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Worthing is on the coast of Sussex. It is one of those little seaside towns, like Brighton or Weymouth, which were of no consequence whatever until the fashionable part of society began to visit them. Like the more famous Bath they are resorted to ostensibly for reasons of health, but in reality for ladies and gentlemen to idle away time and resources that would have been better spent in attending to their estates. Some defend them on the grounds that they stimulate local trade and provide work for the people; but too often one finds they create a fevered atmosphere of luxury and dissipation, drive up the cost of necessaries and attract very much the wrong sort of visitor.

Worthing was a mere fishing village when it first came to the notice of his late Majesty King George III, who was persuaded by his doctors that the health of the Princess Amelia, one of his Majesty's daughters, might benefit if she bathed in the sea water there. Worthing thereupon ceased to be a fishing village and became the resort of fashion and gaiety. It is at Worthing that the shameful wager concerning Miss Hookham-Nix takes place.