new sensation an old one; the news is told, the excitement is gone by. The patient's face, at first bright and eager, becomes tired and jaded and long, and still the visitor sits.
At last she too — in case it be a woman-notices the change in her friend's look, and she springs to her feet and says, with sincere but tardy contrition, “I am afraid I have tired you.”
“Oh no,” says the patient; “not at all.”
It is her last gasp for that morning; she can scarcely muster strength to say it; but let us be polite or die.
Brevity is the soul of visiting, as of wit, and in both eases the soul is hard to grasp.
As some preacher used to follow a sound maxim for his sermons, “No soul saved after the first twenty minutes,” so you cannot aid in saving the sick body after the first five.
, in her “Life in the Sickroom,” says that invalids are fortunate if there is not some intrusive person who needs to be studiously kept at a distance.
But the peril of which I speak comes not from the intrusive, but from the affectionate and the conscientious-those who bring into the room every conceivable qualification for kind service except observation and tact.
The invalid's foes are they of his or her own household, or, at any rate, are near friends or kind neighbors.
The kinder they are the worse, unless they are able to show this high quality in the right way. If they