Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889

Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889

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TheArt of Penmanship

How to Become a Handsome Writer.  

The subject of the importance of good writing is as broad as its use. Reaching out in every direction, and pervading every corner of civilized society, from the humblest up to the highest employments, it is a servant of man, second only in importance to that of speech itself. In the world of business its value is seen, from the simplest record or memorandum, up to the parchment which conveys a kingdom. Without it, the wheels of commerce could not move a single hour. At night it has recorded the transactions of the Bank of England during the day; of London; of the whole world.

Through the art of writing, the deeds of men live after them, and we may surround ourselves with the companionship of philosophers, scientists, historians, discoverers and poets; and their discoveries, and reasonings and imaginings become ours. In the amenities of social life, through the medium of the pen, heart speaks to heart, though ocean rolls between. Thoughts of tenderness and affection live when we are gone, and words and deeds of kindness are not preserved by monuments alone. What fountains of grief or joy have been opened in the hearts of those who have read the records of the pen! The pen has recorded the rapturous emotions of love reciprocated. The pen has written the message of sadness which has covered life's pilgrimage with gloom. The pen has traced the record of noble and useful lives, spent in humanity's cause. The songs of the poet, the beautiful tints of his imagination, the flights of the orator in the realms of fancy, and the facts of history, would all perish as the dew of morning, without this noble art of writing.

As a means of livelihood, there is perhaps no other department of education which affords such universal and profitable employment, as writing. From the mere copyist, up to the practical accountant, and onward into that department of penmanship designated as a fine art, the remuneration is always very ample, considering the time and effort required in its acquisition.

Teachers, editors, farmers, doctors and all persons should possess a practical and substantial knowledge of writing, and should be ready with the pen. Business men must of course be ready writers, and hence, in a treatise on business, designed for the education and advancement of the youth of the country, it seems eminently fitting to first make the way clear to a plain, practical handwriting. Neatness and accuracy should characterize the handwriting of every one. Botch-work and bungling are inexcusable, as well in writing as in the transaction of business. No person has a right to cause a tinge of shame to their correspondent, by sending a letter addressed in a stupid and awkward manner, nor to consume the time of another in deciphering the illegible hooks and scrawls of a message. Every one should have the ambition to write respectably as well as to appear respectable on any occasion.

MATERIALS USED IN WRITING.

Having a suitable desk or table, arranged with reference to light, in order to learn to write, it is necessary to be provided with proper materials....