How Apuleius came unto a city named Hipate, and was lodged in one Milos house, and brought him letters from one Demeas of Corinth.
After that those two Companions were departed I entred into the City: where I espied an old woman, of whom I enquired whether that city was called Hipata, or no: Who answered, Yes. Then I demaunded, Whether she knew one Milo an Alderman of the city: Whereat she laughed and said: Verily it is not without cause that Milo is called an Elderman, and accounted as chiefe of those which dwel without the walls of the City. To whom I sayd againe, I pray thee good mother do not mocke, but tell me what manner of man he is, and where he dwelleth. Mary (quoth shee) do you see these Bay windowes, which on one side abut to the gates of the city, and on the other side to the next lane? There Milo dwelleth, very rich both in mony and substance, but by reason of his great avarice and insatiable covetousnes, he is evill spoken of, and he is a man that liveth all by usurie, and lending his money upon pledges. Moreover he dwelleth in a small house, and is ever counting his money, and hath a wife that is a companion of his extreame misery, neither keepeth he more in his house than onely one maid, who goeth apparelled like unto a beggar. Which when I heard, I laughed in my self and thought, In faith my friend Demeas hath served me well, which hath sent me being a stranger, unto such a man, in whose house I shall not bee afeared either of smoke or of the sent of meat; and therewithall I rode to the doore, which was fast barred, and knocked aloud. Then there came forth a maid which said, Ho sirrah that knocks so fast, in what kinde of sort will you borrow money? Know you not that we use to take no gage, unless it be either plate or Jewels? To whom I answered, I pray you maid speak more gently, and tel me whether thy master be within or no? Yes (quoth shee) that he is, why doe you aske? Mary (said I) I am come from Corinth, and have brought him letters from Demeas his friend. Then sayd the Maid, I pray you tarry here till I tell him so, and therewithall she closed fast the doore, and went in, and after a while she returned againe and sayd, My master desireth you to alight and come in. And so I did, whereas I found him sitting upon a little bed, going to supper, and his wife sate at his feet, but there was no meat upon the table, and so by appointment of the maid I came to him and saluted him, and delivered the letters which I had brought from Demeas. Which when hee had read hee sayd, Verily, I thanke my friend Demeas much, in that hee hath sent mee so worthy a guest as you are. And therewithall hee commanded his wife to sit away and bid mee sit in her place; which when I refused by reason of courtesie, hee pulled me by my garment and willed me to sit downe; for wee have (quoth he) no other stool here, nor no other great store of household stuffe, for fear of robbing. Then I according to his commandement, sate down, and he fell in further communication with me and sayd, Verily I doe conjecture by the comly feature of your body, and by the maidenly shamefastnesse of your face that you are a Gentleman borne, as my friend Demeas hath no lesse declared the same in his letters. Wherfore I pray you take in good part our poore lodging, and behold yonder chamber is at your commaundement, use it as your owne, and if you be contented therewithall, you shall resemble and follow the vertuous qualities of your good father Theseus, who disdained not the slender and poore Cottage of Hecades.
And then he called his maid which was named Fotis, and said, Carry this Gentlemans packet into the chamber, and lay it up safely, and bring water quickly to wash him, and a towel to rub him, and other things necessary, and then bring him to the next Baines, for I know that he is very weary of travell.
These things when I heard, I partly perceived the manners of Milo, and endeavouring to bring my selfe further into his favour, I sayd, Sir there is no need of any of these things, for they have been everywhere ministred unto mee by the way, howbeit I will go into the Baines, but my chiefest care is that my horse be well looked to, for hee brought mee hither roundly, and therefore I pray thee Fotis take this money and buy some hay and oats for him.