the right of the screen. I welcome any comments or suggestions, and will consider guest posts.

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This entry was posted in 19th Century, Books, History, Inspiration, People, Quick Quotes, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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