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The Instructor, or American Young Man's Best Companion Containing Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetick
Fisher, George
Published by Isaiah Thomas, Worcester
Location of original: Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts
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Page 43


  The American Young Man's best Companion 43

abovesaid cut the Quill at the End, half through, on the back Part : and then turning up the Belly, cut the other Half or Part quite through, viz. about a Quarter or almost Half an Inch, at the End of the Quill which will then appear forked : Then enter the Pen Knife a little in the back Notch, and then putting the Peg of the Pen Knife Haft, or the End of another Quill, into the back Notch, holding your Thumb pretty hard on the Back of the Quill, as high as you intend the Slit to be, with a sudden or quick Twitch, force up the Slit ; it must be sudden and smart, that the Slit may be clearer ; Then, by several Cuts on each Side, bring the Quill into equal Shape or form, on both Sides ; And having brought it to a fine Point, place the Inside of the Nib on the Nail of your Thumb, and enter the Knife at the Extremity of the Nib, and cut it through a little sloping. Then with an almost downright Cut of the Knife, cut off the Nib ; and then by other proper Cuts, finish the Pen, bringing it into a handsome Shape, and proper Form : Meddle not with the Nib again, by giving it any Trimming or fine Cuts, for that causes a Roughness, and spoils it. But if you do, to bring the Nib evener, you must Nib it again as above directed. Note, That the Breadth of the Nib must be proportioned to the Breadth of the Body; or downright back Strokes of the Letters, in whatsoever hand you write small or text. --Note also, That in your sitting to write, you place yourself directly against a fore right light, or else to have it on your left-Hand ; (which I esteem best) but by no means to have the Light on your right Hand, because the Shadow of your writing hand will obstruct your Sight.

  Thus far for Direction--Now for Application.--I have here set Copies of the most usual, fashionable, and commendable Hand for Business ; with Alphabets of great and small Letters, proper to each. Be sure you make your Letters well (both small and great) before you proceed to Joining.-- Be careful in Imitation, and observe the foregoing Directions, and without Doubt you will gain your End. Command of Hand, or the Art of striking Letters, &c. is gained by frequent practising after good Examples.
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