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‘Manly Exercise’ Etiquette: A Vintage Gentleman’s Manual Instructs on Boxing, Sports, Physical Fitness

The following is an excerpt from “The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness” by Cecil B. Hartley, published by Locke & Bubier in 1875.
MANLY EXERCISES.
BODILY exercise is one of the most important means provided by nature for the maintenance of health, and in order to prove the advantages of exercise, we must show what is to be exercised, why exercise is necessary, and the various modes in which it may be taken.
The human body may be regarded as a wonderful machine, the various parts of which are so wonderfully adapted to each other, that if one be disturbed all must suffer. The bones and muscles are the parts of the human frame on which motion depends. There are four hundred muscles in the body; each one has certain functions to perform, which cannot be disturbed without danger to the whole. They assist the tendons in keeping the bones in their places, and put them in motion. Whether we walk or run, sit or stoop, bend the arm or head, or chew our food, we may be said to open and shut a number of hinges, or ball and socket joints. And it is a wise provision of nature, that, to a certain extent, the more the muscles are exercised, the stronger do they become; hence it is that laborers and artisans are stronger and more muscular than those persons whose lives are passed in easy occupations or professional duties….

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