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Beau Nash: King of Bath. By Idris Williams. WELSHMEN have added lustre to the country which gave them birth in many spheres, and contributed a great deal to the countries of their adoption. It is doubtful, however, whether many in the Prin- cipality will desire to include "The Beau Nash" in the annals of her famous sons. Nevertheless, in his own peculiar sphere, Richard Nash excelled and grew famous; though it was a doubtful and ill-sounding fame. Bath City owes its early and rapid rise to dis- tinction as a health resort as much to him as it does to its waters. This extraordinary individual was born at Goat Street, Swansea, in 1674. His doting well-to-do parents intended him for the Law. But neither the education received at Carmarthen School or Jesus College, Oxford, served to curb his exuberance of spirits. He never got "drunk with intellectual vision." In fact, he only pretended to sip the rich vintage of classical learning. He preferred to sedulously court the goddess, Pleasure. An intrigue with an artful lady at Oxford obliged him to betake himself to the army, where his parents purchased for him the rank of ensign. For a short time the exacting demands of military duty and the restraints of subordination effectively checked his love of dissipation and gallantry. His pas- sion for pleasure, however, being only suppressed and not subliminated, soon found an outlet. After some breaches of military discipline, with the consequent rigorous punishment, he left the army in disgust, and entered as a student in the Inner Temple. Here his natural talents were soon requisitioned. He was born to empire along the lines of his own peculiar natural bent. Though he failed to win his spurs in the field of military exploits, he was soon to earn fame and fortune as a knight in the field of gaiety and revelry. It had long been the custom for the Inner Temple to entertain any new Sovereign with a banquet and pageant. Nash was entrusted with the task or organising the pageant for the entertainment of William III. at the Guildhall. The Universal Magazine reported the event thus "The entertainment at the Guildhall was the most splendid, most elegant, most sumptuous, and best conducted, of any that has been given in this kingdom in the memory of man the nobility and foreign ministers unanimously acknowledged it was beyond anything they had ever seen." So delighted was William III. with the arrange- ments, that he is said to have offered to knight Nash there and then. For some inexplicable reason Nash declined the honour. This success, however, determined for him his career in life. He needed no further indication as to where and in what capacity he might attain fame and fortune. In 1704, he was induced to visit Bath. Here he speedily became conspicuous as an organiser of public amusements, and for his wit, taste and gallantry. He was chosen master of ceremonies under the title of "Arbiter Elegantiarum." He was the second person to hold this office, his pre- decessor, Captain Webster, having been killed in a duel about the year 1703. Nash soon proved that he was eminently qualified for the situation. "He was invested with the fullest power to order, arrange, and improve, the manners of the com- pany, the routine of amusements, and the points of etiquette." He discharged his duties with such firmness, tact, and propriety, as to be regarded as the father of the city. Many anec- dotes are on record which show the firmness of the man, and which also reveal his profligacy. Nevertheless, under his auspices the City rose in elegance, splendour and distinction. Mixed bathing was the order of the day, and on one occasion a dissolute gallant was so charmed by the adornment and figure of a certain lady, that he was led to descant upon her beauty in the presence of his own wife and Nash. Whereupon Nash took him by the collar and waistband, and ducked him in the bath. The consequence was a duel which resulted in a wounded sword arm for the defender of the fair sex. This event really, more than anything, led to his appoint- ment as master of ceremonies. It also prompted him, on the assumption of the office, to issue an edict prohibiting the wearing of swords at Bath, "except by such as were not entitled to wear them at any other place." Amongst other things which this worthy did, was to draw up and publish a body of rules, eleven in number, for the improvement of etiquette and the general conduct of amusements. These rules are curious reading, and show the wit of the man, also an exact taste and a true insight into human nature. His code, which is too lengthy for reproduction here in its entirety, had the desired effect. The general outward decorum of visitors improved considerably. The following are some of the rules "Rules by General Consent Determined 1742." Rule No. 3 reads "That gentlemen of fashion, never appearing in a morning before the ladies in gown and caps, show breeding and respect." No. IV. "That no person takes it ill that any one goes to another's play or breakfast, and not to theirs-except captious by nature." No. V. "That no gentleman give his tickets for the balls to any but gentlemen, — N.B. Unless he has none of his acquaintance." No. VIII. "That elder ladies and children be content with a second bench at the ball, as being past or not come to perfection." No. XI. "That all repeaters of lies and scan- dals be shunned by all company-except such as have been guilty of the same crime."