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I know nothing of the fcaphandre of M. de la Chapelle.
I know by experience that it is a great comfort to a fwimmer, who has a confiderable distance 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 sudden, vigorous, and violent shock; which he may do in the air as he fwims 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 onefelf into cold fpring water, when the body has been heated by exercise in the fun, is at imprudence which may prove fatal. I once knew an inftance of four young men, who, having
having worked at harvest in the heat of the day, with a view of refreshing themfelves plunged into a spring 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 circumstances, is frequently attended with the fame effect in North America.
The exercise of fwimming is one of the most healthy and agreeable in the world. After having swam for an hour or two in the evening, one fleeps coolly the whole night, even during the most ardent heat of fummer. Perhaps the pores being cleanfed, the infenfible 'perfpiration increases and occafions this coolness. It is certain that much fwimming is the means of ftopping a diarrhoea, and even of producing a conftipation. With respect to those who do not know how to fwim, or who are affected with a diarrhoea at a season which does
not permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, by cleansing and purifying the skin, is found very falutary, and often effects a radical cure. I fpeak from my own experience, frequently repeated, and that of others to whom I have recommended this.
You will not be difpleafed if I conclude these 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 space of water to be croffed is confiderable; there is a method in which a swimmer may pass to great diftances with much facility, by means of a fail. This discovery I fortunately made by accident, and in the following man
When I was a boy I amufed myself one day with flying a paper kite; and approaching the bank of a pond, which
was near a mile broad, I tied the string 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 stake the string with the little ftick which was fastened to it, went again into the water, where I found, that, lying on my back and holding the ftick 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 cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the leaft fatigue, and with the greatest pleasure imaginable. I was only obliged occafionally to halt a little in my courfe, and refift its progrefs, when it appeared that, by following too