The character of a person is revealed by his conversation as much as by any one quality he possesses, for strive as he may he cannot always be acting.
IMPORTANCE OF CONVERSING WELL.
To be able to converse well is an attainment which should be cultivated by every intelligent man and woman. It is better to be a good talker than a good singer or musician, because the former is more widely appreciated, and the company of a person who is able to talk well on a great variety of subjects, is much sought after. The importance, therefore, of cultivating the art of conversation, cannot easily be over-estimated. It should be the aim of all intelligent persons to acquire the habit of talking sensibly and with facility upon all topics of general interest to society, so that they may both interest others and be themselves interested, in whatever company they may chance to be thrown.
The training for this should be commenced in early childhood. Parents should not only encourage their children to express themselves freely upon everything that attracts their attention and interests them, but they should also incite their faculties of perception, memory and close observation, by requiring them to recount everything, even to its minutest details, that they may have observed in walking to and from school, or in taking a ride in a carriage or in the cars. By training a child to a close observation of everything he meets or passes, his mind becomes very active, and the habit having once been acquired, he becomes interested in a great variety of objects; sees more and enjoys more than one who has not been so trained.
CULTIVATING THE MEMORY.
A good memory is an invaluable aid in acquiring the art of conversation, and the cultivation and training of this faculty is a matter of importance. Early youth is the proper time to begin this training, and parents and teachers should give special attention to the cultivation of memory. When children are taken to church, or to hear a lecture, they should be required to relate or to write down from memory, such a digest of the sermon or lecture as they can remember. Adults may also adopt this plan for cultivating the memory, and they will be surprised to find how continued practice in this will improve this faculty. The practice of taking notes impairs rather than aids the memory, for then a person relies almost entirely in the notes taken, and does not tax the memory sufficiently. A person should also train himself to remember the names of persons whom he becomes acquainted with, so as to recall them whenever or wherever he may subsequently meet them. It