15. GRADE AUTHORITY UP TO LIBERTY.—The growing child must have experiments of freedom. Lead him gently into the family. Counsel with him. Let him plan as he can. By and by he has the confidence of courage without the danger of exposures.
16. RESPECT.—Parents must respect each other. Undermining either undermines both. Always govern in the spirit of love.
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Some men are very entertaining for a first interview, but after that they are exhausted, and run out; on a second meeting we shall find them very flat and monotonous; like hand-organs, we have heard all their tunes.—COULTON.
He who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, is in possession of some of the best requisites of man.—LAVATER.
Beauty is never so lovely as when adorned with the smile, and conversation never sits easier upon us than when we know and then discharge ourselves in a symphony of Laughter, which may not improperly be called the Chorus of Conversation.—STEELE.
The first ingredient in Conversation is Truth, the next Good Sense, the third Good Humor, and the fourth Wit.—SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE.
HOME LESSONS IN CONVERSATION.
Say nothing unpleasant when it can be avoided.
Avoid satire and sarcasm.
Never repeat a word that was not intended for repetition.
Cultivate the supreme wisdom, which consists less in saying what ought to be said than in not saying what ought not to be said.
Often cultivate “flashes of silence.”
It is the larger half of the conversation to listen well.
Listen to others patiently, especially the poor.
Sharp sayings are an evidence of low breeding.
Shun faultfindings and faultfinders.
Never utter an uncomplimentary word against anyone.
Compliments delicately hinted and sincerely intended are a grace in conversation.
Commendation of gifts and cleverness properly put are in good taste, but praise of beauty is offensive.
Repeating kind expressions is proper.
Compliments given in a joke may be gratefully received in earnest.
The manner and tone are important parts of a compliment.
Don’t talk of yourself, or of your friends or your deeds.
Give no sign that you appreciate your own merits.
Do not become a distributer of the small talk of a community. The smiles of your auditors do not mean respect.
Avoid giving the impression of one filled with “suppressed egotism.”
Never mention your own peculiarities; for culture destroys vanity.
Do not be too positive.