Flirtations . . .
I write in haste to share with you a small Volume that contains information with which we should become conversant prior to the Masked Ball. It explains how to communicate with our various beaux using fans and gloves. You, in particular, dear Vittoria, will wish to ensure that Sir Unicorn is able to comprehend you! Although it has occurred to me that we shall be in quite a fix if our partners do not share our knowledge of these niceties. I attempted to ask brother Charles if he owns such a manual and his response was unhelpful and a little rude.
I have begun to practice the various signals, but I own that I am quite Perplexed to know how we shall manage to make them while juggling fans, gloves, and masks. Not to mention a glass of lemonade. And what on earth shall we do with all these items while we are dancing? I vow I shall require a reticule as large as a Bandbox to carry it all! (I recommend that you not dance near me in case my “luggage” flies out and strikes you or your partner. This would be especially upsetting if you are wearing your mask, since an unplanned movement could result in you spearing him with the horn – in which case he would be spitted like a guinea fowl. I am just jesting, of course, dear Friend. I could not resist the opportunity to roast you a little!)
With all affection,
Carrying in front of face: Accompany me.
Drawing across the hands: I hate you.
Carrying in the left hand: Come to me.
Carrying in the right hand: Please introduce me.
Opening and shutting: You are cruel.
Drawing across the eyes: I feel sad.
Drawing across the forehead: We are observed, be careful.
Fanning fast: I am engaged.
Fanning slow: I am married.
Closing it: I am sorry.
Opening it wide: Await me.
Handle across the lips: Kiss me.
Drawing across the cheek: I love you.
Dropping it: We will remain friends.
Carrying over the shoulder: Follow me.
Tapping the chin: I am engaged.
Putting them away: I am displeased.
Biting the tips: Please leave.
Turning inside out: I hate you.
Winding around the fingers: Careful, we are watched.
Holding in right hand: Come to me soon. . .
Left hand with naked thumb exposed: Do you love me?
Right hand with naked thumb exposed: Kiss me.
Dropping them: I love you.
Putting them on: I must be going.
Fanning gently: I like your company.
Rolled up, clenched in right hand: No.
Holding in left hand: No more flirting.
Dropping one: Yes.