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Title: Book of Etiquette - Volume I
Author: Watson, Lillian Eichler, 1902-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Book of Etiquette - Volume I" ***

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[Illustration: © Brown Bros.


The greatest charm of the bride's costume lies in its simplicity]











Success without culture is like old-fashioned strawberry short cake
without the whipped cream. It has no flavor.

There are certain little courteous observances, certain social
formalities that bespeak the true lady, the true gentlemen. Some of us
call it good form. Some of us call it culture. Some of us call it
etiquette. But we all admit that it makes the world a better place to
live in.

In Italy, young men and women are considered _ben educato_, not when
they can read and write, but when they know the established forms of
convention--when they can show by a correct dignity and ease of manner
that they are perfect in their knowledge of the rules of good society.
And, after all, don't you yourself judge people by what they do, and
say, and wear? Don't you read in their manner and appearance the secret
of their inner worth? Isn't character and disposition revealed in the
outer personality?

Perhaps you have heard the story of the "gentleman" who prided himself
on being perfect in the art of etiquette. On one occasion, he passed a
lake and heard a drowning man call for help. Quickly he threw off his
coat and was about to plunge into the water, when he suddenly
remembered that he had never been introduced to the struggling victim.
Putting on his coat again, he proceeded on his way quite

This is an instance where common-sense would have been the better part
of etiquette. Too rigid an observance of the laws of good society makes
them nothing short of an absurdity. The purpose of correct manners is
not to enable us to strut about in society and command the admiring
glances of the people around us--as the peacock, in its vanity, parades
before onlookers in a proud dignity that is quite obviously assumed.
The true service of etiquette is so to strengthen and simplify the
social life that we are able to do what is absolutely correct and right
without even stopping to think about it.

That, then, is the purpose of THE BOOK OF ETIQUETTE--to give to the
reader so clear and definite an understanding of the social life that
he will be able to have at all times, under all conditions, that
unaffected grace and charm of manner that the French like to call
_savoir faire_. It has been written, not for the exceedingly
ill-bred or for the highly polished, but for those who find a certain
sense of satisfaction in doing what is correct--sincere men and women
who, in the performance of their business and social duties, find that
there is a constant need for cordial and gracious relationship with
those around them.

If the following chapters awaken in the reader the desire for closer
companionship with the vast world of human nature, of which we are all
a part; if it takes from his nature all that is coarse, awkward and
unrefined, substituting instead a gallantry of spirit and a gentleness
of breeding; if it makes him a more loving and a more lovable
person--then THE BOOK OF ETIQUETTE will have served its purpose.

Incidentally, the author is indebted to Mr. L. E. Smith, without whose
coöperation this book would never have been written.

_Lillian Eichler._


CHAPTER                                                          PAGE


   I. INTRODUCTION TO ETIQUETTE                                     1

What is Etiquette?--Laws of Society--Control of the Impulses--Regard
for the Rights of Others--The Danger of Intolerance--Why it Pays to
Be Agreeable--The Simplest Culture.

  II. ETIQUETTE'S REWARD                                           11

The Origin of Manners--The Manners of To-day--Good Society in
America--The True Lady and Gentleman--The Secret of Social
Success--What Manners Will Do for You--Etiquette's Reward.

 III. ENGAGEMENTS                                                  20

Of Special Importance--The Proposal--The Engagement Ring--Announcing
the Engagement--The Most Usual Method--Announcing an Engagement in
the Newspapers--Engagement Gifts--Bridal Showers--Length of the
Engagement--Responsibility for the Wedding--Families and Friends.


The Wedding Invitation--Size and Material--Kinds of Envelopes--
Addressing the Envelopes--Invitations to Church Wedding--Invitation
to Home Wedding--Wedding in a Friend's Home--When Cards are Enclosed
--Invitations to Second Marriages--Invitation to Wedding Anniversary
--Informal Wedding Invitation--Acknowledging the Formal Wedding
Invitations--Whom to Invite--Sending the Invitations--Recalling
the Wedding Invitation--Breaking an Engagement--Returning Gifts--
When Death Intervenes.

   V. WEDDINGS                                                     49

The Church Wedding--Attendants--The Bridesmaids--Rehearsals--
Regarding the Ushers--The Wedding Day--Arriving at the Church--
Wedding Music--The Wedding Procession--The Ceremony--Leaving the
Altar--Rice, etc.--The Wedding Reception--The Wedding Breakfast--
The Wedding Present--Acknowledging Wedding Presents--The Home Wedding
--The Second Wedding--Some Important Conventions--Seeking Advice--
Wedding Anniversaries--The Silver Wedding--The Reception--Tin and
Wooden Weddings--The Golden Wedding--The Golden Wedding a Glorious

  VI. THE BRIDE'S OUTFIT                                           73

Origin of the Trousseau--The Trousseau of To-day--About the Linens
--For the Bride--The Wedding Dress--The Bride's Veil--Wedding
Flowers--Dress of the Maid of Honor--Marrying in Traveling Dress.

 VII. FUNERALS                                                     83

Funeral Customs--The Funeral of To-day--When Death Enters the
Family--Taking Charge--Announcing the Death--Some Necessary
Preparations--The Ladies of the Family--The Pall-Bearers--Duties
of Pall-Bearers--The Church Funeral--Order of Precedence--The
House Funeral--A Point of Importance--Removing Signs of Grief
--Seclusion During Mourning--Dress at Funerals--Interment and
Cremation--Mourning Dress--Mourning Dress for Men--Mourning

VIII. CHRISTENINGS                                                104

Announcing the Birth of the Child--Responding to the Announcement--
Godparents--Invitations to a Christening--A Church Christening--The
House Christening--After the Baptism--Gifts.


  I. INTRODUCTIONS                                                113

Purpose of the Introduction--Creating Conversation--When to
Introduce--Importance of Care--Special Introductions--When the
Name Isn't Heard--The Correct Introduction--Group Introductions--
The Chance Introduction--Incomplete Introductions--Indirect
Introductions--The Acknowledgment--Forms of Acknowledgment--
Future Recognition of Introduction--Introducing at Dinner--
Introducing at the Dance--Introducing at Receptions--Speaking
without Introduction--Introducing Children--Cordiality in

 II. LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION                                      135

The Letter of Introduction--Presenting the Letter--Acknowledging
a Letter of Introduction--Model Letters of Introduction--The
Card of Introduction--Business Introductions.

III. CALLS AND CALLING CUSTOMS                                    142

The Beginning of Social Calls--When Calls are Made--The Proper
Length of a Call--The Day at Home--Dress for Calls--Paying the
First Call--Calls of Obligation--About Returning Calls--The
Call of Condolence--The Call of Congratulations and Inquiry--
The Social Calls of Men--The Invalid's Call--Asking a New
Acquaintance to Call--The Woman's Business Call--Receiving
Calls--Duties of the Hostess--Receiving the Chance Caller--
When the Host is at Home--Taking Leave of the Hostess--The
Evening Call--When Gentlemen Receive Callers--Making a Chance
Call--Informal Calls.

 IV. VISITING CARDS--AND OTHERS                                   165

Your Card a Representative of You--General Rules Regarding Cards
--Size of Cards for Women--Size and Material of Cards for Men--
Titles on Cards for Women--Cards for Widows--The Young Lady's
Card--Indicating the Day at Home--The Married Couple's Card--
Using Jr. and Sr.--Titles on Cards for Men--Professional Cards
for Men--Cards for Mourning--When the Woman Goes a-Calling--When
More than One Card is Left--Some More Points About Calls and
Cards--The Chance Call--Simple Card-Leaving--Should a Stranger
Leave Cards?--Cards and Business Calls--When a Man Leaves Cards
--The Man's Chance Call--About Leaving and Posting Cards--Leaving
Cards of Inquiry--Acknowledging Cards of Inquiry and Condolence
--Announcement Cards--When Traveling--P.P.C. Cards.

  V. INVITATIONS                                                  198

Some General Rules--Invitation to a Formal Dance--Accepting the
Invitation--For the Informal Dance--The Dinner Dance--The Début
Dance--Invitations for the Subscription Dance--Acknowledging
Subscription Dance Invitations--Invitation to Public Ball--
Requesting an Invitation--The Dinner Invitation--In Honor of
Celebrated Guests--The Acknowledgments--For the Informal Dinner
--When the Dinner is Not at Home--The Daughter as Hostess--
Inviting a Stop-Gap--To Break a Dinner Engagement--Invitations
for Luncheons--Acknowledging the Luncheon Invitation--The
Informal Invitation--Reception Invitations--Reception in
Honor of a Special Guest--Invitations to Garden Parties--
Acknowledging the Garden Party Invitation--House or Week-End
Parties--The "Bread-and-Butter" Letter--Invitations to the
Theater and Opera--Invitations to Musicales and Private
Theatricals--Children's Party Invitations--Invitations to a
Christening--A Word of Special Caution.

 VI. CORRESPONDENCE                                               235

To-day and Yesterday--The Letter You Write--The Business Letter
--Function of the Social Letter--The Etiquette of Stationery--
Letter and Note Paper--Crests and Monograms--Use of the Typewriter
--Regarding the Salutation--Closing the Letter--Addressing the
Envelope--Letter of Condolence--Acknowledging a Letter of
Condolence--Etiquette of the Friendly Letter--The Child's
Letter--Letters to Persons of Title.

VII. PARENTS AND CHILDREN                                         254

The Home--Appearance of the House--Dress--Dress for Children--
Children and Development--Know Your Children!--Imitation--The
Child's Speech--At the Table--Playmates--Children's Parties--
Planning Surprises--Receiving the Young Guests--About the
Birthday Party--When the Young Guests Leave--Children's
Entertainments Away from Home--Children and Dancing--A Word
to Parents--Amusements--Let the Child be Natural--The Young
Girl--The Girl's Manner--The Chaperon--The Young Country Miss
--The Girl and Her Mother--For the Shy and Self-Conscious--
Forget About Yourself--Why the Shy are Awkward--Self-Confidence
Versus Conceit--Country Hospitality--Importance of Simplicity--
The Hostess--The Guest--For Country Folks--The Endless Round of
Hospitality--When to Invite--The Guests and Their Duties--
Addressing Titled People.


ON HER WEDDING DAY                                      _Frontispiece_


CHURCH DECORATED FOR A FORMAL WEDDING                              62

AN ALTAR FOR A HOME WEDDING                                       142



"_The power of manners is incessant--an element as unconcealable as
fire. The nobility cannot in any country be disguised, and no more in a
republic or a democracy than in a kingdom. There are certain manners
which are learned in good society, of that force that, if a person have
them, he or she must be considered, and is everywhere welcome, though
without beauty, or wealth, or genius._"

--_From Emerson's Essays_.





At a meeting of army officers during the Civil War, one of them began
to relate a questionable story, remarking, as if to excuse his lack of
good taste, that "there were no ladies present." General Grant, who was
acting as chairman of the meeting, remarked, "No, but there are
gentlemen"--and he refused to allow the officer to continue the story.

What is a gentleman? The question is an old one. It cannot be ancestry,
for often the son of most noble and honored parentage is merely a
coarse compound of clay and money, offered to society as a gentleman,
It cannot be dress--for surely Beau Brummell was not what the world
loves to call a gentleman, despite his stiffly starched cravats and
brightly polished boots. It cannot be money, for then many a common
thief, made wealthy by his ill-gotten gains, would be entitled to the
name of gentleman.

No, it is something that goes deeper than ancestry or dress or
wealth--something that is nobler and finer than any, or all, of these.
Perhaps it can be best expressed by this beautiful example of what true
etiquette can mean:

Henry Ward Beecher, on a very cold day, stopped to buy a newspaper from
a ragged youngster who stood shivering on a corner. "Poor little
fellow," he said, "aren't you cold standing here?" The boy looked up
with a smile and said, "I was, sir--before you passed."

The word _etiquette_ itself does not mean very much. It comes from
the same origin as the word "ticket" and originally meant the rules of
court ceremony printed on tickets that were given to each person
presented at court. But through generations the ideal of perfected
culture surged, until to-day we have a code of manners that is the
pride and inspiration of refined living.


Etiquette, after all, is not the finished work, but merely a tool that
opens the portals to a broader life, to a greater social happiness.
Through its influence we are brought into close companionship with the
really worth-while minds of our day. By faithful constancy to its rules
we gradually mold our characters until, in our outward dignity and
charm, the world reads and understands our ideals.

There is in every human nature the desire for social happiness--which
is, frankly, in other words, the desire so to impress by one's manner
that one will be welcome and respected wherever one chances to be. And
it is only by adhering to the fundamental laws of good society that
this social happiness can ever be attained.

In observing the established etiquette of modern society it is
necessary to pay particular attention to one's appearance, manner, and
speech. It must be remembered that the world is a harsh judge and is
perfectly willing to condemn us by outward appearances. In the
street-car, in the ball-room, at the theater--every day people are
reading the story of our characters and ideals.

Society has its own definite code of manners that must be observed
before one can enter its portals. There are certain rules that must be
followed before one can enter its envied circle. There are
conventionalities that must be observed in requesting a lady to dance,
in acknowledging an introduction, in using the knife and fork at the
dinner table. There are certain prevailing modes in dressing for the
theater and reception. To know and adhere to these laws is to be
admitted to the highest society and enjoy the company of the most
brilliant minds.

Etiquette is an art--the art of doing and saying the correct thing at
the correct time--the art of being able to hold oneself always in hand,
no matter how exacting the circumstance. And like music or painting or
writing, the more you study it, the more you apply yourself to its
principles, the more perfectly your own character is molded.


The cultured man is never angry, never impatient, never demonstrative.
His actions and speech are tempered with a dispassionate calmness and
tranquillity that the French admiringly call _sang froid_. He knows how
to control his emotions so effectively that no one can read, in his
self-possessed expression, whether he is angry or pleased, discouraged
or eager.

Perhaps the most striking and admirable thing about a man of breeding
is his carefully disciplined impulses. He may at times lose control of
himself, but he is never petulant, never incoherent. He may be greatly
enthusiastic about some unexpected happening, but he never becomes
excited, never loses control of his reasoning faculties. He never gives
the appearance of being in a hurry, no matter how swift his actions may
be--there is always about him the suggestion of leisure and poise.

Swearing is essentially vulgar. It was Dr. Crane, the famous essayist
and philosopher, who said in one of his delightful talks, "The superior
man is gentle. It is only the man with a defective vocabulary that
swears. All noise is waste. The silent sun is mightier than the
whirlwind. The genuine lady speaks low. The most striking
characteristic of the superior ones is their quiet, their poise. They
have about them a sense of the stars." Strong feeling, anger, have no
place in the social life.

We are all uneasy at times. We all have our embarrassing moments. But
the well-bred person knows how to conceal his emotions, and impulses,
so well that no one but himself knows that he is uneasy or embarrassed.
It is not only exceedingly unpleasant, but it is also very poor form to
show by our gestures and frowns and speech that we are annoyed by some
circumstance that is entirely beyond our control.

Impulsiveness is often the cause of serious breaches of
etiquette--breaches that are, socially speaking, the ruin of many a
rising young man, of many an otherwise charming young woman. The
gentleman never shows by hasty word or angry glance that he is
displeased with some service. The lady never shows, either in her
speech or manner, that she is excited with some unexpected happening,
or disappointed because something did not happen the way she planned
it. It is only by studying the rules of etiquette and knowing
absolutely what is right to do and say under all conditions that one
acquires this splendid self-possession and composure of manner.


