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condense the theory and instructions, into a convenient and cheap form for individuals and schools, and to illustrate and exemplify the whole by rules and engravis, so as to place it within the reach of those who cannut attend a regular course of personal instructions.
The work passed with unparalleled success through seven large editions, and was then presented to the public in a stereotype impression, with a number of corrections and improvements, and seventeen new copperplate engravings. Several editions from the stereotype having been sold, it is now issued in a larger form and type. And although the theory remains nearly the same, it is believed that the arrangement and general accuracy of this edition, will be found valuable improvements to those who seek a knowledge of short-hand through the book alone.
It is therefore earnestly recommended to the attention of parents, and particularly to teachers, who may, at a very trifling expense, acquire the theory from the book, and communicate it to their schools.
The learner should not be discouraged, though he be not able at once to record the entire language of a fluent 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 tyro in mathematics his elements of Euclid-let him persevere in practice, and he will soon attain the object of pursuit.
To turn this necessary practice to the best possible account, he should record in a common place book from day to day, such facts, and other items of information, as may be considered immediately interesting, or worthy of future perusal—his notes should be read while the subject is familiar, and by this course, the writing and reading of short-hand may in a few days be made easy, useful, and amusing, while the art cannot fail to become a potent labour and time-saving engine, not only for the actual accumulation and preservation of knowledge, but for the cultivation and expansion of the mind, and improvement of the memory. 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 gratification and instruction, thereby increasing our stock of knowledge; yet, if memory be left to languish in sickly inactivity, and thus gradually lose its energies and become enervated, for the want of proper exercise, the loss is greater than the gain.
The memory, then, while 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 consequently substitute writing for memory, but employs it as an assistant; and every person when committing words to paper for his future use and improvement, should endeavour to fix in memory, at least the leading features of the subject, depending on short-hand, for that only which memory cannot recall.
ma 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 comdi paring and analyzing the ideas which words may have the infused; for the memory should be rather the repository Eld
of ideas than of words, which are the mere vehicles of eive thought, and always at hand.
Although the following system is in itself complete,
so far as intended for correspondence and general use, the 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 abbrevia
tions, adapted to their own respective professions, the of following hints may be useful. lv The lawyer or judge may, with much propriety, ed even if wpiting short-hand, substitute in place of cer
tain words which 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, I. 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 chemistry, 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.
It is a source of no small gratification to the author of this work, that his labours have been extensively
patronized, that his system is now used in the Pulpit, at the Bar, and in the Legislative Hall, by many gentlemen who do honour to their respective professions that it is introduced into numerous Academies and Col. leges throughout the United States, and that its practice serves to enrich the common place book of thousands, who would not descend to the drudgery of writing by long hand in hours, what they now record in minutes.
Although the value of short-hand can never be duly appreciated, except by those who have acquired it, still they must be wilfully blind who do not discover its utility, as a labour and time-saving art; especially when the time necessary to its acquisition is reduced to a few hours, and the expense is brought within the ability of all. It is not, however, to be supposed, that every individual who acquires a knowledge of the theory, will be able to report the language of the most rapid speaker. Nor is there one in ten thousand, who will ever be called to the station of a Gurney, or å Gales; still, most persons may find it pleasant and convenient, to write two, three, or four times as fast as they are enabled to, by the common method. And such degrees of facility may be easly obtained, in the course of a few hours or days.
With these introductory remarks, this edition is submitted to the American public, By their humble servant,
MARCUS T. C. GOULD.
Philadelphia, Nov. 1831.
AN ADDITIONAL WORD TO THE READER.
In all the former editions of this work, to the number of more than a dozen, some three or four pages were appropriated to recommendations and encomiums, from those who had acquired this system, or were acquainted with its character—the ease with which the writing
may be acquired, and its practicability for the purposes i proposed. These testimonials, if ever necessary, are now no longer needed.
When this work first made its appearance, there were, perhaps, twenty other systems in use in the United States; but this has completely superseded all othersand though in the year 1820, the sale of every description did not exceed 100 copies a year, the sale of this single
work is now about 10,000 a year, and rapidly increasing. bi Instead, therefore, of printed certificates for the satisa faction of those who are in doubt, I respectfully refer bi them to the thousands who have attended my personal
instruction, in the several cities and colleges of the United States--to thousands who have acquired the art from the former editions of this work, and more particularly to a class of several hundred persons in different parts of the United States, who received from me, in the 1 year 1830, a series of periodical lectures upon stenogra
phy, and the best method of teaching and acquiring useful knowledge. These lectures were published in the first volume of the "AMERICAN REPERTORY of Arts, Sciences, and useful Literature.” The last mentioned work is still published by me, in monthly numbers, of 24 pages each, at $1 a year. The first volume, embraces not only all that is contained in this system, but 10 additional lectures, explaining more fully the art of stenography, and its peculiar adaptation to the acquirement of useful knowlege in general, by analysing, condensing, and arranging, whatever is worthy of preservation or future inspection; and adapting the whole to a general index table, upon a plan similar to that of Dr. Locke's common place book.
M. T. C. GOULD.