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Title: How to Get Strong and How to Stay So
Author: Blaikie, William Garden, 1820-1899
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  HOW TO GET STRONG
  AND
  HOW TO STAY SO

  BY

  WILLIAM BLAIKIE

  [Illustration: Decoration]

  NEW YORK
  HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS
  FRANKLIN SQUARE
  1883.



  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by
  HARPER & BROTHERS,
  In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



  TO

  ARCHIBALD MACLAREN

  _WHO HAS PROBABLY DONE MORE THAN ANY ONE ELSE NOW LIVING TO POINT
  OUT THE BENEFITS RESULTING FROM RATIONAL PHYSICAL EXERCISE, AND HOW
  TO ATTAIN THOSE BENEFITS_

  THIS BOOK IS RESPECTFULLY
  Dedicated



PREFACE.


Millions of our people pass their lives in cities and towns, and at work
which keeps them nearly all day in-doors. Many hours are devoted for days
and years, under careful teachers, and many millions of dollars are spent
annually, in educating the mind and the moral nature. But the body is
allowed to grow up all uneducated; indeed, often such a weak, shaky
affair that it gets easily out of order, especially in middle and later
life, and its owner is wholly unequal to tasks which would have proved
easy to him, had he given it even a tithe of the education bestowed so
generously in other directions. Not a few, to be sure, have the advantage
in youth of years of active out-door life on a farm, and so lay up a
store of vigor which stands them in good stead throughout a lifetime. But
many, and especially those born and reared in towns and cities, have had
no such training, or any equivalent, and so never have the developed
lungs and muscles, the strong heart and vigorous digestion--in short, the
improved tone and strength in all their vital organs--which any sensible
plan of body-culture, followed up daily, would have secured. It does not
matter so much whether we get vigor on the farm, the deck, the tow-path,
or in the gymnasium, if we only get it. Fortunately, if not gotten in
youth, when we are plastic and easily shaped, it may still be had, even
far on in middle life, by judicious and systematic exercise, aimed first
to bring up the weak and unused parts, and then by general work daily
which shall maintain the equal development of the whole.

The aim here has been, not to write a profound treatise on gymnastics,
and point out how to eventually reach great performance in this art, but
rather in a way so plain and untechnical that even any intelligent boy or
girl can readily understand it, to first give the reader a nudge to take
better care of his body, and so of his health, and then to point out one
way to do it. That there are a hundred other ways is cheerfully conceded.
If anything said here should stir up some to vigorously take hold of, and
faithfully follow up, either the plan here indicated or any one of these
others, it cannot fail to bring them marked benefit, and so to gratify

                                                        THE AUTHOR.

  _New York, July, 1883._



CONTENTS.


  CHAP.                                                         PAGE

     I. DO WE INHERIT SHAPELY BODIES?                              9

    II. HALF-BUILT BOYS                                           23

   III. WILL DAILY PHYSICAL EXERCISE FOR GIRLS PAY?               42

    IV. IS IT TOO LATE FOR WOMEN TO BEGIN?                        57

     V. WHY MEN SHOULD EXERCISE DAILY                             74

    VI. HOME GYMNASIUMS                                           91

   VII. THE SCHOOL THE TRUE PLACE FOR CHILDREN'S
        PHYSICAL CULTURE                                         104

  VIII. WHAT A GYMNASIUM MIGHT BE AND DO                         117

    IX. SOME RESULTS OF BRIEF SYSTEMATIC EXERCISE                138

     X. WORK FOR THE FLESHY, THE THIN, THE OLD                   154

    XI. HALF-TRAINED FIREMEN AND POLICE                          177

   XII. SPECIAL EXERCISE FOR ANY GIVEN MUSCLES                   199

        _a._ To Develop the Leg below the Knee                   200

        _b._ Work for the Front of the Thigh                     208

        _c._ To Enlarge the Under Thigh                          214

        _d._ To Strengthen the Sides of the Waist                215

        _e._ The Abdominal Muscles                               218

        _f._ Counterwork for the Abdominal Muscles               224

        _g._ To Enlarge and give Power to the Loins              227

        _h._ Development above the Waist                         228

        _i._ Filling out the Shoulders and Upper Back            230

        _j._ To obtain a good Biceps                             233

        _k._ To bring up the Muscles on the Front and Side
             of the Shoulder                                     236

        _l._ Forearm Work                                        237

        _m._ Exercises for the Triceps Muscles                   238

        _n._ To Strengthen and Develop the Hand                  241

        _o._ To Enlarge and Strengthen the Front of the Chest    243

        _p._ To Broaden and Deepen the Chest itself              245

  XIII. WHAT EXERCISE TO TAKE DAILY                              252

        _a._ Daily Work for Children                             253

        _b._ Daily Exercise for Young Men                        273

        _c._ Daily Exercise for Women                            276

        _d._ Daily Exercise for Business Men                     278

        _e._ Daily Exercise for Consumptives                     283

  APPENDIX   I.                                                  291

     "      II.                                                  291

     "     III.                                                  292

     "      IV.                                                  292

     "       V.                                                  293

     "      VI.                                                  294

     "     VII.                                                  295

  CONCLUSION                                                     295


TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

  Fig. 1. A warped University Oarsman, imperfectly developed
          in Muscles not used in Rowing                           36

   "   2. A warped Professional Sculler, imperfectly developed
          in Muscles not used in Rowing                           37

   "   3. Horizontal Bar and Chest-bars, for Home Use             92

   "   4. Noiseless Pulley-weights                                94

   "   5. Appliance for developing the Sides of the Waist        217

   "   6. A Correct Position for Fast Walking                    220

   "   7. Device for developing the Abdominal Muscles            225

   "   8. A Chest-widener                                        248

   "   9. A Chest-deepener                                       250



                     HOW TO GET STRONG,

                            AND

                      HOW TO STAY SO.



CHAPTER I.

DO WE INHERIT SHAPELY BODIES?


Probably more men walk past the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street, in
New York city, in the course of one year, than any other point in
America--men of all nations and ages, heights and weights. Look at them
carefully as they pass, and you will see that scarcely one in ten is either
erect or thoroughly well-built. Some slouch their shoulders and double in
at the waist; some overstep; others cant to one side; this one has one
shoulder higher than the other, and that one both too high; some have heavy
bodies and light legs, others the reverse; and so on, each with his own
peculiarities. A thoroughly erect, well-proportioned man, easy and graceful
in his movements, is far from a frequent sight. Any one accustomed to
athletic work, and knowing what it can do for the body, must at times have
wondered why most men allowed themselves to go along for years, perhaps
through life, so carrying themselves as not only to lack the outward grace
and ease they might possess, and which they occasionally see in others, but
so as to directly cramp and impede one or more of the vital organs.

Nor is it always the man's fault that he is ill-proportioned. In most
cases it comes down from his progenitors. The father's walk and physical
peculiarities appear in the son, often so plainly that the former's
calling might almost be told from a look at the latter.

A very great majority of Americans are the sons either of farmers or
merchants, mechanics or laborers. The work of each class soon develops
peculiar characteristics. No one of the four classes has ordinarily had
any training at all aimed to make him equally strong all over. Broad as
is the variety of the farmer's work, far the greater, and certainly the
heavier, part of it tends to make him stoop forward and become inerect.
No man stands up straight and mows. When he shovels, he bends more yet;
and every ounce of spade or load pulls him over, till, after much of
this sort of work, it requires an effort to stand upright. Ploughing is
better for the upper body, but it does not last long. While it keeps
one walking over uneven ground, it soon brings on an awkward, clumsy
step, raising, as it does, the foot unnaturally high. Chopping is
excellent for the upper man, but does little for his legs. In
hand-raking and hoeing the man may remain erect; but in pitching and
building the load, in nearly every sort of lifting, and especially the
heavier sorts, as in handling heavy stone or timber, his back is always
bent over. It is so much easier to slouch over when sitting on
horse-rake, mower, or harvester, that most persons do it.

Scarcely any work on a farm makes one quick of foot. All the long day,
while some of the muscles do the work, which tends to develop them, the
rest are untaxed, and remain actually weak. A farmer is seldom a good
walker, usually hitching up if he has an errand to go, though it be scarce
a mile away; and he is rarely a good runner. He is a hearty, well-fed man,
not only because wholesome food is plenty, but because his appetite is
sharp, and he eats with relish and zest. Naturally a man thinks that, when
he eats and sleeps well, he is pretty healthy, and so he usually is; but
when he is contented with this condition of things, he overlooks the fact
that he is developing some parts of his body, and leaving others weak;
that the warp he is encouraging in that body, by twice as much work for
the muscles of his back as for those of the front of his chest, while it
enlarges the former, often so as to even render it muscle-bound, actually
contracts the latter, and hence gives less room for heart, lungs, stomach,
and all the vital organs, than a well-built man would have. If a man
should tie up one arm, and with the other steadily swing a smith's hammer
all day, there is little doubt that he would soon have an excellent
appetite and the sweet sleep of the laboring man. But in what shape would
it leave him in a few years, or even in a few months? The work of the
farmer, ill-distributed as to the whole man, leaves him as really
one-sided as the former. It is in a lesser degree, of course, but still so
evident that he who looks even casually may see it.

While the farmer's work makes a man hearty and well, though lumbering,
it takes the spring out of him. The merchant is, physically, however, in
a worse position. Getting to his work in boyhood, sticking to it as long
as the busiest man in the establishment, his body often utterly unfit
and unready for even half the strain it bears, he struggles on through
the boy's duties, the clerk's, and the salesman's, till he becomes a
partner; or perhaps he starts as entry-clerk, rises to be book-keeper,
and then stays there. In many kinds of work he has been obliged to stand
nearly all day, till his sides and waist could scarcely bear it longer,
and he often breaks down under the ceaseless pressure. If his work calls
him out much, he finds that the constant walking, with his mind on the
stretch, and more or less worried, does not bring him that vigor he
naturally looks for from so much exercise, and at night he is jaded and
used up, instead of being fresh and hearty. When exceptional tension
comes, and business losses or reverses make him anxious and haggard,
there is little in his daily work which tends to draw him out of a
situation that he could have readily and easily fitted himself to face,
and weather too, had he only known how. To be sure, when he gets well on
and better to do, he rides out in the late afternoon, and domestic and
social recreation in the evening may tend to freshen him, and fit him
for the next day's round; but, especially if he has been a strong young
man, he finds that he is changed, and cannot work on as he used to do.
His bodily strength and endurance are gone. The reason why is plain
enough: when he was at his best, he was doing most work, and of the sort
to keep him in good condition. Now there is nothing between rising and
bedtime to build up any such strength, and he is fortunate if he retains
even half of what he had. To be sure, he does not need the strength of a
stalwart young farmer; but, could he have retained it, he would have
been surprised, if he had taken sufficient daily exercise to regulate
himself, how valuable it would have been in toning him up for the
severer work and trial of the day. If, instead of the taxed and worn-out
nerves, he could have had the feeling of the man of sturdy physique, who
keeps himself in condition, who does not know what it is to be nervous,
what a priceless boon it would have been for him!

Who does not know among his friends business men whose faces show that
they are nearly all the time overworked; who get thin, and stay so; who
look tired, and are so; who go on dragging along through their
duties--for they are men made of the stuff which does the duty as it
comes up, whether hard or easy? The noon meal is rushed through, perhaps
when the brain is at white-heat. More is eaten, both then and in the
evening, than will digest; and good as is the after or the before dinner
ride, as far as it goes, it does not go far enough to make the digestion
sure. Then comes broken sleep. The man waking from it is not rested, is
not rebuilt and strong, and ready for the new day.

With many men of this kind--and all city men know they are well-nigh
innumerable--what wonder is it that nervous exhaustion is so frequent
among them, and that physicians who make this disorder a specialty
often have all that they can do? One of the most noted of them, Dr. S.
Weir Mitchell, of Philadelphia, in his valuable little book, "Wear and
Tear; or, Hints for the Overworked," page 46, says:

"All classes of men who use the brain severely, and who have also--and
this is important--seasons of excessive anxiety or grave
responsibility, are subject to the same form of disease; and this
is why, I presume, that I, as well as others who are accustomed to
encounter nervous disorders, have met with numerous instances of
nervous exhaustion among merchants and manufacturers.

"My note-books seem to show that manufacturers and certain classes
of railway officials are the most liable to suffer from neural
exhaustion. Next to these come merchants in general, brokers,
etc.; then, less frequently, clergymen; still less often, lawyers;
and, more rarely, doctors; while distressing cases are apt to
occur among the over-schooled young of both sexes."

And while the more active among business men run into this sort of
danger, those less exposed to it still do little or nothing to give
themselves sound, vigorous bodies, so as to gain consequent energy and
health, and so they go through life far less efficient and useful men
than they might have been. Hence their sons have to suffer. The boy
certainly cannot inherit from the father more vigor and stamina than
the latter has, however favored the mother may have been; so, unless the
boy has some sort of training which builds him up, his father's
weaknesses or physical defects are very likely to show in the son.

Nor do most classes of mechanics fare much better. Take the heavier
kinds of skilled labor. The blacksmith rarely uses one of his hands as
much as the other, especially in heavy work, and often has poor legs.
Indeed, if he has good legs, he does not get them from his calling. The
stone-mason is equally one-handed--one hand merely guiding a light tool,
the other swinging a heavy mallet. Nine-tenths of all machinists are
right-handed. And so on, through the long list of the various trades
where severe muscular exertion is requisite, there is a similar uneven
distribution of the work to the various parts of the body, the right arm
generally getting the lion's share, the left but little, the back more
than the chest--or, rather, than the front chest--and the legs having
but passive sort of work at best. Puddlers and boiler-makers, plumbers
and carpenters, coopers and smiths, shipwrights, carriage-makers,
tinners, and all who follow trades calling for vigorous muscular action,
not only constantly work one side more than the other, but many of their
tools are made, purposely, right-handed, so that they could hardly use
them with the left hand if they wanted to. As to those whose work is
more delicate, saddlers and shoe-makers, mill-hands and compositors,
wood-turners, tailors, jewellers and engravers, and nearly all the
lighter craftsmen, learn their trade with one hand, and would never
venture to trust any of its finer work to the other. In short, take the
mechanic where you will, in the vast majority of instances his right arm
and side are larger and stronger than his left, and quite as often his
vocation does little or nothing to strengthen and develop his legs.

The fact that most of these men have active work for some of the muscles,
with enough of it to insure a good appetite, combined with inherited
vigor, makes them often hearty men, but it leaves them unequally
developed. When they get into the gymnasium, they are usually lacking in
that symmetry, ease, and erectness which they might all along have had,
had they but used the means. The result, then, of overworking one part of
the body at the expense of the other, especially in heavier mechanical
labors, and of too little vigorous action in the lighter, tends to make
the average workman more prone to disease. Were there uniform development,
and that daily vigorous exercise which would stimulate the dormant parts
of the man's body, it would add to his life and usefulness.

But how is it with the sturdy laborer? He can hardly be liable to the same
defects. His work certainly must call into play every muscle of his body.

Well, watch him awhile and see. Try the coal-heaver. His surely is heavy,
hard work, and must make him exert himself all over. But does it? While it
keeps his knees steadily bent, his back is all the while over his work.
The tons of coal he lifts daily with his shovel gradually, but with
positive certainty, insures his back remaining somewhat bent when his work
for the time is done. When a year is spent at such labor, the back must
take a lasting curve. While his back broadens, growing thick and powerful,
his chest does not get so much to do; hence he is soon a round-shouldered
man. As he does not hold his chest out, nor his neck and head erect, he
contracts his lung-room, as well, indeed, as his general vital-room.
Scarce any man grows earlier muscle-bound, for few backs do so much hard
work. Now, standing erect, let him try and slap the backs of his hands
together behind his shoulders, keeping his arms horizontal and straight at
the elbow. Now he will understand what is meant by being muscle-bound. It
will be odd if he can get his hands within a foot of each other.

The navvy is no better. The gardener's helper has to do much stooping.
So do track-hands, stone-breakers, truckmen, porters, longshoremen,
and all the rest. Especially are ordinary day-laborers, whose tools
are spade, pick, and bar, who are careless about their skin, who
are exposed to dust and dirt, who are coarsely shod, most prone to
have bad feet. They, too, have the hearty appetite and the sound
sleep. Seldom do they give their bodily improvement a thought, and
so often, like their own teeth, they decay before their time, and
materially shorten their usefulness and their days.

Here, then, we see that the vast majority of men in this
country--three out of four at least--are born of fathers but
partially developed, and uniformly of inerect carriage.

And how is it with their mothers? Naturally they come, to a large
extent, from the same classes. They inherit many of the
characteristics of their fathers--size, color, temperament, and so on,
and generally the same tendency to be stronger on one side than on the
other. In the poorer classes their life is one of work, frequently of
overwork and drudgery, and in ill-lighted, ill-ventilated apartments.
Among those better off, they do not work enough, and often,
though of vigorous parents, are not themselves strong.

Thoroughly healthy, hearty women are not common among us. Ask the family
physician, and he will endorse this statement to an extent most men would
not have supposed. American women are not good walkers. Look how they are
astonished when they hear of some lady who walks from five to ten miles a
day, and thinks nothing of it. One such effort would be positively
dangerous to very many, indeed probably to the majority of our women,
while nearly all of them would not get over its effects for several days.
Yet many English and Canadian ladies take that much exercise daily from
choice, and, finding the exhilaration, strength, and health it brings,
and the general feeling of efficiency which it produces, would not give
it up. No regular exercise is common among the great majority of the
women of this country which makes them use both their hands alike, and is
yet vigorous enough to add to the size and strength of their shoulders,
chests, and arms. Ordinary house-work brings the hands of those who
indulge in it a good deal to do, even though the washing and ironing are
left to hired help. The care of children adds materially to the exertion
called for in a day. But far too often both the house-work and the
looking after the children are sources of great exertion. Were the
woman strong and full of vigor, she would turn each off lightly,
and still be fresh and hearty at the end of the day.

With the father, as with the mother, the conclusion arrived at seems to be
as follows: now that the day's work is done, no matter whether it brings
with it strength or weakness, let us be perfectly contented with things as
they are. If it makes us one-handed, so be it. If it stoops the back over,
so be it. If it does little or nothing for the lower limbs, or cramps the
chest, or never half fills the lungs, or aids digestion not a whit, so be
it. If it keeps some persons thin and tired-looking, and does not prevent
others from growing too fleshy, it never occurs to most of them that a very
small amount of knowledge and effort in the right direction would work
wonders, and in a way which would be not only valuable but attractive.

Most of us get, then, from our parents a one-sided and partial
development, and are contented with it. Unless we ourselves take steps to
better our condition, unless we single out the weak spots, prescribe the
work and the amount of it, and then do that work, we shall not remedy the
evil. More than this, if we do not cure these defects, we will not only
go through life with limited and cramped physical resources, with their
accompanying disorders and ailments, but we will cruelly entail on our
children defects and tendencies which might have readily been spared
them, and for which they can fairly blame us. A little attention to the
subject will show that the remedy is quite within our reach; and so plain
is this, that a generation later, if the interest now awakening in this
direction becomes, as it promises to, very general among us, our
descendants will understand far better than we do that the body can be
educated, as well as the mind or the moral nature; that, instead of
interfering with the workings of these, the body will, when properly
trained, directly and materially aid them; and, further, that there is no
stand-point from which the matter can be viewed which will not show that
such training will pay, and most handsomely at that.



CHAPTER II.

HALF-BUILT BOYS.


But, whatever our inherited lacks and strong points, few who have looked
into the matter can have failed to notice that the popular sports and
pastimes, both of our boyhood and youth, good as they are, as far as they
go, are not in themselves vigorous enough, or well enough chosen to remedy
the lack. The top, the marble, and the jack-knife of the boy are wielded
with one hand, and for all the strength that wielding brings, it might as
well have been confined to one. Flying kites is not likely to overdo the
muscles. Yet top-time, marble-time, and kite-time generally cover all the
available play hours of each day for a large portion of the year.

But he has more vigorous work than these bring. Well, what? Why,
ball-playing and playing tag, and foot-ball, and skating, and
coasting, and some croquet, and occasional archery, while
he is a painfully accurate shot with a bean-shooter.

Well, in ball-playing he learns to pitch, to catch, to bat, to field, and
to run bases. How many boys can pitch with either hand? Not one in a
hundred, at least well enough to be of any use in a game. Observe the
pitching arm and shoulder of some famous pitcher, and see how much larger
they are than their mates. Dr. Sargent, for many years instructor in
physical culture in Yale College, says that he has seen a well-known
pitcher whose right shoulder was some two inches larger than the left;
indeed, his whole right side seemed out of proportion with his left. The
catcher draws both hands in toward him as the ball enters them, and passes
it back to the pitcher almost always with the same hand. He has, in
addition, to spring about on his feet, unless the balls come very
uniformly, and to do much twisting and turning. The batter bats, not from
either shoulder, but from one shoulder, to such an extent that those used
to his batting know pretty well where he will knock the ball, though, did
he bat from the other shoulder, the general direction of the knocking
would be quite different. Some of the fielders have considerable running
and some catching to do, and then to throw the ball in to pitcher, or
baseman, or catcher. But that throw is always with the stronger hand,
never with the other. Many of the fielders often have not one solitary
thing to do but to walk to their stations, remain there while their side
is out, and then walk back again, hardly getting work enough, in a cold
day, to keep them warm. Running bases is sharp, jerky work, and a wretched
substitute for steady, sensible running over a long distance. Nor is the
fielder's running much better; and neither would ever teach a boy what he
ought to know about distributing his strength in running, and how to get
out of it what he readily might, and, more important yet, how to make
himself an enduring long-distance runner. For all the work the former
brings, ordinary, and even less than ordinary, strength of leg and lung
will suffice, but for the latter it needs both good legs and good lungs.

Run most American boys of twelve or fourteen six or eight miles, or,
rather, start them at it--let them all belong to the ball-nine if you
will, too--and how many would cover half the distance, even at any pace
worth calling a run? The English are, and have long been, ahead of us in
this direction. To most readers the above distance seems far too long to
let any boy of that age run. But, had he been always used to
running--not fast, but steady running--it would not seem so. Tom
Brown of Rugby, in the hares-and-hounds game, of which he gives us
so graphic an account, makes both the hares and hounds cover a distance
of nine miles without being much the worse for it, and yet they were
simply school-boys, of all ages from twelve to eighteen.

Let him who thinks that the average American boy of the same age would
have fared as well, go down to the public bath-house, and look
carefully at a hundred or two of them as they tumble about in the
water. He will see more big heads and slim necks, more poor legs and
skinny arms, and lanky, half-built bodies than he would have ever
imagined the whole neighborhood could produce. Or he need not see
them stripped. One of our leading metropolitan journals, in an
editorial recently, headed, "Give the boy a chance," said:

"About one in ten of all the boys in the Union are living in New York and
the large cities immediately adjacent; and there are even more within the
limits of Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and the other American cities
whose population exceeds a hundred thousand. The wits of these millions of
boys are being forced to their extreme capacity, whether they are taught
in the school, the shop, or the street. But what is being done for their
bodies? The answer may be obtained by standing at the door of almost any
public or private school or academy at the hour of dismissal. _The
inquirer will see a crowd of undersized, listless, thin-faced children,
with scarcely any promise of manhood about them._"

Take a tape-measure and get the girth of chest, upper and forearm, of
waist, hips, thighs, and calves of these little fellows, likewise their
heights and ages. Now send to England and get the statistics of the boys
of the same age who are good at hares-and-hounds, at foot-ball, and see
the difference. In every solitary measurement, save height, there is
little doubt which would show the better figures. Even in height, it
is more than probable that the article just quoted would find
abundant foundation for calling our boys "undersized."

Next cross to Germany, and go to the schools where boys and their
masters together, in vacation days, sometimes walk two or even three
hundred miles, in that land where the far-famed German Turners, by long
training, show a strength and agility combined which are astounding,
and try the tape-measure there. Is there any question what the result
would be? When the sweeping work the Germans made of it in their late
war with France is called to mind, does it not look as if there was
good ground for the assumption so freely made, that it was the
superior physique of the Germans which did the business?

Where work is chosen that only sturdy limbs can do, and that work
is gradually approached, and persistently stuck to, by-and-by the
sturdy limbs come. But when all that these limbs are called on
to do is light, spasmodic work, and there is none of the spur
which youthful emulation and pride in superior strength bring,
what wonder is it if the result is a weakly article?

Another and natural consequence many parents must have noticed. Often, in a
city neighborhood, there is not one strong, efficient boy to lead on the
rest, and show them the development which they might have and should have.
Boys, like men, are fond of doing whatever they can do well, and of letting
others see them do it, and, like their elders, they gladly follow a capable
and self-reliant leader. But if no one of their number is equal to tasks
which call for first-class strength and staying powers, when no one will
lead the rest up to a higher physical plane, they never will get there.

It is not a good sign, or one that bodes well for our future, to see the
play-grounds of our cities and towns so much neglected. You may stand on
many of them for weeks together and not see one sharp, hot game of ball,
or of anything else, where each contestant goes in with might and main,
and the spectator becomes so interested as to hate to leave the fun.
Foot-ball is a game as yet not at all general among us. Excellent is it
for developing intrepidity and other manly qualities. The Duke of
Wellington is reported to have said that her foot-ball fields were where
England's soldiers were made. The short, hasty school recess in the
crowded school-yard, or play snatched in the streets--these will never
make robust and vigorous men. Yet these are too often all that our boys
get, their cramped facilities for amusement soon bringing their natural
result in small vital organs and half-developed limbs.

Many of our large cities are wretchedly off for play-grounds. Such open
spaces as we have are fenced around, and have signs nailed all over them
saying, "Keep off the grass!" at the same time forbidding games on the
paths. One part of Boston Common used to be a famous play-ground; and many
hard-fought battles has it seen at foot-ball, base-ball, hockey, and
cricket. Many an active school-boy there has more than once temporarily
bit the dust. But now rows of street lamps run through that part of the
Common, and the precious grass must be protected at all hazards. New York
city is scarcely better off. Central Park, miles away from the great
majority of the boys in the city, is elegant enough when they get to it;
but let them once set their bounds and start a game of ball, or
hares-and-hounds, or try a little jumping or running, on any one of those
hundreds of beautiful acres, save in one solitary field, and see how soon
the gray-coats will be upon them. The Battery, City Hall Park, Washington
Square, Union Park, Stuyvesant Square, and Madison Square are well
located, and would make capital play-grounds, but the grass there is
altogether too well combed to be ruffled by unruly boys. If a boy's cousin
comes in from the country, and he wishes to try conclusions with him, he
must confine his efforts to the flagged sidewalk or the cobble-stoned
street, while a brass-buttoned referee is likely at any moment to
interfere, and take them both into custody for disorderly conduct.

Again, outside of a boy's ball-playing, scarce one of his other
pastimes does much to build him up. Swimming is excellent, but is
confined to a very few months in the year, and is seldom gone at, as it
should be, with any regularity, or with a competent teacher to
gradually lead the boy on to its higher possibilities. Skating is
equally desultory, because in many of our cities winters pass with
scarcely a week of good ice. Coasting brings some up-hill walking, good
for the legs, but does practically nothing for the arms.

So boyhood slips along until the lad is well on in his teens, and still,
in nine cases out of ten, he has had nothing yet of any account in the
way of that systematic, vigorous, daily exercise which looks directly to
his weak points, and aims not only to eradicate them, but to build up
his general health and strength as well. He gets no help in the one
place of all where he might so easily get it--the school. So far as we
can learn, no system of exercise has been introduced into any school or
college in this land, unless it is at the military academy at West
Point, which begins to do for each pupil, not alone what might easily be
done, but what actually _ought_ to be done. It will probably not be many
years before all of us will wonder why the proper steps in this
direction have been put off so long. Calisthenics are here and there
resorted to. In some schools a rubber strap has been introduced, the
pupil taking one end of it in each hand, and working it in a few
different directions, but in a mild sort of way. At Amherst College
enough has been accomplished to tell favorably on the present health of
the student, but not nearly enough to make him strong and vigorous all
over, so as to build him up against ill health in the future. At another
college certain exercises, excellent in their way, admirable for
suppling the joints and improving the carriage, have for some time been
practised. But this physical work does not go nearly far enough, nor is
it aimed sufficiently at each pupil's peculiar weak spot. It also
neither reaches all the students, nor is it practised but a small part
of the year. In the great majority of our schools and colleges, little
or no idea is given the pupil as to the good results he will derive from
exercise. The teacher's own experience in physical development is
often more limited than that of some of his scholars.

The evil does not end here. Take the son of the man of means and
refinement, a boy who is having given him as liberal an education as
money can buy and his parents' best judgment can select, one who spends
a third or more of his life in fitting himself to get on successfully in
the remainder of it. That boy certainly ought to come out ready for his
life's work, with not only a thoroughly-trained mind and a strong moral
nature, but with a well-developed, vigorous physique, and a knowledge of
how to maintain it, so that he may make the most of all his advantages.

But how often does this happen? Stand by the gate as the senior class of
almost any college in this country files out from its last examination
before graduation, and look the men carefully over. Ask your physician to
join you in the scrutiny. If, between you two, you can arrive at the
conclusion that one-half, or even one-third of them, have that vitality and
stamina which make it probable that they will live till seventy, it will be
indeed most surprising. A few of these young men, the athletes, will be
well-developed, better really than they need be. But this over-development
may be far from the safest or wisest course. Even though physically
improved by it, it is not certain that this marked development will carry
them onward through life to a ripe old age. But, with others indifferently
developed, there will be many more positively weak. Such men may have
bright, uncommon heads. Yes; but a bright and uncommon head on a broken
down, or nearly broken down, body is not going to make half as effective a
man in the life-race as a little duller head and a good deal better body.

But have these graduates had a competent instructor at college to look
after them in this respect? Will some one name a college where they have
such an instructor? or a school where, instead of building the pupil up
for the future, more has been done than to insure his present health?
One or two such there may be, but scarcely more than one or two.

Take even the student who has devoted the most time to severe muscular
exercise--the rowing-man, not the beginner, but the veteran of a score
or more of races, who has been rowing all his four college years as
regularly and almost as often as he dined. Certainly it will not be
claimed that his is not a well-developed body, or that his permanent
health is not insured. Let us look a little at him and see. What has he
done? He entered college at eighteen, and is the son, say, of a
journalist or of a professional man. Finding, when he came to be
fourteen or fifteen, that he was not strong, that somehow he did not
fill out his clothes, he put in daily an hour or more at the gymnasium,
walked much at intervals, took sparring lessons, did some rowing, and
perhaps, by the time he entered college, got his upper arm to be a foot
or even thirteen inches in circumference, with considerable muscle on
his chest. Now this young man hears daily, almost hourly, of the
wonderful Freshman crew--an embryotic affair as yet, to be sure, but of
exalted expectations--and into that crew he must go at all hazards. He
is tried and accepted. Now, for four years, if a faithful oar, he will
row all of a thousand miles a year. As each year has, off and on, not
over two hundred rowing-days in all, he will generally, for the greater
part of the remaining time, pull nearly an equivalent daily at the
rowing-weights. He will find a lot of eager fellows at his side, working
their utmost to outdo him, and get that place in the boat which he so
earnestly covets, and which he is not yet quite sure that he can hold.
Some of his muscles are developing fast. His recitations are, perhaps,
suffering a little, but never mind that just now, when he thinks that
there is more important work on hand. The young fellow's appetite is
ravenous. He never felt so hearty in his life, and is often told how
well he is looking. He attracts attention because likely to be a
representative man. He never filled out his clothes as he does now. His
legs are improving noticeably. They ought to do so, for it is not one or
two miles, but three or four, which he runs on almost every one of
those days in the hundred in which he is not rowing.

Our young athlete has not always gone into the work from mere choice. For
instance, one of a recent Harvard Freshman crew told the writer that he had
broken down his eyes from over-use of them, and, looking about for some
vigorous physical exercise which would tone him up quickly and restore his
eyesight, and having no one to consult, he had taken to rowing.

The years roll by till the whole four are over, and our student is about
to graduate. He looks back to see what he has accomplished. In physical
matters he finds that, while he is a skilful, and perhaps a decidedly
successful, oar, and that some of his measurements have much improved
since the day he was first measured, others somehow have not come up
nearly as fast, in fact, have held back in the most surprising way. His
chest-girth may be three or even four inches larger for the four years'
work. Some, if not much, of that is certainly the result of growth, not
development, and, save what running did, the rest is rather an increase
of the back muscles than of front and back alike. Strong as his back
is--for many a hard test has it stood in the long, hot home-minutes of
more than one well-fought race--still he has not yet a thoroughly
developed and capacious chest. Doubtless his legs have improved, if he
has done any running. (In some colleges the rowing-men scarcely run at
all.) His calves have come to be well-developed and shapely, and so too
have his thighs, while his loins are noticeably strong-looking and well
muscled up, and so indeed is his whole back. But if he has done
practically no other arm-work than that which rowing and the preparation
for it called for, his arms are not so large, especially above the
elbow, as they ought to be for a man with such legs and such a back. The
front of his chest is not nearly so well developed as his back, perhaps
is hardly developed at all, and he is very likely to carry himself
inerectly, with head and neck canted somewhat forward, while there is a
lack of fulness, often a noticeable hollowness, of the upper chest, till
the shoulders are plainly warped and rounded forward.

[Illustration: Fig. 1. A warped University Oarsman,
imperfectly developed in Muscles not used in Rowing.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2. A warped Professional Sculler,
imperfectly developed in Muscles not used in Rowing.]

With professional oarsmen, who for years have rowed far more than they
have done anything else, and who have no especial care for their looks,
or spur to develop harmoniously, the defects rowing leaves stand out
most glaringly. Notice in the cuts on pp. 36, 37 (Figs. 1 and 2) the
flat and slab-sided, almost hollow, look about the upper chest and front
shoulder, and compare these with the full and well-rounded make of the
figure whose body is sketched on the cover. It will not take long to
determine which has the better front chest, or which is likely to so
carry that chest as to ward off tendencies to throat and lung troubles.
Yet Fig. 1 is from a photograph of one of the most distinguished
student-oarsmen America ever produced, while Fig. 2 represents one of
the swiftest and most skilful professional scullers of the country
to-day.[A] Better proof could not be presented of the effect of a
great amount of rowing, and of the very limited exercise it brings
to those muscles which are not especially called on.

After the student's rowing is over, and his college days are past, and
he settles down to work with not nearly so much play in it, how does he
find that his rowing pays? Has it made him fitter than his fellows, who
went into athletics with no such zeal and devotion, to stand life's
wear and tear, especially when that life is to be spent mainly
in-doors? When, in later years, with new associations, business cares,
and long, hard head-work, accompanied, as the latter usually is, by
only partial inflation of the lungs, when all these get him out of the
way of using his large back muscles, he will find their very size, and
the long spell of warping forward which so much rowing gave the
shoulders, tends more to weigh him forward than if he had never so
developed them. Instead of benefiting his throat and lungs, this
abnormal development actually inclines to cramp them.

Here, then, is the case of a man who voluntarily gave much time,
thought, and labor to the severest test of his strength, and who had
hoped to bring about staying powers, and he comes out of it all, to
begin his real race in life, often no better fitted, perhaps not nearly
so well fitted, for it as some of his comrades who did not spare half so
much time to athletics. The other men, who did not work nearly as much
as he did, still managed to hit upon a sort which, instead of cramping
their chests, expanded them, enlarging the lung-room, and so gave the
heart, stomach, and other vital organs all the freest play.

If the ordinary play and exercise of the boy do not build and round
him into a sound, well-made, and evenly-balanced man; if the hardest
work he has hit on, when left to himself to find out, mostly to
be paid for by a considerable amount of money; if these only leave
him a half-developed man, can it not be seen at once that an
improvement is wanted in his physical education?

Are we not behindhand, and far behindhand, then, in a matter of serious
importance to the well-being of the people of our country? Do we not want
some system of education which shall rear men, not morally and
intellectually good alone, but good physically as well? which shall
qualify them both to seize and to make the most of the advantages which
years of toil and struggle bring, but which advantages among us now are
too frequently thrown away. Men too often, just as they are about
clutching these benefits, find, Tantalus-like, that they are eluding their
grasp. The reason must be plain to all. It is because that grasp is
weakening, and falls powerless at the very time when it could be
and should be surest, and potent for the most good.


FOOTNOTES:

[A] The faces of both men have, of course, been disguised.



CHAPTER III.

WILL DAILY PHYSICAL EXERCISE FOR GIRLS PAY?


Observe the girls in any of our cities or towns, as they pass to or from
school, and see how few of them are at once blooming, shapely, and strong.
Some are one or the other, but very few are all combined, while a decided
majority are neither one of them. Instead of high chests, plump arms;
comely figures, and a graceful and handsome mien, you constantly see flat
chests, angular shoulders, often round and warped forward, with scrawny
necks, pipe-stem arms, narrow backs, and a weak walk. Not one girl in a
dozen is thoroughly erect, whether walking, standing, or sitting. Nearly
every head is pitched somewhat forward. The arms are frequently held
almost motionless, and there is a general lack of spring and elasticity in
their movements. Fresh, blooming complexions are so rare as to attract
attention. Among eyes, plenty of them pretty, sparkling, or intelligent,
but few have vigor and force. If any dozen girls, taken at random, should
place their hands side by side on a table, many, if not most, of these
hands would be found to lack beauty and symmetry, the fingers, and indeed
the whole hand, too often having a weak, undeveloped, nerveless look.

Now watch these girls at play. See how few of their games bring them
really vigorous exercise. Set them to running, and hardly one in the
party has the swift, graceful, gliding motion she might so readily
acquire. Not one can run any respectable distance at a good pace. There
is abundant vivacity and spirit, abundant willingness to play with great
freedom, but very little such play as there might be, and which would
pay so well. Most of their exercise worth calling vigorous is for their
feet alone, the hands seldom having much to do. The girls of the most
favored classes are generally the poorest players. The quality and color
of their clothing necessitates their avoiding all active, hearty play,
while it is the constant effort of nurse or governess to repress that
superabundance of spirits which ought to belong to every boy and girl.
Holding one's elbows close to the body while walking, and keeping the
hands nearly or quite motionless, may accord with the requirements of
fashionable life, but it's terribly bad for the arms, keeping them poor,
indifferent specimens, when they might be models of grace and beauty.

