« VorigeDoorgaan »
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 show upon what 10 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 fallen pin, or apply herself to any other matter of importance. 20 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 learnt 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 30 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 misspend 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 of 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 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, 10 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 a coquette, according to the nature of the person who bears it. To con20 clude 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 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," etc.
"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 30 avoid expense."
XIV. SIR ROGER AT HOME.
Monday, July 2, 1711.
Hinc tibi Copia
Manabit ad plenum, benigno
Ruris honorum opulenta cornu.-Hor. 1 Od. xvii. 14.
Here Plenty's liberal horn shall pour
HAVING often received an invitation from my friend Sir Roger de Coverley 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 in- 10 tend 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 shows me at a distance. As I have been walking in his fields, I have observed them stealing a sight of me over an 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 domestics 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 his coachman has the looks of a privy-councillor. You see the goodness of the master even in the old house-dog; and 30 in a gray 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 domestics 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, and seemed discouraged if they were not employed. At the same time the good old knight, with a mixture of the 10 father and the master of the family, tempered the inquiries after his own affairs with several kind questions relating to themselves. This humanity and good-nature engages everybody to him, so 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.
My worthy friend has put me under the particular care of 20 his butler, who is a very prudent man, and, as well as the rest of his fellow-servants, wonderfully desirous of pleasing me, because they have often heard their master talk of me as of his particular friend.
My chief companion, when Sir Roger is diverting himself in the woods or the fields, is a very venerable man, who is ever with Sir Roger, and has lived at his house in the nature of a chaplain above thirty years. This gentleman is a person of good sense, and some learning, of a very regular life, and obliging conversation: he heartily loves Sir Roger, and knows 30 that he is very much in the old knight's esteem; so that he lives in the family rather as a relation than a dependent.
I have observed in several of my papers, that my friend Sir Roger, amidst all his good qualities, is something of an humourist and that his virtues, as well as imperfections, are, as it were, tinged by a certain extravagance, which makes them particularly his, and distinguishes them from those of
This cast of mind, as it is generally very innocent in itself, so it renders his conversation highly agreeable, and more delightful than the same degree of sense and virtue would appear in their common and ordinary colours. As I was walking with him last night, he asked me how I liked the good man whom I have just now mentioned; and, without staying for my answer, told me, that he was afraid of being insulted with Latin and Greek at his own table; for which reason, he desired a particular friend of his at the University, to find him out a clergyman rather of plain sense than much 10 learning, of a good aspect, a clear voice, a sociable temper, and, if possible, a man that understood a little of backgammon. My friend (says Sir Roger) found me out this gentleman, who, besides the endowments required of him, is, they tell me, a good scholar, though he does not show it. I have given him the parsonage of the parish; and because I know his value, have settled upon him a good annuity for life. If he outlives me, he shall find that he was higher in my esteem than perhaps he thinks he is. He has now been with me thirty years; and, though he does not know I have taken 20 notice of it, has never in all that time asked anything of me for himself, though he is every day soliciting, me for something in behalf of one or other of my tenants, his parishioners. There has not been a law-suit in the parish since he has lived among them: if any dispute arises, they apply themselves to him for the decision; if they do not acquiesce in his judgment, which I think never happened above once, or twice at most, they appeal to me. At his first settling with me, I made him a present of all the good sermons which have been printed in English, and only begged of him that 30 every Sunday he would pronounce one of them in the pulpit. Accordingly he has digested them into such a series, that they follow one another naturally, and make a continued system of practical divinity.
As Sir Roger was going on in his story, the gentleman we were talking of came up to us; and upon the knight's asking