"Tunnebridge est à la même distance de Londres, que Fontainebleau
l'est de Paris. Ce qu'il y a de beau et de galant dans l'un et dans
l'autre sexe s'y rassemble au terns des eaux. La compagnie," etc.
--See Memoires de Grammont, Second Part, chap. iii.
When Grammont graced these happy springs,
And Tunbridge saw, upon her Pantiles,
The merriest wight of all the kings
That ever ruled these gay, gallant isles;
Like us, by day, they rode, they walked,
At eve they did as we may do,
And Grammont just like Spencer talked,
And lovely Stewart smiled like you.
The only different trait is this,
That woman then, if man beset her,
Was rather given to saying "yes,"
Because,--as yet, she knew no better.
Each night they held a coterie,
Where, every fear to slumber charmed,
Lovers were all they ought to be,
And husbands not the least alarmed.
Then called they up their school-day pranks,
Nor thought it much their sense beneath
To play at riddles, quips, and cranks,
And lords showed wit, and ladies teeth.
As--"Why are husbands like the mint?"
Because, forsooth, a husband's duty
Is but to set the name and print
That give a currency to beauty.
"Why is a rose in nettles hid
Like a young widow, fresh and fair?"
Because 'tis sighing to be rid
Of weeds, that "have no business there!"
And thus they missed and thus they hit,
And now they struck and now they parried;
And some lay in of full grown wit.
While others of a pun miscarried,
'Twas one of those facetious nights
That Grammont gave this forfeit ring
For breaking grave conundrumrites,
Or punning ill, or--some such thing;--
From whence it can be fairly traced,
Through many a branch and many a bough,
From twig to twig, until it graced
The snowy hand that wears it now.
All this I'll prove, and then, to you
Oh Tunbridge! and your springs ironical,
I swear by Heathcote's eye of blue
To dedicate the important chronicle.
Long may your ancient inmates give
Their mantles to your modern lodgers,
And Charles's loves in Heathcote live,
And Charles's bards revive in Rogers.
Let no pedantic fools be there;
For ever be those fops abolished,
With heads as wooden as thy ware,
And, heaven knows! not half so polished.
But still receive the young, the gay.
The few who know the rare delight
Of reading Grammont every day,
And acting Grammont every night.