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

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Royal Tunbndge Wells
taught the people of fashion how to buy their pleasures, and to procure that ease and felicity they sought for, without diminishing the happi­ness of others." Of course, at first there was opposition, as in the early days of his rule in the west, but there were few who attempted to stand up to him, and his rough-and-ready wit usually gave him the advantage in any verbal encounter. Once, at " The Wells," a lady asked him whose child he was, and before he could reply, a young nobleman remarked, " Nash is the child of Chance, who left him to be nursed by Folly, and he has been always maintained at the expense of the public." There was enough truth in this sally to cause a laugh; but Nash only whistled. Asked why he did so, " I always whistle," he made answer, " when his Lordship's led-captain is absent, so that the company may know when he has said a good thing." Far better, and more dignified was his retort to Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, when she rallied him upon his obscure origin, and compared him to Gil Bias, who was ashamed of his father. " No, Madam," he said splendidly, " I seldom men­tion my father in company, not because I have any reason to be ashamed of him, but because 150
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