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S*e MIRROR A I Uubllihed Weekly | A Vol. XIX.—No. 18 * Shorthand and Hts > . Study- IT IS gratifying to note the interest 1 that is manifested in this subject, 8 for since the publication of a pre- H vious article on shorthand there 1 have come to me u great many requests r for more information. This being so, r it is a genuine pleasure to assist those who are inclined to make the most out c jof a very unfortunate situation, and £ whose ambitions do not end with their present capabilities. 1 There have been some “Doubting £ Thomases” with reference to the earn- ( ing capacities of first-class stenogra- 1 phers and reporters. If, in stating that 1 the salaries of first-class men reach the < almost unbelievable sum of thirty ) thousand dollars per year, I have mis- i stated the facts, the error has been on i the right side. 1 do not in the least I doubt that there are reporters earning * twice that sum. 1 think too that there is much reason for such belief. A case not a month old will serve as a fair and average example. The school-teachers of Brooklyn, i have combined in engaging counsel in New York to present to - the city their claims for back pay amounting to nearly $2,500,000.00. In the event of success the attorney will receive a fee of $400,000.00. The preparation of these claims, numbering 3,418 separate ac tions, has consumed a month of time aud makes two printed volumes of 3,414 pages, weighing twenty-one pounds. The first suit has been tried with the decision in favor of the teachers. Now, th? law of New York—as well as nearly all states —defines very clear ly what shall be a reporter’s charges for transcripts, attendance, mileage fees, etc. Beporters in courts that have no regular paid reporter, are paid a certain amount per diem for attend ance and a stated amount for each folio (100 words) taken down and tran scribed, with an additional allowance for extra copies of the record. As every figure, punctuation mark or other character is counted as one word, it will readily be seen that a typewrit ten sheet, legal size, contains more words than one would imagine or ex pect. A page averages about two hun dred words. In actual court reporting, however, the pages are never averaged. Each word is counted, every hun dredth word being underscored and the number put in the margin. The laws further prescribe that the reporter may collect his charges on delivery of the trauscript, the same being considered a lien upon the work. This w r as made to prevent shyster lawyers from secur ing valuable documents without payment therefor. The stenographer’s bill for the transcribing of the claims in the case of the Brooklyn school teachers would be about as follows: 30 days attendance @ 10 00 $ 300.00 3414 pages, transcript “ .50 1707 00 2 extra copies, per page “ .05 341.40 Notarial fee,3418 cases “ .25 854.50 Total $3202.90 Cost of paper, etc., $ 50.00 “ “ extra help 200.00 250.00 Net cost of transcripts - - $2952.90 This represents the earnings of the reporter and I believe will not vary S2OO one way or the other. Multiplied by twelve gives an annual income of $35,434.80. This is neither an excep tional case nor are the facts overdrawn. The figures show just what the law says shall be paid and what the re porter demands. The stenographer’s bill for reporting the proceedings of the Modern Wood men convention, held at Milwaukee last season, would put him on “easy street” for quite a while, provided he kept away from his enemies—whisky, gambling and bad company. Intricate, long-drawn-out lawsuits are gold-mines to the reporter, and yield a handsome income. Goverri- STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1905. ment positions are the poorest paid of all, even in the large international affairs where the “honor” of nations is at stake and where absolute accu racy and trustworthiness are the vital requirements. The study of shorthand requires first and foremost diligence aud step-by step thoroughness. This spells success. Without an impelling desire and de termination to overcome all obstacles and to master each detail to the point of perfection, one might just as well never begin. Don’t trust to luck, thinking that you will review this or that “knotty” problem later on, for you never will. Do it now. The chances are that later on you will run up against a problem requiring intelli gence on the very one you slighted, and in despair you throw aside your book with “Oh, I’ll never learn that.” And you’re right. You will not; not by that method. The beginner should provide him self with“ Benn Pitman’s Phonographic Manual” which can be purchased for a dollar from the Phonographic In-* stitute Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. The “Phonographic Amanuensis,” ($1.00) by the same publishers, teaches the same system in a different way. For self-mastery the former is to be recommended. The two should not be used, as there will be much confusion and consequent hardship which is un necessary and without profit to the student. Supply yourself with paper, preferably ruled, pen and ink. Never use a pencil. At least not until you are a full-fledged stenographer, and then never use anything but a good pencil. The reason for this is made apparent in the mauual of instruc tions. Study each page and paragraph of the manual thoroughly, slighting not a word or mark. It must ever be borne in mind that phonography is a system of sound-writing; that words are written as they sound , irrespective of spelling. Take for example the word “alphabet.” This would be written in shorthand “alfabet” for the reason that this is the sound of the word. Again, take the word “tax.” In shorthand characters the representation would be “take,’’for this is the true sound. It may be nec essary to state that shorthand has no equivalent for the letters “x” and “c”. The “x” is represented by its sound “ks” and “c” by either “k” or “s” ac cording to its sound. In the manual above mentioned the student is first given the consonants of the alphabet which are to be mastered. These