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

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Royal Tunbridge Wells
Temple. He learnt little law, but made him­self well acquainted with the pleasures of the town, though neither his social position nor his means enabled him to mix in the company he would have chosen. " Though very poor, he was very fine : he spread the little gold he had in the most ostentatious manner, and though the gilding was but thin, he laid it on as far as it would go," Goldsmith described him at this period of his life. " Those who know the town cannot be unacquainted with such a character as I describe; one who, though he may have dined in private upon a banquet served cold from a cook's shop, shall dress at six for the side box; one of those whose wants are only known to their laundress and tradesmen, and their fine clothes to half the nobility; who spend more in chair hire than in house-keeping, and prefer a bow from a lord to a dinner from a commoner." In other words, Nash was a pinchbeck dandy, usually the most contemptible of beings, yet not so, perhaps, in this case, for, curiously enough, the life he led, though degrading, did not degrade him. He lived, it is fair to sur­mise, in the clouds, weaving fancy pictures of the day when he would meet " the best 132
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