Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

The next motion is that of Unfurling the Fan, in which are comprehended several little flirts and vibrations, as also gradual and deliberate openings, with many voluntary fallings asunder in the fan itself, that are seldom learned under a month's practice. This part of the exercise pleases the spectators more than any other, as it discovers on a sudden an infinite number of cupids, garlands, altars, birds, beasts, rainbows, and the like agreeable figures, that display themselves to view, whilst every one in the regiment holds a picture in her hand.

“Upon my giving the word to Discharge their Fans, they give one general crack, that may be heard at a considerable distance when the wind sits fair. This is one of the most difficult parts of the exercise; but I have several ladies with me, who at their first entrance could not give a pop loud enough to be heard at the further end of a room, who can now Discharge a Fan in such a manner, that it shall make a report like a pocket-pistol. I have likewise taken care (in order to hinder young women from letting off their fans in wrong places or unsuitable occasions) to shew upon what subject the crack of a Fan may come in properly. I have likewise invented a Fan, with which a girl of sixteen, by the help of a little wind which is enclosed about one of the largest sticks, can make as loud a crack as a woman of fifty with an ordinary Fan.

“When the Fans are thus discharged, the word of command in course is to Ground their Fans. This teaches a lady to quit her Fan gracefully when she throws it aside, in order to take up a pack of cards, adjust a curl of hair, replace a falling pin, or apply herself to any other matter of importance. This part of the exercise, as it only consists in tossing a Fan with an air upon a long table (which stands by for that purpose) may be learned in two days time as well as in a twelvemonth.

« When my female regiment is thus disarmed, I generally let them walk about the room for some time; when on a sudden (like ladies that look upon their watches after a long visit) they all of them hasten to their arms, catch them up in a hurry, and place themselves in their proper stations, upon my calling out Recover your Fans. This part of the exercise is not difficult, provided a woman applies her thoughts to it.

“The Fluttering of the Fan is the last,' and, indeed, the master-piece of the whole exercise; but if a lady does not mis. spend her time, she' may make herself mistress of it in three months. I generally lay aside the dog-days and the hot time of the summer for the teaching this part of the exercise; for as soon as ever I pronounce Flutter your Far«, the place is filled with so many zephyrs and gentle breezes as are very refreshing in that season of the year, though they might be dangerous to ladies of a tender constitution in any other.

“There is an infinite variety of motions to be made use of in the Flutter of a Fan: there is the angry flutter, the modest flutter, the timorous flutter, the confused flutter, the merry flutter, and the amorous flutter. Not to be tedious, there is scarce any emotion in the mind which does not produce a suitable agitation in the Fan; insomuch, that if I only see the Fan of a disciplined lady, I know very well whether she laughs, frowns, or blushes. I have seen a Fan so very angry, that it would have been dangerous for the absent lover who provoked it to have come within the wind of it; and at other times so very languishing, that I have been glad for the lady's sake the lover was at a sufficient distance from it. I need not add, that a Fan is either a prude or coquette, according to the nature of the person who bears it. To conclude my letter, I must acquaint you, that I have from my own observations compiled a little treatise for the use of my scholars, intitled, The Passions of the Fan; which I will communicate to you,

1 Tho fluttering fan be Zephiretta's care.

RAPB OF THE LOCK, Canto II. 112.-A

if
you

think it may be of use to the public. I shall have a general review on Thursday next: to which you: shall be very welcome if you will honour it with your presence.

“I am,” &c.

P. S. “I teach young gentlemen the whole art of gallanting a Fan.

N. B. “I have several little plain Fans made for this use, to avoid expence.”

L.

No. 105. SATURDAY, JUNE 30.

-Id arbitror
Adprime in vita esse utile, ne quid nimis.

TER. AND. Act 1, Sc. 1.
I take it to be a principal rule of life, not to be too much addicted to any one thing.

