Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

Annie Payson Call (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about Nerves and Common Sense.

I knew of a blind doctor who habitually told character by the tone of the voice, and men and women often went to him to have their characters described as one would go to a palmist.

Once a woman spoke to him earnestly for that purpose and he replied, “Madam, your voice has been so much cultivated that there is nothing of you in it—­I cannot tell your real character at all.”  The only way to cultivate a voice is to open it to its best possibilities—­not to teach its owner to pose or to imitate a beautiful tone until it has acquired the beautiful tone habit.  Such tones are always artificial and the unreality in them can be easily detected by a quick ear.

Most great singers are arrant hypocrites.  There is nothing of themselves in their tone.  The trouble is to have a really beautiful voice one must have a really beautiful soul behind it.

If you drop the tension of your voice in an argument for the sake of getting a clearer mind and meeting your opponent without resistance, your voice helps your mind and your mind helps your voice.

They act and react upon one another with mutual benefit.  If you lower your voice in general for the sake of being more quiet, and so more agreeable and useful to those about you, then again the mental or moral effort and the physical effort help one another.

It adds greatly to a woman’s attraction and to her use to have a low, quiet voice—­and if any reader is persisting in the effort to get five minutes absolute quiet in every day let her finish the exercise by saying something in a quiet, restful tone of voice.

It will make her more sensitive to her unrestful tones outside, and so help her to improve them.

CHAPTER XX

About Frights

HERE are two true stories and a remarkable contrast.  A nerve specialist was called to see a young girl who had had nervous prostration for two years.  The physician was told before seeing the patient that the illness had started through fright occasioned by the patient’s waking and discovering a burglar in her room.

Almost the moment the doctor entered the sick room, he was accosted with:  “Doctor, do you know what made me ill?  It was frightful.”  Then followed a minute description of her sudden awakening and seeing the man at her bureau drawers.

This story had been lived over and over by the young girl and her friends for two years, until the strain in her brain caused by the repetition of the impression of fright was so intense that no skill nor tact seemed able to remove it.  She simply would not let it go, and she never got really well.

Now, see the contrast.  Another young woman had a similar burglar experience, and for several nights after she woke with a start at the same hour.  For the first two or three nights she lay and shivered until she shivered herself to sleep.

Then she noticed how tightened up she was in every muscle when she woke, and she bethought herself that she would put her mind on relaxing her muscles and getting rid of the tension in her nerves.  She did this persistently, so that when she woke with the burglar fright it was at once a reminder to relax.

Follow Us on Facebook