Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/136

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appears to have arisen from quite a foreign source although it resulted in an identical issue. Spinal Curvature and Short Sight had become so general amongst School-children and were increasing to such an alarming extent, that a special enquiry into the cause of such prevalence by medical men was considered imperative. In the course of this important enquiry many valuable discoveries and suggestions were made, and as previously intimated these researches culminated in the astonishing revelation that, first, Slanting Writing was the undoubted cause of such seriously impaired functions and health, and, second, that Vertical Writing was the only remedy that could be prescribed. The wording of their decision and prescription has already been given, it could not be in more positive and unqualified terms (see page 15).

These concurrent agitations dated from about the year 1870 to the year 1887 when the two forces combined (each being complementary to the other) and now the united powers are concentrating their energies on the same enterprise, and towards the one object of Establishing the Writing of Our Country on a Sound Hygienic, Educational, and Caligraphic basis viz. on the principles of Upright Penmanship.

But stranger still, whilst all this was proceeding in Great Britain an exactly identical and dual movement was being prosecuted in several centres on the Continent with precisely similar features, the Medical taking the lead or predominating over the Educational as it has done at home.

Teachers in Switzerland, Wurtemburg, Austria, Germany and Denmark, as well as in England, strongly resented this imaginary encroachment upon their rights; and that they therefore denounced the finding of the Doctors as an infringement of their prerogative goes without saying. “Was it to be thought or even dreamed of that teachers did not know what they were about? that the entire profession had been teaching an absolutely pernicious style or System of Writing for all these years and generations? Perish the thought! Doctors were–well, to put it mildly–mistaken, and knew nothing about Educational matters at all!”

Unfortunately a lamentably large number of teachers, both at