William De Witt Hyde, in his book, "Practical Ethics," says,
"Politeness is proper respect for human personality. Rudeness results
from thinking exclusively about ourselves and caring nothing for the
feelings of anybody else. The sincere desire to bring the greatest
pleasure and least pain to everyone we meet will go a long way towards
making our manners more polite and courteous."

The man or woman who is truly cultured, truly well-bred, tries to make
everyone happy and at ease. It is only the exceedingly vulgar person
who finds pleasure in hurting the feelings of the people with whom he
comes into contact. It makes no difference how wealthy or how poor a
person is, how ignorant or educated he happens to be--as a fellow-being
he is entitled to a hearty sympathy and respect. Both servility and
arrogance are ungentlemanly. Gentleness, simplicity and a sincere
regard for the rights of one's companions are the distinguishing marks
of a fine character.


There is no room for intolerance in the social world. To be honored,
respected, one must have a certain friendliness of spirit. The
_gentleman_, the _lady_ treats everyone, from the lowliest beggar to
the most distinguished personage with consideration. It is only the
man who is unpretentious, who is always eager to please, who is as
courteous and considerate in manner to his inferiors as to his equals,
that fully deserves the name of gentleman.

The author recently chanced to witness an amusing incident which might
be of value to repeat here. It shows forcibly how important the little
things are, and how they reveal to the gaze of the world the true story
of our actual worth:

An elderly man, who showed quite obviously by his lordly and
self-satisfied manner that he was accustomed to travel about in his own
car, was on one occasion forced to ride home in the subway. It was rush
hour, and thousands of tired men and women were in a hurry to get home.
The man impatiently waited his turn on a long line at the ticket
office, constantly grumbling and making it disagreeable for those about
him. When he finally did reach the window, he offered a ten dollar bill
in payment for one five-cent ticket and deliberately remained at the
window counting and recounting his change while the people behind him
anxiously awaited their turn. When at last he did move away, he had a
half smile, half frown of smug and malicious satisfaction on his face
which, interpreted to the people he had kept waiting, said that he now
felt repaid for having had to travel in the same train with them.

This man, in spite of his self-satisfied manner and well-tailored suit,
was very far from being a gentleman. The shabby young man behind him,
who also offered a bill in payment for his ticket, but stepped quickly
to one side to count his change, and smiled cheerfully at the man
behind him, was infinitely more of a gentleman than the one who
maliciously, and with evident keen enjoyment, kept the long line

The true worth of a gentleman is revealed, not in his fashionable
clothes or haughty demeanor, but in his regard for the rights of
others. It is the little kindnesses that count--and the instinctive
recognition of the rights of others. As England's inimitable J. M.
Barrie has so aptly remarked, "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of
others cannot keep it from themselves."


Why should we know the laws of etiquette? Why should we know the way to
do and say things? Why should we be agreeable? These are questions that
will undoubtedly arise in the mind of the young man or woman who is
eager to cultivate and refine his or her manner and speech.

The answer is: to make one's own life happier--to bring into it a new
sunshine, a new joy of living that was not even dreamed of when the
mind and spirit were shrouded in the gloom of discourtesy, coarseness
and vulgarity.

For how can the boor be happy? With his gloomy face, sour disposition,
complaining habits and inherent lack of good taste and culture, he sees
only the shadows of life. People are repulsed by him, never attracted.
Brilliant men and women, people of refinement and taste, will have
nothing to do with him. He lives his own life--his ill-bred,
complaining, gloomy, companionless life--an outcast from that better
society of which we all long to be a part.

Culture and cheer go hand-in-hand. The cultured man or woman is always
cheerful, always finding something good and beautiful in all mankind
and nature. Cheerfulness itself means poise--a wholesome, happy,
undaunted poise that makes life well-balanced and worth the living. The
person of low, vulgar tastes and desires is seldom contented, seldom
happy. He finds everywhere evil, ugliness, selfishness, and a tendency
for the world generally to degrade itself to the lower levels of
coarseness. He finds it because he looks for it. And he looks for it
because it already exists in his mind.

And yet, he may be educated; he may be a recognized power in the
financial world; he may even possess enviable talents. But if he lacks
that glorious open-hearted generosity, that sincere sympathy and simple
understanding with all mankind, that helpful, healthful, ever-inspiring
agreeableness of mind and spirit--the world will have none of him.

The man who feels constantly grieved and injured at some injustice,
real or imaginary, is sacrificing some of the best things life has to
offer. He does not know what it means to be greeted with a smile of
pleasure and a warm handclasp. He does not know what it means to be
taken whole-heartedly into one's confidence, to be relied upon, to be
appealed to. He does not know what it means, in his hours of darkest
adversity, to receive the genuine sympathy and encouragement of a

But with culture, with development of mind and spirit, with the desire
to adhere truly to society's laws and regard as inviolable the rights
of others, there comes a new understanding of human relationship. Where
once everything seemed narrow and selfish, one now sees love and beauty
and helpfulness. Instead of harsh words and unkind glances, there are
words of cheer and encouragement, smiles of friendliness and
understanding. The world that once seemed coarse, shallow and
unpolished, seems now strangely cordial and polite.


Yes, it pays to be agreeable. We are all like huge magnets, and we tend
to attract those things which we ourselves send out. If we are coarse
and unrefined, we attract to our company those people who are also
coarse and unrefined. If we are disagreeable and unmindful of the
rights of others, they in turn will be disagreeable to us, and
unmindful of our rights. And similarly, if we are kind and agreeable,
we are bound to meet and attract people of the same kind.

There is a pretty little story of a woman and a child, in which the
simple friendliness of a little girl opened the door for a woman whose
life had been embittered by much hardship and disappointment. She was
strolling one day through a mountain farm-house. She did not know where
she was going, and she did not care. She just wanted to forget, forget.

She stopped near a well and gazed angrily about her, wondering how
there could be so much peace and quiet in a world that held nothing but
turmoil and heartache for her. She was an attractive woman, and her
smart clothes and haughty bearing were a disappointing contrast to her
scowling face and angry eyes.

Suddenly she glanced down. A tiny girl was watching her intently--a
little girl who had lived all her seven short years in the untutored
expanse of the mountains. The woman was annoyed, and she did not
hesitate to show it.

"What are you looking at; what do you want?" she demanded irritably.

Instead of returning the frown, the child smiled and stepped a little
closer. "I was just thinking how pretty your face would be if it smiled
instead of frowned," she answered.

The woman's face relaxed. The bitter look in the eyes vanished and was
replaced by a bright new light. The scowl became a grateful smile, and
with an impulsive sob of pure joy, she knelt down and hugged the little
girl who had been the first in a long time to speak gently to her, the
first in a long time to return her frowns with sincere smiles of
friendliness. And when she finally left the little child, and returned
to the exacting conventionalities of the town, she was a nobler, better
and finer woman.

The simple heart of a child who knew no other creed or law than the
sincere love of all mankind triumphed over the bitterness of a woman
who had known years of education and worldliness.

Culture is of the heart and spirit rather than of the outward
appearance. But it is by what we do and say that we prove that it truly
exists within us.




Why do we observe certain set rules of convention? Why do we greet
people in a certain ordained way--by nodding or by lifting the hat? Why
do we make introductions and send invitations and cultivate our manners
and speech? To find the answer we must trace civilization back to its
very source.

One of the first necessities of the savage was to devise some means of
showing savages of other tribes that he did not mean to fight--that he
wanted to live with them peaceably. At first it was difficult to do
this; primeval man was always suspicious, always watchful. He had to
be, for his life depended upon it. But slowly certain peaceful
observances and signs were established, and the savages began to
understand them as greetings of peace and good-will. The salutation and
greeting of to-day is a direct result of this early necessity.

This peace-greeting, as we shall call it, was the first semblance of
order, the first token of good fellowship that appeared out of the
primeval chaos of warfare and destruction. A certain greeting, and
things were on a peaceful basis. But let that greeting be forgotten,
and the savage's life was the forfeit.

Man developed, and with him developed civilization. From that first
"peace greeting" there came certain set salutations, certain forms of
homage that bound men together in mutual protection and friendliness.
Then slowly, out of this first beam of manners, this first bit of
restraint from the savagery of primeval man, there were created certain
ceremonies. Some were weird dances to the spirit of the Sun; others
were animal or human sacrifices to some God of Fear; still others were
strange ceremonies for the departed spirit of the dead. But they were
ceremonies--and as such they presaged the ceremonies upon which all
etiquette, all good manners, are based to-day.

We find that the history of manners keeps pace with the history and
evolution of man. And we find that manners, or ceremonies, or respect
for fellowmen--or whatever you want to call it--was the first tie that
bound men together. It is the foundation upon which all civilization is


Certain sensible rules of etiquette have come down to us from one
generation to another. To-day only those that have stood the test of
time are respected and observed. They have been silently adopted by the
common consent of the best circles in America and Europe; and only
those who follow them faithfully can hope to be successful in business
and in social life.

There are some people who say that etiquette, that manners, are petty
shams that polish the surface with the gilt edge of hypocrisy. We all
know that a few people believe this. Who of us has not heard the
uncultured boor boast that he is not restricted by any "sissy manners"?
Who of us has not heard the successful business man decline an
invitation to a reception because he "had no time for such nonsense"?
To a great many people manners mean nothing but nonsense; but you will
find that they are almost invariably people who never win social or
business distinction.

The rules of etiquette as we observe them nowadays are not, as some
people suppose, the dictates of fashions. They are certain forms of
address, certain conduct of speech and manner, that have been brought
down to us through centuries of developing culture. And we observe them
to-day because they make contact in social life easier and more
agreeable; they make life more beautiful and impressive.

You do not have to observe the laws of good conduct if you do not wish
to. Certainly not. You may do just as you please, say just what you
please, and wear just what you please. But of course you must not
complain when you find the doors of good society closed against you,
when you find that people of good manners and correct social conduct
avoid you and bar you from their activities. Good manners is the only
key that will open the door to social success--and men and women often
find that it fits the door to business success as well.


Everyone loves to mingle with cultured, well-bred people; with
brilliant and celebrated individuals. Everyone loves to attend
elaborate social functions where the gay gowns of beautiful women are
only less charming and impressive than their faultless manners. But it
is not everyone who can be admitted to these inner portals of good

It is a well-known truth that manners rather than wealth decide social
rank. A man may be fabulously wealthy, but if he does not know how to
act, how to dress and speak, he will not be respected. American society
has rules of its own, and those who are not willing to learn these laws
are shunned, banished. Etiquette is the wall which divides the cultured
from the uncultured, which keeps the ill-bred out of the circles where
they would be awkward and uncomfortable, and where they would
undoubtedly cause mortification to others.

On the other hand, to know these rules of good conduct is to be
admitted to the highest circles of society. To know that one is correct
banishes at once all uncertainty, all embarrassment. And one mingles
with perfectly-mannered people, calm in the assurance that one knows
just what is correct, and that no matter what happens one can do or say
nothing to reflect on one's breeding.


It is not enough to be wealthy. It is not enough to be widely famed.
But if one is well-mannered, if one knows how to conduct oneself with
poise, grace and self-confidence, one will win respect and honor no
matter where one chances to be.

There are very few men indeed who do not value good manners. They may
ridicule them, they may despise them--but deep down in their hearts
they know that good manners have a certain charm, a certain power, that
wealth and fame together do not possess. They know that right in their
own business spheres there are men who owe their success and position
to the appearance that they make, to the manner in which they conduct
themselves. And they know that there are beautiful women who are coldly
repellent; while some plain women win the hearts of everyone with whom
they come in contact, merely by the charm of their manners.

The perfect gentleman is not the dude, the over-dressed "dandy" who
disdains the workingman in his patched clothes and who sniffs
contemptuously at the word "work." The true gentleman is kindly,
courageous, civil. He is kind to everyone--to the tottering old man he
helps across the street, and to the mischievous young rascal who throws
a ball through his window. He does not know what it is to become angry,
to lose control of his temper, to speak discourteously. He never shows
that he is embarrassed or ill at ease. He is as calm and unconcerned in
the presence of a world-wide celebrity as he is when he is with his
most intimate friend. Nor is he ever bitter, haughty or arrogant. And
he is as far from being effeminate as he is from being coarse and
brutal. In short, he knows the manners of good society and he does not
hesitate to use them.

The perfect lady is not the ornamental butterfly of society, as so many
would have us believe. She is gentle, and well-dressed and
graceful--not merely ornamental. She does some useful work, no matter
what it is. She is patient always, and generous. She never speaks
harshly to tradespeople or to servants; gentleness and reserve are the
very keynotes of her manner. She is never haughty, never superior. She
is kind and courteous to everyone, and she conducts herself with the
calm, unassuming grace that instinctively wins a responsive respect. In
her manner towards men she is reserved, modest. But she is self-reliant
and not afraid to assert herself. Her speech and manner are
characterized always by dignity, repose and self-confidence.

It is only by knowing the laws of good conduct, and by following them
faithfully, that one can hope ever to become a true gentleman or true


Every man who so wishes may become a gentleman, and every woman may
become a lady in every sense of the word. It requires only the
cultivation of those qualities outlined above. And it is here that the
use of etiquette lies, that the importance of good manners is most
strikingly portrayed.

Etiquette teaches you how to be gentle, calm, patient. It tells you how
to be at ease among strangers. It tells you how to cultivate grace,
poise, self-confidence. Not only does it tell you how, but it
_gives_ you poise and self-confidence. By teaching you the right
thing to do at the right time, it eliminates all possibility of
mistakes--and hence all embarrassment and awkwardness vanish.

The existence of these fixed social laws, these little rules of
etiquette, makes it easy for the man and woman who have not been bred
in the best society, to master the knowledge which will enable them to
enter that society and mingle with the most highly cultivated people
without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. It tears down the
barriers between the wealthy and the poor, between the educated and the
ignorant. By knowing what to do and say and write and wear on all
occasions, under all conditions, any man or woman can enter any society
and mingle with any people. The old proverb might well be changed to
read, "Culture makes the whole world kin!" Of course if a man suddenly
became wealthy and he wished to enter the highest society, his wealth
might serve as an opening. But he would soon find that money was not
enough--that he needed manners. He might mingle with society for years,
slowly acquiring the correct table manners, the correct mode of
address, the correct manner of making introductions, the correct way to
conduct himself at all times, in all places. But it would take many
years before the rough edges of his previous uncultivated manners were
rubbed away. Instead of waiting for years of contact with cultured
people to bring him the correct manners befitting a man of wealth, he
need only learn at once from a dependable authority the etiquette of
society, the good form that has been crystallized into rules after
years of social intercourse. It is the easiest road to social success.


Every day you come into contact with people, with strangers, who judge
you by what you do and say. They go away carrying an impression of
you--and it depends upon your manners whether it is a good impression
or a bad impression.

It is a mistake to think that good manners are meant for the elaborate
ball room or for the formal dinner. Society is not necessarily too
formal or too "showy." Society implies also that society of fellow-men
you meet every day of the year--people you come into contact with in
the social and business worlds. And in order to make contact with these
people agreeable and pleasant, in order to win the admiration and
respect of strangers, in order to avoid embarrassment and humiliation
because of bad blunders at most conspicuous moments, it is essential to
know what is right and what is wrong.

