AN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY POST-BAG FROM TUNBRIDGE WELLS
John Gay to Mrs. Howard.1
Tunbridge, July 12, 1723.
. . . We have a young lady here that is very particular in her desires. I have known some ladies, who, if ever they prayed, and were sure their prayers would prevail, would ask an equipage, a title, a husband, or matadores;2 but this lady,3 who is but seventeen, and has but thirty thousand pounds, places all her wishes in a pot of good ale. When her friends, for the sake of her shape and complexion, would dissuade her from it, she answers, with
1 Henrietta Howard (nee Hobart) married Charles Howard, third son of Henry, fifth Earl of Suffolk, who succeeded to the Earldom in 1731.
2 Matadores constitute a good hand at ombre and quadrille.
3 Probably Miss Mary Jennings, who died, at the age of thirty, in November 1736.