Language of the Fan

With the introduction of the fan into the city for the ladies (although at this time they are not available for sale but as gifts from the Royal Family), I thought it would be lovely to learn about the Language of Fans and how they were used to communicate. It will add a nice dimension to role-play if used at a club or other social gathering.

According to Nancy Armstrong (the author of Fans) the first person to organize a language of the fan was a Spaniard named Fenella, who published (in Spanish) 50 directions on how to converse with the fan.


THE LANGUAGE
Carrying open in right hand You are too willing
Carrying in right hand in front of face Follow me
Carrying in left hand in front of face Desirous of acquaintance
Carrying closed and hanging from right hand I want to be engaged
Carrying closed and hanging from left hand I am engaged
Carrying opened in left hand Come and talk to me
Clasping hands under open fan Forgive me, I pray you
Closing I wish to speak to you
Covering left ear with it open Do not betray our secret
Drawing across the eyes I am sorry
Drawing across the forehead You have changed
Drawing across the hand I hate you
Drawing across the cheek I love you
Dropping We will be friends
Fanning fast I am engaged
Fanning slow I am married
Fanning with left hand Don't flirt with that woman
Gazing pensively at the shut fan Why do you misunderstand me?
Hiding the eyes behind an open fan I love you
Hitting any object I am impatient
Hitting hand's palm Love me
In right hand in front of face Follow me
In left hand in front of face I am desirous of your acquaintance
Letting it rest on right cheek Yes
Letting it rest of left cheek No
Moving hair away from forehead Don't forget me
Opening and shutting several times You are cruel
Opening wide Wait for me
Passing from hand to hand I see that you are looking at another woman
Placing on the right ear You have changed
Placing on the left ear I wish to be rid of you
Placing behind the head Do not forget me
Placing behind head with little finger extended Goodbye
Placing handle to lips Kiss me
Presented shut Do you love me?
Pressing half-opened to lips You may kiss me
Presenting a number of sticks, partially opened At what hour?
Quickly and impetuously closing I am jealous
Resting shut on the right eye When may I be allowed to see you?
Resting on lips I don't trust you
Running fingers through the fan's ribs I want to talk to you
Shut I have changed
Shut held to heart You have won my love
Shutting fully then opening very slowly I promise to marry you
Threaten with it shut Do not be so imprudent
Touching tip with finger I wish to speak to you
Touching unfolded in the act of waving I long always to be near thee
Twirling in right hand I love another
Twirling in left hand We are watched



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