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and immortality for what he writes, if it be good. The audience of the orator is necessarily circumscribed, and his eloquence may be compared to a snow-flake on the river "a moment bright then gone for ever."
Every schoolboy has a desire to learn shorthand; every student feels the need of it. I believe that in another generation this art will be commonly taught in our schools. The progress Phonography has made during the 20 years it has been in existence is surprising, and it bids fair to become the common medium of written communication at no distant day. Why have so very few persons learned shorthand of the thousands who, at some period of their lives, made the attempt ? The reasons are several. Systems of shorthand have been too numerous for one thing, and their arbitrariness has become proverbial. The difficulty of deciphering shorthand notes after any length of time, rendered it unsafe to commit thoughts to its treacherous custody. No system could possibly become general that had not received many years' practice, and been well tested as to its fitness for every species of writing. I repeat that every one should learn shorthand. The man of business believes and acts upon the maxim in all other things that " time is money ;" and that to save time is to lengthen life as well as save money. Life is too short for all we would accomplish, and in these days of mental and bodily activity, when the pen is never dry, and the printing press is never at rest, it becomes important that our slow and tedious longhand should give place to the time and labour-saving art of shorthand. The advantages of a knowledge of this art to every person who has much writing to perform can hardly be overrated. For making memoranda, keeping a diary, extracting from or marking books, &c., it is as much superior to longhand as steam travelling is to coaching; yet the most ardent phonographer does not imagine it to be either possible or desirable for longhand to be entirely superseded. Stage coaches and longhand both have their uses;
longhand is of use where legibility is more requisite than brevity; just as a coach is suitable for an invalid, and pleasant enough to a traveller who has plenty of time for a short journey; but those who wish to keep pace with the improvements and discoveries of the age must learn this art, which is not only one of the most useful and characteristic discoveries of the age, but one of the best means of acquiring every other kind of useful knowledge. It is true that there is no royal road to knowledge, but Phonography is a good macadamiser. Though you may not wish to become a professional reporter, the ability to write as fast as a person speaks, or, as it is technically termed, "follow a speaker," is a useful accomplishment. How often when listening to a lecture, sermon, or speech, you have desired to note down some happy thought, but could not do it in longhand; a few disjointed words you might dash down, but the very "thoughts that breathe and words that burn" of the orator can only be secured by the pen of the ready writer. How often again thoughts worth preserving flash through our minds, which if not secured on the instant, as fast as conceived, escape us for ever. The brightest and best thoughts are the most transcient; and the ideas that flow into our minds when in our best states are of that subtle nature, that unless fixed upon paper instantly they vanish. These are some of the advantages which shorthand gives to the individual possessor, but they must be multiplied a thousand fold to adequately represent the aggregate advantages of the art to the world at large, in preserving the theological, judicial, and senatorial wisdom of the day, by the aid of the press, and in recording the daily events of life which fill our newspapers. Nothing has tended more to establish the liberty of the press than shorthand, through the facilities it has afforded for collecting and recording the multifarious news of the busy world around us.
Of the use of phonetic reading in facilitating the acquisition of ordinary reading, there are many proofs on record. I have myself taught classes of ignorant criminals, paupers, soldiers, &c. to read both phonetic and common works in a few days, persons so hopelessly ignorant that they despaired of ever acquiring this first and necessary tool for getting knowledge. The most successful experiments-conducted by myself and Mr. Benn Pitman-who is now promulgating the phonetic systems with great success in America—were made at Preston House of Correction, Swinton Schools, and the Liverpool Workhouse.
The Hon. Horace Mann, Secretary of the Board of Education, Massachusetts, after examining a class of children who had been taught to read by the phonetic system, reported as follows:-" The children you exhibited had certainly made most wonderful proficiency, and were, in several of the essentials of good enunciation and reading, years in advance of most children who had been taught in the old way." Mr. Mann being justly considered an authority on educational matters, his opinion of the phonetic system may be further quoted. He says, in the same report-“ On opening a dictionary, anybody will see that there are two English languages-one for speaking, the other for writing or printing; and I believe the mastery of these to be more difficult for children than that of two languages wholly distinct and separate from each other, not having any word in common. The child is taught to give a particular sound to a letter, and when he sees the same letter again he is taught to give it another sound; and still another, and another many times over. Intellectually considered, this must present to the learner a considerable extent of chaos; and in morals, it is as near like lying as anything can be, and escape it. Phonography and phonotypy propose to obviate these very serious difficulties, by using as many distinct signs as there are distinct sounds in the language, so that no letter or character shall ever imitate the rogue's
device of changing its name. I have long believed that so desirable an achievement would be realised."
I recommend Phonography as a study for young men because it is a valuable instrument for acquiring other kinds of knowledge, and of advancing them in life. I have known many instances of young men obtaining good situations in consequence of possessing a knowledge of this art; and so highly do I prize Phonography, apart from the fact that it furnishes me with a pleasant and lucrative employment, that were I by any misfortune deprived of a knowledge of it, I should immediately set to work to learn it again. I value it far above any other acquirement I possess. It has been often remarked that longhand is not suited to this age of steam and electric telegraphs. It is really amazing that men of business should be willing to use the tedious mode of writing employed by their forefathers, when they travel six times as fast, and write ten times as much. Phonography is as well adapted to business purposes as for letter writing, reporting, and private memoranda. I know many business houses in which the chief part of the correspondence is transacted in Phonography, and the books kept in it. The art is even more easily read than longhand, because the eye takes in more words at a glance. As a proof of the value of this art in business, I may mention that I have lately instructed about twenty of the clerks and bookkeepers in the employ of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company, by the direction andat the expense of their employers, during business hours; and the system is now extensively used in the offices for taking down letters, &c., from dictation. At the examination of the class by Mr. Edward Watkin, the general manager, and other officers of the company, Mr. Watkin thus addressed my pupils as to the advantages of the system :
"The art of Phonography is in consonance with the rapid action of the times in which we live, when men's usefulness and lives are reckoned not by mere
days or hours, but by what we can do in the time allotted us. Shorthand to business men is a most valuable adjunct, and will give to each of the youths I see before me a new power of usefulness, applicable to every business pursuit. The possession of the art will render each of you more capable in your present and in all future occupations; more valuable to your employers, and therefore more able to command a better remuneration for your services. Many shorthand writers have been able to command large incomes. Others have found the art the ladder by which to mount to eminence in literature and in politics."
I have now under instruction another class of intelligent clerks, at the same railway offices, and they are progressing equally well.
Some collateral advantages would result from our language being phonetically spelt. It would render practicable the attainment of a universal language, which, from the days of the good Bishop Wilkins, has been a thing dreamed of and longed after, and which Sir John Herschell has declared to be " one of the great desiderata at which mankind ought to aim by common consent." It is evident that if all civilised nations spoke the same language-the first step to which must be their phonetic representation, rendering all easily acquired-then one language, the best, would stand a chance of being generally adopted. The most learned linguists, those who are acquainted with all languages, believe that the English tongue is destined to become the universal language, and that phonetic spelling will greatly facilitate this desirable object. Emerson, in his "English Traits," says that the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon race stands the best chance of becoming universal. An eminent German philologist writes, "The English language appears destined by nature, more than any other that exists, to become the world's language. Did not a whimsical, antiquated orthography stand in the way, the universality of this language would be still more evident; and we and