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the soul-a good servant should be strong. The weaker the body is, the more it commands; and the stronger, the more it obeys.* A weak body weakens the soul.” “If you would develop the understanding of your pupil, develop the powers which his understanding is to govern; incessantly train his body. Make him strong and healthy, that you may make him wise and intelligent; make him work, run, cry out, always busied about something; let him be a man in strength, and then he will be one in reason.”+
We have already seen how these counsels of Rousseau were followed in the Dessau Philanthropinum, where they practiced gymnastics, and took pedestrian journeys with the boys. Rector Vieth, of Dessau, a man of great skill in many bodily exercises, published an “ Encyclopedia of Bodily Exercises,” (Encyklopädie der Leibesübungen.)
But the greatest attainment was made at Salzmann's institution, under Guts Muths; who wrote a work on gymnastics, which gained a wide influence. It was founded upon “ Emile.”
The chief principle of physical education is, according to Guts Muths, "Train all the powers of the physical man to the point of utmost possible beauty and usefulness of the body, as of the teacher and servant of the soul."S Gymnastics is “
a system of exercises for the body, intended to perfect it."|
Guts Muths, with great care and judgment, worked out this system of discipline in the fullest detail; and at Schnepfenthal there was serious earnestness in the department of physical training. The children played, not only for the sake of relaxation from the labor of the school, but their bodily exercises were made a necessary part of their intellectual training, and an indispensable department of instruction in the school. T
Meierotto, the eminent Berlin rector, erected, in 1790, a roomy * Just as Marcellus Palingenius had said:
“ Corpus enim male si valeat. parere nequibit
Præceptis animi, magna et præclara jubentis.” t I have said more about gymnastics, and errors in “ Emile," in my chapter on Rousseau, q. v.
:"Gymnastics for the Young," (Gymnastik für Jugend.) By Guts Muths. Second edi. tion. Vieona, Doll, 1805. Prof. Klumpp issued a third edition, with many additions. The first edition was translated into Danish, Euglish, and French. $ Gymn., p. 31. || Ib., p 13. 1 I shall hereafter discuss Guts Muths' instructions for the cultivation of the senses. In 1817 he published a work on Turning, which set forth the relations between Turning and collective exercises. Turning has no more reference than school instruction has to any par: ricular class; but seeks a general development, equally beneficial in any condition of life. Turning is in develop the bodily independence of individuals; exercising, to make them efficient members of a body. Games, in which a company of Turners put forth free, graceful, genera! exertions, are much preferable to a stiff exercise under direction of a subaltern. Skillful Torners can very quickly learn the infauiry manual. It is very good to teach soldiers the Turners' exercises; but it requires instant attention when the Turners begin to play soldiers.
exercising-place, in connection with the Joachimsthal Gymnasium, including among other things a swinging-tree; and this may be considered a forerunner of the subsequent Turning organizations in Berlin. At the repeated request of Meierotto, King Friedrich Wilhelm II. gave 30,000 thalers (about $22,500) toward the purchase of the ground.*
Fichte, in his orations to the German nation, strenuously recommended bodily exercise, and cited Pestalozzi. He says, “Nor must another subject, brought forward by Pestalozzi, be omitted ; namely, the cultivation of the bodily activity of the pupil—which should go hand in hand with the mental. He requires an A B C of this department. His most important observations on the subject are as follows: ‘Striking, carrying, throwing, pushing, drawing, whirling, wrestling, swinging, &c., are the simplest bodily exercises. There is a natural order of succession from the beginning of these exercises up to a complete knowledge of them; that is, to the highest degree of activity, which makes certain the hundred applications of striking, pushing, swinging, and throwing, and gives certainty of hand and foot.' According to these views all depends upon the natural order of study; and it will not suffice to begin blindly and arbitrarily with any exercise whatever, and then to assert that we have a physical education, as the ancient Greeks had. In this respect every thing is yet to be done; for Pestalozzi did not prepare an A B C of this department. But such a one must first be prepared; and, to do it properly, there is needed a man equally at home in the anatomy of the human body and in scientific mechanics; who unites with this knowledge a high grade of philosophical character, and who is thus fitted to bring to a condition of symmetrical perfection the machine which we may consider the human body as intended to be; and so to conduct every step in the only possible right course as to prepare and facilitate every subsequent one, and thus not only not to endanger the health and beauty of the body and the powers of the mind, but to strengthen and increase them, and thus to develop this machine from every healthy human body. The indispensableness of this department, in an education professing to train the entire man, and claiming to be especially appropriate for a nation seeking to recover and afterward to maintain its independence, needs no further mention to be perfectly clear.”+ Pestalozzi's institution did not accomplish what Fichte expected of it in respect to bodily exercise; but among his hearers there was one who was perhaps influenced by these very
• "Attempt at an Account of Meierotto's Life," (Versuch einer Lebensbeschreibung Meie. rotto's.) By Brunn, Berlin, 1802, p. 312; &c.
