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 fill’d with so many Zephyrs and gentle Breezes as are very refreshing in that Season of the Year, tho’ 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 disciplin’d 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 Coquet 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, entitled 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
[Footnote 1: that]
[Footnote 2: is]
[Footnotes 3: that]
* * * * *
No. 103. Thursday, June 28, 1711. Steele.
Speret idem frusta sudet frustraque laboret
Ausus idem ...’