are divided into classes called “explodents,” “fricatives,” “liquids,” “nasals,” “coales cents” and “aspirates” for reasons stated clearly in the manual. The next step, and a very important one, is the joining of the various strokes into the great number of combinations. There are rules why certain signs or strokes should always be joined a certain way, and more rules why other strokes should never be joined in other ways, and all are important. In fact, every step should be considered as the most important, for in reality, they are all equally important. There is an inter dependency that exists in no other study I know of. Every detail is a keystone, the leaving out of which pre cipitates the whole structure into a meaningless rum. The vowel signs for a, e, i, o, u and y are perhaps the most difficult of all for the beginner. Thoroughly mastered and properly un- derstood, however, they form little hinderance later on as they are by de grees discovered as the student ad vances until finally they are omitted altogether. From the very beginning the student should master every detail, continually asking himself why this stroke is made so and the other one so and then find his answer by close observation and “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO WEND.” by an intelligent reading of the text. Finally, don’t refer to the lessons further on in the book and endeavor to “study out” the outlines given. It serves no good purpose and only leads j to confusion. No man ever became a doctor by cutting the liver out of a corpseduringhis first day at school; no man ever became an engineer by get ting into the cab of “The Limited” the same day his name went on the company’s payroll. The doctor had to submit to a long, uninteresting study of physiology, chemistry and what-not before he was allowed to wield the scalpel, and the engineer spent many a cold and stormy night on a jerky way freight before he was allowed to touch the throttle. The stenographer likewise must not expect to “take down” speeches in a few weeks or months. The chance will come all too soon. If uninteresting at times, which it will be, let it be remembered that the greatest efforts will be crowned by the greatest gains. As in all things in life, the things worth having are worth striving for, aud because some things are bard, because some lessons are uninteresting and because some tasks, difficult even to the point of severity, makes their mastery all the more glorious, and when mastered give one that sweet satisfaction of knowing that the effort was worth the achievement many times over. E. W. M. Perkins’ Agricultural College. PERKINS was down, but he j I wasn’t out. His friend and, partner, Blackler, was in a very s despondent mood, for the 1 future did not seem to hold out any alluring promises, as it had in the ' past. True, the promises had not been fulfilled, but they had served to keep * hope from being entirely extinguished. < Perkins felt pretty blue himself, but < he had great faith in his own genius, 1 and his star of hope was still in the ' ascendant. Their latest entei prise had just proven a failure, and the excheq uer was perilously low. In a month it 1 would be cleaned out, provided it was 1 not replenished in some manner which had yet to be devised. So they sat brooding on the balcony of their hotel, 1 consuming many cigarettes and say ing little. Suddenly Perkins spoke. “Say, Blackler, what did you tell me once about a farm up in Canada?” “Why, an old uncle of mine has one, somewhere up there, and he told me 1 could have it if I’d work it. But 1 haven’t come down to farming yet, altho l may have to before long.” “Well, old man, that’s what we’re going to do now.” “What, you? I think I see you wear ing blue jeans and hobnails, and hand ling a pitchfork. You don’t mean it?” “Don’t 1 tho? I’ll show you. Let’s go to the room, and-I’ll outline my scheme.” They rose, and passed through the hall, finally entering a small room, that served them for bedroom, dressing room and parlor. Here Perkins talked and wrote rapidly, and when he was through Blackler exclaimed admiringly: “By thunder! 1 believe you are right. Perkins you’re a wonder!” “Not at all, old man; not at all. Necessity is the mother of invention. Now we’ll pack up and hike for Canada.” Two days later saw them installed in an inexpensive hotel in Winnipeg, which was to be their headquarters for ! the present. Two weeks later the fol lowing advertisement appeared in sev . eraL leading English weeklies: i “Young men, who wish to learn . practical farming, on a large scale. We have room for eight or ten men, on ‘ our extensive farm and ranch in Mani -1 toba, and will instruct them in all branches of farming and stock raising. . Two years tuition by experienced men, ' for a fee of five hundred pounds. r Write immediately to > Perkins & Blackler, l Winnipeg, Manitoba. I Their finances feere in a serious con dition. They waited and waited, and began to fear that their grand scheme was about to prove a failure. The landlord of the hotel had agreed to chalk up their bill for a week, but he was beginning to show a very fatherly interest in them, which was rather significant. In the meantime, however, they had succeeded in securing the services of a practical farmer, and he was even now engaged putting the farm in shape. Blackler’s good old uncle was so pleased that his nephew had decided to settle down to a life of honest toil, that he shipped a couple of carloads of horses and cattle to the farm, just as a matter of encourage ment. Of course he knew nothing of his nephew’s intended methods. Perkins had almost made up his mind, that they would have to take French leave of their friend, the hotel keeper, and depart for more healthy climes, when he received a letter with an English post mark. His heart stood | still, but without any waste of time he opened it, and read: “Perkins & Blackler, i Dear Sirs:—l saw your advertis | ment in the Times, and as it impressed me favorably, I am sending my son i William out to Canada, in the hopes that you can help him to start in life. He