As the girl comes home from school, not with one book only, but often six
or eight, instead of looking light and strong and free, she is too often
what she really appears to be, pale and weak. So many books suggest a
large amount of work for one day, certainly for one evening, and the
impression received is that she is overworked, while the truth frequently
is that the advance to be made in each book is but trifling, and the
aggregate, not at all large, by no means too great for the same girl were
she strong and hearty. It is not the mental work which is breaking her
down, but there is no adequate physical exercise to build her up. See what
ex-Surgeon-General Hammond says, in his work on "Sleep", as to the ability
to endure protracted brain-work without ill result:

"It is not the mere quantity of brain-work which is the chief factor
in the production of disease. The emotional conditions under which
work is performed is a far more important matter. A man of trained
mental habits can bear with safety an almost incredible amount of
brain-toil, provided he is permitted to work without distraction or
excitement, in the absence of disquieting cares and anxieties. It is
not brain-work, in fact, that kills, but brain-_worry_."

The girl, of course, has not the strength for the protracted effort of the
matured man, nor is such effort often required of her. Her studying is
done quietly at home, undisturbed, usually, by any such cares and
responsibilities as the man encounters. Hers is generally brain-work, not
brain-worry. Yet the few hours a day exhaust her, because her vital
system, which supports her brain, is feeble and inefficient. No girl is at
school over six hours out of the twenty-four, and, deducting the time
taken for recitation, recess, and the various other things which are not
study, five hours, or even less, will cover the time she gives to actual
brain-work in school, with two, or perhaps three, hours daily out of
school. With the other sixteen hours practically her own, there is ample
time for all the vigorous physical exercise she needs or could take, and
yet allow ten, or even twelve, of those hours for sleep or eating. But
notice, in any of these off-hours, what exercise these girls take. They
walk to and fro from school, they play a few minutes at recess, they may
take an occasional irregular stroll besides, and may indulge in a game of
croquet, but all the time intent on their conversation, never thinking of
the exercise itself, and the benefit it brings. Such things fill up the
measure of the daily physical exercise of thousands of our American girls.
It is the same thing for nearly all, save those from the poorest classes.

And what is the result? Exactly what such exercise--or, rather, such lack
of it--would bring. The short, abrupt run, the walk to or from school,
the afternoon stroll, or the miscellaneous standing about--none of these
call for or beget strength of limb, depth of chest, or vitality. None of
these exercises is more than almost any flat-chested, half-developed girl
could readily accomplish without serious effort, and, going through them
for years, she would need little more strength than she had at first.

But all this time her mental work comes in no meagre allowance. _It_ is
all the time pushing forward. Subjects are set before her, to grasp and
master which requires every day hours of close application for months
together. The number of them is also enlarging, and the task is constantly
becoming more severe. A variety of influences spurs her steadily onward.
Maybe it is emulation and determination which urges her on, not only to do
well, but to excel. Maybe it is to gratify the teacher's pride, and a
desire to show the good fruit of her work. Perhaps oftener than anything
else the girl is in dread of being dropped into another class, and she
resolves to remain with her present one at all hazards.

But with all this there is an advance in the amount and difficulty of the
brain-work. No distinction is made between the delicate girl and the
strong one. To those of a like age come like tasks. The delicate girl,
from her indifference to physical effort, finding that for the time her
weakness of body does not interfere with a ready-working brain, gradually
inclines to draw even more away from livelier games and exercises, in
which she does not excel, and to get more at her books. Can there be much
doubt as to the result a few years later? Is it any wonder that the
neglected body develops some partial weakness, or too often general
debility? Is it at all a rare thing, in the observation of any one, to
notice that this weakness, this debility, are very apt to become chronic,
and that the woman, later on in life, is a source of anxiety and a burden
to her friends, when instead of this she might have been a valued helper?

Now, if the body, during the growing years, was called on to do
nothing which should even half develop it, while the brain was pushed
nearly to its utmost, does it take long to decide whether such a
course was a wise one? Leaving out entirely the discomfort to the
body, is that a sensible system of education which leaves a girl
liable to become weak, if not entirely broken down, before she is well
on in middle age? Is this not like giving great care to moral and
mental education alone, and actually doing almost nothing for their
physical nature? Is this not an irrational and one-sided course, and
sure to beget a one-sided person? And yet is not that just what is
going on to-day with a great majority of the young girls in our land?

The moment it is conceded that a delicate body can be made a robust one,
that moment it is equally plain that there can be an almost incalculable
gain in the comfort and usefulness of the possessor of that body, not
only during all the last half of her life, but through the first half as
well. And yet, to persons familiar with what judicious, daily physical
exercise has done, and can do, for a delicate body, there is no more
doubt but that this later strength, and even sturdiness, can be acquired
than that the algebra or geometry, which at first seems impenetrable,
can be gradually mastered. The rules which bring success in each are in
many respects identical. Begin to give the muscles of the hand and
forearm, for instance, as vigorous and assiduous use as these
mathematical studies bring to the brain, and the physical grasp will as
surely and steadily improve as does the mental. Give not only the
delicate girls, but all girls, exercises which shall insure strong and
shapely limbs, and chests deep, full, and high, beginning these
exercises mildly, and progressing very gradually, correcting this high
shoulder, or that stoop, or this hollow chest, or that overstep, and
carrying on this development as long as the school-days last. Let this
be done under a teacher as familiar with her work as the mathematical
instructor is with his, and what incalculable benefit would accrue, not
to this generation alone, but to their descendants as well!

But will not this physical training dull the mind for its work? If
protracted several hours, or the greater part of each day, as with the
German peasant-woman in the field, or the Scotch fish-woman with her
wares, no doubt it would. But if Maclaren of Oxford wanted but a little
while each day to increase the girth of the chests of a dozen British
soldiers three inches apiece in four months, is this very moderate
allowance likely to work much mental dulness? Did Charles Dickens's
seven to twelve miles afoot daily interfere with some masterly work
which his pen produced each day? Did Napoleon's whole days spent in the
saddle tell very seriously on his mental operations, and prevent him
from conceiving and carrying out military and strategic work which will
compare favorably with any the world's history tells of?

And what if this daily exercise, beside the bodily benefit and improvement
which ensues, should also bring actually better mental work? Unbending the
bow for a little while, taking the tension from the brain for a few
minutes, and depleting it by expanding the chest to its fullest capacity,
and increasing the circulation in the limbs--these, instead of impairing
that brain, will repair it, and markedly improve its tone and vigor.

There ought to be in every girls' school in our land, for pupils of
every age, a system of physical culture which should first eradicate
special weaknesses and defects, and then create and maintain the
symmetry of the pupils, increasing their bodily vigor and strength up to
maturity. If several, or a majority, of the girls in a class have flat
or indifferent chests, put them in a squad which shall pay direct and
steady attention to raising, expanding, and strengthening the chest. If
many have a bad gait, some stepping too long, others too short, set them
aside for daily special attention to their step. If many, or nearly all,
have an inerect carriage, wholly lacking _la ligne_ of Dumas, then daily
insist on such exercises for them as shall straighten them up and keep
them up. The dancing-master teaches the girl to step gracefully and
accurately through various dancing-steps. To inculcate a correct length
of step, and method of putting the foot down and raising it in walking,
is not nearly so difficult a task. If the "setting-up" drill of the West
Pointer in a few weeks transforms the raw and ungainly country boy into
a youth of erect and military bearing, and insisting on that bearing at
all times throughout the first year gives the cadet a set and carriage
which he often retains through life, is there anything to hinder the
girl from acquiring an equally erect and handsome carriage of the body
if she too will only use the means? If the muscles which, when fully
developed, enable one to sit or stand erect for hours together are
now weak, is it not wise to at once strengthen them?

But may not this vigorous muscular exercise, which tends to produce hard
and knotted muscles in the man, take away the softer and more graceful
lines, which are essentially feminine? If exercise be kept up for hours
together, as in the case of the blacksmith, undoubtedly it would. But that
is a thing a sensible system of exercise would avoid, as studiously as it
would the weakness and inefficiency which result from no work. A little
trial soon tells what amount of work, and how much of it, is best adapted
to each pupil; then the daily maintaining of that proportion or kind of
exercise, and its increase, as the newly-acquired strength justifies and
invites it, is all that is required. Without that hardness and solidity
which are essentially masculine, there still comes a firmness and
plumpness of muscle to which the unused arm or back was a stranger.
Instead of these being incompatible with beauty, they are directly
accessory to it. "Elegance of form in the human figure," says Emerson,
"marks some excellence of structure;" and again, "any real increase of
fitness to its end, in any fabric or organism, is an increase of beauty."

Look at the famous beauties of any age, and everything in the picture or
statue points to this same firmness and symmetry of make, this freedom
from either leanness or flabbiness. The Venuses and Junos, the Minervas,
Niobes, and Helens of mythology, the Madonnas, the mediæval beauties,
all alike have the well-developed and shapely arm and shoulder, the high
chest, the vigorous body, and the firm and erect carriage. Were there a
thin chest or a flat shoulder, a poor and feeble arm or a contracted
waist, it would at once mar the picture, and bring down on it judgment
anything but favorable. Put now on the canvas or in marble, not the
strongest and most comely, neither the weakest and least-favored, of our
American girls or women, but simply her who fairly represents the
average, and, however well the face and expression might suffice,
the imperfect physical development, and indifferent figure and
carriage, would at once justly provoke unfavorable comment.

That the same vigorous exercise and training which brought forth womanly
physical beauty in ancient days will bring it out now, there need be no
manner of doubt. A most apt and excellent case in point was mentioned
in the _New York Tribune_ of June 19th, 1878. It said:

"The study and practice of gymnastics are to be made compulsory in all the
State schools in Italy. The apostle of physical culture in that enervating
climate is Sebastian Fenzi, the son of a Florence banker. He built a
gymnasium at his own expense in that city, and from that beginning the
movement has extended from city to city. He has preached gymnastics to
senators and deputies, to the syndic and municipal councillors, and even
to the crown princess, now queen. _He especially inculcates its advantages
on all mothers of families, as likely to increase to a remarkable extent
the personal charms of their daughters._ And so far as his own domestic
experience goes, his theories have not been contradicted by practice, for
_he is the father of the most beautiful women in Italy_."

Suppose Mr. Durant at Wellesley, or Mr. Caldwell at Vassar, should at
once introduce in their deservedly famous schools a system of physical
education which should proceed on the simple but intelligent plan, first
of training the weaker muscles of each pupil until they are as strong as
the rest, and then of transferring the young woman thus physically
improved from the class of this or that special work, to that which
insures to all muscles alike ample, daily vigorous exercise. Suppose
that all the girls could be made to consider this daily lesson as much a
matter of course in their studies as anything else. Suppose, again, that
there is a teacher familiar with the work and all its requirements, one
who is capable of interesting others, one who fully enters into the
spirit of it. If such a master or mistress can be found, if the pupils
are instructed--whether they be sitting, standing, or walking--to always
remain erect, is there any reason why the Vassar girls should not soon
have as fine and impressive a carriage as the manly young fellows at the
academy across the river, but a few miles distant?

Looking again at the effect on the mental work, would the daily
half-hour of exercise in-doors, and the hour's constitutional out-doors,
in all weathers, if sensibly arranged, interfere one whit with all the
intellectual progress the girls could or should make? For, is that a
rational system of intellectual progress which brings out a bright
intellect on a half-developed body, and promises fine things in the
future, when the body has had no training adequate to justify the belief
that there will be much of any future? Is not that rather a dear price
to pay for such intellectuality? Hear Herbert Spencer on this point:

"On women the effects of this forcing system are, if possible, even
more injurious than on men. Being in a great measure debarred from those
vigorous and enjoyable exercises of body by which boys mitigate the
evils of excessive study, girls feel these evils in their full
intensity. Hence the much smaller proportion of them who grow up
well-made and healthy. In the pale, angular, flat-chested young ladies,
so abundant in London drawing-rooms, we see the effect of merciless
application unrelieved by youthful sports; and this physical degeneracy
exhibited by them hinders their welfare far more than their many
accomplishments aid it. Mammas anxious to make their daughters
attractive could scarcely choose a course more fatal than this which
sacrifices the body to the mind. Either they disregard the tastes of the
opposite sex, or else their conception of those tastes is erroneous. Men
care comparatively little for erudition in women, but very much for
physical beauty and good nature and sound sense. How many conquests does
the blue-stocking make through her extensive knowledge of history?"

This is a question quite worthy of the consideration of every teacher
of girls in our land, and a paragraph full of suggestion, not
only to every parent having a child's interests in his or her
keeping, but to every spirited girl herself as well.

Every school-girl in America could be daily practised in a few simple
exercises, calling for no costly, intricate, or dangerous apparatus, taking
a little time, but yet expanding her lungs, invigorating her circulation,
strengthening her digestion, giving every muscle and joint of her body
vigorous play, and so keeping her toned up, and strong enough to be free
from much danger either of incurring serious disease, or any of the lighter
ailments so common among us. As to her usefulness, no matter where her lot
is to be cast, it will be increased, and, it is not too much to add, her
happiness would be greatly enhanced through all her life as well.



CHAPTER IV.

IS IT TOO LATE FOR WOMEN TO BEGIN?


But if the school-days are past and the girl has become a woman, what
then? If the girl, trammelled by few duties outside of school-hours, has
found amusement for herself, yet still needs daily and regular exercise
to make and keep her fresh and hearty, much more does the woman,
especially in a country like our own, where physical exercise for her
sex is almost unknown, require such exercise. Our women are born of
parents who pride themselves on their mental qualifications, on a good
degree of intelligence. Our educational system is one which offers an
endless variety of spurs to continued mental effort.

Are not the majority of our women to-day, especially in town and city,
physically weak? The writers on nervous disorders speak of the astounding
increase of such diseases among us, of late years, in both sexes, but
especially among the women. General debility is heard of nowadays almost
as often as General Grant. Most of our women think two miles, or even
less, a long distance to walk, even at a dawdling pace, while few of
them have really strong chests, backs, or arms. (If they wish to test
their arms, for instance, let them grasp a bar or the rung of a ladder,
and try to pull themselves up once till the chin touches. Not two in
fifty will do it, but almost any boy can.) Hardly a day goes by when
a woman's strength is not considerably taxed, and often overtaxed.

There is no calling of the unmarried woman where vigorous health and
strength--not great or herculean, but simply such as every well-built and
well-developed woman ought to have--would not be of great, almost
priceless value to her. The shop-girl, the factory operative, the clerk in
the store, the book-keeper, the seamstress, the milliner, the telegraph
operator, are all confined, for many hours a day, with exercise for but a
few of the muscles, and with the trunk held altogether too long in one
position, and that too often a contracted and unhealthy one. Actually
nothing is done to render the body lithe and supple, to develop the idle
muscles, to deepen the breathing and quicken the circulation--in short, to
tone up the whole system. No wonder such a day's work, and such a way of
living, leaves the body tired and exhausted. It would, before long, do the
same for the strongest man. No wonder that the walk to and from work is a
listless affair. No wonder that, later on, special or general weakness
develops, and the woman goes through life either weak and delicate, or
with not half the strength and vigor which might readily be hers.

And is it any better with the married woman? Take one of limited means.
Much of the work about her home which servants might do, could she
employ them, she bravely does herself, willing to make ten times this
sacrifice, if need be, for those dearest to her. Follow her throughout
the day, especially where there are children: there is an almost endless
round of duties, many of them not laborious, to be sure, or calling for
much muscular strength, but keeping the mind under a strain until they
are done, difficult to encompass because difficult to foresee. In the
aggregate they are almost numberless. A man can usually tell in the
morning most of what is in front of him for the day--indeed, can often
plan so as to say beforehand just what he will be at each hour. But not
so the housewife and mother of young children. She is constantly called
to perform little duties, both expected and unexpected, which cannot
fail to tell on a person not strong. A healthy child a year old will
often weigh twenty pounds; yet a woman otherwise weak will carry that
child on her left arm several times a day up one or more flights of
stairs, till you would think she would drop from exhaustion. Let
sickness come, and she will often seem almost tireless, so devotedly
will she keep the child in her arms. While children are, of course,
carried less when they begin to walk, many a child two, or even three
years old, is picked up by the mother, not a few times a day, even
though he weighs thirty or forty pounds instead of twenty. Now for this
mother to have handled a dumb-bell of that weight would have been
thought foolish and dangerous, for nothing about her suggested strength
equal to that performance. And yet the devotion of a weak mother to
her child is quite as great as that of a strong one. Is it any wonder
that this overdoing of muscles never trained to such work must sooner
or later tell? It would be wonderful if it did not.

Yet now, suppose that same mother had from early childhood been trained to
systematic physical exercise suited to her strength, and increasing with
that strength until, from a strong and healthy child, she grew to be a
hearty, vigorous woman, well developed, strong, and comely--what now would
she mind carrying the little tot on her arm? What before soon became heavy
and a burden--a willing burden though it was--now never seems so at all,
and really is no task for such muscles as she now has. Instead of her
day's work breaking her down, it is no more than a woman of her vigor
needs--indeed, not so much as she needs--to keep her well and strong.

And, besides escaping the bodily tire and exhaustion, look at the happiness
it brings her in the exhilaration which comes with ruddy health, in the
feeling of being easily equal to whatever comes up, in being a stranger to
indigestion, to nervousness and all its kindred ailments. This vital force,
sparing her many of the doubts and fears so common to the weak, but which
the strong seldom know, enables her to endure patiently privation,
watching, and bereavement. And who is the more likely to live to a ripe old
age, the woman who never took suitable and adequate exercise to give her
even moderate vitality and strength, or she who, by a judicious and
sensible system, suited to her particular needs, has developed such powers?

But, while this is all well enough for young girls, is it not too late
for full-grown women to attempt to get the same benefits? The girl was
young and plastic, and, with proper care, could be moulded in almost any
way; but the woman already has her make and set, and these cannot
readily be changed. Perhaps not quite so readily, but actual trial will
show that the difficulty is largely imaginary. To many, indeed to most
women, the idea is absolutely new, and they never supposed such change
possible. Bryant, beginning at forty, made exercise pay wonderfully.
Bear in mind how, with a few minutes a day, Maclaren enlarged and
strengthened men thirty years old; that, out of his class of over a
hundred, the greatest gain was in the oldest man in it, and he was
thirty-five. Let us look at what one or two women have managed to effect
by systematic and thorough bodily training. In "The Coming Man" Charles
Reade says (p. 50), "Nathalie, a French gymnast, and not a woman of
extraordinary build, can take two fifty-six-pound weights from the
ground, one in each hand, and put them slowly above her head." She has
"a sister who goes up the slack-rope. Farini saw her pitted against
twenty sailors. The sailors had a slack-rope; she had another. A sailor
went up as far as he could; the gymnast went as high on her rope at the
same time. Sailor came down tired, the lady fresh. Another sailor went
up, the lady ditto; and so on. _She wore out the whole twenty, having
gone up an aggregate of feet higher than St. Peter's Church at Rome._
This feat is due to great strength, complete either-handedness, and the
athlete's power of pinching a rope with the sinews of the lower limbs."

But is this great and unusual strength, especially of the arms, desirable
in most women? Not at all; but that is not the point. When Farini says
that the first step toward making one a skilled gymnast or acrobat is to
bring up the weak arm, and shoulder, and side--usually the left--until
equally strong with its, till now, superior mate, and that he is constantly
doing that, he is doing more by far than would be needed to make most
women, not as strong as acrobats and performers, but--a far more important
matter--reasonably and comfortably so, sufficiently to keep nervous
disorders away, to enable them to be far better equal to the daily duties,
and to spend life with an appreciation and zest too often unknown by the
weak woman; finally, to preserve for a woman the bloom and healthy look
which once in a while she sees, even in a woman of advanced years, and
which would be her own did she use the means to have it.

And what should a woman do to get this health and strength and bloom? Just
what is done by the young girl. Indeed, there are a hundred exercises,
almost any of which, faithfully followed up, would help directly to bring
the desired result. With her, as with girl or man or boy, the first thing
is to symmetrize, to bring up the weaker muscles by special effort, calling
them at once into vigorous action, and to restore to its proper position
the shoulder, back, or chest, which has been so long allowed to remain out
of place. The symmetry once gained, then equal work for all the muscles,
taken daily, and in such quantities as are found to suit best.

The variety of exercises open to woman, especially out-of-doors, is almost
as great as to man. Every one knows some graceful horsewoman, and it is a
pity there were not a hundred where there is one. One of the most expert
of our acquaintance is the mother of one of the most gifted metaphysicians
in the land, and he already is a middle-aged man. There are a few ladies
in this country, and a good many in England, who think nothing of a five
or six mile walk daily, and an occasional one of twice that length. Once
in a while a married woman here will do some long-distance skating. In
Holland, in the season, it is with many an every-day affair. Some of the
best swimmers and floaters at the watering-places are women, and they
certainly do not look much troubled with nervousness. More than one woman
has distinguished herself in Alpine climbing. The writer once saw a woman,
apparently about twenty-eight, a handsome, vigorous, rosy Englishwoman,
row her father from Putney to Mortlake, on the Thames, a distance of
four miles and three furlongs, not at racing pace, to be sure, but
at a lively speed. The measured precision of that lady's stroke,
the stately poise of the body and head, and the clean, neat, and
effective feathering, would have done credit to an old Oxford oar.

What woman has done, woman may do. Bind one arm in a sling, and keep it
utterly idle for a month, and meanwhile ply the other busily with heavy
work, such as swinging a hammer, axe, or dumb-bell, and is it hard to say
which will be the healthier, the plumper, the stronger--the _live_ arm, at
the end of the month? And will this only apply to men's arms, and not to
women's? Who has usually the stronger, and almost generally the shapelier
arm--the woman who, surrounded with servants, takes her royal ease, and has
American notions and ways of exercise, or the busy maid in her kitchen? If
the latter's arm is large, yet not well-proportioned, it simply means that
some of its muscles have been used far more than the others.

Now, to her who understands what exercises will develop each of the muscles
of that arm, and who can tell at sight which are fully developed or
developed at all, and which are not, it is easy to bring up the backward
ones, and so secure the symmetry and the consequent general strength. The
same rule holds good of all the other muscles, as well as those of the arm.

Plenty of active out-door work will go far toward securing health.
But it will only develop the parts brought into play, and there
ought to be exercise for all.

Now what daily work, and how much of it, will secure this symmetry,
erectness, and strength, supposing that, at the outset, there is no
organic defect, but that the woman is simply weak both in her muscular
and in her vital systems? In the first place, let it be understood
that the connection between these systems is intimate, and that the
judicious building and strengthening of the former, and the keeping up
that strength by sensible daily exercise, tells directly on the
latter. Vigorous muscular exercise, properly taken, enlarges the
respiration, quickens the circulation, improves the digestion, the
working, in fact, of all the vital parts. Dr. Mitchell says it is the
very thing also to quiet the excited nerves and brain.

The amount of that exercise daily depends on the present strength of the
woman. If she is weak generally, for the first fortnight the exercise,
while general enough to bring all the muscles into play, must be light and
easy. Then, as a little strength is gained, the work advances accordingly.
If partially strong at first, invariably the first thing to do is to adapt
the exercise mainly to the weaker muscles till they catch up.

Suppose the right arm is stronger than the left, as frequently happens,
because it has had more to do. For the first month--or, if necessary, for
the first two months--let the left arm have nearly all the exercise, and
that exercise as vigorous as it can comfortably take. Then, when it is
found that it can lift or carry as heavy a weight, and pull or push as hard
as the right, keep at it, by means of exercise, until both arms can do the
same amount of work, and are equal. But suppose the arms are already
equally strong, or, rather, equally weak--that both the back and chest are
small; that is, not so large or well-proportioned as they should be in a
well-built woman of a certain height--then all that is necessary is to
select work especially adapted to strengthen the back, and other work
telling directly on the chest. For the first fortnight very mild efforts
should be made, and the advance should be gradual, taking great care never
once to overdo it. Let the advance be made as the newly-acquired strength
justifies and encourages it. What particular exercises will effect the
strengthening and development of any given muscles will be pointed out in
the chapter on Special Exercise, at the latter part of this book.

How about the length of time this daily exercising will take? It is all
easy enough for the rich, whose time is their own, and who could spare four
or five hours a day if necessary; but how is the woman to manage it who
must work from seven to six, or even far into the evening as well? She can
hardly get time to read about horseback riding and Alpine climbing, much
less take part in them. Well, it is a poor system which cannot suit nearly
all cases. The woman who works steadily from early morning till well into
the night, especially at employment at all sedentary and confining, is
undergoing a test and a hardship which will certainly call for a strong
constitution, good condition, and a brave spirit as well, or the strain
will surely break her down, and bring to her permanent weakness. If so many
hours must be spent in labor, then let her secure ten or fifteen minutes,
upon rising, for a series of exercises in her room. At the dinner-hour,
again at supper-time, and once about mid-morning, and again at
mid-afternoon, three or five minutes could generally be spared for a few
brisk exercises calculated to limber and call into vigorous action the
back, and many of the muscles so long held almost motionless until they
stiffen from it. If there is a whole hour at dinner-time, and half of it
could be spent in walking, if possible with a cheerful and energetic
companion, who would make her forget the dull routine of her day--not
dawdling, aimless walking, but stepping out as if she meant it, with a
spring and energy which quickens the pulse, driving the morning's
thoughts out of the mind, scattering low spirits to the winds--it would
bring a pleasant feeling of recreation and change. The benefit to be
derived from such a walk would be immediate and marked.

Is this asking much? A mile and a half could easily be covered in that
time, and, by a strong walker, even two, while the dinner would taste twice
as good for the exercise. Another mile, or even half a mile, might be
walked at supper-time, the pace always being kept up. If the confinement is
so close as not to permit even these few snatches of time for a little
recreation, never mind. Do not give it up yet. The ten minutes on rising
were made sure of anyhow.[B] Yes, another chance remains. When at last the
work is over, even though it is time to retire, get out-of-doors for half
an hour's smart walk with brother or friend, and see how refreshing it will
prove. The jaded body will almost forget its tire, and the sleep which
follows, while it may not be quite as long as before, will make up in
quality, and the new day will find a far fresher woman, one better up
to her duties, than if no exercise had been taken.

To her who does not labor so long, but has her evenings to herself, unless
already broken by disease, there need be no trouble about getting strong
and healthy. Let her do the little exercise above mentioned till evening;
then, first eating a hearty supper, beginning with such distance as she can
walk easily, add to the distance gradually, until she finds herself equal
to four or five miles at a smart pace for her--say three and a half miles
to the hour. (The professional masculine pedestrians do eight miles an
hour, to be sure; but Miss Von Hillern, for instance, is good for about
six.) This, taken either every evening, or, say, four evenings a week, will
soon give tone, and make the woman feel strong instead of weak, will enable
her to digest what she eats, and will visibly improve her appetite. Let
her give five or ten minutes for exercising the arms and chest before
retiring, and she has had abundant exercise for that day, while any trouble
she has had in the past about sleeping is at an end.

But sufficient as the evening walk is, of course if it can be had in
daylight and in the sunshine, it is all the better. Few mothers are
so placed that they cannot each day, by good management, get an hour
for the care of their health. Let them be sure to take a quick, lively
walk for the whole time, not with arms held motionless, but swinging
easily as men's do--of course, for the first month taking less
distances, but working steadily on. They will be astonished at the
very gratifying difference in the result between it and the old listless
walk, and how much easier the day's duties come now.

But there is one class of women who are especially favored--a large
class too, in our land--the daughters of parents so well to do that,
between their graduation from school and the day they are married, their
time is practically their own. If weak at the start, let them, after
gradual exercise begins to make them stronger, take more besides the few
minutes at rising and retiring, and the hearty constitutional afoot. If
their walking is done in the afternoon, let them set apart half an hour
in the latter part of the morning (if possible, with another girl
similarly placed) for work which shall strengthen the arms and the whole
trunk. If there is a good gymnasium convenient--especially if it has a
teacher of the right stamp--there will be the best place for this work.
But if not, a little home gymnasium like that suggested later in the
chapter on that subject, and which every girl ought to have, would be
the place. Very soon this extra work will tell. Look what the four hours
a week, just with two-pound wooden dumb-bells, very light Indian clubs,
and light pulley-weights, did for a youth of nineteen in one year![C]
An increase of an inch in height, of one and a half around the upper
arm, of three and a half inches in the girth of the chest, of fifteen
pounds in weight--would not these work marked changes in any young
woman, and would they not nearly always be most desirable changes? It
is not a matter of inches and pounds alone. This increase of girth
and weight is almost sure to tell most beneficially on the health
and spirits as well--in short, on the general vigor.

If, with the increase in size and strength, care has been taken to
practise special exercises to make and keep her erect, to at all times,
whether sitting, standing, or walking, hold the head and neck where they
should be, there is not much doubt but that, even in one short year, the
difference in any girl, not strong or straight at the beginning, will be
very marked. It really lies with young women of this class to make
themselves physically--in proportion to their height--what they will.

Is there any need of pointing out to a spirited girl the value of a sound,
healthy, and shapely body? Is there any sphere in woman's life where it
will not stand her in good stead, and render her far more efficient at
whatever she is called on to do--as daughter, sister, wife or mother,
teacher or friend? Nor is the benefit limited even to her own lifetime, but
her posterity are blessed by it as well. Would she like to have inherited
consumptive tendencies, for instance, from her parent? Will her children
like any better to inherit the same from her? In our Christian lands, we
find, if history be correct, that the great men have almost invariably had
remarkable mothers, while their fathers were as often nothing unusual. The
Sandwich Island proverb, "If strong be the frame of the mother, her sons
will make laws for the people," suggests truths that will hold good in many
other places besides the Sandwich Islands. Let every intelligent girl and
woman in this land bear in mind that, from every point of view, a vigorous
and healthy body, kept toned up by rational, systematic, daily exercise, is
one of the very greatest blessings which can be had in this world; that
many persons spend tens of thousands of dollars in trying to regain even a
part of this blessing when once they have lost it; that the means of
getting it are easily within the reach of all, who are not already broken
by disease; that it is never too late to begin, and that one hour a day,
properly spent, is all that is needed to secure it.


FOOTNOTES:

[B] See (page 169) how Mr. Bryant used those morning minutes,
and how well he was repaid for it, too!

[C] See page 147.



CHAPTER V.

WHY MEN SHOULD EXERCISE DAILY.


The advantages to men of a well-built body, kept in thorough repair, are
very great. Those of every class, whose occupation is sedentary, soon
come to appreciate this. Some part of the machinery gets out of order.
It may be the head, or eyes, or throat; it may be the lungs or stomach,
liver or kidneys. Something does not go right. There is a clogging, a
lack of complete action, and often positive pain. This physical clogging
tells at once on the mental work, either making its accomplishment
uncomfortable and an effort, or becoming so bad as to actually prevent
work at all. It may make the man ill. There is very little doubt but
that a large majority of ailments would be removed, or, rather, would
never have come at all, had the lungs and also the muscles of the man
had vigorous daily action to the extent that frequent trial had shown
best suited to that man's wants. One of the quickest known ways of
dispelling a headache is to give some of the muscles, those of the legs,
for instance, a little hard, sharp work to do. The reason is obvious.
Dr. Mitchell puts it well when he says that muscular exercise flushes
the parts engaged in it, and so depletes the brain.

But fortunately that same exercise also helps make better blood, gets
the entire lungs into action, quickens the activity of the other vital
organs, and so tones up the whole man, that, if the exercise is taken
daily and is kept up, disorder, unless very deep-seated, disappears.

It is well known that when the system, from any cause, gets run down,
disease is more likely to enter, and slower at being shaken off. Thousands
and hundreds of thousands of men and women have hard work, mental strain,
fret and anxiety, daily, and for years together--indeed, scarcely do
anything to lighten the tension in this direction. They tell you they are
subject to headache or dyspepsia, or other disorder, as if it was out of
the question to think of preventing it. But had the work been so arranged,
as it nearly always could be--far oftener than most persons think--to
secure daily an hour for vigorous muscular exercise for all the parts, this
running down would, in most instances, never come. The sharp, hot work,
till the muscles are healthily tired, insures the good digestion, the
cleared brain, the sound sleep, the buoyant spirits.

The president of one of the largest banks in this country told the
writer that, disappointed one summer in not getting a run to Europe,
reflection told him that one marked benefit such jaunts had brought him
was from the increased sleep he was enabled to get, that thereupon he
determined on longer sleeps at home. He got them, and found, as he well
put it, that he could "fight better." Beset all day long with men
wanting heavy loans, that fighting tone, that ability to say "no" at the
right time and in a way which showed he meant it, must have not only
added to his own well-being, but to the bank's protection as well.

Again, many men are liable to occasionally have sudden and very
protracted spells of head-work, where sleep and almost everything else
must give way, so that the business in hand may be gotten through with.
"Tom Brown" told the writer that, when in Parliament, he could work
through a whole week together on but four hours of sleep a night, and be
none the worse for it, provided he could have all he wanted the next
week, and that since he was twenty-five he had hardly known a sick day.

A father, tired from his day of busy toil, may have a sick child, who
for much of the night will not let him sleep. Such taxes as this, coming
to one already run down and weak, cannot be braved frequently with
impunity. Unless the five or six miles a day of Tom Brown and his
fellow-Englishmen's "constitutional," or some equivalent, is resorted
to, and the man kept well toned-up, one of these sudden calls may prove
too severe, and do serious if not fatal injury. This toning-up is not
all. If the bodily exercise is such as to get all the muscles strong,
and keep them so, the very work that would otherwise overdo and exhaust
now has no such effect, but is gone through with spirit and ease. There
is that consciousness of strength which is equal to all such trifles.

The very nervousness and worry which used to be so wearing, at the sudden
and ceaseless calls of the day, have gone, and for the reason that strong
nerves and strong muscles are very liable to go together, and not to mind
these things. What does the athlete at the top of his condition know about
nervousness? He is blithe as a lark all the day long.

Dr. Mitchell says: "The man who lives an out-door life--who sleeps with
the stars visible above him, who wins his bodily subsistence at first-hand
from the earth and waters--is a being who defies rain and sun, has a
strange sense of elastic strength, may drink if he likes, and may smoke
all day long, and feel none the worse for it. Some such return to the
earth for the means of life is what gives vigor and developing power to
the colonists of an older race cast on a land like ours. A few generations
of men living in such fashion store up a capital of vitality which
accounts largely for the prodigal activity displayed by their descendants,
and made possible only by the sturdy contest with nature which their
ancestors have waged. That such a life is still led by multitudes of our
countrymen is what alone serves to keep up our pristine force and energy."

Now, while this extreme hardiness and tone cannot be had by a person who
has twelve hours of busy brain-work daily in-doors, and only one of bodily
exercise, still, much can be done, quite enough to calm and tranquillize,
and to carry easily over those passes which used to be dreaded.

If the man who habitually works too long without a rest would every hour
or so turn lightly from his work, for even sixty seconds, to some vigorous
exercise right in his office, or even in the next room or hall-way, until
the blood got out of his brain a little, and the muscles tingled with a
hearty glow, he would go back so refreshed as to quickly make up, both in
the quantity and quality of his work, for the time lost. When his hour for
exercise came, instead of having no heart for it, he would spring to it
with alacrity, like the school-boy does to his play.

Even if the strong man does occasionally become jaded, he knows, as
Hughes did, how to get back his strength and snap, and that a tired man
is many removes from a tired-out one. There is a great deal in knowing
whether your work is overdoing you or simply tiring you. One of the
strongest and best oarsmen Harvard ever had, used, at first, to think he
ought to stop rowing when he began to perspire, and was quite astounded
when an older man told him that that was only the beginning of the real
work. There is no end of comfort to a tired man, either mentally or
physically, in the thought that sure relief is near.

Again, this relief by physical exercise will encourage the man to hope
that, if war or accident do not cut him down, he may look for a long
life, no matter how great may be the occasional strain. Few men, for
instance, familiar with the life of the Duke of Wellington will claim
that they are better workers than he was, or that they get through more
in a day or year, or that, heavy as their responsibilities may be, they
surpass or even equal those which were his for years together. Yet all
the terrible mental strain this illustrious man underwent, battling with
one of the greatest captains this world ever saw, all the exposure and
forced marching, privation and toil, which come to the faithful soldier,
and to him who holds the lives of multitudes in his hands, this man
knew, and yet so controlled his work, exacting as it all was, as to
manage to keep his body superior to all it was called on to do, and his
mind in constant working order, and this not merely up to threescore and
ten, but to fourscore good years, and three more besides. Did not the
vigorous body at the start, and the daily attention to it, pay him?

Will it be claimed that the president of one of the best-known
corporations on this continent did any more work than Wellington? That
president was at it all day, and far into the night, and when away in
Europe, nominally on a play-spell, as well. Naturally, he was a strong,
energetic man; but he had so worked, and so neglected his body, that he
died at fifty-two. Which of the two men showed the better sense?

What does cutting one's self down at fifty-two mean? Five minutes'
reflection should tell any reasonable person that the man was
overworking himself, and going at a pace no man could hold and live.
Does not this show a lack of sense, and especially when much of that
work could certainly have been done by subordinates? Was not one of
Daniel Webster's best points his skill in getting work done by
others, and saving for himself the parts he liked best?

When, after long years of toil and perseverance, one has worked himself
up to position and wide influence, is it sensible to do what his
humblest employé could rightly tell him is overcrowding, and so forcing
the pace that he certainly cannot hold it? Instead of taking that
position and that influence and wielding them for greater ends, and
improving them very markedly, must there not be a keen pang to their
owner when, tantalized with what seems surely within his grasp, that
grasp itself weakens, and the machine goes all to pieces?

These later years are especially the precious ones to the wealthy man.
They are his best days. Then his savings, and his earnings too,
accumulate as they did not when he was younger. Look at the work done by
Vanderbilt, for example, accomplished almost thirty years after he was
fifty-two! Did not the active out-door life on the little periauger of
his youth, and the daily constitutionals which, notwithstanding his
infirmities, all New Yorkers saw him taking in later life, pay him?
And are they less precious in any other line of life?

Look for a moment at the value health is to a man in any of the
learned professions--of having a sound and vigorous body, with each
branch of his vital system working regularly, naturally, and in
harmony with the rest. Do these things make no difference to the
divine? Had the sturdy, prize-fighter make of Martin Luther nothing
to do with his contempt for the dangers awaiting his appearance before
Charles V. and his Diet of Worms, and which caused him to say he would
go there though the devils were as thick as the tiles on the houses;
and with the grand stand he made for the religious light which
now shines so freely upon the whole Christian world?

