|Over a thousand years ago J. Milton, a poet born in two places, one of
which was Milk street, Boston, author of "Lady of the Lake, in his
Life on the Ocean Wave" said 'He who has not gymnastics in himself
is fit for treason, stratagem and spoils.' The indirect effect of the athletic
atmosphere of Trinity is seen in the president and faculty who since the
erection of the gymnasium have greatly increased in stature; the direct
influence is shown by the young men themselves. The necessity of physical
development needs no argument to-day and hardly an explanation. The moral
effects I feel inclined to dwell upon. The time will soon come when the
moral character of a man will be judged from his physical development. However,
let me warn you against the danger of letting up or stopping altogether.
I once had a bookkeeper who, taking up gymnastics actively, at once began
to bud and blossom all over and extend in various directions; he relaxed
his exertions and at length stopped his exercise, and in fourteen months
lost sixteen pounds and stole $30,000. Let all take warning from this and
keep up your physical development.
- speech April 1, 1887 at Third Annual Gymnasium Exhibition of Trinity College, Hartford, CT. Reported in Hartford Daily Courant, April 2, 1887, p. 3.
to a bookkeeper who stole $30,000 is in reference to former bookkeeper Frank
M. Scott who worked for Twain's publishing house of Webster Company. Scott,
an adopted son of a prominent physician of Roseville, a suburb of Newark, NJ,
was jailed in March 1887 for embezzlement from Twain's company. Scott had also
served as the treasurer of the Roseville Athletic Club. The arrest received
much publicity in the NEW YORK TIMES newspaper. Scott was evidently much on
Twain's mind when he made his speech for the Trinity College gymnasium exhibition.
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