“The Bathing was so delightful this morning & Molly so pressing with me to enjoy myself that I believe I staid in rather too long, as since the middle of the day I have felt unreasonably tired. I shall be more careful another time, & shall not bathe tomorrow, as I had before intended.”
letter to Cassandra, from Lyme
September 14, 1804 
I love that feeling of having swum in the ocean for too long. I always wondered what a bathing machine was, which Jane would have used when she swam. It sounds like quite a contraption, but actually it was just a little cart to keep people from seeing you in your bathing clothes. More info on Wikipedia.
“Anne and Henrietta, finding themselves the earliest of the party the
next morning, agreed to stroll down to the sea before breakfast. They went to
the sands, to watch the flowing of the tide, which a fine south-easterly breeze
was bringing in with all the grandeur which so flat a shore admitted. They
praised the morning; gloried in the sea; sympathized in the delight of the
fresh-feeling breeze–and were silent;”
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 12
Sent to me by reader friend Bonnie, who says “I love words and those always come back to me each summer
when heading to the beach. Jane wrote those sentences almost like worship.”
I agree. I’m still in North Carolina recovering from all the activity of the holiday. My favorite thing is my daily stroll on the beach, now with my lab Bess in tow, who rolls and runs and buries her little nose in the sand.
“A little sea-bathing would set me up forever.”
Pride and Prejudice, volume 2, chapter 18
I just got my vacation pictures back — this is me with my friend Brenda’s little boys. So sweet. Hope you’re having lots of sunny days, and a little time at the beach.
I am back! The beach was wonderful, and I lingered and gazed as one deserving to look at the ocean. It is a healing place. Our last few days, the water turned to brilliant blues and greens–almost Caribbean. I’ve never seen it like that in North Carolina. It was gorgeous. Would like to post a pic, but I forgot my camera, so I’m waiting for a CD from Brenda. But here is a picture of Lyme–which, unfortunately, was anything but Caribbean when I was there–gray, cold and rainy. In July. Ugh!
Today’s quote is again from Persuasion:
“Oh, yes! I am quite convinced that, with very few exceptions, the sea-air always does good. There can be no doubt of its having been of the greatest service to Dr. Shirley, after his illness, last spring twelve-month. He declares himself, that coming to Lyme for a month did him more good than all the medicine he took; and that being by the sea always makes him feel young again. Now, I cannot help thinking it a pity that he does not live entirely by the sea.”
Henrietta Musgrove, hoping old Dr. Shirley will retire and give the parish to her cousin Charles Hayter, which would enable them to marry
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 12 (emphasis mine)
I am heading out today for a week in Cape Hatteras, NC — one of my favorite places in the world. JA Quote of the Day will return on Monday, June 4.
“The party from Uppercross passing down by the now deserted and melancholy looking rooms, and still descending, soon found themselves on the sea-shore; and lingering only, as all must linger and gaze on a first return to the sea, who ever deserve to look on it at all . . .”
on arriving in Lyme
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 11
“Edward Cooper is so kind as to want us all to come to Hamstall this summer, instead of going to the sea, but we are not so kind as to mean to do it. The summer after, if you please, Mr Cooper, but for the present we greatly prefer the sea to all our relations.”
A sentiment I understand!
Edward Cooper was Jane and Cassandra’s cousin, an evangelical clergyman and rector at Hamstall Ridware
letter to Cassandra
January 25, 1801