Royal Tunbridge Wells
Heaven bless my soul, Mr. Johnson ! I ask your pardon if I have trodden on your corn.'
" ' You have done both, sir. You have trodden on the corn, and received the pardon,' said Dr. Johnson, and went on mumbling some verses, swaying to and fro, his eyes turned towards the ground, his hands behind him, and occasionally endangering with his great stick the honest, meek eyes of his companion-author."
Though, as has been said, Tunbridge Wells does not figure largely in literature, nevertheless the place was the resort of a certain literary set, and especially of the Blue-Stockings coterie. Mrs. Donellan was there in 1743, and Mrs. Montagu on her first visit two years later had the pleasure of the company of Dr. Edward Young, the author of Night Thoughts, and she had an opportunity—of which she may or may not have availed herself—to bandy compliments with old Colley Cibber. Samuel Richardson came in 1748, and in a letter to Miss Westcomb recorded, with unusual humour, his impressions of the company. Whiston, the translator of Josephus, was there at the same time, and the divine and the novelist foregathered. Whiston was a frequent visitor to 104