Royal Tunbridge Wells
" And when you've got rid of these Vermin, And scarcely can get a Night's Rest, You are wak'd betimes in the Morning With Musick that's none of the best. Two Fiddles, Bassoon and a Hautboy, Would fright all the Devils in Hell; And if, after this, you love Touting, I heartily wish you farewell."
Tunbridge Wells, as its fame spread, became less and less a health resort. Many still went to drink the water, of course, but the majority were drawn thither by the amusements to be indulged in, and by the opportunity offered to meet their friends. " The place you are in has strangely filled your head with cures and physicians," Mrs. Howard wrote to John Gray in the summer of 1723; " but (take my word for it) many a fine lady has gone there to drink the waters without being sick, and many a man has complained of the loss of his heart, who has had it in his own possession." " When I came to the Wells ... I found a great deal of good Company there," Defoe recorded in the following season. " The ladies that appear here, are indeed the Glory of the Place; the coming to the Wells to drink the Water seems to be little more than a mere Matter of Custom; 82