Royal Tunbridge Wells
thought themselves unmarried coquettes, and that it were polite to make their husbands the last people in their notices. Is it not enough for these people to find themselves dressed and adorned at an expense, both as to quality and quantity, that would furnish two wives or mistresses : but they must show that those dresses and ornaments are bestowed upon them to please and delight anybody rather than the person whom it should be their principal study to please; and who perhaps confers, or contributes to confer, upon them the means by which they shine, and think themselves above him ? Secret history and scandal I love not—or I could tell you—you don't think what I could tell you.
But, waiving these invidious subjects, what if I could inform you, that among scores of belles, flatterers, triflers, who swim along these Walks, self-satisfied and pleased, and looking defiances to men (and to modesty, I had like to have said; for bashfulness seems
be considered as want of breeding in all I see here) : a pretty woman is as rare as a black swan ? And when one such starts up, she is nicknamed a Beauty, and old and young fellows are set a-spinning after her. 186