Thomas Guthrie, first tying one hand behind him, with the other could whip
any man in Oxford who would also fight one-handed. Who doubts that the
vigor so evinced had much to do with the faithful, arduous life's work he
did, and did so well that all Scotland is to-day justly proud of him?

Have the magnificent breadth and depth of Spurgeon's chest, and his
splendid outfit of vital organs, no connection with his great power and
influence as a preacher of world-wide renown? Have the splendid
physique and abounding vitality of Henry Ward Beecher--greater almost
than that of any man in a hundred thousand--nothing to do with his
ability to attend to his duties as pastor, author, lecturer, and
editor--work enough to kill half a dozen ordinary men--and with the
tireless industry which must precede his marked success in them all?
Are not the towering form, the ruddy health, and grand, manly vigor of
Dr. John Hall weighty elements, first in putting together, and then in
driving home, the honest, earnest, fearless words which all remember
who ever heard him speak? Have not the great bodies of those two young
giants of the American pulpit, Phillips Brooks and Joseph Cook,
proved most valuable accessories to their great brains?

Is there anything feeble about any of these? Put the tape-measure around
them anywhere you like, and see how generous nature has been with them.
Is it all a mere chance that they happen to have splendid bodies? Why is
it that we never hear of such as these having "ministers' sore throat,"
and "blue Mondays," and having to be sent by their congregations, every
now and then, away to a foreign land to recruit their health and keep
them up to their work? Do sound and sturdy bodies, and due attention
daily to keeping them in good repair, have nothing to do with their
ability to cope at all times with the duty lying next to them--and with
their attention to it, too, in such a way as to make them so much more
effective than other men in their great life's work?

That the physician himself needs sound health and plentiful strength,
few will question; and yet, does he, from his calling alone, do anything
to insure it? Dragged from his bed at all hours of the night, thrown
daily, almost hourly, in contact with deadly disease--often so
contagious that others shrink from going where he goes, like the brave
man he must be to face such dangers--would not that general toned-up
condition of the thoroughly sound and healthy man prove a most valuable
boon to him--indeed, often save his life? And yet, does his daily
occupation insure him that boon, even though it does enable him to get
out-of-doors far more than most men who earn their living by mental
labor? Witness one of their own number, Dr. Mitchell, on this point; for
he says, "The doctor, who is supposed to get a large share of exercise,
in reality gets very little after he grows too busy to walk, and has
then only the incidental exposure to out-door air." Would not a sensible
course of physical exercise daily pay him--especially when pretty much
all the muscular work he gets of any account is for his forearms and a
little of his back, and then only when he drives a hard-bitted horse?

And does not a lawyer need a good body, and one kept in good order? After
the first few years, when his practice is once well established, he finds
that, unlike men in most other callings, his evenings are not his own, and
that, if he is going to read any law, and to attempt to keep up with the
new decisions every year, even in his own State, what between court work,
the preparation of his cases, drawing papers, consultation,
correspondence, and the other matters which fill up the daily round of the
lawyer in active practice, that reading will have to be done out of
office-hours often, or not done at all. Even in his evenings his business
is too pressing to allow any time for reading. Here, then, is a man who is
in serious danger of being cut off from that rest and recreation which most
other men can have. The long, steady strain, day and evening, often breaks
him down, where an hour's active exercise daily on the road or on the
water, with his business for the time scrupulously forgotten, together with
from a quarter to half an hour, on rising and retiring, in strengthening
his arms and chest, would have kept him as tough and fresh as they did
Bryant, not simply up to sixty, or even seventy, but clear up to his
eighty-fourth year. Every lawyer who has been in active practice in any of
our large cities for a dozen years can point to members of his Bar who have
either broken clean down, and gone to a premature grave from neglecting
their bodily health, or who are now far on the road in that same direction.
This happens notwithstanding the fact that in many places the courts do
not sit once during the whole summer, and lawyers can hence get
longer vacations and go farther from home than most men.

Let any one read the life of Rufus Choate, and say whether there was any
need of his dying an old man at fifty-five. He started not with a weak
body, but one decidedly strong. So little care did he take of it that, as
he himself well put it, "latterly he hadn't much of any constitution, but
simply lived under the by-laws." Did it hinder his distinguished compeer,
Daniel Webster, from magnificent success at the bar because he took many
a good play-spell with a fishing-rod in his hand? because he not only
knew but regarded the advantage and wisdom of keeping his body toned-up
and hearty, and so regarded it that he died, not at fifty-five, but at
the end of the full threescore years and ten? And did grand physical
presence, the most impressive which ever graced American forum or
senate-chamber--so striking, in fact, that, as he walked the streets of
Liverpool, the laboring men stopped work and backed their admiring gaze
by concluding that he must be a king--did these qualities not contribute
to that same magnificent success? Daniel O'Connell was a man of sturdier
body even than Webster, of whom Wendell Phillips says: "He was the
greatest orator that ever spoke English. A little O'Connell would have
been no O'Connell. Every attitude was beauty, every gesture grace.
There was a magnetism that melted every will into his."

Had not this wonderful man much to thank these same qualities for? Had
they not something to do with the stretching of his vigorous life, not
merely up to fifty-five, or even to seventy, but clear up to
seventy-three? How many men has the world ever seen who filled, and well
filled, more high offices than Henry Brougham, and who, no matter where
he was, was always a tireless worker? One biographer says that, as a
boy, he was the fleetest runner in the neighborhood, and this man, "as
an orator, second in his time only to Canning;" this man, who once spoke
in Parliament for seven days consecutively, who, even when upward of
seventy, showed his zeal for reform by urging the introduction into
England of the New York Code of Procedure--this one of England's
most famous Lord Chancellors took such care of his body that he
never ceased from his labors until he was eighty-nine.

Let us look at but one more instance of the way a powerful mind and an
uncommonly strong body blend and aid their possessor to his purposes. A
recent writer in "Blackwood" says of Bismarck: "_He is a powerful man. That
is what strikes at once every one who sees him for the first time._ He is
very tall and of enormous weight, but not ungainly. Every part of his
gigantic frame is well-proportioned--the large round head, the massive
neck, the broad shoulders, and the vigorous limbs. He is now more than
sixty-three, and the burden he has had to bear has been usually heavy; but
though his step has become slow and ponderous, he carries his head
high--looking down, even, on those who are as tall as himself--and his
figure is still erect. During these latter years he has suffered frequent
and severe bodily pain, but no one could look upon him as an old man, or as
one to be pitied. On the contrary, everybody who sees him feels that
_Prince Bismarck is still in possession of immense physical power_."

And what holds good as to professional men in this respect of course will
apply with equal force to busy brain-workers in any other line as well. It
is nowhere claimed here that there have not been in many callings great men
whose bodies were indifferent affairs, but endeavor has been made to show,
not only that a great mind and a vigorous body can go together, but that
the latter is, not to the man of unusual mental power alone, but to every
man, a most valuable acquisition, and one that he should, if he does not
possess it already, take prompt steps to secure, and then, once acquiring
it, should use the means, as Bryant did, to retain it.

In the 1877-'78 annual report of Harvard College, President Eliot, who
has been exceptionally well-placed to observe several thousand young men,
and to know what helps and what hinders their intellectual progress, adds
his valuable testimony to the importance of vigorous health and regular
physical exercise to all who have, or expect to have, steady and severe
mental work to do. Busy professional men may well heed his words. Speaking
of the value of scholarships to poor but deserving young men, he says: "If
sound health were one of the requisitions for the enjoyment of
scholarships, parents who expected to need aid in educating their boys
would have their attention directed in an effective way to the wise
regimen of health; while young men who had their own education to get
would see that it was only prudent for them to secure a wholesome diet,
plenty of fresh air, and _regular exercise_. A singular notion prevails,
especially in the country, that it is the feeble, sickly children who
should be sent to school and college, since they are apparently unfit for
hard work. The fact that, in the history of literature, a few cases can be
pointed out in which genius was lodged in a weak or diseased body, is
sometimes adduced in support of the strange proposition that physical
vigor is not necessary for professional men. But all experience
contradicts these notions. _To attain success and length of service in any
of the learned professions, including that of teaching, a vigorous body is
well-nigh essential._ A busy lawyer, editor, minister, physician, or
teacher has need of _greater physical endurance_ than a farmer, trader,
manufacturer, or mechanic. All professional biography teaches that
_to win lasting distinction in sedentary, in-door occupations,
which task the brain and the nervous system, extraordinary toughness
of body must accompany extraordinary mental powers_."



CHAPTER VI.

HOME GYMNASIUMS.


All that people need for their daily in-door exercises is a few pieces of
apparatus which are fortunately so simple and inexpensive as to be within
the reach of most persons. Buy two pitchfork handles at the agricultural
store. Cut off enough of one of them to leave the main piece a quarter of
an inch shorter than the distance between the jambs of your bedroom door,
and square the ends. On each of these jambs fasten two stout hard-wood
cleats, so slotted that the squared ends of the bar shall fit in snugly
enough not to turn. Let the two lower cleats be directly opposite each
other, and about as high as your shoulder; the other two also opposite each
other, and as high above the head as you can comfortably reach.

Again, bore into the jamb, at about the height of your waist, a hole as
large as the bar is thick. Now work the auger farther into each hole,
till it reaches the first piece of studding, and then an inch or so into
that. Find how many inches it is from the jamb to the end of the bore in
the studding, and cut the second fork handle in halves. Pass one half
through the hole in the jamb, and set its end into the hole in the
studding. Bore a similar hole in the other jamb directly opposite, and
repeat the last-named process with its nearest studding-piece, and
adjust remainder of the fork handle to it. Now cut enough off each piece
of the handle to leave the distance between the two about eighteen
inches. You have then provided yourself with a pair of bars on which you
can try one of the exercises usually practised on the parallel bars, and
that one worth almost as much as all the rest. (See Fig. 3.)

[Illustration: Fig. 3. Horizontal Bar and Chest-bars, for Home Use.]

On the following page is a sketch of a pair of pulley-weights recently
made, designed by Dr. Sargent, which are excellent. Their merits will be
seen at a glance. Instead of the weights swaying sideways and banging
against the boxes, as they are liable to do in the ordinary old-fashioned
pulley-weight boxes, they travel in boxes, A A, between the rods B B. A
rubber bed also prevents the weight from making a noise as it strikes the
floor, while another capital feature is the arrangement of boxes, in which
you may graduate the weight desired by adding little plates of a pound
each, instead of the unchanging weight of the old plan.

[Illustration: Fig. 4. Noiseless Pulley-weights.]

One of these boxes, with its load, can easily be used as a
rowing-weight, by rigging a pulley-wheel a few inches above the floor,
and directly in front of the weight box, and then making the rope long
enough to also pass under this pulley. A stick of the thickness of an
oar handle can then be attached to the end of the rope. If the
old-fashioned pulley-weights are preferred, as they are cheaper, long
boxes take the place of these iron rods, and a common iron weight
travels up and down in the boxes. At some of the gymnasiums--that of the
Young Men's Christian Association in New York, for example--these
weights, of various sizes, snaffles, ropes, and handles, can all
be had, of approved pattern and at reasonable rates.

Here, then, we have a horizontal bar fitted for most of the uses of that
valuable appliance, a pair of parallel bars, or their equivalent for
certain purposes, a pair of pulling-weights, and a rowing-weight. Now,
with the addition of a pair of dumb-bells, weighing at first about one
twenty-fifth of the user's own weight, we have a gymnasium more
comprehensive than most persons would imagine. Mr. Bryant was contented
for forty years with less apparatus even than this, and yet look at the
benefit he derived from it![D] The bar, cleats, and parallels ought to
be made and put up for not over two dollars, and four or five dollars
more will cover the cost of pulling-weights and gear on the old plan,
unless a heavy rowing-weight is added, which can be had at five cents a
pound, which is also the price of well-shaped dumb-bells.

Here is a gymnasium, then, under cover, rent free, exactly at hand, when
one is lightly clad on rising or just before retiring, which takes up
but little room, can hardly get out of order, which will last a dozen
years. With these few bits of apparatus every muscle of the trunk,
nearly all those of the legs, and all those of the arms, can, by a few
exercises so simple that they can be learned at a single trying, be
brought into active play. The bar in the upper place will be useful
mainly for grasping, hanging, or swinging on by the hands, or for
pulling one's self up until the chin touches it. In the lower place it
enables one to perform very many of the exercises usual on the
horizontal bar. The short bars or handles have scarcely more than
one office, but that is one of the most important of all exercises
for the weak-armed and the weak-chested. This exercise is the one
called "dipping." The bars are grasped with the hands, the feet being
held up off the floor; then, starting with the elbows straight,
gradually lowering until the elbows are bent as far as possible,
then rising till they are straight again, and so continuing.

The pulley-weights admit of a great variety of uses, reaching
directly every muscle of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, chest,
abdomen, the entire back and neck; while, by placing one foot in the
handle and pulling the weight with it, several of the leg muscles
soon have plenty to do, as is also the case with the rowing-weight.
The field of the dumb-bells is hardly less extensive.

If but one of these pieces of apparatus can be had, the pulley-weights
are the most comprehensive, and so the most important, though it is
astonishing how closely the dumb-bells follow; and then they have the
great advantage of being portable. Combine with the exercises you can
get from all this apparatus those which need none at all, such as rising
on the toes, hopping, stooping low, walking, running, leaping, and no
more tools are needed to develop whatever muscles one likes. What
special work will employ any particular muscle will be indicated later.

If the apparatus is only to be used by a man or boy, a striking-bag can
be made of seven or eight pieces of soft calf-skin, so that the whole,
when full of sawdust, shall be either round like a ball or pear-shaped,
and shall be about fifteen inches in horizontal diameter. This should be
hung on a rope from a hook screwed into one of the beams of the ceiling.
This makes a valuable acquisition to the snug little home-gymnasium.
For a person having a weak chest, and who aims to broaden and deepen
that important region, perhaps no better and safer contrivance can
be had than the one sketched in Fig. 8, on page 248.

The fact of having a few bits of apparatus close at hand, when one is
lightly clad, will tend to tempt any one to get at them a little while
morning and evening. If a parent wants children to use them, instead of
placing the apparatus in his own room, the nursery, or an empty room
where all can have ready access, would be better. Of course, in such
case there should be additional weights, and dumb-bells suited to the
age and strength of those who are to use them.[E] Indeed, by providing
children at home with articles which they like to use, and the use of
which brings much direct good, the nursery has a new value--greater,
perhaps, when made the most of, than it ever had before. All the
exercises needed to make children strong can be readily learned, as all
of them are exceedingly simple. In another place these exercises will be
indicated. The parent can then select those exercises he sees the child
needs, and teach them in a few minutes, so arranging it as to get the
children to exercise a certain time every day. As has been shown, the
cost of all these appliances will not be nearly as much as a moderate
doctor's bill, and quite as little as the patent gymnastic articles,
which are so often praised, mostly by people who know little or nothing
of other forms of exercise than those fitted to their own apparatus. A
large beam, for instance, has been devised, with handles fastened by a
contrivance above it, which is meant to restore the spine (when out of
place) to its proper position. But there is scarcely anything it can
accomplish which cannot readily be done on some one of these simple,
old-fashioned, and far less cumbrous pieces of apparatus.

Again, in the large cities there are establishments where the chief and
almost the sole exercise is with the lifting-machine. A person, standing
nearly erect, is made to lift heavy weights often of several hundred,
and even a thousand or more pounds. The writer, when a lad of seventeen,
worked a few minutes nearly every day for six months on a machine of
this kind; and while it seemed a fine thing to lift six hundred pounds
at first, and over a thousand toward the end, there came an unquestioned
stiffening of the back, as though the vertebræ were packed so closely
together as to prevent their free action. There came also a very
noticeable and abnormal development of three sets of muscles: those of
the inner side of the forearm, the lower and inner end of the front
thigh just above the knee, and those highest up on the back, branching
outward from the base of the neck. With considerable other vigorous
exercise taken at the same time, this heavy lifting still produced the
most marked effect, so that the development caused by it was soon large,
out of all proportion compared with that resulting from the other work.

Now, if it is the fact that they who practice on the "health lift"
ordinarily take little or no other vigorous exercise, why is not this same
partial development going to result? And if this is the case, is it not
rather a questionable exercise, especially for those to whom it is so
highly recommended--the sedentary--and even worse for those who stand at
desks all day? We have seen it make one very stiff and ungainly in his
movements, and it is natural that it should; for he who does work of the
grade suited to a truck-horse is far more likely to acquire the heavy and
ponderous ways of that worthy animal than he who spreads his exercise over
all, or nearly all, his muscles, instead of confining it to a few, and who
makes many vigorous and less hazardous efforts instead of a single mighty
one. All the muscles of the arm, for instance, which are used in striking
out, putting up a dumb-bell, or any sort of pushing, are wholly idle
in this severe pulling--more so, even, than they are in the oarsman
when rowing. Hence, unless they get even work, there will be loss of
symmetry, one-sided development, and only partial strength.

Another popular piece of apparatus is the "parlor gymnasium;" and, though
needlessly expensive, it is a surprisingly useful affair, if once one knows
how to use it to the best effect. But it has some disadvantages which,
while not conceded by its inventor, it is yet well enough to know. In its
more elaborate and complete form it is called the "Parlor Rowing
Apparatus," and is also described as "the most complete rowing apparatus in
the world." In reality it is very poorly adapted to the oarsman's wants,
and tends to get him into habits he should, if he wishes to be a good oar,
be careful to refrain from. It is a matter of supreme importance in rowing
to get a strong grip at the beginning of the stroke, and to put the weight
on heavily then; while it is a glaring fault to do anything like jerking
toward the end of the stroke. But with this parlor rowing-machine, instead
of lifting a solid weight, as in the ordinary rowing-weight, a rubber
strap, or, rather, two rubber straps, are simply stretched while the stroke
is pulled, and then slackened to begin the next. The trouble is that the
straps have to be pulled nearly half the length of the stroke before it
begins to grow hard to pull, so that throwing one's weight on heavily at
the beginning causes the rower to feel somewhat as he would if, in taking a
stroke in a boat, his oar-blade had missed the water entirely, or as a
boxer who unexpectedly beats the air. The better the beginning of a stroke
is caught in the water, the more the fulcrum of water itself solidifies,
and by so much more can the rower throw his weight on then, and at just the
right time. The effect with the rubber straps is the very reverse; for, in
throwing the weight on at the beginning, the straps do not offer enough
resistance to have the desired effect, while they offer too much at the
finish of the stroke. This same defect stands out plainly in some of the
pushing exercises done with it, as well as in using it as a
lifting-machine, making it necessary, for the latter purpose, not to catch
hold of the handles at all, but, as we have seen the inventor himself do,
somewhere toward the middle of the straps, else the knees would get
entirely straightened before the tension became great, which would force
the bulk of the work to be done with the hands. Great care must be taken,
also, to have the bolts at the farther ends of these straps fastened very
firmly into the wood-work, or wherever they are attached; for if, under a
heavy pull, one of these bolts should work out, it would be in great danger
of striking the performer in the eye or elsewhere with terrific force.

Still, with these few defects, this parlor rowing apparatus is an excellent
contrivance, and, used intelligently and assiduously, ought to bring almost
any development a person might reasonably hope for, though its range is
hardly as wide as that of these few bits of house apparatus before named,
when taken together. There is nothing novel about the latter, excepting Dr.
Sargent's apparatus for the chest. All have been known for a generation or
more. But the many uses of them are but little known, and their
introduction into our homes and schools has hardly yet begun. Yet, so wide
is the range of exercise one can have with them, and of exercise of the
very sort so many people need; and so simple is the method of working them,
so free, too, from danger or anything which induces one to overwork, and so
inexpensive are they and easy to make, that they ought to be as common in
our homes as are warm carpets and bright firesides. Every member of the
family, both old and young, should use them daily, enough to keep both the
home-gymnasium and its users in good working order.


FOOTNOTES:

[D] See page 169.

[E] See page 266.



CHAPTER VII.

THE SCHOOL THE TRUE PLACE FOR CHILDREN'S PHYSICAL CULTURE.


But, well adapted as our homes are in many ways for the proper care and
development of the body, there is one place which, in almost every
particular, surpasses them in this direction, if its advantages are
understood and fully appreciated, and that is the school. A father may so
arrange his time that a brief portion of it daily can be regularly
allotted to the physical improvement of the children, as John Stuart
Mill's father did his for his son's mental improvement, and with such
remarkable results. But most fathers, from never having formed the habit,
will be slow to learn it, and their time is already so taken up that it
will seem impossible to spare any. The mother, being more with the child,
feels its needs and lacks the more keenly, and would gladly deny herself
much could she assure her children ruddy health. But her day is also by no
means an idle one, and, just when she could best spare half an hour, it is
hardest to have them with her. Besides, in too many instances she is
herself far from strong, and needs some one to point out to her the way to
physical improvement more, even, than do her children.

There is a feeling that the child is sent to _school_ to be educated, and
that certain trained persons are paid to devote their time to that
education. As they are supposed to bring the children forward in certain
directions, this leads easily to the conclusion that they would be the
proper persons to care for other parts of that education as well. Nor is
this view so wide of the mark. The teacher has always a considerable number
of scholars. He can encourage the slower by the example of the quicker; he
can arouse the emulation, he can get work easily out of a number together,
where one or two would be hard to move. If he rightly understood his power;
if he knew how easy it is, by a little judicious daily work, to prevent or
remove incipient deformity, to strengthen the weak, to form in the pupil
the habit of sitting and standing erect, to add to the general strength, to
freshen the spirits, and do good in other ways, he would gladly give
whatever time daily would be necessary to the work, while, like most
persons who try to benefit others, he would find that he himself would gain
much by it as well. He has not a class of pupils stiffened by long years of
hard overwork of some muscles, and with others dormant and undeveloped.
The time when children are with him is almost the best time in their whole
lives to shape them as he chooses, not morally or mentally only, but
physically as well. The one shoulder, a little higher than its mate, will
not be half so hard to restore to place now as when confirmed in its
position by long years of a bad habit, which should never have been
tolerated a day. If the chest is weak and flat, or pigeon-breasted, now is
the time to remove the defect. Build up the arms to be strong and comely
now; accustom the chest and shoulders to their proper place, whatever their
owner is at; cover the back with full and shapely muscles; get the feet
used to the work which comes so easy and natural to them, once they are
trained aright; and the same boy who would have grown up half-built,
ungraceful, and far from strong, will now ripen into a manly, vigorous,
well-knit man, of sound mind and body, familiar with the possibilities of
that body, with what is the right use and what the abuse of it, and knowing
well how to keep it in that condition which shall enable him to accomplish
the best day's mental labor. And he will be far fitter to face the
privations, anxieties, and troubles of life in the most successful way.

Nor is the rule at all difficult to follow. Little by little the boy's mind
is led along, until the difficult problem in arithmetic seems no harder to
him than did the adding of two and two at first. For hundreds of years the
mental training of youth has been a matter of careful thought and study,
and no effort is spared to secure the best advantages of all the teaching
of the past. But with that past before him; with its many great men--not
always, to be sure, but so often--men whose bodies were sturdy, and equal
to the tremendous tasks which their great activity of mind led them
willingly to assume, he is encouraged and urged to keep his mind under
continual pressure for many hours daily, and every incentive is brought
to make the most of him in this direction. And yet that which would
have helped him in almost every step he took, which would have fitted
him to stand with ease what now in a few years so often breaks him
down, is totally ignored and left quite out of sight.

It is plainly no fault of his. The blame lies with the system which, for
generations together, has gone along so blindly. The life a farmer's son
leads makes him strong and hearty, and when his school-days are over his
work is of such a sort as to maintain all his vigor. The city lad who
plays on the brick sidewalks, born often of half-developed parents, has
no daily tasks which bring his muscles into vigorous play, strengthening
his digestion. Is there any possible reason why the city lad should be
favored physically like the country boy? The first has every
incentive for daily exercise, the latter none at all.

There ought to be no more delay in this matter of physical education in
the schools. Prompt and vigorous steps should be taken to acquaint every
school-teacher in this country with such exercises as would quickly
restore the misshapen, insure an erect carriage, encourage habits of
full breathing, and strengthen the entire trunk and every limb. If the
teachers have not the requisite knowledge now, let it at once be
acquired. They, of all persons, are expected to know how to acquire
knowledge, and to aid others in doing the same. As soon as they have
gained even partial knowledge of how to effect these things, let them
lose no time in imparting that knowledge to the pupil.

Physical education ought to be made compulsory in every school in this
land. Have it directly under the eye and guidance of the teacher, and
have that teacher know that, at the quarterly or semi-annual
examinations, reasonable progress will be expected in this department
just as certainly as in any other, and if he is not up to his work, that
some one who is will be put in his place. Then that progress will surely
come. It has come already, where the means have been understood and
used, as witness Maclaren abroad and Sargent here; and it brings such a
benefit to the pupil that no pains should be spared to insure it.

Scarcely a week passes but the press of our larger cities repeats the story
of some overworked man or woman breaking completely down with general
debility, the body not only a wreck, but too often the mind as well. Had
that body been early shaped, and hardened, and made vigorous--as, for
instance, Chief-justice Marshall's father looked to it that his great son's
was--and the habit formed of taking daily work, and of the right sort to
keep it so, and had the importance of that care been impressed on the
mind till it had fixed itself as firmly as the sense of decency or the
need of being clean, is it likely that the person would have allowed
himself to get so run down, or, if he did, to remain so?

The trouble usually is that the man does not know what to do to tone
himself up and keep himself equal to his tasks, or that it needs but a
little to effect this. He will spend money like water; he will travel
fast and far; he will do almost anything, but he knows no certain cure.
Is it not as important to have good health and strength as to figure or
write correctly, to read the Æneids or Homer, to pick up a smattering
of French or German? Who is the more likely, if his life be in-door
and sedentary, not to live half his days--he who has never learned
to build and strengthen his body, and keep it regulated and healthy,
and to know the value of that health, or he who has?

Is not work which will almost surely lengthen one's life, and increase his
usefulness, worth doing, especially when it takes but a very little while
daily to do it, and less yet when the habit commenced in childhood? Go
through our public and private schools, and see how few thoroughly
well-built boys and girls there are. Good points are not scarce, but how
small the proportion of the deep-chested, the well-made and robust, who
give good promise of making strong and healthy men and women! Fortunately
there is nothing really difficult in the work of strengthening the weak,
making the somewhat crooked straight, of symmetrizing the partially
developed; indeed, on the other hand, it is, when once understood,
simple, inexpensive, and easy. More than all this, it is a work which
the teacher will find that almost every scholar will take hold of, not,
as in many other branches, with reluctance, but with alacrity; and it
is always pleasant teaching those who are eager to learn.

But a little time each day is needed, never over half an hour of actual
work in-doors and an hour out-of-doors. Suppose a teacher has forty
pupils, and that thirty of them have either weak or indifferent chests.
Let her form a chest-class out of the thirty, and, for ten minutes a day,
let them practice exercises aimed exclusively to enlarge and develop the
chest. Some of such exercises will be pointed out on page 245. Begin very
gradually, so mildly that the weakest chest there shall have no ache or
pain from the exercise. For the first week do that same work, and that
much of it daily, and no more; but do it carefully, and do not miss a
stroke. Let this exercise come at the appointed hour, as certainly as any
other study. The second week make the work a trifle harder, or longer, or
both. In this, and in every exercise, insist, as far as possible, on an
erect carriage of the head and neck, and frequently point out their value.
Insist, further, on the pupil's always inhaling as large, and full, and
slow breaths as he can, seeing to it that every air-cell is brought into
vigorous play. Be careful that he or she does not, without your knowledge,
get hold of heavier apparatus, or try more difficult exercise in the same
direction, before the muscles are trained to take it. Overdoing is not
only useless, and sure to bring stiffness and aches, but it is in it that
any danger lies, never in light and simple work, adapted to the pupil's
present strength, and done under the teacher's eye, or in heavier work
after he has been trained gradually up to it. Now, when a fortnight
has gone by, use a little heavier weights; stay at the work without
weights a little longer, or draw the pulley-weight a few more strokes
daily, never forgetting to hold the head and neck erect.

Will dumb-bells and weight-boxes be necessary? Yes, or their
equivalents. If the former cannot be had, flat-irons or cobble-stones of
the same weight will do pretty well, and sand-bags can be used in the
weight-boxes when pear-shaped weights or packed-boxes are scarce. It is
a very small matter to supply a school with light dumb-bells, when they
cost but five cents a pound, and when, if necessary to retrench, a
quarter as many pairs of them as there are scholars will suffice. As
will be shown in a later chapter, there is a very wide variety of
exercises which could be practised in a school-room, which do not need
one cent's worth of apparatus. They simply need to be known, and then
faithfully practised, and most gratifying results are sure. In large
cities it would be well to have all the teachers instructed by a
competent master in the various exercises which they could so readily
teach in school, and which would prove so beneficial to the scholars.
London is already ahead of us in this direction. _Harper's Weekly_ of
February 8th, 1879, says: "The London School Board has appointed Miss
Lofving, at a salary of fifteen hundred dollars a year, as
superintendent of 'physical education' in the girls' schools."

A man like Dr. Sargent, of the Fifth Avenue Gymnasium, in New York, could
easily, in a few half-hour lessons, instruct the two thousand or more
teachers of the public schools of that city in the simpler, and yet very
valuable exercises. They would be then well qualified, in turn, to
instruct all the pupils, and to so grade their exercises as to adapt the
work to all. The ordinary gymnastic instructor, as years have shown, in
most of our gymnasiums, lets the pupil do about as he has a mind to. This
would be just about as effective as if the same rule was followed out in
mental training. But men like Sargent, strict disciplinarians, trained
physicians, and practical gymnasts as well, are far too scarce among us,
and his is a field which many of our young physicians might enter with
prospects of doing very great good in the community in which they live.

Let the school commissioners of each State look to this matter at once.
Let them insist that each teacher shall forthwith obtain the knowledge
requisite to properly instruct and bring forward every pupil in his or
her class. A knowledge should be had of the exact kind and amount of
work requisite for a class of a certain age. Let some suitable person or
persons be appointed in the cities to supervise this branch of
education, and see that the teachers are thoroughly qualified. Let the
scholar understand that his body can be trained exactly as well as his
mind, and that the sound health of both is intimately connected with
having it so trained. Let the school-hours be so arranged that ten
minutes in the middle of the morning session, and again in the
afternoon, shall be allotted to this branch. See what Maclaren[F] did
for the Radley and Magdalen boys in _one hour a week!_ see what
Sargent[G] did in our country for two hundred youth in two hours a week,
and with wooden dumb-bells, very light clubs, and a few pulley-weights
at that! Let people at once and forever get rid of the notion that this
exercise is a mere play-spell, or that it is only good to make athletes
or acrobats. It is as much a branch of education as any taught in our
schools to-day; and who will question that, if such uniform and splendid
progress was made in each school as was made in the cases just cited,
and in different instances, with at first such unpromising pupils, the
brief twenty minutes daily so spent would be as well spent and as
valuable to each pupil as any other twenty or thirty minutes of his day?
It should no more be allowed to interfere with their usual play than any
other branch is. It is a matter of progress and development, in a way
highly important to every scholar, and should be so treated, and the
child's play-hours should be in no way curtailed to accomplish it.

Superintendent Philbrick, of the Boston schools, is a man of long
experience in most matters connected with schools, their management, and
wants. This gentlemen has lately received, at the Paris Exposition, high
honor for his accomplishments in this direction. But are the schools of
Boston to-day taking the care they ought to and could so easily take to
make the children healthy and vigorous? Let Mr. Philbrick set about
introducing into every public school in that city such a system of
physical education as shall effect, for example, simply what Maclaren
effected, what Sargent effected and is now effecting, and no more. Let
him stick to his task as persistently, if need be, as Stanley stayed at
his infinitely harder one, until every boy or girl who is graduated from
a Boston school has a strong, shapely, and healthy body, and knows what
did much to make it so, and what will keep it so. Then the east wind may
blow over that good city, even until no gilding remains on the
State-house dome, and the formerly weak throats and lungs will not mind
it any more than they do the gentlest southern zephyr; Mr. Philbrick can
feel, when he looks over his life's work, that he has accomplished a
thing for the scholars of his charge, and introduced a public benefit,
which will redound to his credit as long as the city stands. There is no
more need of Americans having poor legs than Englishmen. There is no
more need of a boy's chest remaining a slim and half-built affair at the
Brimmer School, or the Boston Latin School, than there was at Radley.

When the good work is commenced, when other cities begin to send their
delegates and committees to watch methods, progress, and results, to
take steps to secure the same benefits for their own schools, then the
admirable example Boston has set in leading off in this direction will
be better understood. Then all will wonder why so simple, so sensible,
so effective a course, conducive to present and future health and
well-being, had not been thought of and been carried out long ago.


FOOTNOTES:

[F] See page 140.

[G] See pages 291, 292.



CHAPTER VIII.

WHAT A GYMNASIUM MIGHT BE AND DO.


Few colleges of any pretension have not some sort of a
gymnasium--indeed, hold it out to parents as one of the attractions.
There is a building, and it has apparatus in it. The former often costs
twice as much as needs be; the latter may be well made, and well suited
to its purpose, or may not--in fact, more frequently is not. Instead of
having apparatus graded, so as to have some for the slim and weak, some
for the stout and broad, too often one pair of parallel bars or one size
of rowing-weight must suffice for all. Frequently the apparatus getting
loose, or worn, or out of repair, remains so. The director is little
more than a janitor, and is so regarded. In many instances he does so
little as to render this opinion a just one. Imperfect ventilation, and
in winter lack of proper warmth, help to make it unattractive. The
newly-arrived Freshman is generally run down and thin from overwork in
preparing himself for college. Many a time, when much work was telling
on him, he consoled himself with the thought that in the
college-gymnasium, with his fellow-students about him all eagerly at
work, he would soon pick up the strength he had lost, and perhaps come
to be, in time, as strong as this or that fellow, a few years his
senior, the fame of whose athletic exploits was more than local.

As a rule, the American student is not very strong on entering college.
President Eliot, of Harvard, said, a few years ago, of a majority of
those coming into that university, for instance, that they had
"undeveloped muscles, a bad carriage, and an impaired digestion, without
skill in out-of-door games, and unable to ride, row, swim, or shoot."

The student is usually inerect, and really needs "setting up" quite as
much as the newly-arrived "pleb" at West Point. But does he get it? No.
If coming from good stock, stronger than the average, and it happens to
be a year when there is much interest in athletics, the rowing-men or
the base-ball or foot-ball fellows will be after him. If they capture
him, he will get plenty of work--more than enough--but in one single
rut. If he knows something of the allurements of these sports, and
desires to steer clear of them and be a reading man, still not to
neglect his body, he is at a loss how to go to work. He finds a house
full of apparatus, and does not know how to use it. He sees the boating
and ball men hard at it, but on their hobbies, and looks about for
something else to do. He finds no other class of fellows working with
any vim, save those eager to show well as gymnasts. He falls in with
these, takes nearly as much work the first day as they do, which is ten
times too much for him, quite out of condition as he is. He becomes sore
all over for two or three days, has no special ambition, after all, to
be a gymnast, and, ten to one, throws up the whole business disgusted.

In the warmer months even the oarsmen and ball-players work out-of-doors,
and, except a little brush by the new-comers during the first month or so,
he finds the place deserted. At the start there was nobody to receive him,
place him, and to encourage and invite him on. If naturally persistent,
and he sticks to it awhile, he gropes about in a desultory way, now trying
this and now that, until, neither increasing in size nor strength so fast
as he had expected, he prefers to spend his spare hours in more attractive
fields, and so drops the gymnasium, as many have done before him.

He has no more given it a fair trial than he would have his chemistry
had he treated it in the same way. It is not his fault, for he knew no
better. The whole method of bringing up most American boys does almost
nothing to fit the average boy for even the simpler work of the
gymnasium, let alone its more advanced steps. Often, in the university
gymnasium, you will see fellows actually so weak in the arms that they
can hardly get up in the parallel bars and rest their weight on their
hands alone, much less go through them clear to the other end. It is a
pretty suggestive commentary on the way these establishments are
conducted that the men so lamentably deficient are by no means all from
the new-comers, but often those who have nearly completed their course.

Yet here is a school which, rightly used, would do the average
student more good, and would fit him better for his life's duties,
than any other one branch in the whole curriculum.

But a few years since a son of a lawyer of national reputation, a
highly gifted youth, made a most brilliant record at one of our best
known colleges. All who knew him conceded him a distinguished future;
and yet he was hardly well out of college when he took away his life.
Had there been a reasonable, sensible allowance of daily muscular work,
had the overtaxed brain been let rest awhile, and vigor cultivated in
other directions, the rank, the general average, might have been a
trifle lower, but a most efficient man saved for a long and honorable
life. And yet every college has men who are practically following this
one's plan, overworking their brains, cutting off both ends of the
night, forcing their mental pace, till even the casual observer sees
that they cannot stand it long, and must break down before their real
life's race is well begun. Now, however exceptional may be the talents
such a man has, does not his course show either dense ignorance of how
to take care of himself, or a lack of something which would be worth
far more than brilliant talents--namely, common-sense?

Ought there not to be some department in a college designed to bring
round mental development, where the authorities would step in and
prevent this suicidal course? Oh, but there are such and such lectures
on health. Yes, and in most instances you might as well try and teach a
boy to write by merely talking to him, taking care all the time that he
have no pen or pencil in his hand. It is a matter of surprise that
college faculties are not more alive to the defects of the gymnasium
conducted right under their very eyes. In every other branch they
require a definite and specific progress during a given time, an ability
to pass successfully periodical examinations which shall show that
progress, and, if the pupil fails, it tells on his general standing, and
is an element which determines whether he is to remain in college.

But in the gymnasium there is nothing of the sort, and in many cases the
young man need not step into it once during the four years unless he
likes. This state of things is partly accounted for by the fact that too
many of the professors in our colleges do not know anything about a
gymnasium, and what it can do for a man. Indeed, often, if from practical
experience they were better up in this knowledge, it would beneficially
affect the reputation of their college as a live institution.

