manners, for instance, as those of the late Mr. Charles Dabney
, so long our consul at Fayal
— seem to me finer than the best English manners, so the very best American voices seem to me better than the best English voices, being equally clear and mellow, with more positive sweetness and far more range of expression.
But such really good voices are rarer here than in England
, mainly because there is not the same close attention given to the matter on this side the Atlantic
An English mother, in the well-bred classes, is as solicitous about her daughter's way of speaking as about her clothes-perhaps more so, if we may judge by results.
An American mother, under similar circumstances, is apt to attend to the clothes, and leave the voice untended.
In schools, however, and especially in public schools, this matter is being more and more brought to attention.
Remarking, a few years since, in a large family, how much better the youngest daughter used her voice than any of her sisters, I found with surprise that much of the difference was due to the pains taken in the public schools of the rural city where she lived-schools which she alone had attended.
If we can once see American education achieving superiority in a point like this, it will be striking at the very root of the evil.