Good manners will enable you to be easy and graceful at all times. You
will be able to mingle with the most cultured people and be perfectly
at ease. You will lose all self-consciousness, all timidity. And
instead you will become dignified, well-poised, calm. Instinctively
people will respect you; in business and in society you will find
yourself welcomed and admired.


Etiquette is like the binding of a book--just as the binding reveals
the name of the book, and protects the valuable pages that are inside,
so does etiquette reveal the breeding and culture of an individual, and
protects him from the disrespect, ridicule and snubs of the world.

Etiquette will make you dignified. It will make your actions and speech
refined, polished, impressive. It will make you a leader instead of a
follower, a participant instead of a looker-on. It will open the doors
of the highest society to you, make you immune to all embarrassment,
enable you to conduct yourself with ease and confidence at all times,
under all circumstances.

The rewards of etiquette are too numerous to recount. If you follow the
laws of good conduct, if you do only what is right and in good form,
you will find yourself an acknowledged leader, an acknowledged success,
no matter in what station of life you may be. The world is quick to
perceive good manners, just as it is quick to perceive the blunders in
etiquette. If you study the rules of good conduct, and follow good form
in everything you do and say, you will become courteous and kind and
well-mannered. Etiquette will attract people to you, make you and your
home a center of social activity. But most of all, it will make you
respect yourself. And that is more important than riches or fame--for
self-respect is the only thing that brings true happiness.

Remember the words of the prophet, "He who respects himself will earn
the respect of all the world."




There is perhaps no time when the rules of etiquette need to be so
strictly observed as during the period of courtship. All the world
loves a lover--but this does not keep the world from watching closely
and criticizing severely any breach of good manners, especially on the
part of the young lady.

Any public display of affection anywhere at any time is grossly
unrefined. Love is sacred, and it should not be thrown open to the rude
comments of strangers. The young couple should conduct themselves with
quiet dignity and reserve, neither indulging in terms of endearment or
caresses, nor purposely ignoring each other so as to create the
impression that they are not, after all, so very much in love. There is
no reason why their conduct in public after they are engaged should be
any more demonstrative than it was before.

At parties, dinners, and other entertainments it is their privilege to
be with each other more than they are with anyone else, but this does
not mean that they should neglect the other guests. If the occasion has
been planned especially for them they are in part responsible for each
one present finding it an enjoyable one. And each one should be very
cordial to the friends of the other.

Many an engagement that held promise of golden happiness to come was
abruptly broken because one or the other was not sufficiently
circumspect in conduct. A young lady must remember that while she is
not exactly expected to give up indiscriminately all her friends of the
opposite sex, she must not receive them as guests, or go to the theater
or ball with them, without the knowledge and consent of her fiancé. He
is, of course, expected to be equally considerate of her with regard to
his own relations with other women.

The engaged couple of to-day enjoys much greater freedom than the
engaged couple of our grandmothers' time. The chaperon has been almost
entirely dispensed with, except in a few individual cases. Although it
is still considered rather poor form to attend the theater or opera
together, without other friends in the party, it is often done without
any very serious consequence to the young people. Perhaps it is because
the young men and women of this country have that instinctive grace and
dignity of manner that the severe laws of conduct practiced abroad have
been deemed unnecessary.


At one time, not so very long ago, it was considered an irrevocable law
of etiquette that a young man obtain the formal consent of a young
lady's parents before asking her hand in marriage. Prevalent customs
have almost eliminated this formality, and modern mothers and fathers,
by the welcome which they accord him in their home, show a young man
whether or not they think him eligible for their daughter's hand. And
it is really a much wiser plan to object to a friendship when it first
begins instead of waiting until it has developed into something more
serious. If the young man wishes to proceed upon the old-fashioned
formula he may do so, first assuring himself insofar as he is able that
his attentions are welcome to the young lady.

The time for the proposal depends upon attending circumstances. Someone
has said that there would be fewer divorces if more proposals were made
in the middle of the day under ordinary conditions, but the timid or
romantic youth usually prefers the witchery of moonlight and the magic
of solitude. The proposal itself should be sincere and earnest. Glowing
terms and impassioned emotion are, indeed, very bad taste; and often
the more simple a proposal is the more forcibly it expresses the
suitor's ardor.

If he is accepted the well-bred young man will immediately seek the
young lady's parents and impart the happy news to them. At this point,
if it has not already been disclosed it is customary for him to reveal
his true status, financially and socially, and answer politely any
questions that her parents may ask him. If there are dissensions he
must explain calmly and carefully, making sure all the time to keep
complete control of his feelings and not to allow himself to become
either angry or impatient.


It is the custom to seal the engagement pact with a ring. As soon as
the prospective bridegroom has won the consent of the young lady whom
he wishes to be his wife, he places the engagement ring on the third
finger of her left hand. The convention is that the ring be a diamond
solitaire set in gold or platinum, or, if it is preferred, a diamond
set with other stones. It is always wise to consult the individual
preference of the young lady in determining the choice of the ring, and
it is her privilege to choose whatever kind she wants regardless of
tradition or convention.


After the proposal has been accepted announcement of the fact is made,
and it is here that the young lady takes the leading part.

There are several established conventions in announcing the engagement.
Each one is good form, and the choice is merely a matter of taste and
convenience. But always the initiative must come from the family of the
future bride. The young man must not even announce the engagement to
his best friends until he is quite sure that his fiancé has already
made it known to her friends.

It has always been a popular custom in better society to give the
announcement of an engagement as nearly an appearance of "leaking out"
as possible. Perhaps it is because it adds to the interest of the
occasion. To obtain this effect, a number of intimate friends and
relatives are invited to a dinner party--really the engagement
dinner--where, in the course of the conversation, the news of the
engagement is casually imparted to the guests for the first time. It is
usually announced by the father of the young lady; sometimes by her
older brother, and in some cases by her mother.

The guests, of course, will offer warm and sincere congratulations. The
happy couple mingle among their guests and receive their good wishes
with modesty and smiles of thanks.

Sometimes the young lady gives a luncheon for her friends, at which the
announcement is made. It is always very pretty to make the announcement
in some novel way, and if the hostess does not find her own ingenuity
equal to it she will find her stationer her best guide. He has various
novelty cards, etc., specially designed for such occasions.

Often, instead of formally announcing the engagement, the young lady
gives the news to several of her closest friends, depending on them to
spread it among their friends and acquaintances. This manner of
announcement is usually followed with a little informal reception, to
which are invited the members of the prospective bridegroom's family
and the relatives of both families.


Perhaps the best way to announce an engagement is for the young lady
and her mother to send small engraved cards to their circle of friends
and relatives, making the announcement in a simple statement, and
mentioning an afternoon when they will be "at home" to visitors. The
young man may also send notes or cards to his friends, having first
made sure that his fiancé has already announced it to her friends. The
"at home" offers a splendid opportunity for each one to meet the
friends of the other, and for the families of the two young people to
become better acquainted. Care must be taken that there is no
constraint, no drifting into "circles." The young lady must welcome her
future husband's friends with sincere cordiality, and see that they are
properly introduced to her own friends. He must mingle with her friends
and make himself companionable and agreeable. To be constantly
together, selfishly enjoying each other's company while the neglected
guests are left to their own devices is a breach of etiquette and must
be conscientiously avoided if the "at home" is to be hailed a success.

If this last method of announcing the engagement is decided upon, the
home should boast no decorations except flowers simply arranged. The
young lady and her mother, in conservative afternoon frocks, receive
together. The young man is usually presented to the guests by his
future father-in-law. Entertainment, such as music and dancing, may be
provided for the occasion if it is convenient. Simple refreshments may
be served--dainty sandwiches, cake, tea and sweets are appropriate when
served in an attractive manner.

It is also customary to place an announcement in the society columns of
the newspapers simultaneously with the giving of the dinner party. It
should always be written by the parents about their daughter, or by the
guardian if she has no parents--never by the engaged girl herself.


The vogue to-day seems to favor announcing engagements in the newspaper
rather than through the issuing of announcement cards. Such items of
announcement should be sent to the society editor of the paper
selected, and should be signed with the full name and address of the
sender. Brief items are always better than long ones.

Here are two typical newspaper announcements of recent engagements:

    _"Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Bower announce the engagement of their
    daughter Rose to Mr. Walter Barrie of Boston. The date of the
    wedding will be announced in this paper later."_

    _"The engagement of Miss Lillian Hall to Mr. Robert G. Manning is
    announced by Mr. and Mrs. John B. Hall. The wedding is to take
    place in St. Thomas's Church on the 15th of June."_


It is not customary for elaborate engagement gifts to be presented,
even by near relatives. In fact, the mode of the engagement gift has
been gradually disappearing until to-day congratulations are considered
sufficient. However, the close friends of the young lady may send her,
with their congratulations, pleasing bits of chinaware, glassware, and
sometimes even silver. Odd pieces of bric-à-brac and quaint, unusual
gifts, and antiques are always acceptable. Markings on gifts are
usually in the maiden name of the bride--but if any doubt is felt as to
which she herself would prefer, it is best to ask her.

There is an old tradition regarding the giving of tea-cups as an
engagement present. A lover, who was obliged to go away on an extended
sea journey, gave to his betrothed a delicate china cup, asking her to
drink tea from it every afternoon. He said, "If I am unfaithful, the
cup will fill to overbrimming and the tea pouring over the sides will
crack the thin china. Then you will know I have broken faith." The
custom has been brought down to us, and now we find that the giving of
a tea-cup or a tea-set as an engagement present signifies
faithfulness--and it may mean faithfulness to friendship or love as the
case may be. We usually find that a young lady's spinster friends are
partial to the custom; they seem to find particular enjoyment in
presenting her with dainty tea-cups, either separately or in sets.

Expensive gifts should never be exchanged during an engagement, barring
of course the engagement ring. The young man may present his
prospective bride with books, flowers or candy, but articles of wearing
apparel are considered bad taste.

To be modest, gracious, dignified during the engagement, to continue
one's social duties faithfully, neither neglecting one's friends nor
becoming self-consciously enthusiastic, to be self-possessed and
unaffected even while one is the center of much lively interest and
animated discussion--this is the end to be desired, and the young man
and woman who have accomplished it are indeed fortunate.


A good many years ago a friend of a young woman who was about to be
married decided that the only gift she could afford was too slight an
offering to express the love and good wishes that she felt. Knowing
that there were other friends who felt the same way she called them
together and suggested that they present their gifts at the same time.
Then and there the idea of the "shower" was born.

The custom has prevailed and in most instances to-day the shower has a
special purpose, such as the linen shower or the kitchen shower or the
book shower. It is a very charming way of presenting gifts that would
seem too trifling if they were presented alone.

Intimate friends of the bride are the guests at a shower. It is usually
a very informal affair and nearly always a surprise to the bride. The
gifts may be hidden in a Jack Horner pie, they may be wrapped in all
sorts of odd packages, or they may be presented in any of a hundred and
one attractive ways. Originality in this, as in all entertainments, is
greatly to be desired.

The young lady who is honored with a shower thanks the guests verbally,
and afterwards she may write each of them a little note expressing her
gratitude. It is necessary to do so if the affair was an elaborate one
and the gifts were expensive.


The question of how long an engagement should last is usually governed
by attendant conditions. There is, however, a marked tendency for
engagements to be short; in fact, fashion now demands that the
wedding-day be at least tentatively fixed before the engagement is

Many times there are excellent reasons why it should be of several
years' duration. It is best not to announce the fact formally, though
it may be understood among one's friends. Matters of this kind are to
be determined by the two people who are most concerned, and if a young
man and his fiancé have decided that they would like to have a long
engagement the rules of etiquette have nothing to say against it.


The father and mother of the young lady who is about to be married
assume all responsibility for the preparation for and the celebration
of the wedding. The groom is not expected to pay for anything except
the ring and flowers for the bride and, if he wishes, the flowers for
the bridesmaids and trifling gifts for the ushers and other attendants.
The clergyman's fee also devolves upon him, but all other expenses are
paid by the bride's parents or guardians. Indeed, it would indicate a
great lack of tact or delicacy on the part of the groom to offer to
provide a part of the trousseau or to pay for any of the other expenses
incidental to the occasion.

Announcement cards, invitations, music, flowers and other decorations
for the church, the preparations for the breakfast or reception to
follow the ceremony--all of these are paid for by her parents. The
wedding should never be more elaborate than the parents of the bride
can afford.


It is always very delightful when the families of an engaged couple
find themselves congenial, and every effort should be made by the young
people to bring about, if it does not already exist, a harmonious
relationship between their immediate families. It is almost equally
desirable that each shall like the friends of the other and heroic
efforts must be made to do so. A pleasing way to bring friends together
is by means of an informal reception. The invitations should be cordial
notes written by hand. The following indicates the usual form:

    _Bayside, April 4, 19--_

    _Dear May:_

    _No doubt you already know that I am engaged to be married to
    Ralph Curran. Thursday afternoon from three to five mother is
    giving a little reception for his friends and mine, and we both
    hope that you will be able to attend._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Helen Hall._

For the members of the immediate families or for very close friends a
dinner is suggested but the most important point for the family which
is doing the entertaining to keep in mind is the style of living to
which the other has been accustomed, and nothing should be done which
might embarrass them. If the family has been accustomed to great
elegance the one that is acting as host need have no fear for people
who are worth knowing appreciate simplicity wherever they find it; but
if they are in very moderate circumstances it is the cruellest kind of
discourtesy to attempt to overawe them with ceremonious hospitality.

It is ordinarily the family of the groom that is first to approach the
other with an invitation of some kind, but extenuating circumstances
make the convention vary. Often a young girl is invited to visit in the
home of her fiancé before her marriage. It is an invitation which she
may accept with perfect propriety.




Not later than fifteen days, and not earlier than four weeks before the
date set for the marriage, wedding invitations are sent to those
friends, relatives and acquaintances who are to be present at the
ceremony. When the wedding is to be a large church affair, invitations
are sent to all those whose names appear on the visiting lists of the
two families. They are also issued to relatives and friends of the
bride and groom who may be traveling abroad, to the important business
associates of the groom, and those of the bride's father. Intimate
friends and relatives in mourning are also invited, whether they are
expected to attend or not.

For a home wedding, more discrimination is shown in the issuing of
invitations. Intimate friends and relatives of both families are
invited, but no casual acquaintances. In sending out the invitations,
the bride-to-be and her mother should take into consideration the
number of people who will fit comfortably into the reception or drawing


Formal wedding invitations should always be engraved. They are issued
in the name of the bride's parents, or, if she is an orphan, in the
names of a married brother and his wife, of her guardian or her nearest
male relative.

Pure white or cream-tinted paper, unglazed but smooth in surface,
should be used for wedding invitations. A conventional size, although
each year sees another size in wedding invitations, is seven inches in
length by six inches in width. These dimensions vary, but never more
than an inch or so. They fold once into the envelope. Plain script is
favored for the engraving of the wedding cards; old English script,
Roman capitals and block lettering are all effective. A good stationer
will show you the types of lettering most suited to wedding invitations
at the present time. It is his business to be able to advise you.

If there is a family crest (the bride's family) it may be embossed in
white in the center at the top of the engraved sheet, but not on the
flap of the envelope. A recent fashion is to have the bride's initials
embossed in white where the crest would appear. Both are effective; but
such decorations as gilt-edges, entwined letters of coats-of-arms in
colors are in bad taste.

