TABLE TALK IN THE HOME
By WILLIAM BYRON FORBUSH
D O you want to be a fascinating person? To be an effective man? To be enlightened and broad-minded? These good things are all within your reach. Without wealth or unusual ability you may secure them. The method is simple. It consists wholly in what you talk about at the table.
The Chief Method of Culture is Conversation
School "does not have time" for conversation. An unusually modern principal surprised himself the other day when he found by careful estimate that in his great school building the children each had an opportunity to talk aloud one half-minute in every two hours.
Yet conversation is a mighty mode of power. My favorite test of an educated man is whether I could ride all day on the train with him without being bored. Talk is the principal instrument of the salesman, the philanthropist, and the executive, and the most useful tool of the manufacturer, the superintendent, and the engineer. Yet most of us have not taken as much trouble to master this fine art, as we have to learn bridge or lawn tennis.
How do you spend the hours at table? Some people complain about money or the meals. Some gossip. Some, as Lord Bacon said, let "their thoughts pass in smother."
Every schoolmaster can detect the pupils that come from homes where the conversation is worth while. Such children have a big background of general information, an alertness and eagerness to learn and an open-mindedness that characterize them as the most hopeful students in the room. Such young people make good in the world's work. They are not