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

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Beau Nash at Tunbridge Wells
described by Christopher Anstey in The New Bath Guide
" No city, dear Mother, this city excels In charming sweet sounds both of fiddles and bells; I thought, like a fool, that they only would ring For a wedding, or judge, or the birth of a King; But I found 'twas for me that the good-natured
people Rung so hard that I thought they would pull down the
steeple; So I took out my purse, as I hate to be shabby, And paid all the men when they came from the
Abbey; Yet some think it strange they should make such a
riot In a place where sick folk would be glad to be quiet; But I hear 'tis the business of this corporation To welcome in all the great men of the nation; For you know there is nothing diverts or employs The minds of great people like making a noise; So with bells they contrive all as much as they can To tell the arrival of any such man. If a broker, or statesman, a gamester, or peer, A naturalised Jew, or a bishop, come here, Or an eminent trader in cheese should retire Just to think of the business the State may require; With horns and with trumpets, with fiddles and drums, They'll strive to divert him as soon as he comes.
And music's a thing I shall truly revere, Since the city musicians so tickle my ear : For when we arrived here at Bath t'other day, They came to our lodgings on purpose to play."
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