MAKING OUR HOME BEAUTIFUL 199
out, if she is not responsive as formerly, if she sits by herself, and the tears start at some fancied slight, the combined family should rally to her rescue. Twenty miles from home, or two hundred, the sovereign virtues of a change may restore her spirits and make her once more cheerful and brave. One un-cheerful person in the house, one who is the slave of the low mood, will, without evil intention, upset the equanimity of the whole circle. Low spirits are malarious. Very subtly, very wofully, they undermine the family health. The contagion of despair is more noxious than the germ of yellow fever, and more to be dreaded. Make a strong fight, and be sure it will not be a losing one, with prayer and pains, against the ill dominion of the blues; in other words, against the malignity of the lower self. If the individual does this, the family will feel the tonic of a brave endeavor, and will help mightily and unitedly to drive the demoniac possession away.
Plenty of Song
One more tangible aid to good cheer at home is- music. Banjo, mandolin, piano, plenty of song, and the household will move without friction, in mutual respect, and a common devotion to the common weal. A music-loving family is almost sure to have good times at home. While a home ought to reach out from itself to other homes, and to keep an open door for friends and guests, it should never be dependent for its cheer upon any influence from without. For its happy times, its daily enjoyments, and its pleasures that are processional with the year, it should be sufficient to itself. If cheerfulness in the home is to be a factor in the.home's development, it must grow from the center, not be fastened on the circumference. The song must be in the soul before it is on the lip. Good times at home, among the home folk, a simple, uncostly style of living that involves no undue anxiety, a house not too fine for daily use, and plenty of sunshine and love, will fulfill the republican ideal, and upbuild our nation.