Very fine paper should be selected for the wedding invitation. No tint
except cream may be used; pure-white is considered the very best form.
The paper should be of medium weight, unglazed, and smooth.
Light-weight paper through which lettering can be easily seen should
not be used. Nor should the paper be so thick and heavy that it breaks
when folded.


The wedding invitation demands two envelopes. The first, matching in
texture and quality the paper of the invitation, is used as a
protection for the card. It remains unsealed. The second envelope is a
trifle larger, though it must also be of a similar texture. Into this
envelope the card and the inner envelope are slipped for mailing.

The large envelope is sealed and stamped. It bears the complete name
and address of the person for whom it is intended, while the inner
envelope bears only the name. The church cards are enclosed with the
wedding invitation if there is necessity for them. And if there is to
be a wedding reception to which this particular guest is invited, a
special card is also enclosed. The "at home" cards of the bridal couple
are sent separately after the wedding.


The wedding invitation is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Blank. The
expression "and family" following the name of a husband and wife is not
used in polite society. If there are unmarried daughters to be invited,
a separate invitation is addressed to "The Misses Blank." Sons may be
invited either by sending a separate invitation to each one, or
addressing one invitation to "The Messrs. Blank." All these
invitations, in their proper envelopes, addressed appropriately, are
placed in the large envelope for mailing. This single envelope is
addressed in full to the matron of the family, "Mrs. Henry Mason


The invitation to a church wedding is worded with a bit more formality
than the invitation to the home ceremony. It is sent out two or three
weeks before the day set for the wedding. The church wedding invitation
requires no written acknowledgment, except in those rare cases when
there is a request for it. Instead of the initials, R.S.V.P., it is
better form to say simply, "Please reply." Invitations for the home
wedding, of course, require prompt acknowledgment.

Following are two forms of church wedding invitations which may be

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Grey Taylor
    request the honor of
    presence at the marriage of their daughter
    Helen Marie
    Mr. Raymond Mitchell
    on Thursday, the ninth of May
    at four o'clock
    St. Thomas's Church
    New York_

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Grey Taylor
    request the honor of your presence
    at the marriage of their daughter
    Helen Marie
    Mr. Raymond Mitchell
    on Friday, the fourth of June
    at six o'clock
    at the Presbyterian Church

In the first invitation, the name of the guest is written by hand in
the space left for that purpose. The use of "marriage and" and
"marriage with" is now customary in preference to "marriage to." All
three words are in good form, however, and any one of them may be used.
Below is a model engraved admission card, used when the church wedding
is to be a large one and tickets of admission are necessary. The
correct size is denoted:

    at St. Michael's Church
    on Monday, the fifth of May_


For the home wedding, invitations are engraved as for the church
wedding, but for the phrase "request the honor of your presence" the
phrase "request the pleasure of your company" is substituted, though
"honor" may be used in place of "pleasure" if one prefers.

As in the case of the church wedding, a space may be left for the name
of the guest to be filled in, or the form that follows may be used:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Robert Guy Brown
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the marriage of their daughter
    Helen Rose
    Mr. Henry Van Buren
    on Tuesday afternoon, June the first
    at four o'clock
    Twenty-two West End Avenue_

When the wedding takes place in the country, or a guest at a great
distance is invited, a small card like the one following is generally

    _Train leaves Grand Central Station
    for Glenville at 11:42 A.M._

    _Returning train leaves Glenville
    for New York at 6:10 P.M._

Wealthy people often place a special train at the disposal of special
city friends whose presence is eagerly desired at the wedding. A card,
like the one following, is enclosed with the invitation, and it serves
as a pass, entitling the bearer to a seat in the reserved train. Here
is the form most generally used:

    _The special train leaves
    Grand Central Station for Glenville
    at 11:42 A.M.
    Leaves Glenville for Grand Central Station
    at 6:10 P.M.
    Please present this card at station door_


Sometimes, either because of convenience or personal preference,
arrangements are made to have a wedding take place at the home of a
friend or relative. The following wording is suggested as the correct
form for the invitation:

    _The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the marriage of
    Miss Marian Benson Joyce
    Mr. John H. Brown
    on Monday, the fifth of June
    at twelve o'clock
    at the residence of
    Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Smith Hopkins
    Eighteen Johns Street_


When a church wedding is followed by a reception or breakfast, special
engraved cards are enclosed with the invitations to those guests whose
presence is desired. It may be a very small card, inscribed merely with
these words:

    from four o'clock
    Forty-six Lafayette Street_

For the wedding breakfast a card of this kind is usually enclosed:

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Hay
    request the pleasure of
    company, at breakfast
    on Thursday, the fifth of May
    at twelve o'clock_


The second wedding invitation of a widow should be issued in the name
of her parents or nearest living relatives. She uses her own first name
with the surname of the deceased husband. Here is the correct form:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Robbert Manning
    request the honor of your presence
    at their marriage of their daughter
    Mrs. May Ellis Bruce
    Mr. Stanley Kenworth
    on Monday, September the fifth
    at six o'clock
    St. Paul Chapel_

It may be that the woman who is to be married for the second time has
no near relatives to serve as hosts for her. Her invitations may be
like this:

    _The honor of your presence is requested
    at the marriage of
    Mrs. Helen Roy Chadwick
    Mr. Bruce Kenneth
    on Wednesday, August the tenth
    at four o'clock
    Church of the Redeemer_

Announcement cards are sent after a wedding if there were no
invitations issued. They are often sent instead of invitations to
friends who live at too great a distance to be present at the ceremony.
They require no acknowledgment though it is customary to send either a
note expressing good wishes or a gift of some kind. If one lives in the
same community one should call on the bride's mother, and if the
bride's card in inclosed, on the bride herself shortly after she
returns from the honeymoon. This is the usual form for the announcement

    _Mr. and Mrs. Roger Smith
    announce the marriage of their daughter
    Rose Madeline
    Mr. Frank Breckenridge
    on Thursday, April the first
    one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one_

In case of a second marriage of the bride, the announcement card reads
in this manner:

    _Mr. Robert G. Gainsworth
    Mrs. Herbert Gaylord Smith
    announce their marriage
    on Thursday, August the Eleventh
    one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one_

The bride uses the announcement above only when she is a widow. A
divorcée uses her own first and second names, with the surname of the
divorced husband.

The announcement card is engraved on sheets of white paper similar in
size and texture to those used for the invitation. It is posted on the
day of the wedding. The forms given above may be modified by adding the
name of the Church in which the ceremony was held, or the home address
of the bride if it was a home wedding.

With the wedding invitation or the announcement card the "at home" card
of the bride may be included, giving the date of her return from the
honeymoon and her future address. Thus:

    _Mr. and Mrs. K. N. Littleton
    At Home in Forest Hills
    After the eighteenth of August_


Unlike the wedding invitation, that of the anniversary may display some
delicate, unostentatious design significant of the occasion. It is
engraved on sheets or cards which may display the entwined initials of
husband and wife, and the year of the marriage and wedding anniversary.
For a silver wedding, the engraving may be done in silver, and gold
lettering is permissible for the fifty-year anniversary. The two most
approved forms for the anniversary invitations are given below:

    _1875                        1900
    Mr. and Mrs. Henry Guy Ascher
    At Home
    Wednesday evening, May third
    after eight o'clock
    Thirty-two Pine Street_

    _1863                        1913
    Mr. and Mrs. Henry Guy Ascher
    request the pleasure of your company
    on the Fiftieth Anniversary
    of their marriage
    on Thursday, June the third
    at eight o'clock
    Thirty-two Pine Street_


When a recent death in the family, or when personal preference results
in a so-called "quiet" wedding, when only the immediate family and very
close friends are invited, a short note written either by the
bride-to-be or her mother, is the only invitation. Following is a note
of this kind from the bride-elect to her friend--and immediately below
it the correct form of acknowledgment:

    _Dear Janet:_

    _Two weeks from Monday, on the ninth of September, Mr. Brill and
    I are to be married. We are asking only a few of our most intimate
    friends to be present, and would be very glad to have you among
    them. The ceremony will take place at four o'clock._

    _With kindest regards, I am_

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Harriet B. Howe._

    _Dear Harriet:_

    _I shall be delighted to attend your wedding on September ninth,
    at four o'clock._

    _With cordial good wishes to you and Mr. Brill, I am_

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Janet B. Robbins._


When a breakfast or reception card is included, a response must be made
promptly. The form of the invitation should be followed as nearly as
possible. It is written on the first page of a sheet of social note
paper, and addressed to the parents or guardians of the bride. Here is
the form used for acceptance:

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Mortimer
    accept with pleasure
    Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Fletcher's
    kind invitation to be present at the
    marriage of their daughter
    Helen Marie
    Mr. Thomas Wolcott
    on Tuesday, the seventh of May
    at twelve o'clock
    and afterward at the wedding breakfast_

Regrets are usually worded in this manner, following closely the
invitation. The reason for non-attendance may or may not be given:

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Mortimer
    exceedingly regret that they
    are unable to accept
    Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher's
    kind invitation to be present at the
    marriage of their daughter
    Helen Marie
    Mr. Thomas Wolcott
    on Tuesday, the seventh of May
    at twelve o'clock
    and afterward at the wedding breakfast_

In the fourth line of the first acknowledgment above the two last words
"at the" may be prefixed to the fifth line; the same holds true of the
fifth line of the second acknowledgment. A good stationer will be able
to give you the exact prevalent vogue in this matter.


It is necessary for the young man and woman who are about to be married
to make out their list of those to whom invitations are to be sent
together. If the wedding is to be a large affair, not only their
friends but the friends of their parents as well, and business
acquaintances of both families should be invited. Relatives and friends
in mourning should be invited but no resentment should be felt if they
do not attend. If the wedding is a small one great care should be taken
lest the guests are so numerous as to overcrowd the church or home.
Especially is this true of the home where the space is usually more


All invitations should come from the home of the bride, even those that
are for the personal friends of her husband even if they are unknown to
the bride. They should be mailed from one month to two weeks or ten
days before the day set for the wedding. If the bride is an orphan they
are sent in the name of her nearest relative. If there is an older
brother they may be issued in his name, but never in the name of a
sister unless she is a great deal older than the bride or is herself a
married woman. If the bride has lost one parent and the other has
remarried she may use her own judgment as to whether to send the
invitation in the name of her parent or in the names of them both. The
latter is usually preferred, as a matter of consideration toward the


A sudden death in the family, illness, accident, or other serious
happening, warrants the recall of wedding invitations. The parents of
the bride should immediately notify guests of the postponement of the
wedding, by issuing printed cards. A good size for these cards is three
and a quarter inches in length by one and one-quarter inches in width.
The text is usually worded in this manner:

    _Owing to the sudden death of Mr. Henry
    Robert's father, Mr. and Mrs. James Curtis
    are compelled to recall the invitations for
    their daughter's wedding on Thursday, February
    the fourth._


    _Mr. and Mrs. James Curtis beg to recall
    the invitations issued for the marriage of
    their daughter, Grace Helen, and Mr. Henry
    Roberts, on Thursday, February the fourth._


A broken engagement is always embarrassing for both the young man and
the young lady. Friends, if they are truly well-bred, will not ask
questions, and relatives will not demand explanations. The obligations
which such a situation entails are unpleasant, but it is infinitely
better to go through the ordeal than to face a marriage which is
certain to end in disaster.

At such a time it is important for the young lady to have the utmost
dignity and self-possession. She is not expected to make any
announcement or offer any explanations. If a reception has been
scheduled, her mother sends brief notes or engraved cards to those who
have been invited, informing them that the engagement has been broken.
The young lady, if she wishes, may confide in her intimate friends; but
to be bitter, to condemn her former suitor in any way, to suggest that
perhaps he was not all that she thought he was at first, not only
reflects on her own good judgment, but is very poor form and shows lack
of delicacy.

If the announcement of the engagement has been made in the papers such
a notice as this might be inserted in the name of the person or persons
who first made the announcement:

    _Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Simmons announce
    that by mutual consent the engagement
    between their daughter Agnes and George
    Francis Richards is at an end._

If invitations have been sent out a similar announcement may be
dispatched to each intended guest. These should be engraved on white
cards of the size recommended by the stationer.

If the engagement was announced only to intimate friends the bride
should send each of them a note stating that the engagement is at
an end. It is much better _never_ to give an explanation. Such
occasions as this must have given rise to the proverb, "Least said,
soonest mended." Even to the bride's dearest friend the following note
is sufficient:

    _Bellevue, June 1, 19--_

    _Dear Ruth:_

    _Since I wrote you last week something has happened which has
    made George and me reconsider our engagement. You will therefore
    please disregard the invitation for Thursday afternoon._

    _Ever sincerely yours,_

    _Margaret Franklin._


When an engagement is broken off the young people return all expensive
gifts and all letters that have passed between them. The young lady
always, of course, returns the engagement ring.

If wedding presents have been received from friends these also must be
returned with a brief note explaining that the wedding is not to take
place. It is necessary to thank the donor as warmly as if nothing had

It takes a great deal of courage to face the situation bravely and to
go through it without a sacrifice of dignity. One thing must be
remembered: _Don't be afraid of what people will say._ It is not
their happiness which is at stake.


Often a death in the family occurs when preparations are under way for
a wedding. If the death is that of a parent or very dear relative the
wedding should be postponed, if circumstances permit, as a mark of
respect and sincere sorrow for the deceased. But if the wedding must
take place as scheduled, or even two or three months after the death,
good taste and delicacy demand that it shall be quiet and simple, with
only a few near relatives and friends present.

If the ceremony is performed in church there should be no garlands of
gay flowers to strike a festive note. A bit of fern or other green
foliage here and there is sufficient decoration. The bride may have one
bridesmaid and a maid of honor--but an elaborate bridal train is
considered poor taste within six months of a dearly beloved one's
death. The ceremony itself is dispatched with expedience and rapidity,
yet without any semblance whatever of haste.

Whether it is held in church or at home, the wedding during the period
of mourning is characterized by a solemn simplicity that has none of
the triumphant joyousness of the elaborate wedding. And still the
occasion sacrifices none of its happiness, for sorrow brings to human
nature the same mellow sweetness that the flight of time brings to
untasted wine.

To pay fitting reverence to the dead, weddings and receptions of all
kinds should be postponed. But if circumstances decree that they shall
take place, then the occasion may be marked by so quiet and
unpretentious a ceremony that the respect due the deceased is in no way




The bride and groom decide between them the church where they wish the
wedding to take place and the clergyman whom they wish to officiate.
When there is no religious difference between the couple the matter is
a very simple one and the church which the bride's family regularly
attends is the one chosen, but when he is of one faith and she of
another it may assume serious proportions. If neither is inclined to
yield gracefully the laws of etiquette decree that the groom should
give in, not only because chivalry demands it but also because the
wedding day by right and tradition belongs primarily to the bride.

The church should be decorated for the occasion but not with great
elaboration. Palms, ferns, and smilax, roses, lilies and other flowers
are appropriate. Ribbon also may be used effectively. White streamers
are sometimes used to mark off the seats which are to be occupied by
the relatives and intimate friends of the bride and groom, but there
are many people who do not like to indicate so definitely the lines of
demarcation among their guests.

