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The retail politician's anxious thought
Deems this fide always right, and that tark nought;
The hafty gentleman, whofe blood runs high,
What are our poets, take them as they fall,
Obferve the maiden, innocently fweet,
One inftance more, and only one I'll bring; Tis the great man who fcorns a little thing,
Whofe thoughts, whofe deeds, whofe maxims are his own,
True genuine royal-paper is his breaft;
ON THE ART OF SWIMMING.
IN ANSWER TO SOME ENQUIRIES OF M.
I AM apprehensive that I fhall not be able to find leifure for making all the difquifitions and experiments which would be defirable on this fubject. I muft, therefore, content myself with a few remarks.
The specific gravity of fome human bodies, in comparison to that of water, has been examined by M. Robinfon, in our philofophical Tranfactions, volume 50, page 30, for the year 1757He afferts, that fat perfons with small bones float moft eafily upon water.
The diving bell is accurately defcribed in our Tranfactions.
When I was a boy, I made two oval pallets, each about ten inches long, and fix broad, with a hole for the thumb, in order to retain it fast in the palm of my hand. They much refemble a painter's pallets. In fwimming I pushed the edges of thefe forward, and I ftruck the water with their flat furfaces as I drew them back. I remember I fwam fafter by means of thefe pallets, but they fatigued my wrifts.-I alfo fitted to the foles of my feet a kind of fandals; but I was not fatisfied with them, because I observed that the ftroke is partly given by the infide of the feet and the ancles, and not entirely with the foles of the feet.
We have here waistcoats for swimming, which are made of double fail-cloth, with fmall pieces of cork quilted in between them.
Tranflator of Dr. Franklin's works into French.
I know nothing of the fcaphandre of M. de la Chapelle.
I know by experience that it is a great comfort to a swimmer, who has a confiderable diftance to go, to turn himself fometimes on his back, and to vary in other refpects the means of procuring a progreffive motion.
When he is feized with the cramp in the leg, the method of driving it away is to give to the parts affected a fudden, vigorous, and violent fhock; which he may do in the air as he swims on his back.
During the great heats of fummer there is no danger in bathing, however warm we may be, in rivers which have been thoroughly warmed by the fun. But to throw oneself into cold fpring water, when the body has been heated in the fun, is an imprudence which may prove fatal. I once knew an instance of four young men, who having worked at harveft in the heat of the day, with a view of refreshing themfelves plunged into a fpring of cold water: two died upon the fpot, a third the next morning, and the fourth recovered with great difficulty. A copious draught of cold water, in fimilar circumftances, is frequently attended with the fame effect in North Ame
The exercise of fwimming is one of the most healthy and agreeable in the world. After having fwam for an hour or two in the evening, one fleeps coolly the whole night, even during the moft ardent heat of fummer. Perhaps the pores being cleanfed, the infenfible perfpiration increafes and occafions this coolnefs.It is certain that much swimming is the means of ftopping a diarrhoea, and even of producing a conftipation. With refpect to thofe who do not know how to
fwim, or who are affected with a diarrhoea at a feafon which does not permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, by cleanfing and purifying the fkin, is found very falutary, and often effects a radical cure. Ifpeak from my own experience, frequently repeated, and that of others to whom I have recommended this
You will not be difpleafed if I conclude thefe hafty remarks by informing you, that as the ordinary method of fwimming is reduced to the act of rowing with the arms and legs, and is confequently a laborious and fatiguing operation when the fpace of water to be croffed is confiderable; there is a method in which a fwimmer may pass to great diftances with much facility, by means of a fail. This discovery I fortunately made by accident, and in the following manner.
When I was a boy I amufed myfelf one day with flying a paper kite; and approaching the bank of a pond, which was near a mile broad, I tied the ftring to a stake, and the kite afcended to a very confiderable height above the pond, while I was swimming. In a little time, being defirous of amufing myself with my kite, and enjoying at the fame time the pleasure of swimming, I returned; and loofing from the flake the ftring with the little stick which was faftened to it, went again into the water, where I found, that, lying on my back and holding the stick in my hands, I was drawn along the furface of the water in a very agreeable manner. Having then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond, to a place which I pointed out to him on the other fide, I began to crofs the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the leaft fatigue, and with the greateft pleafure imaginable. I was only obliged occafionally to halt a little in my courfe, and resist its progress,
when it appeared that, by following too quick, I lowered the kite too much; by doing which occafionally I made it rife again. I have never fince that time practifed this fingular mode offwimming, though I think it not impoffible to cross in this manner from Dover to Calais. The packet-boat, however, is ftill preferable.