Copyright
Thomas Allen Reed.

Leaves from the note-book of Thomas Allen Reed (Volume 1) online

. (page 3 of 10)
Online LibraryThomas Allen ReedLeaves from the note-book of Thomas Allen Reed (Volume 1) → online text (page 3 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


cese, Bishop Stanley, whose wide toleration and generous sympathy with
every good work were no less conspicuous than were the same qualities in
his son, the late Dean ofWestminster. The more punctilious members of
the Church were often scandalized by his frank and cordial co-operation
with dissenters, and the hospitality he extended to persons outside the
walls of the Establishment. His reception at his residence of Father
Matthew, the early apostle of temperance and a Roman Catholic, (an
event that occurred a year or two before the time of which I speak,) gave
great offence to many of the clergy of the diocese ; and when a few years
afterwards he had the courage to receive as an honored guest at the Palace
Jenny Lind, the " Swedish Nightingale," then in the height of her popu-
larity as a vocalist, he braved a storm of opposition, not to say of indigna-
tion, on the part of those who could see nothing but incongruity and
mischief from the friendly relations subsisting between the Bishop and the
Singer. I have often seen them walking the streets together like father
and daughter. Indeed, I have reason to know that he regarded her with



46



Leaves from tlie Note-Book of T. A. Reed.




\



7 ) T



something like paternal affection ; and in speaking of herto a near relative
of my own he once described her as " an angel." Another instance that
came- under my own observation of the wideness of his S5'mpathies was his
frequent co-operation in benevolent and religious efforts with the well-
known Quaker banker, Joseph John Gurney. I once saw them visiting in
company a school connected with a Baptist or an Independent Chapel,
and taking an evident and deep interest in the work carried on within those
schismatic walls. When the good Quaker died the Bishop again shocked
the proprieties of many worthy members of the Establishment by actually
preaching his funeral sermon in the Cathedral. I did not hear the sermon
delivered, but I reported it. This is no paradox to the "craft," who will
at once understand that I borrowed the 15ishop's manuscript. I have often
heard and reported the utterances of the late 1 )ean Stanley, and have been
delighted to see how thoroughly the spirit of the father has been reflected
in the son.

My heaviest piece of reporting in Norwich was, I think, in connection



Early Recollections.



47




with a. cause celebre, namely, the trial of the notorious murderer Rush, in
1849. This was a year or so after I had left Norwich and settled in Lon-
don. I was specially engaged to report the trial for my old paper, and I
have a very distinct recollection of its chief incidents. The trial lasted
six days. It was presided over by Mr Baron Rolfe, afterwards Lord
Cranworth. Sergeant Hyles, afterwards Mr Justice Byles, prosecuted ;
and the prisoner defended himself. The excitement attendant on the trial
was intense, and applications were received from the principal newspapers
throughout the kingdom for accommodation for their representatives.
The number of reporters present was very large, and a portion of the dock
was partitioned oft for their use, in addition to other parts of the Court.
Kvery available spot was occupied. The trial began at eight o'clock in
the morning, and the reporters were required to be in their seats at seven.
My own seat was next to the prisoner in the dock, so that I had abundant
opportunity of watching him it I had so desired. He was in a very excited
state on entering the Court on the first day of the trial. This, however, soon
passed off, and he manifested comparatively little feeling throughout the



Leaves from the Note-Book of T. A. Reed.

VD



S~ V . ..}_. ^^\ x . ^

c I u>

I "-" v/ 3 kv ~\

U xv ^- N Vx -T> A



_S=5

(;




c^Q !



. y /

L Vs* x

'^ \j, u, ^x ; -

^t ^ ^r "t ,_T /V . -Vo ^

^ > ^ ^ ...)_ v_ y- - ^ J-^ >< s
i>Xv^- ^^^>-t\



V



^



\



5



remainder of the proceedings. The most extraordinary precautions were
taken to prevent any violence on the part of the prisoner to himself or
others. The spikes round the dock were covered with wood, lest he might
throw himself upon them : and at the close of the first day, the governor
of the prison, who was intensely anxious as to his charge, asked me not to
place my pen-knife in front of me on the desk (as I had done), since it was
there within the prisoner's reach. " You must remember," he said to me,
" we have not a man to deal with, but a fiend."

Rush, as I have said, defended himself. He cross-examined the wit-
nesses at great length, especially Emily Sandford, who had occasionally
to leave the witness box to give nourishment to the child against whose
father she was giving her testimony. Her distress was obvious to everyone
in Court, and her whole demeanor was most befitting the position in which
she stood.

