We hear in these days a great deal respecting rights: the rights of private judgment, the rights of labor, the rights, of property, and the rights of man.
I cannot see anything manly in the struggle between rich and poor; the one striving to take as much, and the other to keep as much, as he can. The cry of “My rights, your duties,” we should change to something nobler. If we can say “My duties, your rights,” we shall learn what real liberty is.
A good voice has a charm in speech as in song. The voice, like the face, betrays the nature and disposition, and soon indicates what is the range of the speaker’s mind.
Many people have no ear for music; but everyone has an ear for skillful reading. Every one of us has at some time been the victim of a cunning voice, and perhaps been repelled once for all by a harsh, mechanical speaker.
The voice, indeed, is a delicate index of the state of mind.
What character, what infinite variety, belongs to the voice! Sometimes it is a flute, sometimes a trip-hammer; what a range of force! In moments of clearer thought or deeper sympathy, the voice will attain a music and penetration which surprise the speaker as much as the hearer.
THE INTREPID YOUTH
It was a calm, sunny day in the year 1750; the scene a piece of forest land in the north of Virginia, near a noble stream of water. Implements for surveying were lying about, and several men composed a party engaged in laying out the wild lands of the country.
These persons had apparently just finished their dinner. Apart from the group walked a young man of a tall and compact frame. He moved with the elastic tread of one accustomed to constant exercise in the open air. His countenance wore a look of decision and manliness not usually found in one so young.
Suddenly there was a shriek, then another, and several in rapid succession. The voice was that of a woman, and seemed to proceed from the other side of a dense thicket. At the first scream, the youth turned his head in the direction of the sound. When it was repeated, he pushed aside the undergrowth and, quickening his footsteps, he soon dashed into an open space on the bank of the stream, where stood a rude log cabin.
It was but the work of a moment for the young man to make his way through the crowd and confront the woman. The instant her eye fell on him, she exclaimed: “Oh, sir, you will do something for me. Make them release me, for the love of God. My boy, my poor boy is drowning, and they will not let me go.” “It would be madness; she will jump into the river,” said one, “and the rapids would dash her to pieces in a moment.”
The youth scarcely waited for these words, for he recollected the child, a fine little boy of four years old, who was a favorite with all who knew him. He had been accustomed to play in the little inclosure before the cabin, but the gate having been left open, he had stolen out, reached the edge of the bank, and was in the act of looking over, when his mother saw him.