James Orr.

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istic feature of this century, graoualiy found a place in the schoolroom ; and
the study of the motber>tongue and of modem languoges was also admitted. For
a time, these subjects held a co-ordinate place witii Latin and Greek. Depart-
mental studies were taught with ardor, and educators were sanguine of the results
which would flow from early Initiation into the results and processes of the various
sctences. These anticipations having been somewhat disappointed, there has for
some time been a steady movement towards the restoration of classical or human-
istic studies to be the main instrument of education, while retaining ottier subjects
as a subordinate portion of the curriculum. The idea, however, of the gymnasium
as spedallv a preparatory school for the universilr, and thenfore not suited to all
classes indiscriminately, has been more steadily k* pt in view in Germany than in
Great Britain, and the consequence has been the breaking up of the middle school
or gymnasium into two — the gymnasium proper, where those are taught who pro-
pose to enter the universities, or who desire a partial classical training ; and real-
Bchoola, where elementary science, foreign languages, and mathematics form the
principal subjects of instraction. In this respect, the middle-scliool ednration of
Germany affords a favorable contnist to that of England. It is not to be suuposcd,
however, that in England the grammar and public schools are less efficient in their
classical training; thecontranr is probably the fact, so far as onr principal schools.
such as Eton, Harrow, and Rugby, are concerned ; bnt the methodised system of
examinations, and the more rigorous methods of Germany, seem to tnni out a
laiger orcjHwWem of well-instructed iioys from each school, while the influence of
centralauttio^ty secures greater nnifonnlty of processes and n-sults throneliout the
conntnr. The boys attend, as in England, till they reach Uie age of 18, when, after
a snecfal exandnation (theabitnrientor matnrity examination), ihey are transferred
to the university. The German gymnasinins differ from English public schoolf for
the middle and higher classes in being day-schools, and not the centre of great bor^
ing estabUshmcnts. In this respect they reseml>le tlie Scotch grammar and high

•CDOOlS.

GTMNA'STICS (see Gthmasiuii), a term, in its more restricted and proper
applied to tlKMe exercises, not amonntlng in intricacy to games, by which



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particular limbs, either singly or in combination, are rendered more pHaot or
BtroDger; these exercines are arraoged in a due prorreesion, and tlie entire series
becomes a system under tiie name gymnastics. Swimming (q. r ), Boating, and
games like Golf (q. y.)* Crlclcet (q. v.)> Ac, are among tlie roust efficient gymnastic
cxcrcihcs; bat In ibis article attention will lie confined to excrdses whose primary
and direct aim is muscular development and hcaltli.

Gymnastic games nr« so old as to be prc-hlstoric : they are alluded to in the Id
and 23d books of the ** Iliad." Before the time ol Hippocrates, gymnastic exercises
I had been adopted in Greece as part of the course of medicine intended tocoouteract
lincrcasing luxury and indolence. The various exercises were speedily combined
into a system, and gymnasia, where they should be carried out, were formed first by
the Lacedaemonians, and subsequently at Athens. See Otmnasiuii. The Romans
adopted the pystem, and constructed gymnasia on a magnificent scale. Many of
tiieir buildings, having had extensive baths attached, were known as Tkemux. The
exercises in the ^mnasla consisted of running, leaping, dancing, wrestling, boxing,
hurlins, ^ ; and in those days, when all men bore arms, and when, in close com-
l)at, xoctory went generally with the strongest man, these sames were doubtless of
great value. In subsequent ages of knightly prowess, similar exercises were proba-
oly practised, though tess publicly ; but with the introduction of gimpowder, and
through its means, the gradual substitution of fighting at a distance — ^In which
science and skill were the main requisites — for persdual encounters where strength
and muscle went faj to curry the day, the attention paid to gymnastics decressed.
and finally vanished altogether. To make Infantry soldiers perfect in the drilled
movements of masses, cavalry good horsemen and fair swordsmen, and to have
gunners who could take an accurate aim, became the utmost sought hy the \



ors of great armies; while the science of gymnastics, having gone out of repnte for
the military, was speedily neslected in merely civil life. It is only from tlio earlier
portion of the present century that the science liasai all revived.