will probably reach you as soon as , this letter, and will pay you your tui- I tion fee on arrival. Hoping you will ! report to me my son’s progress, I am Yours truly, John Smith.” Perkins read the letter in the hotel office. When he finished, he rushed up stairs to the room where Blackler was sitting, and with a whoop, like a wild Indian, handed him the letter, and. proceeded to dance around the room. “It’s come, old boy; ’tis come,” he shouted. “And there will be more to follow, you’ll see.” Blackler was delighted. “What will we do now?” he added. “Do? We’ll just wait till William arrives and hands over that five hun dred pounds—twenty-five hundred dollars old man—and then I’ll gently lead him out to the farm and put him to work.” “And what will Ido?” “You will remain here, in my ab sence, and send any 1 esh arrivals out to me. There will be lots of them.” “But we will have to limit it. The farm won’t provide work for more than fifteen or twenty.” “We’ll take everyone that comes and puts up his dough, Blackler, old boy. For, if I’m net mistakeu, they will not stay long, when they see the work they have to do. And if they leave, they forfeit their fees. Their work on the farm will pay for their board, and we can make enough in a couple of years to retire, and do nothing but clip cou pons.” j “All right, old man; just as you say.” The scheme was working famously. After the first man had been started in his studies, Perkins had his hands full receiving new arrivals. The bank account in Winnipeg was growing beautifully. The farm prospered un der the capable management of Wal ters, the overseer. For a time it looked as if Perkins had found a veritable gold mine. He and Blackler were talking of a trip to Europe, to spend some of their hard-earned wealth. And then the blow fell. One evening, when Perkins was in Winnipeg, about twenty young En glishmen, students in his Agricultural College, met out in the open behind the barn. W alters was in the house and would not disturb them. One husky son of John Bull stood on a barrel, and addressed the others. “Fellows,” he said, “I have an idea that we are being made game of out here. I came out here to learn farm ing, and 1 paid five hundred pounds as a fee. But I didn’t come out here to make a slave of myself and pay for the privilege of doing it. This man Per kins and his partner Black ler never do a hand’s turn. They take our money, and do nothing for it. The men who work on other farms hereabouts, are paid to do it, whether they are experts or not. Now lam not going to stand for it, and I think we should get our Tcoue.j $1 .ooper year, In advance i a , x nl onths6o centg tuition fee back, or else be paid wages. What do you fellows say?” A general discussion ensued, and when the meeting broke up a little later they wore a look of determina tion, which boded ill for Perkins. He came back to the farm next day, and, at dinner hour he was approached by the spokesman of the previous evening. “Mr. Perkins, we would like a few moment’s conversation with you.” “Certainly. is it about?” “We have come to the conclusion that your little plan to enrich yourself, through us, will not work.” “What do you mean ?” “You know perfectly well what we mean. You calculated to receive our money and labor free, in return for an imaginary tuition, in the science of farming. We did not see through it at first, but we do now. We want our money back.” “Well, you have your nerve,” blus tered Perkins. “You’ll get no money out of me. You came here to learn farming, and you can’t learn it better than by doing it. You can either work or get out, but don’t talk about money back. That’s not ” “Mr. Perkins, we are going to have our money back,” said the Englishman calmly. “We want to get it peaceably, but we are going to get it.” There was something in the English man’s tone which sent a chill down | Perkins’ back. It seemed a very de cided tone. He blustered some more, but the Englishman interrupted and called his fellows over to him. They surrounded Perkins and he felt very uncomfortable. “Mr. Perkins,” went on the spokes man, “you will kindly write to your partner in Winnipeg, instructing him to draw all the money out of the bank, and bring it here.” “I’ll do nothing of the sort.” “You’ll do just that or take the con sequences of your refusal. We mean business.” Perkins saw that it was useless to argue. He was in the power of these men, and saw no way out of it. He tried to compromise, but it was no use. It ended in his doing as they requested. When affairs were settled up, and the farm abandoned, as it had to be, the firm of Perkins & Blackler found itself stranded in Winnipeg, with only a few weeks’ board money in the treas ury. Their next venture will be related at some future date. A. D. Anac. ShoWs Folly of Worry. Never climb a hill until you get to it, advises a writer in Medical Talk for the Home. We remember as chil dren that in riding through the coun try we had a dread of high bills. How often we saw far ahead of us, on the road, a formidable looking hill. How high and rough and steep it looked, and how we feared it. How hard it would be for the horse to carry us up such a hill. We were sure he would slip and fall and maybe upset the car riage and so, with the greatest appre hension, we would approach the dreadful hill. But how surprised we were as we came nearer to find the hill receding, growing flatter, and real ly no hill at all when we reached the point that seemed so high and craggy and dangerous. So it is with many of life’s preplexi ties. How darkly they loom up before us, what a black pall they spread around us. But when we get close up to them they have vanished entirely. We spoil so much of life in fear and foreboding. We let slip the beautiful moments that are ours and spoil them by dreading the moments of the future with which we have nothing to do. We ride over the nice, level country, forgetting its beauty, unmindful of delight, dreading the hill that never comeß.—Ex. No matter how worthless a man may be, his wife thinks he will develop into a genius sooner or later.—Ex.