I recently acquired the book "Graded Dictation" by Walter Rasmussen, published by Gregg in 1909. This book has been sitting on someone's shelf for a long time--it looks practically brand new, except for a little browning of the pages.
Anyhow, it has NO shorthand in it. It's just a series of graded sentences for dictation practice. But my how times have changed . . . here is a sample of some of the sentences:
Etta will not heed me.
Will Clara not get the guinea?
Helen will get the hat in our hack.
The marine will not take the eagle here. [What the heck does that mean?]
Craig will take the tray the deacon made.
I will fish for shad, if he will fetch the pail.
The midget can teach the Jap. [Ouch! Imagine language like that today.]
John Wade will take the wheat in the wagon to the mill.
Have you the peanut or the nutshell?
Do not choke the dog in the hollow. [Where should you choke the dog?]
If you will get the yawl, we can reach him yet. [What's a yawl?]
It was not in this state that Nelson saw the moose.
Can you hear him sing the Gospel hymn?
The snake wrought great havoc on the terrace.
The opiate made him drowsy. [Duh.]
The demon had been hidden while we tried to threaten the gang. [???]
If a boy is not steady it is not a good omen.
I think the errand boy will repent at the temple. [Seems like a good place.]
The criminal was silent, but he came to the temple at midnight. [Hope he didn't mess with the errand boy.]
And on and on it goes . . .