It had long been customary for the Inns of Court to entertain our
monarchs upon their accession to the crown with a revel and
pageant, and the last was exhibited in honour of King William,
when Nash was chosen to conduct the whole with proper decorum.
He was then a very young man, but succeeded so well in giving
satisfaction, that the king offered to give him the honour of
knighthood, which, however, Nash declined, saying:--`Please your
Majesty, if you intend to make me a knight, I wish it may be one
of your poor knights of Windsor; and then I shall have a fortune
at least able to support my title.'
In the Middle Temple he managed to rise `to the very summit of
second-rate luxury,' and seems to have succeeded in becoming
a fashionable _recherche_, being always one of those who were
called good company--a professed dandy among the elegants.
No wonder, then, that we subsequently find him Master of the
Ceremonies at Bath, then the theatre of summer amusements for all
people of fashion. It was here that he took to gambling, and was
at first classed among the needy adventurers who went to that
place; there was, however, the great difference between him and
them, that his heart was not corrupt; and though by profession a
gamester, he was generous, humane, and honourable.