MAKING OUR HOME BEAUTIFUL 209
of mine suffered much by being obliged to go on a steamboat excursion, with a cinder in her eye, because she found that her friends would not do as she wished, and leave her quietly at home, and so, finding that the pleasure of a whole party would be broken up, she endured the pain of going with them, when she might have passed the afternoon in comparative comfort at home.
In the same way, some people will insist upon going about on business with a guest, who would much prefer to go alone.
Talk on Common Grounds
In regard to conversation, remember sweet George Herbert's rule:—
"Entice all neatly to what they know best, For so thou dost thyself and him a pleasure."
Talk of the people and things which are most likely to interest those whom you wish to please. You would think it very rude to speak in a language which your visitors did not understand, and it is about the same thing to talk of matter in which they have no interest, and which they know nothing about. Every family has its sayings and jokes, which sound very funny to them, but unless they are explained they mean nothing to a stranger.
Do not ask many questions about your guest's personal affairs, since you are taking them at a great disadvantage when they are in your own house, as they will not like to refuse to answer. Be careful not to be too ready with advice about a visitor's dress. If she asks you what is most suitable to wear on any occasion, tell her frankly; but above all things do not say or do anything which shall indicate that you do think her clothes are not as pretty and fashionable as they ought to be. Sometimes a remark made with the kindest intentions will hurt a sensitive girl's feelings. Those of you who have read "The Diary of Mrs. Kitty Trevelyan" will remember how' the little country cousin felt when she saw Evelyn smile at the dresses which had been made with so much care. I once heard a lady speaking of her girlhood, when she made her first visit