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their sybaritic wishes, and what they call their wants; whose grand business is solely the acquisition of the means of gratifying them; and whose bodies, sunk in ease and effeminacy, seek to shun every inconvenience, ease and freedom, from care; their common lot is to be slaves to their passions. · All the sensual passions take up their abode in effeminate bodies ; -and are the more irritable in proportion as they are less capable of being gratified. A feeble body enfeebles the mind !”.
'I cannot here omit particularly noticing a quality of the manly character, which our effeminate education is continually rendering more scarce.
This is a certain confidence in our own powers, which prevents us from crying out for help, or falling into despair on every trifling occasion ; which must be at the bottom of every great or little enterprise ; and which is indispensably necessary, to enable us, as men and citizens, to preserve a certain independence. As long as our understanding can rely upon this anchor, our yoyage, whatever storms may assail us, will be sufficiently pleasant to induce us to persevere ; and every opposition only to animate our exertions; but when this is lost, it is time for us to quit the deck, and relinquish the helm of our vessel to the guidance of another. 4. Parents, it is your duty to take upon you the guidance of your children's senses, and to conduct them upiformly in that direction which leads to manliness, and strength of mind and body. Gymnastics, (turnexercises,) unquestionably afford no slight means of approaching this end, more nearly than has hitherto been done. They lead the pupil into open air, where in the ardor of exercise he is regardless of rain and wind, heat and cold ; where he steels his muscles, integuments and nerves ; where bodily fatigue of various kinds becomes pleasant to him ; where he acquires what we term manliness ; where, in short, he is more and inore inured to receive from the hands of Providence the troubles of life with manly patience and activity ; because he has not merely learned to endure, but to feel pleasure in exercising his powers in endurance. Thus, man appears in a great and amiable point of view. Not so, when he is early enfeebled by an enervating system of education, and when we render ourselves obnoxious to the reproach of Theano: “You bring up your children as if they were the offspring of Sardanapalus ; their manhood is unbraced by the immoderate enjoyment of sensual gratifications. What will you make of a boy, who cries if we have not food the moment he demands it, and who continually requires the most savory dishes at table ;- who is melting with heat in summer, and quakes and shudders at the cold of a frosty day; who is sulky under reproof, enraged if any thing do not constantly yield to his will, and pouts till his palate is gratified with whatever it craves ; who wastes his time in the idleness he loves, and saunters about a whining, selfish ereature ? Children spoiled by indulgence, grow up to slaves. Away with such sensual gratification! Accustom your children
to hard fare ; let them sýpport hunger and thirst, heat-and cold. By these means alone the active powers of the mind will become strong and manly. To young people labor is the foretaste of their more perfect future zeal for virtue ; well watered with this, the plant of virtue will strike the deeper root into the ground.”
One more very important object of gymnastics, (turnen,) I cannot pass over here, particularly as it is in some measure connected with the preceding. It is :
Turnen ensures the necessary.intermission of mental labor. • The mind of a man, still more of a child, is incapable of long perseverance in mental exertion. This is a generally acknowledged truth; to which I shall add one more to the same purpose, which is less-known. Young men, and those who are not advanced in years, if healthy and of warm constitutions, are never greatly inclined to mental exertion till their bodies are to a certain degree fatigued, I do not say wholly exhausted. : Till this fatigue is produced, their body has a preponderance over the mind; and in this case it is a truly natural want which cannot easily be silenced. Each muscle requires exertion, and the whole machine strives to employ its powers. This is vulgarly called, to have no sit-still flesh. If the fatigue be once brought on, the call for bodily exertion is stilled, the mind is no longer disturbed by it, and all its labors are faeilitated.
Our common mode of education pays nó regard to this. Youths appear in school strengthened by food and sleep, and too frequently, alas! thrown into unnatural heat and commotion, a true intoxication of the nerves by drinking coffee.
How is it possible to fix the attention under such circumstances ? The body requires action ; if this be not allowed, it will obtain it in silence; it will act upon the passions; and, above all, the fiery temperament of youth will inflame the imagination. Thus attention slumbers. We are barbarous when we attempt to awaken it with the rod; we require from innocent children what is unnatural; we inflict pain on the body to prevent its action ; yet activity was bestowed on it by its Creator; yet nature renovates this activity every night. The mind is soon carried away by the whirlwind of corporeal energies, and lost in the realm of chimeras. shall conclude this chapter on the objects of gymnastics. I freely avow I am far from having exhausted the subject; but many, perhaps, will think me already too long.