Nor is the director, with very few exceptions, the right sort of man for
his place. Either the faculty have no conception what they do need here,
or they effectually drive off the man they ought to have by starving
him. Professors' salaries are generally small enough, but the director
of the gymnasium seldom gets half so much as the poorest paid of his
brother professors. Indeed, the latter do not regard him as an equal at
all, and until they do so with good reason, there is little prospect of
improvement in this direction. A doctor as ill up to his work as the
average college gymnasium director would soon be without a patient.

Nor are the gymnasiums of our cities and towns much better off. New York
city to-day, with one or two exceptions, is utterly without a gymnasium
worthy of her. Two of the best known are situated, one far below the
street level, the other directly over a stable, and formerly at least, if
not still, a very redolent stable at that. There is generally plenty of
apparatus, most of which is good enough; but the boy or man who comes to
use it finds at once the same things wanting as does the student in the
college gymnasium. If he can already raise a heavy dumb-bell over his head
with his right hand, he may, and often does, go on increasing his power in
this single direction, but in years actually gains little or no size or
strength in his other arm, his legs, or any other part of his body. No one
stops him, or even gives him an idea of the folly of his course; indeed,
no one has the power to do so. Ordinarily the place is kept by a man
simply to make a living. This secured, his ambition dies. He may be a
boxer or an acrobat, or even a fair general gymnast. With one or two
exceptions, we have yet to hear of an instance where the instructor has
either devised a plan of class exercise which has proved attractive, or in
a given time has brought about a decided increase in size and strength to
a majority of his pupils in a specific and needed direction.

College rowing and base-ball, while often unquestionably benefiting those
who took part in them, have been found to work detrimentally, but in a
way, as will be shown in a moment, certainly not expected by the public.
The colleges in this country which pay most attention to rowing are
Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and Columbia. It is well known that in both Oxford
and Cambridge universities the men who row are numbered by hundreds; that
over twenty eight-oared crews alone, to say nothing of other classes, are
sometimes on the river at once, and that the problem for the "'Varsity"
captain is not, as here, to find eight men all fitted for places in the
boat, but, out of many fit, to tell which to take. For years the American
press has reported the performances of our student oarsmen even oftener
and more fully than the English non-sporting papers those of their own
oarsmen, so that they have filled a larger space in the public eye. Men
naturally thought that the interest among the students themselves was
well-nigh universal, and many fathers expressed misgivings about sending
sons to institutions where the regular curriculum seemed a secondary
matter, and performance in athletic contests the chief thing.

Yet, strange as it may seem, this whole idea is an egregious mistake. Most
of the students do take some interest in these contests, but it goes no
farther than talking somewhat about them, and viewing them when they come
off, and perhaps betting the amount of their term-bills on them. The
number who actually take part, either in the racing or the ball matches,
or in trying for a chance in them, is ridiculously small. Dr. Sargent
says that at Yale College, where he has been for six years instructor in
physical culture, they actually do not exceed three per cent. of the whole
number of students, while five per cent. will include every man in college
who takes active work at the gymnasium, on the river, or the ball-field!
Any one familiar with American college athletics knows that the proportion
of students who either play ball or row is probably, taking year and year
together, about as great at Yale as anywhere in the country.

Surprising as these figures are, they prove conclusively that the present
system of college athletics, so far as it assumes to benefit the students
at large, or even a tithe of them, is an utter failure. Here, then,
instead of the supposed advance in the general physical culture over that
of years ago, there has been almost no advance. There are a few men who
devote much time and attention to severe athletics, more than there is any
need of, and become skilled and famous at them, but the great majority do
little or nothing. Better ideas they doubtless have of what is and what is
not creditable performance among the athletes, and also as to the progress
that can be made in muscular development by direct and steady work. But
that progress and that work they have no share in.

The very natural result follows, that the great majority of students, at
graduation, average no better in size, strength, health, vigor, endurance,
or stamina than those of a generation ago, or are any fitter to stand
successfully the wear and tear of their life's work. Indeed, it is very
doubtful if they are physically as well fitted for what is before them as
the previous generation were, for in the latter case probably more came
from farms and homes where much manual labor was necessary, while now a
greater fraction are from the cities, or are the sons of parents whose
occupation is mainly sedentary. Yet in that day gymnasiums at the
colleges were almost unknown, while now they are general.

Does the gymnasium, then, pay? Yes, like a bath-tub--if used,
and used sensibly; but if not, not. Then, as it is used so
little, is it worth having?

At Harvard, for instance, to-day there is in process of erection, at
great expense, a gymnasium which, when finished, will doubtless be the
most costly building of the sort in this country, and very possibly the
best appointed as well. But unless there is introduced some sensible and
vigorous system of bringing the students regularly there, and working
them while they are there, it will almost surely prove a failure, and
accomplish little or no more good than did the old one. Now, suppose,
first that this new institution is to be carried on with no more vigor
or good sense than its predecessors. Next, suppose that, opposite this
expensive affair, on some neighboring field, there were built a
commodious shed, costing perhaps one-tenth as much as its more
pretentious rival, strongly framed, weather-tight, sensibly arranged,
well lit, and comfortably warmed, large enough, too, to admit, at the
edge of the main room, of a running track of say twenty laps to the mile.
In an L adjoining let there be ample and well-ventilated dressing-rooms,
a locker for each student, and sufficient washing facilities to meet the
demand. Suppose the ordinary sorts of apparatus were there, but made with
great care, and of the proportions skilled gymnasts have found most
suitable. Let there be, besides, all newly-invented appliances which have
proved valuable, such as the twenty or more Dr. Sargent has introduced,
and any other good ones as well. Suppose, too, that heavy weights for
lifting, and all heavy clubs and dumb-bells, were carefully excluded.

On the walls there should be casts and drawings, showing
well-proportioned and well-developed arms, legs, and trunks, and a brief
statement with each of the various measurements and proportions, and the
ages of the men from whom they were taken, and, if possible, the sort and
amount of work done by each in their progress. These need by no means be
all modern. Greece and Rome, Troy and Pompeii, could furnish their quota.

Suppose the director at once, on the joining of a pupil, recorded, on a
page set apart specially in his register, the age, height, general
physical characteristics, weight, girth of calf, thigh, hips, waist,
lower chest, upper chest--both at rest and inflated--neck, upper
arm--extended and drawn up--and the forearm, hand, and wrist, taking
care to note the time of day the measurements were made, and also
obtaining a photograph of the man as he then appeared in exercising
costume. Suppose that, outside of the ordinary requirements as to
method, decorum, order of using apparatus, and so on, the director
refused to take any pupil who would not expressly agree to two things:
first, to be at the gymnasium, stripped and ready for work, exactly at
such a moment, four days out of the seven; second, to obey implicitly
the director's orders, both as to what work he should do, and what omit.

Suppose the director's training had been such that he could tell at
once, both from the looks and measurements of the man, where he was
physically lacking, and that he so arranged his classes that all whose
left hands were weaker than their right had left-handed work only until
they were equalized up; that weak thighs, calves, abdominal muscles,
chests, and backs had special work given them, bringing the desired
parts directly into play, lightly as each needed at first, and then
gradually working upward, the stronger parts, meanwhile, being at
rest. Suppose this were continued until, at the end of the year,
or often long before it, it is found that one arm is now as strong
as the other, that the gain in girth at almost every measurement is
nearly or all of an inch, and at some even two or more inches.

Suppose a series of exercises, aimed directly to enlarge and strengthen
the respiratory power, were given to all, and every one, also, had a few
minutes each day of "setting up," and other work aimed not so much to
add size and strength as to make the crooked straight, to point out and
insist on a proper carriage of the head, the neck, the shoulders, the
arms, the whole trunk, and the knees, and to show each pupil what length
of step best suited him, and which he ought to take.

Suppose that the director showed at once that he not only knew
what to do all through, but how to do it, and so promptly won
the confidence of those he sought to instruct and benefit.

Is there any question in which of these two institutions the young man
would make the most desirable progress? The first building and
apparatus might be grand, fitted up with nearly all that could be
desired, but the gymnasium lacked a masterhead who should show its
possibilities. Gymnasium and apparatus were like an engine without
steam. The second building was not of much account as a building, but
quite all that was needed for the real end in view. The London
Rowing-club boat-houses were for a long time mere sheds, not to be
named in the same day with the tasteful stone boat-houses along the
Schuylkill, for instance; but those same plain sheds have for many
years turned out amateur oarsmen who could row down any in the world.

And what a benefit a gymnasium conducted on some plan similar to that above
suggested would be to any college or university! And yet almost any
college, even of limited means, could afford it. Change the plan a little,
and make the attendance by all students just as it is in other
branches--just as it is at West Point in horseback practice--compulsory.
Give the director a salary adequate to secure a first-class man in his
calling--not merely an accomplished gymnast, acrobat, boxer, or fencer, but
an educated physician, the peer of any of his brother-members of the
faculty, fond of his calling, fond of the field before him, thoroughly
acquainted with the plainer kinds of gymnastics and of acrobatic work, and
a good boxer, an instructor especially quick in detecting the physical
defects in his pupil, in knowing what exercise will cure them, zealous in
interesting him, in encouraging him on, what incalculable good he could do!
Every student in that college would practically have to be made over. Long
before the four years, or even one of them, were through, that instructor
would have made all the men erect (as is daily being done with the West
Pointer). But his pupils, instead of being like the latter, developed
simply in those muscles which his business called into play, would each be
well developed all over, would each be up to what a well-built man of his
years and size ought to be in the way of strength, and skill, and staying
powers, and--a most important thing--would know what he could do, and what
he could not; and so would not, as is now every day the case with many,
attempt physical efforts long before he was fitted for them.

If he wanted to go into racing, the director would be his best friend,
and would point out to him that the only safe way to get one's heart and
lungs used to the violent action which they must undergo in racing,
especially after the racer gets tired, would be by gradually increasing
his speed from slow up to the desired pace, instead of, as too often
happens, getting up to racing pace before he is half fit for it.

But he would also show him how one-sided it would make him, developing
some parts, and letting others remain idle and fall behind in development,
and--more important still--how brief and ephemeral was the fame which he
was working for, and the risks of overdoing which it entailed.

Let one college in this land graduate each year a class of which every man
has an erect carriage and mien, has the legs and arms, the back and chest,
not of a Hercules, not of a prize racer or fighter, but of a hale, comely,
strong, and well-proportioned man, and see how well it would pay. Bear in
mind that an hour a day put in in the right way and at the right work will
effect all this in far less time than four years of trying. The
hardest-reading man can readily spare the time for it, especially if he
must. What! would it take him from the thin, cadaverous fellow he too
often is, and do all that for him? Beyond all doubt it would. Such
vigorous work would soon sharpen his appetite, and he would find that, eat
all he liked, he could digest it promptly, and would feel all the better
for his generous living. The generous living has fed muscles now
vigorously used; they have been enlarged and strengthened: the legs, which
never used to try to jump a cubit high, even, once in the whole year, now
carry their owner safely over a four-rail fence, and perhaps another rail,
or even two of them. The lungs, which were scarcely half expanded, now
have every air-cell thoroughly filled for at least one entire hour
daily--an excellent thing for weak lungs. Correct positions of standing,
sitting, walking, and running being now well known and understood, the
lungs get more air into them than formerly, even when their owner is at
rest. Another effect of it all is shown in a decidedly more vigorous
circulation, and the consequent exhilaration and buoyancy of spirits, no
matter whether the work in hand is mental or physical.

But will not this hour's work dull him mentally? It may be proper to
digress for a moment and see if it will. Of men who have done just this
kind and amount of work, this work aimed at every part of the body, we
find no record, simply because, as we have already shown, considerable
as the increased interest is in physical culture and development, this
plan of reaching all the parts and being just to all, has scarcely been
tried. But abundant proof that some physical exercise will not dull the
man, but even brighten him, can be had without difficulty. A moment's
reflection will show that a mind ever on the stretch must, like a
bow so kept, be the worse for it, and that the strain must be
occasionally slacked. There are two ways of slacking it. Both the
physician and experience tell us that nothing rests a tired brain like
sensible, physical exercise, except, of course, sleep.

"When in active use," says Mitchell, "the thinking organs become full of
blood, and, as Dr. Lombard has shown, rise in temperature, while the
feet and hands become cold. Nature meant that for their work they should
be, in the first place, supplied with food; next, that they should have
certain intervals of rest to rid themselves of the excess of blood
accumulated during their periods of activity; and this is to be done by
sleep, and also by bringing into play the physical machinery of the
body, such as the muscles--that is to say, by exercise which flushes the
parts engaged in it, and so depletes the brain."[H]

Here, then, some physical exercise will rest his brain, and fit it for
more and better work. But this does not necessarily imply so much as is
called for in the hour. Happily, however, there is no lack of instances
where work, quite as vigorous, though not as well directed, has
accompanied mental work of a very high order, and to all appearances
has been a help rather than a hinderance. Instead of one hour a day,
Napoleon for years was in the saddle several hours almost daily, but we
never heard that it clogged his mind. Charles O'Conor, always fond of
long walks, is good at them to-day, and noticeably erect and quick of
movement, though for weeks he once lay at death's door, and though he
was born in 1804. James Russell Lowell, sturdy, broad, and ruddy, is
said to never ride when he can walk, and he is nearly sixty.
Gladstone's reputation as an axeman among the Hawarden oaks has reached
our shores. Indeed, it is doubtful if there are many better _fellers_
of his age in Europe, and he was born in 1809. Mr. M.H. Beebee, the
present senior tutor at Cambridge University in England, who rowed at
number two in the "'Varsity" eight against Oxford in '65, not only
took the very highest university honor--a double-first--but a
much higher double-first than even Gladstone had taken years before.
The fencing, duelling, and hard riding of Bismarck's youth do not
seem to have perceptibly dimmed his intellect, or to have unfitted
it for enormous and very important work in later life.

And while the in-door work equalizes the strength, and takes care of the
arms and chest, the hour's "constitutional" daily out-of-doors has an
especial advantage, in that it insures at least that much out-of-door
life and air. Dr. Mitchell says, "When exposure to out-of-door air is
associated with a fair share of physical exertion, it is an immense
safeguard against the ills of anxiety and too much brain-work. I presume
that very few of our generals could have gone through with their
terrible task if it had not been that they lived in the open air and
exercised freely. For these reasons I do not doubt that the effects
of our great contest were far more severely felt by the Secretary of
War and the late President than by Grant or Sherman."

A recent, interesting, and wonderfully apt instance, more so than any
of these, one going straight to the point, and as nearly as possible
the equivalent of what we propose to urge later on all sedentary
men, one where the proof comes directly from the gentleman's own pen,
is that of the late Mr. Bryant, whose letter on the subject, written
to a friend in 1871, will be found on page 169. With characteristic
sturdiness, with no one to aid or guide him, he hit on a plan of work
to be done, partly in his little home-gymnasium, and partly on the road,
and stuck faithfully to it till well over fourscore, and at eighty-two
he told the writer that he continued his exercise simply because it paid.
His aim was to keep all his machinery in working order, and to prolong
his life; and when he did die, at eighty-four, it was not from old age,
not because his functions were worn out. With his usual vigor and energy
when any writing was to be done, he had thrown himself into his work of
preparing his address at the Mazzini celebration, till, tired and
exhausted, the undue exposure to the hot sun and the resulting fall were
too much for him, and these were what took him away.

But the plan here suggested will not only cover all he did, but more.
Bryant does not seem to have cared for erectness, nor for a harmonious
development of all the muscles. But had the amount of work he took been
so directed, he might in youth have attained that harmony, and
maintained it through life, as Vanderbilt maintained his erectness.

There need be little fear, then, that a right use of the gymnasium will
overdo. No better safeguard against that could be had than a wise
director, familiar with the capacities of his pupil, watching him daily,
instilling sound principles, and giving him the very work he needs. Under
such a tutor a young man who went to college, on receiving his degree,
would, if his moral and mental duties were attended to, be graduated, not
with an educated mind alone, but an educated body as well; not with merely
a bright head, and a body and legs like a pair of tongs. If the history of
brave, independent, earnest, pure men goes for anything, it will be found
that as the body was healthy and strong, it has in many a pass in life
directly aided moral culture and strength, and has kept the man from
defiling that body which was meant to be kept sacred.


FOOTNOTES:

[H] "Wear and Tear," p. 54.



CHAPTER IX.

SOME RESULTS OF BRIEF SYSTEMATIC EXERCISE.


In a country like ours, where the masses are so intelligent, where so
much care is taken to secure what is called a good education, the
ignorance as to what can be done to the body by a little systematic
physical education is simply marvellous. Few persons seem to be aware
that any limb, or any part of it, can be developed from a state of
weakness and deficiency to one of fulness, strength, and beauty, and
that equal attention to all the limbs, and to the body as well, will
work like result throughout. A man spends three or four weeks at the hay
and grain harvest, and is surprised at the increased grip of his hands,
and the new power of arm and back. He tramps through forests, and
paddles up streams and lakes after game, and returns wondering how three
or four miles on a level sidewalk could ever have tired him.

An acquaintance of ours, an active and skilled journalist, says that he
once set out to saw twenty cords of wood, he was a slight, weak youth.
He found he had not enough strength or wind to get through one cut of
a log--that he had to constantly sit down and rest. People laughed at
him, and at his thinking he could go through that mighty pile. But they
did not know what was in him; for, sticking gamely to his self-imposed
task, he says that in a very few days he found his stay improving
rapidly, that he did not tire half so easily, and, more than that, that
there began to come a feeling over him--a most welcome one--of new
strength in his arms and across his chest; and that what had at first
looked almost an impossibility had now become very possible, and was
before long accomplished. Now, what he, by his manliness, found was
fast doing so much for his arms and chest, was but a sample of what
equally steady, systematic work might have done for his whole body.
Indeed, a later experience of this same gentleman will be in place
here; for at Dr. Sargent's gymnasium in New York, in the winter of
1878-'79, he, though a middle-aged man, increased the girth of his
chest _two inches and five-eighths in six weeks_! and this working but
one hour a day; and he found that he could not only do more work daily
afterward at his profession, but better work as well.

The youth who works daily in a given line at the gymnasium as much expects
that, before the year is over, not only will the muscles used decidedly
increase in strength, but in size and shapeliness as well, as he does that
the year's reading will improve his mind, or a year's labor bring him his
salary. It is an every-day expression with him that such a fellow "got his
arm up to" fifteen, or his chest to forty-odd inches, and so on. He sees
nothing singular in this. He knows this one, who in a short time put half
an inch on his forearm, or an inch; that one, whose thigh, or chest, or
waist, or calf made equal progress. Group and classify these gains in many
cases, and note the amount of work and the time taken in each, and soon one
can tell pretty well what can be done in this direction. Few of our
gymnasiums are so kept that their records will aid much in this inquiry,
simply because the instructor either has no conception of the field before
him, or, if he has, for some reason fails to improve the opportunity.

Look at what Maclaren effected (as described by him in his admirable
"Physical Education"), not with here and there an isolated case, but
with both boys and men turned in on him by the hundred, and in all
stages of imperfect development! Take it first among the boys. Under
systematic exercise, W----, a boy at Radley College, ten years old in
June, 1861, had, seven years later, increased in height from 4 feet
6-3/4 inches to 5 feet 10-3/4 inches, or a gain of 16 inches in all; in
weight from 66 pounds--light weight for a ten-year-old boy--to 156
pounds; far heavier than most boys at seventeen; showing an advance of
90 pounds. His forearm went from 7-1/4 to 11-3/4 inches--very large for
a boy of seventeen, and decidedly above the average of that of most men;
his upper arm from 7-1/2 inches to 13-3/8--also far above the average at
that age; while his chest had actually increased in girth from 26
inches--which was almost slender, even for a ten-year-old--to 39-1/2
inches, which is all of two inches larger than the average man's.

His description of this boy was: "Height above average; other measurements
average. From commencement, growth rapid, and sustained _with regular and
uniform development_. The whole frame advancing to great physical power."

Another boy, H----, starting in June, 1860, when ten years old, 4 feet
6-1/4 inches high, and weighing 73 pounds--much heavier than the other
at the start--in eight years gained 13-1/2 inches, making him 5 feet
7-3/4 inches--of medium height for that age. He gained 71 pounds in
the eight years, and at 144 pounds was better built than W---- at 156;
for, though his forearm, starting at 8 inches, had become 11-1/2, a
quarter of an inch less than W----'s, yet his upper arm had gone
from 8-3/4 to 13-1/2 inches, or one-eighth of an inch larger, while
his chest rose from 28-1/4 to 39 inches--within half an inch of
the other's, though the latter was 3 inches taller.

He is described: "Height slightly above average; other measurements
considerably above average. From commencement, _growth and
development regular and continuous. The whole frame perfectly
developed for this period of life._"

S----'s case is far more remarkable. He was evidently very small and
undersized. "Height and all other measurements _greatly_ below average;
the whole frame stunted and dwarfish. Advancement at first slight, and
very irregular. Afterward rapid, and comparatively regular."

He only gained in height three-quarters of an inch from thirteen to
fourteen, where W---- had gained 3-5/8 inches, and H---- 3-1/8 inches. Yet,
from fifteen to sixteen, where W---- only went ahead half an inch, and
H---- five-eighths of an inch, S---- actually gained 4 inches, which must
have been most gratifying. His weight changes were even more noticeable.
From twelve to fifteen W---- gained 58 pounds, and H---- 39, while all
S---- could show was 12. But from fifteen to sixteen see how he caught up!
Where W----made 11 pounds, and H---- 10, S---- made 22. Where W----'s chest
went up 1 inch, and H----'s 1-1/2 inches, S----'s went up 3 inches.

Now, how long did these boys work? As Maclaren says "_Just
one hour per week!_"

What parent believes that any hour in that week was better
spent--better for the comfort, for the welfare of the boy, or
better in fitting him for future usefulness--or what nearly so
well? Most boys waste that much time nearly every day.

Look, too, at the benefit to the boy in all his after-life. Indeed, does
not this hour a week, in some instances, insure an after-life, and
snatch not a few from an early grave? Had every slim, thin-chested man
in America, and every slim, thin-chested boy who never lived to be a
man, spent an hour weekly under such tutoring, from the age of ten to
eighteen, would not the benefit to our land in working-power, in vigor
and force, and comfort as well, have been incalculable? And had it,
instead of one hour a week, been two or three, or even an hour a day,
might not the results have been even more gratifying?

Professor Maclaren may well congratulate himself on such good results
among the boys. But what has he done with men? Some years ago twelve
non-commissioned officers, selected from all branches of the service, were
sent to him to qualify as instructors for the British army. He says:

"They ranged between nineteen and twenty-nine years of age, between five
feet five inches and six feet in height, between nine stone two [128]
pounds and twelve stone six [174] pounds in weight, and had seen from
ten to twelve years' service."

He carefully registered the measurements of each at the start, and at
different times throughout their progress. He says:

"The muscular additions to the arms and shoulders, and the expansion of
the chest, were so great as to have absolutely a ludicrous and
embarrassing result, for, before the fourth month, several of the men
could not get into their uniforms, jackets, and tunics, without
assistance, and when they had got them on they could not get them to meet
down the middle by a hand's-breadth. In a month more they could not get
into them at all, and new clothing had to be procured, pending the arrival
of which the men had to go to and from the gymnasium in their great-coats.
One of these men gained five inches in actual girth of chest."

And he well adds: "Now who shall tell the value of these five inches
of chest, five inches of additional space for the heart and lungs
to work in?" Hardly five inches more of heart and lung room,
though part of the gain must have been of course from the enlargement
of the muscles on the side of the chest.

He also hit upon another plan of showing the change; for he says
he had them "photographed, stripped to the waist", both at first
and when the four months were over, and the change even in these
portraits was very distinct, and most notably in the youngest, who
was nineteen, for, besides the acquisition of muscle, there was in
his case "a readjustment and expansion of the osseous framework
upon which the muscles are distributed." Now let us look a little
at the measurements and the actual changes wrought.

In the first place, this last instance settles conclusively one matter
most important to flat-chested youth, namely, whether the shape of the
chest itself can be changed; for here it was done, and in a very short
time at that. Again, of these twelve men, in less than eight months every
one gained perceptibly in height; indeed, there was an average gain of
five-twelfths of an inch in height, though all, save one, were over
twenty; and one man who gained half an inch was twenty-eight years old,
while one twenty-six gained five-eighths of an inch! (Most people suppose
they can get no taller after twenty-one.) All increased decidedly in
weight--the smallest gain being 5 pounds, the average 10 pounds; and one,
and he twenty-eight, and a five-feet-eleven man, actually went up from
149 pounds at the beginning, to 165 pounds in less than four months. It
is not likely there was much fat about them, as they had so much vigorous
muscular exercise. Every man's chest enlarged decidedly, the smallest
gain being a whole inch in the four months, the average being 2-7/8
inches, and one, though twenty-four years old, actually gaining 5 inches,
or over an inch a month. Every upper arm increased 1 inch, most of
them more than that, and one 1-3/4 inches. As the work was aimed to
develop the whole body, there is little doubt that there was a
proportional increase in the girth of hips and thigh and calf.

Again, from the Royal Academy at Woolwich, Professor Maclaren took
twenty-one youths whose average age was about eighteen, and in the
brief period of four months and a half obtained an average advance of
1-3/4 pounds in weight, of 2-1/2 inches in chest, and of 1 inch on the
upper arm; while one fellow, nineteen, and slender at that, gained 8
pounds in weight, and 5-1/4 inches about the chest! Think what a
difference that would make in the chest of any man, and a difference
all in the right direction at that!

But the most satisfactory statistics offered were those of two
articled pupils, one sixteen, the other twenty. In exactly one year's
work the younger grew from 5 feet 2-3/4 inches in height to 5 feet
4-3/4 inches. He weighed 108 pounds on his sixteenth birthday; on his
seventeenth, 129! At the start his chest girthed 31 inches; twelve
months later, just 36! His forearm went up from 8 inches to 10
inches, and his upper arm from 9-1/4 inches to 11-1/4.

While the older gained but three-eighths of an inch in height, his weight
went up from 153 pounds to 161-1/2, his forearm from 11-1/4 inches to
12-1/2--an unusually large forearm for any man--and his upper arm from
11-3/4 inches to 13-1/4, while his chest actually made the astonishing
stride of from 34 inches to 40. Not yet a large arm, save below the elbow,
not yet a great chest; five inches smaller, for instance, than Daniel
Webster's, but greatly ahead of what they were a year earlier.

There is no mystery about the Maclaren method. Others might do
it, perhaps not as well as he, for Maclaren's has been a very
exceptional experience; still, well enough.

Look what Sargent did with a Bowdoin student of nineteen, as shown in
Appendix IV. In four hours' work a week this student's upper arm went up
1-1/2 inches--just the same amount as did Maclaren's student of twenty;
his chest went up from 36-1/2 inches to 40, while that of Maclaren's man
went from 34 to 40; but it should be borne in mind that 36-1/2 is harder
to add 6 inches to in this kind of work than 34. In height the Englishman
made three-eighths of an inch in the year, while the American made a
whole inch. But the latter also led easily in another direction, and a
very important one too; for, while the Briton, though but a year older,
and of almost exactly the same height, gained but 8-1/2 pounds in
the year, the American made 15! His case is further valuable in
that it shows, beside this advance above the waist, splendid increase
in girth of hips, thigh, and calf as well.

With us Americans fond of results, many of whose chests, by-the-way, do not
increase a hair's-breadth in twenty years, better proof could not be sought
than these figures offer of the value of a system of exercise which would
work such rapid and decided changes. Had they all been with boys, there
might have been difficulty in separating what natural growth did, in the
years they change so fast, from what was the result of development. But
most of the cases cited are of men who had their growth, and had
apparently, to a large extent, taken their form and set for life. To take a
man twenty-eight years old, tall and rather slim, and whose height had
probably not increased a single hairs-breadth in seven years, and in a few
short months increase that height by a good half inch; to take another,
also twenty-eight, and suddenly, in the short period between September 11th
and the 30th of the next April, add sixteen pounds to his weight, and every
pound of excellent stuff, was in itself no light thing; and there are
thousands of men in our land to-day who would be delighted to make an
equally great addition to their general size and strength, even in twice
the period. To add five whole inches of chest, and nearly that much of lung
and heart room and stomach room, and the consequent greater capacity for
all the vital organs, is a matter, to many men, of almost immeasurable
value. Hear Dr. Morgan, in his English "University Oars," on this point:
"An addition of three inches to the circumference of the chest implies that
the lungs, instead of containing 250 cubic inches of air, as they did
before their functional activity was exalted, are now capable of receiving
300 cubic inches within their cells: the value of this augmented lung
accommodation will readily be admitted. Suppose, for example, that a man is
attacked by inflammation of the lungs, by pleurisy, or some one of the
varied forms of consumption, it may readily be conceived that, in such an
emergency, the possession of enough lung tissue to admit forty or fifty
additional cubic inches of air will amply suffice to turn the scale on the
side of recovery. It assists a patient successfully to tide over the
critical stage of his disease." A man, then, of feeble lungs--the
consumptive, for instance--taken early in hand, with the care which
Maclaren or Sargent could so well give, gradually advanced in every
direction, would suddenly find that his narrow, thin, and hollow chest had
departed, had given way to one round, full, deep, and roomy; that the
feeble lungs and heart which, in cooler weather, were formerly hardly up to
keeping the extremities warm, are now strong and vigorous; that the old
tendency to lean his head forward when standing or walking, and to sit
stooping, with most of his vital organs cramped, has all gone. In their
place had come an erect carriage, a firm tread, a strong, well-knit trunk,
a manly voice, and a buoyancy and exhilaration of spirits worth untold
wealth. Who will say that all these have not assured him years of life?

Well, but did all this increase of weight and size actually change the
shape of the chest, for instance, and take the hollowness out of it?
That is exactly what it did; and Maclaren has a drawing of the same
chest at the beginning and end of the year, showing an increase in the
breadth, depth, and fulness of the lower chest which makes it seem
almost impossible that it could have belonged to the same person. It
will be remembered that Maclaren claimed[I] that just such a
readjustment of the osseous framework would result. Is not this, then,
remaking a man? Instead of a cramped stomach, half-used lungs, a thin,
scrawny, caved-in make, poor pipe-stems of legs, with arms to match,
almost every one under forty, at least, can in a very few months, by
means of a series of exercises, change those same slender legs, those
puny arms, that flat chest, that slim neck, and metamorphose their owner
into a well-built, self-sufficient, vigorous man, fitter a hundred times
for severe in-door or out-door life, for the quiet plodding at the desk,
or the stormy days and nights of the ocean or the bivouac. Who is going
to do better brain-work: he whose brain is steadily fed with vigorous,
rich blood, made by machinery kept constantly in excellent order, never
cramped, aided daily by judicious and vigorous exercise, tending
directly to rest and build him up? or he who overworks his brain, gets
it once clogged with blood, and, for many hours of the day, keeps it
clogged, who does nothing to draw the blood out of his brain for awhile
and put more of it in the muscles, who, perhaps, in the very midst of
his work, rushes out, dashes down a full meal, and hurries back to work,
and at once sets his brain to doing well-nigh its utmost?

Well, but is not the work which will effect such swift changes very
severe, and so a hazardous one to attempt? That is just what it is not.
Is there anything very formidable in wooden dumb-bells weighing only
two and a half pounds each, or clubs of three and a half-pounds, or
pulley-weights of from ten to fifteen pounds? or is any great danger
likely to result from their use? And yet they were Sargent's weapons
with his Bowdoin two hundred.[J] Nothing in Maclaren's work, so far as
he points out what it is, is nearly so dangerous as a sudden run to boat
or train, taken by one all out of the way of running, perhaps who has
never learned. There a heart unused to swift work is suddenly forced to
beat at a tremendous rate, lungs ordinarily half-used are strained to
their utmost, and all without one jot of preparation.

But here, by the most careful and judicious system, the result of long
study and much practical application, a person is taken, and, by work
exactly suited to his weak state, is gradually hardened and
strengthened. Then still more is given him to do, and so on, at the rate
that is plainly seen to best suit him. Develop every man's body by such
a method, teach every American school-boy the erect carriage of the West
Pointer, and how many men among us would there be built after the
pattern of the typical brother Jonathan, or of the thin-chested,
round-shouldered, inerect, and generally weak make, so common in
nearly every city, town, and village in our land?

Look, too, at the knowledge such a course brings of the workings of
one's own body, of its general structure, of its possibilities! What a
lecture on the human body it must prove, and how it must fit the man to
keep his strength up, and, if lost, to recover it; for it has uniformly
been found that a man once strong needs but little work daily to keep
him so. A little reflection on facts like the foregoing must point
strongly to the conclusion that the body--at least of any one not yet
middle-aged--admits of a variety and degree of culture almost as great
as could be desired, certainly sufficient to make reasonably sure of a
great accession of strength and health to a person formerly weak, and
that with but a little time given each day to the work.


FOOTNOTES:

[I] See page 145.

[J] See Appendix II.



CHAPTER X.

WORK FOR THE FLESHY, THE THIN, THE OLD.


While the endeavor has been made to point out the value of plain and
simple exercise--for, in a later chapter, particular work will be
designated which, if followed systematically and persistently, will
correct many physical defects, substituting good working health and
vigor for weakness--the reply may be made, "Yes, these are well enough
for the young and active, but they will not avail a fleshy person,
or a slim one, or one well up in years."

Let us see about this. Take, first, those burdened with flesh which
seems to do them little or no good, and which is often a hinderance,
dulling and slackening their energies, preventing them from doing much
which they could, and which they believe they would do with alacrity
were they once freed from this unwelcome burden. There are some persons
with whom the reduction of flesh becomes a necessity. They have a
certain physical task to perform, and they know they cannot have either
the strength or the wind to get through with it creditably, unless they
first rid themselves of considerable superfluous flesh.

Take the man, for instance, who wants to walk a race of several miles,
or to run or row one. He has often heard of men getting their weight
down to a certain figure for a similar purpose. He has seen some one who
did it, and he is confident that he can do it. He sets about it, takes
much and severe physical work daily, warmly clad, perspiring freely,
while he subjects his skin to much friction from coarse towels. He does
without certain food which he understands makes fat, and only eats that
which he believes makes mainly bone and muscle. He sticks to his work,
and gradually makes that work harder and faster. To his gratification,
he finds that not only has his wind improved, so that, in the place of
the old panting after a slight effort--walking briskly up an ordinary
flight of stairs, for instance--he can now breathe as easily and
quietly, and can stick to it as long, as any of his leaner companions.
By race-day he is down ten, fifteen, or twenty pounds, or even more, as
the case may be. While he has thus reduced himself, and is far stronger
and more enduring than he was before, he is not the only one who has
lost flesh, if there have been a number working with him, as in a
boat-crew. Notice the lists of our university crews and their weights,
published when they commence strict training, say a month before the
race, and compare them with those of the same men on race-day,
particularly in hot weather. The reduction is very marked all through
the crew. In the English university eights it is even more striking, the
large and stalwart fellows, who fill their thwarts, often coming down in
a month an average of over a dozen pounds per man.

We have seen a student, after weighing himself on scales in the
gymnasium, sit down at a fifty-five pound rowing weight, pull
forty-five full strokes a minute for twenty minutes, then, clad
exactly as before, weigh again on the same scales, and find he was
just one pound lighter than he was twenty minutes earlier.

But the difference is more marked in more matured men, who naturally run
to flesh, than in students. A prize-fighter, for instance, in changing
from a life of indulgence and immoderate drinking, will often come down
as much as thirty, or even forty pounds, in preparing for his contest.
It should be remembered that, besides other advantages of his being
thin, it is of great importance that his face should be so lean
that a blow on his cheek shall not puff it up, and swell it so as to
shut up his eye, and put him at his enemy's mercy.

But most people do not care to take such severe and arduous work as
either the amateur athlete or the prize-fighter. If they could hit on
some comparatively light and easy way of restoring themselves physically
to a hard-muscle basis, and could so shake off their burden of flesh
without interfering seriously with their business, they would be glad
to try it. Let us see if this can be done.

In the summer of 1877 the writer met a gentleman of middle age, whom he
had known for years, and who has been long connected with one of the
United States departments in New York city. A very steady, hard-working
officer, his occupation was a sedentary one. Remembering him as a man,
till recently, of immense bulk, and being struck with his evident and
great shrinkage, we inquired if he had been ill. He replied that he had
not been ill, that for years he had not enjoyed better health.
Questioning him as to his altered appearance, he said that, on the
eighteenth day of January, 1877, he weighed three hundred and five
pounds; that, having become so unwieldy, his flesh was a source of great
hinderance and annoyance to him. Then he had determined, if possible, to
get rid of some of it. Having to be at work all day, he could only
effect his purpose in the evenings, or not at all. So, making no
especial change in his diet, he took to walking, and soon began to
average from three to five miles an evening, and at the best pace he
could make. In the cold months he says that he often perspired so that
small icicles would form on the ends of his hair. Asking if it did not
come a little stiff sometimes, on stormy nights or when he was very
tired, and whether he did not omit his exercise at such times, he said
no, but, on the contrary, added two miles, which shows the timber the
man was made of. On the eighteenth of June of the same year, just five
months from the start, he weighed but two hundred and fifteen pounds,
_having actually taken off ninety pounds_, and had so altered that his
former clothes would not fit him at all. Since that time we have again
seen him, and he says he is now down to two hundred, and that he has
taken to horseback-riding, as he is fond of that. He looks to-day a
large, strong, hearty man of about five feet ten, of rather phlegmatic
temperament, but no one would ever think of him as a fat man.

Now here is a man well known to hundreds of the lawyers of the
New York Bar, a living example of what a little energy and determination
will accomplish for a person who sets about his task as if he meant
to perform it.

During the war, M----, a member of the Boston Police force, known to the
writer, was said to weigh three hundred and fifteen pounds, and was
certainly an enormously large man. He went South, served for some time
as stoker on a gunboat, and an intimate friend of his informed us that
he had reduced his weight to one hundred and eighty-four.

A girl of fifteen or sixteen, and inclined to be fleshy, found that, by
a good deal of horseback-riding daily, she lost twenty-five pounds in
one year--so a physician familiar with her case informed us.

Brisk walking, and being on the feet much of the day--as Americans,
for instance, find it necessary to do when they try to see the
Parisian galleries and many other of Europe's attractions all in a
very few weeks--will tell decidedly on the weight of fleshy people,
and dispose them to move more quickly. When you can do it, this is
perhaps not such a bad way to reduce yourself.

