FOR He, that made, must new create us


Fragment at Tunbridge-Wells.

Primary Text:

No MS; 1713 Misc, 229-30*.

Secondary Eds:

Rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 142; rpt of 1903 Reynolds: 1930 Fausset, 67-8.


In what is left of the poem Anne Finch says satire useless, and urges everyone to carry on with their senseless behavior. Some "uncharacteristic" rhymes, e.g, "The Heart's unruly Palpitation/Will not be laid by a Quotation." The poem is very similar to "The Prodigy"; and perhaps come from one of those lampoons Anne Finch was of writing, and which, if she did, she mostly destroyed.

Addition (written 2006) by David McNeel.

I stumbled across your excellent essay on Anne Finch and Lady Montagu. Thank you very is very informative and thought-provoking. I was intrigued by the reference in Finch's Tunbridge Wells fragment to "Old Brown." I had been reading the letters of Sir Thomas Browne and noticed that he recommended Tunbridge waters for a melancholy patient. It seemed unlikely that his letters would have been known to Anne Finch but I decided to poke around a bit and found a listing for the following book. It is undoubtedly the "old Brown" Finch refers to.

Here is the bookseller's description:

BROWNE, DR.[JOSEPH], - An Account of the Wonderful Cures Perform'd by the Cold Baths. With Advice to the Water Drinker at Tunbridge, Hampstead, Astrope, Nasborough, and all the other Chalibeate Spaws ... To which is prefix'd a letter from Sir John Floyer, in answer to one of th London: Printed for J. How ... and R. Borough, and J. Baker, 1707. First Edition. 12mo. Lacking A1 (blank?). [46], 144 pp. Later quarter sheep and marbled boards. Rubbed, edges of final three leaves wormed in margins, not effecting text. "... the Luxury and Delicacy of the present Age, which may be attributed, in a great measure, to the Modern use of the hot Regimen, which, as you have so justly observ'd, has increased with the Interest of Foreign Trade, which has introduc'd Tobacco, Tea, and Coffee, with all the Brandy, Spirits, and Spices. And the causes of all our Rheumatisms, Defluctions, Intermitting-Fevers, &c. are chiefly owing to the late Practice of Drinking hot Liquors, and the pernicious use of Flannel and Woollen Shirts next to the Skin ..."

To counteract this, Browne recommends a regimen of cold baths and offers numerous case studies in support of his claims.

The work enjoyed a certain vogue, with a second edition appearing the same year. The long-term influence of Browne's work remains to be studied; indisputably, the notion that cold baths fostered character and health influenced the later history of the English nation, with many of its prominent men educated at boarding schools, where the customs of cold baths and flogging were only recently and reluctantly abandoned.

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