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which are comprebended several little flirts and vi. brations, 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 intinite 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 farther 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 on 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 inclosed about one of the largest sticks, can make as loud a crack as a woman of fitty with an ordinary fan.
• When the fans are thus discharged, the word o. 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 inportance. 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 soine 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 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
• 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 whetlier 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 conipiled 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 public. I shall have a general review on Thursday next; to which
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.
N° 103. THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 1711.
HOR. Ars Poet. v. 240.
Such all might hope to imitate with ease :
My friend the divine having been used with words of complaisance (which he thinks could be properly applied to no one living, and I think could be only spoken of him, and that in his absence) was so extremely offended with the excessive way of speaking civilities among us, that he made a discourse against it at the
club, which he concluded with this remark, 'that he had not heard one compliment made in our society since its commencement.' Every one was pleased with his conclusion; and as each knew his good-will to the rest, he was convinced that the many professions of kindness and service, which we ordinarily meet with, are not natural where the heart is well inclined ; but are a prostitution of speech, seldom intended to mean any part of what they express, never to mean all they express. Our reverend friend upon this topic, pointed to us two or three paragraphs on this subject in the first sermon of the first volume of the late archbishop's posthumous works *, I do not know that I ever read any thing that pleased me more, and as it is the praise of Longinus, that he speaks of the sublime in a style suitable to it, so one may say of this author upon sincerity, that he abhors any pomp of rhetoric on this occasion, and treats it with a more than ordinary simplicity, at once to be a preacher and an example. With what command of himself does he lay before us, in the language and temper of his profession, a fault, which by the least liberty and warmth of expression would be the most lively wit and satire ! But his heart was better disposed, and the good man chastised the great wit in such a manner, that he was able to speak as follows.
-Amongst too many other instances of the great corruption and degeneracy of the age wherein we live, the great and general want of sincerity in conversation is none of the least. The world is growu so full of dissimulation and compliment, that men's words are hardly any signification of their thoughts ;
* See Archbishop Tillotson's Sermon on Sincerity, from John, chap. i. ver. 47, being the last discourse he preached, July 29, 1694. He died Nov. 24, following.
and if any man measure his words by his heart, and speak as he thinks, and do not express more kindness to every man, than men usually lrave for any man, he can hardly escape the censure of want of breeding. The old English plainness and sincerity, that generous integrity of nature, and honesty of disposition, which always argues true greatness of mind, and is usually accompanied with undaunted courage and resolution, is in a great measure lost amongst us. There hath been a long endeavour to transform us into foreign manners and fashions, and to bring us to a servile imitation of none of the best of our neighbours, in some of the worst of their qualities. The dialect of conversation is now-a-days so swelled with vanity and compliment, and so surfeited (as I may say) of expressions of kindness and respect, that if a man that lived an age or two ago should return into the world again, he would really want a dictionary to help him to understand his own language, and to know the true intrinsic value of the phrase in fashion, and would hardly at first believe at what a low rate the highest strains and expressions of kindness imaginable do commonly pass in current payment: and when he should come to understand it, it would be a great while before he could bring himself with a good countenance and a good conscience to converse with men upon equal terms, and in their own way.
And in truth it is hard to say, whether it should more provoke our contempt or our pity, to hear what solemn expressions of respect and kindness will pass between men, almost upon no occasion; how great honour and esteem they will declare for one whom perhaps they never saw before, and how intirely they are all on the sudden devoted to his service and interest, for no reason; how infinitely and eter