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caricature, at which an indifferent spectator might laugh, but at which the weary, overdrilled children would probably cry.*
We now coine 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,)t he gives a history of his undertaking. This is so peculiar,
a 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. Their number increased, and we had various youthful sports and exercises. Thus we went on until the dog-days, when the number was very Jarge, 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 Eiseleil, at Berlin, in 1916. "The arts are easily lost, but are only found again with dificulty, and after a long time.''
Its motto was,
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 tiine 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 bad 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 fight 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 30, 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, indispensable for training the eye to long distances. In winter, when the volunteers returned, bringing many Turners with them, the associated discussions 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 bad 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
tem was again made the subject of associated'investigation. After the subject had been ripely considered and investigated in the Turning council, and opinions had been compared, experience cited, and views corrected, a beginning was made in collecting in one whole all the results of earlier and later labors on the subject, and all the separate fragments and contributions relative to it; a labor which has lastly been revised by my own pen.
“ Although it was only one architect who at first drew the plan, yet master, associates, pupils, and workmen have all labored faithfully and honestly upon the structure, and have all contributed their shares to it. These shares can not now be separated again. Nor shall I be so unreasonable as to praise the living to their faces.
“This is a brief account of my work, my words, and my book. Neither of the three is perfect; but the book may serve to promote a recognition of its ideal. It is put forth only by way of rendering an account to the fatherland of what we have done and endeavored.
“ This information will be welcome to many educators and teachers, friends of youth and respectable people, who know well what are the needs of the fatherland. And our former pupils, scattered throughout all ranks of civil life, will gladly hear an account of the present state of the system. From all sides have come repeated requests for a work on Turning. To this desire we have responded in writing as well as the circumstances and our own abilities would permit. We have held an active correspondence, even to the distance of beyond the Rhine and the Vistula. We have sent copies of portions of the third section to all who applied for them. The increasing diffusion of the system, and of improvements in it, are so rapid that it is impossible for the work to be perfectly complete in it. It was impossible for us to remain indifferent to the fact that the German Turning system, developed and brought out with so much labor, would receive injury from any half-knowledge, careless writing, or half-done work. From mere hearsay and looking on one can no more write on Turning than the blind on colors."
With the Turning system came up a peculiar language. This must be understood by any one who intends to acquire a full knowledge of Jahn and his system. He says, in speaking of it:
“In science or art, the German language will never leave those who know and admire it in difficulty. The proper words will never be found wanting in it to express all degrees and all results. It will keep step with the real course of development, will be found sufficient for every new phase of our people, for every occasion of life, and will keep up with every advance of our people in refinement. But it must avoid the affectation of cosmopolitan folly. No single language
has any thing to do with cosmopolitanism; its soul is the characteristic life of that one people.
Any one setting about a new enterprise is not so much inclined to ask, Has any one ever attempted this before, or begun or finished the like? The question is, Ought this thing to be done? And the same is true of one who makes words. If he has proper regard for the fundamental laws of language, he is not open to blame. No carping critic is entitled to ask, Did any one ever say that before? The question is, Ought this expression to be used? Can not a better one be found ?
For every living language advances, with an irresistible movement; and grammarians and dictionaries come along in its track behind, judging of it.
“ The maker of technical words onght to be an interpreter of the spirit which permanently governs the whole language. For this reason he must look back to the primitive times of the language, and inust follow in the true path of its course of development. If, in investigating these original sources, he discovers any early-forgotten word, he should bring this into public notice and use again. To reproduce an ancient word, apparently dead, is a real increase and strengthening of the language. No word should be considered dend, while the language is not dead; nor obsolete, as long as the language retains its youthful strength. Buried roots, which are still alive, and can throw out a vigorous growth of new stems, twigs, and leaves, bring blessing and prosperity. The shoots and sprouts of the old roots proclaim a new spring, after the long cold of winter. Thus the language will free itself from botching and patchwork, and will again become pure and strong. Without such protection of its original roots, the language will become overburdened, like a baggage-horse or beast of burthen, and must at last succumb under its heavy load of unsuitable additions. Every ancient word brought into use anew is an abundant fountain, which feeds the navigable rivers, digs deeper the mountain-valley, and indicates the coming of the floods. The word • Turn’ may serve as an example. From this word have been formed, and are now in use, turnen, mitturnen, vorturnen, einturnen, wetturnen ; Turner, Mitturner, Vorturner, turnerisch ; turnlustig, turnfertig, turnmüde, turn faul, turnreif, turnstark ; Turnkunst, Turnkunstler, turnkunstlerisch ; Turnkunde, Turnlehre, Turngeschichte, Turnanstalt; and many others.”
This preface is followed by a valuable and clear description of the separate Turning exercises, and of the games practiced; and instructions on the establishment and organization of a Turning-ground.
After these come valuable general information and instruction on Turning institutions, teachers, &c. If the proverb is ever true, it is