My friend Will Honeycomb values himself very

much

upon what he calls the knowledge of mankind, which has cost him many disasters in his youth; for Will reckons every misfortune that he has met with among

and every rencounter among the men, as parts of his education, and fancies he should never have been the man he is, had not he broke windows, knocked down constables, disturbed honest people with his midnight serenades, and beat up a lewd woman's quarters, when he was a young fellow. The engaging in adventures of this nature Will calls the studying of mankind; and terms this knowledge of the town, the knowledge of the world. Will ingenuously confesses, that for half his life his head aked every morning with reading of men over-night, and at present comforts himself under certain pains which he endures from time to time, that without them he could not have

the women,

been acquainted with the gallantries of the age. This will looks upon as the learning of a gentleman, and regards all other kinds of science as the accomplishments of one whom he calls a scholar, a bookish man, or a philosopher.

For these reasons Will shines in mixed company, where he has the discretion not to go out of his depth, and has often a certain way of making his real ignorance appear a seeming one. Our club, however, has frequently caught him tripping, at which times they never spare him. For as Will often insults us with the knowledge of the town, we sometimes take our revenge upon him by our knowledge of books.

He was last week producing two or three letters which he writ in his youth to a coquette lady. The raillery of them was natural, and well enough for a meer man of the town; but, very unluckily, several of the words were wrong spelt. Will laught this off at first as well as he could, but finding himself pushed on all sides, and especially by the templar, he told us, with a little passion, that he never liked pedantry in spelling, and that he spelt like a gentleman, and not like a scholar: upon this will had re course to his old topic of shewing the narrow-spiritedness, the pride, and ignorance of pedants; which he carried so far, that upon my retiring to my lodgings, I could not forbear throwing together such reflections as occurred to me upon that subject.

A man who has been brought up among books, and is able to talk of nothing else, is a very indifferent companion, and what we call a pedant. But, methinks, we should enlarge the title, and give it every one that does not know how to think out of his

profession, and particular way of life.

What is a greater pedant than a mere man of the town? Ba: him the play-houses, a catalogue of the reigning beauties, and an account of a few fashionable distempers that have befallen him, and you strike him dumb. How many a pretty gentleman'sa knowledge lies all within the verge of the court ? He will tell you the names of the principal favourites, repeat the shrewd sayings of a man of quality, whisper an intrigue that is not yet blown upon by common fame; or, if the sphere of his observations is a little larger than ordinary, will perhaps enter into all the incidents, turns, and revolutions in a game of ombre.

When he has gone thus far, he has shewn you the whole circle of his accomplishments, his parts are drained, and he is disabled from any farther conversation. What are these but rank pedants ? and yet these are the men who value themselves most on their exemption from the pedantry of colleges.

I might here mention the military pedant, who always talks in a camp, and is storming towns, making lodgments, and fighting battles from one end of the year to the other. Every thing he speaks smells of gunpowder; if you take away his artillery from him, he has not a word to say for himself. I might likewise mention the law pedant, that is perpetually putting cases, repeating the transactions of Westminster-Hall, wrangling with you upon the most indifferent circumstances of life, and not to be convinced of the distance of a place, or of the most trivial point in conversation, but by dint of argument. The stato pedant is wrapt up in news, and lost in politics. If you mention either of the kings of Spain or Poland, he talks very notably; but if you go out of the

a Many a man, is used in familiar discourse, for many men. of speaking is anomalous, and seemingly absurd, but may, in some sort, be accounted for, by observing that the indefinite particle “a

one," in reference to more. So that, many a man, is the same thing, as one man of many. But we cannot, that is, we do not, say interrogatively, many a man” for, how many men ;" I know not for what reason, unless it be that the intensive adverb, how,prefixed to “many,” implies so great a number, as makes the anomaly of the expression more shocking: I think this must be the reason, because, when "how" is applied to the verb and not to the adjective, we still use this form of speech, interrogatively; as, hou is many a man distressed by his own folly! i. e. how much is many a mar distressed—which shews, that the other question is not asked, because the sanse of “manyis heightened by the prefix.-H.

This way

66

means

how

« ZurückWeiter »