Extravagance in any of the appointments of the wedding are in extremely
bad taste. It is sometimes well to remember the delightful logic of the
old lady who said that she did not dress better than she could afford
to at home because everybody knew her and there was no use trying to
impress them; and she did not dress better than she could afford when
she went to the city because nobody knew her and it did not make any
difference whether she impressed them or not. No set form of decoration
can be given, but magnificent ornamentation is out of place in a simple
chapel or church, and in every place profusion beyond one's means is
not only ill-bred but foolish.


Among the Anglo-Saxons the custom of an impressive escort for the bride
had its origin. To-day it is a matter of choice, and the bride may have
as many or as few as she pleases. Her maid of honor is usually her
sister or her best friend and her bridesmaids are chosen from among
those who are dearest to her. The groom chooses the best man and the
bride and groom together select the ushers.


Although the number of bridesmaids is entirely a matter of choice, it
is the fashion at an elaborate church wedding to have not less than
five nor more than ten. A maid or matron of honor, two little pages or
flower girls, and, if it is desired, a third child to bear the cushion
to the altar, completes the bridal train.

The bevy of bridesmaids consists of the bride's dearest friends. If she
has sisters, one of them, as well as one of the bridegroom's sisters,
must be included in her escort. For maid or matron of honor, the bride
selects a sister or intimate friend.

It is sometimes customary for the bride to provide the dresses of her
bridesmaids. This, however, is dependent upon circumstances and
conditions, and is not really essential. It is important, though, that
the bride visit each bridesmaid personally and request her services at
the wedding, unless she lives at some distance.

The bride, if the wedding is to be an elaborate one, may suggest to the
bridesmaids the kind of gowns she would like them to wear. The young
ladies may be trusted to follow her wishes implicitly. No one would
willingly mar a friend's wedding by appearing in a gown that does not
agree with the general plan. The gowns need not be identical; but the
colors must be the same, or at least harmonize. Light shades are always
the fashion for bridesmaids. White, of course, for the bride.

The bridesmaids should be invited many weeks before the wedding so that
they will have ample time for preparation. Nearly always the dress has
to be made, and this takes time.

It is customary for the bridesmaids to be dressed alike or very nearly
alike. The custom had its origin in primitive times when evil spirits
were supposed to attend wedding ceremonies and the bride and groom were
surrounded by friends of their own age and sex dressed similarly so
that the spirits could not single out the happy couple for their evil
designs. It is a far cry from that time to this, and the only reason
why the bridesmaids are dressed similarly now is because the effect is
so much prettier than could be attained by a miscellaneous array of
gowns, however beautiful each one in itself might be.

They carry flowers, either cut flowers or bouquets, but their bouquets
are never so elaborate as that carried by the bride. Usually they wear
a bit of jewelry which was presented by the groom. This, too, is a
curious survival of primitive marriage customs when the groom had to
capture the bride, and because she was fleet-footed and wild (or
perhaps because he was lazy), bribed her friends to lure her to the
place where he was waiting.


Elaborate weddings should always be rehearsed at least once beforehand.
In arranging these rehearsals the bride must have in mind the
convenience of her attendants, and by consulting them, should settle
upon a time that will be agreeable for the majority. The requests for
one's presence at a rehearsal may be made verbally or by notes.
Refreshments are usually served afterward at the home of the bride.

She must arrange for the opening of the church, and she should provide
a way for the young ladies who are at some distance to get there. The
details of the ceremony should be practiced until the whole thing can
be accomplished with ease and grace. Every possible effort must be made
to eliminate a stilted and wooden effect on the actual day of the


At the rehearsal they should receive careful instructions (usually from
the clergyman), as a large part of the smoothness and charm of the
wedding ceremony depends upon their knowledge of the right thing to do
at the right time.

On the day of the wedding, they must be at the church at least an hour
before the scheduled time for the ceremony. It is part of their duty to
welcome the guests and escort them to their seats. An old custom was
for the usher to offer his right arm to a lady, and although it still
prevails, a more accepted form is for him to welcome each guest with a
smile, precede her down the aisle, and with a graceful indication,
direct her to her place.

Front seats should always be reserved for the relatives and most
intimate friends of both families. At most fashionable weddings, the
names of the people to receive these front seats are tabulated on cards
and given to the ushers. Another custom that is permissible is to mark
off the number of seats in front that are to be reserved with a white
ribbon, extending from aisle to aisle and terminating at the end seats
with pretty bows or festoons. This manner of reserving seats for the
"guests of honor" is not only effective, but is also decorative.


June and October, because the weather is usually beautiful and flowers
are more abundant than at other times, are the favorite months for
brides, though there is not a single month out of the twelve that does
not see its full quota of elaborate weddings. During Lent there are
fewer than at any other time.

There is an old superstition which says that Friday is an unlucky day
for a wedding, but the prejudice that rose from it has so largely been
done away with that the only choice among the days of the week is that
which rises from the bride's personal convenience and desire.

A wedding may take place at any hour of the day. Morning weddings are
usually very simple. Elaborate ceremonies are usually performed at high
noon or in the evening while the wedding that is neither very simple
nor very elaborate (and this means most weddings) takes place in the
afternoon. In a great many instances the hour has to be arranged with
reference to the time the train on which the bride and groom expect to
leave departs.


The wedding party should arrive promptly at the church a few minutes
before the time mentioned for the ceremony. Few moments are more
tensely anxious than those in which a belated member of the wedding
party is awaited by the others. For this reason, it is always better to
assemble at the home of the bride rather than in the vestibule of the
church or elsewhere. Except the groom and best man, who await the
others in the vestry and the ushers who have gone on ahead an hour or
so earlier.

The bride's mother, the maid of honor and guests leave the home of the
bride first. They are followed by the bridesmaids. The last to leave
are the bride and her father.

The bride's mother is escorted to her place (the aisle seat of the
front pew on the left side) by the head usher. Those of her children
who have no part in the procession accompany her. The family of the
bridegroom are similarly conducted to their reserved place, the front
pew on the right side. As soon as the bridesmaids and the bridal party
arrive at the door of the church, the bridegroom is informed, and the
entire cortége assembles in the vestibule. The organist has previously
been informed as to what musical selections are to be played, and as
soon as he gets his cue, he strikes a chord--and while the mellow notes
of the organ peal forth (usually the beautiful tones of the
wedding-march from "Lohengrin") the doors at the foot of the aisle
slowly swing open.


The bride usually enters on Lohengrin and goes out on Mendelssohn.
Throughout the ceremony, except when prayers are being said, there
should be soft music and the organ should continue to play until all
the guests have left the church, unless chimes are rung. In the event
that there are chimes they should begin to ring as soon as the bridal
party has left the church. The music for a church service may be very
stately and impressive. Besides the organ stringed instruments may be
employed and soloists or a choir may be asked to sing. Music is
especially pleasing during the time when the guests are waiting for the
wedding party to assemble.

The musical program in the home is not very different. A piano and one
or two stringed instruments furnish the instrumental music while
friends of the bride and groom may be requested to sing. These should
be rewarded by a gift from the groom. There is a wider choice in the
kind of music which may be used at the home wedding, for the beautiful
secular love songs which are out of place at the church are most
appropriate here.


The order of the wedding procession depends largely upon the number of
attendants. The following arrangement is frequently observed: The
ushers enter first, walking slowly down the aisle two by two. The
bridesmaids follow in the same manner, the maid of honor, who is
unattended, comes next, followed by the bride, who leans on the arm of
her father. Flower girls may precede the procession or they may walk
just in front of the bride and a page or pages may be added to the
group to bear the train of the bride's gown. The bride is always the
last to enter and she comes alone or with whoever is to give her away
at the altar.

As they reach the altar the ushers separate, one half moving to the
right, the other to the left. The bridesmaids do likewise, and the maid
of honor steps to the left of the bride while she and her father
advance toward the space left at the foot of the altar for them. At
this point the groom and best man come forward and the bride slips her
hand from her father's arm and places it in the hand of the groom, who
leads her to the clergyman. Her father stands at her right.


The ceremony is performed in accordance with the rites prescribed by
the religious belief of the young people who are about to be married.
The clergyman is the person to consult about any embarrassing
situations that might arise.

As the wedding ring is worn on the same finger that has previously worn
the engagement ring the bride usually removes the latter and places it
on the corresponding finger of the right hand. She may allow it to
remain there after the ceremony or she may place it on the same finger
with the wedding ring. It is allowable to leave the engagement ring in
place and slip the wedding ring on over it.

A word about the ring itself. Like many another of our practices to-day
its use is a survival from primitive times when women were chattels and
a man's wife was his property, his slave to do with as he pleased, and
the ring was of heavy iron, a sign of bondage. Not more than a decade
back the ring was too heavy to be comfortable on the finger, but now it
is a slender band of gold or platinum with or without scroll-work or
other ornamentation, as the wearer may desire. Its symbolism is very
beautiful. The precious metal is an emblem of the purity of the love
between a man and his wife and the circle itself is a symbol of

Before entering the church the bride removes the glove from her left
hand and she may give it with her bouquet to the maid of honor to hold
during the ceremony. The practice of ripping one finger of the glove so
as to leave it bare for the ring is a very foolish one and has never
found favor among people of good breeding.

It is the part of the best man to look after the groom. His services
may be required in connection with many of the preliminary details of
the wedding even in the procuring of the license. At the wedding itself
he takes charge of the ring and the clergyman's fee, giving the former
to the groom just before the ceremony requires him to place it on the
bride's finger.

The bride's father remains directly behind her until the clergyman
asks, "Who giveth this woman to this man?" when he comes forward, takes
his daughter's hand, lays it in that of the groom, and says, "I do." He
then turns away and retires to the pew, where his wife is sitting.


When the final blessing has been pronounced the bridal group may stand
at the altar for a while receiving their friends and then break up
informally, or the procession may leave the church in reverse order
from that in which they entered, the bride and groom walking first
together, followed by the best man and the maid of honor and the
bridesmaids and the ushers walking in pairs. The automobile of the
bride and groom should be waiting at the door to whisk them away to the
home of the bride, where preparations are made for the wedding journey.


It is a pretty custom for the bride to throw her bouquet among the
bridesmaids (especially lovely when the wedding takes place at home and
the bride turns to throw the flowers as she mounts the stairs). It is a
happy omen for the young lady who catches the bouquet. She may divide
it among the others or she may keep it for herself. It is not
compulsory for the bride to part with the bouquet if she prefers to
keep it herself. She may press the flowers or she may have rose beads
made from the petals or she may dispose of it in any way she desires.

A well-known young society woman who was married recently in one of New
York's most exclusive churches, ordered all the flowers used in
decorations to be sent to a certain hospital to gladden the slowly
dragging hours of the sufferers. She has created a precedent that every
bride should be proud and happy to follow.

After all, the greatest happiness is in making others happy. The joy of
the wedding day will gain a new sweetness when a kind deed adds to its
pleasure. Rather let the sufferers in a hospital enjoy the colorful
fragrance of the flowers than permit them to wilt, forgotten, in the


Frequently a shower of rice follows the departing couple, and satin
slippers are thrown after the car. Care must be taken not to overdo
this ancient custom, for although it is considered good luck for one of
the satin slippers to alight on the top of the car, it is certainly bad
form to give the occasion any appearance whatsoever of vulgarity.

It is interesting to trace this custom back to its origin. Among the
ancient Egyptians and Hebrews a slipper or sandal was a symbol that
denoted an exchange of property. Women at that time were regarded as
property, and they were given in exchange for other property. Later we
find, in Anglo-Saxon marriages, that the bride's father delivers her
shoe to the bridegroom, who touches her on the head with it in token of
his ownership and authority. The custom prevailed, and still later we
find that the idea of good luck is associated with the throwing of
slippers at weddings. Rice and grain were combined with the ceremony of
throwing shoes, obviously indicating a plea to the deity of
Productiveness to bless the marriage with an abundant supply of
nature's bounties.

To-day the custom is still in vogue. Old satin slippers and handfuls of
rice are thrown after the departing couple. It would not be an
objectionable custom if some over-enthusiastic individuals did not
overdo it to the extent that it becomes almost riotous. After a solemn,
dignified, well-ordered wedding ceremony, and a charming reception, it
is nothing short of ridiculous to spoil it all by boisterously
overdoing an old tradition. The cultured person is always well-poised,
always calm--whether it be during the tense moments of the wedding-vow
utterances, or the half-glad, half-sad moments of seeing the happy pair


Fashionable weddings, if not celebrated with a wedding breakfast, are
followed by a reception either in the afternoon or evening. All the
bridal attendants are present, and those relatives and friends who have
previously received invitations.

The reception takes place in the drawing room of the bride's home. The
room is decorated with flowers, and in the hall is a refreshment table
on which is punch, cakes and boxes containing favors for each of the

The bride and groom stand together under a floral bell and accept the
congratulations and good wishes of the guests. The bride's mother and
father are at the door of the drawing room to welcome them, and the
parents of the groom are also ready to receive and welcome the guests
as they arrive.

It is an important duty of the ushers, at the wedding reception, to
introduce to the bride all those guests whom she does not know. She
accepts their congratulations with a smile and a cordial word or two in
acknowledgment of the introduction.


Wedding breakfasts, though an old English custom, are often held after
the church wedding. If it is decided upon, the guests to be invited
should be informed at least two weeks in advance. The occasion has all
the dignity and formality of a dinner party.

The bride and groom enter the dining room first. They are followed by
the bride's mother and the groom's father, and the groom's mother and
the bride's father. The bridesmaids and ushers are always invited to
the wedding breakfast, and they follow immediately after the parents of
the happy couple. The precedence of the other invited guests is
arranged by the mother of the bride.

The menu at a wedding breakfast is never elaborate. Consommée or
bouillon, salads, birds, ices, jellies and bonbons are the usual order.
Coffee and dainty cakes are served last. The wedding cake, if one is
served at all, is set before the bride.

The bride gives one-and-one-half to two hours to her guests at the
wedding breakfast. Then she retires to her room, accompanied by the
maid of honor and her most intimate friends among the bridesmaids; and
when she appears again she is in traveling costume. The groom has also
retired to change his clothes, and he meets the bride at the foot of
the stairs. The motor is at the door in readiness, and after the last
whispered good-bys, warm handclasps and hasty kisses--the bride and
groom are off!


The custom of giving wedding presents dates from away back in Dutch
history when the relatives and friends of the bride and groom took upon
themselves the responsibility of furnishing the new household.

Great taste and discrimination should be exercised in the selecting of
gifts and they should be sent early. Two months before the wedding is
not too soon. It is wise for the friends whenever possible to consult
each other so that they will not duplicate gifts. If most of the
silver, etc., is gotten from the same jeweler he is a great help in
selecting something that is not only appropriate in itself but in
harmony with the other gifts.

Anyone who receives an invitation may send the bride a gift, though it
is not absolutely necessary to respond to the invitation in this way.
To the question: "What shall the gift be?" the answer is the prettiest
and most useful article within one's means. China and silver are always
appropriate, and cut glass, linen, books, and even checks or gold
pieces are most acceptable.

There is a slight prejudice against giving money as a present at a
wedding or at any other time, but one has only to see the joy that the
bride and groom get out of spending the money over and over again
before they finally do spend it to have this prejudice dispelled.

