Chapter XXXV.—A Contest of Hospitality.
When Niceta had thus spoken, the old man answered: “You indeed, my son, have conducted your argument wisely and vigorously; so much so, that I do not think the subject of providence could be better treated. But as it is now late, I wish to say some things to-morrow in answer to what you have argued; and if on these you can satisfy me, I shall confess myself a debtor to your favour.” And when the old man said this, Peter rose up. Then one of those present, a chief man of the Laodiceans, requested of Peter and us that he might give the old man other clothes instead of the mean and torn ones that he wore. 818 This man Peter and we embraced; and praising him for his honourable and excellent intention, said: “We are not so foolish and impious as not to bestow the things which are necessary for bodily uses upon him to whom we have committed so precious words; and we hope that he will willingly receive them, as a father from his sons, and also we trust that he will share with us our house and our living.” While we said this, and that chief man of the city strove to take the old man away from us with the greatest urgency and with many blandishments, while we the more eagerly strove to keep him with us, all the people cried out that it should rather be done as the old man himself pleased; and when silence was obtained, the old man, with an oath, said: “To-day I shall stay with no p. 175 one, nor take anything from any one, lest the choice of the one should prove the sorrow of the other; afterwards these things may be, if so it seem right.”
[This incident is peculiar to the Recognitions. There seems to be a reminiscence of this chief man in Homily IV. 10, where a rich man provides a place for the discussion; comp. chap. 38 here.—R.]