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N° 102. Wednesday, June 27. [1711.]
Lusus animo debent aliquando dari,
I do not know whether to call the following Letter a satyr upon Coquettes, or a representation of their several fantastical accomplishments, or what other title to give it; but as it is I
shall communicate it to the publick. It will sufficiently explain 5 its own intentions, so that I shall give it my Reader at length without either Preface or Postscript.
“Women are armed with Fans as men with Swords, and some“ times do more execution with them. To the end therefore “that Ladies may be entire Mistresses of the weapon which " they bear, I have erected an Academy for the training up of
young women in the Exercise of the Fan, according to the “most fashionable airs and motions that are now practised at “ Court. The Ladies who carry Fans under me are drawn up
“ twice a day in my great Hall, where they are instructed in the 15 use of their Arms, and exercised by the following words of "command,
Handle your Fans,
“By the right observation of these few plain words of com
mand, a woman of a tolerable genius who will apply herself 25 “diligently to her exercise for the space of one half year, shall
“be able to give her Fan all the graces that can possibly enter “ into that little modish machine.
“But to the end that my Readers may form to themselves “a right notion of this Exercise, I beg leave to explain it to “them in all its parts. When my female Regiment is drawn “up in array, with every one her weapon in her hand, upon “my giving the word to handle their Fans, each of them
5 “shakes her Fan at me with a smile, then gives her right-hand “woman a tap upon the shoulder, then presses her lips with “the extremity of her Fan, then lets her arms fall in an easy “ motion, and stands in a readiness to receive the next word “ of Command. All this is done with a close Fan, and is “ generally learned in the first week.
“ The next motion is that of unfurling the Fan, in which are comprehended several little flurts and vibrations, as also “gradual and deliberate openings, with many voluntary fallings “ asunder in the Fan it self, that are seldom learned under a 15 “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, “ Rain-bows, and the like agreeable figures, that display them“selves 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 25 “me, who at their first entrance could not give a pop loud “ enough to be heard at the further end of a room,
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 36 "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 5 “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 fall"ing pin, or apply her self 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 15 “long visit) they all of them hasten to their arms, catch them “up in a hurry, and place themselves in their
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 masterpiece of the whole Exercise; but if a Lady does not mis“spend her time, she may make her self 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 25 as soon as ever I pronounce flutter your Fans, 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 30
“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, if you think it “may be of use to the publick. 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.
Monday, July 2. [1711.]
Hinc tibi copia
Having often received an invitation from my friend Sir ROGER DE COVERLY to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week accompanied him thither, and am settled with him for some time at his country-house, where I intend to form several of my ensuing Speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humour, lets me rise and go to bed when I please, dine at his own table or in my chamber
as I think fit, sit still and say nothing without bidding me be merry. When the Gentlemen of the country come to see him, he only shews me at a distance. As I have been walking in
his fields I have observed them stealing a sight of me over an 5 hedge, and have heard the Knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I hated to be stared at.
I am the more at ease in Sir Roger's family, because it consists of sober and staid persons; for as the Knight is the best master in the world, he seldom changes his servants; and as he is beloved by all about him, his servants never care for leaving him : by this means his domesticks are all in years, and grown old with their master. You would take his Valet de Chambre for his brother, his Butler is grey-headed, his
Groom is one of the gravest men that I have ever seen, and 15 his Coachman has the looks of a Privy-Counsellor. You see
the goodness of the Master even in the old house-dog, and in a grey pad that is kept in the stable with great care and tenderness out of regard to his past services, though he has been useless for several years.
I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure the joy that appeared in the countenances of these ancient domesticks upon my friend's arrival at his country-seat. Some of them could not refrain from tears at the sight of their old Master;
every one of them pressed forward to do something for him, 25 and seemed discouraged if they were not employed. At the
same time the good old Knight, with a mixture of the father and the master of the family, tempered the enquiries after his own affairs with several kind questions relating to themselves.
This humanity and good-nature engages every body to him, so 30 that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family are
in good humour, and none so much as the person whom he diverts himself with : on the contrary, if he coughs, or betrays any infirmity of old age, it is easy for a stander-by to observe a secret concern in the looks of all his servants.