7 SEPTEMBER 1850, Page 13


" MAnnrats " writes to the Leading burns", complaining, for the hundredth time, that bathers of the softer sex at Brighton are an- noyed by the indecent curiosity of men. One person whom, with a wildness of imagination beyond poetry, Manners thinks it pos- sible to find a "gentleman,' hired a boat to row up and down where ladies were in the water. That society cannot settle this matter, does not say much either for the intelligence or the moral tone of our day. Were society endowed with a truly healthy feel- ing, brutes like the " gentleman " would be scouted in every circle' and punished by that most deplorable form of exile the being "seat to Coventry." XII .&merica they would promptly settle his curiosity by " lynching " him. In England we have not sufficient force of character to put down this species of brute. Indeed, the bathing question is one of the greatest opprobriums of our intelligence And cultivation. We are sometimes pestered with complaints against bathers on behalf of perambulating ladies; at another time, bathing men complain that women will wander too near ; then we have suppression of a most healthful exercise, or its limitation to the most comfortless hours ; and now we have a revival of ,oid complainte against such things as this Brighton gentleman. The state of public feeling seems to be a permanent oonflict between prudery and prurient coquetry. We 'suspect that prudery sets the bad example. If bathing; under due regulations as to costume, were more common—as common as healthful con- aiderations would make it—there would not be this wonderment and indecent rush to catch a glance at some wet Godiva. It is shameful that the opportunities afforded by-our coasts—especially such a noble beach as that at Brighton—should be rendered un- availing by the brutal impertinence of the fewt- 'Why does not a manly association of true gentlemen take the matter in hand, by setting the fashion of bathing in proper style, and.-by taking pos- session of the marine frontier so to castigate miserable éowards like Manneres sea-serpent ? It would be a chivalrous emprise well suited to the day. The Knights of the Bath would need no harder weapon than the scoop of their own right hand and the good sea-water.