452 IDEAL HOME LIFE
you heave your chest the better. And what has this chest-expanding done ? Let a man, who has, by simple daily breathing and other exercises, built up a feeble and emaciated body so well that to-day he is a noble personal presence, tell you. Dr. Charles Wesley Emerson, of Boston, says that "The greater the altitude of the vital organs, other things being equal, the greater is their vigor. The heart beats with a more perfect rhythm when lifted high in the chest than when it is low. When the vital organs are high, the lungs consume more air, the stomach properly secretes gastric juice; the liver secretes bile from the blood; the alimentary canal is healthy in the production of what is called the peristaltic waves. The moment these vital organs are lowered from their normal altitude, the air tone of power is lowered. There is no physical defect so general as this—that the vital organs are from one to four inches too low among adults, and among children down to the age of five or six years. Before this time the vital organs are high." Why should not every boy and girl in America practice this slow, deep breathing every day; and this erect carriage that keeps the chest high up toward the.chin all the time? Is it not as important to any man or woman to so largely increase his or her power in every way, as it is to be a little farther on in arithmetic, or geometry, or any of the other studies taught in our schools? What other studies add so much real power as this ? Hardly a letter of Washington's but shows that he was a poor speller. But what man has this or any other speaking land produced who was so truly great ? He, too, by the way, was but half an inch smaller around the chest than Webster, and was one of the greatest amateur athletes America has ever known. Is it not about time that a branch so simple, so cheap, costing not one cent, so potent for good in about every direction, should be taught to all our boys and girls? And it may be taught in the schoolroom, by the same teacher who hears them in their other studies.
How to Sit Correctly
If they insist that every cadet in West Point shall sit erect always while at recitation, until it becomes a habit, and they do