« PreviousContinue »
has endeavoured to make the Elements of this Art as plain and intelligible as possible, without enhancing the Price of the Book, or swelling it to an undue Compass. Though the Accommodation of his own Pupils was, in the first instance, the principal Inducement of the EdiTor to the present Undertaking, an additional Motive, however, was, to present to the Public, at a moderate Expence, a faithful and complete Analysis of a valuable Work, originally published by Subscription, at One Gninea a Copy, which has been long out of Print, and is now become extremely scarce.
The following Lines, by the Rev. Henry Jackson, English Master of the Free Grammar-School, in Manchester, were addressed to Messrs. Harrop and Bottomley, the Printer and Engraver of Mr. Byrom's Short-Hand, the First Edition of which was published, at Manchester, in the Year 1767.
Ingenious Artists of Mancunium's* Town,
And while he wears alone his well-won Bays,
* The Ancient Name of Manchester,
There is,' at this Time, a curious MS., in Chetham's Library, at the College, Manchester, written by the Author of the preceding Lines, and presented to that Institution by Mr. James Harrop, being the Book of Common Prayer, with the Psalter, or Psalms of David, neatly and uniformmly written after the Manner of Byrom's Short-hand.
Mr. Byrom's System of Short-hand is extremely simple, regular, and easy to be earnt; but there are few Treatises, on any Art or Science, perhaps, which are fully competent to furnish Learners with such ample Instructions as entirely to supersede the Help which may be derived from a living Instructor. Indeed, if every Particular were minutely detailed, and fully explained, so as to be level to the meanest Capacity, there is Reason to apprehend, that its Length would be tedious, and its Minuteness intolerable to those of greater Skill and Sagacity. In short, a Master will certainly be useful to the generality of Learners, and the Example of an experienced Penman, too, is often more efficacious, and affords greater Encouragement to the Pupil, than the most complete System of Precepts could possibly do, without that Advantage. From the present Publication, therefore, aided by the Stenographical Copy-book,* and the occasional
* Containing a complete Course of practical and in. structive Lessons, with Select Specimens, for the Use of young Stenographers. The Plates, which are numerous, are neatly and well executed, and the whole is admirably calculated,
Assistance of a judicious Instructor, any Person, of a tolerable Capacity, may, in a very short Time, acquire a competent Knowledge of the Art, so as to be able to write it readily for his own private Business, and with constant and persevering Practice, he may attain to that Degree of Perfection which will enable him to keep Pace with an extempore Speaker, either in the Senate, the Pulpit, or at the Bar.
With respect to the Second Part of this Treatise, upon Short-hand Abbreviations, the Editor takes the liberty of recommending, both to Teachers and Learners, not to attempt any of the Rules of Abbreviation till they are well acquainted with the Method laid down in the First Part, and can both read and write the System with nearly the same Ease as common Long-hand. Abbreviations will then he easy to them; but if they are encountered before the former Part is become familiar to the Writer, they will probably appear both difficult and perplexing; whereas they are not really so, in their own Nature, but, on the contrary,
by an easy and infallible Method of Instruction, to assist the Learner in acquiring a correct, uniform, and beautiful Style of writing Mr. Byrom’s elegant System of Stenography.The Superiority of Mr. Byrom’s Method over every other that has been laid before the Public is very apparent, from its general Adoption by Persons who have examined and practised various other Systems; and the recent Improve. ments, introduced by the Editor of the present Publication, have tended very much to recommend it to professional and scientific Men.
when sparingly and judiciously introduced, they give very little Trouble, and produce no Embarrassment to the more experienced Practitioner.
THE following TESTIMONIES in Favour of Mr. Byrom's System, will shew in what high Estimation it was formerly held by a discerning Public; and, at the same Time, may possibly induce many young Persons, of both Sexes, to give that Attention to the Subject, which its acknowledged Merit and Utility certainly deserve.
Amongst the first Promoters and Recommenders of Mr. Byrom's New Method of Short-Hand, there were several Persons of Eminence and Distinction in the literary World; particularly The Right Honourable, the Earl of Morton, President of the Royal Society, (to whom, and the rest of the Fellows of that Society, the original Publication was inscribed ;) The Lord Chancellor Pratt; His Grace the Duke of Queensberry; the Rev. Dr. Smith, Professor of Astro. nomy, and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; Dr. Taylor, Chancellor of Lincoln ; the Rev. Charles Wesley; Isaac Hawkins Browne, Esq.; JOHN HAUGHTON, of Baguley, Esq.; the Rev. John Clayton, one of the Fellows of the Collegiate Church, Manchester; and many other Persons of equal Eminence and Celebrity in the literary World. These Gentlemen have very justly observed, that, were the Public so far acquainted with the Usefulness of this Art, that it should be commonly received in their Intercourse with each other, taught early to Youth, and afterwards practised by them, when they came to be Men of Letters or Business, the Dispatch arising from it, with every other Advantage, would progressively increase, in Proportion to its more general Reception. Dr. Taylor, the Chancellor of Lincoln, as men. tioned above, was one of the earliest Patrons of the original Work; he was, besides, a perfect Master of Mr. Byrom's System, which he looked upon as barely short of Perfection. He not only practised it himself, but taught it with Pleasure to as many of his Friends as were desirous of learning it.
Dr. Mavor, in the Introduction to his own System of Stenography, alluding to Mr. Byrom's Work, observes, Without critically examining the executive Part, of his Performance, it must be owned, that it is above the Reach of human Ingenuity to exceed his general Plan; which [he adds] must for ever be the Basis of every future rational System of Short-hand.
Of all the Treatises of Short-hand we have seen, (says the Rev. S. Greatheed, whó, at that time, wrote for the Eclectic Review,) that of Byrom is the only One which is founded upon grammatical and philosophical Data, and properly adapted to the Genius of the English Language. It is, therefore, attainable with the greatest Ease, and is capable of being contracted to the utmost Brevity ; it may be written with the greatest Clearness, Beauty, and Facility, and may be read, after any Distance of Time, without Error or Hesitation.
The Utility of this Art, in qualifying Persons for writing after a Speaker, is equally obvious and important, more particularly in judicial Transactions. It is also of great Use for Rapidity in Composition, and Facility in epistolary Communications; it likewise answers, on many Occasions, the Purpose of Secrecy, in private Memoranda ; an Advantage, however, which is now daily diminishing, and must cease altogether, whenever the Practice, of any one System of Short-hand is universally adopted by the Public at large.
It may not be amiss to add, that Mr. Byrom's System of Short-hand has lately received the Sanction of Mr. Nicholson, the learned and ingenious Editor of the British Encyclopædia, having been introduced into that Work, under the article Stenography; and it is this System, also, which, in Preference to all others, has been selected for Publication in Dr. Rees’s New Cyclopædia, or Uuniversal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences,