The following quaint verses were found written on the wall in the Old Pump Room, many years ago
As Satan was flying o'er Harrogate Well,
His senses were charmed with the heat and the smell.
Says he- 'I don't know in what region I roam,
But I guess from the smell that I'm not far from home.'
When Old Betty* called after him - 'Satan, I say!
You seem mighty pleased with your journey to-day.
Pray stay till I've done, and we'll both go together ;
For I'm heartily tired of this changeable weather.'
But Satan well knew if for Betty he stayed,
His going back home would long be delayed ;
For Harrogate waters such wonders can do,
That the devil himself is oft robbed of his due."
* Old Betty formerly presided at the Sulphur Well, and dispensed the sweet waters to all
The following amusing description of the water at the Royal Pump Room is from a poetical account of "A Season at Harrogate, by Benjamin Blunderhead, Esq.," published about thirty years since
Of rotten eggs, brimstone, and salts make a hash,
And 'twill form something like this delectable mash
Nothing else in this world, I will wager a pasty,
So good in effect, ever tasted so nasty.
Nor does the whole kingdom afford, I am sure,
One scene like this well for a caricature
All ages and sexes, all ranks and degree,
All forms and all sizes, distorted you see;
Some grinning, some splutt'ring, some pulling wry faces;
In short, 'tis a mart for all sorts of grimaces.
But all you conceive-of age, infancy, youth
In contortion and whim must fall short of the truth.
One screws up his lips like the mouth of a purse;
While his neighbour's fierce grin gives a threat of a curse;
And a third, gasping, begs, with his eyes turn'd to heaven,
That his stomach will keep what so lately was given
But feeling the rebel will spurn at his pray'r,
Throws the rest of his bumper away in despair."