Swimming as exercise

We need scarcely say that every one ought to know how to swim. There is not a man, woman or child in the country that cannot, and ought not to learn how to swim. There is no absolute necessity for learning the various aquatic tricks which are performed by masters and mistresses of the art, but there is a necessity that all should know how to support themselves in the water.

There is, perhaps, no athletic exercise which is so easily learned, which is so well adapted to both sexes of all ages, and yet so little known. There is really no art whatever in ordinary swimming, - that is to say, tin the ability to keep the head above the water, and to propel the body in any given direction. Art certainly confers greater grace, gives more endurance and ensures greater speed; but in the mere support of the body, nothing is needed except confidence, and very little even of that quality.

As to the value of swimming, it is simply incalculable. How many most precious lives might have been saved had the deceased persons only known the least rudiments of swimming! How many families have been thrown suddenly into grief and distress, because the father and bread winner happened to fall into a canal or pond that a swimmer could cross at a single stroke! How many parents could annually lament the loss of some beloved child, who has been accidentally drowned by falling into a river, or by stepping into a hole in the stream in which he is bathing!

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