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