Captain Webb, a merchant mate, originally trained in the Conway
training-ship, Liverpool, and remarkable for many feats of pluck and prowess in the water, has this week beaten every swimmer on record, and made himself a name in history. He has swum, without aids or appliances, across the British Channel. Diving into the water from the Admiralty Pier, Dover, at 12.56 p.m. on Tuesday, he swam on steadily through the afternoon and evening, and night and following morning, towards the French coast, and touched ground off the Calais pier at 10.45 a.m. on Wednesday, utterly exhausted, but alive and unhurt ! He was, of course, carried away by currents, and is calculated to have swum 32 miles ; but from first to last he was unassisted, except by occasional doses of stimulant or food, and kept on steadily swimming for twenty-two hours. The weather was fine, and for eighteen hours the sea was calm, but during the last four the waves broke over him, and greatly distressed him by slapping his face and stinging his eyes. A jelly-fish, too, either stung or struck his shoulder, and made him feel faint. He appears to possess unusual power of retaining heat in his system, but the continuous exertion is unprecedented, and upsets all previous calculations of the strain the human frame can endure. He swam at least twelve times as far as Leander or Lord Byron.