A Day at Tunbridge Wells
be, not to know that the principal support of 1 The Wells,' your houses, and every beneficial circumstance attending the place, depends entirely on the company's frequenting the Rooms. When once that ceases, be assured 6 The Wells' will drop." Having condescended to give this explanation, he resumed his autocratic manner, and gave orders that the table should be broken up. That for the prosperity of the place it was essential the Rooms should be the usual resort there can be no doubt, for if once people had begun to form private gambling-parties, the disintegration of the society that visited Tunbridge was inevitable.
" But when to their Gaming the Ladies withdraw, Those Beauties are fled, which when walking you saw; Ungrateful the Scene which you there see display'd, Chance murd'ring those Features which Heaven had
made. If the fair Ones their Charms did sufficiently prize, Their Elbows they'd spare for the sake of their Eyes; And the Men too,—what Work ! it's enough, in good
faith is't, >
Of the nonsense of Chance to convince any Atheist."
These lines of Byrom show that early in the seventeenth century gambling at Tunbridge Wells was not confined to one sex, and indeed