Other related topics at:
Virtue and Vice
286. Home; Hospitality
I talked of living in the country.
Johnson: "Don't set up for what is called hospitality;
it is a waste of time, and a waste of money; you are eaten up,
and not the more respected for your liberality. If your house be
like an inn, nobody cares for you. A man who stays one week with
another, makes him a slave for a week." Boswell: "But
there are people, Sir, who make their houses a home to their
guests, and are themselves quite easy." Johnson: "Then,
Sir, home must be the same to the guests, and they need not
287. Hospitality; Wealth
"No, Sir, you will have much more influence by giving or lending
money where it is wanted, than by hospitality."
1,804. Hospitality; Perspective;
JOHNSON. 'Were I a country gentleman, I should not be very
hospitable, I should not have crowds in my house.'BOSWELL. 'Sir
Alexander Dick tells me, that he remembers having a thousand
people in a year to dine at his house: that is, reckoning each
person as one, each time that he dined there.' JOHNSON. 'That,
Sir, is about three a day.' BOSWELL. 'How your statement lessens
the idea.' JOHNSON. 'That, Sir, is the good of counting. It
brings every thing to a certainty, which before floated in the
mind indefinitely.'BOSWELL. 'But Omne ignotum pro magnifico
est: one is sorry to have this diminished.' JOHNSON. 'Sir,
you should not allow yourself to be delighted with errour.'
BOSWELL. 'Three a day seem but few.' JOHNSON. 'Nay, Sir, he who
entertains three a day, does very liberally. And if there is a
large family, the poor entertain those three, for they eat what
the poor would get: there must be superfluous meat; it must be
given to the poor, or thrown out.'
James Boswell: Life of Johnson