Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  7 (1883–84), 297–305.

City Athletics

H C Bunner




Health, Physiology, Degeneration, Morality, Heredity

    Insists that the 'male dweller in the city need not be an absolute physical wreck', and suggests that a 'saving muscular grace for the town man' might be 'found in what is known as "amateur athletics"' (297). Although W Wilkie Collins's Man and Wife, with its shocking picture of the breaking down of Mr. Geoffrey Delamayne, has frightened many excellent old ladies' and given a negative aspect to 'what your dear aunt Cassandra thinks of when she hears the word "athlete"', asserts that amateur athletics in fact produce a 'sound young man, morally and physically' whose 'muscles play supple, clean, and quick under his thin skin. This is fine stock, not feeble' (300–01). Indeed, Henry G Crickmore, the 'great "Krick" of the sporting world', recently told the author that amateur athletes 'are doing a great work, as all men who try to build up the body, to increase their physical strength, and to raise the general standard of health. It is a work that will show in their children and in their grandchildren—in a race of healthier and stronger men and women' (302).

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