Silver and linen are usually marked with the initials of the bride,
more often than not with the initials of her maiden name. If there is
any doubt as to which she prefers and one is not able to find out
indirectly, it is permissible to ask her.

Gifts should always be accompanied by the cards of the donors, but
these should be removed when they are placed on display.


It is not sufficient merely to keep the cards which accompany the
wedding gifts but there must be some system by which the bride can
remember which gift each one accompanied. She may indicate this on the
card itself or she may keep a list of the names of the donors with the
names of the gifts opposite, but she _must_ be absolutely sure that she
is thanking the right person.

[Illustration: © Brown Bros.


If the honeymoon is to be only two weeks or thereabouts the bride may
wait until her return to thank her friends, but if it is to be of long
duration she should write the notes of acknowledgment as soon as she
finds it convenient to do so. These personal notes--and a personal note
is the only proper way to thank one for a wedding present--are usually
written by the bride, but she should always be careful to introduce her
husband's name unless the gift was a very intimate one for her alone.
The following note is a graceful way for both husband and wife to
express their gratitude:

    _July 1, 1921._

    _Dear Rosalind:_

    _George and I both wish to thank you for the lovely picture. When
    we return from Atlantic City we shall hang it in our living room
    where all of our friends can enjoy it with us. We hope that you
    will be among the first to visit us in our new home._

    _Very sincerely yours,_

    _Annie Beard Hill._

Sometimes the groom receives personal gifts from friends of his. To
these he writes notes of thanks in his own name.


Home weddings can often be made as impressive as church weddings. With
correct decorations the most spacious rooms in the bride's house can be
transformed into an interior as lovely as the interior of a beautifully
decorated church.

For instance, at a fashionable home wedding, held recently, the drawing
room was decorated with massive floral wreaths and clusters of palms. A
huge bell of flowers hung in the center of the room, and a canopy of
flowers, occupying one corner, simulated a chapel. The effect was
altogether delightful.

Only close relatives and friends should be invited to the home wedding.
The bridegroom does not enter the home of the bride until a half hour
before the ceremony begins, and when he does arrive, he and his best
man do not mingle with the other guests but retire to an adjoining room
provided for them. The clergyman also retires to this room when he
arrives, and it is here that he dons his official robe. The three
remain until it is announced that the bride is ready to enter the
drawing room.

The bride's mother, assisted by her husband, receives the guests. It is
not considered good form to begin the ceremony until they have all
arrived. Then, when everything is in readiness, the bride is met at the
head of the stairs by her father, and is conducted by him to the
entrance of the room. Usually there is no elaborate wedding procession,
and even in the most fashionable home wedding there is often only a
maid or matron of honor to precede the bride. There are rarely more
than half a dozen bridesmaids at most. The order of precedence is
similar to that of the church wedding; the clergyman performs the
ceremony under a floral canopy, and when it is completed, he steps
aside and the newly married couple take his place to receive the
congratulations and good wishes of the guests.

The wedding breakfast or reception proceeds immediately upon the
conclusion of the ceremony. Everyone present is a guest; and everyone
present attends the reception.


When a woman marries for the second time, her wedding should be very
conservative. Elaborate ceremonies would, indeed, be out of place.
However, the more important conditions of the ceremony are followed
very much along the same lines.

White is for the girl-bride only. The woman who marries for the second
time indulges in none of the age-old customs that the first bride does.
She does not wear a white veil; she does not carry orange blossoms; she
does not have flower girls or pages or bridesmaids. The more
inconspicuous the second wedding is, the more it is in accordance with
the rules of etiquette.

The bride-for-the-second-time may have a maid of honor only on one
occasion. If she has a church wedding and invites numerous guests, she
may have a maid of honor to precede her to the altar. As in the first
wedding, her father gives her away. Her family assumes all
responsibility for the expenses involved unless she prefers to do so
herself. If a reception is given after the ceremony, the same order of
precedence is followed as after the first wedding; the reception may be
held either in the home of the bride's parents, or in her own home.

If married in church, there are none of the elaborate decorations that
characterize the first bridal, although flowers are always acceptable.
Especially if the second ceremony takes place only a short time after
the mourning period for the first husband, any conspicuous display is
in very bad taste.


It is customary for a widow to remove the engagement ring and wedding
ring of her first husband before the day of her second wedding. The
sight of them cannot be in any way pleasant to her new husband, and
they may be a source of sorrowful memory to her. It is best to discard
them as soon as the second marriage is decided upon.

There has always been some doubt as to whether or not the family of the
second-bride's first husband should be invited to her wedding.
Absolutely. There is no reason why they should be ignored, any more
than any of the other friends and acquaintances of the bride. In fact,
she owes them a special courtesy, and if they accept the invitation,
they must be treated with the kindest attention and courtesy. They must
always occupy seats below the white ribbon, if the wedding is held at
church. If there is for any reason dissension or disagreement between
her and her first husband's family, she will not of course invite them.
But that may only be an individual case; the general rule is to invite
them and treat them with the utmost consideration.

Gifts at the second wedding will not be as elaborate as those at the
first wedding. However, each gift must be acknowledged with a cordial
note of thanks. In fact, all the etiquette of the first wedding is
observed, except that it is on a much simpler scale.

As for the man who marries for the second time, he, too, follows the
original dictates of wedding etiquette, and eliminates only the
farewell bachelor dinner. Here also the ceremony and reception is on a
considerably less extravagant style.


The girl or woman who is about to be married can always get helpful
suggestions from her friends who have been married or have witnessed
fashionable weddings. The minister in charge is especially qualified to
give you a great deal of important advice, and one should never
hesitate to consult him. In his official capacity he has doubtless
served at many weddings, many of them well-nigh perfect, some of them
marred by the very blunders that he can teach you to avoid.


There is something strangely beautiful and poetic in the celebration of
a wedding anniversary. It arouses slumbering sentiments and mellows old
memories into a throbbing happiness. Here are the wedding anniversaries
that are usually celebrated in our better society:

    The Paper Wedding--first year.
    The Wooden Wedding--fifth year.
    The Tin Wedding--tenth year.
    The Leather Wedding--twelfth year.
    The Crystal Wedding--fifteenth year.
    The China Wedding--twentieth year.
    The Silver Wedding--twenty-fifth year.
    The Ivory Wedding--thirtieth year.
    The Woolen Wedding--fortieth year.
    The Silk Wedding--forty-fifth year.
    The Golden Wedding--fiftieth year.
    The Diamond Wedding--seventy-fifth year.

Although many families celebrate all of these anniversaries, it is more
generally the fashion to disregard all those that come before the
quarter-century mark. The first anniversary to be celebrated is usually
the silver wedding. The most favored way of doing this is to have a
dinner party or a reception. Sometimes, especially when there are young
unmarried daughters, a dance is given and a dinner follows later.


Cards for the silver wedding reception should be printed on white or
silver-gray paper. They may be printed in silver or black. They may be
worded in the usual "at home" form, or may be in this form:

    _Mr. and Mrs. S. Brown
    request the pleasure of ............'s presence
    at the dinner reception of their
    Silver Wedding
    on Tuesday, June the fourteenth
    at seven o'clock
    1897                                   1922_

If an invitation like the one above is issued, the guests will
undoubtedly send beautiful gifts of silver--unless, as is often the
case, it is requested in the invitation that no gifts be presented.
Sometimes, in fact, the bride and groom of twenty-five years
commemorate their silver wedding by themselves, sending handsome gifts
of silver to those who started out in married life at about the same
time that they did, but who have not been materially so fortunate.


If a reception celebrates the silver wedding, the husband assists his
wife in receiving. Often the occasion begins at the precise hour at
which the marriage took place; but usually the preferred time is in the
late afternoon or evening. The "bridal couple" should make an effort to
have as many as the original party of bridal attendants present as
possible. It will be interesting for the best man and the maid of honor
to have a little chat together after twenty-five years.

The husband leads the way to the dining room with his wife on his arm,
and she sits at the right of him at the table. If the historic wedding
cake is included in the collation, it is placed before the bride, just
as it was twenty-five years ago. The table decorations should be white
and silver, with a touch of green.

The menu will be the regular formal dinner menu, served and garnished
with a regard for decorative effect. Speeches are in order, and a toast
is usually proposed for the couple. The husband responds with a little
speech in which he honors his wife, and she acknowledges with a smile
that is in itself sufficient eloquence for the occasion. Tiny silver
favors, packed neatly in small white boxes and tied with silver ribbon
are effective novelties at the silver wedding.


A general frolic is in order at the tin wedding. It is rarely
celebrated, in fact, unless the ten-year-married husband and wife wish
to gather together all their old friends and have a jolly good time.
Gifts are usually in the form of tin kitchen utensils, tin
candle-sticks, tin fans, tin ornaments--even tin tables and chairs are
offered as gifts to celebrate the tenth anniversary. A dinner, very
much like the ordinary informal dinner except for the additional "tin"
celebrations, follows the reception.

Wooden weddings are not very often held, although some very fashionable
ones are recorded in the annals of social history. Rolling-pins,
step-ladders, and wooden kitchen utensils cause much merriment when
presented as gifts, and the occasion is generally one of much pleasant
raillery. Wooden ornaments make very appropriate gifts for this
wedding, and a bit of wood artistically carved is always welcome to the
five-year bride who loves pretty things for the home.


To have lived fifty years together, to have shared for fifty years each
other's sorrows, joys and hopes, is to have enjoyed one of the greatest
gifts life has to offer. It is an occasion well worthy of the most
elaborate celebration.

A golden wedding has a touch of the romantic, a touch of the
sentimental about it. Poets like to write about it; people like to
dream about it. When it becomes a reality, all the world likes to
watch--and wonder. It is a solemn and dignified event and should be
treated as an occasion of the utmost importance.

The couple should issue pure white cards engraved in gold, announcing
the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding day. It is
touching to have the maid of honor and the best man present, if they
are both still living. As many of the original bridal attendants as are
available should be invited, and all the old friends and acquaintances
of the family. There must be no levity, the couple must be treated with
reverence and honor, and the occasion must be given every appearance of
dignified importance.

Unlike the silver wedding, gifts are always presented to the aged
couple at the golden wedding. Delicate pieces of gold jewelry are
always pleasing to the "bride." The "groom" may be presented with gold
shirt-studs, cuff-links or rings. Gold services, gold chased cups,
golden goblets and golden candle sticks are most appropriate.

The dinner should be elaborate. A huge wedding cake, inscribed with a
frosting of the surnames and wedding date of the couple is worthy of
holding the place of honor in the center of the table. Once again the
"bride" enjoys the privilege of being the first to cut the cake--and in
or with each slice that is given to the guests there should be some
little golden token, a ring or thimble or tiny jewel box. If this is
too costly, a golden flower such as a daffodil may be placed on each

A beautiful and touching sentiment to be observed on the golden wedding
is for the bride to wear something from her wedding day. Perhaps it is
a treasured bit of the bridal veil. Perhaps it is a fan, or a pair of
gloves, or even the wedding dress itself. She also carries a bouquet of
white flowers--as she did fifty years ago on her first wedding day.


Beautiful indeed is the celebration of the golden wedding. With her
children and grandchildren and friends grouped around her, with her
husband at her side, doing her every honor he might pay a newly-won
bride, the bride of fifty years can be naught but inexpressibly
happy--though memories of lost youth rise constantly to haunt her. It
is glorious--this reaching fifty years of married life--and any couple
may well be proud to commemorate its occasion.

And, after all, isn't it happiness that makes life worth while? Of what
use is wealth and power and position if we cannot have the ones we
love, the ones who love us? The man and woman who have lived together
in happy companionship for fifty years have more in their love of each
other than the man who has lived alone for fifty years and amassed
tremendous riches.




One must study the marriage customs of many countries before the
development of the trousseau idea can be fully traced. But it is
interesting--especially to the bride--to discover that at her
impressive marriage ceremony to-day she is merely repeating the ancient
customs of her ancestors, so very far back that Europe itself was not
yet known.

We find the first trace of it in the book of Genesis (Gen. xxiv. 53).
Perhaps you remember the story. Abraham's servant Eliezer brought
handsome jewels to Rebecca as a seal to the marriage compact. It is one
of the earliest evidences of outfitting for the wedding. And then we
find a trace of it among the early Eskimos, where the bridegroom must
supply his bride with all the clothes necessary for the "honeymoon."
Later, in Roumania, we find the clothes and shoes are a very important
part of the gifts to the bride. Largely from the customs practiced in
this latter country, but also from Italy, Sweden, and Greece, the idea
of the marriage trousseau sprang.

The development is most marked in Roumania. Here we find the tiniest
girls, some of them as young as five years, working on bridal
finery--each one striving to outdo the other in beauty and elaboration
of work. Each finished article is laid carefully away in a huge chest,
until such time as a suitor appears. In days gone by, the bridegroom
had the privilege of examining the trousseau and deciding whether or
not it was complete, and often his choice rested upon the worth of the
bride's outfit.

Perhaps it was because a complete outfit was so very necessary to the
young girl starting out upon her new duties as a wife that the
development of the trousseau has been so rapid. In the year 1308, at
the wedding of Edward II to Isabella of France, the trousseau played an
important part indeed. Here is a description of the bride's outfit, as
taken from E. L. Urlin's book, "A Short History of Marriage:"

    "She (Isabella) brought two gold crowns ornamented with gems, gold
    and silver drinking vessels, golden spoons and fifty silver plates.
    Her dresses were made of gold and silver stuff, velvet and
    taffetas. She had six dresses of green cloth, six of rose scarlet
    and many costly furs. For linen she had 419 yards, and the
    tapestries for her chamber were elaborate with the arms of England
    and France woven in gold."

Elaborate, yes, and certainly "fit for a queen." But perhaps we find
the trousseaux of our misses of the twentieth century more interesting!


It would be ridiculous to attempt to list the articles that must be
included in the trousseau of the bride of to-day. This matter must be
entirely dependent upon circumstances, means and convenience. There can
be no definite set of rules to govern the contents of one's wedding
outfit. But there are certain conventionalities we can discuss that may
be of value to the bride in preparing for her wedding.

There is, of course, something very beautiful in the thought of making
one's trousseau entirely by hand. And there is an old tradition about
"sewing happiness into the wedding outfit" that brides like to believe.
But when we glance at the shop windows with their lavish displays of
the daintiest creations, and when we think of the professional modiste
with her developed sense of the artistic, we must admit that it is not
a practical custom.

It used to be the practice for each young girl to have a "hope chest"
into which she put linens, etc., against the wedding day. This was
during the time when most of the trousseaux were made by hand.

It seems rather a foolish waste of time for the girl of moderate means
to sit for endless hours sewing on rows and rows of lace when machine
made garments may be had at reasonable figures. If she chooses her
things carefully they will bear the stamp of her personality almost as
much as if she had fashioned them herself; and, of course, there are
many finishing touches that she can add which make the things
peculiarly her own, such as initials and monograms, crocheted edges,

It is gratifying to note that the trousseau of to-day does not contain
such frilly, useless things as did the trousseaux of our grandmothers'
time. Linens boast deep folds of the material and neat hemstitching
instead of huge borders and inserts of lace. Under-things are made and
bought with a regard for wear and utility, rather than merely to be
pretty to look at. The entire outfit shows a tendency to be more useful
and less ornamental. Which is, of course, as it should be.