+ "Oration," &c., pp. 171, 172. Weekly for Iluman Development,” (Wochenschrift für Menschenbildung.) Vol. 2, No. 11.
addresses to his distinguished labors for gymnastics ; namely, Freidrich Friesen.*
Bodily exercises were commenced at Yverdun in 1807; and there is an account of the mode pursued, and of the views entertained on the subject, in the first volume of Pestalozzi's “ Weekly for Human Development." This account contains much that is correct and well worth consideration, and also many errors. It is true that the body should not be developed in a partial manner, that is, not for fencing or jumping alone; but that the gymnastics pursued should aim at a harmonious total development of the whole. The bodily ill condition of manufacturing operatives is also well described. I “ Manufacturing labor," it says, " is undermining the physical strength of our people still more than all this. “Stand up there, boy, at the carding-table; girl
, sit at the cotton machine, or the embroidering machine; spread your colors from morning to night, or turn your wheel, or sew, from morning to night; and I will pay you more than a farmer or his wife will earn with their hacking and grubbing.' Thus have our poor been addressed, for forty or fifty years; but they did not say, This
, one-sided sort of occupation will make you crippled and sickly. They did not say, When the cotton manufacture ceases to prosper, when power-looms are invented, when embroidery goes out of fashion, you will be left with your distorted hand, your weakened bones, and injured digestion, as unfit to learn any other manufacturing as to use the bill or the axe. You will live out your old age a worn-out and hungry beggar. You will know nothing except what you have learned, and you have sacrificed your general strength of body and its cultivation to a one-sided and crippling occupation, and to its deceptive profits. Examples of such destruction have long been before our eyes; but white bread, bacon, wine, brandy, and insinuating manners make a deeper impression than all these dangers. And every thing that was bad, on the part of the parents, drove the children, even down to the youngest, to these carding-tables and machines. Why did these wretched people make such sickly creatures of their children? It was because they shared with them the white bread, and bacon, and wine, and brandy that they earned. In many places the miserable school-rooms had already prepared the children for the miserable factory-rooms. The parents took them out of the former and drove them into the latter, where they would at least earn them something to eat. Thus the number of sickly people increased in the land to thousands. But now they no longer receive their wages,
See the extracts below, from Jahn's preface to the “Turning System.”: Nos. 3–6, from 31 June, 1907, onward, pp. 33.-37. 1 lb., pr. 49, 50.
or their white bread and bacon: but these miseries of the land have resulted in this; that our people and their physical condition, in many places, need, more than elsewhere in Europe, the assistance of a wise government, and of the power of the human heart, which is now reasserting itself, against the consequences of this manufacturing selfishness, and their depth of physical degradation and weakness."
But the higher classes had become hardened, and had lost all natural sensibility and sympathy.* " But it is not the only evil,” the
“ article continues, " that innumerable numbers of our poor are fallen into a condition in which they look more like ghosts than like men. The consequence of these errors, as to what we physically need and should be, have introduced, even into the minds of our wealthy and healthy people, an absurdity and weakness which is shown by singular peculiarities. In many places, if you would be reckoned among the honorable and respectable part of the community, you must not, even in the hottest weather, take off your coat and carry it on a stick 0! on your armn.
your children must, all summer, wear stockings, and have a cap on their heads; must not climb trees, nor jump over ditches, &c. And, in the same places, the most unreasonable stiffness of etiquette has arisen from these notions of maintaining respectability. You must not cut wood before your door, even if you might escape a fever by doing so. The physical degradation, which reached its hight by means of the cotton and silk manufactures, bad commenced before, in the age of universal perukes and small swords. This was the period which laid the real foundation of our physical troubles, in high and low ranks.” And the discontinuance of the popular festivals is justly stated to have aided in producing this unhealthy physical condition. The article says, “A new and arbitrary and unintelligent police interferes with all the pleasures of the young. The national festivals, which expressed the powerful ancient popular spirit, began to be disused; they were gradually driven away from our plains, and forced back among the mountains.
And even among those hights they became degraded. They are no longer an expression of the strength of the people, a means of elevating and distinguishing the strong men of the land, or objects of popular attention and confidence. They sank down to mere paid exhibitions for strangers looking for exhibitions of skill, and for the rich who paid largely for them. And if we should to day endeavor to renew them, without renewing our people themselves, they would still not have their ancient appearance. They would be unworthy of our ancestors; but for us, as we are, satisfying, entertaining, and misleading to our wish.”
* Ib., pp. 50, 51.
t Ib., p.51.
* “It is such a bodily training as the children of our ancestors had and enjoyed that must be given to our children; and the spirit of their popular gymnastics must be raised up again. But this is no partial spirit; it submits to no influence from the popular festivals. On the contrary, these, if genuine, are only the expression of the preralence of it. It must be just as universally active and visible in households, in schools, in the labor of the field, in Sunday sports, and in amusements, as on the Alps, and at the shepherd's festivals. It must appear in the opinions of the people respecting their corporeal necessities, and in their care for them. The attainment of this object is entirely impossible, unless there is awakened in the young, from childhood up, and made universal, a lofty, active, and independent sense of power; and this will inspire the child, of itself, to, all which is desirable for the salvation of the fatherland.”
Who would not subscribe to these views of Pestalozzi's ? But who can approve of the method of teaching gymnastics in his institution ? The same article goes on to say, * “ The essence of elementary gymnastics consists in nothing else than a series of exercises for the joints, by which is learned, from step to step, all that the child can learn with respect to the structure and movements of his body, and its articulations." And again,t "He can acquire this knowledge in the quickest and easiest way by means of these questions, What motions can I make with each separate limb of my body, and with each separate joint of it? In what directions can these movements be made, and in what circumstances and positions ? How can the movements of several limbs and several joints be combined together ? ”
Would it not be imagined that this was a system of gymnastics for jointed dolls ? The objects of it have joints, and nothing but joints; and what is sought is, to find what their joints will do, not what their flexibility of body will do.
There now follow some methodical exercises; not of the body, but of the joints. A, movements of the joints of the head; B, of the body; C, of the arms; D, of the legs. Each separate joint is first to be exercised by itself, and then in connection with limbs whose joints have already been exercised. No joint is omitted; in the arms, for instance, are exercised the elbow-joint, the wrist, and the finger-joints. Of the last he says, “Here also the connection and separation of the movements must receive special attention.”
In short, we find in the gymnastics of the Pestalozzian school, as in their other educational departments, an unreasonable share of elementarizing; in the present case even reaching an obvious degree of
* Ib., p. 64.
t Ib., p. 69.