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sition, or whose corporeal system or any two of these only, were educated? His head might be furnished, and his heart well disposed, but he would still need a hand to execute.
Half the literary men of our country have suffered, and are now suffering, from inattention to those intervals of corporeal exercise and mental recreation, without which, no human being devoted to intellectual pursuits, has any right to expect the privileges and immunities of health. But a brighter day begins to dawn on our prospects. The value of physical culture is now admitted by all who have acquired correct views of education; and the practice of various gymnastic seminaries is now demonstrating anew the natural and intimate relations and dependence of the three grand divisions of education, and teaching us that the preservation and improvement of the animal system, must constitute the basis of every plan of education, which is capable of meliorating the condition of our race. For a long and dark period, as it respects education, the gymnastic science and art existed only in the writings of a few authors whose works produced no impression on the public mind.
The first gymnastic school which appeared in Europe, since the decline of the Roman empire, was that of Mr. Saltzmann, in Saxony, in 1786. Since this period, gymnasia have been established in Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and France. It was in Denmark that gymnastic exercises were first considered in a national point of view; and in 1803, the number of these establishments in that country, had already amounted to fourteen, to which three thousand young men resorted; since this time the government have issued an order for allotting a space of two hundred square yards to every public school, for the purpose of gymnastic exercises. In 1810, the gymnastic institution of Berlin was placed under the direction of M. Jahn, through whose zeal and perseverance a taste for manly sports has been widely diffused over Germany.
Captain Clias is professor of gymnastics in Berne: he has superintended the physical education of two thousand pupils, no one of whom ever experienced the slightest accident. Very recently the Russian government have directed gymnastic exercises to be introduced into every school in the kingdom, as forming an essential part of education. The teachers of this system, in various parts of Europe, have at length reduced to practice, and confirmed by the most perfect success, the beautiful theories, long since conceived by the best enlightened and most benevolent individuals.
These institutions not only do every thing requisite for the body, but they also furnish indirectly, and not very indirectly neither, immense and indispensable aids to the understanding and the heart.
The gymnasium implies a piece of ground, a building, and such instruments and apparatus as may be necessary for the various exercises of boys and men.
These exercises are numerous and diversified, so as to be suited to the wants and capacities of the pupils, whether young or old, weak or strong.
The pupils visit the gymnasium in the intervals of study; so that instead of losing time,
they thus learn how to improve it, for this relaxation of the mind, and change of employment, dispose and enable them to study with interest, assiduity, and effect. The gymnasium does more than this, for it gives those who avail themselves of its resources, healthy, powerful, and active bodies
the basis of all rational and successful cultivation.
The following extract from an amended edition of Buchan's Domestic Medicine, relates to an occurrence, which took place in the gymnasium of Berne.
An unfortunate youth was presented to Mr. Clias, Professor of Gymnastics, in Berne, by several of his pupils, who requested the favor of his being admitted into his academy. On admission, his strength was ascertained by the dunameter. The pressure of his hands was merely equal to the effort of children of seven or eight years.
His power of drawing, of raising his body, of jumping and leaping, were scarcely perceptible. With very great difficulty, he would run the distance of one hundred steps in one minute and two seconds, after which he had not strength enough to stand. A weight of fifteen pounds, held in his hand, would make him stagger, and a child of seven years could throw him down with the greatest ease. After he had been five months subjected to the gymnastic training, the pressing force of his hands was fifty pounds; with his arms he could raise himself three inches from the ground, and remain suspended three seconds; he leaped three feet in length, ran one hundred and sixty-three steps in a minute, carrying a weight of thirty-five pounds on his shoulders. Finally, in 1817, he climbed, in the presence of several thousand spectators, to the top of an insulated cable of twenty feet in height; he repeated the same manæuvre on a slippery mast, leaped six feet in extent, and ran five hundred paces in two minutes and a half. He now walks five leagues without inconvenience; and after a frightful leanness, his exercise has given him a comfortable share of plumpness; and confirmed health has followed his valetudinary state.
So far as the revival of gymnastics has been adopted in Europe, nothing has been found so effectually to remove the physical imbecility and moral torpor and degeneracy into which many of the nations had fallen, before they were at length awakened to a true sense
of their situation, just in time to be overwhelmed by the late military despotism, which in its furious progress devastated so many fair portions of the civilised world.'
The good work, however, will doubtless go on; for too many benevolent and enlightened minds have become satisfied of its benefits, to be any longer indifferent spectators of its character and effects. Clias and Carl Voelker are already at work in England: Messrs. Cogswell, Bancroft and Beck, are devoting their attention to the same object in Massachusetts; and we must, ere long, have our gymnasia.
COURSE OF EDUCATION IN THE NEW-YORK HIGH-SCHOOL.
The New-York High-School* is to consist of three principal departments, viz : the Introductory, the Junior, and the Senior. The first of these departments will, it may be presumed, ever be an object of affectionate interest with the trustees and patrons of the institution. It is intended to receive children of the earliest age,
and to introduce them, by gentle steps, and by allurements best suited to their infant tastes, to the portals of learning; and by such devices as experience shall suggest to secure their ardor in advancing along the gradations of the temple, until we have excited in them a genuine relish of its beauties, and a manly thirst for the treasures it contains.
