Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/388

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374
HOSPITABLE TREATMENT OF GUESTS.

comfort and convenience, and literally, to put the entire house, and every thing in it, at his disposal for the time being. This practice grows out of a genuine feeling of liberality, and hospitality, but the language used is such as to be quite readily misunderstood by a stranger who measures expressions by the cold matter-of-fact rule in use in colder countries, and attaches more weight to a mere formality than it is justly entitled to. When you enter the house of a friend, or even a person to whom you have a letter of introduction, in Spanish America, he at once tells you, that you are "in your own house," and that you are the master and he your guest, or something to that effect. He really expects you to make yourself at home in the broadest sense of the term, but on the other hand, pays you the compliment of supposing that you have, at least, an ordinary amount of common sense, and will know enough of what constitutes the rules and customs of society, not to abuse, the offer, and outstay your welcome.

Sister Republic - poultry seller p.374.jpg

POULTRY SELLER.

If you particularly admire any picture, or article of jewelry or furniture, he will immediately tell you that it is at your disposal, and you are quite wel-