The revival commenced in Prussia, where, about 1806, gymnasia were opened by
Basedow and Salsmann, that of the latter being nnder the superintendence of the
celebrated gvinnastic pedagogue Guts Mntlis (q. v.) ; Jahii followed In the same line,
and rendered the science so popular, that It speedily attracted the attention of the
youth throughout the kingdom, and to the training thus obtained roust be attributed.
In no small degree, the vigor wlilch succeeded in driving out the French army of the
first empire. Sweden soon imitated Prussia, and from that time gymnastics has
formed a prominent feature in the Scandinavian course of education. In Prussia,
the Kynuiasia began to be the scenes of political gatherings too liberal In tendency
to please its semi-military government ; and in 1S18, they were all closed. The
troops were, however, continued in gymnastic exercises, and shewed so clearly the
advantages of the tninlng they experienced, that about 1844. Louis Philippe adopted
and improved the system in the French army. From that time gymnasia hove been
constructed for almost all continental armies, and with mora or less success, for the
civil population. England, last ordinarily in public improvements, only moved in
the matter a few years ueo by establishing instruction in the-scieuce at Aklerehot
and other camps; in private life, however, there have long been many exoeilent
gymnasia.

Different instructors adopt various systems of instruction. The course passed
through in the French army is, however, one amongst tlie best, as its fruits evince,
in the remarkable activity and readiness for emergency displayed by the soldi<a«
who have undtfrgopn it The equipment consists of a broad belt, to be strapped
tightly round the walct above the htp^s as a support to the body in the arduous mo-
tions to ensue, braces being of course discarded. The implements most commonly
required are an iron ball in a rope-sling, with a loop for the hand to pass through ;
wrestling-handles, consisting of two wooden bars, each about 18 incnes long, con-
nected by stout cordaj;e ; a dub ; leaping bars, to be leaped over; and leaping-poles
wherewith to leap.

The system of Instruction is divided into a number of "courses" regularly grad-
uated, beginning with elementary and special movements, with a view to render
every part of the body supple, and to develop the several muscles and give comi^ete
oomiuaud over all their xnotioits Ulepientary pymnaatiM) ; and proceeding to c



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ajmnemm
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does of leaping, enBpeoBlon, standing and walkhif^ on beams, walking on stUta,
cliiubiog, swiuging, vauitlug, &c. {flpplied gyv^noMtM).

The theory of the advantage derfvablci irom gymuaatica Is eimple euongb. An
admirable law of nature provides that— within certain limits— parts of the human
frame inereasc In strength, aptitude, and size, in proportion to the use made of tnem.
In gymnastics, this law is brought to bear successively on every part, and Anally ou
the whole Bystem in combined action. If I he exertion be not carried so far as to iu-
dnce excessive fatigue, all other parts of the bod^ sympaihisc with tlie improving
condition of that wliTch is mainly exerted; the circulation, cxcit«d from lime lo
time by the exercise^ acquires fresh vigor, and blood being driven with unwonted
force into all parts of -tlie system, eveiy function Is carried on wifli increased ac-
tivity ; an improvement in the general health becomes soon manifest, and the mind
—if aininltaneousiy cultivated with judgment— increases in power and endurance.

Qyniuasticexerclaea require, liowever, to be practised with many i)recaution«,
and always with moderation and due regard to the strength of the individual. The
whole benefit may be counteracted by exc&«8 ; tbemneclea may I)c overstrained,
and ruptures nnd other serious accidents ensue. The danger of ^uch evils from
gymnastic exercises has perhaps l>eeii exaggerated, and it has no doubt hindered
their more extensive introduction into schools. But it is to be remembered that
hardihood can in no way bo obtained without risk; for cricket, fencing, boating,
and other manlv sports, are attended with at least as much dangeras a well-reg-
Dlated conrsc of gymnastics.

A short account of Gymnastics and Out-of-door Recreations Is given in *' Cham-
bers' Information for tl»e People," vol. ii, Otlier works on the subject are — Captain
Chiasso's " Gymnastics and Calisthenics;" G. Roland's *• Gymuantics : " Walker's
** British Manly Exercises ; " and MacLaren's *• Tniining. in Theory and Praciico ; "
and *' Physical Kducatlon, Theoretical and Practical " (1868). The books written in
German ou Gymnastics (Tnrnkunst) would form a small library.

GYMNE'MA. See Cow Plant.

GYMNETRUS, a genua of acanthopterous fishes of the Ribbon-fish (q. v.)
family, having the liody much elongated, and :it the same time attenuated and com-
pressed, the dorsal fin extending the whole leigth of the back, the ventral fins con-
sisting only of a single long ray, often dilated at the « nd ; the mouth small. The
fishes of this genus arc inhabitants of great depths, and are rarely taken or thrown
a.«horc. O. remieepn is a native of northcni senn ; G. Hawketiii has occurred on
tin; coast of Britain; other species are tropical. It has been supposed that Jarge
fishes of this genus may have given rise to some of the stories of the Great &^
Serpent One was lately captured at the Bermudas, apparently an immature fish,
but more than 1« feet in length, and with a row of long flexile filaments on the
back of the bead and anterior part of the back, which might well represent the
mane often ascribed to the Sea Serpent. A rpecimen of G. Hawkeniiy caught on
the coast of Northumberland, was exhibited !n London at the time when tlie sub-
ject of the Great Sea Serpent excited greatest intenst, and was by many supposed
to explain the accounts of it

