Some year or two ago, in Harper's Magazine (unfortunately I did not note the date) I road the judgment of an expert which confirmed that ill- opinion of gymnastics I have long entertained. It was contained in an essay entitled "Non-Hygienic Gymnastics," by Mr. Richard Buckham, who quoted as follows from "a well-known teacher of physical development" in New York:--

"I have no hesitation in saying that our systems of athletic training, at least the most of those now in vogue, are not only vicious in principle, but tend to break down the system, shorten life, and generally do more harm than good. I have made a study of the subject for many years, and I long ago began to inquire why it is that so-called athletes usually die young, or are not nearly so vigorous at forty-five or fifty as the man who has rigorously neglected any sort of training, and perhaps even exercise. That such is the fact there is no room for doubt. Athletes do die young. I do not mean by all this that I do not regard athletic sport of various kinds as healthy and valuable. On the contrary, I do, just as long as they are pleasurable, and are play and not work. But when your young athlete begins to train for a rowing contest or for the football team, or for anything like that, he is going to an excess, and that is just as bad as excess in any other way--in business, in mental labor, or in anything else. And the chances are that he will exhaust his system, come out with a weak heart or some other trouble, and be physically damaged for the remainder of his life. What


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