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Selfish Conversation

By Mary Wilder Tileston

      Thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee.
         --JEREMIAH 7:27

      HIS eyes were bright with intelligence and trained powers of observation; and they were beautiful with kindliness, and with the well-bred habit of giving com.plete attention to other people and their affairs when he talked with them.
         --JULIANA H. EWING

      There is a grace of kind listening, as well as a grace of kind speaking. Some men listen with an abstracted air, which shows that their thoughts are elsewhere. Or they seem to listen, but by wide an.swers and irrelevant questions show that they have been occupied with their own thoughts, as being more interesting, at least in their own estimation, than what you have been saying. Some interrupt, and will not hear you to the end. Some hear you to the end, and then forthwith begin to talk to you about a similar experience which has befallen themselves, making your case only an illustration of their own. Some, meaning to be kind, listen with such a determined, lively, violent attention, that you are at once made uncomfortable, and the charm of conversation is at an end. Many persons, whose manners will stand the test of speaking, break down under the trial of But all these things should be brought under the sweet influences of religion.

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