welcome the coming, speed the parting guest
George is asking Adela if she means to leave the Wilkinsons’ house that day. Upon her saying yes, George quotes Alexander Pope’s translation of the Odyssey. The quotation is taken from book 15, where Athena is encouraging Telemachus to return to Ithaca from the court of Menelaus at Sparta. Trollope is being ironic here, as Telemachus is returning home, but pitiable Adela has no real home to go back to. [CMC 2012]
Source: Pope’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey 15.84 (line number in Pope’s text).
Adela is preparing to journey to Littlebath. Adela would rather have had George as her driver, but Arthur takes her to the station instead. Trollope states that it is impossible for Arthur to say that he will not be Adela’s “charioteer.” In addition to being a generic noun for a person who drove a chariot, charioteers in ancient Rome were greatly admired as racers in the Circus Maximus. The word “charioteer” also carries with it the connotation of the Homeric chariot-borne hero. Here, Trollope is being humorous, as the image of Arthur driving Adela to the train station in a phaeton full of luggage is hardly the image associated with any form of ancient charioteer. [CMC 2012]