It will be difficult to assign the lowest age at which children will be admissible to this department; but we perceive no objection to their being introduced as soon as they can walk and pronounce with tolerable distinctness, words which are repeated to them, and have sufficient vivacity to notice what is passing around them. Their physical comforts, as needful not only to the promotion of health, but to the uninterrupted developement of the mental faculties, will be carefully attended to. Their intermissions from study will be frequent; and order, and entertainment, and healthful exercise introduced into their sports. The first literary exercise to be given them is writing. With a chalk pencil on a black table, or with a stick in white sand, they will imitate the letters of the alphabet, both printed and written; and, simultaneously with their progress in spelling, will be their advancement in writing by means of the chalk and
* See Dr. Griscom's "Monitorial Instruction,' reviewed in our present number.
slate pencil; thus rendering the motions of the hand, and their natural proneness for action, auxiliaries to the mind and memory. As we can perceive no objection to the practice, it is intended, at this early stage, to introduce easy lessons in drawing, and to encourage by occasional instruction, that turn which is so natural to children, of endeavoring to make graphic delineations of objects which attract their notice. This practice will be continued through the different departments, but limited probably to line drawing, as the main object is to strengthen the judgement with respect to correct proportion, figure, attitude, dimensions, and distance, and, at the same time, to render the hand expert in tracing resemblances. A talent of this kind is deemed to be of far greater importance in a variety of occupations, than is generally imagined. But, should our pupils, toward the conclusion of their course, wish to go more extensively and completely into the art of drawing, they can be gratified by incurring the additional expense occasioned by the employment of a master.
As a relief to the occupations of learning the alphabet, spelling, reading, and writing, and, as beneficial to the mind, even in those early stages of its advancement, it is intended to introduce the first and easiest notions of arithmetic. To learn to count 10, 20, 30, and so on, to 100, is surely as easy to a child at any age, as to learn in succession the 24 letters; and by the aid of sensible objects, the first ideas of addition, subtraction, and other primary rules, may be advantageously introduced, and the little scholar be advancing in mental arithmetic at the same time that he is making progress in the art of spelling or reading. We hold it also to be very possible to mingle with those infantile pursuits, some instructions in geography or topography, so far at least as to smooth the introduction to that branch of study, on their admission to the higher departments.
There is still another branch of instruction which it is in contemplation to introduce into our lowest department, and which, but for the expense and fatigue it may involve, might be rendered highly profitable to the understanding, moral feelings, and dispositions of our youthful charge. I mean that knowledge which may be so readily and effectually communicated through the medium of wellchosen pictures. Not only several of the branches of Natural History, but a great variety of the most interesting objects and scenery of the globe, and many of the operations and productions of art, may thus be rendered intelligible to very young capacities; while at the same time the sentiments of love and reverence for the Deity, of kindness and benevolence towards the various objects of his bountiful creation, and an utter reprobation of cruelty, revenge, and most of the evil passions, may be strongly inculcated. Transparent paintings, executed for this purpose, would be most desirable,
and will be provided to an extent proportionate to the encouragement we receive.
It is thus that we hope to render our introductory department a place where parents who are the most scrupulous with respect to the welfare of their tender offspring, may send them to spend half their wakeful hours, with an assurance of safety, and a confidence of benefit, superior to the chances of the nursery, the kitchen, or places to which they are ordinarily consigned.
In the junior department, the pupils commence with writing upon paper; and they will enter substantially and systematically upon the study of arithmetic, geography, and English grammar. For the important art of penmanship, those will be well prepared who have passed through the lower department, by the just notions they will have acquired of the forms and proportions of the letters, and by their use of the state pencil. It is designed to initiate them in this department into the art of making and mending, as well as of handling their pens. This is a branch of the art of greater importance to the improvement of scholars in penmanship, than seems to be generally imagined, if we may be allowed to judge from its too common neglect The difficulties which attend the practice of giving minute instruction in this art, in common schools, are very considerable. They can be effectually surmounted, in a large school, only by monitorial instruction. We shall endeavor, as far as possible, in both our higher departments, to render the boys dependent on their own skill for the goodness of their pens; and we trust that parents, sensible of the advantage, will cheerfully incur the small expense of the additional and unavoidable waste of quills, which may be thus occasioned.
Arithmetic will be taught in this department as far as through the rules of proportion, embracing, of course, most of the principles upon which the science, in its various applications, essentially depends. This very important branch of knowledge cannot, we are aware, be laid with too much care in the understandings and memories of children. The art of ready reckoning, or of performing calculations rapidly in the mind, without the aid of pen or pencil, forins a most valuable and interesting part of the instructions which children ought to receive. This mental arithmetic may be carried to an extent truly surprising to those not accustomed to observe it. We have seen a class of girls, whose ages average not more than nine, by the force of memory, and a few plain rules, multiply seven or eight figures by an equal number, enumerate and announce accurately the product, amounting to quintillions, and then extract the square root of this large product, and state the root and the remainder, without varying a figure from the truth. The most valuable extent of this mental process which I ever witnessed, was in a class VOL. I.