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NMODES AND MODESTY iN BATHING.
WITH SOME TYPESB OF BATI'HERS. WRITTEN ESPECIALLY FOR THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT. M ODES AND MODESTY. ENGLISI bathing women and French baig neurs. "Remember, my loveswe are going to Trouville this ! ar You must have your bathing drpessesmade in Paris," were the words said by an Amer loan mamma to her dauehter who mad such a sensation last year at Bar Harbor b, wearing white flannel suits which were everything that was respectable unti dipped in the water. After that their coloa changed to pink, so indiscreet was the ocean swell and so transparent its treat ment. What her mamma hoped the Paris ian dressmakers would be able to turn out for her daughter which would prove more attractive to the casual loungers on the French coast it is difficult to surrise, but it must not be supposed that at foreign water ing places costumes used by ladies at the court of Neptune and Amphitrite are more becoming than those in use in America. It is conceded in all polite society that at a certain time of the year when the icy waters of the Atlantic begin to modify their temperature and the waves court the swim mers or merely the wading bathers who seek for ozone and the invigorating tonic of a plunge, that men and women may east aside much of the conventional covering propriety demands and appear together on the sea beach in costumes which would not only be comical but utterly reprehensible C. --- r -S - A PRETTY PLUNOiG in a ball room or on Broadway. For one of those reasons only known to the lawmakers of society a lady may show a great deal more than her shoulders in a ball room; but were she to exhibit ten inches above her ankle (a modicum of leg which the ripples of the shore look on as prudery compared with what they often wash,) she would be regarded as a brazen thing, unfit for Newport Casino or Delmonico's Patri archs. But let the bathing season com- mence and how few pretty women appear on the ocean whose figures can not be divined beneath their dark bathing suits, while many are the wonderful out lines of factitious beauty which fade into terrible reality when their frauds are given away by the heatless sea, and of course one of the most fruitful joking grounds for the summer journalist is the watering place not merely for the flirtations on the piazza around the hotel or boarding house, nor for the chase after man wLen the week days take the fathers and husbands away to New York; but more especially for the never ceasing attacks on girl bathers and their vanities; their diminishing suits and their out-of-sight modesty. After studying marine life among the bathers of most sea shores I cannot say that women in America display more than the natural amour propre every woman ought to possess, as evinced by a desire to look her best, and as little ridiculous asipossible in trotting across the sands from her bath house to the water. The most trying moment for a bather is the entrance on the scene; the promenade down the beach when the eyes of those in the water and those lounging around will detect any flaw or deformity, any incon gruous appearance or unfortunate ten deno which nature or want of taste may accentuate. The woman who knows she is well made, can walk with the demarche of a goddess and is certain there is nothing in her cos tume which calls for criticism or eavil, may set out from her boarded-boudoir where she has left thefig-leavesof fashion, and calmly traverse the strip of sand seperating her dressing room from the sea, conscious that no unnecoessary decollette, no meretricious make-up will enhance her attractions or prevent her beauty making its mark, while the cruel smile goes round from lip to lip V : , : A -l ON OU00 OAL". among the groups on the saud., who e the babies are making castles and monated granetges with their spades, as some abnor mally tlhin old moaid helplessoely ambles past into the ripplinle water, or some overgrown matron ahike the shore in her laudable tteiipts to conceal her avoirdu; ois ateon| the breakers. In England this ordeal is ntot one of the miseries of life. The Entnlieh have no bath-honsers such as we have in Anmerima. All bathing in the set isa done from what are called bathing machines. These are simply cabins on wheels drawn out to the axles, higher or lower, as thi cus houier may demand, with steps at eithere(id to enter or descend into the waves. (On manv shores theseo machines have awninge like the bond of a bassinet or the hood of ai perambualator, effectually concealing the fair occupant till she emerges beyond its p otectin. tiounce into the open sel: and tuough the lounger .on the beach is dt prived the pleasure of witnesinrg the plunges of the siren and the trilic of the nymph, the unwieldy matron and the ise. litd old maid are saved the chaurin of an itfensivte notice which often verges on con tvmupt. In some places, as at Brighton, where the hli.:"i i ierecipitous or hilving them en clhi ino re let sown by cuble fromn a wind la-i . tlat rusally hories are used, and when it sit.lget tinds himself for the first tune let in li a nooeti ecabin in a ragin' se-a e:i:: hI tall and the drivers depart to In1 to t,!i r machine Ilia divmay may be b: tter imagined than described. Iiia ti'ngl.nd the bathing woman t an in st:tltiiu. 'I haouth living all the anniler in the s-t, ashe looks more like a parpoles. than a me maiu; but hie is mitost u mfal itn i'ivig c tflddhtee to ltiginners ind even in to ,ih it.g l:adies ii ow to swiaI. ihe is tellpt terd in France by tihe baigueur, who takes ladira in his Lrtis into the deelt-r witetri end is n--ch autroaized when a strong beater and a good swimmer. Such a baigneur is th hero of a French play by Meilhac, in whic Madame Judio used to delight her Parisia public. * The English bathing mnachine has bee; adopted at many of the French waterin, places, more especially those contiguous t England. Calais, l1ouloIne and Dieppi an all fond of bathing machines, and th French have introduced family cabin ENGLISH BATHING WOMAN. divided into two or three compartments for ladles and children. At 'Trouville. Etretat and Biarritz, at Ostendo end Blankenberg, all fashionable resorts either for French or lBelgians, the cabins as at Long Branch or Narragansett are in use. Fashion first began to trouble her