How to Get Strong and How to Stay So. By WILLIAM BLAIKIE. New York: Harper & Bros. 1879. (For sale at Sever's.)
THE title of this book admirably gives its aim; and, after reading it, we feel that it differs from most works on physical training in being the result of careful experience, rather than the expression of a hobby. From time to time enthusiasts put forth certain schemes, - one advocating the exclusive use of dumb-bells; another, a health-lift; a third, club-swinging, and so on; but the fact is, that true strength and health do not consist in having one set of muscles abnormally exercised, and the others neglected, - and this is a fact which Mr. Blaikie has been careful to keep in view.
The arrangement of his reading matter shows how accurately and broadly he has considered his subject. Undoubtedly, incalculably strong tendencies to health or disease are inherited by all of us; but, on the other hand, every one has within his reach the power to better his form and development. It is owing to this, that thus far English college men have beaten us in almost everything. The average of their health is better, and it is therefore natural that their best men should be better than ours. But Mr. Blaikie's book is not intended as a manual for athletes only; far from it. It is addressed to the student, and to the idler as well, and, by following the practical advice which it gives, the former will be all the better fitted for study, and the latter will be spurred to some occupation. Not the least interesting are two chapters especially devoted to the question of physical education in women, - which is of more importance, perhaps, to the future strength and development of our race than any other. Health is the key to happiness and success, and Mr. Blaikie has here offered us a key to health.
The Little Tin Gods-on-Wheels; or, Society in our Modern Athens. A Trilogy after the manner of the Greek. Cambridge: C. W. Sever.
THE several "tragedies" in this little book appeared in the Lampoon a year ago, and are now republished by Mr. Sever. Mr. Grant's poems were far too good to be laid away in our piles of old college papers, and we welcome their reappearance in a more permanent form.
Those of us who remember the "tragedies" will be immediately attracted to the new illustrations by Mr. Attwood. These illustrations are indeed capital; the most humorous and the most skilfully drawn that Mr. Attwood has yet done. The union in the dress of the "Little Tin Gods," of the modern full-dress costume with that of an ancient Greek swell, is a most clever adaptation of the cartoons to the spirit of the "tragedies." And in the attitudes of the "Little Tin Gods," and especially in the bored and supercilious expression in their faces, Mr. Attwood has left little wanting that might give a perfect representation of the typical society man in "Our Modern Athens." In spite of the fact that the kind of man represented is everywhere the same, Mr. Attwood seems never to repeat himself either in attitudes or in faces. We wish to the little book the success which it well deserves.