Page:Theory and Practice of Handwriting.djvu/33

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manship reference may be made to some of the statements of Medical Men in regard to its claims. The opinions are dogmatic and incontestable.

"Vertical Writing is the only system consistent with all Hygienic principles."

"It is impossible for writers to avoid twisting the Spine unless they adopt an upright style of caligraphy."

"The absolute superiority of this method of writing over other methods must be recognised."

"Upright Writing is very much to be preferred to oblique Writing."

Now what is the posture necessary to the Vertical Writing? In one word it is the natural position, indeed it is the posture that a pupil will instinctively assume in the effort to write vertically. Granted that the book lies evenly on the desk in the straight middle position (as described further on) and that the Scholar has been duly instructed how to hold his pen, the writer's position is actually dictated by the style of writing adopted, and he sits square before his desk both arms evenly placed thereon, the whole posture being the simplest and easiest that could be prescribed for the work to be done. The eyes look straight down upon the page, the hand wrist and arm are in the best condition and relation for a running handwriting, the body is not distressed by artificial posing, the spine rests in a normal condition, the chest remains free from all external pressure, and the writing is thus produced with the least expenditure of energy and therefore with the minimum amount of weariness.

By referring to the diagrams (figs. 7 & 8) it will be observed that instead of the oblique or side position we have the square or front posture; instead of the head all awry we have a straight pose securing an identity or parallelism of the facial and chest planes with the edge of the desk; instead of the elbows close in to the side we have them both unrestricted and free; instead of the oblique and hence delusive view of the book we secure an even and perfect command of the page; and in place of the awkward