Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/14

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manship for sloping writing; the universal adoption of Headline Copy Books; the position of the Copy Book with reference to the writer:–these and other topics of a like nature have received lengthy treatment, as on the decision in each case serious issues depend. The first object has been to find out “What the writing is” we ought to teach and the second how it ought to be written and taught. It is a very common delusion that “Anybody can write” and the notion is most prevalent amongst Secondary School teachers many of whom give the subject hardly a place in their Routine or Curriculum. It is an equally deplorable fact that hardly anybody does write either as he might or as he should, and yet the efficient and successful teaching of writing in a school is frequently the most potent factor in its success. With parents (who constitute the public so far as schools are concerned) beautifully written Copy books and carefully written Home Exercises are not only evidence of satisfactory progress but they are regarded as an index to the discipline of the school, the thoroughness of the teaching, the neatness and precision of the general work and to the Education imparted. Very few teachers appear to apprehend or rightly value both the extern and intern influence which writing exerts on a School. Its virtue is immense. Good writing in the classes cultivates the eye, hand, and judgment, promotes habits of accuracy, observation, neatness and good taste, conduces to good order discipline and method, and by contagion infuses a salutary stimulus into every other branch of study taken up. Some one has said that it is better to lose a delusion than to find a truth, therefore if the following pages help to enlighten teachers on these matters, assist them to lose a delusion, and to convince them that the Science and Art of Writing cannot safely be ignored or neglected any longer the hopes of the writer will in a great measure be realised.

The author’s thanks are specially due, and are herewith cordially tendered, to Dr. Emmanuel Bayr, Dr. Paul Schubert, and Mr. Noble Smith, F. R. C. S. Ed., L. R. C. P. Lond., &c., for their unvarying courtesy, and for their kindness in placing both works and services so generously at his disposal. Contributions from many other friends, both in England and on the Continent, are also gratefully acknowledged.

Revised for the United States. New York, May, 1894.