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Bicycle Club Dinner.
While in America, as some believe, we are suffering from a superfluity of athletics, Germany on the other hand is just beginning to find out that in a lack of athletic sports is the greatest defect of her system of education. The minister of public instruction of the German empire, it is reported, has recently issued a circular addressed to the authorities of the various gymnasia and universities of the country instructing them to encourage athletic sports at these institutions in every way in their power. The reason for this move is said to lie in the alarming deterioration that is beginning to appear in the physical character of the youth of the country - in the graduates of the public universities and gymnasia of Germany. When this condition of affairs is compared with the condition of the universities and schools of England the difference is said to be very great. A consideration of these facts affords some interesting reflections upon the subject of the development of athletic sports in America. The question of whether our colleges are really going too far in their encouragement of athletics immediately comes up. Few will doubt, we think, that of late there have appeared certain tendencies in our athletics which, unless checked, might have produced evil results. But that in fostering and maintaining athletic sports generally as far as possible within our colleges, an unwise thing is being done, cannot, we think, be admitted. Whatever of bad example may have been imported into our American collegiate system from the English universities, the encouragement of a high faith in physical education is not open to objections of this sort. It is not yet time for American colleges to discountenance athletic sports and physical education. The complaint that Germany makes is far too likely to become our own, rather than one of an opposite sort.