TUNBRIDGE WELLS. 211
refreshing pastime to voluptuaries sick of the airs of actresses and maids of honour. Milliners, toymen, and jewellers, came down from London, and opened a bazaar under the trees. In one booth the politician might find his coffee and the 1 London Gazette'; in another were gamblers playing deep at basset; and on fine evenings the fiddles were in attendance, and there were morris-dances on the elastic turf of the bowling green. In 1685 a subscription had just been raised among those who frequented the wells for building a church, which the Tories, who then domineered everywhere, insisted on dedicating to St. Charles the Martyr."
Tunbridge Wells, one of the most charming of inland towns, has never lost its attractions, and if it is no longer in a special resort of the court and the citizens, as in the days of Queen Anne, it has remained solidly prosperous. There is a glimpse of the manners and customs of the gay watering-place in a broadside printed in 1706, and entitled—
THE TUNBRIDGE PRODIGY.
Protect our state, and let our Marlbro' thrive, Keep our crowned heads this wondrous year alive; Preserve our palaces from wind and flame,