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SUPPLEMENTARY REMARKS. When the learner has rendered the preceding theory familiar, by writing the contents of the several plates, his dependance on particular rules will gradually yield to a familiarity resulting from practice, the only medium by which we can approximate perfection in any of the arts.
The first great object proposed by short-hand is, to commit words to paper with the least possible time and labour; but by a strange infatuation, surpassing that of the most visionary alchymists in search of the philosopher's stone, a thousand efforts have been made to draw from the regions of fancy some fine spun theory, by which, with crooked marks, to record the language of a public speaker, as fast as delivered, without the aid of previous practice. This, while it served to bewilder and misguide, has sunk the art into contempt and disuse, because it is found to depend, not upon a formidable array of martialled hieroglyphics, but upon the active maneuvring of a few select signs. Such signs have been selected, and their various powers distinctly defined in the preceding pages; and whatever may be said to the contrary, future experience will prove, that no system of stenography can ever become extensively useful upon any other principle, than that of having at command these simple but significant marks, as in arithmetic, music, common writing, &c.
The compiler of this work having perused about forty publications upon the subject of short-hand writing, and having devoted much time and labour, in the popular field of innovation and visionary reform, as well as in reporting some thousands of pages, was at length compelled, by his own experience, to settle down in the belief, that even in short-hand, a right line is the shortest distance between two given points; and to pass from one point to another, there is no way more direct than that which passes through the intermediate space.
The inference from this conviction is, that in theoriz. ing, too much has been anticipated and too much done; and that, for the future advancement of this art, greater
advantages will result from clearing away the rubbish, defining, and adhering to the few rational and permanent landmarks, already established, than from erecting any new superstructure, upon the discordant ruins of long forgotten systems, which have crumbled beneath the weight of their own unnecessary lumber.
It has therefore been the aim of this work to adapt the subject to the age in which we live; to lay aside every thing unnecessary, and to express in a few words all that is necessary for a general system of short-hand. In doing this, the design and method of illustration only, are entirely new. Some trifling attempts have been made, under the sanction of reading and experience, to improve the theory of the art; but while the merits of these efforts may be appreciated by few, there are hundreds who will still continue to think all systems incomplete, which do not present a great assemblage of arbitrary characters, and vexatious grammar rules. To such persons we put the following questions.
Would our common writing be more easily acquired, or its execution in any way facilitated, by increasing the number of letters in the English alphabet ? Would arithmetic be improved by the introduction of arbitrary marks to represent the numbers 11, 12, 13, and so on to 100 or 1000? Would the art of printing be rendered more simple, easy, and expeditious, by the construction and use, of leaden syllables, words and sentences, instead of the letters of which they are composed?
Till these questions can be answered in the affirmative, the preceding theory will be found, with practice, amply sufficient for the purposes proposed, and without pructice the efforts of human invention, as they respect short-hand, will prove abortive.
It must be remembered, that we live in an age of the world, when a few hieroglyphics or arbitrary signs cannot, as in the days of Roman greatness, be made to exhibit the varied lineaments of public speech but the multiplication of words and ideas, necessarily resulting from the progress of arts, sciences, and general improvement, renders the aid of science absolutely necessary, to the accomplishment of this desirable object.
Tbe learner should not then be discouraged, though he may not be able at once, to record the entire lan
guage of a fuent speaker; nor should he hence infer, that the system is incomplete, or the art unattainable,for with the same propriety might the young reader condemn and abandon the use of the common alphabet, (because he cannot at once read elegantly,) the musician his notes, or the young mathematician his Elements of Euclid. Let him therefore persevere in practice, and he will soon attain the object of pursuit.
To turn this necessary practice to the best possible account, the learner who is desirous to improve in useful knowledge, should record in a common place book from day to day, such facts and items of information as may be considered immediately interesting or worthy of future perusal,—these notes should be read while the subject is familiar. By this course, the writing and read. ing of short-hand are rendered in a few days easy, useful and amusing; and the art cannot fail to become a potent Jabour and time saving engine, not only for the actual accumulation and preservation of knowledge, but for the cultivation and expansion of the inind. For by judicious exercise, this faculty can be trained to receive more, and retain longer, whatever may be worthy of its attention.
This improvement, however, does not depend on the substitution of one faculty for another, but on their mutual co-operation, as auxiliary, each to the other. For though we are able by short-hand, to preserve a literal copy of any particular subject, for our future gratification and instruction, and thereby increase our stock of knowledge; yet, if memory be left to languish in sickly inactivity, and thus gradually lose its energies, and be. come epervated for the want of proper exercise, the loss is equal to the gain.
The memory, then, whilst it should not be overburdened with unnecessary verbiage, should never be released from that habitual exertion on which its own preservation and usefulness depend. The great secret of preserving and improving the memory, consists in giving it a sufficient quantity of the right kind of aliment, affording due time for its digestion, and no more relaxation than is absolutely necessary to its health and vigour.
