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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 don't know about you, but I always felt the Victorians pontificated. They pushed their views of the world on anyone available. This piece, to my thinking, does exactly that. I'm not saying I disagree with what is being said, however.

    Learning, especially self-learning, was a hot topic of the day. But, quite honestly, isn't most learning self-learning? Enjoy!

The Handbook of Standard of American Phonography, Andrew J. Graham, 1894, p. 371-373


          Self-culture includes the education or training of all parts of a man’s nature, the physical and the moral, as well as the intellectual.  Each must be developed, and yet each must yield something to satisfy the claims of the others.  Cultivate the physical powers exclusively, and you have an athlete or a savage; the moral only, and you have an enthusiast or a maniac; the intellectual only, and you have a diseased oddity, it may be a monster.  It is only by wisely training all three together that the complete man can be formed.
          The ancients laid great stress on physical training but a sound mind in a sound body was the end which they professed to aim at in their highest schools of culture.  The Greek teachers were peripatetic, holding that young men should only learn what they could learn standing.
          But while it is necessary, in the first place, to secure this solid foundation of physical health, it must also be observed that sustained application is the inevitable price which must be paid for mental acquisition of all sorts; and it is as futile to expect them without it, as to look for a harvest where the seed has not been sown.  The road to knowledge is free to all who will give the labor and the study requisite to gather it; nor are there any difficulties so great that the student of resolute purpose may not effectually surmount and overcome them.  It was one of the characteristic expressions of  Chatterton, that God had sent his creatures into the world with arms long enough to reach anything if they chose to be at the trouble.  In study, as in business, energy is the great thing. . . .

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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.

60 wpm 80 wpm 100 wpm 120 wpm 140 wpm

The dictation material above is copyrighted, all rights reserved.

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Gregg Shorthand Pitman Shorthand Speedwriting Shorthand