GYMNO'CLADUS, a genus of trees of the natural order LcmtminoMB^ sub-order
Ccnmlpimeat. — O. Canadentti» is a North American tree, found both in Canada and
OTer a great |>art of the United States, attaiulug a height of 50—60 feet, with
branches remarkable for their upright direct iou, and an exceedingly rough bark
wtiich comes off in slips. The leaves of youne trees are very larye, three feet long,
bipinnate. The flowers arc white in short spikes. The pods are five inches long %
two broad. The tree is called Chicot In Canaua, and sometimes Stump Tree^ from its
dead appearance in winter, and the absence of conspicuous buds. Ii is also called
the Kentucky Coffee TreCy I>ecau8e the seeds were formerly roasted and ground as
coffee in Kentucky. It urows well In Britain. The wood is used both by cabinet-
makers and by carpenters. It has very little sap-wood. The pods, preserved like
Uiose of the tamarind, arc said to be wholesome and slightly aperient

GY'MNOGENS, in the botanical system of Lindley, are those plants with
exogenous stems and perfectly naked seeds. He forms of them a separate class, of
Which Coniferce, Taxaeece, Cyeadaceatt and OnetaeecB are the orders. They are



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Ufpsles Oi*

remarkable for the large apparent perfcratloiis or discs in the vessels of the wood,
bnt they have coucentric zoues, spiral vesself*, and a central pith, like other
exo^enoDS plants. ITieir great peculiarities, however, are the totil absence of a
pericarp, nud that fertilisation takes place directly through the foramen of the
ovule, without the intervention of style or stigma.

GYM>iOSO'MATA (Gr. naked-bodied), an order of Pteropodons (q. v.) molluscs,
dei*titutc of shell, having a distmct heud, and swimming by dus attached to the sides
of the neck. They are all marine. Tlie Clio borealin of the arctic seas (see CiAO) is
tlie best known and most interesting example.

GYMNO'SOPHISTS (I. e., "naked sabres"), the name given by tlie Grt»cks to
those ancient Hindu philosophers who lived solitarily io the woods, wore liuie or
no clothing, and addicted themselves to mystical contemplation and the pmctice of
the most rigorous asceticism. Strabo divides tliem into Brabmaos and Samans,
the former of whom adhered to the strictest principles of ea$U^ while the latter ad>
milted any one into their number regarding whose character and kindred they
wore satisfied.

GYMNOTUS, a genus of malacopterous fishes, of whch only one species is
known, the celebrated G. eleetriettSj or Electrical Eel. This genus gives its name
to a family, Oywnotidas^ot which, however, no other known noeeies has any elec-
trical powers. The Qynvnolidm are mostly South Amerimn, Inhabiting the fresh
waters of the tropical reeious. Tlicy are eel-like in form, and like eel* arc destitute
of ventral fins (aporfo/), out they are furnished with complete jaws and with ribs,
and their fin-rays are jointed or branched. They have pectoral fins, but no dorsal ;
the anal fin is largely developed, extendiu<; either to the point of the tail, as in the
electrical eel, or leaving it free. The electrical eel has ihe skin entirely soft, and
destitute of scales. It is very widely diffused over th« warm parts of AniericJi and
1-9 found both in streams and pools. Its electrical app<n*atns and powers arc des-
cribed In the article Electricity, Animal. It is capable of being tamed, and when
familiar, will allow itself to be handled without giving a shock, but employs its
eU-ctrical powers both in order to kill prey and to defend itself from assailants,
most frequently, perhaps, alligators. All the OutnnotidoB are rentarkable for the
position of the anus, which is so very far forwara as in the electrical eel to be before
the glll-opeiiings. whilst in some of the other fishes of this family it is even before
the eyes. Some flsties, of this family have an elongaietl snout. The electrical ccl,
however, has a rounder and more obtosc nose lliau tUo common eeL

GYNE'RIUM. See Pampas Guass.

OYCMA. a town of Hungary, in the county of Beke?, 89 miles sonth-east-by-
ca*t from Pesth, and on the railway Iwtween Pesth and Temeswar. It stands in a
plain on the bank of the KOrOs, which is here crossed by a bridge. There is a
Protestant church. Pop. 0869) 9907.

