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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 56


56 The American Young Man's best Companion  

Hold your Pen lightly, gripe it not too hard,
And with due Care your Copy well regard.
Join every Letter to its next with Care,
And let the Stroke be admirably fair.
Keep a light Hand, and smoothly glide along ;
Ascending fine, and downward Strokes are strong.
Let graceful Beauty in each Line appear,
And see the Front do not excel the Rear.
Majestick Grace, both beautiful and strong,
Doth, or else ought, to every Line belong.
No Roughness at the Edge should e'er be seen,
But all the Letters should be smooth and clean.
On Care depends the Beauty of each Line,
For that alone will make your At to shine.
Praise is delivered by the careful Hand,
But for th' Unthinking doth Correction stand.
Quit yourself nobly with a prudent Care,
Of clumsy Writing and of Blots beware.
Remember strictly what the Art enjoins,
Equal siz'd Letters, and as equal Lines.
Small Letters must of equal Height be seen,
The same of great, both beautifully clean.
Time and Delight will easy make the Task !
Delight, Delight's the only Thing I ask !
Vain are the Hopes of those who think to gain
This noble Treasure without taking Pain.
Whilst idle Drones supinely dream of Fame,
The Industrious actually do get the same.
'Xemplar Lines are Writing's surest Law,
Precepts may lead us, but Examples draw.
Youth is the Time for Progress in all Arts ;
Then use your Youth to gain the noblest Parts.
Zeal for Attainment of each Art will prove
One Means of purchasing the general Love.

Since good Ink is necessary to good Writing, I shall give, a Receipt or two for making some of the best black Ink in the World, which is as follows, viz,

A Receipt for making Black Ink.

TO six Quarts of Rain or River Water (but Rain Water is the best) put one Pound and a Half of fresh blue Galls of Aleppo, (for those of Smyrna are not strong
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