« AnteriorContinuar »
heavy outlay of the summer trip. But he might be very well able to afford to go to the seaside in the spring, instead of waiting for the fashionable season. You may get a house or lodgings for a guinea and a half which would cost you five or seven guineas a week in August or September. In various other ways the expenditure is materially diminished. It is not as if you lost anything by going in the spring instead of later on. You lose something in the way of society, but you gain more in the way of Nature. In other respects, you are a gainer. He who has
, never dwelt by the seaside in spring, watched the magical lights, heard its manifold voices, has missed the greatest balm and beauty which it owns.
We cannot but think that the blessings and benefits of a seaside residence might be conferred much more widely than is now the case. One is sorry to think of the crowds of operatives, labourers, and small shopkeepers who, 'in populous cities pent,' pass years without seeing the sea, except through the fugitive joy of a cheap excursion train. If they are to manage a longer excursion, it must be in the early days of spring. At this time of the year there are numbers of small householders who would be glad to let their lodgings for no more than a proportionate share of the rent, or get their place aired at the very minimum of profit. Could not many poor people bring their work down with them? or by a careful
examination of the labour market, find seaside places where their labour would be acceptable, and perhaps seaside people be enabled to get to London town for a time?
One great difficulty would be the railway fare; but the railway companies in such instances would be inclined to act liberally. Might not benevolent people, in town or at the seaside, do all they can to promote such a movement ? John Stuart Mill longed for a time when English people would work for fewer days in the year, and for fewer hours of the day. We all try to look hopefully to a time of general improvement and prosperity in the condition and prospects of the country; and it would be a glorious thing if our working classes could count on a spring-time holiday on the coast.
In a flying visit to the coast, at this season of the year, it is curious to take count of the social pheno
The little watering-place is beginning to wake up.
For a long time it has been in a state of suspended animation. The tradesmen have been moderately and mildly subsisting upon each other. The chronic invalids have been hermetically sealed up, and the maiden ladies have been addicted to tea and turn out. The amusements have not been violent. A few roughs from town have blacked their faces, and imposed upon the credulity of the local public as Christy Minstrels. Our chief local savant has given a lecture on the ‘Polarisation of Light,
which aroused only a languid enthusiasm. The * Penny Readings' have been a comparative failure. People have insisted on reading who did not know how to read; and it will require a generation of School Boards to restore correct notions of accent and pronunciation.
Moreover, some young men, under the harmless title of Selections from the Writings of Mr. Maddison,' actually performed Box and Coc at a Penny Reading, to the great scandal of the more serious part of the community. The pier gives the true pulse of the community. When you first come down you have it all to yourself. But the weather brightens. A nursemaid, with a perambulator, breaks the horrid stillness.' The next fine day an old woman opens a stall at the end of the pier, and you buy a set of photographic views to encourage her. Finally, a German band—have they been hid away, as troglodites, during the winter ?-gives us music. Unwittingly you have inaugurated the season. At first you paced the pier, as it were the deck of a ship, in utter loneliness; but society has revived with the spring
It is in the early spring, just as the pleasureseekers are thinking of going to the seaside, that the invalids prepare to leave. They will linger there just for a little while. Already they are meditating leaving off of wraps and respirators. The vital influences of the year warm and cherish them; they
rely less upon the chemist and the physician. As the fine days multiply, they exchange congratulations. They say to themselves that, before they go away, they will see something of the country. They have stayed so long fronting the sea through the winter months that it becomes a relief to get into the genuine country-side, where the lanes are white with May, where the rich vivid tender greens of spring have that brilliancy which so soon fade away, where the high tide of renewed life seems to vibrate through all Nature.
Invalids, especially invalids in a state of convalescence, are a very interesting class of people. But you ought to be content either with society or without it in the brief spring sojourn at the sea. Solitude has a natural tendency to renovate mental and moral stamina. Introduce yourself to yourself, and cultivate your own better acquaintance. Study the book on the subject which you have so long intended, but for which the necessary leisure has hitherto failed to
The brain is a part of the human body, and requires exercise as much as the human leg. When you get back to town your friends will truly tell you. how well you are looking, and you will give them reason to own that you have a nature that expands, and does not retrogade, with each renewing spring.
Recent Progress in Sanitary Science.
A NEW kind of sanitary work has been intro
duced in Glasgow, of the probable value of which a high estimate may fairly be formed. What is described as a 'self-acting apparatus' for collecting the floating atmospheric impurities has been set up in six different parts of the town; and by the elimination of the matters thus collected, and particularly the comparison of them with other analogous specimens taken in the outlying country and elsewhere, it is believed that valuable information will be gained as to the causes of the healthfulness or otherwise of various neighbourhoods, the origin of epidemics, and the like. It is now many years since it has become evident to all interested in sanitary measures, that systematic observations on the nature of air-contaminations are at least as important as those of the pollutions of the water supply; and a great amount of knowledge on some points connected with this question has already been collected.
The evil effects on human life of such floating