DEAR CHILDREN: I presume you will think that I have selected a singular subject to write about this time, but I am sure you will be interested in what I have to tell you. No doubt the most of you can talk. To be deprived of the faculty of speech is a terrible affliction; if any of you are dumb, you have my heart-felt sympathy, and I would direct your attention to "the Great Physician," Who will some day cause the "tongue of the dumb to sing."

You have all, probably, seen many kinds of musical instruments, but man has never formed an instrument of such wonderful power as the human voice. I shall not explain to you exactly how voice is produced, for the names of the vocal organs are quite hard, and you might not remember them. I will, however, give you a little idea of the science of speech. There is in the throat an organ called the larynx, or Adam's apple, across which are stretched two fibrous bands, called vocal chords. 

As we breathe, these chords vibrate and produce sound. Nearly every little boy and girl knows how to make music on a comb by covering it with soft paper and forcing the breath through the teeth. This is a rude illustration of the action of the breath upon the vocal chords.

The breath is propelled by a large muscle placed between the heart and liver and acting upon the lungs. This muscle, which is called the diaphragm, gives force and power to the voice; and in talking, singing, or reading, this muscle should be exercised, so that the strain will not come upon the throat.

If you would have sweet, pleasing voices, you must breathe correctly. I will give you a few breathing exercises, which, if practiced faithfully, will enable you to control your breath.

When you rise in the morning, ran out of doors into the fresh, pure air, never mine if the weather is cold; stand erect, and draw in the breath very slowly through the nostrils as long as you can, and then exhale it forcibly and quickly through the mouth. Repeat this exercise several times, then draw in your breath and see how many times you can count before breathing again.

 Be careful not to continue these exercises too long at any one time, as they might prove injurious if prolonged after fatigue is felt. Properly practiced, they will awaken every air vessel into life, and make your cheeks glow with the ruddy me of health.

I will here mention the fact that in order to have strong voices you must form the habit of standing erect with shoulders thrown back. It is a sad sight to see little boys and girls bowed over like aged persons. 




DEAR CHILDREN: Can you tell me how you use your voices the most? I fancy I hear scores of merry voices shouting back the answer: "We use them the most in talking." Very true. Conversation is the foundation of speech, and children should early learn to talk correctly.

I know some little boys, and girls too, who have nearly spoiled their voices by whining. They whine for this thing, and whine for that; they begin the day with whines, and end it with whines. I hope none of the family are thus injuring their voices and annoying their friends.

Some children mumble their words, and talk as if their mouths were filled with food. This habit, if not overcome in youth, will prove a source of mortification in after-life. Remember that whatever is worth saying, is worth saying well. You should ever strive to pronounce your words distinctly. Your organs of speech are now pliable, but as you grow older, they will become fixed, and it will then be very difficult to acquire a correct articulation. I will give you a few exercises for practice. Read the following sentences slowly and distinctly, and increase your rate of utterance until you can repeat them very rapidly and distinctly: I saw a man saw six sleek, slim saplings. Such shoes and socks shock Susan. The heights, depths, and breadths of the subject. Fleet firefly, flit, flash, and fly. Jack Jackobin jumped into jail. Six brave maids sat on six broad beds and braided broad braids. She sells sea-shells. Do you sell sea-shells? The sun shines on the shop-signs.

When you speak to your playmates, endeavor to give each word its proper sound, and do not clip syllables, jumble words together, nor half express your meaning. It is close attention to little things that gives success.

It is quite a common fault among children to hurry, when reading in school or elsewhere. This is owing to the fact that they are afraid to hear their own voices, and therefore desire to get through as quickly as possible.

This foolish fear spoils the sound of the reading, and prevents improvement. The only remedy is to read slowly, and in quite a loud tone of voice. If you do this, your confidence will increase, and you will soon be able to control the voice at will.Pay strict attention to the instructions given by your teachers, and endeavor to read naturally, as you would talk. Avoid a "school-room drawl," and do not pitch the voice too high. Watch every word that falls from your lips, and endeavor to give its proper pronunciation, emphasis, and inflection. If you follow these rules, you will soon become good readers.


THERE is a Bible in the library of the "University of Gottingen, written on 2476 palm-leaves.


NEARLY every one can learn to sing. The ear should early be accustomed to distinguish tunes; for children can cultivate an ear for music, even if they have not much natural talent for song. There is much enjoyment connected with musical sounds, and those who make melody with their voices generally have sunshine in their hearts. Now, little boys and girls, I want to talk to you a few moments about singing. Don't be afraid to try your voices. No matter if you do make mistakes; try again and again, until you can sing correctly one short, easy tune, and then learn others. 

"Not how much, but how well," is a good motto for you to remember.The vowels, a, e, i, o, u, form excellent   exerciser for practice in controlling the voice. Repeat them rapidly at one breath on a very high pitch, then on a very low pitch, and then in an ordinary conversational tone. Repeat them softly, then with great force, and then sing each one on each note of the musical scale. Your parents and friends will assist you in these exercises, if you manifest a desire to learn.

As you grow older, your voices will in- crease in fullness and power, and you will then realize the advantages of early training. A rich, full, clear, melodious voice strikes the ear much more pleasantly than a thin, squeaking, husky tone.

I would advise all my little friends to avoid slang words and phrases. Speak pure, noble, gentle words, and you will win the respect and love of those with whom you associate. Even animals are affected by the tones of voice used in addressing them. I once read a story that illustrates this fact. A horse, heavily burdened, refused to draw, and his owner began to beat him cruelly, using at the same time angry, abusive words. A lady who chanced to be going by, begged the man to desist. "I will," replied the man, "if you will make the horse go." The lady stepped up to the horse, spoke a few kind, gentle words, patted its neck, and said, "Now, good fellow, draw the load." The horse looked gratefully at the lady, made a desperate effort, and started along.  If you speak cross words to a dog, he will droop his ears and slink away. If you speak pleasantly, he will wag his tail and look pleased. Now if the voice has such an effect upon animals, it must have a still greater effect upon human beings. A cheerful, pleasant voice makes sunshine everywhere.

"Oh, 'tis sunshine ever,

Around, about, above, 

When the lips speak kindness, 

And the heart breathes love."




DEAR CHILDREN: I have written to you about your words, and now I wish to call attention to your thoughts. The Bible says, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." This means that what you have in your minds constantly, you will speak with your lips. You cannot speak kind, pleasant, loving words when you think unkind or impure thoughts. When evil thoughts enter the mind, drive them away, and try to think of something good. Keep away from bad company, and above all, ask Jesus to give yon songs of praise in your heart continually. If the heart is pure, the words will be pure.

Far, far away, beyond the bright stars that twinkle in the blue sky above, there are beautiful mansions in a golden city. God and Christ dwell there; and there dwell also shining angels, whose work it is to keep in God's books a faithful record of human lives. Every cross, impatient, idle word is written down. Do you desire to know your life-record? The day is coming when those books will be opened, and the deeds of every person stand revealed. Some will then receive a "crown of life," and some will be banished from the presence of God.

Dear children, with which class will you be found? If you use your voices in praising God while here, you will hereafter unite with angels in singing a higher, sweetersong. May God bless you and help you to prepare for the coming of Him whose"voice is as the sound of many waters."