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recent custom. In our grandmother's day a lavish hospitality was shown, but it was chiefly confined to rela: tives near or remote, and was expressed in the good cheer at table-represented as “groaning under the weight” of the hospitable provision-rather than in other any form.
Now however we accept the responsibility for the happiness of our guests while under our roof, and suggestions for their amusement are cordially welcomed by the hosts.
Nothing so quickly breaks down barriers between nėw acquaintances and thaws the ice of formality as: playing at games. Beguilement into participation in the amusements of the children of the household before their bed-time arrives often makes a good beginning of which the most serious-minded of “grown ups" seem pleased to avail themselves and continue with infinite gusto. Victor Hugo'says—“The child sleeps in every man, other children wake it up." An old gentleman, who had known many sorrows; asked during one of the pänting pauses of a round game, the following impromptu riddle: “What are the pleasant times that we never forget?" and answered it himself—“Those in which we forget ourselves."
The average hostess is not very inventive; there is a depressing uniformity about most entertainments, but she is quick enough to recognise when boredom threatens her guests. In Part II. I hope to come to her aid. In the interchange of simple hospitalities among friends -as one young woman remarked—“Just feeding people is not enough.” After a little dinner, for instance, a lively contest of wits—with, perhaps, a trifling prize to make the victory more conspicuous-adds zest and sparkle and gives one's friends the feeling of having had “a good time.”
The collection in this little volume is the harvest of the years from the nursery-days when I learned to depend upon games and plays to teach valuable lessonssugar-coating the pill—to the present, when I claim to be a veteran hostess of house-parties; and I offer it with the sincere wish that it may carry the same pleasure to others that it has so often given to us.
I apologise for the personalities, but thus only can I explain the circumstances under which I learned of some of these games, which were the suggestions of our guests, and I am ignorant otherwise of their source. Some came to me as foundlings and I was obliged to give them names. I hope that I have not trespassed on the preserves of others. Many of the games are original. Some are old ones made over, and others, the heritage of the ages, are too good to be omitted. The entertainments, with very few exceptions, are personal experiences, and are therefore known to be practical.
The wisest of mankind has said that “there is nothing new under the sun”; but, despite this discouraging statement, we may take heart, for he made the remark a long time ago.
CHAPTER 1-GAMES OF THOUGHT, WIT AND
With PEN AND PENCII.