The trial was full of incident, and will not be easily forgotten by any-
one who was present. The appearance in Court of the witness Eliza Chest-
ney, stretched on a couch, pale and weak, from the effects of the pistol-



Early Recollections. 49

. % v^y > > X ^ "V l

"^ *^. > t -r '*-*?-+'



I




shot, was of itself peculiarly impressive. Asked who was the masked
person who fired the shot which killed Mr Jermy^and his son, she pointed
her lean white finger to the prisoner, and said in a low, but firm tone,
" That is the man ! " The effect was electrical ; and many felt that Rush's
fate was scaled from that moment. His defence, of himself to the jury,
which occupied many hours, was most rambling and incoherent, and gave
us no little trouble to put into a readable and intelligent shape. The dif-
ficulty was to understand what he really meant. In the course of his
speech a relative of Mr Jenny's, with whom I was well acquainted, sug-
gested to me that it would be interesting to the public to have an exact
rendering of some portion of his address, with all its faults of style and
grammar. I accepted the hint, and gave a verbatim report of a part of
his defence. It was an extraordinary jumble of words, from which it was
not easy to extract a meaning. If the prisoner had been acquitted, and
had read my report, he would probably have been as surprised as many
clumsy speakers at the present day would be if they could see a literal



j 50 Leaves from the Njte-Book of T. A. Reed.

' ) > t v ^ / (r

/ * / yl Q

X> r Og_n . / > o > /*- ' \> \ N

) ^-x >x-^ 7 m ) ^ ( i^ux*

V. - ) - 3^^ x ^ - o-^\ ^

' n -x- ^^^ ^ -^ s ^ /- ) -

P ^^/ i ^ (T^^l-)- ( ) ^ x - -A i

" 'L ") ^ x ) ^i/ 7 "1 - ] / <^

") ^ ~ \ f^ ^

^ . ^ I ..?. /

(' 3 i ^ . "




-T|







\



~ . ^ -<^>



rendering of their speeches without the friendly re\"ision which they com-
monly undergo at the hands of the reporter.

Towards the close of the sixth day, the judge summed up the case to the
jury, who then retired to consider their verdict. The room to which they
were conducted was one that had been temporarily occupied by some of
us in transcribing our notes, and the scramble we made in getting our

Eapers together as soon as we heard that the jury was coming would have
een amusing but for the solemnity of the issue that was pending. The
jury was not long in considering their verdict. On their return into Court,
there was a sudden hush, and all eyes were intent upon the jury-box.
Rush himself scrutinized every man who entered it, as though he would
extract the fearful secret from his looks.

" What do you say, gentlemen," said the officer of the Court, " is the
prisoner guilty, or not guilty ? "

Every heart beat with emotion, as, amid the solemn stillness of the
Court, the Foreman of the Jury uttered the words, " We say that he is
guilty"

It was but a needless formality for the Court Usher to proclaim silence



How I Taught Simon Phonography.
N I \ t\ \ \ ' \ f

I ; v*> > v^ x JL

/ V ^_



51

=>




HOW I TAUGHT SIMON PHONOGRAPHY.
^ ^~ c '\ \ P ^ -V



i

while sentence of death was pronounced upon the prisoner. A sigh might
have been heard during those memorable moments. Rush alone remained



moment he left the dock with a smile.



iv-';iiiriii tier icrii LUC uiH-K. \viLii a aiuiic>

We always look with compassion upon th




Leaves from the Note-Book of 7'. A. Reed.




K, ever leeis at me close ui me uay me weariness 01
iteration experienced by the patient, conscientious teacher, whether he
has been occupied with gerunds and participles, or has been discoursing
on rhomboids and parallelograms. If all learners were industrious and
intelligent, the teacher's work indeed would be comparatively easy and
pleasant ; the weariness is chiefly occasioned by the dull and the lazy, who
always form a considerable proportion of the taught. The strain upon
the mental and physical energies of the teacher in endeavoring to over-
come the intellectual lethargy of his pupils is such as can only be realised



How I Taught Simon Phonography.
^ I




hooks, circles, and all the mysteries of the phonographic sj'Stem, which I
had been sedulously expounding the week through to all sorts and condi-
tions of men. My pupils were of both sexes and of all ages from eight to
eighty, and I am bound to confess that the majority of them were de-
cidedly and unmistakably dull, and not a small proportion horribly lazy.
The really intelligent and industrious were the rarie aves, whom it was a
real pleasure to teach. My great horror was old ladies. " What ! old
ladies learn shorthand !" My dear sir, I once had a small regiment of
them under my tuition, not one of whom ever made the slightest progress.
One of them was a good-natured Quakeress of the mature age of 75, and
the only object for which she desired a knowledge of shorthand, as far as
I could divine, was, that she might be enabled to retain copies of her laun-
dress's bills without the trouble of writing them out twice in longhand !
That old lady's fee has lain heavily on my conscience ever since. I feel
that 1 was an impostor in taking it. After the first lesson, the hopeless-
ness of the task she had proposed to herself became so manifest, that I
ought to have returned the money, and said, " My dear madam, it won't



