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must be welcome to a land of liberty. A genuine public spirit is the true preservative against party spirit—the canker of free states, the common cause of their dissolution, recorded in their epitaphs which history hands down to us. The early growth of a public spirit is much aided by the pedestrian excursions, frequently undertaken by the pupils in the German gymnasia, and greatly dreaded by the enemies of freedom. The parties, in these cases, went out in bands of twenty or thirty, under the conduct of a teacher or friend of mature age. They acquired a knowledge of the country, inured themselves to fatigue, and became united in bonds of stricter fellowship. We are informed that the instructers of the school at Northampton are in the habit of making similar excursions, with the boys under their charge. All that we have enumerated as reasonably to be expected from a gymnasium, may be stated more briefly, as follows:- Its benefits are physical and moral to the individual and the state. To the individual it imparts soundness of body, which is almost essential to soundness of mind. To the state it furnishes a body of able defenders, acquainted with some military exercises, and imbued with public spirit. With such advantages in prospect, it cannot be considered unreasonable to hope, that public gymnasia will be established in a country, where every good institution finds supporters as soon as it is understood.
Gymnastic festivals, perhaps, might be introduced here, similar to those which were celebrated in Germany. Our readers may find some interest in the description of one, such as we have witnessed, in that country. We have already mentioned, that three days, peculiarly interesting to Germany, were selected for these celebrations. Besides these principal festivals, the pupils in the gymnasium
at Berlin, commemorated the anniversary of the battle at Gros-Beeren, one of great importance to their city. The village of this name, is about nine miles distant from Berlin; and there, on the 23d of August 1813, the French general, Regnier, was defeated by the Prussian commander, Bulow, and the crown prince of Sweden; although Bonaparte had proclaimed to his troops, that General Oudinot would, on that day, enter the capital city of Prussia. Similar establishments in several parts of Silesia, celebrated the day of the bloody battle at Katzbach; where Blucher, on the 26th of August, cut to pieces the French army, under Macdonald. Other places, likewise, had peculiar festivals. The three celebrations which we first mentioned, however, were common to the whole country. The exhibition at Gros-Beeren, was as follows: On the 22d day of August, in the afternoon, all assembled who wished to be present at the games, (often to the number of six or seven hundred,) at the gymnasium in Berlin, from which we went, under the direction of Dr. Jahn, to the village of Gros-Beeren, singing pa
triotic songs. There we took up our lodging for the night, in the barns of the peasants, who admitted us for a trifling compensation, sleeping on straw, or rather not sleeping at all; for it may easily be imagined, that such a number of boys and young men, were sufficiently noisy, notwithstanding the presence of many older persons. We usually made our supper on potatoes and bread and butter; for nothing better could be obtained for the greater part of the assembly, and all were satisfied with their fare. On the next morning, the best singers assembled, and sang a camp-song, to wake their comrades. Those whom the song did not rouse, were wakened by a horn, which was blown through the village. The band of singers too went round, repeating a few verses in derision of the French. After breakfasting on bread and milk, the whole assembly went to a neighbouring hill, from which the field of battle was visible. Here the position of the troops, and the circumstances of the engagement, were pointed out to us. Next we traversed the battle-field, examined particularly the positions of the several bodies of troops, sought for relics of the fight, such as balls, &c., sang, and returned by the time when the religious service began; which, on this day, was celebrated in the open air, and consisted of a hymn, sermon, and prayer. After its conclusion, tents and huts were erected, in which provisions were exposed to sale. By this time, many relations of the performers had come upon the ground, and mingled in the groups, who now sat down to dinner. When this meal was finished, the gymnastic party.collected in a body, and proceeded to a neighbouring plain, where the exercises were always celebrated in the midst of a large concourse of spectators, beginning with a general foot race, in which the whole party, at a certain signal, ran to a given line. After the race, such exercises as could be performed without the aid of instruments, began. The party carried out no apparatus, except that required for leaping, both with and without poles, and some ropes for dragging. The exercises were usually concluded by contests in pulling, between large parties, at the opposite ends of a long rope. About six o'clock, they left Gros-Beeren, and went home in groups, singing and joking, or engaged in serious conversation, with deep impressions of the important labours and hard conflicts of their fathers and brothers, and with renewed determinations to keep what they had gained.
It may be questioned, whether it be well to fix on the minds of youth, such vivid impressions of bloody fights—whether national hatred be not thereby unduly strengthened. This is not the place to discuss the question, if a Christian is permitted to take up arms against oppression, or in defence of the weak. To those, however, who believe that it is not merely lawful, but a holy duty, which the Christian may discharge with the whole strength of his soul, and even deem it a precious privilege to hazard his life for his country, and for liberty, we would say, that it is a very different thing to celebrate the deeds of our ancestors, for the purpose of cherishing a love of freedom and our native land, and to make this pride a source of national hatred. There is likewise a great difference between a hatred towards the enemies of freedom, and towards the particular nation by whom our own freedom may have been in former times overthrown, or endangered. Does an American hate the English, because of his love for Washington; and cannot he read the Declaration of Independence with a beating heart, and no feeling of enmity? A thousand reasons concur to convince us, that the moral character of the individual, and the political character of the nation, require that the youth of a free country should be deeply impressed with the history of their native land, and the noble deeds which have secured its welfare; that every means should be used, to excite in their breasts an honourable emulation, and a love for the liberty purchased by their fathers' blood.
