’In your Spectator of June the 7th you Transcribe a Letter sent to you from a new sort of Muster-master, who teaches Ladies the whole Exercise of the Fan; I have a Daughter just come to Town, who tho’ she has always held a Fan in her Hand at proper Times, yet she knows no more how to use it according to true Discipline, than an awkward School-boy does to make use of his new Sword: I have sent for her on purpose to learn the Exercise, she being already very well accomplished in all other Arts which are necessary for a young Lady to understand; my Request is, that you will speak to your Correspondent on my behalf, and in your next Paper let me know what he expects, either by the Month, or the Quarter, for teaching; and where he keeps his Place of Rendezvous. I have a Son too, whom I would fain have taught to gallant Fans, and should be glad to know what the Gentleman will have for teaching them both, I finding Fans for Practice at my own Expence. This Information will in the highest manner oblige,
SIR, Your most humble Servant,
As soon as my Son is perfect in this Art (which I hope will be in a Year’s time, for the Boy is pretty apt,) I design he shall learn to ride the great Horse, (altho’ he is not yet above twenty Years old) if his Mother, whose Darling he is, will venture him.
To the SPECTATOR.
The humble Petition of Benjamin Easie, Gent.
’That it was your Petitioner’s Misfortune to walk to Hackney Church last Sunday, where to his great Amazement he met with a Soldier of your own training: she furls a Fan, recovers a Fan, and goes through the whole Exercise of it to Admiration. This well-managed Officer of yours has, to my Knowledge, been the Ruin of above five young Gentlemen besides my self, and still goes on laying waste wheresoever she comes, whereby the whole Village is in great danger. Our humble Request is therefore that this bold Amazon be ordered immediately to lay down her Arms, or that you would issue forth an Order, that we who have been thus injured may meet at the Place of General Rendezvous, and there be taught to manage our Snuff-Boxes in such manner as we may be an equal Match for her:
And your Petitioner shall ever Pray, &c.
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No. 135. Saturday, August 4, 1711. Addison.
‘Est brevitate opus, ut currat Sententia ...’
I have somewhere read of an eminent Person, who used in his private Offices of Devotion to give Thanks to Heaven that he was born a Frenchman: For my own part, I look upon it as a peculiar Blessing that I was Born an Englishman. Among many other Reasons, I think my self very happy in my Country, as the Language of it is wonderfully adapted to a Man [who ] is sparing of his Words, and an Enemy to Loquacity.