54 Leaves from the Note-Book of T. A. Reed.




do! " But I lacked the moral courage to say anything of the kind, and
the lessons were given and received with many smirks and smileson either
side : but I can conscientiously aver that at the close mv pupil could not
have written correctly half-a-dozen consecutive words of two syllables to
save her life. She took, however, an affectionate ''nterest in my welfare,
and would often abruptly break in upon some shorthand exerc'se with a
number of personal inquiries, which, however interesting to myself, had
very little to do with the lesson of the day.

Kut I don't know that any pupil ever gave me so much trouble, or so
often left me with a splitting headache as a stolid-looking youth of about
18, who once presented himself to me at my chambers for instruction. He
. . a ' ow forehead and heavy countenance, and spoke with a strong pro-
vincial accent. " I understand, sir," he said, as he took a seat, and
stretched out his legs to the utmost possible extent, "that vou teach
shorthand, and I should be glad to know how long you think it will take me
to be able to write down verbatim after a speaker :" a question which



How I Taught Simon Phonography.




m



56



Leaves from the Note-Book of T. A. Reed.

< / /"~ A-. I V c^ <3x X ' pdtd
/ / v i




nounced, and that each letter of the alphabet had only one sound. With
p, b, t, d all went on smoothly enough ; but a difficulty arose at ch. I
explained that this sloping letter represented the sound in such words as
rack, coach, which sound was in longhand usually represented by ch, but
that it would not do to call the letter c-h, because that compound was
occasionally employed to express other sounds, as in chorus, chaise ; and
that in order to preserve the exact sound in the name of the letter it had
been christened chay. My pupil listened very attentively, and after I had
repeated the information three or four times he appeared in a measure to
apprehend it, but persisted in calling the new letter shay. I asked him to
think of the word "chair" in connection with the letter, and the result was
that for some time he called it chair. It was fully ten minutes before we
surmounted this little obstacle, but we were soon drawn up by another in
the shape of the letter g, which I explained was pronounced gay, and
represented the hard sound, as in go, five, and not that in gin, age, etc.,
the latter being in reality the sound of j. Simon could not get over the



How I Taught Simon Phonography.

f ^.

\, __ I w ^ * */ v-* ^ > th '*

/ O c /v- ^^cx x
^ (v "



57




VO^-.L _,_



5



9



cf V

X >




idea of writing- ^vw with a/', and gfivinsj up the time-honored pronuncia-
tion of ,<f<r,' finally he accepted gay, but under protest. We next stum-
bled upon the /A's, a duplication which Simon thought wholly unnecessary.
In vain I asked him to pronounce such pairs of words as thigh and thy,
cloth and clothe, bath and bathe ; his ear could detect no difference in the
consonant sounds ; ho took my word for it, however, that there was a
distinction, and after a short time acquired the pronunciation of ith and
thee, devoutly believing-, no doubt, that the old-fashioned /// would have
a-nswered every purpose. Sh presented no great difficulties, but its part-
ner zh was a sore trial of patience. It was useless to explain that this
was the sound of i in such words as vision, pleasure : Simon said " Yes,"
but obviously had no intelligent apprehension of the fact ; and we passed
on to the other letters. Very confused notions prevailed in his mind with
regard to some of the vowels. The e and a were, of course, intelligible
enough as they stood ; but ah was a perplexity; my pupil usually pro-
nounced it like the letter r. Aw and oo, as new letters, were also a source
of trouble. I explained that as these were distinct sounds, they had to be



58 Leaves from the Note-Book of T. A. Reed.

\ N '




provided with separate symbols, and Simon reluctantly assented. Of
course I tried to explain the mode of employing the vowel signs, and par-
ticularly insisted on the necessity of attaching one sound only to each of
them. The short vowels it would have been madness to seek to compass,
and they were accordingly postponed : I mi^ht as well have talked of
yellow vowels as short vowels for any idea that would have been conveyed
to the intellect of my brilliant pupil.