Now, if so many have found that vigorous muscular exercise, taken daily and
assiduously, accomplished the desired end for them, does it not look as if
a similar course, combined with a little strength of purpose, would bring
similar benefit to others? In any case, such a course has this advantage:
begun easily, and followed up with gradually increasing vigor, it will be
sure to tone up and strengthen one, and add to the spring and quickness of
movement, whether it reduces one's flesh or not. But it is a sort of work
where free perspiration must be encouraged, not hindered, for this is
plainly a prominent element in effecting the desired purpose.

But, while many of us know instances where fat people have, by exercise,
been reduced to a normal weight, is it possible for a thin person to
become stouter? A thin person may have a large frame or a slender one.
Is there any work which will increase the weight of each, and bring
desirable roundness and plumpness of trunk and limb?

Take, first, the slim man. Follow him for a day, or even an hour, and
you will usually find that, while often active--indeed, too
active--still he does no work which a person of his height need be
really strong to do. Put him beside such a person who is not merely
large, but really strong and in equally good condition, and
correspondingly skilful, and let the two train for an athletic feat of
some sort--row together, for instance, or some other work where each
must carry other weight in addition to his own. The first mile they can
go well together, and one will do about as much as the other. But as the
second wears along, the good strength begins to tell; and the slim man,
while, perhaps, sustaining his form pretty well, and going through the
motions, is not quite doing the work, and his friend is gradually
drawing away from him. At the third mile the disparity grows very
marked, and the stronger fellow has it all his own way, while at the
end he also finds that he has not taken as much out of him as his
slender rival. He has had more to carry, both in his boat's greater
weight, and especially in his own, but his carrying power was more than
enough to make up for the difference. Measure the slim man where you
will, about his arm or shoulders, chest or thigh or calf, and the other
outmeasures him; the only girth where he is up, and perhaps ahead, is
that of his head--for thin fellows often have big heads. The muscles of
the stronger youth are larger as well as stronger.

Now, take the slim fellow, and set him to making so many efforts a day with
any given muscle or muscles, say those of his upper left arm, for instance.
Put some reward before him which he would like greatly to have--say a
hundred thousand dollars--if in one year from date he will increase the
girth of that same upper left arm two honest inches. Now, watch him, if he
has any spirit and stuff, as thin fellows very often have, and see what he
does. Insist, too, that whatever he does shall in no way interfere with his
business or regular duties, whatever they may be, but that he must find
other time for it. And what will he do? Why, he will leave no stone
unturned to find just what work uses the muscles in question, and at that
work he will go, with a resolution which no obstacle will balk. He is
simply showing the truth of Emerson's broad rule, that "in all human action
those faculties will be strong which are used;" and of Maclaren's,
"Where the activity is, there will be the development."

The new work flushes the muscles in question with far more blood than
before, while the wear and tear being greater, the call for new material
corresponds, and more and more hearty food is eaten and assimilated. The
quarter-inch or more of gain the first fortnight often becomes the whole
inch in less than two months, and long before the year is out the
coveted two inches have come. And, in acquiring them, his whole left
arm and shoulder have had correspondingly new strength added, quite
going past his right, though it was the larger at first, if meanwhile
he has practically let it alone.

There are some men, either at the college or city gymnasiums, every
year, who are practically getting to themselves such an increase
in the strength and size of some particular muscles.

We knew one at college who, on entering, stood hardly five feet four,
weighed but about one hundred and fifteen pounds, and was small and
rather spare. For four years he worked with great steadiness in the
gymnasium, afoot and on the water, and he graduated a five-foot-eight
man, splendidly built, and weighing a hundred and sixty-eight
pounds--every pound a good one, for he was one of the best bow-oarsmen
his university ever saw.

Another, tall and very slender, but with a large head and a very bright
mind, was an habitual fault-finder at everything on the table, no matter
if it was fit for a prince. A friend got him, for awhile, into a little
athletic work--walking, running, and sparring--until he could trot three
miles fairly, and till one day he walked forty-five--pretty well used
up, to be sure, but he walked it. Well, his appetite went up like a
rocket. Where the daintiest food would not tempt him before, he would
now promptly hide a beefsteak weighing a clean pound at a meal, and that
no matter if cooked in some roadside eating-house, where nothing was
neat or tidy, and flies abounded almost as they did once in Egypt in
Pharaoh's day. His friends frequently spoke of his improved temper, and
how much easier it was to get on with him. But after a while his efforts
slackened, and his poor stomach returned to its old vices, at least in
part. Had he kept at what was doing so much for him, it would have
continued to prove a many-sided blessing.

If steady and vigorous use of one set of muscles gradually increases
their size, why should not a similar allowance, distributed to each, do
the same for all? See (Appendix V.) what it did in four months and
twelve days for Maclaren's pupil of nineteen, whose upper arm not only
gained a whole inch and a half (think how that would add to the beauty
alone of many a woman's arm, to say nothing of its strength), and whose
chest enlarged five inches and a quarter, _but whose weight went up
eight pounds_! Or what it did (see Appendix IV.) for Sargent's pupil of
nineteen, who in just one year, besides making an inch and a half of
upper arm, and three and a half of chest, went up from a hundred and
forty-five pounds to a hundred and sixty, or _a clean gain of fifteen
pounds_. Or (see Appendix VI.) for Maclaren's man, fully twenty-eight
years old, who, in seven months and nineteen days, made _sixteen
pounds_; or (Appendix VII.) for his youth of sixteen, who in just one
year increased his weight _full twenty-one pounds_!

These facts certainly show pretty clearly whether sensible bodily
exercise, taken regularly, and aimed at the weak spots, will not tell,
and tell pretty rapidly, on the thin man wanting to stouten, and tell,
too, in the way he wants.

It will make one eat heartily, it will make him sleep hard and long.
Every ounce of the food is now digested, and the long sleep is just what
he needed. Indeed, if, after a hearty dinner, a man would daily take a
nap, and later in the day enough hard work to make sure of being
thoroughly tired when bedtime came, he would doubtless find the flesh
coming in a way to which he was a stranger. Many thin persons do not
rest enough. They are constantly on the go, and the lack of phlegm
in their make-up rather increases this activity, though they do not
necessarily accomplish more than those who take care to sit and
lie still more.

The writer, at nineteen, spent four weeks on a farm behind the
Catskills, in Delaware County, New York. It was harvest-time, and, full
of athletic ardor, and eager to return to college the better for the
visit, we took a hand with the men. All the farm-hands were uniformly on
the field at six o'clock in the morning, and it would average nearly or
quite eight at night before the last load was snugly housed away in the
mow. It was sharp, hard work all day long, with a tough, wiry,
square-loined fellow in the leading swath all the morning. But to follow
him we were bound to or drop, while the pitchfork or rake never rested
from noon till sunset. Breakfast was served at five-thirty; dinner at
eleven; supper at four; and a generous bowl of bread-and-milk--or two
bowls, if you wanted them--at nine o'clock, just before bedtime, with
plenty of spring-water between meals; while the fare itself was good and
substantial, just what you would find on any well-to-do farmer's table.
And such an appetite, and such sleep! Solomon must have tried some
similar adventure when he wrote that "the sleep of the laboring man is
sweet, whether he eat little or much." Well, when we returned to college
and got on the scales again, the one hundred and forty-three pounds at
starting had somehow become a hundred and fifty-six! And with them such
a grip, and such a splendid feeling! We have rowed many a race since,
but there was as hard work done by some of that little squad on that old
mountain farm as any man in our boat ever did, and there was not much
attention paid to any one's training rules either.

It is notorious, among those used to training for athletic contests,
that thin men, if judiciously held in, and not allowed to do too much
work, generally "train up," or gain decidedly in weight, almost as much,
in fact, as the fleshy ones lose.

Now, were the object simply to train up as much as possible, unusual
care could be taken to insure careful and deliberate eating, with a
generous share of the fat and flesh making sorts of food, and quiet rest
always for awhile after each meal, to aid the digestive organs at their
work. Slow, deep, abdominal breathing is a great ally to this latter
process; indeed, works direct benefit to many of the vital organs, and
so to the whole man. All the sleep the man can possibly take at night
would also tell in the right way. So would everything that would tend
to prevent fret and worry, or which would cultivate the ability to bear
them philosophically. But most thin people do not keep still enough, do
not take matters leisurely, and do not rest enough; while, if their work
is muscular, they do too much daily in proportion to their strength.

They are very likely also to be inerect, with flat, thin chests, and
contracted stomach and abdomen. Now the habit of constantly keeping
erect, whether sitting, standing, or walking, combined with this same
deep, abdominal breathing, soon tends to expand not only the lower ribs
and lower part of the lungs, but the waist as well, so giving the
digestive organs more room and freer play. Like the lungs, or any other
organ, they do their work best when in no way constrained. Better yet,
if the person will also habituate himself, no matter what he is at,
whether in motion or sitting still, to not only breathing the lower half
of the lungs full, but the whole lungs as well, and at each inspiration
hold the air in his chest as long as he comfortably can, he will
speedily find a quickened and more vigorous circulation, which will be
shown, for instance, by the veins in his hands becoming larger, and the
hands themselves growing warmer if the air be cold; he will also feel a
mild and agreeable exhilaration such as he has seldom before
experienced. Some of these are little things, and for that reason they
are the easier to do; but in this business, as in many others, little
things often turn the scale. Of two brothers, equally thin, equally
over-active, as much alike as possible--if one early formed these simple
habits of slow and thorough mastication, deep and full breathing,
resting awhile after meals, carrying his body uniformly erect, and
sleeping plentifully, and his brother all the while cared for none of
these things, it is highly probable that these little attentions would,
in a few years, tell very decidedly in favor of him who practised them,
and gradually bring to him that greater breadth, depth, and serenity,
and the accompanying greater weight of the broad, full, and hearty man.

And what about the old people? Take a person of sixty. You don't want
him to turn gymnast, surely. No; not to turn gymnast, but to set aside a
small portion of each day for taking such body as he or she now has, and
making the best of it.

But how can that be done? and is it practicable at all for a person
sixty years old, or more? Well, let us see what one, not merely sixty,
but eighty, and more too, had to say on this point. Shortly after the
death of the late William Cullen Bryant, the New York _Evening Post_, of
which he had long been editor, published in its semi-weekly issue of
June 14th, 1878, the following letter:

"MR. BRYANT'S MODE OF LIFE.

"The following letter, written by Mr. Bryant several years ago,
describing the habits of his life, to which he partly ascribed the
wonderful preservation of his physical and mental vigor, will be read
with interest now:

                                           "'New York, March 30, 1871.
   "_'To Joseph H. Richards, Esq._:

   "'MY DEAR SIR,--I promised some time since to give you some account
   of my habits of life, so far at least as regards diet, exercise,
   and occupations. I am not sure that it will be of any use to you,
   although the system which I have for many years observed seems to
   answer my purpose very well. I have reached a pretty advanced
   period of life, _without the usual infirmities of old age_, and
   with my strength, activity, and bodily faculties generally, in
   pretty good preservation. How far this may be the effect of
   my way of life, adopted long ago and steadily adhered to, is
   perhaps uncertain.

   "'I rise early; at this time of the year about half-past five; in
   summer, half an hour or even an hour earlier. Immediately, with
   very little encumbrance of clothing, I begin a series of exercises,
   for the most part designed to expand the chest, and at the same
   time call into action all the muscles and articulations of the
   body. These are performed with dumb-bells, the very lightest,
   covered with flannel, with a pole, a horizontal bar, and a light
   chair swung around my head. After a full hour, and sometimes more,
   passed in this manner, I bathe from head to foot. When at my place
   in the country, I sometimes shorten my exercises in the chamber,
   and, going out, occupy myself for half an hour or more in some work
   which requires brisk exercise. After my bath, if breakfast be not
   ready, I sit down to my studies till I am called.

       *       *       *       *       *

   "'After breakfast I occupy myself for awhile with my studies, and
   then, when in town, I walk down to the office of the _Evening Post,
   nearly three miles distant_, and, after about three hours, return,
   always walking, _whatever be the weather or the state of the
   streets_. In the country, I am engaged in my literary tasks till a
   feeling of weariness drives me out into the open air, and I go upon
   my farm or into the garden and prune the fruit-trees, or perform
   some other work about them which they need, and then go back to my
   books. I _do not often drive out, preferring to walk_.

          *       *       *       *       *

                                       "'I am, sir, truly yours,
                                                      "'W.C. BRYANT.'"

The same paper also contained the following:

"REMINISCENCES OF A FORMER BUSINESS ASSOCIATE.

"Mr. William G. Boggs, who knew Mr. Bryant intimately for many years,
has given the following reminiscences to a representative of the
_Evening Post_:

   "'During the _forty years that I have known him, Mr. Bryant has
   never been ill--never been confined to his bed, except on the
   occasion of his last accident. His health has always been good_.

   "'Mr. Bryant was a great walker. In earlier years he would think
   nothing of walking to Paterson Falls and back, with Alfred Pell and
   James Lawson, after office hours. _He always walked from his home
   to his place of business, even in his eighty-fourth year._ At first
   he wouldn't ride in the elevator. He would never wait for it, if it
   was not ready for the ascent immediately on his arrival in the
   building. Of gymnastic exercises he was very fond. Every morning,
   for half an hour, he would go through a series of evolutions on the
   backs of two chairs placed side by side. He would hang on the door
   of his bedroom, pulling himself up and down an indefinite number of
   times. He would skirmish around the apartment after all fashions,
   and once he told me even "_under the table_." Breakfast followed,
   then a walk down town; and then _he was in the best of spirits_ for
   the writing of his editorial article for that day.

          *       *       *       *       *

   "'He was a constant student. His daily leading editorial
   constituted, and was for many years, the _Evening Post_. Sometimes
   he would not get it written until one o'clock. "Can't I have it
   earlier?" I asked him one day. "Why not write it the evening
   before?" "Ah," he replied, "if I should empty out the keg in that
   way, it would soon be exhausted." He wanted his evenings for study.
   "Well, then, can't you get down earlier in the morning?" He said,
   "Oh yes." A few months afterward he exclaimed, with reference to
   the change: "I like it. _I go through my gymnastics, walk all the
   way down_, and when I get here I feel like work. I like it."'"

Mr. Boggs also tells us that Mr. Bryant's sight and hearing were scarcely
impaired even up to his death.

How remarkable these facts seem! Here a man, known to the whole
civilized world, says at seventy-seven that he "has reached a pretty
advanced period of life without the usual infirmities of old age, and
with his strength, activity, and bodily faculties generally in pretty
good preservation." Wouldn't most of us like to do that? Are there not
men who would promptly give millions, not "for an inch of time," but to
be able to reach seventy-seven, and to say of themselves what Mr. Bryant
could say of himself at that age? Nor at seventy-seven only, but at
eighty-four, for his friend tells the same thing of him then.

And notice what he did: "Every morning," not for two or three minutes
only, but "for half an hour, he would go through a series of evolutions
on the backs of two chairs placed side by side." The "dips" which have
been recommended in another place,[K] and which are so excellent for
making the chest strong and keeping it so, are doubtless the
"evolutions" meant; and as the great majority of men, whether young or
old, have not strength of triceps and pectorals enough to even struggle
through one of them, some conception can be formed of how wonderfully
wiry and strong this large-headed, spare-bodied, illustrious old man
was, to say nothing of the strength of purpose which would keep him so
rigidly up to his work at an age when most men would have thought it
their unquestionable duty to coddle themselves. Just think of a man over
eighty "pulling himself up and down"--evidently on the "horizontal bar"
he mentions--"an indefinite number of times!" Or "always walking" down
to the office of the _Evening Post_, nearly three miles distant, and,
after three hours, return, always walking, whatever be the weather or
the state of the streets! Or of never waiting for the elevator if it
was not ready, but always walking up the _nine flights_ from the street
to his office! And the writer has often seen him going up the top
flight, and, instead of his step being faltering and feeble, it was
uniformly _a trot_!

See what two other old men did--in some ways even a more remarkable
thing than Mr. Bryant's great activity. The following despatch is from
the _New York Herald_ of February 23d, 1879:

   "THE OLD MEN'S WALK.

                                     "New Haven, Conn., Feb. 22, 1879.

   "The walk between Thomas Carey, of the New York Cotton Exchange,
   and Joseph Y. Marsh, of this city, terminated to-night at a quarter
   of an hour before the appointed time, Marsh withdrawing. Carey had
   walked 211 miles and a fraction, to 209 miles and a corresponding
   fraction for Marsh. After the walk Marsh said that he was convinced
   that he had been beaten, and Carey made a speech expressing
   satisfaction with the manner in which he had been treated. The walk
   began on Wednesday of the present week, at eleven o'clock, and
   terminated at forty-five minutes past ten to-night. Carey is a
   great-grandfather, and is sixty-four years old, and Marsh
   sixty-three. Both had trained for the walk. It is understood that
   they will walk again in New York."

Sixty miles a day for three days and a half, and by a great-grandfather
at that! Any man, or any horse, might well hold that a good day's work.

This activity among men so far on in years seems surprising. And why?
Because, as people get past middle-life, often from becoming engrossed
in business, and out of the way of anything to induce them to continue
their muscular activity, oftener from increasing caution, and fear that
some effort, formerly easy, may now prove hazardous to them, they
purposely avoid even ordinary exercise--riding when they might, and
indeed ought to, walk, and, instead of walking their six miles a day,
and looking after their arms and chests besides, as Bryant did,
gradually come to do nothing each day worthy of the name of exercise.
Then the joints grow dry and stiff, and snap and crack as they work. The
old ease of action is gone, and disinclination takes its place. The man
makes up his mind that he is growing old and stiff--often before he is
sixty--and that there is no help for that stiffness.

Well, letting the machinery alone works a good deal the same whether it
is made of iron and steel, and driven by steam, or of flesh and blood
and bones, and driven by the human heart. Maclaren cleverly compares
this stiffening of the joints to the working of hinges, which, when
"left unused and unoiled for any length of time, grate and creak, and
move stiffly. The hinges of the human body do just the same thing, and
from the same cause; and they not only require frequent oiling to enable
them to move easily, but they _are_ oiled every time they are put in
motion, _and when they are put in motion only_. The membrane which
secretes this oil, and pours it forth over the opposing surfaces of the
bones and the overlying ligaments, is stimulated to activity only by the
motion of the joint itself." Had Bryant spared himself as most men do,
would he have been such a springy, easy walker, and so strong and handy
at eighty-four? Does it not look as if the half-hour at the dumb-bells,
and chairs, and horizontal bar, and the twelve or fifteen thousand steps
which he took each day, had much to do with this spring and activity in
such a green old age? Does it not look almost as if he had, half a
century ago, read something not unlike the following from Maclaren:

"The first course of the system may be freely and almost unconditionally
recommended to men throughout what may be called middle life, care being
taken to use a bell and bar well within the physical capacity. The
best time for this practice is in the early morning, immediately
after the bath, and, when regularly taken, it need not extend over
more than a few minutes."

Whether Bryant had ever seen these rules or not, the bell, the bar, and
the morning-time for exercise make a noticeable coincidence.

Looking at the benefit daily exercise brought in the instances
mentioned, would it not be well for every man who begins to feel his
age to at once adopt some equally moderate and sensible course of daily
exercise, and to enter on it with a good share of his own former energy
and vigor? He does not need to live in the country to effect it, nor in
the city. He can readily secure the few bits of apparatus suggested
elsewhere[L] for his own home, wherever that home is, and so take care
of his arms and chest. For foot-work there is always the road. Is it not
worth while to make the effort? He can begin very mildly, and yet in a
month reach quite a creditable degree of activity, and then keep that
up. And if, as Mr. Bryant did, he should last till well past eighty,
and, like him, keep free from deafness and dimness of vision, from
stiffness and shortness of breath, from gout, rheumatism, paralysis, and
other senile ailments, as he put it himself, "without the usual
infirmities of old age"--indeed, with his "strength, activity, and
bodily faculties generally in pretty good preservation," and all that
time could attend promptly to all the daily duties of an active
business as he did, as Vanderbilt did, as Palmerston did, as Thiers
did--is not the effort truly worth the making? And who knows what
he can do till he tries?


FOOTNOTES:

[K] See page 240.

[L] See page 91.



CHAPTER XI.

HALF-TRAINED FIREMEN AND POLICE.


There are two classes of men in our cities and larger towns who, more
than almost any others, need daily and systematic bodily exercise, in
order to make them efficient for their duties, and something like what
men in their lines ought to be. In times of peace they do in many ways
what the army does for the whole country in war-time--they protect life
and property. These are the police and firemen.

The work of some of the firemen before they reach a fire is even more
dangerous than when actually among the flames. The examining physician
of one of our largest life insurance companies told the writer that he
frequently had to reject firemen applying for insurance, because they
had seriously injured their hearts by running hard to fires when quite
untrained and unfit for such sudden and severe strain on the heart and
lungs, imposed, as it usually is, under much excitement. The
introduction of steam fire-engines has in part done away with this,
though even they often have a man to run before and clear the way; but
in smaller places, of course, the old danger exists. Thorough and
efficient as this steam-service is in many ways, and trained as the men
are to their duties, they are, very many of them, not nearly so
effective as they might easily be, and as, considering the fact that the
fireman's work is their sole occupation, they ought to be. Men of pluck
and daring, and naturally strong, often for days together they have no
fire to go to, and so sit and stand around the engine-house for hours
and hours. Soon they begin to fatten, until often they weigh thirty or
forty pounds more than they would in good condition for enduring work.
Having no daily exercise which gives all parts of the body increased
life and strength, neither the stout nor thin ones begin to be so
strong, so quick of movement, or enduring as they would be if kept in
good condition. To carry from an upper story of a high building a person
in a swoon or half suffocated, and to get such a burden safely down a
long narrow ladder through stifling smoke and terrible flame, is a feat
requiring, beside great nerve and courage, decided strength and
endurance. Exposure during long periods, perhaps drenched through,
perhaps holding up a heavy hose in the winter's cold, or in many another
duty all firemen well know, often without food or drink for many hours,
taxes very severely even the strongest man.

And what training have these men for this trying work outside of what
the fire itself actually gives? Practically, none. Suppose every man on
the force was required to spend an hour, or even half an hour, daily in
work which would call into play not all their muscles, but simply those
likely to be most needed when the real work came. Suppose each of them a
wiry, hard-muscled, very enduring man, good any day for a three or five
mile run at a respectable pace, and without detriment to himself, or to
go, if need be, hand over hand up the entire length of one of their long
ladders--to be, in short, as strong, as handy, as enduring, as even a
second-rate athlete. Is there any question that a force made up of such
men would be far better qualified for their work, and far more efficient
at it, than the firemen of any of our cities are now?

And if they think they at present have considerable daily exercise, so
does a British soldier decidedly more, in his daily drilling, and the
whole round of his duties; and yet, after Maclaren had one of them
exercising for but a brief period, but in a way to bring up his general
strength, the soldier said, "I feel twice the man I did for anything a
man could be set to do." Would it hurt a fireman or a policeman any to
have that feeling? Would the latter not be more inclined to rely on his
own strength, and less on his club?

If the training suggested seems too hard, look at the younger men in
blacksmithing, for instance, and many other kinds of iron-work,
swinging, as they often do, a heavy sledge for the whole day together;
at the postmen, walking from morning to evening, often up many flights
of stairs, and all the year round, and in all weathers; at the
iron-puddler, the hod-carrier, the 'longshoreman--all at work nearly or
quite as hard, not for one short hour only, but through all the burden
and heat of the day. Many of these men are not nearly as well paid as
the firemen, and none of them begin to have as great responsibility, or
are at any moment likely to be called on to take their lives in their
hands, and perhaps to save other lives as well.

Let us look at the policeman. What exercise has he? Standing around, and
considerable slow walking, for six hours out of each twelve. Is there
anything to make him swift of foot? No. Anything to build up his arms
and expand his chest, to make those arms help him in his business, and
those hands twice as skilful for his purposes as before? Very little.
Taught to use his hands he is, but never empty; there must be something
in them--a club or a revolver. And so comes what legitimate result? Why
is it that in a conflict, or even a threatened one--or, too often, not
even then--and when the culprit, while drunk, is wholly unresisting, we
constantly hear of these dangerous weapons being drawn and freely used?
Some of the very men set to preserve the peace are themselves every now
and then making assaults wholly uncalled for, always cowardly, and often
brutal, and such as an athletic man, proud of his strength, would have
scorned the idea of making, but, instead, would have so quickly
displayed his skill and strength that the average offender, especially
when he recalled the fact that the officer had the law on his side,
would have soon ceased resisting. Every intelligent New Yorker will at
one recognize that there is far too frequently good ground for such
editorial comment, grim as is its satire, as the following from a
well-known New York journal, of September 20th, 1878:

   "A COMPLICATED POLICE CASE.

   "We have recorded from time to time in the T---- various
   interesting police cases. With all our skill and experience,
   however, we could not prevent a shade of monotony stealing over
   them. When in nine cases out of ten the picture presented is that
   of a policeman clubbing a man nearly to death, by what resource of
   rhetoric can you avoid monotony? For the sake of variety, as well
   as for the public good, many people wish that a citizen would
   occasionally kill a brutal policeman; only that, in thus ridding
   the world of a human brute not worthy to live in it, the mockery
   that is called justice in New York and Brooklyn would probably also
   send out of the world the inoffensive citizen who had accomplished
   the good work. In a recent case, however, matters have become most
   ingeniously complicated. One policeman has arrested another. On
   Tuesday night two men got into a fight in the Bowery. Detective
   Archibald, who was in plain clothes, undertook, it is said, to
   arrest them. Then, it is stated, Officer Lefferts arrived, and
   arrested the whole party, detective and all. We say that this is a
   complicated case; but so it did not seem to Justice Morgan, of the
   Jefferson Market Police Court. If a policeman arrests a citizen, it
   is no longer possible for the latter to get justice. He is glad if
   he can get away with a whole skull and unbroken ribs. But one
   policeman arresting another! The only way in which this can be
   set right depends upon which policeman had the most influence
   at head-quarters."

And what sort of man is he who is thus too free with his weapon? Take
him in New York city, for instance. Out of nearly twenty-five hundred
policemen, it is entirely safe to say that one-third--and it would
probably be much nearer the truth to say that all of two-thirds--are
unathletic men, and that a very large proportion of these are either
clumsy, unwieldy, and short-winded, or not possessed of even average
bodily strength. Even in their uniforms this is quickly apparent; but
the true way to judge is to see them stripped, either in gymnastic
costume or at the swimming-bath. Any number of them have indifferent
legs; there are any number of stout, paunchy fellows; and old ones, too,
doubling over with their years; flat-chested ones, big-footed and
half-built men.

Try to select some of these men for a physical feat, say of speed and
endurance, like running or rowing, and see how few would be fit for the
work. Pair them off, give them gloves, and set them to boxing, and there
would scarce be one hundred good sparrers out of the whole brigade.
Once, right in front of Trinity church-yard, on Broadway, we saw two of
the Broadway squad put up their hands for a little good-natured
sparring, and the way they did it would hardly have been creditable to a
ten-year-old. To see two great, hulking six-footers, ignorant of the
first rudiments of good sparring, actually whirling their fists round
and round each other as if winding yarn, and with no sort of idea how to
use even one hand, let alone two, was positively ridiculous. A
hundred-pound thief, handy with his fists and quick of foot, could have
slapped their faces, and, if they could run no better than they sparred,
could have been at the Battery before either of them was half-way. And
what good would their weapons have been? Their revolvers they would
hardly dare to use in a crowded street at broad noon, nor would they
have been justified in so doing. And their clubs--of what use would they
be if the culprit was a block away?

The writer once saw a fellow, apparently a sneak-thief, cutting across
the City Hall Park, in front of the _Tribune_ building, at a clipping
pace, while some distance behind came one of those majestic but logy
guardians of the peace, making about one foot to the other's two, and,
finally, seeing how hopeless was the pursuit, bringing his club around
and throwing it after the escaping thief--and with what result?
Excellent for the thief, for, instead of coming anywhere near him, it
passed dangerously close to the abdomen of a worthy but obese citizen,
who chanced to be passing that way.

At a public exhibition, held early in 1878, under the auspices of these
very Metropolitan Police, at the Hippodrome, in New York, where
doubtless the very best boxers on the whole force were on the boards,
and with ten thousand spectators to spur them on to their utmost, the
thoroughly skilful and accomplished workmen could be counted almost on
the thumbs; while, in the tug of war, the string of policemen were
overhauled and pulled completely down by the Scottish Americans, who
weighed half a hundred weight less per man than their uniformed
antagonists; though it is but just to add that, later on, the latter did
manage to win, yet what was that to brag of?

The same Police Department held a regatta on the Harlem River on the
twenty-ninth of August, 1878, for which there were many entries; yet out
of them all with one or two exceptions, there was no performance which
was not of the most commonplace character, unworthy of an average
freshman crew, and this though many of the rowers were burly, heavy men.
One of the single-scullers actually did not know how to back his boat
over some fifty feet of water, and, after four ineffectual endeavors,
had to be told how to do so from the referee's boat.

Now place the whole force abreast on a broad common, or in half a dozen
lines, and set them to run a mile at no racing pace; at no such gait
even as John Ennis went in March, 1879, when, after 474 miles of walking
and running in one single week, he ran his 475th mile in six minutes
eleven seconds, but let them go at even a horse-car pace; and if five
hundred get over even half the distance it will be a surprise, while of
those who do, many stand a good chance to feel the effects for days, if
not for life. We asked the best known police captain in New York city,
the president of the old Police Athletic Club, whether he thought
one-half of the whole twenty-five hundred could run a mile at any pace
which could actually be called a run. After deliberating a little, he
said he did not think they could. One of the most successful athletes on
the force, in reply to the same question, said: "I'll bet my neck
against a purse that not one-third of them can do it." Another, a
magnificent-looking man, standing over six feet three in height, and
weighing upward of two hundred and fifty, not only strongly inclined to
the same opinion, but, when urged to tell how successful he himself
would probably be in such a trial, he gave, with a little sudden color
in his cheeks, substantially as follows, this most interesting incident
from his own experience:

Standing in a rear room on the main floor of the station-house of the
---- Precinct, he heard a scream. Going quickly to the street, a lady
told him that she had been robbed of her pocket-book, while a young
person gliding gracefully, and, as the sequel proved, quite fleetly,
around the corner, lent force to the statement. Away went the engine of
the law, his mighty form bending to the work, with his best foot
foremost. Turning up one of the broad avenues, the one hundred and
twenty-five feet or so of the thief's start had now shrunk to
seventy-five, and, as the two sped on at a grand pace,

  "All and each that passed that way
  Enjoyed the swift 'pursuit.'"

Block after block was passed, but the gap would not close. Go as he
would, do his mightiest and his best, it was of no use; that lawless
young man would somehow all the time manage to keep just seventy-five
feet to the fore. Four blocks are now done, and so is the policeman; and
bringing up all-standing--blown, gasping, exhausted--he cannot even
muster breath enough to shout, but, reaching his big hand out in front
of him, and looking at the young person gently fleeting, with seemingly
unabated vigor, into the dim distance, he sadly points to him, for that
is all he is just now equal to. Fortunately for the interests of justice
and good order, that point is well taken, for a brother officer sees it,
and, rising to the occasion, dashes off after the misguided young person
up the avenue. "Life is earnest" now, surely, for the latter. Still he
has nearly a hundred feet start, and maybe this second guardian of the
peace will not stay any better than did his illustrious predecessor. So
down to it he settles again, and the street enjoys the fun. Block after
block slips away, and so does the official wind, for, at the end of four
blocks more, no perceptible decrease of the gap having yet been made,
patrolman number two "shuts up." Yes, literally, for he too cannot even
yell, but, like the first, striking a tragic position, he points to the
flying culprit. And is justice to be cheated out of her victim after
all, even now, when she a second time is sure that she has reached the
point? And is this light-fingered and light-heeled young person to
escape the minions of the law--and all this in broad daylight too, and
right on Sixth Avenue? So it certainly seems. But stop! Justice, after
all, is to prevail, for lo! a third pursuer has now caught the trail,
and is off like a fast mail-train. Have a care now, young man! No brass
buttons adorn your pursuer this time; but the self-appointed private
citizen, now in your wake, runs as the wicked flee. There is no
cart-horse pace about his work; but with one clean, business-like spurt,
he swoops down on the now disturbed young man, and, clutching his upper
garments, holds him neatly until the reserves come up, and then hands
him over for his six months on the island."

One more illustration may suffice. The _New York Herald_ of December
20th, 1878, referring to a burglary which had been committed in the
28th Precinct, said that suspicion fastened on a young man known as
"Sleepy Dick." Detective Wilson got on the supposed offender's trail,
and the nearer he got to him the worse grew his character for
strength, daring, and ferocity. At last he came up with "Sleepy Dick"
on Second Avenue yesterday.

"'The jig's up, Sleepy,' said the detective; 'you're wanted.'

"'What for?' calmly inquired the other, straightening upon the coal-box.

"'Cracking a crib.'

"'How long a stretch?'

"'A fiver, sure.'

"'I'm not your meat then, cully,' and Dick bolted for the corner with no
sleepiness about him. Wilson grabbed him firmly by the collar, though,
and there was a scene of plunging and tearing witnessed by the crowd
around them that eclipsed Cornwall or Græco-Roman wrestling.

"Suddenly a revolver came flashing out of Wilson's pocket.

"'I'm taking this pot,' said he, coolly.

"'Show your hand,' growled 'Sleepy.'

"'A straight flush;' and Wilson levelled the pistol at his head.

"'That takes this pile,' Dick sullenly assented, and he moved on quietly
as far as Sixty-first Street. Once at the corner, he plunged backward
and broke loose. The detective's revolver came down on his head with a
thud, but he rallied under the blow, sprung aside, and made for the
river. He was fleet of foot, and, as he flew down the street, he kept
looking over his shoulder, evidently in fear of a passing bullet. But
the detective was coming on after him, bound to run him down, and as
they passed First Avenue the hue and cry was taken up by two other
policemen, who joined in the pursuit. There was fully a block between
'Sleepy' and his pursuers when he neared the river. He saw his
advantage, turned into a stone-yard, dodged among the bowlders, scaled a
fence, and made off. Dick has been in the hands of the police before
this week, but managed to get away."

Is there no lesson for our city rulers in such facts as these? If our
police are men of only four block power; if they are so blown in that
little distance that they are utterly helpless, and all they can do is,
one after another to point to the escaping felon and indulge in these
"brilliant flashes of silence," inwardly imploring some good civilian to
kindly catch that thief; if a youngster can first indulge in a tough
wrestle with a detective, and then, taking a heavy blow on his head from
the butt of a revolver, not only empty-handed get away from his would-be
captor, but, although the latter is joined by two policemen, soon put a
whole block between him and them, and springing over a fence, go, after
all, "unwhipt of justice," does it not strike the reader that a little
improvement in the speed and stay of our policemen might do no harm? Had
it not better be conceded that it is hopeless for many of the Broadway
squad, for instance, in their present condition, to attempt to catch a
thief by running; after him, and would it not be well to provide each of
them with a lasso, for short-range work, and initiate them in its uses
at once? In this way they could certainly make sure of one of those
light-heeled gentry once in a while, perhaps--for example, one fond
of lady's ear-rings. And who believes that officers always report
their failures to catch thieves, or that the public ever hears of
one-half of such cases?

Let us see, too, where this physical incapacity may lead to graver
consequences than the mere allowing a detected thief to run at large. In
the great cities there have sprung up within a few years back
storehouses for the safe-keeping of securities, plate, important papers,
and other valuables. Hedged around with plates of steel,
chronometer-locks, massive bolts, and several watchmen, and connected
with the nearest police station by wires so arranged that the doors
cannot be opened without sounding the alarm at the station-house, the
public naturally put their trust in them, and their property too. Within
recent years we also hear far more than formerly of burglars going not
in pairs or threes, but in gangs of half a dozen or more, and of
cracking safes always thought impenetrable. Now, suppose that a descent
were made on the largest one of these safe depositories in America, the
one under the New York Stock Exchange, and by a dozen first-class
cracksmen. Their business hours are generally between one and four in
the morning. That they work with wonderful sagacity, daring, and
despatch, is attested by such brilliant performance as that at the
Northampton Bank robbery, or when they in a little time, one morning,
relieved the Manhattan Bank of a few millions, and that right within a
block of police head-quarters in New York city. Suppose that, by
collusion or otherwise, the robbers get through the outer door. Unlike
the Bank of England, there is no platoon of soldiers on guard. They
silence the three or four who oppose them. They come to the inner doors,
the opening of which alarms the police. At the station-house, when that
alarm sounds, three or four, or maybe more, more or less drowsy officers
start and run for the Stock Exchange, some eight hundred feet away. Is
there any especial reason why they should be any less exhausted when
they get there than the two policemen who failed to catch the Sixth
Avenue thief, or the two who let another on First Avenue run clear out
of their sight? The four blocks the former two policemen ran do not make
much over eight hundred feet. Suppose that three or four, not half-grown
fellows like "sleepy" Dick, but stalwart desperadoes, used to rough
work, quietly await the arrival of these worthy, but well-blown
patrolmen. How long would it take the thieves to at least check the
advance, if not also considerably impair the usefulness of men so
nearly gone that they could not speak, and whose hands shook so that
aiming a revolver effectively would be practically out of the question?

And might not the Press justly have some pretty plain comment to make,
then, on the physical inefficiency of our police force, and wonder why
it had not been insisted on long ago that they be trained as men have to
be in other callings, until they are fit for their work? Hear Dr.
Morgan, in "University Oars," on fat and unwieldy men, and their
unfitness for emergencies calling for strong and quick work: "When,
therefore, we hear of a man who, at twenty years of age, weighed 12
stone (168 pounds), and in after-life inclining to corpulency, has
reached the abnormal weight of 17 or 18 stone (238 or 252 pounds), we
must not consider him proportionately stronger: on the contrary, he
should rather excite our pity and commiseration--the _five or six stone
distributed over his body being composed wholly of adipose tissue_. He
is thus as completely enveloped in blubber as though he were a whale or
a seal. His muscles being heavily weighted, _his powers of locomotion
are necessarily limited_; and, handicapped in this manner, it is no easy
task for him to drag his unwieldy frame on some sweltering 12th of
August over the trying inequalities of a Highland moor."

