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How to Get Strong and How to Stay So
written by "Blaikie, William, 1843-1904"
... don't want him to turn gymnast, surely. No; not to turn gymnast, but to set aside a small portion of each day for taking such body as he or she now has, and making the best of it. But how can that be done? and is it practicable at all for a person sixty years old, or more? Well, let us see what one, not merely sixty, but eighty, and more too, had to say on this point. Shortly after the death of the late William Cullen Bryant, the New York Evening Post, of which he had long been editor, published in its semi-weekly issue of June 14th, 1878, the following letter:[p.169] "MR. BRYANT'S MODE OF LIFE. "The following letter, written by Mr. Bryant several years ago, describing the habits of his life, to which he partly ascribed the wonderful preservation of his physical and mental vigor, will be read with interest now: "'New York, March 30, 1871."'To Joseph H. Richards, Esq.: "'My Dear Sir,—I promised some time since to give you some account of my habits of life, so far at least as regards diet, exercise, and occupations. I am not sure that it will be of any use to you, although the system which I have for many years observed seems to answer my purpose very well. I have reached a pretty advanced period of life, without the usual infirmities of old age, and with my strength, activity, and bodily faculties generally, in pretty good preservation. How far this may be the effect of my way of life, adopted long ago and steadily adhered to, is perhaps uncertain. 'I rise early; at this time of the year about half-past five; in summer, half an hour or even an hour earlier. Immediately, with very little encumbrance of clothing, I begin a series of exercises, for the most part designed to expand the chest, and at the same time call into action all the muscles and articulations of the body. These are performed with dumb-bells, the very lightest, covered with flannel, with a pole, a horizontal bar, and a light chair swung around my...

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