« السابقةمتابعة »
Edward and Warwick
Elegy written in a Country Churchyard.
.. Gray 300
Extract from a supposed Speech of John Adams, in support of
manifest from constant observation and experience - those who lead active, bustling lives, conjoined with temperance and prudence, commonly possess robust frames, and healthy constitutions; while the sedentary and the indolent are enervated and sickly.
We find the same results from the exercise of the mental faculties. He whose mind is constantly employed in the acquisition of knowledge, usually retains his mental faculties unimpaired to the last. But not so with the man of ease and indolence. After the meridian of life, the powers of his mind, with those of the body, become weaker, and weaker, and he finally leaves the world as he entered it- a child. The health and strength of the body, therefore, mainly depend on the number of muscles that are frequently called into action, and the degree of rational exercise through which they pass. Now there are few, if any, whose daily avocations are so varied as to bring into requisition all the muscles of the body: hence the necessity of gymnastic exercises.
The term, gymnastics, in its widest sense, signifies all bodily exercises; in a more limited sense, "exercises systematically adapted to develope the physical powers, and preserve them in perfection, which constitutes the art of gymnastics properly so called."
These exercises, when commenced in youth, develope the muscles, give agility to the limbs, and promote the various functions of the animal system: in this way they impart strength and consistency to the body, and lay the foundation of lasting health: and even when commenced in manhood, they invigorate the frame, and brace it against the infirmities of age.
By the frequent and energetic exercise of the muscles, they are brought completely under the control of volition, which is a powerful auxiliary to every variety of action. Hence Gymnastics are not only useful because they exert a healthful influence upon the body; but because they lay a good foundation for the easy acquisition of every mechanic
From what has been said of Gymnastics in general, it may readily be conceived that very important advantages may be derived from vocal gymnastics.
By the term, VOCAL GYMNASTICS, may be understood the principles of the human voice as employed in speech and song, as well as the training of the organs by which this voice is produced. The principles are the science of the voice - the training, the exercise of the organs, necessary to develope their powers, and enable them to act with rapidity, precision, and effect.
Vocal Gymnastics give the pupil complete command of the muscles of articulation, extend the compass of the voice, and render it smooth, powerful, and melodious. They not only call forth all the energies of the vocal organs, correct stammering, lisping, &c.; but they invigorate the lungs, and, consequently, fortify them against the invasion of disease.
All the blood, in the course of its circulation, passes through the lungs, where it undergoes a change, not only essential to health, but also to life. Whenever their function, therefore, is interrupted by debility, or disease, the blood is deteriorated, and the whole system suffers; in fact, the very citadel of life is sapped, and nothing but a restoration of these organs to their natural condition, will effect a return of general health. Indeed, the lungs are of so much impor
tance in the animal economy, that the complete suspension of their office is followed by speedy dissolution.
Hence such healthful measures should be adopted as are calculated to invigorate the pulmonary apparatus, and enable it to maintain its integrity. One of the most hopeful expedients for this purpose, is a well-regulated and persevering course of vocal gymnastics.
Were we to exercise our voices a few minutes, every day, according to just principles, the number of deaths from pulmonary affections, especially consumption, I have no doubt, would be greatly diminished.
While Vocal Gymnastics give a keenness to appetite, they are a powerful means of promoting digestion. A young clergyman entered my Vocal Gymnasium, for the purpose of improving his elocution as well as his health. He laboured under dyspepsia which was attended with loss of appetite, general debility, languor, and dejection of spirits. But in twelve days after he commenced the exercises, there was a radical change in his mental and physical condition : he had become very cheerful; and, to use his own words, his appetite was ravenous. Nor is this a solitary caseothers might be cited with the like happy result.
My pupils have frequently told me that they always feel invigorated by the exercises. A gentleman who was formerly a pupil of mine, and who had been in the practice of resorting to a common gymnasium for the benefit of his health, assured me that he derived more advantage from his vocal, than from his athletic exercises. Let the individuals, therefore, who visit those gymnasia, designed only for the exercise of the limbs, not neglect the equally important gymnastics of the pulmonary organs.