Would it not be a national advantage that our youth should celebrate important anniversaries, with active exercises, with songs and conversations recalling the past, thus making amusement a preparation for the duties of active life, and receiving impressions which would last as long as they lived ? Our history affords many days deserving of general national celebration, and many which are worthy of local commemoration. Is it a matter of indifference, whether the battles of Bunker Hill, and New-Orleans, and the capture of Cornwallis, should be held in honourable remembrance? Even important sea-fights might be celebrated on the seacoast, with games on the water, or the beach, as the Athenian youth long commemorated the battle of Salamis. Every great exploit is important, as an example, no less than in its immediate consequences. Long after its immediate effects have gone by, its influence may remain. Is not this true of the exploits of Pelopidas, Leonidas, Arnold Winkelried, William Tell, &c.? A free state should cherish with care, the heroic deeds of its children; should look upon every noble exploit as a treasure, to be preserved with an ever-living gratitude. History soon passes from the heart, into books; and is learnt as a task, if provision is not made to keep alive its interest. No one can know, how much a people’s welfare may depend on their interest in the past, on the recollection of the value which their ancestors set upon liberty, and the sacrifices which they made to secure it. In monarchical, at least in despotic governments, the memory of ancestral glory is valuable, only as affecting the character of the individual, for the people have no political existence; but in free countries, certainly in republics, the energy of the people is the reliance of the state, in the hour of difficulty
and peril; and the spirit of the people finds its true nourishment in the memory of their fathers' virtues; which can be kept alive, only by seizing on every means to awaken it in the breasts of the young.
We pass now to the consideration of medical gymnastics, or gymnastics for the sick. There are many valuable works, both ancient and modern, on gymnastics, as a means of preserving health ; for instance, Galenas de sanitate tuenda, Lond’ Gymnastique Medicale, and
many others; but we know of none which selects from the immense number of bodily exercises, such as are especially adapted to particular infirmities, though we have known many convincing proofs of the beneficial effects of their application. A work on medical gymnastics, according to the conception which we have of it, should be written by an experienced physician, thoroughly and practically acquainted with the whole subject of gymnastics; and we have no doubt, that some of the apparatus used in a gymnasium, might be introduced to great advantage in every hospital. The preparatory exercises, those on the horizontal and parallel bars, and balancing, deserve particular consideration ; for many of them call particular muscles into play, with comparatively little exertion of the rest. Patients suffering under complaints of the stomach, would derive great benefit from a judicious use of gymnastics; and we imagine that a physician might find a gymnasium, appropriated exclusively to the sick, a profitable experiment. The writings of the ancients on this subject, deserve to be studied; but their directions cannot be implicitly followed. Since their time, the habits, the exercises, the very diseases of the world, have undergone important changes; and, as we before said, a work on medical gymnastics must be founded on an intimate acquaintance with existing diseases, and a thorough knowledge of the gymnastic art, deriyed from personal experience.
A swimming school, on the plan of those existing in Berlin, in Paris, Vienna, and more lately in Boston, might be made of great service to the sick; for if the patient can endure cold bathing and can swim, the advantage of swimming is far greater than that of the simple cold bath; and a particular edifice, adapted to the purposes of a swimming school, is very desirable, on account of the conveniences which it affords for dressing and undressing. Such a school should always be found in towns affording proper situations, even were it only for the benefit of the sound and healthy. It is true, that swimming may be, and often is, learnt without systematic instruction; but when we consider how many persons, in the sea-ports particularly, learn to swim, and how many lose their lives for want of suitable precautions, while acquiring the art, we shall hardly esteem swimming schools useless. There is, too, a great advantage gained by learning to swim well
in a short time, instead of acquiring, as is often the case, a miserable paddle after long.continued efforts. All parents will agree with us, that it is better to send a boy to a school, where it is known that suitable precautions are taken for his safety, than to let him run into the sea or the river, with a crowd of boys like himself, to say nothing of its advantages in a moral point of view. For adults, a swimming school is highly important. They cannot learn the art from boys, or in an exposed place; and almost always neglect its acquisition, where conveniences are not provided for dressing and undressing. A swimming school has also a great attraction, inasmuch as one is sure, besides having the advantage of a teacher, of finding company there in a suitable dress, preventing indecent exposure.
Art. VII.—GERMAN LITERATURE.
1.-C. M. Wieland's sämmtliche Werke. The complete Works
of C. M. Wieland. Vols. 50 and 51. Leipzig: 1827. (These two volumes contain Wieland's Life, by J. G.
GRUBER.) 2.-Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's sämmtliche Werke. The
complete Works of G. E. Lessing. Vols. 1-23. Berlin. ( This new and very cheap edition of Lessing's Works is now printing.)
Less than a century ago, Germany possessed no national literature. Public taste was tame; original genius inactive; the propensity to imitate predominant; and the talent for imitating exceedingly feeble. No powerful minds investigated the principles of taste; no invention was exercised in creating national works. The intellectual condition of the empire resembled its political ; its native energies were impaired by foreign alliances, and the German language and literature seemed as much neglected as the permanent interests of the state. The style of writing degenerated into a diffuse and pedantic barbarism.
Nor was there any particular source, from which a renovation of taste and a revival of nationality could be expected. Could any thing be hoped of the men of letters ? A foreign system, limiting the free exercise of the mind and of taste, had been introduced, and the works of the great French masters lost the delicacy and splendour which they possess in their own idiom, by the tedious manner in which they were transferred to the German. Could patriotism enkindle genius? The nation, as a political body, had ceas