The broken-winded man, or a man out of wind, is almost as useless in an
emergency calling for sharp and sudden work as a broken-winded horse.
The standing around of the policeman, heavily shod and heavily clad,
and the lazy, aimless walking, will never make him hardy, tough, and
difficult to face, or likely not to use his club where a strong, quick
man would never need it. Swollen hands and feet, and soft, flabby
flesh will be the result; and for the variety of sudden and dangerous
work which he may be called upon to do at any moment he is not half
fitted; and if he trains no more for his work than he does now,
he never will be.

Again, in the matter of looks--not the least important, by any means, of
the qualifications of a police-officer--are they all that they might be,
and that they really ought to be?

When a thousand of them, averaging two hundred pounds apiece, parade
down Broadway, with brass buttons gleaming, and every belt well filled,
it is easy enough for Press or citizen to say, "What a fine-looking body
of men!" But now, notice them closely, and most of them are inerect,
many are round-shouldered, and few are at once thoroughly well-built men
and in good condition, being either loose-jointed, too fat, or too thin.
Contrast their marching and bearing with that of the little West Point
battalion on parade, every man erect, clean-cut, precise, wiry, and
athletic; light and young, to be sure, but most hardy, quick, and
manly. Now, we know what it is to be erect. We soon discover that the
bulk, the sunburn, and the uniforms have gone far toward making the
favorable impression, which ought to have been better based, and that
almost every one of these policemen is plainly faulty.

Now, suppose every one of these twenty-five hundred men, besides being,
as most of them already are, both courageous and faithful in the
performance of duty, was a skilful and hard-hitting boxer, a good,
steady, long-distance runner, a fair wrestler, a strong swimmer, a
sound, hale, thoroughly well-made man. Let the vicious classes once
know--and how long would it take them to learn?--that in a race between
them and the policeman the latter would be pretty sure to win; let it be
known that, when he once caught his man, the odds would be decidedly in
his favor, and that that man would not get away; let every member of the
force be justly known as a formidable man to face, and one whom the
offender had better avoid--and what an advance it would be in both the
moral and physical efficiency of the force! Now let the riot come, and
see what that little band of twenty-five hundred trained men could do
against ten times their number. To-day they have nothing which makes
them enduring at quick, hard work, and that is what is wanted for mobs.
If they had an abundance of that which would make them so, the plying
of a locust for an hour or two among a lot of unorganized roughs would
be almost a diversion, and a game they could continue at by the
week if need be.

And why should not every city in our land have, instead of men very many
of them too often far out of condition, these same well-trained men,
educated, as men have to be in nearly every other calling, directly for
their work, and all dexterous and able? Is it asking too much? The
preparation necessary to it will not compare in its exhausting effects
with what the war-policeman--the soldier, who is not paid a quarter as
much--must do without a murmur: the long forced marching, weighted like
a pack-horse, the broken sleep, the stinted food, the bad shoes, the
long absence from home, and the lack of all comforts. Why not insist on
a regime which, if the fat man could go through and retain his
corporosity, would make him welcome to retain it; if the thin man could
be up to every day's work in it, then he could stand far more than he
looked equal to? But if either failed, out with him. There need be no
fear that good substitutes could not be had in abundance.

This is no question of mere health, and symmetry of make, and reasonable
strength, as with the ordinary citizen. It is a matter of fitness for
ordinary duties--duties often of very great importance to the public
weal, which may spring up at any moment, and which call for unusual
physical resources. It is a matter of substituting for dangerous
weapons, rashly wielded, and when that wielding is often wholly
uncalled for, men who, in any ordinary street-brawl, need no weapon,
and would scarcely think of using one, any more than would a Morrissey,
a Heenan, or a Hyer.

As nearly as possible in the centre of each four precincts in the larger
cities hire a hall, say about eighty feet by forty, and the higher the
better, well lighted and ventilated, and easily heated. Two hundred
dollars, carefully spent, would buy all needed apparatus, and as much
more would keep it swept and dusted, lighted and warmed. Twenty-five
cents a month from each of four hundred policemen would be twelve
hundred dollars a year, which would cover, beside these items, rent and
salary of teacher as well. For the teacher need be with them but a
little while daily; for, in about all the exercises necessary to make
men good ordinary runners and boxers, a teacher up to his work can drill
the men in squads. What they want is not intricate and technical
knowledge, but plain, straightforward, swift, hard work, and plenty of
it, and the condition which keeps them easily up to it. Or, better yet,
put these gymnasiums in charge of the department, if equally rigid
economy could be insured. Then require each man to spend fifteen minutes
there every other day, sparring--after he had the rudiments--with some
companion who can give him all the exercise he wants, and on the
alternate days let an equal period of time be spent in running, not at
racing pace, but still good lively work of the kind which brings good
lungs and good legs. Now, at the annual or semi-annual athletic meeting,
let picked men from each precinct contend in foot-races, both for short
and long distances; and, to give their work an even more practical turn,
give some sneak-thief a reasonable start in such contests, and let the
officers, in full uniform of course, catch him if they can. Now the
waistbands will begin to lessen, and a considerably smaller measure of
cloth will cover the man, but it will clothe a man who, unarmed and
unaided, can whip almost half a dozen such flabby, untrained, unskilful
fellows as he used to be. For every duty which may at any moment become
his, whether light or heavy, mild or violent, he will be far better
qualified in almost every respect than before, yet no better in his line
than any good business man requires each person in his employ to be in
his, no matter what their particular duties may be.



CHAPTER XII.

SPECIAL EXERCISE FOR ANY GIVEN MUSCLES.


While symmetrical and thorough physical development are not at all
common among Americans, and undeveloped, inerect, and weak bodies almost
outnumber any other kind, the general want of familiarity with what will
develop any given muscles, and bring them up to the fulness and strength
which ought to be theirs, is even more surprising. If proof is wanted of
this, let the reader ask himself what special work he would choose to
develop any given part; the muscles of the forearm, for instance, or
those of the front of the chest. If he has ever paid any attention to
his physical development--and thousands and tens of thousands have
not--he may know one or two things which will bring about the desired
result; but even if he has attended the gymnasium a good deal, he will
often be surprised to find that his time there was mainly spent in
accomplishing some particular feat or amount of work, rather than in
bringing about the special development of any given part, or general
development of the whole body.

Now, while the exercises which bring any given set of muscles into play
are very numerous, if a few can be grouped together which shall be at
once simple and plain, and shall call either for inexpensive apparatus
or none at all, which will also enable almost any one, by a little
energy and determination, to bring up any limb or muscles now weak, they
may prove of value.


_To develop the Leg below the Knee._

The main part of the leg below the knee, for instance, is composed of
muscles which raise the heel. Stand erect, with the head high, chest
out, and shoulders down, keeping the knees all the time well sprung
back, having the feet about three inches apart, with the toes turned
slightly outward. Now slowly raise the heels until they are high off the
floor, and the whole weight rests on the soles and toes. Now drop slowly
down. Then repeat. Next place the hand on the muscles of the calf, and
while at first not firm, feel them harden as you rise, and all doubt as
to whether the exercise in question uses these muscles will speedily
vanish. Continue this exercise at the same rate, keeping at it until you
have risen fifty times. Now, it will not be necessary, with most
persons, to have to place the hand on these muscles to learn if they are
brought into play, for already that is becoming very plain in another
way, one that is bringing most conclusive proof to the mind--internal
evidence it might well be called. Unless the calves are unusually
strong, long before the one hundredth effort there is an unmistakable
ache in them, which, in the majority of instances, will cause the person
to stop outright from sheer inability to proceed. It has not taken much
time to get a pretty thorough measure of about what power there is in
one set of muscles at least. All doubts are gone from his mind now as to
whether one exercise he knows will call into play the muscles of his leg
below the knee or not. It is equally plain that it is not his forearm,
or upper arm, or the back or front of his chest which has been in
action, for none of these have felt fatigue, the tire being all confined
to the muscles in question.

Again, had there been beside him two men of nearly the same weight, but
one of small and feeble calves, the other having them shapely and
well-developed, is there any doubt which of the two could have kept at
the exercise the longer, yet with the less fatigue? Few men need be told
that a muscle, unused to work at first, can gradually, by direct and
systematic exercise, be strengthened; but not a few there are who are
unaware that with the new strength comes increased size as well.

Yet, to those familiar with athletic work, it is as plain as that you
must have your eyes open if you want to see. A gentleman of our
acquaintance, of magnificent muscular and vital development, was not
satisfied with the girth of his calves, which was 14-1/4 inches. At our
suggestion he began practising this simple raising and lowering of the
heels. In less than four months he had increased the girth of each calf
one whole inch. When asked how many strokes a day he averaged, he said,
"From fifteen hundred to two thousand;" varied some days by his holding
in each hand during the process a twelve-pound dumb-bell, and then only
doing one thousand or thereabouts. The time he found most convenient
was in the morning on rising, and just before retiring at night.
Instead of the work taking much time, seventy a minute was found a
good ordinary rate, so that fifteen minutes at each end of the day
was all he needed. But this was a great and very rapid increase,
especially for a man of thirty-five; far more than most persons would
naturally be contented with, yet suggestive of the stuff and
perseverance of the man who accomplished it.

Here, then, one of the most effective exercises which could be desired
for the strengthening of these muscles is accomplished actually without
apparatus, without one cent of expense--one which can be practised
anywhere, in the largest or the smallest room, in-doors or out,
on land or while at sea.

But there are many other exercises which will bring this same
development. Now stand erect again, with head and chest high, shoulders
low, and knees sprung back. Start off at an ordinary pace, and walk.
But, instead of, as usual, putting the foot down and lifting it without
thinking about it, this time, just as it leaves the ground, press hard
with the soles and toes. Go on for a block or two, and you will suddenly
find that your calves are having new and unwonted duties--indeed,
a very generous share of work. Keep on for a mile--if you can. Good
a walker as you thought yourself before, a mile of this sort will be
a mile to be remembered--certainly for a few days, till the ache gets
out of your calves.

If walking with this new push is not hard enough on flat ground, try it
up-hill. It will not be long before these muscles will ache till it will
seem as if you must have a whole gymnasium concealed in them somewhere.

Another exercise for the same muscles, which can also be learned in a
moment, and a little of which will suffice at first, is running on the
toes, or, rather, on the soles and toes. Here the whole weight is held
by, and pushed from, first the muscles of one calf, then of the other.
One will not go far at this without convincing proof of the value of
this work to the parts in question.

Of two brothers of our acquaintance--one a boy of thirteen, the other a
little fellow of four--the former walks with no especial spring, and
performs his running flat-footed. But the little fellow, whether
walking, standing, or running, is forever on his toes, and with his
knees sprung well back. The former has rather slim legs and no great
calf; the latter beautifully developed calves, round, full, and
symmetrical, noticeably large for a boy of his size and age.

Again, work, harder, and telling more directly on the calves, and hence
calculated to increase their size and strength faster even than any of
these, is hopping on one foot--a really grand exercise, and one of the
speediest for bringing strong legs and a springy step. There is not the
relief in it that there is in walking or running. There the rest is
nearly twice as long as here. Here the work is almost continuous, and
soon tires the strongest muscles. Jumping also exercises these muscles
powerfully, and, practised steadily, soon brings them up. Well developed
and strong, these muscles are of great value in dancing, adding
astonishingly to the ease and grace so valued in this accomplishment,
and to endurance as well. Horseback-riding, where the foot is pushed but
a little way into the stirrup, and the whole weight thus thrown on the
toes; rowing, especially with the sliding seat, where the feet press
hard against the stretcher; leaping; ordinary walking uphill, and
walking on the toes alone--these all call these muscles into most
vigorous play, and, when practised steadily and with energy, are among
the most rapid means known for increasing, not the strength of the
calves alone, but their girth as well.

Try a summer of mountain climbing. Look at the men who spend their lives
at it. Notice the best stayers in the Alpine clubs, and almost
invariably they are found to have large and powerful calves, especially
where their knees are not bent much in stepping. In a personal sketch of
Bendigo, the once celebrated British prize-fighter (now a quiet
Christian man), much stress was laid on the fact that his calves
measured a clean sixteen inches about. Yet, to show that gentlemen are
sometimes quite as strong in given directions as prize-fighters, look at
Professor Maclaren's own memorandum of not only what a splendid pair of
legs he himself had at the start, but what a little mountain climbing
did for them; for he says that in four months of Alpine walking,
averaging nine hours a day, his calves went up from sixteen inches to
seventeen and a quarter! and his thighs from twenty-three and a half
inches to twenty-five. If instances nearer home are sought, and yet
where neither anything like the time Maclaren took was given to it, nor
any of the very severe work of the gentleman referred to a little
earlier, look at what Dr. Sargent accomplished, not with one solitary
man but with two hundred, at Bowdoin College; not giving nine hours a
day to it, but only "half an hour a day, four times a week, for a
period of six months." In this very brief time, and by moderate
exercises, he increased the average girth of the calf of these whole
two hundred men from twelve and a half inches to thirteen and a
quarter. There was one pupil, working four hours a week instead of
four half-hours, and for one year instead of six months, who increased
his calves from thirteen and a half inches to fifteen--an actual gain
of a quarter of an inch more in two hundred and eight hours of
exercise, much of which was given to other muscles, and did not tell
on the calves, than Maclaren made in nine hundred hours of work, most
of which kept these muscles in very active play.

In all exercises for these muscles, indeed in all foot-work, shoes
should be worn with soles broad enough to prevent the slightest cramping
of the foot, and so giving every part of it its natural play.

There remains one other prominent muscle below the knee, that in front,
running down along the outer side of the shin-bone. Develop the calf
fully, as is often done, and omit this little muscle and the work which
calls it into play, and there is something wanting, something the lack
of which causes a lack of symmetry. Fast walking, when one is unused to
it, especially when the knees are held pretty straight, will work this
muscle so vigorously as to make it sore. But a plain, safe, and simple
exercise for it, yet one which, if protracted, will soon swell it into
notice, and give it unwonted strength and beauty, is effected by
stooping down as low as possible, the feet being but a few inches apart,
and the heels never being allowed to rise even a quarter of an inch off
the floor. Lift the heels, and this muscle is at once relieved.

Laying any weight on the foot, and lifting it clear from the ground,
will also call on this muscle. So will fastening the feet into straps,
like those on a boat-stretcher or rowing-weight, and swaying the body of
the sitter back and forth; for these muscles have heavy work to do to
aid in pulling the body forward, so that the rower may reach his hands
out over his toes for a new stroke. Simply standing on one foot, first
holding the other clear of the floor, and then drawing it up as near as
possible to the front of its own ankle, and then opening it as wide as
you can, will be found a safe and reasonably effective way of bringing
forward this small but useful muscle; while walking on the heels, with
the toes drawn up high, is simpler yet. For those who want to run heavy
risks, and are not contented with any exercise which does not threaten
their necks, hanging by the toes from a horizontal or trapeze bar will
be found to just fill the bill.


_Work for the Front of the Thigh._

The muscles of the front thigh have a most intimate connection with
those already mentioned, and, for ordinary purposes, a fair development
of them is more necessary than of those below the knee. In common
walking, for instance, while the calf gets something to do, the thigh
gets far more, especially when the step is low and flat, and the heel
never raised far from the ground. A man will often have large and strong
thighs, and yet but indifferent calves. A prominent Harvard oarsman, a
strong and fast walker, and a man of magnificent development in most
points, was once examined carefully by Greenough, the sculptor. "I
should know you were an American," said he, "because you have no
calves;" and, indeed, his mistake in developing splendid arms, and
trunk, and thighs, and forgetting all about the calves, is far too
common a one among our athletes to-day; though the prominence they are
beginning to give to running helps mend matters in this respect.

Scarcely any muscles are easier brought into action than these of the
upper or front thigh. Stand erect, with head and chest high, and the
feet about six inches apart. Now, bend the knees a little, say until the
head has dropped vertically six inches. Then rise to the perpendicular
again. Repeat a few times, and it will not be long till these muscles
will be felt to be in lively action, and this exercise prolonged will
make them ache. But this movement is very much akin to that in dancing,
the latter being the harder of the two, because the weight is first on
one foot, then on the other, while in the former it is always on both.

Again, instead of stooping for a few inches only, start as before, with
head and neck rigidly erect, and now stoop all the way down; then rise
again. Continue this movement several times, and generally at first a
few repetitions will be found to be quite enough. By-and-by, as the
strength increases, so should the number; and, if time is to be saved
and the work condensed, keep dumb-bells, say of a tenth of your own
weight, in the hands during the operation.

A more severe tax yet is had by holding one foot far out, either in
front or back, and then stooping down wholly on the other foot. Few
can do this many times, and most persons cannot do it at all. For
swiftly bringing up a thigh at present weaker than its mate, and
so restoring the symmetry which should always have been there, this
work is almost unparalleled.

Jumping itself, either high or flat, is admirable for the thighs.
Charles Astor Bristed, in his "Five Years in an English University,"
says that he at one time took to jumping, and was astounded at the
rapid progress he made in a branch of athletics at which before he
had been no good. Maclaren says that hardly any work will quicker
bring up the whole legs; but this will probably prove truer where a
large number of moderate jumps are taken daily, than where a few
extreme efforts are made.

Both fast walking and running bring vigorous action to these muscles;
slow walking does little for them, hence the number of weak, undeveloped
thighs among men who do little or no quick foot-work. A man, too, whose
body is light and thin, may do a deal of fast walking without greatly
enlarging his thighs, because they have comparatively little to carry.
But let him, after first getting thoroughly used to fast and continued
walking, carry weight awhile, say a twenty-five-pound bag of shot or
sand, or a small boy, on his back, or dumb-bells in his hands--of
course, on a gymnasium track, or some other course where his action will
be understood--and he will find that the new work will soon tell, as
would, also, long-distance running, even though not weighted, as
Rowell so eminently shows.

Good, stiff long-distance walking is excellent for the front thigh; but
running is better, especially when done as it ought to be, namely, not
flat-footed, but with the heel never touching the ground. Any sort of
running or walking, at any pace protracted enough to bring moderately
tired muscles, will tell, especially on these in question; while severe
work over a long distance will give them a great task, and the
consequent ability and size. Many a man may do a little desultory
running daily, perhaps for a week or two together once a year, and not
find his thighs enlarge or toughen materially. But let him put in a few
minutes each day, for several months together, at steady smart running,
as far as he can, and go comfortably, and now, besides the work becoming
easy, comes the desired size and strength as well. The hopping, which
was so good for the calves, is hardly less so for these muscles, and is
one of the best possible movements to develop them in the shortest time.

Dancing, long continued, also tells here, as an acquaintance of ours
found, who used to lead the German frequently at Newport; for, though
far from being an athlete, he said that he daily ran a mile during
the season, just to keep his legs in good order for the duties
his position demanded.

A more moderate exercise than the running, though not always so
available, is walking uphill. This, besides, as already mentioned, doing
so much for the calves, tells directly and markedly on the thighs as
well. Skating makes a pleasant substitute for walking during a part of
the colder months, and, when much distance is covered daily, brings
strong and shapely thighs.

The farmer and the laboring man, in all their heavier work done stooping
over their tasks--such as lifting, shovelling, picking, and mowing--use
the thighs much, but keep them so long fixed in one position, with
little or no varying exercise to supple and limber them and the joints,
that both gradually stiffen, and their instep soon begins to lack
elasticity, which tendency is too often increased by heavy, stiff,
and unwieldy boots.

Swinging forward when rowing, either in a boat or at the toe-straps,
after first swinging far back, takes these upper muscles in a way quite
the reverse of their ordinary use, they now aiding to pull the whole
trunk forward, and so acting like two long hooks.

All lifting of heavy objects from the ground, standing in almost any
position, tells heavily on these muscles, being about the severest
momentary test they can have, greater even than in jumping. But
occasional heavy lifting tends rather to harden the muscle than to
rapidly increase its size, protracted effort at lighter but good-sized
weights doing the latter to better advantage.

Brisk horseback-riding keeps these muscles very actively employed.
Every sort of work which calls for frequent stooping down does the
same. Persons who take short steps, and many of them, if they walk
with vigor, are likely to have legs thicker and stouter everywhere
than they who stride out far, but make the whole step as easy for
themselves as possible.

Hardly any of the muscles are so useful and valuable as these. One may
have weak arms and trunk, yet with strong thighs he can walk a long
distance daily, and not be nearly so fatigued as those much stronger
elsewhere and weaker here, and, as many men have little or no other
exercise than walking, they are often contented with fair development
here, and practically none of any account elsewhere. It is astonishing,
too, to notice how a man accustomed for years to a poor shambling sort
of a gait will, with strict attention to taking a clean and strong step
over a certain distance daily, with a determination to take no other
sort of gait, soon improve the strength and shape of his thighs.

As hopping on one foot is a swift way to develop the calf, so frequent
stooping down as low as possible and rising again, daily, at first
without weights, but eventually with them, is the sure way to speedily
enlarge and strengthen the thighs.


_To Enlarge the Under Thigh._

The muscles of the under thigh do not get nearly so much to do as those
in front, in many persons seeming almost not to exist. A bad walk, with
the knees always slightly bent, is partly accountable for this; and a
man accustomed to such a walk, and trying suddenly to walk erect, with
his knees firmly knit, and bowed slightly back, soon tires and aches
at the operation, which, to one in the habit of walking erect, long
ago became natural.

The exercise already recommended, of pressing the sole of the foot hard
on the ground just as it leaves it, is scarcely more beneficial to the
muscles of the calf than to these; likewise walking uphill, that telling
finely on them. Standing, as does the West Pointer in his setting-up
drill, and, with knees unbent, trying to touch the floor with the hands,
tells in this region. Fastening a weight of any sort, a dumb-bell or
flat-iron, to the ankle, say with strap or towel, and raising the foot
as high up backward and outward as possible, and repeating till tired;
putting the foot in the handle of the pulling-weight, and frequently
drawing it far down; or, standing with back to the wall, and placing
the heel against the base-board of the room, or any solid vertical
surface, and pressing hard many times--these all tell on this hidden
under muscle, which, small as it is, is a most essential one, and
especially in looks, while running with the foot thrown high behind,
excels them all.


_To Strengthen the Sides of the Waist._

But while the legs have been so actively engaged, there are other parts
which have not been idle, so that the same work brings other strength as
well. In every step taken, and especially every vigorous one, as in fast
walking or in running, the muscles at the sides of the waist have been
all the time at work, a prominent duty of theirs being to aid in holding
the body erect.

Notice a man weak just here, and see his body sway a little from side to
side as he walks, seeming to give at the waist. Were such a one to
practise daily hopping straight ahead, on one foot, and then on the
other, until he could by-and-by so cover half a mile without fatigue, he
would find his swaying propensity fast disappearing; and if he has been
troubled with a feeble or unshapely waist, that also will have gradually
changed, until at the end it has become firm and well-set.

Take the long balancing-pole of the tight-rope walker, and try to walk a
rope awhile, or try the more simple expedient of walking on the railroad
rail, and these muscles are at once uncommonly busy. Notice the
professional tight-rope man, and see how strong he is here, especially
when to the weight of his own body he adds another, as did Farini when
he carried a man on his shoulders across the Niagara River; or as the
Eastern porter, with his huge weight of luggage; or the carrier at the
meat-market, who shoulders a whole side or more of beef and marches off
with it. These men soon get great and unusual power in these side
muscles. Wrestling also, whether Cornish or Græco-Roman, or indeed
almost any sort, tells directly and severely here. If one prefers
to use apparatus made specially, the opposite cut shows a simple
device of Dr. Sargent's, which he made purposely to bring up and
strengthen these muscles.

Standing in front of it, with head and neck erect and chest out, and
grasping the ends of the bar A A', the operator simply turns it, first
well up to the right, then to the left, and then repeats the movements
until he has enough. As he turns, the rubber straps B B stretch more and
more, of course getting stiffer the farther the bar is turned. It would
scarcely be possible to hit upon a better appliance for improving
these valuable side muscles, and yet without fear of overdoing them.

[Illustration: Fig. 5. Appliance for developing the Sides of the Waist.]


_The Abdominal Muscles._

Nor do these include all the muscles which the foot-work arouses to
action. Take the horizontal bands or layers of muscle across the
abdomen. Every step forward moves them, and the higher and more
energetic the step, the more they have to do. A man who is not strong in
these muscles will usually have a feeble walk, and very often will
double forward a little, until he is in about the position of the two
hands of a clock at two minutes past six, giving him the appearance of
being weak here. But the strong, high step tilts the body slightly back,
and gives these muscles so much to do that they soon grow good at it,
and shapely and powerful accordingly.

Another advantage comes from having these muscles strong, and from
forming the habit of stepping as he does who has them so. By walking
thus erect, the shoulders, instead of pressing over on the chest as the
man tires, and so cramping his breathing, are so habitually held back
that it is easier to keep them there, and the consequent fuller
respiration keeps him longer fresh. This is very conspicuous in the case
of one of the most famous pedestrians in the world to-day, its
ex-champion long-distance walker, Daniel O'Leary. Take him when in good
condition, and in one of his long tramps; on the first mile or the four
hundredth, it is always the same: there he is, with head up, shoulders
well back, and working busily, and--the most noticeable thing--the whole
centre of the body, from the waist to the knees, thrown, if anything,
actually forward of a vertical line, instead of as far, or often much
farther, back of it; indeed, the point farthest forward is about two
inches below his belt. A fair though not clear idea of what is meant can
be had from the following sketch of him, taken at the time, on the
latter part of his five-hundred-mile walk with Hughes, "the Lepper," on
the track in the Hippodrome, in New York city, during the first week of
October, 1878. Hughes, while proving himself a very tough and determined
man, showed, as is too often the case with professional athletes,
great ignorance of many things which would have helped him much had
he known and followed them, and none more, perhaps, than this very
matter of correct position.

O'Leary's freshness, no matter how many hundred miles he has just
walked, is remarkable. This rational way of carrying the body during a
difficult feat, besides giving the heart and lungs full room for
vigorous action, also gives the stomach and other vital organs ample
play; for a glance at the sketch shows none of the thinness of flank
and general sunken-in look at the waist in O'Leary so plain in Hughes,
and so common among walkers in the later miles of the race.

[Illustration: Fig. 6. A Correct Position for Fast Walking.]

Singularly enough, a little boy, only eleven years old, and but three
feet nine inches high, has copied, or rather acquired--for it seems he
had never seen this sensible step and carriage of O'Leary--with
astonishing success, as witness the following sketch of his performance
from the _New York Herald_ of October 11th, 1878. Foolish in the extreme
as it is to allow such half-grown youngsters to attempt such feats, it
is doubtful if the annals of the cinder-path can match such prodigious
stay and skill in one so young:

   "AN EMBRYO O'LEARY

   "Between the Grand Central Depot and Madison Avenue and
   Forty-second and Forty-fourth streets is a vacant square, which the
   boys of the neighborhood have been utilizing as a race-track. Every
   day dozens of them may be seen scurrying round the track, intent on
   making the best time ever known. Yesterday afternoon a five-mile
   walk was in progress, which was headed by a very small boy, who at
   once attracted the attention of the by-standers by his peculiarly
   rapid and easy gait. He kept ahead of the other contestants, and
   finally distanced them by two laps, and won in the time of 48m. 2s.

   "After this race, at the request of the lookers-on, he travelled
   around the track once (which is one-seventh of a mile) in 1m. and
   15s. _He walks very erect, steps like O'Leary, and does not seem to
   be easily fatigued._ This time is still more surprising,
   considering that he is only eleven years old and but three feet
   nine inches high, so that he cannot take a very long step.

   "In a conversation with him it was learned that his name was Joe
   Havey, residing at No. 144 East Forty-third Street. He has never
   seen a professional walk, so that his walking ideas are his own.
   With a little practice he bids fair to become a No. 1 pedestrian."

But there are other ways of bringing up these useful abdominal muscles,
equally easy to learn.

Sit down at the rowing-weights, placing the feet in the toe-straps. Now
sway the body back and forth, and, placing the hand on the muscles in
question, feel how they harden. An ordinary bit of strap screwed to the
base-board of one's room, so that each foot shall have a loop of it to
go into, and then a stool or cassock some eight inches high to sit on,
save the expense of the rowing-weights, yet produce the desired result
with these muscles.

Lie flat on the back, as, for instance, just on awaking. Taking first a
deep, full breath, draw the feet upward, keeping the knees unbent, until
the legs are vertical. Lower them slowly till horizontal, then raise
again and continue. It will not take many minutes--or seconds--to bring
these muscles enough work for one morning.

Or this time keep the legs down, and, first filling the chest, now draw
the body up until you are sitting erect. Then drop slowly back, and
repeat. This will be likely to take even less time than did the other,
but it will tell tremendously on these muscles. Indeed, most people are
so weak in them, that they can hardly do this once. Yet men who have
them strong and well-trained will lie flat on their backs on the floor
or gymnasium mat, and while some one holds their ankles, taking a
two-hundred-pound man, lying across their chest at right angles with it,
will raise him several times till they are in erect sitting posture.

Sitting on one of the parallel bars in the gymnasium, and placing both
feet under the other, and now dropping the body back until it is
horizontal, then rising to vertical and repeating, is very hard work
for these abdominal muscles, and should only be practised by those
already strong here.

These muscles are brought into direct and vigorous play in rowing,
to such an extent that no man who has them weak can be a fast oarsman
over any ordinary racing distance. Indeed, this is the very region
where young rowers, otherwise strong, and seemingly fit for hard,
fast work, give out first.

Every time the foot is raised in running, these muscles are called to
active duty far more than in walking, and the high, strong, sharp step
works them severely, so that no man weak here could be a fast runner
with good action. Jumping, vaulting, leaping, all bring them into
sudden, spasmodic, almost violent action. Let a man mow awhile, when
unused to it, and see how soon it tells across this region, the muscles
aching next day from the twisting motion.

The latest invention purposely for these muscles is also one of
Sargent's, on the following plan: The pupil lies on the plank A A', or,
rather, sits on it, when A' is a little back of vertical, so as, for
instance, to form with A the angle A B A'. With feet in the toe-straps
C C', he sways gently forward and back as long as he can without
fatigue. From day to day, as these muscles gain strength, A' is dropped
lower and lower, until finally it is on a level with A. Or a strap may
be placed over the forehead and fastened to A', and, with the feet in
the toe-straps, the person may lift his body up till vertical, drawing
the weight E with him as he rises.


_Counterwork for the Abdominal Muscles._

But nearly all the exercises just named for the abdominal muscles, while
they make them strong and handsome, tend to contract rather than
lengthen them; and for men of sedentary life inclined to stoop a little
forward while sitting, some work is needed which shall stretch these
muscles, and aid in restoring them to their natural length.

Stand erect. Now gradually draw the head and shoulders backward until as
far past the vertical as possible. Return slowly to erect position. In
the drawing back, these muscles were stretched to a greater length than
usual, and in those who accustom themselves to drawing far back in
this way, like the contortionists of the circus, these muscles grow
wonderfully elastic, such men being able not only to touch their heads
to their heels, but now and then to go farther yet, and drink water from
a tumbler set between their feet.

[Illustration: Fig. 7. Device for developing the Abdominal Muscles.]

But while there is no need of such extreme work, moderate performance in
this way directly tends to stretch and lengthen muscles which, in the
great majority of people, are somewhat cramped and shortened by habitual
standing, sitting, or lying, with the back either flat or almost curved
outward, instead of slightly hollowed in, and with the consequent
sinking of the chest. All work above the head, such as swinging clubs,
or an axe or sledge; putting up dumb-bells, especially when both hands
go up together; swinging by the hands from rope or bar, or pulling the
body up till the chin touches the hands; standing with back to the
pulley-weights, and taking the handles in the hands, and, starting with
them high over the head, then pushing the hands far out forward;
standing two or more feet from the wall, and, placing the hands side by
side against it about as high up as your shoulders, then throwing the
chest as far forward as possible; the hauling down ropes by the sailor;
the ceiling-work of the plasterer and the painter, and the like--these
all do excellent service in bringing to these important muscles the
length and elasticity they ought to have, and so contributing materially
to the erect carriage of the body. All kinds of pushing with the hands,
such as one does in putting them against any heavy substance and trying
to push it before him, striking out in boxing, in fencing, or
single-stick, with dumb-bells, or in swimming, are capital; while the
drawing of the head and shoulders back swiftly, as in boxing to avoid a
blow, can hardly be surpassed as an aid in this direction.


_To enlarge and give Power to the Loins._

Before leaving the waist, there is one more set of muscles which demand
attention; and if one has them weak, no matter how strong he may be
elsewhere, he is weak in a place where he can ill afford to be, and that
is in the loins, or the main muscles in the small of the back, running
up and down at each side of the spine. In many of the heavier grades of
manual labor these muscles have a large share of work to do. All
stooping over, when lifting is done with a spade, or fork, or bar,
whether the knees are held straight or bent, or lifting any weight
directly in the hands, horizontal pulling on a pulley-weight, rope, or
oar--in short, nearly every sort of work where the back is actively
employed, keeps these muscles thoroughly active. You cannot bend over
without using them. Weed awhile, and, unless already strong in the
loins, they will ache.

A laboring man weak here would hardly be worth hiring. A rowing-man
weak here could never be a first-rate oar till he had trained away
the weakness. Heenan, with all his grand physique, his tremendous
striking-power, his massive development above the waist, would not
have made nearly as enduring an oar as the sturdier, barrel-chested
Morrissey, or as the broad-loined Renforth did make. Strong loins
are always desirable. He who has them, and is called on in any sudden
emergency to lift any heavy weight, as the prostrate form of one
who has fallen in a swoon, for instance, is far less likely to work
himself serious, if not permanent, injury here than he who has them
untrained and undeveloped.


_Development above the Waist._

Little or no work has been suggested, so far, aimed purposely to develop
any muscles above the waist. Indeed, it is no uncommon thing, especially
among Englishmen, to find a man of very strong legs and waist, yet with
but an indifferent chest and shoulders, and positively poor arms. Canon
Kingsley had discovered this when he said to the British clergy, "I
should be ashamed of being weak. I could not do half the little good
I do here if it were not for that strength and activity which some
consider coarse and degrading. Many clergymen would half kill
themselves if they did what I do. And though they might walk about
as much, they would neglect exercise of the arms and chest, and
become dyspeptic or consumptive."

Let us look at a few things which would have proved useful to the brave
canon's pupils. The connection between the arms and the muscles, both on
the front and back of the chest, is so close that it is practically
impossible to have arms thoroughly developed, and not have all the trunk
muscles above the waist equally so. Fortunately, as in foot-work, the
exercises to develop these muscles, without having to resort to
expensive apparatus, or often to any at all, are very numerous.

With a pair of dumb-bells, at first weighing not over one-twenty-fifth
of what he or she does who uses them, and gradually, as the strength
increases, substituting larger ones, until they weigh, say, one-tenth
of his or her weight, there is scarcely a muscle above the belt
which cannot, by steady and systematic work of never over half an
hour daily, be rounded and strengthened up to what it ought to be
in a thoroughly developed, strong, and efficient person of its
owner's sex, size, and age.


_Filling out the Shoulders and Upper Back._

Notice now what these dumb-bells can do for the shoulders and
upper back.

Stand erect again, with the chin up and chest high (in all these
exercises stand erect where it is possible), and have the dumb-bells in
the hands hanging easily at the sides. Now carry them slowly backward
and upward, keeping the arms straight at the elbows, and parallel, until
the hands are about as high as they can well go. Hold them there a
moment, then drop them slowly to the sides. Do it again, and keep on
until you begin to feel like stopping. Note the spot where you feel it,
and you will find that the under or inner muscles of the part of the
back-arm which is above the elbow, also those on the shoulder-blade, and
the large muscles of the back directly under the arms, have been the
ones in action. Laying one dumb-bell down, now repeat the above exercise
with the remaining one, say in the right hand, this time placing the
left hand on the back just under the right arm, or on the inner portion
of the triceps or upper muscle of that right arm. These muscles will be
found vigorously at work, and hardening more and more the higher the
bell is carried or the longer it is held up.

A little of this work daily, begun with the lighter dumb-bells, and
increased gradually by adding to the number of strokes, or taking larger
bells, or both, and long before the year is out, if the person is steady
and persevering at it, decided increase in the strength, size, and
shapeliness of the upper back will follow.

What has been thus done with the dumb-bells could have been done nearly
or quite as well with any other small, compact body of the same weight
which could be easily grasped by the hands, such as a pair of
window-weights, flat-irons, cobble-stones, or even chairs, whichever
were convenient. Where there's a will there's a way; and if one really
means to get these or any other muscles strong and handsome, the way is
really surprisingly simple and easy.

Now, instead of using the dumb-bells, stand erect, facing the
pulley-weights at the gymnasium, or at home if you have them, taking
care only that they weigh at least what the dumb-bells would.
Grasping the handles, draw them far back and up, the hands, in
other words, doing precisely what they did with the bells, and
the same results will follow.

Rowing, either at the oar or the rowing-weights, would have told equally
hard on these muscles, and, as already pointed out, on many others
besides, the weight of the body itself aiding the development as it
would not with the bells or weights. It would also broaden the shoulders
and spread them apart, more, perhaps, than almost any other known
exercise. But, like any other single exercise calling certain muscles
into play and leaving others idle, taken as substantially one's only
exercise, as is too often the case with rowing-men, it brings a partial
and one-sided development, making the parts used look too large for the
rest, the fact being that the rest have not been brought up as fast as
the former. Unless one's chest is unusually broad and strong, and often,
even if it is, constant rowing warps his shoulders forward, and tends
directly to make him a round-shouldered man,[M] while the upper arm, or
that part above the elbow, has had practically no development, the inner
part of the triceps or back-arm alone being called to severe duty, but
the bulk being almost idle. Courtney, the greatest sculler the United
States has yet produced--a large man, standing six feet and half an inch
in height, strongly made in most parts, and weighing ordinarily nearly a
hundred and ninety--is a good instance of how rowing does little for the
upper arm; for while his forearm is almost massive, measuring exactly
thirteen inches in girth, the upper arm, doubled up, barely reaches
fourteen. A well-proportioned arm, of which the forearm girths thirteen,
should measure above all fifteen and a quarter. Again, while Courtney's
forearm feels sinewy and hard, the upper is not nearly so hard, and
does not give the impression of having seen very stiff service.
His chest, too, is not so large by over two inches as ought to go
with a thirteen-inch forearm.

