BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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M ACAU LAY has drawn a vivid picture of Tunbridge Wells at the time of the Restoration, in a famous passage wherein he says : " When the Court, soon after the Restoration, visited Tunbridge Wells, there was no town ; but within a mile of the spring, rustic cottages, some­what cleaner and neater than the ordinary cottages of that time, were scattered over the heath. Some of these cabins were movable, and were carried on sledges from one part of the common to another. To these huts men of fashion, wearied with the din and smoke of London, sometimes came in the summer to breathe fresh air and to catch a glimpse of rural life. During the season a kind of fair was daily held near the fountain. The wives and daughters of the Kentish farmers came from the neighbouring villages with cream, cherries, wheat-ears, and quails. To chaffer with them, to flirt with them, to praise their straw hats and high heels, was a
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