Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/28

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This is a subject that has seldom if ever been referred to, much less treated and discussed in Works on Education or in Manuals of Handwriting.

The idea itself is only in its infancy and with one exception has been confined to medical essays and excerpts. Nevertheless wonderful progress has been made during the past two or three years; and as medical men and teachers are the sole authorities on this subject, it will be sufficient to confine the arguments within the limits of their united evidence.

On the general question a paper was read by the author of these pages at the Seventh International Congress of Hygiene and Demography, London, August 1891, followed by a resolution, the substance and text of which are reproduced here as fairly covering the ground to be explored. On the particular aspects of the question as relating to Spinal Curvature and Shortsight a report by a Commission of Specialists was presented to the Imperial and Royal Supreme Council of Health Vienna February 1891. The substance of this Report will afford abundant proof of the relation of writing to health and will conclusively demonstrate the positions taken up.

Writing is almost as important as speaking, there being no occupation or rank in life into which as a potent factor and as an energising influence writing does not enter. In the diary of the private individual, the correspondence of everyday life, the records of business transactions, the literature of the author, the briefs of the barrister or the manuscripts of the Theologian and Ecclesiastic writing is equally essential and universal. Not only is it thus all