GYONG YOS, a town of Hungary, in the con!:ty of Heres. is situated at the southern
base of the Mutra Mountains, about 60 miles north-east of Pesth. The last declivi-
ties of the Matra Mounlaina produce an excellent n*d wine called by the Germans
Brlauer, and very like Burgundy, for which, indeed, It is often mistaken. G. has a

frnmasium, manufactures woolleB fabrios, and carries on trade in wine and frnlt.
op. (18«9) 16,830.

GYPAE'TOS. See Lammergbibb.

GYPSIES (Egyptians), [Pr. Bohimiens; Oer. Ziqeuner ; Dutch, ffeathetui: Dan.
and Swed. Tatarn; Ital. Zingani; Span. GitatwH, Siineali ;l{nng. Czijdnpok, Phara-
ontpek: Pers. Siseeh; Hindu, Karachee; Arab Harami; Gyps, ifom (man). Sinte
(from Ind), Calo (black); nicknamed in Pr. Cagmtx, Oettx; Germ. Zifh-Gawier,
Ac], a mysterious vagabond race, scattered over the whole of Europe and parts of
Asia and Africa. Whence they originally came, and what were the motives which
drove ihoni»from their native soil, are quetitions which, after having paased throngh
a long stage of helplessly absurd speculation, have of late years been ventilated
by coanpetent invcsiigators, both linguists and historians, and are still bnt
partially solved. So much only seems now established, that India, the
cradle of many nations, was also the soorce from which they sprang.



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Whether, howem, Ihey are the Tshandalas of which the laws of Menon
apeak, or the klnsmeu of Bazecsars or Nuts of Calcutta; whether ihey belong
to the Tphlngnnf, a band of roboera near the mouth of the ludus, or are the
deacendante of those Luris—idcntical, according to Persian and Arabic authorities,
with the Znts or Djatts of Northern India— whom Flrduai mentions as having been
called Into Persia \iy Bahram Gur to the number of 10,000, about 420 a.d. that they
might act as magicians to the poor— cannot be afUrmcd with certainty, ulthongh
there can be no doubt that theirs must liave been at all times one of tlie poorest and
most obscure tribes of India. The first conrfderable l)ody left Asia for Europe bo-
furc the 12th c, perhaps in consequence of disastrous encounters with the Arabian
conquerors; and Tamerlane was imque^tiouably the cause of still more numerous
emigrations in the 14th century. The first notice of tlicm which occurs in European
Jiteniturc is embodied in a free jmraphrasc, in German, of the |3ook of Genesis,
written by an Austrian monk about 112^ They arc there described as "Ishmael-



ites* andbnwiers whogo poddlinff through the wide world, having neither iiouso
Dor home, cheating the people witli their tricks, and deceiving mankind, but nut
openly." Two hundred years later, we find them settled in Hungary (under



Belus II.), at Cyprus, and In Wallachla. In 141T, tbey travelled in great hordes into
Moldavia and many parts of Germany. In 1418, five months after the Council of
Constance, they appeared about 1000 strong, Injfore Zurich, commande<l by a Duke
Michael **of Llitle Egypt,^ accompanied by severnl dnkcs and knights, and
carrying with them a good supply of money, sporting-dogs, and other '* marks
of nobility." From Svvitzerland tliey descended into Italy, and in 1422 ihcy
shewed themselves at Bologna and Forli. Another band, numbering,
this time, according to the old Swiss historian, Stnrapf, 14,000 arrived In
the same year at Basel. On the ITtli of Auprust 1427, a baud of them, coming from
Bohemia, made their appearance before Paris, which, however, they were not
allowed to enter, but were lodged at Lji Chaixlle Saint Denis. Other hordes fhc-
ceeded these in the following years, t«preadhig in rapid succession over all parts of
Germany, over Spain, £ngIan(T, Knssia, Scandinavia, and, indeed, over the remotest
parts of Europe. The account which they most frequently gave of themselves was,
that they originally came from " Little Ejrypt ; " that the king of Hungarv had com-

Selled about 4000 of them to be baptised, had slain the remainder, and had con-
cmned the baptised to seven years' wandering. Another version 6f their story
was, tliat the Saracens bad ^oue to war with them in Egypt, had subdued them, and
forced them to renounce Christianity ; th«t, after some years ihey had been recon-
quered by the Cliristiani*, and that the pope, Martin V., had laid noon them, as a
penance for their renunciation of the true faith, a life of wandering for the space of
seven years, during which they were not to sleep in a bed. At the end of this period,
they would be sent to a fine and fertile land. Yet another account was, that they
were commanded by God to roam tlirough the world for that period, in expiiitlon of
their want of hospitality towards Joseph and Mary— a notion which has, curiously
enough, been partly revived in our own day by Roberts, witli this difference only,
that he proves them, from the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezeklel, to be the
descendants of the ancient Egyptians, and their wanderings to be the predicted
punishment of the various iniquities of Ineir forefathers.

