Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/27

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subjects that their pupils should be taught. Perhaps they will alter their minds now that, on the authority of Mr. Tritton, they learn that young fellows otherwise eligible often lose situations because of their wretched penmanship.”

Other City merchants gave similar evidence and state that very often they have to throw nineteen out of every twenty applications into the waste paper basket.

But Great Britain is not alone in this sad dilemma. The “Detroit Free Press” declared a short time ago that not one person in a hundred wrote a legible signature and the same authority informed its readers that Prince Bismark was so impressed with the necessity for a reform that he fulminated an order that all persons should write their names legibly. The demand for a sweeping reformation in regard to our handwriting can no longer be disregarded. Of course the cry has ever been “What is the cause of this deterioration”? “Where is the root of the malady”? This question will occupy our attention in a subsequent chapter. Meanwhile our ears are assailed on every side with the one trumpet-call coming alike from every class and department of the community “Give us Good Writers for we cannot get them, and cannot do without them.”

It may be accepted then as a demonstrated fact that the writing of the age is unsatisfactory, illegible and essentially bad.

That there is abundant need for reform amongst our teachers as to the teaching of writing no one can deny. I would refer the reader to Appendix I. (fig. 61), page 141. The three books there illustrated are typical of hundreds of cases where children in the school are allowed to write page after page and Book after Book of such pitiful scrawl without a solitary mark of direction, correction or disapproval. Can such teachers have the slightest apprehension or conception of what writing really is or ought to be? Did they ever see the writing at all or look at a single line of the work from the first page to the last?

In charity we must answer for them in the negative.