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Tour through the Eastern Counties of England, 1722, Daniel Defoe , and who made the second letter in the word cabal, a word formed by that famous satirist Andrew Marvell, to represent the five heads of the politics of that time, as the word smectymnus was on a former occasion. I shall believe nothing so scandalous of the ladies of this town and the country round it as a late writer insinuates. That the ladies round the country appear mighty gay and agreeable at the time of the fair in this town I acknowledge; one hardly sees such a show in any part of the world; but to suggest they come hither, as to a market, is so coarse a jest, that the gentlemen that wait on them hither (for they rarely come but in good company) ought to resent and correct him for it. It is true, Bury Fair, like Bartholomew Fair, is a fair for diversion, more than for trade; and it may be a fair for toys and for trinkets, which the ladies may think fit to lay out some of their money in, as they see occasion. But to judge from thence that the knights’ daughters of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Suffolk—that is to say, for it cannot be understood any otherwise, the daughters of all the gentry of the three counties—come hither to be picked up, is a way of speaking I never before heard any author have the assurance to make use of in print. The assembly he justly commends for the bright appearance of the beauties; but with a sting in the tail of this compliment, where he says they seldom end without some considerable match or intrigue; and yet he owns that during the fair these assemblies are held every night.


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