At first they were well received. The romance with which they surrounded them-
selves, their pretended state of penitence, above all, the pomp and wealth they dis-
played, were sufflcienl to secure the goo<l-\vill of the countries through which they
passed— so much so, that letters of safe-conduct were given them by the Emperor
Sigismund, the genuineness of which there Is no reason to doubt. Soon, however,
the tide Iwgan to turn. Their resources gone, they were everywhere treated with
contumely, and despised chiefly on account of the degrading arts of chiromancy,
magic, ana fbleving, to which they again resorted for their support, lllce their earlier
brethren, described by the monk.^ And with the reckless brutality characteristic of

*l8hmaelitc8 — a notion perpetuated in the designation " Geachraeillm " of tho
Danish thieves' jargon, and tl»e German " Rothwftiscli " (Dorph, 44 and 45 ; Orol-
man, 66)— a term which baa hitherto puszled all investigators. Pott himself not ac-
cepted (cf. p. 28 ; Heister, p. 8), but which is nothing but a corruption of the Hebrew
•* Jishmitelfm "— iBhmAeUtea.



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the middle a^, edict after edict was hnrled a<ra!n(it these ** diviners and wicked
heathens.'' The govemments of Europe vied with each other in banishiujir, omlaw-
ing, and slaying thorn whenever and wherever found, and in most severely pauishinir
those that dared to shelter them, chiefly '* becanse of their traflSc with the devil."
These edicts remained in force in many conn tries down to the 18ih c ; and Fi'cder-
iclc the Great, in 1748, renewed the law that every Gvpsy beyond the age of IS,
found in his states, sbonid bo hanged forthwith. In England the most barbarous
decrees against them were issued by Henry VIII. in 1631 and Ellxabetli in 15<t3. In
Scotland, where, under James V., a certain Johnny Faa had l>een officially recog-
nised by the crown as Lord and Count of Little Eaypt, some of the severest edicts
date from 1570, 1603 and 1609 ; and In 1624, Helen Faa, a descendent of Johnny, io<

f ether with fifteen other women of the seed-royal, were condemned to be drowniod.
'owards the latter lialf of last centurv, however, more humane measures were
adopted towards them, with a view to the improvement of their social and mural
state. Maria Theresa, In 176S and 1778, issued ordinances for the education of their
children, and their gradual settlement as cultivators of the soil, chiefly in Hungiiry
and Transylvania, where they swarmed In large nnmber« ; special streets were
built for them at tlie ends of the villages, and the name of Uj-Magyar, Uj-Parasztok
(New Peasants), was ofllclaliy bestowed upon them. Joseph II. renewed these edicts
in 1782, with certain modifications. Various other methods of gradually amalgam-
ating tticm with the general popniation were tried elsewhere (a society was formed
for that purpose at Southampton bv the Uev. Mr. Crabb in 1882), but with compara-
tively little effect They liave continued— with few exceptions— their peculiar nomad
life, with all its questionable resources and practices, its joys and its sorrows, un-
changed, up to this day; and even gypsy children, brought up far from their tribe,
in the midst of Christian families, nave, driven by some mysterious and uucoutrol-
Inble impulse, run away from their civilised homes as soon as a favorable opportu-
nity offered.

Before proceeding to give a general outline of their preaent condition, we mnst
briefly mention what have been the opinions lield about them since the 15Ui c. by the
learned. They have been, then, by tnrns set down as Egyptians, Nubians, Tartars,
Cillcians, Mesopotaminns, Assyrians, Ethiopians, Moors, Armenians, Mauichceans,
Banditti, and Oerman Jews. More recently, they were, on account of the name of
Ziuijari or Zingani— probably a corruption from their own name SInte (from Ind),
by which the^ are known In many countries of Europe — brought in connection with
the Sigynnai, a people of Median oiigiu, settled on the Danube, mentioned by
Herodotas ; with the SIgynni of Strabo, in the Caucasus * with the Usbeclcs, and a
host of other tribes known and unknown. Again, their name has been derived
from one Zfnganeus, who, in 1517, when they had long been known as Zingani, fled
with his followers to escape the vengeance of Selim. The now recognised theory
of their Indian origin, proved incontestably by their language, was first positively



Online LibraryJames OrrChambers's new handy volume American encyclopaedia: being a ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 61 of 196)