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

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A Day at Tunbridge Wells
a change of acquaintances as well as a change of scene. It was easy, therefore, for a citizen at Bath or Tunbridge Wells to mix in good company; but he was a fool to be by this unduly elated, because it did not constitute a claim to be recognised elsewhere. " A maxim universally prevails among the English people, namely, to overlook and wholly neglect, on their return to the metropolis, all the con­nections they may have chanced to acquire during their residence at any of the medicinal wells," Smollett wrote in Ferdinand Count Fathom. " And this distinction is so scrupu­lously maintained, that two persons who lived in the most intimate correspondence at Bath and Tunbridge shall, in four-and-twenty hours, so totally forget their friendship as to meet in St. James's Park, without betraying the least token of recognition; so that one would imagine those mineral waters were so many streams issuing from the river Lethe." Some­times the unwritten law was broken. There is a story told of a great nobleman who at " The Wells " became acquainted with a man of inferior station, a pleasant enough person whom he met frequently at the watering-places. Some time after this individual had
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