To facilitate the contemplation of them, I shall just repeat the désirable parallel between the equalities of the body and mind ;
Health of the body—serenity of mind;
Now let me ask-are not these objects suited to our political institutions, to our-manners, and our state of civilization ; and are they not worthy the most ardent endeavors of a cultivated people?
To this it may justly be retorted, are turnexercises calculated to produce them?
Try all, and hold fast that which is good.
In conclusion, your committee does not hesitate to pronounce this subject of vital importance to the physical, moral, and political interests of our country.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
WILLIAM WOOD,'N. D.
GENTLEMEN OF THE COLLEGE OF TEACHERS :
In the lecture which I had the honor of delivering before you, at your last session, reference was made to some of the effects of education' upon the physical development of mind. : The favorable reception of that discourse, both by the college and the public at large, has induced me to continue the subject on the present occasion. I therefore solicit your attention to the means of preserving the health of those who are confined, either as teachers or pupils, in our schools and colleges, for without the preservation of health, the physical structure can never attain the perfection for which it was designed by its Infinite Creator. No object is, therefore, of more importance than the preservation of health, especially at a period when the system is undergoing the various changes necessary for its complete development. Let the attainments of the scholar be what they may, they are worse than useless if procured at the expense of his physical organization. If the constitution be materially impaired in childhood or youth; it can never be restorcd to its primitive condition. Neither art nor science can-arrest it in its downward course to premature decay. Indeed, in many cases, a prolonged lise is not to be desired, either by the victim of early imprudence or his immediate friends, for nothing but entire dissolution can relieve him from the penalty incurred by a total disregard of the laws of animal life. But the evils do not always stop here. The same penalty may be inflicted upon his offspring, even to the “third or fourth generation,” when his name will cease to be known.
Notwithstanding this, there is no subject so much neglected, in our systems of education, as the preservation of health. While the student is carefully instructed in the literature of Greece and Rome, nations whose habits, laws, and institutions, present but little that is worthy of imitation, the influence of physical and moral agents, upon his physical structure, the means of preserving the healthy play of all his organs, or, indeed, any knowledge of so complicated a machine, or the laws by whieh it continues to act through a succession of years, are carefullý denied hima It will therefore be the object of the present lecture to call his attention to the importance of attaining an end so intimately connected with his present and future welfare.
1. In order to preserve the health of the body as well as to procure the best possible development of all its parts, both teachers and senior pupils should be acquainted with its structure, and the various laws by which it is governed.
This however is not the case. But few of either are unacquainted with the laws of inanimate matter, or, the forces which maintain the relative position of the different parts of the solar system, while the number that understand the anatomy of the body or the means of preserving its vigor, amidst the changing scenes of life, is indeed limited.. The effects of this ignorance in the various ranks of society, cannot be estimated. Perhaps they are most apparent in the higher classes, where little except rank and wealth are concerned in the promotion of matrimonial alliances, and where dissipated youth is consequently too frequently united to the fashionable belle, whose habits have been continually opposed to the preservation of health, or the means of securing an agreeable longevity. If either of the parties, or their immediate friends, were fully aware that the diseased lungs, the impaired nervous system, and the disturbed intellect, would produce confirmed consumption, hypocondria, or insanity, in their offspring, they would not have urged the consummation of an alliance which must bring misery and even annihilation upon their race.
It also frequently happens that the fashionable youth, not aware that physical imper-fection may be transmitted to his posterity, either marries before his physical system is fully developed, or when he does so, he unites himself to a girl of immature years, or one whose family has been more or less afflicted with scrophula, epilepsy, or some other hereditary disease, and never discovers his mistake until his own children become the subjects of pulmonary derangement or mental imbecility. The same ignorance of the laws of animal life renders him incompetent to select a proper physician for himself or his family. The artful pretender frequently gains his favor to the destruction of himself or his dependents. But this evil increases as we approach the more illiterate. To such, whetherʻrich or poor, the pretensions of a foreign ignoramus, the mummery of