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COMPILED FROM THE LATEST EUROPEAN PUBLICATIONS,
WITH SUNDRY IMPROVEMENTS,
Adapted to the present state of literature in the United States.
THE STENOGRAPHIC TREE.
The frontispiece to this work, exhibits, in the form a tree, the entire theory of the following system, which consists in the judicious application of a few elementary principles to the purpose of quick writing.
For the encouragement of the learner, let it be understood, that with this simple key, and this only, the language of a public speaker may be recorded as fast as delivered, and in a hand which shall be legible, not to the writer only, but to all others who are familiar with the same system.
From this small circle and right line, a tree is produced, bearing fruit after its kind, as seen by the following analysis.
In the first place, the roots of the tree present a kind of diagram, in which we discover the embryo of that fruit which is afterwards exhibited upon the several branches, and finally converted into short hand. The different inclinations of the right line are made to represent five letters -different segments of the circle, four letters; different modifications of the circle and line, six letters; and of the quarter circle and line, five letters; making in all, twenty distinct alphabetic signs.
The first four limbs of the tree, present a classification of the several characters, under four distinct species, showing at the same time, the letter, or letters, which each character is respectively to represent.
The same twenty characters are next seen in the body of the tree, surrounded by certain words and parts of words, of which, in writing, they become the representatives, according to established rules. With these twenty characters, possessing the fourfold power, to represent letters, words, prefixes and terminations, together with a dot, to represent vowcls, the theory of this system is complete; although several of the same marks are afterwards employed as the arbitrary signs of certain other prefixes, terminations, words, &c., as shown near the top of the tree.
All the rules necessary to a right understanding and application of theory to practice, will be found on the 10th, 11th, and 12th pages of this work. The remainder of the book is devoted to illustrations, and short hand specimens, with printed translations of the several plates, for the Improvement of the learner.
Southern District of New York, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the sixteenth day of April, in the forty-eighth year of the Independence of the United States of America, M. T. C. GOULD, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words following, to wit.
"The Analytic Guide and Authentic Key to the art of Short hand writing; by which the language of a public speaker may be recorded as fast as delivered, in a style at once beautiful and legible. Being a compilation from the latest European and American publications, with sundry improvements, adapted to the present state of literature in the United States. By M. T. C. Gould, Stenographer. Third Edition."
In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the anthors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned;" as also to an Act, entitled "An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
Short-hand writing, under different names and forms, may be traced to the most remote civilized nations of the earth. The Egyptians, who were at a very early period distinguished for their learning, represented objects, words, and ideas, by a species of hieroglyphics. The Jews also used this species of writing, adding a number of arbitrary characters, for important, solemn, and awful terms, such as God, Jehovah, &c. A similar method was practised by the Greeks—it is said to have been introduced at Nicolai by Xenophon. The Romans adopted the same method and Ennius, the poet, invented a new system, by which the Notari recorded the language of celebrated orators. He commenced with about 1100 marks of his own invention, to which he afterwards added many more. His plan, as ini. proved by Tyro, was held in high estimation by the Romans. Titus Vespasian was remarkably fond of short-hand-he considered it not only convenient and useful, but ranked its practice among his most interesting amusements.
Plutarch tells us, that the celebrated speech of Cato, relative to the Catalinian conspiracy, was taken and preserved in short-hand. We are likewise informed, that Seneca made use of a system of short writing, which consisted in the use of about 5000 characters.
The first publication upon the subject, of which we have any correct information, was about the year 1500, from a Latin manuscript, dated 1412. Various other publications followed in succession, without materially advancing or changing its character, till about the commencement of the 18th century; nor were the principles, till many years afterwards, settled upon a basis which could insure stability to the art.
Byrom was the first who treated the subject scientifically, and to him we stand indebted for the promulgation of those fundamental principles, which will ever constitute the true foundation of every rational system of steno. graphy. His first edition appeared in the year 1767, previous to which, many systems had been published under the name of short, or swift-hand, which were so involved in philological refinements, or superfluous arbitrary signs, as to be absolutely more tedious in the acquirement and practice, than the usual long hand, and scarcely intelligible, except to the inventors, or those who devoted their lives to practice it. Nor did Byrom rest till he had much obscured the merits of his original plan, by the introduction of numerous grammar rules, plausible in theory, but useless in practice. Much difficulty was experienced by him and later writers, in selecting appropriate characters, and assigning their respective functions; but a still greator difficulty by learners, from the too frequent introduction of arbitrary signs, and subtle theories, which have rendered useless to the world much that was otherwise valuable, in the elementary principles of Byrom and his successors.
Books upon short-hand have been rendered voluminous, intricate, and