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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 or on your arm. And 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, had 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. † 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 prevalence 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. † Ib., p. 69.
caricature, at which an indifferent spectator might laugh, but at which the weary, overdrilled children would probably cry.*
We now come to a man better fitted than any of his predecessors to lay out a new course for bodily exercises, and who did actually lay out such a course. This was Friedrich Ludwig Jahn.
In his work, "The German Turning System,” (Die Deutsche Turnkunst,) he gives a history of his undertaking. This is so peculiar, and so characteristic of this remarkable man, and his useful labors, that I shall give the following extracts from it :
"Like many other things in this world, the German Turning system had a small and insignificant beginning. In the end of the year 1809 I went to Berlin, to see the entry of the king. At that celebration a star of hope arose upon me; and, after many errors and wanderings, I became established here. Love to my fatherland, and my own inclinations, now made me a teacher of youth, as I had often been before. At about the same time I printed my German Nationality,' (Deutsches Volksthum.)
"During the beautiful spring of 1810, a few of my pupils began to go out with me into the woods and fields on the holiday afternoons of Wednesday and Saturday, and the habit became confirmed. number increased, and we had various youthful sports and exercises. Thus we went on until the dog-days, when the number was very large, but very soon fell off again. But there was left a select number, a nucleus, who held together even during the winter, with whom the first Turning-ground was opened, in the spring of 1811, in the Hasenheide.
"At the present time, many exercises are practiced in company, in open air, and before the eyes of all, under the name of Turning. But then the names Turning system, Turning, Turner, Turning-ground, and the like, came up all at once, and gave occasion for much excitement, scandal, and authorship. The subject was discussed even in the French daily papers. And even here, in our own country, it was at first said, The ancient German ways have brought forth a new folly. But that was not all. Unfavorable opinions sprang up, from time to time, as numerous as the sands of the sea. They had never any reasonable ground, and it was laughable to see how they opposed with words that whose works were speaking so plainly.
"During the winter we studied whatever could be got on the subject. And we reflect with gratitude upon our predecessors, Vieth and
This system of gymnastics teaches the exercising of every joint of the body, just as the "Book for Mothers" teaches the knowledge of them.
Jahn published this work, in connection with Eiselen, at Berlin, in 1816. Its motto was, "The arts are easily lost, but are only found again with difficulty, and after a long time."Albrecht Dürer.
Guts Muths. The stronger and more experienced of my pupils, among whom was my present assistant and fellow-laborer, Ernst Eiselen, made a very skillful use of their writings; and were able, during the next summer, to labor as instructors in Turning. Among those who then devoted themselves especially to swinging exercises, and afterward assisted in the full and artistic development of them, and even became thorough masters in them, were Pischon and Zeuker, who fell, on the 13th of September, 1813, at the Göhrde.
"In the summer of 1812, both the Turning-ground and system of exercises were enlarged. They became more varied, from Turningday to Turning-day; and were mutually developed by the pupils, in. their friendly contests of youthful emulation. It is impossible to say in detail who first discovered, tried, investigated, proved, and completed one or another exercise. From the very beginning, the Turning system has shown great community of spirit, patriotic feeling, perseverance, and self-denial. Every extension or development of it was used for the common good. And such is still the case. Professional envy, the absurd vice of selfishness, meanness, and despair, can be charged to no Turner. August Thaer, the youngest brother of a Turning-group of three, at that time invented sixty exercises on the horizontal pole, which he afterward increased to a hundred and thirtytwo. While Thaer was taking care of a sick brother in the field, during the war, the same epidemic carried him off, in 1814, of which his brother recovered. He had before that time assisted in the establishment of a Turning-ground at Wriezen, on the Oder. Toward the end of the summer exercises of 1812, a sort of association of Turners was formed, for the purpose of the scientific investigation and artistic organization of the Turning system in the most useful and generally-applicable manner. This lasted during the whole of that winter in which the French were frozen up, during their flight from Moscow. In this association, the place of manager was, according to my wish, filled by Friedrich Friesen, of Magdeburg, who had devoted himself especially to architecture, natural science, the fine arts, and education; who had studied industriously under Fichte, and in old German with Hagen; but also, above all, knew what the fatherland needed. He was then employed in the teachers' and educational institution of Dr. Plamann, which, though not of great reputation, has educated able teachers for the fatherland. Friesen was a handsome man, in the fullness of youth and beauty, perfect in soul and body, innocent and wise, and eloquent as a seer; a very Siegfried,. full of gifts and grace, and beloved alike by old and young; a master of the broadsword-quick, bold, firm, sure, strong, and unwearied, after his hand had closed upon the hilt; a strong swimmer-for whom no
German river was too broad or angry; a skillful rider on any kind of saddle; and an ingenious practitioner in Turning, which owes much to him. He had no hesitation in advocating, in his free fatherland, whatever his soul believed. He fell by French treachery, in a dark winter night, on the Ardennes, by the shot of an assassin. No mortal blade would have conquered him in battle. There was none to love him and none to sorrow over him; but as Scharnhorst has remained among the old, so has Friesen among the young, the greatest of all.
'On the king's proclamation of February 3d, 1813, all the Turners capable of bearing arms entered the field. After long persuasion, I succeeded, at Breslau, in inducing Ernst Eiselen, one of my oldest pupils, to take charge of the Turning institution during the war. Still, it was after a hard conflict with himself that he remained at home, although doctors and soldiers alike represented to him, and his own experience daily proved, that, in consequence of a long previous illness, and bad medical treatment, the hardships of the war must necessarily be too much for him. I myself accompanied Eiselen from Breslau to Berlin, at the time when the Prussian army commenced its march, and the capital was already freed from the French; and introduced him to the authorities and the principals of schools, who promised him all manner of co-operation, and who have ever since shown confidence in him. Since that time, Eiselen has been at the head of the Turning institution during the summers of 1813 and 1814, and the intervening winter, and has conducted the exercises of those who were too young to carry arms.
"At the end of July, 1814, I returned to Berlin, and passed the rest of the summer and the first part of the winter in laboring industriously for the improvement of the Turning-ground. During the autumn, I had erected a climbing-pole, sixty feet high; a useful and necessary apparatus for climbing, and, in a level country, indispens able for training the eye to long distances. In winter, when the volunteers returned, bringing many Turners with them, the associated discussions upon the Turning system were renewed. The exercises of all the summer were considered and discussed, and the subject elucidated by argument.
"On the escape and return of Napoleon, all the Turners able to bear arms volunteered again for the field; only two who had fought during the campaigns of 1813 and 1814 remaining at home, from the consequences of those campaigns. The younger ones, who remained behind, now took hold of the work again, with renewed zeal. During the spring and summer of 1815, the Turning ground received still further improvements and enlargements.
"In the following autumn and early part of winter, the Turning sys