To test his apprehension of the principles on which the alphabet had
been constructed, I tried him with a few simple words, begging him to
consider carefully the sounds of the letters of which they were composed
before attempting to read them. I first presented to him the simple com-
bination e-t. In about five minutes Simon, by a reference to the alpha-
bet, ascertained that the dot was e. and the stroke f, and then with the
utmost deliberation said, " e, t et." Many a brighter pupil has made the
same mistake, and laughed at it afterwards : but it was no laughing mat-



ter with Simon Onslow. "Think again," I said, "and remember the dot
: or the sound of ee," prolonging the vowel till I was out of breath.



stands fo



How I Taught Simon Phonography.



59




" Don't think of the spelling ; but think only of the sound ee, t." He
scratched his head, in a state of bewilderment, and at length said, " Well,
sir, if e-t isn't et, I'm dead beat." The poor fellow was unable to see that
e, t spelled eat, and had to take the fact upon trust Once more I tried
him with a-f ; and need I say that, having satisfied himself as to the let-
ters, he triumphantly exclaimed, "./ at." Another pitfall into which
many a student has fallen, but from which he has soon been rescued. Not
so with my promising pupil. I believe he thought I was deranged when I
told him that . / could not possibly spell at, that the vowel found in this
word was not 5, but the short sound of ah, and that the combination I had
set before him could only be taken as the representative of ate. Simon
evidently knew better, but did not like to say so. I saw his incredulity,
and thought it was useless to endeavor to remove it. T contented myself
with telling him that he wouldsoon perceive what T meant, and then made
another trial. This was with the letters nk-t, which he pronounced art;
whereupon I felt disposed to enter into a long disquisition as to the letter



60



Leaves from the Note-Book of T. A. Reed.

) -X/^ _!_. i v /^ x <rJ* \-

^ / I ^



" " /I"




^



r which had been so ruthlessly dragged in, but I refrained, and simply
begged my pupil never to pronounce an r in a word from which its legiti-
mate symbol was absent. This is often a fruitful source of error among
beginners, who, not pronouncing the r distinctly, are apt to omit it in
writing (which 'should, of course, never be done), or to insert it where it
should have no place. I once had a pupil who invariably called a straw
hat a " straw rat," placing the r at the end of the first word, and omitting
the aspirate from the second. Simon's use of the aspirate was perfectly
reckless, and he had no conception whatever of the value of the r; so that
the " straw rat " description of error was for a long time of very frequent
occurrence in his writing.

After two or three lessons Simon was tolerably familiar with the alpha-
bet, not including, however, the short vowels. At the second lesson I tried
him with a few simple monosyllables, requesting him to write them in Pho-
nography. One of these was the word "colt;" and I shall never forget
the look of despair which followed the discovery that there was nor in the
alphabet. It took at least a quarter-of-an-hour to make it clear that the



How I Taught Simon Phonography.



6 1




^ H> ^ x \A> ) ^ rv Y-

l~^ \ ...I . <U> (j.



*



/^> O



r^ a



) * * *~* i x vr:




letter was not required, being always employed in longhand for sounds
(usually k or s) which were represented by other letters. This at length
being apprehended, my pupil put the letters together thus ... It
seems odd enough, but I have seen many beginners strike the / Upwards
in this way, e^ven when they have read and copied pages of exercises in
which the letter is invariably written downwards ; bimon's style, therefore,
though rather singular, was not unique.

But my greatest trial of patience was in the elucidation of the short vowels.
First I attempted to teach the sounds of these letters as pronounced in
words, not " longe," " long<r," but , e. n, and soon. Simon tried to follow
my pronunciation, but the result was a series of hiccoughs which nlarrard
me for his personal safety, and the attempt was accordingly abandoned.
It was of very little use to explain that J was the short sound of e, that e
was the short . and so forth ; it was evident that the letters must be learned
as a mere matter of memory. Wherever the short vowels were met with,



62 Leaves from the Note- Book of T. A. Reed.

' *:' l."T'"t, ' ^'

^ I/ - v ' -\ ' X 4/" -

>-*^> ^-~^-S (*-* IV)

-kXV^V^^.^^ !> -

_> \ ' _^^^ I ^-/ I ^^ v P

** -IF - ^ Hr ' > -^y I

^t-* ^9-o( I c ^ \ ,^^^ /\ * i

^\y ^\ ^-1 ->- - N I

( r^ A . ^ P<?" 1 ^ -V x "^



put put ;