And now let us consider some of the more important items to be


In selecting her linens the bride should pay particular attention to
quality; the amount she buys depends upon the size of the new home, and
upon the means at her command. There must be sheets and pillow-cases;
bath towels and kitchen towels, napkins and table-covers. If she is
fond of handwork, there may be hand-embroidered linens for the
bed-spreads, hand-embroidered linen scarfs and hand-embroidered
centerpieces of linen. One bride we know included a twenty-yard bolster
of uncut linen in her trousseau in addition to the items mentioned
above. If one can afford it, it is best to start out with a generous
supply of linens, as somehow the older they grow, the longer we have
them, the more precious they become.

Linens are usually initialed. When household and personal linens are
marked, they bear the initials of the bride's maiden name. Towels for
the bath are marked with a single initial in white or colored thread,
to match the border. Table-covers, if initialed at all, have the
letters placed in the center, half-way between the middle and edge of
the table; napkins are initialed in the corner. White linens are
invariably initialed in white.


"Girl, do not exult in thy wedding dress; see how much trouble lurks
behind it," says an old Syrian proverb. But where is the little
American bride who does not exult in her dainty wedding things--who
does not glory in the silks and cottons and laces and ribbons of her
trousseau? Always a lover of the beautiful--especially in clothes--she
finds a new charm in these pretty things that portend so much happiness
to come.

There are her underthings--soft, frivolous, much-beribboned chemises,
camisoles and petticoats. Some are of practical muslin or soft, crinkly
crêpe. Others are of rich _crêpe-de-chine_, and lately, knitted
undergarments of silk are favored. Then, there are the dresses, her
chief delight. There is one smart street dress of serge or poiret
twill; an afternoon frock or two of taffeta, georgette or satin as she
prefers; one elaborate evening gown for important occasions, and one
very much less elaborate for semi-evening affairs. And if she is a wise
bride, she will include a smart dark-colored suit, with several fluffy
little blouses. Then, of course, there are the crisp, neat, becoming
little frocks for the morning-at-home. But she should not make the
mistake, which is all too common to brides, of getting several times as
much as she needs.

Other details, such as hose, shoes and hats are best decided by the
bride herself. In fact, the entire trousseau must be determined by the
bride in proportion to such important considerations as her means, the
length of the honeymoon, and the distance of the trip she expects to
make. The items above were offered as a suggestion, and one may add or
detract according to the dictates of common sense. It is suggested,
however, that the trousseau be small and carefully selected, rather
than large and expensive, for the fashions are constantly changing and
not even so momentous an occasion as one's wedding warrants heedless


The origin of the white gown for the bride is not very difficult to
trace. White, since time immemorial, has been the color used to denote
purity. White animals, in certain countries, are held sacred, just as
the white flowers are sacred elsewhere. The exclusive use of white for
the bride is supposed to have grown out of an old custom of the
Patagonians, who cover the body with white paint on the eve of the
wedding ceremony.

To-day the keynote of the wedding gown is simplicity. The days of
elaborate gowns with trains so heavy with the weight of precious jewels
that eight girls had to carry them, is over. The sensible American
bride knows that simplicity is more becoming to the solemn dignity of
the occasion than extremely elaborate dress.

With styles constantly changing as they do, it would be of no value to
offer any description here. However, this little item, taken from the
announcement of a fashionable wedding recently held, may offer some
helpful suggestions: "The gown in which Miss ---- became the Countess
---- was of heavy white satin cut with an almost austere simplicity.
The drapery of the skirt was marked with a garland of lilies and
orange-blossoms. The tulle veil was bordered with old English point
lace, an heirloom of the ---- family."

From a study of the descriptions of other bridal gowns at recent
important weddings, we find that satin is without doubt the favorite
material. _Crêpe-de-chine_ and heavy white brocade are also used;
and the bride may select whichever material she likes best, something
soft and clinging unless she is inclined to be too slender, when
taffeta is more suitable. Undoubtedly, no matter what the style of the
gown happens to be, it should boast a train; and a draped skirt is
always a popular wedding mode. The length of the sleeves and skirt is
entirely governed by the fashion of the moment.

White satin slippers and white gloves enhance the simple beauty of the
wedding gown. Jewels are rarely worn, except, perhaps, one large gem--a
gift of the groom.


According to the marriage rites of the ancient Hebrews, ordained in
days when marriage itself was unknown in many countries, a canopy must
be held over the bride and groom by four intimate friends of the
family. Later, we find that this custom among the early Hebrews,
presaged an Anglo-Saxon custom of erecting a "care cloth" (a square
vestment) above the bride and groom. Out of this developed that of
covering the bride alone; to-day the beautiful bridal veil is the
result of those ancient customs.

Not so long ago, the veil was of tulle, and from the top of the bride's
head it fell over her shoulders, completely enveloping her to the very
tips of her shoes. This all-enveloping veil is no longer considered
good form. In its place, is the very charming veil that is gathered
into a becoming, flower-trimmed crown at the back of her head, falling
gracefully to the train of the dress, leaving the face entirely

The veil is always of filmy material. Tulle is favored; and lace is
particularly beautiful, especially if it is old lace that has been a
long time in the bride's family. However, tulle is preferable to
imitation lace. Orange blossoms or tiny lilies-of-the-valley may be
entwined around the crown of the head, a spray or two nestling in the
folds of the veil.


Important, indeed, is the bride's bouquet. Many a delicate flower
pressed between the leaves of a book and cherished in mind and heart
alike is silent and eloquent proof of this fact.

The most conventional form is the shower bouquet. This is a veritable
cascade of flowers and ribbon; white roses, orange-blossoms or
lilies-of-the-valley--or a combination of all three--are massed
together in the center, entwined with narrow satin ribbon. From this
"heart of flowers" lengths of ribbon wound around individual flowers
trail almost to the hem of the bride's gown. It produces a most
charming effect.

Often an ordinary bouquet of flowers is carried, which is just as
pretty if not as elaborate as the shower bouquet. Green foliage is, of
course, permissible; but there is a tendency against flowers of bright
hues. Appearing entirely in white, is one of the customs which,
ordinarily, the bride should observe, not only for the traditions woven
around it, but the suggestions of sweet dignity, purity and girlishness
that are associated with it. Lilies are appealing bridal flowers for
this same reason.

An exception is the civil wedding, or the hurried, simple wedding when
the bride is attired in traveling costume. But this will be taken up in
detail in a later paragraph.


Satin is the most favored material for the dress of the maid of honor.
It may be white, trimmed with pale colors, or it may be entirely pale
pink or pale blue or some other becoming color. On no occasion may the
maid of honor be dressed in pure white.

Her dress is always different from those worn by the bridesmaids. The
style is a matter of taste and prevalent fashion. If the wedding takes
place at noon in a church, the gown is either sleeveless or with very
short sleeves, and it may or may not have a train, according to the
taste of the wearer. Like the bride, she wears white gloves and carries

If the wedding is held in the afternoon or evening, at home, the maid
of honor's gown is less formal. It may be a dainty afternoon frock of
taffeta or satin, sometimes embroidered georgette dresses are
worn--that is, for the afternoon alone. When it is in the evening, a
silk gown may be worn.


Very often, when a wedding takes place before twelve o'clock, or when
because of a difference of religious opinion the ceremony is performed
by a Justice of the Peace, or when the wedding is to be a very simple
one, or when for a number of other possible reasons the bride wishes it
she wears a smart traveling suit instead of the white wedding gown.

The suit should be conservative in style and color. Flowers should be
in the form of a corsage. Neither bouquets nor cut flowers are carried
when one is in traveling costume. Instead of a suit a dress may be worn
but it must be an attractive afternoon frock or street dress, not an
evening dress of any sort.

When the bride is a widow marrying for the second time her dress is
characterized by extreme simplicity whether the wedding takes place in
the afternoon or evening.




There is no more eloquent commentary on the vanity of human wishes than
the pomp and ceremony which, since the first syllable of recorded time
have attended funeral services. Kings and emperors have erected
splendid mausoleums in which they and their families might be buried,
Pharaohs have kept slaves at work for twenty years on a pyramid beneath
whose stones their bones might rest, savages in lonely forests have
builded great mounds under which their chiefs may wait for the time to
go to the Happy Hunting grounds. Slave and emperor, prince and
pauper--it is all the same. Last week in New York a woman died in the
ward where they treat patients free of charge, yet for more than
fifteen years she had been paying premiums on an insurance policy which
would permit her to have a funeral "as good as anybody's funeral."
Three weeks ago a boy in a small town in Iowa spent nearly all he had
in defraying the expenses of the funeral of his mother. In this case,
and indeed in many another, a simple ceremony would have been far more
appropriate, for even in paying the last tributes of respect to the
dead there must be the saving grace of common sense. It is like
salt--everything is the better for a pinch of it.

Recently a candidate for the Doctor's degree at one of the largest
universities in the country chose for the subject of his thesis
"Funeral Customs throughout the Ages." It is too large a subject for us
to enter into here, and it would profit us little, for the day of hired
mourners and splendid pageantry together with obtrusive music and
gorgeous flowers is past. Simplicity characterizes the entire service
among well-bred people everywhere. The music is soft and the flowers in
many cases are sent to the hospitals where they may gladden the
sufferers there instead of being allowed to wilt neglected on the
grave. More often than not, nowadays, there is added to the notice of
the funeral which is inserted in the newspapers the sentence, "Please
omit flowers."

Even in the most primitive times it was felt that the dead were going
forth on a long, long journey from which they would never return, and
their friends wanted to do whatever they could to speed them along the
way. It was in this manner that the custom of offering gifts to the
dead came about. These gifts range all the way from food and household
utensils to clothing, weapons and money. The money was sometimes gold,
sometimes silver and sometimes paper, but in most instances it was to
serve as a tip to the ferryman who was to row them across the river
that separates this life from the next.


Not long ago a New York newspaper devoted a full page in its magazine
section to an article called "A King's Mother Buried." The purpose of
the article was to reveal forcibly the mockery of some of our elaborate
funerals of to-day, and show how they are proportionately no more
civilized than those barbarous rituals of the early days. The story is
worthy of repetition here.

A certain savage queen was murdered by her son. To convince the people
that she had died a natural death, the son made her burial especially
elaborate and impressive. First a huge hole was dug in the ground, in
which the dead queen was placed in an upright position. Beside her was
placed a large jug of water. And into this great hole were placed also
ten young girls, who were to be buried alive to accompany the dead
queen upon her journey. The hole was then covered with earth, and above
it thousands of men were set to fighting each other until the ground
was soaked with blood. This was not only to honor the dead queen, but
to keep ill-luck away from the king.

You are horrified when you read about this savage burial. You wonder at
the superstitious ignorance that allows ten girls to be buried alive,
and thousands of young men to be slaughtered, merely in honor of a
murdered queen and her brutal son. But considering the knowledge of
those savages and our knowledge to-day, their education and our
education, we find that we are entitled to no excessive praise. The
funerals to-day are often comparatively as ridiculous and uncivilized,
though the tendency is certainly toward better things.

To give one specific instance, there is the widow who spends every
dollar left her by a departed husband to pay for an elaborate funeral
for him. In the eyes of the world, he must be buried "right"; and
though it leaves her in debt, she makes an impressive funeral service.
Would it not have been more sensible to bury him simply and
unostentatiously, preserving a little of the money left her for the
necessities of life? It is one of the ironies of life that often more
attention and honor are paid to the dead than they ever receive in

If we study present-day funerals carefully we will find that they have
much in common with those savage burials of other days. It is because
we do things merely because others did the same things before us. We
have certain beliefs because tradition says they are true, and
therefore, no matter how absurd they are, they are _right_, and we
must hold to them with the same fervor of conviction that makes the
savage cling to his.


Aside from its psychological aspects--those entailing fear,
superstition and the belief in religious and traditional customs--death
brings with it heartache and sorrow. To lose a beloved one in death is
to be conscious of the intangible something that binds the world
together, and upon which all civilization is based. We call it love;
and we know that it is the deepest tie of affection--indeed, the
deepest emotion--of which human nature is capable.

And so, death brings with it sorrow and misery. Those of us who are
most directly concerned can think of no rules of etiquette, no customs
of good society, when we are suffering a deep bereavement. We think
only of our great loss, and of our great sorrow. That is why it is
necessary for us all to know the rules of correct conduct, so that when
death does enter our household we will instinctively do what is
correct. It is a test like this that shows innate good breeding.

One great rule to remember, for those who come in contact with people
who have lost a beloved member of the family, is that sorrow is sacred,
and that it is one of the most unforgivable breaches of good behavior
to intrude upon it. A note of condolence, or a brief visit is a
necessary social duty; but constant intrusion upon grief is as unkind
and inconsiderate as it is ill-bred.


The world over, funeral customs have one factor in common: the belief
that the dead man has not ceased to live. This belief finds expression
in rites and ceremonies. It is for this reason that funeral and
mourning practices are highly conventional. Another reason, perhaps, is
because death is a shock, and a round of conventional ceremonies
alleviates that strained feeling during the period of readjustment.

Thus, the members of the bereaved family should be left as nearly alone
to their grief as possible. Nothing in the nature of business should be
thrust upon them. A male member of the family should take complete
charge; or the immediate duties may be left in the hands of the nearest
outside relatives. But whoever does take charge should see that the
family is not troubled with the minor details, and that the funeral
ceremony is carried out according to the family's preconfided wishes.

The duties of the person, or persons, who take charge are many and
varied. The first duty is to see that all the blinds are drawn and that
the door-bell is muffled. Proper announcements must be made in the
newspapers, pall-bearers must be selected, and the arrangements must be
made with the sexton for the funeral itself. The clergyman who is to
officiate must be interviewed and all the details concerning services,
music and decorations of the church must be determined. Upon the person
in charge also rests the duty of seeing that the undertaker does not
take advantage of his authority to the extent of making the funeral
unduly lavish.

It is within the power of the person who takes charge at a funeral to
mitigate considerably the grief of the family. And it is a service that
the family will not soon forget.


Modern funeral customs demand a few lines in the newspapers making
public announcement of a death. Attendant ceremonies are also included
for the benefit of friends and acquaintances of the family. Following
is a typical announcement of a death, copied with only a change in
names from the newspaper:

    Radcliff--At her residence, 410 West Fiftieth Street, Rose Speyer
    Radcliff, daughter of James and Helen Wilson Speyer, and beloved
    wife of Robert L. Radcliff. Funeral services in the Chapel of St.
    Bartholomew's Church, Park Avenue and Fiftieth Street, New York
    City, on Saturday morning, 11 o'clock. Interment at Waterbury,

When an announcement of this kind appears in the newspapers all friends
and relatives of the family are expected to appear at St. Bartholomew's
Church on Saturday morning at 11 o'clock to attend the services. If the
words "Funeral private" or "Interment private" are added to the
announcement, it is the height of ill-breeding for any except very
intimate friends and relatives to be present. Very often the request
"Kindly omit flowers," or "Please omit flowers" is added to the
announcement of a death. In this event it is still the privilege of a
friend to send flowers to some member of the family or to the family as
a whole after the funeral ceremony has taken place.


Where there are servants, one should be stationed at the door to
receive cards and messages. Otherwise this duty devolves upon the
person who is taking charge. The servant should wear a black gown,
white collar and cuffs and a white apron and white cap with black
ribbons. If a man-servant is stationed at the door he wears a complete
black livery.

