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Not long ago I visited a home where such exceptionally good breeding prevailed and such fine manners were practised by all the members of the family, that it made a great impression upon me. This home is the most remarkable school of good manners, refinement, and culture generally, I have ever been in. The parents are bringing up their children to practise their best manners on all occasions. They do not know what company manners mean.

The boys have been taught to treat their sisters with as much deference as though they were stranger guests. The politeness, courtesy, and consideration which the members of this family show toward one another are most refreshing and beautiful. Coarseness, gruffness, lack of delicacy find no place there. Both boys and girls have been trained from infancy to make themselves interesting, and to entertain and try to make others happy.

The entire family make it a rule to dress before dinner in the evening, just as they would if special company were expected. Their table manners are specially marked. At table every one is supposed to be at his best, not to bring any grouch, or a long or sad face to it, but to contribute his best thought, his wittiest sayings, to the conversation. Every member of the family is expected to do his best to make the meal a really happy occasion. There is a sort of rivalry to see who can be the most entertaining, or contribute the spiciest bits of conversation.

There is no indication of dyspepsia in this family, because every one is trained to laugh and be happy generally, and laughter is a fatal enemy of indigestion.

The etiquette of the table is also strictly observed. Every member of the family tries to do just the proper thing and always to be mindful of others' rights. Kindness seems to be practised for the joy of it, not for the sake of creating a good impression on friends or acquaintances. There is in this home an air of peculiar refinement which is very charming. The children are early taught to greet callers and guests cordially, heartily, in real Southern, hospitable fashion, and to make them feel that they are very welcome. They are taught to make every one feel comfortable and at home, so that there will be no sense of restraint.

As a result of this training the children have formed a habit of good behavior and are considered an acquisition to any gathering. They are not embarrassed by the awkward slips and breaks which are so mortifying to those who only wear their company manners on special occasions.

A stranger would almost think this home was a school of good breeding, and it is a real treat to visit these people. It is true the parents in this family have the advantage of generations of fine breeding and Southern hospitality back of them, which gives the children a great natural advantage. There is an atmosphere of chivalry and cordiality in this household which is really refreshing.

Many parents seem to expect that their children will pick up their good manners outside of the home, in school, or while visiting. This is a fatal mistake. Every home should be a school of good manners and good breeding.

The children should be taught that there is nothing more important than the development of an interesting personality, an attractive presence, and an ability to entertain with grace and ease. They should be taught that the great object of life is to develop a superb personality, a noble manhood and womanhood.

There is no art like that of a beautiful behavior, a fine manner, no wealth greater than that of a pleasing personality.

" ALL that I am or hope to be," said Lincoln, after he had become President, " I owe to my angel mother." " My mother was the making of me," said Thomas Edison recently, " She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt that I had some one to live for; some one I must not disappoint."

" All that I have ever accomplished in life," declared Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist, " I owe to my mother."

"To the man who has had a good mother, all women are sacred for her sake," said Jean Paul Richter.

The testimony of great men in acknowledgment of the boundless debt they owe to their mothers would make a record stretching from the dawn of history to today. Few men, indeed, become great who do not owe their greatness to a mother's love and inspiration.

How often we hear people in every walk of life say, " I never could have done this thing but for my mother. She believed in me, encouraged me when others saw nothing in me."

" A kiss from my mother made me a painter," said Benjamin West.

A distinguished man of today says: " I never could have reached my present position had I not known that my mother expected me to reach it. From a child she made me feel that this was the position she expected me to fill; and her faith spurred me on and gave me the power to attain it."


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