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    Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.

    I left off all the citations for this month's selection. Some of the Greek and Roman names would have presented an unnecessary challenge. These aphorisms still apply today; some we even still quote or paraphrase. I've also cleaned up some of the language to make it current. I truly doubt many people still have to write "thou" when taking dictation.

The Handbook of Standard or American Phonography, Andrew J. Graham, 1894, p. 371

The True Philosopher

          The character of the true philosopher is to help all things not impossible and to believe all things not unreasonable.  He who has seen obscurities which appeared impenetrable in physical and mathematics science, suddenly dispelled, and the most barren and unpromising fields of inquiry converted, as if by inspiration, into rich and inexhaustible springs of knowledge and power, on a simple change of one point of view or merely bringing to bear on them some principle which is never occurred before to try, will surely be the very last to acquiesce in any dispiriting prospects of either the present or future destinies of mankind; while, on the other hand, the boundless view of intellectual and moral, as well as material, relations which open on him on all hands in the course of these pursuits, the knowledge of the trivial place he occupies in the scale of creation and the sense of continually pressed upon him of his own weakness and incapacity to suspend or modify the slightest movement of the vast machinery he sees in action around him must effectually convince him that humility of pretention, no less than confidence of hope, is what best becomes his character—Sir John Herschel
The Handbook of Standard or American Phonography, Andrew J. Graham, 1894, p. 377-378

True Greatness

          Grandeur of character lies wholly in force of soul—that is, the force of thought, moral principle, and love—and this may be found in the humblest condition of life.  A man brought up to an obscure trade and hemmed in by the wants of growing family may in his narrow sphere perceive more clearly, discriminate more keenly, weigh evidence more wisely, seize on the right means more decisively, and have more presence of mind in difficulty, than another who has accumulated vast stores of knowledge by laborious study; and he has more of intellectual greatness.  It is force of thought which measures intellect, and so it is force of principle which measures moral, greatness—that highest of human endowments, that brightest manifestation of the Divinity.  The greatest man is he would chooses the right with invincible resolution, who resists the sorest temptation from within and without, who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully, who is calmest in storms, and most fearless under menace and frowns, whose reliance on truth, on virtue, on God is most unfaltering—Channing

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Instructions for Self-Dictation Practice:
    Copy and paste the above article into a word-processing document, using double or triple spacing and 12- or 14-pitch type.
    As always, be sure to check your shorthand dictionary for correct outlines before "drilling"!

Dictation Practice:
    Note that the material was counted and recorded for dictation at 100; all other speeds were copied from the 100 take and electronically adjusted and may therefore sound unusual.

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Gregg Shorthand Pitman Shorthand Speedwriting Shorthand