Swimmers to Sycorax

Swimmers. (1) Leander used to swim across the Hellespont every night, to visit Hero.—Musœus: De Amore Herois et Leandri.

(2) Lord Byron and lieutenant Ekenhead accomplished the same feat in 1 hr. 10 min., the distance (allowing for drifting) being four miles.

(3) A young native of St. Croix, in 1817, swam over the sound “from Cronenburgh [? Cronberg] to Graves” in 2 hr. 40 min., the distance being six English miles.

(4) Captain Boyton, in May, 1875, swam or floated across the Channel from Grisnez to Fan Bay (Kent) in 23 hr.

(5) Captain Webb, August 24, 1875, swam from Dover to Calais, a distance of about thirty miles including drift, in 22 hr. 40 min.

(6) H. Gurr was one of the best swimmers ever known. J. B. Johnson, in 1871, won the championship for swimming.

Swing (Captain), a name assumed by certain persons who, between 1830 and 1833, used to send threatening letters to those who used threshing-machines. The letters ran thus—

Sir, if you do not lay by your threshing-machine, you will hear from Swing,

Swiss Family Robinson. This tale is an abridgment of a German tale by Joachim Heinrich Kampe.

Switzerland (Franconian), the central district of Bavaria.

The Saxon Switzerland, the district of Saxony both sides of the river Elbê.

Switzers, guards attendant on a king, irrespective of their nationality. So called because at one time the Swiss were always ready to fight for hire.

The king, in Hamlet, says, “Where are my Switzers?” i.e. my attendants; and in Paris to the present day we may see written up, Parlez au Suisse (“speak to the porter”), be he Frenchman, German, or of any other nation.

Law, logicke, and the Switzers may be hired to fight for anybody.—Nashe: Christ’s Tears over Jerusalem (1594).

Swiveller (Mr. Dick), a dirty, smart young man, living in apartments near Drury Lane. His language was extremely flowery, and interlarded with quotations: “What’s the odds,” said Mr. Swiveller, à propos of nothing, “so long as the fire of the soul is kindled at the taper of conwiviality and the wing of friendship never moults a feather?” His dress was a brown body-coat with a great many brass buttons up the front, and only one behind, a bright check neckcloth, a plaid waistcoat, soiled white trousers, and a very limp hat, worn the wrong side foremost to hide a hole in the brim. The breast of his coat was ornamented with the cleanest end of a very large pocket-handkerchief; his dirty wristbands were pulled down and folded over his cuffs; he had no gloves, and carried a yellow cane having a bone handle and a little ring. He was for ever humming some dismal air. He said min for “man,” forgit, jine; called wine or spirits “the rosy,” sleep “the balmy,” and generally shouted in conversation, as if making a speech from the chair of the “Glorious Apollers” of which he was perpetual “grand.” Mr. Swiveller looked amiably towards Miss Sophy Wackles, of Chelsea. Quilp introduced him as clerk to Mr. Samson Brass, solicitor, Bevis Marks. By Quilp’s request, he was afterwards turned away, fell sick of a fever, through which he was nursed by “the marchioness” (a poor house-drab), whom he married, and was left by his aunt Rebecca an annuity of £125.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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