ft ' fl p ? U ^^ :" x




Simon awA/call them a, , i, etc., and I allowed him to do so, contrary
to my usual practice, in the hope that the proper use of the letters would
come by experience, if it could not be explained. theoretically. I dare
hardly say how many dull pupils I have known break down at this phono-
graphic pans asinorum, not because of any inherent difficulty in the thing
itself, but owing to the confusion existing in the mind in consequence of
the strange jumble presented by the longhand alphabet. " Do you think
you can write the word put ?" I asked my pupil. " Yes, sir, I think so
/, u, f, put ; I know the consonants p, /, and u is a short dash in the mid-
dle ;" and he accordingly wrote it ..." But don't you perceive that
the vowel in put is not what you call u at all ; the example of this sound
given in your book is the word but ; pronounce put slowly, and you will find
that it contains the shortened vowel oo : the word should therefore be
written . . . ." Simon listened attentively, and after following my
pronunciation of these and similar words, surh as bush, full, yielded re-
luctant assent to my proposition. One entire lesson was occupied with
these short vowels, and 1 gave my pupil about too words to write as an



How I Taught Simon Phonography.
P




^ t

^"- AN J^" -/-

* / I ~ 1 V /-"O O / / _^ v_ O \

A -W- -> i/ 6 ww y <

r >^

' hv { \ N) ^ ^ ; ^ ^

^^_p/1 ^ A - wi< )^^ /aii

^_P v , \-^ ^N ^Q-^> ^

^r o -v-^ ^ -A ^

/^ x C /^ ^




exercise on these letters before he came to another lesson. He left me




chief mistakes occurred in words in which the vowels had unusual values,
such as " many," which was written ma.ny, instead of meny, and " busy,"
which was represented by UM.V, instead of bizzy : silent letters were almost
invariably inserted, so that "knit" was written. . . . and "lamb,"
. . . ; and in a few instances the positions of the vowels before or after
the consonants were reversed. This latter is not an uncommon error, and
some pupils with difficulty remember the simple rule that in the case of
horizontal consonants vowels placed above are read first, and those placed
b<-lo\v are read last, and with all other letters preceding vowels are placed
at the left, and succeeding vowels at the right.
We next attacked the w and y series of vowels, long and short : these



64 Leaves from the Note-Book of T. A . Reed.




/I , n

V | qualm , g f



-V-

Nj



r



were understood without much difficulty, but it was long before their ap-
plication ceased to be a toil. The word "what" proved a perfect bugbear.
Simon, whose ideas of the aspirate were still very obscure, wished, of
course, to put the h after the re, and thought I was joking when I told him
that the word should be spelled hwot. Few persons in England ever pro-
nounce the h at all in connection with w, and some educated persons who
would shudder at the thought of omitting the aspirate in happy or haughty
do not scruple to pronounce when and where as if written wen and ware.
Such an omission is almost unknown in Scotland and Ireland. It was'in
the course of an exercise on the TV series of vowels that my pupil tumbled
upon the discovery that there was no letter q in the phonographic alpha-
bet, " Look here, sir," paid he. in a tone which implied a personal
grievance. " how in the name of goodness am I to write qualm without a
q ? " " Why, write it as it is sounded, to be sure." Then rame the serious
question how it was sounded. A slow pronunciation of the word repeated
three or four times convinced Simon that the initial consonant was k,



How I Taught Simon Phonography. 65

^~<J (L ^" ' ) k V]_ . N >... J V- wall x ^ \_




* o c\ o /






/ X_P \



P r-x

i

-1 Vr.



x , (7



water x



followed by the double vowel wah. I then begged him to remember that
qu was in reality k~v, and should always be so represented. The double
letter yoo, as might be expected, proved a stumblingblock. That it should
be used in such a word as youth was intelligible enough ; but its employ-
ment in the words use, few, etc., was not so obvious. What earthly
purpose the letter y could serve in such words Simon failed at first to see,
and to make it clear I had to write the words yoose, fyoo, and so on, and
get him to pronounce them as thus written, which was not always an easy
matter.

Passing on to the double consonants, another difficulty presented itself
the representation of added\ctters by initial hooks. Forsometime Simon
would read pi as l-p, pr as r-p, and so on, regarding the hooks as the
separate representatives of the / and r, instead of viewing each double
consonant as a whole. When this difficulty had been surmounted, I gave
my pupil a number of words to write by way of an exercise on the double
vowels and double consonants. The first of these was " water." Having



66 Leaves from the Note-Book of T. A. Reed.

. X _ ; ^ i r




\f ; , \



ang-er



pored o\ - er the word for about a quarter of an hour he rendered it riwi'/rr,
and was fairly elated at having achieved so brilliant a success. I shook
ray head, and begged him to try again, and to remember that the word


1 3 5 6 7 8 9 10

Online LibraryThomas Allen ReedLeaves from the note-book of Thomas Allen Reed (Volume 1) → online text (page 3 of 10)