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other Europeans may esteem ourselves fortunate that the English nation has not yet made the discovery." But the discovery has been made, and there is hope that this "whimsical and antiquated orthography" will in time be discarded, and the truthful phonetic spelling substituted in its place. This would, in truth, not be an innovation, but a restoration of letters to their original use. I believe that Phonography will prepare the way for this change, by familiarising people with phonetic spelling in the dress of shorthand, where the repulsive appearance of what is incorrectly called "bad spelling" does not offend the eye.
Various objections are urged against phonetic spelling in the abstract. The strongest perhaps is the etymological one. Persons who are fond of tracing the meaning of words to their source in some foreign language-a very delightful study-urge that to spell words by or according to their sound would destroy their pedigree. That this is a groundless fear has been proved by Mr. Ellis, in his "Plea for Phonetic Spelling.' Dr. Latham, another high authority, declares that "all objections to change our spelling on the ground of theoretical propriety are as worthless as they ever could be thought to be." Dr. Franklin, who was a strenuous advocate of phonetic, or truthful spelling, met this objection in a forcible and humorous way, by arguing that, while etymology may guide us to the original meaning of words, yet as their meanings change, their present significations must be determined from use. If, for instance, any one of the etymological objectors to the reform were to be called a knave or a villain, he would hardly be satisfied with being told that one of the words originally signified only a lad or servant, and the other an under ploughman, or the inhabitant of a village. But would you destroy all the present books? I have been asked. Certainly not; keep them as curiosities, and reprint them phonetically as fast as they may be needed by the public demand, both in Phonography and Phonotypy. The
present books would be readable to those who had learned phonetic printing. More change has taken place during the last 300 years than phonotypy would introduce. How many of us can read the English of Shakspere's day as he spelt it? We require a glossary by which to enjoy Chaucer and Spenser.
The testimonies given by persons of intelligence and high social position to the value of Phonography would fill a volume. All classes of society have concurred in extolling its brevity, legibility, order, and beauty. To describe the art here in its details would not be easy, nor is it necessary, the Phonographic works being published at a ruinously and, I think, foolishly cheap rate by my brother, and it would involve considerable expense to display the art to my readers. Whenever I have an opportunity I am ready to explain it by the aid of black board and chalk, and assist every one who desires to learn the art to the best of my ability. The following are a few words in Phonography:
Persons of every age and capacity may learn Phonography. I have taught thousands of persons in all ranks of life, from colliers to courtiers, and of almost every age, from six to sixty. No knowledge of spelling or grammar is necessary, and the roughest and heaviest hands, those wielding the plough or the pick all day, write the system as neatly as the daintiest palms. My father-who, thank God, is still a hale old man, though past seventy years of age, and is actively engaged at the Phonetic Depot, in Paternoster Row, London-learned his son's art when he was fifty years old. I know verbatim phonographic reporters
of from fifteen to twenty years of age. An American newspaper relates a remarkable instance of the pecuniary value of a knowledge of Phonography to a young gentleman named Murphy, who was taught the art in the High School of Philadelphia. Master Murphy was engaged on the reporting corps of the Intelligencer at a boy's wages of ten dollars a week, as a sessional reporter. His master found he was more efficient than he expected, and voluntarily raised his salary to fifteen dollars a week. But, in addition to this, finding that the youth did the work of a man quite as well as any one in the corps, his master put by his extra wages, and paid him the large sum of 550 dollars at the end of the session, as the aggregate of his extraordinary earnings. Master Murphy was thus made a man by his knowledge of Phonography. Every employer might not be so generous, and probably every boy who learns the art will not be equally fortunate, but he will have an immense advantage over those who cannot write shorthand.
Men of a poetic temperament are generally reformers and lovers of progress; the true poet is always before his age; thus we say of Shakspere, "he wrote for all time.' There are exceptions to all rules; one such may be mentioned for the sake of an amusing contrast. Bernard Barton, the Quaker poet, resided at Ipswich when Mr. Joseph Pitman and Mr. Thomas Allen Reed visited that town to introduce Phonography. Their success and the enthusiasm of themselves and their pupils were very great. Bernard Barton, in the old conservative spirit of "let well alone," and "the old A B C did very well for me," after having long "nursed his wrath to keep it warm," his muse laboured, and thus she was delivered :
am weary of my mother tongue,
In which I learned to read and spell when young
As heretofore, by my own flesh and blood;
As worn-out legends shall have passed away;
When these, by some new-fangled strange conceit,
Nor can I look upon as more inviting,
Owe a long-standing and long-cherished debt.
Upright or sloping, this or that way leaning,
But the new system saves much time. Indeed!
To have that horrid whistle din our ears;
Must we not ride alone as if we flew,
But the same haste adopt in all we do?
"More haste worse speed,"-the proverb still holds true!
There were several "replies" to these verses, which the phonographers asserted were "unanswerable," and they were right, at any rate, good old Bernard Barton never answered them, for he died shortly afterwards.
Mr. Bagster, the well-known Bible publisher, of Paternoster Row, London, some years previously, in fact soon after the invention of Phonography, sent the author the following pretty lines :
Were Cicero's sweet voice now heard,
Nor leave one thought unwrit;
Were Seneca's deep knowledge taught
Had Cicero's admirers known,
Or Seneca the science shown
Of Phonographic art ;
The world would now have held a prize,
And not as now, a part.
The allusion to Cicero and Seneca is not only felicitous but historically correct, the former having contrived the first system of shorthand, while the latter improved it. The venerable septuagenarian accompanied his lines with these words:"Accept, sir, the above communication as a token of my approving feeling of the art to which you have the honour to have given birth. Three score years and ten are too commanding to allow my embracing the varied benefits of your praiseworthy ingenuity and exertions; but though it be personally so with me, I recommend every one on sunny side of fifty to learn the science, and secure the advantages of the practice of it."
To please the admirers of my brother's art, I have recently published an excellent photographic likeness of the inventor. It may be obtained, at a moderate cost, through Mr. Fred. Pitman, phonetic publisher, 20, Paternoster Row, London. Addison says, in his "Spectator," with playful truth, "A reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particulars of a like nature, that conduce very much to the right understanding of an author." A physiognomist may discover from this portrait the qualities that led to the invention of phonography; namely, the largeness of the faculties of order, causality, firmness, language, time and tune, &c., with untiring perseverance and power of application.