The person who can write rapidly, does not as a consequence substitute writing for memory, but employs it as an assistant; and every person when committing words to paper for future instruction, should endeavour to fix in memory at least the leading features of the sub. ject, leaving to short-hand, only that which memory cannot retain, and referring to notes, for details which mental association cannot recall; or of which, reminiscence presents but a meager skeleton.
When the memory is thus properly exercised, it can. not fail to be improved; and the mind being released from the unnecessary incumbrance of words, will find more time to grow and expand, by reflecting, or comparing and analyzing the ideas which words may have conveyed; for the memory should be rather the reposi. tory of ideas than of words, which are the mere vehicles. of thought, and always at hand.
Although the preceding system is in itself complete, so far as intended for correspondence and general use, yet for the gratification of those who may wish to make other abridgments, and particularly those of the learned professions, who may think proper to engraft upon the established system, certain technical or other abbreviations adapted to their own respective professions, the following hints are superadded.
The lawyer or judge may, with much propriety, even if writing short hand, substitute in place of certain words which are known to occur very frequently, the initial common hand letter as P. for plaintiff, D. for defendant, W. for witness, C. for court, T. for testimony, V. for verdict, J. for judgment, &c.
The physician may, with like propriety, use P. for patient, pulse, or perspiration, F. for fever, 1. for inflammation, R. for respiration, &c.
The clergyman may find it convenient to use H. for heart, or heaven, S. for sinner or salvation, R. for redemption or resurrection, J. for judgment, C. for conscience, condemnation, &c.
Young gentlemen who attend lectures on cheniistry, anatomy, or other subjects, may save much labour and time, by using the initials of certain technical terms, which occur frequently in the course of their study.
RECOMMENDATIONS. From the Secretary of the State of New York. " Mr. GOULD,
Albany, Jan. 14, 1823. “Dear Sir--Having examined the system of Short Hand, which you are about to publish, ! am satisfied that it possesses merits, which ought to recommend it to the attention of the public. The improvements which you have made, in relation to the facility of writing and legibility of the hand, are obvious; and your design of introducing it into schools, appears to be peculiarly happy, and well calculated to bring into public estimation an accomplishment, which cannot fail of being admired, when its unbounded utility is compared with the trifling time and means necessary to its acquisition.
“The plan of exhibiting your theory upon a card, at a single view, to a whole school, ("and thus reducing the erpense of furnishing schools, from dollars to cents,') is so admirably adapted to economy, and the general extension of the system throughout our country, that it must meet the approbation of every lover of science, and receive the patronage of the community, ever alive to the prosperity and happiness of the rising generation, and I shall most cheerfully recommend it to the notice of our legislature, now in session, and to the public in general.
* I am yours, with respect and esteem,
* J. V. N. YATES." Secrelary of State, and acting Superintendent of Common Schools, in New York.
From one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of New York.
“ TO THE PUBLIC. "I certify with great pleasure, that Mr. M.T. C. Gould is a gentleman of excellent reputation and of highly respectable attainments : of his professional skill, from what I know, and have heard from competent judges, I have no hesitation to say, that he stands deservedly
“W. W. VAN NESS," Albany, 4th of April, 1891."
Judge of the Supreme Court, State of New York. “We the subscribers, most heartily unite with the honourable W. W. Van Ness, in recommending to public patronage, Mr. M.T.C. Gould, with whom we have been for many years acquainted.
“ SQUIRE MANRO,
From the Clerk of the Assembly of the State of New York. "Mr. M. T. C. GOULD,
“ Albany, March 15, 1811. "Sir---As you have terminated your course of six lessons in short hand writing, which ! desired you to instruct me, and having justly deserved my decided approbation for the skill and ability with which I know you teach that science, I take this opportunity to put you in possession of my sincere recommendation.
“Of the utility, importance, and great value of short hand writing, no one can doubt, who understands it. I confess I am astonished to find so little time, so little labour, and above all, so little money, necessary to the acquisition of a knowledge of this delightful and convenient art. Did all classes of men reflect upon and consider the subject, I doubt not they would soon become masters of it. I hope you will continue your instructions.--! hope you will explain your system, particularly its simplicity, to our public teachers and their pupils, and I believe you will be liberally patronized. I sincerely wish you success.
“ I 'remain your humble servant,
“ AARON CLARK." (And two hundred others.)
From the State of New Jersey. " Whave been personally acquainted with Mr. Gould, for some years; and I have no hesi tation in recommending him, as a Stenographer,
eminently qualified for his profession, and a person worthy of confidence and encouragement.
« Rev. JOHN DE WITT, “ New Brunswick, Sept. 16, 1923."
Professor in Theological Seminary. “ As a Stenographer, Mr. Gould stands at the head of his profession in this country of this I am satisfied, both from the publications which I have seen concerning him, and the recommendations in his possession, and I most cheerfully recommend him, to those who may be desirous to acquire a knowledge of short hand. '" Elizabeth Town, Aug. 28, 1894.
“Rev. JOHN M'DOWELL." "I cheerfully concur in the above recommendation, as well from the general reputation