Beside these exercises with the dumb-bells, the weights, and the oar,
all the vocations which cause one to stoop over much and lift--such as
most of those of the farmer, the laborer, and of the artisan in the
heavier kinds of work--tell on these same muscles of the upper back and
the inner side of the triceps, too often bringing, as already pointed
out, a far better back than front, and so injuring the form and
carriage. Lifting heavy weights where one stands nearly erect, as when
practising on the lifting-machine, pulls very heavily on the extreme
upper muscles of the back, those sloping off downward from the back of
the neck to the shoulders.


_To obtain a good Biceps._

Starting with the dumb-bells down at the sides, as before, raise them
slowly and steadily in front until they nearly touch the
shoulder--technically, "curl" them--holding the head up, the neck
rigidly erect, and the chest expanded to its very utmost. Now lower the
bells slowly to the sides again, and repeat, and so continue. In a very
few minutes, often less than three, you will want to stop. The biceps
muscles, or those forming the front of the upper arms, are getting the
work this time, and by applying to that of one arm in action the hand of
the other, it is at once found that this muscle is growing quite hard.

If no dumb-bell or other convenient weight is at hand, place one hand in
the other, and bear down hard with the upper hand, holding the chest
stubbornly out. Lift away with the lower hand, and, when it reaches the
shoulder, lower it slowly to the side, and then raise again, and so
continue. This will be found a good thing to know when a person is
travelling, or away from home, and cannot readily get at such apparatus
as he has in his own room.

Now stand erect in front of and facing the pulley-weights, and at about
arm's-length from them; draw the hand horizontally in until it is close
to the shoulder; let the weight drop slowly back, and then draw it to
you again, and so go on. This is splendid work for the biceps, and will
soon begin to swell and strengthen it; and then either increased weight,
or more strokes daily, is all that will be needed.

Fasten a stout hook in a beam overhead, and hang a pulley to it. Run a
rope through this, at one end of which you can attach weights, and tie
the other to the middle of a thick cane or other stick, taking care to
have the rope of such a length in all, that when the weight is on the
floor the stick is about a foot above your head.

Begin with, say, one of your dumb-bells of not over one-tenth of your
own weight. Grasping the stick with both hands, with their palms toward
you, draw it downward until level with your chin; then let it go back;
repeat, and continue till you begin to tire. If the single bell seems
too light, attach both bells. After a few days with these, fasten on a
basket or coal-hod, and increase the load until, say at the month's end,
it weighs over half of what you do. If you can take this up a number of
times without ache or ill-feeling, you are strong enough to take hold of
a fixed bar and attempt to haul yourself up, as Mr. Bryant did,[N] until
your chin touches your hand. But without this preliminary work, such
pulling up, frequently as it is attempted, is a foolish and hazardous
experiment, throwing a great strain on muscles quite unused to such a
task, namely, on these very biceps muscles.

If, on the other hand, one has these muscles already strong, and can
with ease pull himself up six or eight times, he will find this stick
and weight an excellent affair for training the biceps of one arm,
until it gets strong enough to pull him up without the other arm at
all. For this simple and valuable contrivance the public is also
indebted to Dr. Sargent, who is a regular Edison in devising simple
and sensible gymnastic appliances, which he freely gives to all
without patenting them.

Mounting a ladder or a rope hand-over-hand; lifting any weight in
front of you, whether a feather or a barrel of sugar; picking up
anything from the floor; holding weights out in front, or at your
side, at arm's-length; pulling downward on a rope, as in hauling
up a sail; hammering--in short, anything which bends the elbow and
draws the hand in toward the shoulder, takes the biceps muscle;
and, if the work is vigorous and persisted in, this muscle will
ere long become strong and well-shaped.


_To bring up the Muscles on the Front and Side of the Shoulder._

For the muscles on the front and side of the shoulder, holding out
weights at arm's-length, either at the side or in front, will be found
just what is wanted, the arms being horizontal, or the hands being held
rather higher than that, the elbows remaining unbent. Holding the mere
weight of the hands, as in boxing, but keeping at it awhile, keeps these
parts well occupied; while the sword, or foil, or single-stick, freely
plied, or the axe or bat, tell directly here.


_Forearm Work._

Very many of these exercises for the biceps and shoulder have also
called on the forearm, while those mentioned for the inner triceps have
done the same. Very prominent among the latter is rowing, much of it
soon bringing a strong forearm, especially on the inner and under side.
Anything which necessitates shutting the hand, or keeping it partly or
wholly shut; such as holding anything heavy in it, driving, chopping,
fencing, single-stick, pulling one's self up with one hand or both,
batting, lacrosse, polo, twisting the dumb-bells around when at
arm's-length, or a chair, or cane, or foil, or sword, or broom-handle,
if the dumb-bells are not convenient, carrying a weight in the hand,
using any of the heavier mechanical hand-tools--all these, and more of
their sort, will enlarge and strengthen the forearm, and will do much
also for the hand. Probably the hardest work for the forearm, and that
calling for the greatest strength here, is lifting very heavy weights
suspended from a stick, bar, or handles which the hands grasp.


_Exercises for the Triceps Muscles._

One prominent part of the arm remains, or, rather, one which ought to be
prominent, though in most persons, both men and women, it is not. In
boys and girls it is even less so. We refer to the rest of the triceps,
or the bulk of what remains of the upper arm after leaving out the
biceps and the inner side of the triceps. When well developed, this is
one of the handsomest parts of the arm. No arm will look slim which has
this muscle fully developed.

To bring that development, push with the hands against almost any heavy
or solid thing you want to. If these muscles are small and weak, push
the dumb-bells up over your head as much as you can daily, till a
month's work has given them a start. For two or three minutes each day
during that month, stand facing the wall, and about two feet from it.
Now fall against it, or, rather, put your hands on it, about three feet
apart and as high as your ears, and let your body drop in toward the
wall till your chest nearly touches it, your face being held up and
back. Then push sharply back till your body is again erect, and continue
the movement. This exercise is as admirable as it is cheap.

If the triceps muscles are tolerably strong in the start, or in any case
at the end of the month in which the last two exercises have been
practised, try now a harder thing. Place the hands on the floor, hold
the body out at full length and rigid, or as nearly so as you can, and
push, raising the body till the elbows are straight. Now bend the elbows
and lower again, till the face nearly touches the floor, keeping the
body all the time as stiff and straight as possible, and then rise on
stiff elbows again, and so on. If this is not hard enough work for the
ambitious aspirant for stout triceps, he can vary it by clapping his
hands between the dips, just as his face is farthest from the floor,
though in such case it is sometimes well to have a nose accustomed
to facing difficulty.

So far, in this work for the back-arm the hands at first held merely the
weight of the dumb-bells; then, as they pressed against the wall, they
had to bear part of the weight of the body, but not a large part, as
that rested mainly on the feet. In the pushing from the floor the hands
bore still more of it, but yet the feet had quite a share. Now try
something where the hands and arms carry the entire weight of the body.
Get up on the parallel bars, or on the bars in your door-jambs,[O] or,
if no bars are convenient, place two stout chairs back to back, and
then draw them about eighteen or twenty inches apart, and, placing one
hand on each, holding the arms straight, lift the feet off the floor.
Now lower till the chin is level with the hands, or nearly so, and then
rise till the arms are straight, and then dip again, and so on, the
knees and feet of course never resting on anything. Now you have one of
the best known exercises for bringing quick development and good
strength to the triceps or back-arm. When by steady daily trial you have
gradually increased the number until you can do twenty-five fair dips
without great effort, you have strong triceps muscles, and, if you have
two legs and a reasonably heavy body to lift, good-sized ones at that.
Most of your friends cannot manage five dips respectably, many scarcely
one. But, lest you should feel too elated over your twenty-five, bear in
mind that one gentleman in New York has accomplished over eighty without
stopping, and this though he weighs upward of one hundred and eighty
pounds; and if a reasonably accurate idea of what sort of back-arms were
necessary for this marvellous feat, it may be had by observing the cut
on the cover of this book. With a forty-four inch chest, his upper arm
measures thirteen and a half inches down (half an inch more than
Heenan's), and sixteen up, though he is but five feet ten inches in
height, while Heenan stood four inches taller. He says that as surely as
the ability exists to make many dips, so surely will there be a large
back-arm, and it was hard work that brought him his. Slim arms may push
up heavy dumb-bells once or twice, but it takes thick ones for sustained
effort at smaller, though good-sized ones.


_To Strengthen and Develop the Hand._

Very many of the exercises so useful in strengthening the forearm were
at the same time improving the grip of the hand. But an evil of so much
gripping or drawing the hand together is that, unless there is an equal
amount of work to open and flatten it, it tends to become hooked. Notice
the rowing-man's hand, and the fingers nearly always, when at rest, are
inclined to be doubled in, as if half clutching something; and very
often, where they have seen years of rowing, their joints get so set
that the fingers cannot be bent back nearly as far as other people's.
Some of the pushing exercises mentioned above for the triceps tend to
counteract this, notably that where the fingers or the flat of the hands
are pressed against the wall. An admirable exercise in this direction
is, when you practice the pushing up from the floor for the triceps, to
only touch the floor with the ends of the fingers and thumbs, never
letting the palm of the hand touch it at all. This will soon help to
rectify many a hand now rather cramped and contracted, besides bringing
new strength and shape to the fingers.

To make any particular finger strong, attach a strap to the bar referred
to on page 235, and placing that finger in the strap begin with raising
a small weight from the floor until you have drawn your hand down to
your chin; then from day to day gradually increase both the weight and
the number, until, before a great while, you may find that you can raise
an equivalent of your own weight. Now attach the strap to any stationary
object as high above your head as you can comfortably reach, say a
horizontal bar, and pull yourself up till your chin touches your hand.
Some gymnasts can do this several times with the little finger.

Just where the thumb joins the palm, and between it and the forefinger
on the back of the hand, is a muscle which, while at first usually
small, can be developed and enlarged by any exercise which necessitates
pinching the ends of the thumb and forefinger together, such as carrying
a plate of metal or other thin but heavy substance between the finger
and thumb. Harder work yet, calling on both this muscle and a number of
others of the hand, consists in catching two two-inch beams running
overhead, as in the ceiling of a cellar, and about a foot and a half or
two feet apart, and walking along, sustaining the whole weight by the
grip, first of one hand, then of the other. He who can do this has very
unusual strength of fingers.

For improving the ordinary grip of the hand, simply taking a rubber ball
in it, or a wad of any elastic material, and even of paper, and
repeatedly squeezing it, will soon tell. Simpler yet is it to just
practice opening and shutting the hand firmly many times. An athletic
friend of ours says that the man of his whole acquaintance who has the
strongest grip got it just by practising this exercise.


_To Enlarge and Strengthen the Front of the Chest._

Every one of the exercises for the biceps tells also on the pectoral
muscles, or those on the front of the upper part of the chest, for the
two work so intimately together that he who has a large biceps is
practically sure to have the adjoining pectoral correspondingly large.

But there is other work which tells on them besides biceps work.
Whenever the hands push hard against anything, and so call the triceps
muscles into action, these muscles at once combine with them. In the
more severe triceps work, such as the dips, the strain across these
chest-muscles is very great, for they are then a very important factor
in helping to hold up the weight of the whole body. This fact suggests
the folly of letting any one try so severe a thing as a dip, when his
triceps and pectoral muscles have not been used to any such heavy work.
Many a person who has rashly attempted this has had to pay for it with a
pain for several days at the edge of the pectoral, where it meets the
breastbone, until he concluded he must have broken something.

Working with the dumb-bells when the arms are extended at right angles
with the body, like a cross, and raising them up and down for a foot or
so, is one of the best things for the upper edge of the pectorals, or
that part next to the collar-bone.

This brings us to a matter of great importance, and one often
overlooked. Whoever knows many gymnasts, and has seen them, stripped or
in exercising costume, must occasionally have observed that, while they
had worked at exercises which brought up these pectoral muscles until
they were almost huge, their chests under their muscles had somehow not
advanced accordingly. Indeed, in more than one instance which has come
under our observation, the man looked as though, should you scrape all
these great muscles completely off, leaving the bare framework, he would
have actually a small chest, much smaller than many a fellow who had not
much muscle. There hangs to-day--or did some time since--on the wall of
a well-known New York gymnasium, a portrait of a gymnast stripped above
the waist, which shows an exact case in point. The face of such a man is
often a weak one, lacking the strength of cheek-bone and jaw so usual in
men of great vitality and sturdiness--like Morrissey, for instance--and
there is a general look about it as if the man lacked vitality. Many a
gymnast has this appearance, for he takes so much severe muscular work
that it draws from his vitality, and gives him a stale and exhausted
look, a very common one, for example, among men who remain too long in
training for contest after contest of an athletic sort.

The getting up, then, of a large chest, and of large muscles on the
chest, while often contemporary, and each aiding the other, are too
frequently wholly different matters.

And how is the large chest to be had?


_To Broaden and Deepen the Chest itself._

Anything which causes one to frequently fill his lungs to their utmost
capacity, and then hold them full as long as he can, tends directly to
open his ribs, stretch the intercostal muscles, and so expand the
chest. Many kinds of vigorous muscular exercise do this when done
correctly, for they cause the full breathing, and at the same time
directly aid in opening the ribs. It will be observed that frequently
throughout these hints about exercising, endeavor has been made to
impress on the reader that, when exercising, he should hold the head and
neck rigidly erect, and the chest as high as he can. A moment's thought
will show why. He, for instance, who "curls" a heavy dumb-bell, but does
it with his head and shoulders bent over--as many do--while giving his
pectorals active work, is actually tending to cramp his chest instead of
expanding it, the very weight of the dumb-bell all pulling in the wrong
direction. Now, had he held himself rigidly erect, and, first expanding
his chest to its utmost by inhaling all the air he possibly could, and
holding it in during the effort--a most valuable practice, by-the-way,
in all feats calling for a great effort--he would not only have
helped to expand his chest, but would find, to his gratification,
that he had hit upon a wrinkle which somehow made the task easier
than it ever was before.

Holding the head and neck back of the vertical, say six inches, with
the face pointing to the ceiling, and then working with the dumb-bells
at arm's-length, as above referred to, is grand for the upper chest,
tending to raise the depressed collar-bones and the whole upper
ribs, and to make a person hitherto flat-chested now shapely and
full; while the benefit to lungs perhaps formerly weak would be
hard to over-estimate.

Steady and protracted running is a great auxiliary in enlarging the
lung-room. So is plenty of sparring. So is the practice of drawing air
slowly in at the nostrils until every air-cell of the lungs is
absolutely full, then holding it long, and then expelling it slowly.
Most public singers and speakers know the value of this and kindred
practices in bringing, with increased diaphragmatic action, improved
power and endurance of voice.

Spreading the parallel bars until they are nearly three feet apart, and
doing such arm-work on them as you can, but with your body below and
face downward, helps greatly in expanding the chest. So does swinging
from the rings or bar overhead, or high parallels, and remaining on them
as long as you can.

Dr. Sargent's ingenuity has provided a simple and excellent chest
expander. He rigs two ordinary pulleys over blocks some feet above the
head, and from five to six feet apart, as in Fig. 8, and attaching
weights at the floor ends of the ropes, puts ordinary handles on the
other ends, and has the ropes just long enough so that when the
weights are on the floor the handles are about a foot above the head.
Now stand between and directly under them, erect, with the chest as full
as you can make it, and keeping the elbows straight, and grasping the
handles draw your hands slowly downward out at arm's-length, say about
two feet. Next, let the weights drop gradually back, repeat, and so go
on. This is excellent for enlarging the whole chest, but especially for
widening it. A better present to a consumptive person than one of these
appliances could hardly be devised.

[Illustration: Fig. 8. A Chest-widener.]

Again, to deepen the chest from front to back, he hangs two bars, B and
C, as in Fig. 9, and attaches the weight at the other end, A, of the
rope, the bar B, when at rest, being about a foot above the height of
the head. Standing, not under B, but about a foot to one side of it, and
facing it, grasp its ends with both hands, and keeping the arms and legs
straight and stiff, and breathing the chest brimful, draw downward until
the bar is about level with the waist. Let the weight run slowly back,
repeat, and go on.

A great advantage of both these contrivances, besides their small cost
and simplicity, is that, as in nearly everything Dr. Sargent has
invented, you can graduate the weight to suit the present requirements
of the person, however weak or strong he or she may be, and so avoid
much risk of overdoing.

[Illustration: Fig. 9. A Chest-deepener.]

In the exercises above named it will be noticed that there has been a
sufficient variety for any given muscles to bring them within the reach
of all. After this, how far any one will go in any desired line of
development is a matter he can best settle for himself. What allowance
of work to take daily will be treated of in the next chapter.


FOOTNOTES:

[M] See Fig. 1, on page 36.

[N] See page 170.

[O] See page 92.



CHAPTER XIII.

WHAT EXERCISE TO TAKE DAILY.


An endeavor has been made thus far to point out how wide-spread is the
lack of general bodily exercise among classes whose vocations do not
call the muscles into play, and, again, how local and circumscribed is
that action even among those who are engaged in most kinds of manual
labor. Various simple exercises have been described which, if followed
steadily and persistently, will bring size, shape, and strength to any
desired muscles. It may be well to group in one place a few movements
which will enable any one to know at once about what amount and sort of
work is to be taken daily. Special endeavor will be made to single out
such movements as will call for no expensive apparatus. Indeed, most of
these want no apparatus at all, and hence will be within the reach of
all. As it has been urged that the school is the most suitable place to
accustom children to the kind and amount of work they particularly need,
a few exercises will first be suggested which any teacher can learn
almost at once, but which yet, if faithfully taught to pupils, will
soon be found to take so little time that, instead of interfering with
other lessons, they will prove a positive aid. Though perhaps
imperceptible at the outset, in a few years, with advancing
development, the gain made will be found not only to be decided, but
of the most gratifying character.


_Daily Work for Children._

Suppose the teacher has a class of fifty. If the aisles of the
school-room are, as they should be, at least two feet wide, let the
children at about the middle of the morning, and again of the afternoon
session, stand in these aisles in rows, so that each two of the children
shall be about six feet apart. Let the first order be, that all heads
and necks be held erect. Once these are placed in their right position,
all other parts of their bodies at once fall into place. The simplest
way to insure this is to direct that every head and neck be drawn
horizontally back, with the chin held about an inch above the level,
until they are an inch or two back of the vertical. Now raise the hands
directly over the head, and as high as possible, until the thumbs touch,
the palms of the hands facing to the front, and the elbows being kept
straight. Now, without bending the elbows, bring the hands downward in
front toward the feet as far as can comfortably be done, generally at
first about as low as the knee, taking care to keep the knees themselves
absolutely straight; indeed, if possible, bowed even back. Now return
the hands high over the head, and then repeat, say six times. This
number twice a day for the first week will prove enough; and it may be
increased to twelve the second week, and maintained at that number
thereafter, care being taken to assure two things: one, that the knees
are never bent; the other that, after the first week, the hands are
gradually brought lower down, until they touch the toes. Some persons,
familiar with this exercise, can, with the knees perfectly firm and
straight, lay the whole flat of the hands on the floor in front of their
feet. But after the first week, reaching the floor with the finger-tips
is enough for the end sought, which is, namely, to make the pupil stand
straight on his feet, and to remove all tendency toward holding the
knees slightly bent, and so causing that weak, shaky, and sprung look
about the knees, so very common among persons of all ages, to give way
to a proper and graceful position.

Let the pupils now stand erect, this time with backs not bent forward,
but with the body absolutely vertical. Raise the hands above the head as
before, elbows straight, till the thumbs touch. Now, never bending body
or knees a hair's-breadth, and keeping the elbows unbent, bring the
hands slowly down, not in front this time, but at the sides just above
the knees, the little finger and the inner edge of the hand alone
touching the leg, and the palms facing straight in front. Now notice how
difficult it is to warp the shoulders forward even an inch. The chest is
out, the head and neck are erect, the shoulders are held low, the back
vertical and hollowed in a little, and the knees straight. Carry the
hands slowly back through the same line till again high over the head.
Then bring them down to the sides again, and do six of these movements
twice each day the first week, and twelve afterward.

While exercises aimed at any given muscles have been mentioned
elsewhere, any one might follow them all up until every muscle was
shapely and strong, and still carry himself awkwardly, and even in a
slouchy and slovenly manner. This last-named exercise is directly
intended to obviate this. If steadily practised, it is one of the very
best known exercises, as it not only gives strength, but a fine, erect
carriage. The whole frame is so held that every vital organ has free
scope and play-room, and their healthier and more vigorous action is
directly encouraged. This is one part, indeed the chief exercise, in the
West Pointer's "setting-up drill;" and all who have ever seen the
cadets at the Point will at once recall how admirably they succeed in
acquiring and retaining a handsome carriage and manly mien.

To vary the work a little, and to bring special development to
particular muscles, now let the pupil stand with arms either hanging
easily at the sides, or else held akimbo, the head and neck always
erect, with the heels about four inches apart, and the toes turned
outward. Raise the heels slowly off the floor, the soles and toes
remaining firm on the floor, sustaining the entire weight. When the
heels are as high as possible, hold them there a moment; then lower
slowly till the whole foot is on the floor again; then rise as before,
and so repeat twelve times twice a day the first week, and then
twenty-five for the following week, continuing this. If this is not
vigorous enough when fifty, after the first month, are tried, it will be
found that now this work is telling directly on the size, shape, and
effectiveness of the feet and calves, and on the grace and springiness
of the step itself. If any boy or girl wants to become a good jumper, or
to get decided aid in learning to dance long and easily, he or she will
find this a great help. If they even practice it half an hour a day,
they will be none the worse for it.

All the work thus far recommended here can readily be done in two
minutes. Standing erect, with the arms still akimbo, and the feet as
before, now bend the knees so as to stoop six or eight inches, then rise
to the perpendicular, stoop again, and continue this six times, the feet
never leaving the floor. This strengthens the knees, while the front of
the thighs get the heaviest part of the work, though the leg below the
knee is doing a good share. (It is not unlike the exercise practised so
assiduously by Rowell on the tread-mill, and which brought him such
magnificent legs that he became champion pedestrian of the world.) By
the third week the number may be made twenty-five. If among the scholars
there are some who are decidedly weak, twenty-five of these exercises
is about the limit. For strong, hearty boys, twice as many will prove
nearer the mark. After two or three months of twenty-five movements
as described for every day, fifty might be tried once by all the
pupils, to see whether it is too severe, and if not, then maintained
daily at the maximum.

Thus far the feet have not left their particular position on the floor.
Now let the pupil stand with the right foot advanced about twelve or
fifteen inches, suddenly rising on the toes, give a slight spring, and
throw the left foot to the front, and the right back; then spring back
as before, and do this six times twice a day the first week, to twelve
the second, and twice as many by the end of the month. This calls the
same muscles into play as the last exercise, and brings the same
development, but is a little more severe and vigorous.

If still harder thigh-work is wanted, starting again, with the feet not
over four inches apart, this time do not raise the heels at all, but
stoop down slowly, as low as possible, bending the knees greatly, of
course, the back, however, being held straight all the while. Then rise
to an erect position, then go down again. Practising this three times
each morning and afternoon at first, may be followed up with six a week
later; and twelve by the end of the month. Better work than this for
quickly giving size and strength to the thighs could hardly be devised;
while, as has been already noted, scarcely any muscles on the whole body
are more needed or used for ordinary walking.

Still standing erect, with arms akimbo, raise the right foot in front
about as high as the left knee, keeping the right knee unbent. Hold the
right foot there ten seconds; then drop it; then raise it again, fully
six times. Then, standing, do the same thing with the left foot. This
calls at once on the muscles across the abdomen, aiding the stomach and
other vital organs there directly in their work.

This time raise the foot equally high behind; then return it to the
floor and so continue, giving each foot equal work to do. The under
thigh, hip, and loin are now in action; and when, later on, they
become strong, their owner will find how much easier it is to run
than it used to be, and also that it has become more natural to stand
erect. The rate of increase of these last two exercises may be about
the same as the others.

There is not much left now of the ten minutes. Still, if the work has
been pushed promptly forward, there may still be a little time. However,
all three of the kinds of work suggested for the front thigh need not be
practised at the one recess, any one sufficing at first.

With head and neck again erect, and knees firm, hold the hands out at
the sides and at arm's-length, and clasp the hands firmly together, as
though trying to squeeze a rubber ball or other elastic substance.
Beginning with twenty of these movements, fifty may be accomplished by
the end of the fortnight; and by their continuance both the grip and the
shape of the hand will be found steadily improving.

Clasp the hands together over the head. Now turn them over until the
palms are upward, or turned toward the ceiling, and straighten the
elbows until the hands are as high over the head as you can reach. While
holding them in this position, be careful that they are not allowed to
drop at all. Let the scholar march three or four times around the room
in this position. It will soon be found that no apparatus whatever is
necessary to get quite a large amount of exercise for the corners of the
shoulders. In this way, while there is an unwonted stretching apart of
the ribs, and opening up of the chest, the drawing in of the stomach and
abdomen will be found to correct incipient chest weakness,
half-breathing, and any tendency toward indigestion.

Following up the method, now let the class form around the side of the
room, standing three feet apart, and about two feet from the wall. Place
the hands against the wall, just at a level with and opposite to the
shoulders. Now, keeping the heels all the time on the floor, let the
body settle gradually forward until the chest touches the wall, keeping
the elbows pretty near to the sides, the knees never bending a particle,
and the face held upturned, the eyes looking at the ceiling directly
overhead. Now push sharply off from the wall until the elbows are again
straight, and the body back at vertical. Then repeat this, and continue
six times for each half of the day for the first week. Keep on until you
reach fifteen by the third week, and twenty-five by the second month.
For expanding and deepening the chest, helping to poise the head and
neck so that they will remain exactly where they belong--in an erect
position--and for giving the main part of the upper back-arm quite a
difficult piece of work to do, this will prove a capital exercise.
Whoever will make a specialty of this one form of exercise until they
daily take two or even three hundred such pushes, will find that any
tendency he or she may have to flatness or hollowness of chest will soon
begin to decrease, and will very likely disappear altogether.

In this last exercise most of the weight was on the feet, the hands and
arms sustaining the rest. If the aisles are not over two feet and a half
wide, let each pupil stand between two opposite desks and place one hand
on each. Now, walking back about three or four feet, his hands still
resting on the two desks, let him, keeping his body rigid and knees
unbent, bend his elbows and lower his chest very gradually until it is
nearly or quite level with the desk tops, then slowly straighten up his
arms, and so raise his body again to the original position. Three such
dips twice a day the first week, five or six the second, and by the end
of the month ten or twelve, and that number then maintained steadily,
will open and enlarge the chest materially before the year is out, while
at the same time doing much to increase and strengthen the upper
back-arm. This is harder work than pushing against the wall, because
the hands and arms now have to sustain a much greater portion of the
weight of the body, but it is correspondingly better for the chest.

Thus far exercises have been described calling for no apparatus at all,
nor anything save a floor to stand on, a wall to push against, two
ordinary school desks, and a fair degree of resolution. For children
under ten, wooden dumb-bells, weighing one pound each, ought to be had
of any wood-turner, and ought not to cost over five cents apiece. There
might be one pair of dumb-bells given to each child, or, if the class is
large, then a single dumb-bell for each, and they could be distributed
among two classes for dumb-bell exercises.

Standing in the aisles, and about five feet apart, every child taking a
dumb-bell in each hand, keeping the knees unbent and the head and neck
erect, let them raise or "curl" the bells slowly until they are up to
the shoulders, the finger-nails being held upward. Then lower, then
raise again, and so on ten or twelve times each half-day for the first
fortnight, and double that many thereafter. This tells principally on
the biceps or front of the upper arm, on the front of the shoulder,
and on the pectoral muscles, or those of the upper front chest. When,
later on, any pupil endeavors to pull himself up to his chin, he
will find what a large share of the work these muscles have to do.
Instead of the one-pound dumb-bells then, his whole body will be
the weight to be lifted.

Again, let the dumb-bells hang at the sides. Raise them slowly, high up,
behind the back, keeping the elbows straight and the arms parallel.
After holding them there five seconds lower them; do it again, and keep
on, ten times twice a day at first, making it twenty in a fortnight, and
thirty thereafter. This work will enlarge that part of the back of the
upper arm next to the body, and will also tell directly on the whole
back of the shoulder, and on the large muscles on the back just below
where the arm joins it.

This time, holding the knuckles upward and the elbows straight, lift the
dumb-bells till level with the shoulders, the arms being extended
sideways as if on a cross. After holding them up five seconds, lower
them; then raise them but five or six times at the first lesson,
increasing to twenty by the end of the month, and then maintaining that
number. The corners of the shoulders are getting the work now, and
by-and-by not only shapely shoulders will come from it, but a noticeable
increase of the breadth across the shoulders. This work may be varied by
raising the arms parallel in front until level with the shoulders, then
lowering, and so continuing.

Next raise the two bells to the shoulders; then, facing the ceiling,
push both up together until they are as high over the head as possible;
then lower, push up again, and continue six times twice a day for the
first week; make the twelve the third week and the twenty of the fifth,
and then keep at that. The outer or more noticeable parts of the upper
back, the arms, are busiest now; and this exercise directly tends to
enlarge and strengthen them, and to add materially to the appearance
of the arms.

But one exercise more need be mentioned here. Stand erect; now draw the
head and neck back of the vertical all of eight inches, until you face
the ceiling. Starting with the dumb-bells high up over the head, keeping
the elbows straight, lower the dumb-bells slowly, until now you are
holding them at arm's-length, with your arms spread, as on a cross. Then
lift them up again, lower, and continue. If this does not spread the
chest open, it will be hard to find anything which will. Do this
consecutively twenty times every day for a month. That number will take
scarcely a minute to accomplish, but the little one-pound bells will
feel wondrously heavy before the minute is over.

Here, then, have been shown quite a variety of exercises, not only safe
and simple but inexpensive, which can readily be adopted in any school.
If they are followed up as faithfully and steadily as are the other
lessons, they cannot fail to bring decided and very welcome improvement
in the shape and capacity of all the muscles, and hence of the whole
body, while it will go far toward giving to all the scholars an erect
and healthy carriage. These results alone would delight many a parent's
heart. The making this branch of instruction as compulsory as any other
would soon accustom the pupil to look for it as matter of course. If it
were conducted with spirit, it would always be sure to prove
interesting, and very likely to send the children back to their studies
much fresher and brighter for the temporary mental rest.

Besides these exercises, the teacher, insisting on the value of an erect
position in school hours, whether the pupil be standing or sitting, and
by inculcating the value of this, would soon find that these efforts
were being rewarded by making many a crooked girl or boy straight, and
so lessening their chance of having either delicate throats or weak
lungs. Care should be taken that the school chairs have broad and
comfortable seats, and that the pupil never sits on a half of the seat
or on the edge of it, but far back, and on the whole of it. This
apparently small matter will assist marvellously in forming the habit
of an erect position while sitting. Some twenty years ago a Mrs.
Carman, of Boston, devised a chair-back which should just fit the
hollow of the back when the back was held erect, as it should be.
This simple contrivance greatly encouraged a good position in sitting,
and could well be made a part of the standard chair in our schools.
A pad of the right shape, hung on the back of the chair, would
effect the same object.

The teacher's opportunity to work marked and permanent physical benefit
to every pupil under her charge, by daily and steadily following up most
or either of the above exercises, or of some substantially equivalent,
can scarcely be over-estimated. The exercises strengthen the postures,
whether sitting or standing. When a teacher insists on having her
children erect for six hours out of the twenty-four, and makes plain to
each one the value of being straight, and the self-respect it tends
directly to encourage, there need be no great fear that the remaining
waking hours will make any child crooked. It is in school generally that
the mischief of warping and crooking is done; and hence there, of all
places, would be the most appropriate place for the undoing of it.

Dumb-bells of but a pound each have been mentioned here so far. Such
would be fitting for pupils under ten years of age. For all older pupils
the same work with two-pound bells will prove generally vigorous
enough; and whoever wishes to judge what these light weights can do in a
short time should examine the results of Dr. Sargent's exercises with
them and other light apparatus at Bowdoin College (see Appendix II.).
Those who are already decidedly strong can of course try larger bells;
but it is astonishing how soon those of only two pounds seem to grow
heavy, even to those who laugh at them at first.

Of course, all the work before described cannot be gone through with
in ten minutes in mid-morning, or even in the twenty of the morning
and afternoon sessions combined; but much of it can: and an advantage
of naming too much is that it enables the teacher to vary the work
from day to day, and so, while effecting the same results, prevents
anything like monotony.

As the months go by, and it is found that the weaker ones have
noticeably improved, and all are now capable of creditable performances
at these various exercises, they may be carried safely on to the
gymnasium--that is, if the school is fortunate enough to possess one. It
is but a partially equipped school which is not provided with a
good-sized, well-ventilated room, say of forty or fifty feet square (and
one fifty by a hundred would do far better), fitted up with the simpler
gymnastic appliances. Now the teacher, if up to his work, can render
even more valuable assistance than before, by standing by the pupil, as
he or she attempts the simplest steps on the parallel bars, or the
rings, or the high bars, the pulley-weights, or the horizontal bar;
constant explanations are to be given how to advance, and setting the
example, detecting defects and correcting them on the spot, and all the
while being ready to catch the pupil and prevent him or her from
falling. An instructor soon finds that the pupils progress as rapidly as
they did in the lighter preparatory work, while now they are entering on
a field which, if faithfully cultivated, though for only the same brief
intervals daily, will later on insure a class of strong, healthy,
shapely, and symmetrical boys or girls, strong of arm and fleet of foot,
familiar with what they can do, and knowing what is not to be attempted.
Much, indeed the greater part, of the good to be derived from the
gymnasium would have come from steadily adhering to the exercises above
pointed out, so that even with no gymnasium excellent progress can be
had; but results come quicker in the gymnasium, and the place invites
greater freedom of action. In ten minutes in the morning, for instance,
thirty or forty boys or girls could, following one another promptly,
"walk" (on their hands) through the parallel bars with the elbows
unbent, the head of the line crossing at once to the high bars, and
"walk" or advance through them, first holding the weight on one hand and
then on the other, then turning to the horizontal bar and vaulting over
it. If the rear of the line is not yet through the forward "walk" on the
parallels, those at the head could take a swing on the rings. Next, they
could "walk" backward through the parallels, then through the high bars;
then vault again, swing again, and then try the parallels anew--this
time "jumping" forward, or advancing both hands at once, the arms of
course being held rigidly straight. Then turning to the high bars,
they could jump or advance through them, springing forward with both
hands at once, vault again, the bar having meanwhile been raised,
and either try the rings again or rest a moment, and then jump backward
through the high bars.

A little foot-work, for a minute or two remaining, would make a good
conclusion. With the hands closed and elbows bent, the body and arms
held almost rigid, the neck well back, and the head up, let the column
now start off around the room on an easy trot, each stepping as
noiselessly as possible, and no heel touching the floor. A minute of
this at a lively pace will be abundant at first; and as the legs
gradually get strong, and the breathing improves, the run can be either
made faster or longer, or both.

As the pupils began to grow steadier, with their hands on the bars they
could next swing their feet back and forth, and jump with their hands as
they swing forward; then, later, could jump forward as the feet are
swung backward, and backward as the feet are swung forward. The
vaulting-bar for the boys meanwhile may steadily rise, peg after peg;
and, when proficiency is reached with two hands, one-hand vaulting may
be tried, and the bar gradually raised as before, the teacher always
standing near the vaulter. The swinging on the rings, instead of being
any longer simple straight-arm work, with the body hanging nearly down,
can now be done with the elbows bent much of the time, the knees being
curled up toward the chin as the swinger goes backward.

After two months of straight-arm work on the parallel bars, even the
girls may now try the same exercises they did with their arms when
straight, save that now they should always keep them bent at the
elbows. This will come hard even yet, and must be tried with care.
These are the well-known "dips," followed up little by little, and
month after month. By-and-by these exercises will come as easy as was
the straight-arm work.

To all, or nearly all, the high bar work should now be done with bent
elbows, while the vaulting should, say by the end of the year, be nearly
at shoulder height for each pupil, and even, for many of them, that high
with one hand. The running should have improved correspondingly, so that
five minutes of it at a respectable pace, say at the rate of a mile in
seven minutes, would not trouble the girls, and even ten minutes of it
not distress the boys.

Now, what have these few exercises done for the muscles
and their owners?

Well, the straight-arm work on the parallels, by throwing the whole
weight on the hands, told directly on the upper back-arm, while the dips
brought the same region into most vigorous action, and at the same time
opened and strengthened the front of the chest very markedly, tending to
set the shoulders back, and enlarging the chest, and hence the lung-room
as well. The high-bar work told equally upon the biceps muscles, or
those of the front of the upper arm, and likewise on the front of the
shoulders. The vaulting made the vaulter springy, and strengthened his
thighs and calves materially, and his abdominal muscles somewhat, while
the more advanced work on the rings brought both the biceps and
abdominal muscles into most energetic play. The running was excellent
for the entire legs and the abdominals, while as a lung-expander it
is difficult to equal.

Those proficient at these few exercises, if they have heeded the
endeavors made to secure at all times an erect and easy carriage of the
body, need but one more thing. With regular and sensible habits of
eating, sleeping, dressing, and bathing, they would be almost certain to
be at once well and strong. The thing wanted is daily constitutional
out-of-doors exercise; whether taken afoot, on horseback, or at the oar,
it matters little, so long as it is vigorously taken and faithfully
persisted in, in all weathers. This guarantees that pure and bracing air
shall be had, breaks up the thread of the day's thoughts, rests the
mind, and quickly refits it for new work. This alone gives the full deep
breathing, and the healthy tire of the muscles. It furnishes constantly
varying scene, with needed eye and ear gymnastics--in short, everything
which is the reverse of that quiet, sedentary, plodding life over books
or papers, read too often in poorly lighted offices.

Home exercise, then, with the out-of-door life, will combine to tone us
up, to invigorate our persons, and to keep off either mental or
physical exhaustion and disorder.

The above work, followed up assiduously, ought to bring in its train
health, symmetry, a good carriage, buoyant spirits, and a fair share of
nerve and agility. But many a young man is not content with merely
these; he wants to be very strong. He is already at or near his
majority. He is quite strong, perhaps, in some ways, but in others is
plainly deficient. What ought he to do?


