Royal Tunbridge Wells
desir'd, and any Person that looks like a Gentleman, has an agreeable Address, and behaves with Decency and Good Manners, may single out whom he pleases, that does not appear engaged, and may talk, rally, and say any decent Thing to them; but all this makes no Acquaintance, nor is it so taken or understood. If a Gentleman desires to enter into any particular Acquaintance, he must do it by proper Application, not by the ordinary Meeting on the Walks; for the Ladies will ask no Gentleman there to go off of the Walk, or invite any to their Lodgings, except it be a sort of Ladies of whom I am not now speaking. As for Gaming, Sharping, Intriguing, as also Fops, Beaus, and the like, Tunbridge is as full of these as most other publick Places." Yet, evidently, the conditions were improving, for, says Defoe, in conclusion, " A Man of Character and good Behaviour cannot be there any time, but he may single out such Company as may be suitable to him."
From these two chroniclers we of necessity derive our impressions of the spa, and both are agreed as to the licentiousness of many of the visitors and of their unquenchable desire to gossip. " I believe there is no Place in the 90