Over the border—The beginnings of the wells—Tunbridge Wells today—Mr. George Meredith—The Toad and other rocks—Eridge—Trespassing in Sussex—Saxonbury—Bayham Abbey—Lamberhurst—Withy-ham—The Sackvilles—A domestic autocrat—"To all you ladies now on land "—Withyham church--The Sackville monument—John Waylett—Beer and bells—Parish expenses—Buckhurst and Old Buckhurst—Ashdown Forest—Hart field and Bolebroke—A wild region.
I have made Tunbridge Wells our last centre, because it is convenient; yet as a matter of strict topography, the town is not in Sussex at all, but in Kent.
In that it is builded upon hills, Tunbridge Wells is like Rome, and in that its fashionable promenade is under the limes, like Berlin ; but in other respects it is merely a provincial English inland pleasure town with a past: rather arid, and except under the bracing conditions of cold weather, very tiring in its steepnesses. No wonder the small victoria and smaller pony carriage so flourish there.
The healthful properties of Tunbridge Wells were discovered, as I record a little later, in 1606; but it was not until Henrietta Maria brought her suite hither in 1630 that the success of the new cure was assured. Afterwards came Charles II. and his Court, and Tunbridge Wells was made; and thenceforward to fail to visit the town at the proper time each year (although one had the poorest hut to live in the while) was to write one's self down a boor. A more sympathetic patron was Anne, who