_Daily Exercise for Young Men._

On rising, let him stand erect, brace his chest firmly out, and,
breathing deeply, curl dumb-bells (each of about one-fifteenth of his
own weight) fifty times without stopping. This is biceps work enough for
the early morning. Then, placing the bells on the floor at his feet, and
bending his knees a little, and his arms none at all, rise to an upright
position with them fifty times. The loins and back have had their turn
now. After another minute's rest, standing erect, let him lift the bells
fifty times as far up and out behind him as he can, keeping elbows
straight, and taking care, when the bells reach the highest point
behind, to hold them still there a moment. Now the under side of his
arms, and about the whole of the upper back, have had their work.
Next, starting with the bells at the shoulders, push them up high
over the head, and lower fifty times continuously. Now the outer part
of the upper arms, the corners of the shoulders, and the waist have
all had active duty.

Finally, after another minute's rest, start with the bells high over the
head, and lower slowly until the arms are in about the position they
would be on a cross, the elbows being always kept unbent. Raise the
bells to height again, then lower, and so continue until you have done
ten, care being taken to hold the head six or more inches back of the
perpendicular, and to steadily face the ceiling directly overhead, while
the chest is swelled out to its uttermost. Rest half a minute after
doing ten, then do ten more, and so on till you have accomplished fifty.
This last exercise is one of the best-known chest-expanders. Now that
these five sorts of work are over, few muscles above the waist have not
had vigorous and ample work, the lungs themselves have had a splendid
stretch, and you have not spent over fifteen minutes on the whole
operation. If you want to add a little hand and forearm work, catch a
broom-stick or stout cane at or near the middle, and, holding it at
arm's-length, twist it rapidly from side to side a hundred times with
one hand, and then with the other.

In the late afternoon a five-mile walk on the road, at a four-mile pace,
with the step inclined to be short, the knees bent but little, and the
foot pushing harder than usual as it leaves the ground--this will be
found to bring the legs and loins no inconsiderable exercise; all, in
fact, that they will probably need. If, shortly before bedtime each
evening, the youth, after he has been working as above, say for a month,
will, in light clothes and any old and easy shoes, run a mile in about
seven minutes and a half, and, a little later, under the seven minutes,
or, three nights a week, make the distance two miles each night, there
will soon be a life and vigor in his legs which used to be unknown; and
if six months of this work brings a whole inch more on thigh and calf,
it is only what might have been expected.

For still more rapid and decided advance, an hour at the gymnasium
during the latter part of the morning, half of it at the rowing-weights,
so thickening and stoutening the back, and the other half at "dipping"
and other half-arm work on the parallel bars--so spreading and enlarging
the chest and stoutening the back-arms--these will increase the
development rapidly, and will sharpen the appetite at a corresponding
rate. But it must be real work, and no dawdling or time lost.

Few young men in any active employment, however, can spare this morning
hour. Still, without it, if they will follow up the before-breakfast
work, the walking in the fashion named, and the running, they will soon
find time enough for this much, and most satisfactory results in the
way of improved health and increased strength as well. Indeed, it will
for most young men prove about the right amount to keep them toned up
and ready for their day's work. If they desire great development in
any special line, let them select some of the exercises described
in the previous chapter, as aimed to effect such development, and
practice them as assiduously, if need be, as Rowell did his
tread-mill work for his legs.


_Daily Exercise for Women._

And what should the girls and women do each day? With two-pound wooden
dumb-bells at first, let them, before breakfast, go through twenty-five
movements of each of the five sorts just described for young men. After
six weeks or two months they can increase the number to fifty, and,
if this does not bring the desired increase in size, and strength
of arm and chest and back, then they can try dumb-bells weighing four
or five pounds each.

Out-of-doors, either in the latter part of the morning or afternoon, if
they will, in broad, easy shoes, walk for one hour, not at any listless
two-mile pace, but at first as fast as they comfortably can, and then
gradually increasing until in a fortnight or more they can make sure of
three miles and a half at least, if not of four miles within the hour,
and will observe the way of stepping just suggested to the men, they
will get about walking enough. And if once in awhile, every Saturday,
for instance, they make the walk all of five or six miles, getting, if
city ladies, quite out into the suburbs and back, they will be surprised
and gratified at the greater ease with which they can walk now than
formerly, and at their freshness at the end. Recent reports from India
say that English ladies there often spend two or three hours daily in
the saddle. Every American lady who can manage to ride that much, or
half of it, and at a strong, brisk pace, will soon have a health and
vigor almost unknown among our women and girls to-day.

If walking and horseback parties, instead of being, as now, well-nigh
unheard of among our girls, were every-day affairs, and there was not a
point of interest within ten miles which every girl, and woman too, did
not know well, it would prove a benefit both to them and to the next
generation which would be almost incalculable.

Girls should also learn to run. Few of them are either easy or graceful
runners; but it is an accomplishment quickly learned; and begun at a
short distance and slow jog, and continued until the girl thinks nothing
of running a mile in seven minutes, and that without once touching a
heel to the ground, it will do more than almost any other known exercise
to make her graceful and easy on her feet, and also to enlarge and
strengthen her lungs. A roomy school-yard, a bit of lawn, or a
gymnasium-track, either of these is all the place needed in which
to learn this now almost obsolete accomplishment. The gymnasium is
perhaps the best place, as there they can wear costumes which do
not impede freedom of movement.

If besides these things the girl or woman will determine that, as much
as possible of the time each day in which she is sitting down, she will
sit with head and neck up, trunk erect, and with shoulders low, and that
whenever she stands or walks she will at all times be upright, she will
shortly find that she is getting to be far straighter than she was, and,
if she has a larger and finer chest than formerly, it will be nothing
strange, for she has simply been using one of the means to get it. If a
still greater variety of daily work is desired, she can select it from
Chapter XII.; the exercises on the pulley-weights and on the apparatus
sketched in Fig. 8 being especially desirable.


_Daily Exercise for Business Men._

And what daily work shall the business man take? His aim is not to
lay on muscle, not to become equal to this or that athletic feat,
but simply to so exercise as to keep his entire physical and mental
machinery in good working order, and himself equal to all demands
likely to be made on him.

First he, like the young man or the woman, should make sure of the ten
or fifteen minutes' work before breakfast. Not through the long day
again will he be likely to have another good opportunity for physical
exercise, at least until evening, and then he will plead that he is too
tired. But in the early morning, fresh and rested, and with a few
minutes at his disposal, he can, as Bryant did, without serious or
violent effort, work himself great benefit, the good effect of which
will stay by him all the day. If he has in his room the few bits of
apparatus suggested in the chapter on "Home Gymnasiums," he will be
better off than Bryant was, in that he can have a far wider range of
exercise, and that all ready at hand.

Let him first devote two or three minutes to the striking-bag. Facing it
squarely, with head back and chest well out, let him strike it a
succession of vigorous blows, with left and right fists alternating,
until he has done a hundred in all. If he has hit hard and with spirit,
he is puffing freely now, his lungs are fully expanded, his legs have
had a deal of springing about to do, and his arms and chest have been
busiest of all. This bag-work is really superb exercise, and if once
or twice, later in the day, say at one's place of business, or at home
again in the evening, he would take some more of it, he would find
fret, discomfort, and indigestion flying to the winds, and in their
place buoyancy and exhilaration of spirits to which too many men
have long been strangers.

Next grasp the handles in Fig. 8 and bear downward, as described on page
249. Repeat this work for about two minutes, standing all the time
thoroughly erect. Whether the sparring left any part of your chest
unfilled or not, every air-cell is expanded now, while you cannot fail
to be pleased with the thorough way in which this simple contrivance
does its work. Care should of course be taken that the air breathed
during these exercises is pure and fresh.

Now use the dumb-bells two or three minutes. Let them weigh not over one
twenty-fifth of your own weight. First, with head and neck a trifle back
of vertical, and the chest held out as full as possible, curl the bells,
or lift them from down at arm's-length until you have drawn them close
up to the shoulders, the finger-nails being turned upward. Lower again
and repeat until you have done twenty-five, the chest being always out.
The biceps muscles, or those of the front upper arm, and of the front of
the shoulders and chest, have been busy now.

Next, starting with the bells at your shoulders, push both at once
steadily up over your head as high as you can reach, and continue till
twenty-five are accomplished. The back-arms, corners of the shoulders,
and the waist have now had their turn.

Facing the pulley-weights (Fig. 4), and standing about two feet from
them, catch a handle in each hand. Keeping the elbows stiff, draw first
one hand and then the other in a horizontal line until your hand is
about eighteen inches behind you, the body and legs being at all times
held rigidly erect, and the chest well out. Continue this until you have
done fifty strokes with each hand. This is excellent for the back of the
shoulders--indeed for nearly the entire back above the waist.

Again, with back to the pulley-weights, hold the handles high over the
head, and leaning forward about a foot, keeping the elbows unbent, bear
the handles directly downward in front of you, and so do twenty-five.

Besides these few things, or most of them, put the bar (Fig. 3) in the
upper place, and, catching it with both hands, just swing back and
forth, at first for half a minute, afterward longer, always holding the
head well back. This is capital at stretching the ribs apart and
expanding the chest. If the above exercises seem too hard at first,
begin with half as much, or even less, and work gradually up until the
number named can be easily done.

If, once in mid-morning and again in mid-afternoon, the man, right in
his store or office, will turn for two or three minutes to his
dumb-bells, and repeat what he did with his home pair in the morning, he
will find the rest and change most refreshing. But in any case, whether
he does so or not, _every man in this country whose life is in-door
ought to so divide his time that, come what may, he will make sure of
his hour out-of-doors in the late afternoon, when the day's work is
nearly or quite done_. If he must get up earlier, or get to his work
earlier, or work faster while he does work, no matter. The prize is well
worth any such sacrifice, and even five times it. Emerson well says,
"The first wealth is health," and no pains should be spared to secure
it. Lose it awhile and see. Exercise vigorously that hour afoot, or
horseback, or on the water, making sure that during it you utterly
ignore your business and usual thoughts. Walk less at first, but soon do
your four miles in the hour, and then stick to that, of course having
shoes in which it is easy to walk, and before long the good appetite of
boyhood will return, food taste as it often has not done for years,
sound sleep will be surer, and new life and zest will be infused into
all that you do. Let every man in this country who lives by brain-work
get this daily "constitutional" at all hazards, and it will do more to
secure to him future years of health and usefulness than almost anything
else he can do. It will be observed that there is nothing severe or
violent in any of these exercises suggested for men--nothing that old
or young may not take with like advantage. The whole idea is to point
out a plain and simple plan of exercise, which, followed up
faithfully, will make sound health almost certain, and which is
easily within the reach of all.


_Daily Exercise for Consumptives._

And what should these people do? If there is one good lung left, or a
goodly portion of two, there is much which they can do. Before breakfast
they need to be more careful than others because of their poorer
circulation. Still, in a warm and comfortable room they can work to
advantage even then. In most instances consumptives have not large
enough chests. Stripped to the waist, there is found to be a flatness of
the upper chest, a lack of depth straight through from breastbone to
spine; and the girth about the chest itself, and especially at the lower
part of it, is often two or more inches less than it is in a well-built
person of the same height. Now, to weed out these defects, to swell up
and enlarge the chest, and bring it proper breadth, and depth, and
fulness, this will go far toward insuring healthy and vigorous lungs.
And how is this done?

Standing under the handles in an appliance like that represented in Fig.
8, holding the body rigidly erect, the chest out, the knees and elbows
unbent, bear the two handles downward on either side of you until the
hands are as if extended on a cross, using only very light weights at
first. Lower the weights again, then bear down again, and so do ten.
Just as you bear down each time, inflate the lungs to their utmost, and
hold the air in them until you have lowered the weights again. Rest
about a minute, then do ten more, and a little later ten more. This will
be enough before breakfast work the first week. At breakfast, and
whenever sitting down throughout the day, determine to do two things--to
sit far back on your chair, and to sit at all times upright. No matter
how many times you forget or fail, even if a thousand, keep trying
until the erect posture becomes habitual. This point once reached,
you have accomplished a great thing--one which may aid not a little
to save your life.

Next, about an hour after breakfast, start out for an easy walk. Going
quietly at first, the head held, if anything, back of the vertical, and
the step short and springy; quicken later into a lively pace, and,
holding that as long as you comfortably can, return to your room. If
your skin is moist, do not hesitate a minute, but strip at once, and
with coarse towels rub your skin till it is thoroughly red all over, and
then put on dry under-clothing. If you then feel like taking a nap, take
it. When well rested, do thirty more strokes at the pulley-weights. In
the afternoon try more walking, or some horseback work if you can get a
steed with any dash in him. After you are through, then more weight
work. Finally, just before retiring, take another turn at the weights.

After the first week run the weight work up to fifty at a time, and
increase the out-door distance covered both morning and afternoon, being
sure to go in all weathers, and to eat and sleep all you comfortably
can. Vary the in-door work also somewhat. In addition to the exercise on
Fig. 8, practice now an equal number of strokes daily on the appliance
described as Fig. 9, and in the fashion described on page 249. After the
first fortnight try hanging by the two hands on the horizontal bar and
swinging lightly back and forth. Before breakfast, before dinner, before
supper, and just before retiring, take a turn at this swinging. Of it,
and the work on the two sorts of pulley-weights, a weak-lunged person
can scarcely do enough. These open the ribs apart, broaden and deepen
the chest, and inflate the lungs--the very things the consumptive
needs. The out-door work secures him or her ample good air, vigorous
exercise, and frequent change of scene. On the value of this good air,
or rather of the danger of bad air, hear Langenbeck, the great German
anatomist: "I am sure now of what I suspected long ago, viz., that
pulmonary diseases have very little to do with intemperance, * * * and
much less with cold weather, but are nearly exclusively (if we except
tuberculous tendencies inherited from _both_ parents, I say _quite_
exclusively) produced by the breathing of foul air." This out-door work
should also be steadily increased until the half-hour's listless walk at
first becomes six or eight miles before dinner, and as much more before
supper. From breakfast to supper one can hardly be exercising
out-of-doors too much; and steadily calling on the heart and lungs in
these very favorable ways, increased vigor and power are only what might
have reasonably been looked for.

As the months roll on, and this steady work, directed right to the weak
spots, has strengthened and toughened you, now put larger weights on the
Fig. 8 appliance, and also increase the number of strokes until you do a
thousand or even two thousand daily--head and body always being held
erect, and full breathing a constant accompaniment. This making a
specialty of these chest-expanding exercises, none of which are severe
or violent, but which are still vigorous enough, and the abundance of
healthy and active out-door life, are sure to bring good fruits in this
battle where the stake is no less than one's own life. They are rational
and vigorous means, aimed directly at the weak part, and, with good air,
good food, cheerful friends, and ample sleep, will often work marvels,
where the filling the stomach with a whole apothecary shop of nauseous
oils and other medicines has wholly failed to bring the relief sought.
These exercises taken by a man already healthy at once tone him up and
invigorate him, until he begins to have something of the feeling of the
sturdy pioneer, as described by Dr. Mitchell.[P] And if the delicate
person tries the same means, using them judiciously and carefully, it is
but natural that he should find similar results.

Some years ago Dr. G----, of Boston, showed us a photograph of himself
taken several years previously. The shoulders were warped forward, the
chest looked flat, almost hollow, and the face and general appearance
suggested a delicate man. He said he inclined to be consumptive. Well,
by practising breathing, not on an ordinary "blowing-machine," where
you empty your lungs of about all that is in them, but on an
inspirometer, from which instead you inhale every inch of air you can,
and by practising vigorous working of his diaphragm, he had so expanded
his lungs that he could inhale three hundred and eighty cubic inches of
air at one breath! Certainly the depth of his chest at the later period
was something astounding, it being, as nearly as we could judge without
calipers, all of fourteen inches through, directly from breastbone to
spine, while it was a strikingly broad chest as well.

But an even more astonishing feature was the tremendous power of his
voice. He said that at the end of half an hour's public singing with the
opera singers (for he was skilled at that), while they would be hot and
perspiring he was only just warming up and getting ready for his work.
One thing all who ever heard him sing would quickly concede, namely,
that seldom had they anywhere heard so immense a voice as his. He said
that he had also run two blocks in one breath. He looked about the
farthest remove from a consumptive--a short, stout, fat man, rather.

Now the in-door chest work above recommended, and the steady and
vigorous daily out-door work, all aiming to deepen and strengthen the
lungs, are well-nigh sure to bring decidedly favorable results; while
the doctor's habit of frequent, deep, and slow inhaling, cannot fail to
work great good, and can hardly be practised enough.

After he of weak lungs has once built them up again and regained the
former vigor, he should not only be sure of his daily in-door exercise
and of his constitutional, but of a longer outing daily than a stronger
man would need. President Day, of Yale, said to have been a consumptive
at seventeen, by good care of his body lived to be ninety-five, and it
is far from uncommon for delicate persons, who take good care of the
small stock of vigor they have, to outlive sturdier ones who are
more prodigal and careless.


FOOTNOTES:

[P] See page 77.



APPENDIX I.


  _Showing the average state of the development of 200 men upon
  entering the Bowdoin College Gymnasium, from the classes of '73,
  '74, '75, '76, and '77._

  +-------------------+------------------------------+
  |Age                |                 18.3 years.  |
  +-------------------+--------------+---------------+
  |Height             |  5 ft. 8 in. |  67.974 in.   |
  |Weight             |  135 lbs.    |  134.981 lbs. |
  |Chest (inflated.)  |  35 in.      |  35.067 in.   |
  |Chest (contracted) |  32-1/4 in.  |  32.29 in.    |
  |Forearm            |  10 in.      |  10.03 in.    |
  |Upper arm (flexed) |  11 in.      |  10.960 in.   |
  |Shoulders (width)  |  15-1/2 in.  |  15.602 in.   |
  |Hips               |  31-1/2 in.  |  31.475 in.   |
  |Thigh              |  19-1/2 in.  |  19.612 in.   |
  |Calf               |  12-1/2 in.  |  12.729 in.   |
  +-------------------+--------------+---------------+



APPENDIX II.


  _Showing the average state of the growth and development of the
  same number of men (200) after having practised in the Bowdoin
  Gymnasium_ half an hour a day _four times a week, for a period of
  six months, under Dr. Sargent._

  +-------------------+------------------+---------------+
  |Height             |   5 ft. 8-1/4 in.|  68.254 in.   |
  |Weight             | 137 lbs.         | 137.123 lbs.  |
  |Chest (inflated)   |  36-3/4 in.      |  36.829 in.   |
  |Chest (contracted) |  33 in.          |  33.206 in.   |
  |Forearm            |  10-3/4 in.      |  10.760 in.   |
  |Upper arm (flexed) |  12 in.          |  11.903 in.   |
  |Shoulders (width)  |  16-1/4 in.      |  16.260 in.   |
  |Hips               |  33-3/4 in.      |  33.875 in.   |
  |Thigh              |  21 in.          |  20.964 in.   |
  |Calf               |  13-1/4 in.      |  13.232 in.   |
  +------------------+-------------------+---------------+

In this case the apparatus used was light dumb-bells, 2-1/2 lbs.; Indian
clubs, 3-1/2 lbs.; pulley-weights, from 10 to 15 lbs.



APPENDIX III.


  _Showing average increase of 200 students at Bowdoin College, in
  various measurements, after working but half an hour a day four
  times a week, for six months, under Dr. Sargent._

  +---------------------------------------+------------+
  |Average increase in height             |  1/4 in.   |
  |Average increase in weight             |  2 lbs.    |
  |Average increase of chest (contracted) |  3/4 in.   |
  |Average increase of chest (inflated)   |  1-3/4 in. |
  |Average increase of girth of forearm   |  3/4 in.   |
  |Average increase of girth of upper arm |  1 in.     |
  |Average increase of width of shoulders |  3/4 in.   |
  |Average increase of girth of hips      |  2-1/4 in. |
  |Average increase of girth of thigh     |  1-1/2 in. |
  |Average increase of girth of calf      |  3/4 in.   |
  +---------------------------------------+------------+



APPENDIX IV.


  _Showing the effect of four hours' exercise a week for one year
  upon a youth of 19, at Bowdoin College, under Dr. Sargent's
  direction. This was two hours' work more each week than was
  required of the regular classes._

  +-----------------+---------+-----------+-----------+----------+
  |S----.           |Date     | Nov., '73 | Nov., '74 | Increase |
  +-----------------+---------+-----------+-----------+----------+
  |Age.             |Yrs.     | 19        | 20        |          |
  |Height.          |Ft.  In. |  5     8  |  5     9  |       1  |
  |Weight.          |Lbs.     |145        |160        |15        |
  |Chest (inflat.). |In.      | 36-1/2    | 40        | 3-1/2    |
  |Chest (cont.).   |In.      | 33-1/2    | 34-1/4    |   3/4    |
  |Forearm.         |In.      | 10-1/4    | 11        |   3/4    |
  |Upper arm.       |In.      | 12-1/4    | 13-3/4    | 1-1/2    |
  |Shoulders.       |In.      | 15-3/4    | 17        | 1-1/4    |
  |Hips.            |In.      | 35        | 36-1/2    | 1-1/2    |
  |Thight.          |In.      | 19-3/4    | 22        | 2-1/4    |
  |Calf.            |In.      | 13-1/2    | 15        | 1-1/2    |
  +-----------------+---------+-----------+-----------+----------+



APPENDIX V.


  _Taken from Maclaren's "Physical Education." Showing effect of four
  months and twelve days' exercise, under his system, on fifteen youths
  ranging from 16 to 19 years of age._

  RETURN OF COURSE OF GYMNASTIC TRAINING AT THE ROYAL MILITARY ACADEMY,
  WOOLWICH, FROM FEB. 10TH, 1863, TO JUNE 22D, 1863.

  +---+----------------------------------------------------+
  |   |    MEASUREMENTS, ETC.                              |
  +---+------+---------+---------+--------+--------+-------+
  |No.| Age. | Height. | Weight. |Chest.  |Forearm.| Upper |
  |   |      |         |         |        |        | arm.  |
  +---+------+---------+---------+--------+--------+-------+
  |   | Yrs. | Ft. In. |St. Lbs. | In.    | In.    | In.   |
  |   |      |         |         |        |        |       |
  |1  |  18  | 5 1-1/4 | 7 8     | 29-1/2 | 9-1/2  | 8-3/4 |
  |   |      | 5 2-1/4 | 7 8     | 30     | 9-1/2  | 9-1/2 |
  |2  |  19  | 5 8-1/2 | 9 5-1/2 | 28     | 11     | 10-1/4|
  |   |      | 5 8-3/4 | 9 11    | 31-1/2 | 11     | 11-3/8|
  |3  |  17  | 5 5-3/4 | 9 1     | 26-1/2 |        | 8-1/2 |
  |   |      | 5 6-1/8 | 9 1     | 29-1/2 | 10-3/8 | 10    |
  |4  |  18  | 5 8-1/4 | 10 0    | 33     | 10-3/4 | 10-1/4|
  |   |      | 5 8-1/2 | 10 3    | 35     | 10-3/4 | 11-1/2|
  |5  |  18  | 6 0-1/2 | 10 13   | 32     | 10-1/2 | 9-1/4 |
  |   |      | 6 1-1/4 | 11 2    | 34     | 10-1/2 | 10-7/8|
  |6  |  17  | 5 3-1/2 | 8 1     | 31     | 10-1/8 | 9-7/8 |
  |   |      | 5 4-1/2 | 8 7     | 33     | 10-1/8 | 11    |
  |7  |  18  | 5 5-1/4 | 7 13    | 26     | 9-1/4  | 7-7/8 |
  |   |      | 5 5-3/4 | 8 2     | 29     | 9-1/2  | 9-1/2 |
  |8  |  16  | 5 6-3/4 | 8 3     | 28-1/2 | 9      | 8-1/2 |
  |   |      | 5 7-1/4 | 8 4     | 31     | 9-1/8  | 9-1/2 |
  |9  |  17  | 5 8-3/8 | 11 3    | 31     | 11-1/4 | 10-1/4|
  |   |      | 5 9-1/8 | 11 3    | 33     | 11-1/4 | 11-1/8|
  |10 |  18  | 5 11-3/8| 11 8    | 30     | 10-1/4 | 10-1/2|
  |   |      | 5 11-3/8| 11 8    | 33     | 10-3/4 | 11    |
  |11 |  19  | 5 7-3/4 | 10 2    | 33     | 10-1/2 | 10-1/4|
  |   |      | 5 8-5/8 | 10 2    | 34-1/2 | 10-1/2 | 10-7/8|
  |12 |  18  | 5 10-1/2| 10 11   | 32     | 10-1/2 | 10    |
  |   |      | 5 11-7/8| 10 11   | 33-1/2 | 10-1/2 | 11    |
  |13 |  19  | 5 7-7/8 | 11 13   | 33     | 11-1/2 | 12    |
  |   |      | 5 9-5/8 | 11 13   | 35-1/2 | 11-1/2 | 12-1/2|
  |14 |  17  | 5 6-3/4 | 9 13    | 29     | 10-5/8 | 8-1/4 |
  |   |      | 5 7-5/8 | 10 3    | 32     | 10-5/8 | 9-1/2 |
  |15 |  19  | 5 10-1/8| 10 1    | 27-1/2 | 10-5/8 | 9-3/8 |
  |   |      | 5 11-7/8| 10 9    | 32-3/4 | 10-5/8 | 10-7/8|
  +---+------+---------+---------+--------+--------+-------+

  +---+---------------------------------------+
  |   |             INCREASE.                 |
  +---+-------+-------+------+--------+-------+
  |No.|Height.|Weight.|Chest.|Forearm.| Upper |
  |   |       |       |      |        | arm.  |
  +---+-------+-------+------+--------+-------+
  |   | In.   | Lbs.  | In.  |   In.  |  In.  |
  |   |       |       |      |        |       |
  |1  | 1     | "     | 1/2  |   "    | 3/4   |
  |2  | 1/4   | 5-1/2 | 3-1/2|   "    | 1-1/8 |
  |3  | 3/8   | "     | 3    |   "    | 1-1/2 |
  |4  | 1/4   | 3     | 2    |   "    | 1-1/4 |
  |5  | 3/4   | 3     | 2    |   "    | 1-5/8 |
  |6  | 1     | 6     | 2    |   "    | 1-1/8 |
  |7  | 1/2   | 3     | 3    |   1/4  | 1-5/8 |
  |8  | 1/2   | 1     | 2-1/2|   1/8  | 1     |
  |9  | 3/4   | "     | 2    |   "    | 7/8   |
  |10 | "     | "     | 3    |   1/2  | 1/2   |
  |11 | 7/8   | "     | 1-1/2|   "    | 5/8   |
  |12 | 1-3/8 | "     | 1-1/2|   "    | 1     |
  |13 | 1-3/4 | "     | 2-1/2|   "    | 1/2   |
  |14 | 7/8   | 4     | 3    |   "    | 1/4   |
  |15 | 1-3/4 | 8     | 5-1/4|   "    | 1-1/2 |
  +---+-------+-------+------+--------+-------+



APPENDIX VI.


  _Taken from Maclaren's "Physical Education." Showing effect of
  seven months and nineteen days' exercise, under his system, on men
  ranging from 19 to 28 years of age._

  TABLE OF MEASUREMENTS OF FIRST DETACHMENT OF NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS
  SELECTED TO BE QUALIFIED AS MILITARY GYMNASTIC INSTRUCTORS.

  +-----------+-----+----------------------------------------------------+
  |           |     |          MEASUREMENTS, ETC.                        |
  |           |     +-------+---------+----------+-------+-------+-------+
  | Date.     | No. |  A.   |    B.   |     C.   |    D. |   E.  |  F.   |
  +-----------+-----+-------+---------+----------+-------+-------+-------+
  |           |     | Yrs.  | Ft. In. | St. Lbs. | In.   |  In.  |  In.  |
  | Sept. 11. |  1  | 19    | 5  8-1/2|  9  2    | 33    |  9-1/2| 10    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  8-7/8| 10  1    | 37-1/2| 10-1/2| 11-3/4|
  | Sept. 11. |  2  | 21    | 5  9    | 10  5    | 34-3/4| 10    | 11    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  9-1/4| 11  1    | 38-1/2| 11    | 12-1/4|
  | Sept 11.  |  3  | 23    | 5  5    |  9  7    | 34    | 10-1/2| 12    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  5-3/4| 10  2    | 37-1/4| 11-1/2| 13-1/4|
  | Sept. 11. |  4  | 23    | 5  7-1/4|  9 13    | 37    | 10-1/4| 12    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  7-3/4| 10  8    | 38-1/2| 11-1/2| 13    |
  | Sept. 11. |  5  | 23    | 5  8-1/4|  9 10    | 36    | 10    | 11    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  8-1/2| 10  6    | 37    | 10-1/2| 12    |
  | Sept. 11. |  6  | 23    | 5  9-1/8| 11  3    | 36-1/2| 11    | 12    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  9-1/4| 11 12    | 38-1/2| 11-1/2| 13    |
  | Sept. 11. |  7  | 23    | 5  9    | 10  6    | 36    | 10-3/4| 12    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  9-1/8| 10 11    | 38-1/2| 11    | 13    |
  | Sept. 11. |  8  | 24    | 5  8-3/4| 10  8    | 35    | 10-3/4| 12-3/4|
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  9-1/4| 11  6    | 40    | 11-3/4| 14    |
  | Sept. 11. |  9  | 26    | 5  6-1/4|  9  5    | 33    | 10    | 11-1/2|
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  6-7/8|  9 11-1/2| 36    | 10-1/4| 12-3/4|
  | Sept. 11. | 10  | 26-3/4| 5 11-3/8| 12  6    | 41    | 11-1/2| 13    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5 11-3/4| 13  1    | 42    | 11-1/2| 14    |
  | Sept. 11. | 11  | 28    | 5  7-3/4| 10 10    | 37    | 10-1/2| 12-1/2|
  | April 30. |     |       | 5  8-1/4| 11  9    | 40    | 11-3/4| 13-3/4|
  | Sept. 11. | 12  | 28    | 5 10-7/8| 10  9    | 37    | 10-1/2| 13    |
  | April 30. |     |       | 5 11    | 11 11    | 40    | 11-3/4| 14    |
  +-----------+-----+-------+---------+----------+-------+-------+-------+

  +-----------+-----+-------------------------------------+
  |           |     |             INCREASE.               |
  |           |     +-----+-------+-------+-------+-------+
  | Date.     | No. |  G. |  H.   |  I.   |   J.  |  K.   |
  +-----------+-----+-----+-------+-------+-------+-------+
  |           |     | In. | Lbs.  |  In.  |  In.  | In.   |
  | Sept. 11. |  1  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 3/8 | 13    | 4-1/2 | 1     | 1-3/4 |
  | Sept. 11. |  2  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/4 | 10    | 3-3/4 | 1     | 1-1/4 |
  | Sept. 11. |  3  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 3/4 | 9     | 3-1/4 | 1     | 1-1/4 |
  | Sept. 11. |  4  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/2 | 9     | 1-1/2 | 1-1/4 | 1     |
  | Sept. 11. |  5  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/4 | 10    | 1     |   1/2 | 1     |
  | Sept. 11. |  6  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/8 | 9     | 2     |   1/2 | 1     |
  | Sept. 11. |  7  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/8 | 5     | 2-1/2 |   1/4 | 1     |
  | Sept. 11. |  8  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/2 | 12    | 5     | 1     | 1-1/4 |
  | Sept. 11. |  9  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 5/8 | 6-1/2 | 3     |   1/4 | 1-1/4 |
  | Sept. 11. | 10  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 3/8 | 9     | 1     |    "  | 1     |
  | Sept. 11. | 11  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/2 | 13    | 3     | 1-1/4 | 1-1/4 |
  | Sept. 11. | 12  |     |       |       |       |       |
  | April 30. |     | 1/8 | 16    | 3     | 1-1/4 | 1     |
  +-----------+-----+-----+-------+-------+-------+-------+

  KEY:
  A. Age.
  B. Height.
  C. Weight.
  D. Chest.
  E. Forearm.
  F. Upper arm.
  G. Height.
  H. Weight.
  I. Chest.
  J. Forearm.
  K. Upper arm.


  The men composing this detachment had been irregularly selected, the
  youngest being 19, the eldest 28, the average age 24; and, after a
  period of _eight months'_ training, the increase in the measurements
  of the men were--

  +-------------------+---------+--------+----------+------------+
  |                   | Weight. | Chest. | Forearm. | Upper arm. |
  |                   +---------+--------+----------+------------+
  |                   |   Lbs.  |   In.  |    In.   |     In.    |
  | The smallest gain |    5    | 1      |      1/4 |   1        |
  | The largest gain  |   16    | 5      |    1-1/4 |   1-3/4    |
  | The average gain  |   10    | 2-7/8  |      3/4 |   1-3/4    |
  +-------------------+---------+--------+----------+------------+



APPENDIX VII.


  _Taken from Maclaren's "Physical Education." Showing the result of one
  year's continuous practice._

  THE FOLLOWING TABLE SHOWS IN ANOTHER FORM THE RESULTS OF THE SYSTEM;
  NOT BY BRIEF COURSES OR PERIODS OF VOLUNTARY ATTENDANCE, BUT BY A
  YEAR'S STEADY PRACTICE FROM BIRTHDAY TO BIRTHDAY, WITH TWO ARTICLED
  PUPILS, THE YOUNGER BEING 16, THE ELDER 20:

  +-----+--------------+------------------------------------------+
  |     |              | MEASUREMENTS, ETC.                       |
  |     |              +----+-------+--------+------+------+------+
  |Case.| Date.        |  A |  B    |  C     |  D   |  E   |  F   |
  +-----+--------------+----+-------+--------+------+------+------+
  |     |              |Yrs.|Ft. In.|St. Lbs.|In.   |In.   |In.   |
  |A.   |1861, Oct. 17.| 16 |5 2-3/4| 7  10  |31    |  8   | 9-1/4|
  |     |1862, Apr. 17.|  " |5 4    | 8  12  |34-1/2| 10   |11-1/4|
  |     |  "   Oct. 17.| 17 |5 4-3/4| 9  3   |36    | 10   |11-1/4|
  |     |              |    |       |        |    Subsequent      |
  |     |              |    |       |        |    Measurement.    |
  |     |1863, Mar. 23.| 18 |5 6-3/8|10 10   |37-1/2|11-1/4|13    |
  |     |              |    |       |        |      |             |
  |B.   |1862, Feb. 24.| 20 |5 8-1/2|10 13   |34    |11-1/4|11-3/4|
  |     |  "   Aug. 24.|  " |5 8-7/8|11 4    |38-1/2|12    |12-3/4|
  |     |1862, Feb. 24.| 21 | "     |11 7-1/2|40    |12-1/2|13-1/4|
  +-----+--------------+----+-------+--------+------+------+------+

  +-----+--------------+------------------------------------+
  |     |              |             INCREASE.              |
  |     |              +-----+-------+-----+------+---------+
  |Case.| Date.        |  G  |  H    |  I  |  J   |  K      |
  +-----+--------------+-----+-------+-----+------+---------+
  |     |              | In. |Lbs.   |In.  | In.  |In.      |
  |A.   |1861, Oct. 17.|     |       |     |      |         |
  |     |1862, Apr. 17.|1-1/4| 16    |3-1/2|  2   | 2       |
  |     |  "   Oct. 17.|  3/4|  5    |1-1/2|  "   | "       |
  |     |              |     |       |     |      |         |
  |     |              |     |       |     |      |         |
  |     |1863, Mar. 23.|1-5/8| 21    |1-1/2| 1-1/4| 1-3/4   |
  |     |              |     |       |     |      |         |
  |B.   |1862, Feb. 24.|     |       |     |      |         |
  |     |  "   Aug. 24.|  3/8|  5    |4-1/2|   3/4|  1      |
  |     |1862, Feb. 24.|  "  |  3-1/2|1-1/2|   1/2|  1/2    |
  +-----+--------------+-----+-------+-----+------+---------+

  KEY:
  A: Age.
  B: Height.
  C: Weight.
  D: Chest.
  E: Forearm.
  F: Upper arm.
  G: Height.
  H: Weight.
  I: Chest.
  J: Forearm.
  K: Upper arm.


  Thus in the year's work the increase was--

  +-----------------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
  |                 |Height.|Weight.| Chest.| Forearm.| Upper   |
  |                 |       |       |       |         | arm.    |
  +-----------------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
  |                 | In.   | Lbs.  | In.   | In.     | In.     |
  |With the younger | 2     | 21    |  5    | 2       | 2       |
  |With the elder   | 3/8   | 8-1/2 |  6    | 1-1/4   | 1-1/2   |
  +-----------------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+



CONCLUSION.


In the first eleven chapters of this little book attempt has been made
to call attention both to defects and lacks, resulting largely from not
taking rational daily exercise, and to what such exercise has
accomplished wherever it has been thoroughly tried. In the last two
chapters have been suggested not a long and difficult system of
gymnastic exercises needing a fully equipped gymnasium, a trained
instructor, and years of work to master, but rather a few plain and
simple exercises for any given part or for the whole body, and hints as
to how to distribute the little time to be given to them daily. The
teacher, the parent--the child even, without the aid of either--the
young man or woman, the middle-aged and the old, will all find
variety enough of work, which, while free from risk, will still
prove sufficiently vigorous to insure to each a good allowance
of daily exercise. All else that is needed is a good degree of
the steadiness and perseverance which are generally inseparable
from everything worth accomplishing.


THE END.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:


Passages in italics are indicated by _underscore_.

Illustrations have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the
closest paragraph break.

The word up-hill and uphill has been retained in both versions.

Other than the corrections listed below, printer's inconsistencies in
spelling and punctuation have been retained:

  changed "spent mainly indoors?" into "spent mainly in-doors?"
          page 39

  changed "his work on "Sleep," as to" into "his work on "Sleep", as
          to" page 44

  changed "them "photographed, stripped to the waist, both" into "them
          "photographed, stripped to the waist", both" page 144

  changed "the 'longshore-man--all at" into "the 'longshoreman--all
          at" page 180

  changed "bar A A, the operator simply" into "bar A A', the operator
          simply" page 216

  changed "meets the breast-bone, until" into "meets the breastbone,
          until" page 244

  changed "out at arms-length, say" into "out at arm's-length, say"
          page 249

  changed "it to the floor. and so" into "it to the floor and so"
          page 258

  changed "and fore-arm work, catch" into "and forearm work, catch"
          page 274





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