People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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In the Eighteenth Century
with the Ladies at Play without any Intro­duction, only they do not admit of Visits at their Lodgings; but every Gentleman is equally received by the Fair Sex upon the Walks." If all had been of the same station in life perhaps no harm would have come of this abandonment of convention; but that of course was not the case. " This Indistinction is attended with one Inconvenience," Macky continues, " that Sharpers, whose Trade it is to go Genteel, and with a Fine Address, mix themselves in all the Diversions here, and with their false Dice very often send People from the Wells sooner than they would other­wise go." Yet, according to the same authority, it seems that these folk could easily be identi­fied. " These People are easily discover'd by their more than ordinary Assiduity to Strangers. They are the first that bid you beware of Sharpers, when they design themselves to pick your Pockets. All Shopkeepers are in Fee with these Fellows, and it is they who furnish the Dice for them." Yet, in spite of this warning, the rooks found their pigeons easily enough then, even as they do to-day when the Confidence Trick flourishes as serenely as of yore. An amusing story has been handed
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