head about the modes for Lathing when the beau tiful Eugenic, empress of the French, made Biarritz the only place for lovely women. She wantd sea air at that period. There the fair Spanish-Milesian first instituted the costume de boire, which has since be come so necessary an adjunct to the trous seau of every fashionable beauty. At that time the English women wore for sea baths a dark blue flannel garmentwhich tied around the neck with a string and com ing down to her ankles, made her look like a shapeless ban; added to which she con ceales her hair in a yellow oilskin cap. Vory proper, no doubt-except when some libertine wave insisted in pulling it over her head-but tasteless and encumbering to a degree. But at Bliarritz the Frenchwoman intro duced the artistic bloomers. Some of the beauties of the imperial court followed suit to the empressa' innovation with elaborate fanaies; and frills an. ribbons coon grace.l the robes that Madame de Blouchy and the Countess do Pourtales wore when bathing, while every woman wore sandals on her bare feet and carried a long Louis Seize bathing stick as she paraded the beach be tween France and Spain. On the French coast the sandal is a ne cessity in some form, on account of the Spevalence of an annoyinu fish (Trachinus Brace) known in England as the weaver. SURF COMEDIAN. This name comes from the French Vive, aiven it by the coast fishermen in recogni tion of its power of living out of water for some time after capture. Ammonia is always kept by the proprie tors of the bathing establishments in case of accidents caused by this particularly ob jectionable fish. He is not large, but the nrickles of hiis gill covers and dorsal tin sting almost like a hornet, and I have seen a foot and a hand swollen to double their normal size from the injuries it has occpa sioned. In France it is compulsory by law for fishermen to cut off the stings of these fishes when caught. '1 he bathing sandal is much thought of by its wearers in France. Not so many years ago, Paris was placarded with the col ored advertisements of a sea-sandal christ ened Amanda, by its manufacturers. N'al Ies pas aux Bains de Mer Bans Amanda (don't go to the seaside without Amanda), stared the Parisian and his guests in the face from every wall. As much care and taste are displayed in these sea shore candals as Helen of T'roy or Phryne of Athens could have used in past ages. On the French shore there is doubt less some variety of color and form in the dress seen in the waves. Every Parisian dressmaker wishes to stamp even a bathing dress with his or her individual taste; but it is not by any means good form, or bon ton to show too much of the figure as ca-i oaturists would lead people to suppose, and indeed anything like immorality is left to those few individuals of bad taste and worse morals, who will always find a way to lake themselves conspicuous in public. In every country and on every shore there are thoughtless dudes with no idea beyond their own selfish vanity who encourage 'irls to make idiots of themselves, in no ouantry perhaps more so than in France. If a lbathing costnme is wanted more ex aggerated and extravagant than another's it will lie found either on the Trouville shore in France or on the variety stage in America; but rarely, if ever, on our east ern coasts, from Atlantic City to Narra ilUiasltt Pier. In most French watering laces part of the bathing area is roped for lein alone; only those with ladies and fam lies rbing slowed to bathe together. Ropes are deed as with us; but there are always L LATiIT iiii .iAN. itLe. m o ore ar t I" r r;orii" up . ud downI ontiinually during fithin I urs to gourd sgainst accidentsi and It ,re , nodstion universal which nuht be well ntroducd into Ane itsIa. If a Lather is empted to stay in tihe wate r too I lon it is lot necessary to wait till e lturts blle to iiecover it. His fret will grow cold. Now w Visri ill elfects, on 1rt- i nterint tihe cabin ir machinie hts bi l iml., or old wouiinu in Sblue Ibloomer and riough istraw ounet will • iig a foot bltli of hioi witer into wlhicth the test are plunged while dressing. 'ilihe benefit is inoaluslablo and the institutio: has saved many from aickness, if not fron coasumption. Men bathers are just as open to crlthiicis as the opposite sex only as they are no so attractive they are often spared observa tion. But of all comical shows on thi watering placo bench nothing comes up tt ~-, THE COUNTESS GOEIS eRIrIMrPINO. the fat old gentleman who cannot swim. The way in which he splashes like a water logged balloon amid the breakers, jumping up and down while he rubs his bald head or pats his protruberant stomach is a farce comedy of itself, but when he persists in making a ring with two or three children and a couple of forlorn old maids and dancing round and round in the surf it would compensate any feminine spectators for all the criticism lavished on girl bathers. Judging from personal observation, I should any that swimming is less rare as an accomplishment among English and French women than among America's daughters. And yet the undertow, or as it is called in some parts on our coasts "the sea-puss," is as strong in the Dover channel as in the open Atlantic. Every child should learn to swim. It may mean life not only to the child, but later on to others, as no fearless swimmer ever hesitated to plunge in when a fellow creature is drowning. To those going to Europe it may be use ful to know what are the most character istic bathing resorts. In England. >car borough, on the coast of Yorkshire, is far the most lively of watering places, though its more modest neighbor. Filey, is much more beautiful, the rocks and cliffs being more than picturesque. In the sonth, East bourne has the most attractions, Brighton being a winter resort for Londoners. Mar-' gate and Bamsaate are more like Coney Island. Bonrnemouth and the isle of Wight are most fashionable and admirable for bathing and yachting, but very expen sive. In France, Trouville is still queen of witering places. Boulogne has too many English visitors, but the bathing sands are ruperb. Ostend has great attractions for he German and Belgian visitors. D)ieppe as annually whole troops of French and Inglish. and may be well recommended as typical watering place. DAvrID WECHSLER. Copyright. 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