Gymnastics, or the Athletic Art, denotes the dexterous performance of certain exercises of the body, whether for defence, health, or amusement.

On the first institution of society, men being aware of the necessity and advantage of military ma-nceuvres, for repelling the attacks of enemies, national games were esta-blished; and public rewards were granted for the encouragement of youth. These exercises consisted of running, leaping, swimming, wrestling, etc. Although, from the change of manners, and the different systems of tactis now prevailing, such games become less requisite, yet as they doubtless contribute to the preservation of health, and tend to invigorate the juvenile body, we conceive that they might, with certain restrictions, be advantageously re-esta-blished in academies. A discussion of this interesting subject, however, being foreign to our plan, we refer the reader to M. Salzmann's " Gymnastics for Youth, " 8vo. 1800 ; which is an useful practical guide, and merits the attention of those who are concerned in the superintendance of schools.