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

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In the Eighteenth Century
but he gave way on receiving a small bribe. On the Sabbath when the psalm was given out, Sidney remarked that the house was not yet let; whereupon Gilbert declared he had heard it was. Sidney retorted that Okill's practice was to change the psalm when that was the case; Gilbert persisted that his information came from a reliable person. The two men squabbled, and at last Gilbert asked Sidney if he would back his opinion. " Yes," said the pigeon, " for ten guineas." The bet was made, and, of course, Gilbert won. The only doubt­ful part of the narrative is the chronicler's statement that Sidney paid. If he did, as­suredly he shamefully outraged the conventions of his order.
Ten years after Macky's book appeared, Defoe took up the tale, and we find that a decade had made little alteration in the conventions, or lack of conventions, at the watering-place. Indeed, as the passage appears unchanged in the second edition of A Tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain, which was not published until 1738, for a decade we may read twenty-four years. " Here," says Defoe, writing at " The Wells," " you have all the Liberty of Conversation that can be
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