With the growing taste for privacy and simplicity, many of the foolish
demonstrations of grief, expressed in outward display, have been
eliminated. It is now a very rare occurrence for the room in which the
dead body lies to be filled with wreaths and masses of flowers, for
people are beginning to realize that this is a relic of ancient and
savage burial customs, and that it is not so much a manifestation of
grief as a display of vanity. Of course it is a pretty way of
expressing sentiment to send a floral offering to some one who has
died; but modern principles of good conduct acclaim it better taste,
and certainly more dignified, to express these sentiments of regard in
some other way. A short expression of sorrow appearing as a semi-public
announcement in the newspaper after the announcement of the death may
be offered by a group of friends or business associates but it is not
good form for a member of the family of the deceased to insert such an
announcement in the papers. Family grief is private; and publicity
cheapens it.

The somber crêpe announcing to the world that a death has occurred in
the family is also fast becoming a thing of the past. One can easily
see in this custom of crêpe-hanging a relic of that custom of ancient
Patagonia that required all belongings of the deceased to be painted
black. Even the body of the person who died was covered with black
paint. The black crêpe of to-day is merely another form of that same
custom. Now, instead of the broad black ribbon, a wreath or long sprays
of white or lilac flowers are entwined around the flowing ends of white
ribbon. This is especially appropriate when the deceased is a young
person--man or woman. For a girl of tender years, or for a very young
child, a sheaf of white roses or white carnations with white ribbons
should be used; roses and violets with a white ribbon, or roses with a
black ribbon denote the death of an older unmarried man or woman. The
plain crêpe streamers are usually used for married people. Custom still
demands this flower-and-ribbon tribute to the dead on the door of his
or her residence, but gradually this custom, too, will be relegated to
the forgotten things of the past.


A close friend or relative of the bereaved family should make the
necessary purchases for the women members of that family. It is
considered bad form for them to be seen abroad before the funeral. A
dressmaker should be summoned to the house if orders are to be given
for mourning dress.

The duty of writing necessary notes and seeing callers also devolves
upon some intimate relative or friend. Notes or letters written in the
name of the family are on either black-edged or plain white paper, and
signed with the names of the people for whom they are written. Thus, if
Mrs. Carr's husband has died, and her cousin is attending to the
incident preparations and duties, the notes and letters written for
Mrs. Carr would be signed with her name and not the name of the cousin,
but with the initials of the cousin beneath the signature.

The ladies of a bereaved family should not see callers, even the most
intimate friends, unless they are able to control their grief. It is a
source of discomfort to the visitor, as well as to the mourner, to
enact a scene of semi-hysteria in the drawing-room. Yet, at a time like
this, one can hardly be expected to be in full control of one's
emotions. Therefore it is always wise for the women to keep to their
rooms until after the funeral.


If a guard of honor is to be appointed, the person in charge should
consult the wishes of the immediate family. Those who are asked to
serve receive an invitation by note or by messenger, sent either by the
head of the family of the deceased or by the person in charge.
Relatives are seldom appointed as pall-bearers. A request to serve as
pall-bearer should be refused only for the most imperative reasons.

The number and age of the pall-bearers is a matter of taste and not of
obligation. But it is considered good form to have six young girls,
dressed in white, as the guard of honor for a young girl or woman. They
should be selected from among intimate friends. Similarly, six young
men are appropriate for a young man who has died; while for an elderly
married man, eight gentlemen from among his closest friends and
business associates form the usual guard of honor.

The pall-bearers, in the invitation, are told just when they are
expected to assemble at the house of the deceased, and they should make
it a particular point to be on time. There can be no greater breach of
good manners, and in fact no greater unkindness, than to keep a funeral
party waiting. If the pall-bearers are to be women, the carriages or
cars may be sent for them individually; but as a general rule,
pall-bearers are shown to their carriage or car before the door, when
the funeral procession begins.

It is customary for all who attend a church funeral to assemble at the
church, but this rule does not pertain to the pall-bearers. They are
the only ones who accompany the immediate family and relatives from the
house. Unless a special request to the contrary has been made,
pall-bearers may send flowers if they wish.


A prompt answer is necessary upon receipt of an invitation to serve as
pall-bearer. Illness or absence from town at the time of the funeral
are the only excuses for refusing to accept the invitation. The written
answer must be followed by a personal call at the home of the deceased,
and cards must be left.

Formerly the duty of the pall-bearer was to carry the cloth or velvet
pall that covered the coffin--hence the name. Later the custom
developed into a more important duty--the pall-bearers actually carried
the casket into and out of the church. This is still done, although now
the accepted form is for the pall-bearers to appear solely as a guard
of honor for the dead.

In this latter case, they walk before the casket which is carried by
the undertaker's or sexton's assistants. They halt before the hearse
and stand in silent reverence with heads uncovered, while the casket is
being placed into it, and again when it is taken out to be conveyed
into the church. They do not enter their cars until the hearse has
passed on ahead.

Each pall-bearer should speak a few words of condolence to the members
of the bereaved family. However, he must not make obvious efforts to
observe this duty, nor must he intrude upon grief. He offers his words
of comfort only when it is convenient and when he is brought, by his
duties, into the presence of his sorrowing friends. He should be kind,
and most of all, tactful. He should not say anything that will cause a
fresh outburst of grief.

A few days after the funeral, it is expected that the pall-bearer call
and leave his card for the mourners. It is necessary only for him to
inquire at the door after the ladies and to leave his card. It is more
considerate not to ask to see the members of the family.


Because it is closely allied with religion, the funeral ceremony is
nearly always conducted at church. Of course this is something entirely
dependent upon conditions and personal preferences, but the church
funeral is always more dignified and impressive.

The pall-bearers and nearest relatives of the deceased assemble at the
house. Otherwise, all who are to attend the funeral assemble at the
church. The casket is borne from the house by the undertaker's
assistants, the pall-bearers preceding it two-by-two. As soon as the
hearse drives off, the pall-bearers enter the carriages or cars
immediately behind it, and the relatives follow in the next cars in the
order of their relationship.

When the procession is ready to move, the music begins and the casket
is borne down the aisle to the altar by the sexton's assistants.
Sometimes the pall-bearers carry the casket to the altar.


When attending the body of their child, parents walk arm in arm, their
other children following immediately behind them in the order of
seniority. Pall-bearers invariably precede the casket. A widow attends
the body of her husband on the arm of her eldest son or daughter, with
her other children just behind. After them come the deceased man's
parents, followed by his brothers and sisters. Similarly, a widower
follows the body of his wife attended by his eldest son or daughter.
Children following the body of their only parent take precedence
according to their ages, the elder always leading. A widow who has no
children follows her husband on the arm of a brother or other near
masculine relative.

During the services at the church, the relatives occupy the front pews
on the right of the center aisle. The pall-bearers sit in the opposite
pews on the left-hand side. After the services the procession leaves
the church in the same order observed upon entering. If prayers are to
be offered at the grave, the car of the clergyman follows immediately
after the hearse.

Different religions have different burial services, but these are
matters of faith rather than of etiquette.


A house funeral should always be very simple. Few flowers are used by
people of good taste.

At a house funeral, a number of folding-chairs may be provided by the
undertaker. The casket is placed on a draped stand at one end of the
drawing-room, such flowers as are used being placed on and around it.
The room may or may not be darkened according to the wishes of the
family. Each guest should be greeted at the door by some representative
of the family and shown to a seat in the drawing-room. A row of seats
should be reserved near the casket for the immediate family, one being
set aside for the clergyman who is to officiate. Though it is not
obligatory it is very courteous to send a carriage or an automobile for
him. A Protestant clergyman does not expect a fee but if he has come
some distance or if the family wishes to express their thanks in that
manner they may offer one which he is privileged to accept with perfect

It is not necessary to appoint pall-bearers for a home funeral. A quiet
reserve and dignity should characterize the occasion, and it should be
carried out with the greatest amount of expediency possible. If music
is desired, the musicians or choristers should be in an adjacent room
and the notes should be very low and soft.

Women do not remove their wraps during the ceremony, and men carry
their hats in their hands. The women members of the bereaved family
enter on the arms of masculine relatives, and if they intend going to
the cemetery, they wear their hats and veils. The members of the
family, however, do not enter the drawing-room until the clergyman

After the ceremony the guests quietly disperse, only those remaining
who intend going to the cemetery. It is not expected that expressions
of sympathy be offered on this occasion; cards are left for the family
immediately after the announcement of the death, and a call of
condolence is made, according to society's rules, within a week after
the funeral. Thus it is superfluous to offer sympathy at the services,
unless one is a very dear friend and wishes particularly to do so.


Very often the women of the family, or perhaps just one woman, finds
her grief uncontrollable. Even though the funeral is private, and only
relatives and close friends are present it is the privilege of the
bereaved to keep to her room and find solace in solitude. The world
will not censure her for being absent; it is a time when petty
conventions may safely be overlooked. When one is grieving, suffering,
miserable; and prefers to find peace alone, without the sympathies of
others, she has every right in the world to do so. And she is breaking
no rules of good conduct, either, for people of good breeding will
recognize the depth of her overpowering grief.

Surely it is better to remain away from the services than to go in a
state of hysteria. When sorrow is so poignant, private home services
are usually held, in which case the immediate members of the family may
gather in a room adjoining that in which the guests are assembled. Even
in the deepest grief it is possible to remember and observe the great
law--"be calm, be silent and serene," and tears do not always mean
sorrow, nor loud wailing, grief.


Upon their return from the funeral, the family should find the windows
open with the warm sunlight streaming through them and all outward
signs of sorrow removed. The ribbon and flowers on the door are
generally taken down as soon as the procession leaves.

In the house, all signs of the bereavement should be effaced. The
furniture should be placed in its usual order. Everything connected
with the funeral must be out of sight. The members of the family should
be greeted with nothing, upon their return, that would possibly give
cause for fresh sorrow. A considerate friend or relative should stay
behind to attend to these details. It is not enough to leave everything
in the hands of the undertaker and his assistants.

But even relatives should remember that the bereaved ones will want to
be by themselves, and that solitude is often the greatest solace for


For three weeks after a bereavement, women seclude themselves and
receive no visitors except their most intimate friends. After this they
are expected to be sufficiently resigned to receive the calls of
condolence of their friends and acquaintances. They themselves make no
visits until six months after the death.

While wearing crêpe veil and crêpe-trimmed gowns, a woman should
refrain from taking part in all social gaieties. After the crêpe has
been discarded, she may attend concerts, dinners and luncheons, and the
theater; but she attends no large social functions or fashionable
dinners until at least a year after the date of death. The usual round
of social duties, including balls and the opera, are not resumed until
colors are once again adopted.

A man does not observe the etiquette of mourning as rigidly as his wife
or daughter; but it is necessary to mention here that it is exceedingly
bad form for him to resume his active social duties, such as club
dinners and entertainments, the theater, calls, small dinners with
friends, until at least two months have elapsed. If business permits,
he may observe ten days or two weeks of absolute seclusion.


Those who attend the funeral should not appear in gay or
brightly-colored clothes, in deference for the feelings of the
sorrowing relatives. Women who wear simple, unrelieved black display an
excellent taste although any subdued color is equally good. Gentlemen
should wear either complete suits of black, or those of material dark
enough to be suited to the solemnity of the occasion. Gray trousers
with a black cutaway are permissible. A quiet hat, gloves and necktie
are worn. Vivid colors, either on a man or woman, show a disregard for
the feeling of the mourners, a lack of respect for oneself, and a
distinct ignorance of the laws of good conduct. It is not a gala
occasion and levity of any sort is atrociously bad form.


Etiquette has nothing to say with regard to the disposal of the body of
the deceased. Whether it is to be interred or cremated, whether the
casket shall rest in a grave or a vault or a mausoleum or whether the
ashes shall be preserved in an urn or scattered upon a well-loved river
or hill or upon some other chosen spot is entirely a matter of personal

But etiquette unites with the laws of beauty and refined sentiment in
protesting against the erecting of hideous monuments with absurd
inscriptions. The purpose of the tombstone is to mark the resting place
and to bear the name and the date of the birth and death of the person
who lies beneath it. If the life itself has not left a record that will
last a marble slab will not do much to perpetuate it. Sometimes there
is a special achievement or a mark of distinction which may with
propriety be cut into the stone or the family of the deceased may
inscribe thereupon an expression of their grief or love; but flowery
inscriptions belong to the past and since there are no words that can
adequately express the grief of a sorrowing family for one who has died
it is perhaps best not to attempt it.

The hour at which the interment is to take place is appointed to suit
the convenience of the family. In cities where a multiplicity of duties
makes attendance in the daytime difficult it is customary to have
evening services, but under all other circumstances the funeral is
scheduled to take place during the day.


Grief turns instinctively to the somber garments of mourning for the
slight measure of comfort which they give, but modern ideas of
enlightened civilization look with disfavor on long crêpe veils and any
other form of mourning that is so pronounced as to be ostentatious.
Black is very depressing, especially to young children, and a mother,
however deep her sorrow because of the death of one of her children
should keep this in mind and should, at any rate, not wear black every
day. If she likes she may wear mourning when she leaves the house. It
is a sort of protection, for strangers and thoughtless friends will not
be so likely to make remarks that will wound, if they have the black
dress to remind them of the bereavement which the mother has suffered.
Under any other circumstances the wearing of colors at home and black
abroad is a form of hypocrisy, and is, of course, to be deplored.

Black fabrics for mourning should not have a shiny finish nor should
they be trimmed except in the simplest way possible. Serge, cloth,
duvetyn, Canton crêpe, pongee, chiffon, and georgette are appropriate
but one should avoid velvets and most fur trimmings. The most suitable
furs are plain black seal, fox, lynx, etc., though others may be worn.
Bright linings are not permissible.

A woman in mourning does not wear jewelry aside from the wedding and
engagement rings. Dull bar pins may be used whenever needed and a
brooch, plain or set with pearl, may be worn. Dress accessories should
be of dull black, purse, gloves, etc. Handkerchiefs may have a black
border or they may be pure white.

The length of the mourning period depends upon the tie which existed
between the deceased and the bereaved. Except for an elderly woman
whose husband has died and who never intends taking off black the
longest period is usually two years, the first in deep mourning, the
next in "second mourning" during which time gray, lavender, purple and
black-and-white may be worn. This may be shortened at discretion to six
months of deep mourning followed by six months of semi-mourning or
three months of deep mourning and six of half mourning. The change from
black to colors should never be so abrupt as to be startling.

A girl does not wear mourning for her fiancé except under extenuating
circumstances. If he died on the eve of the wedding it is permissible
but if the date for the wedding had not been set or if the engagement
had not been announced it is questionable form for her to go into
mourning for him. It is a very delicate matter and the final court of
appeals is the young lady herself. But she should remember that the
garments of mourning are after all only a symbol of grief and she
should hesitate a long time before assuming them. Her mourning outfit
is like that of a widow and she wears it for the same length of time.

Children should never wear black. Upon the death of a parent they may
wear white perhaps relieved by lavender for six months or so. They do
not use mourning stationery and they do not carry black bordered
handkerchiefs. A girl fifteen or sixteen may wear delicate grays,
lavenders, and mixed goods as well as white, but she should not wear

There is no iron-clad rule concerning mourning, and one may or may not
wear it. Even a widow, a daughter, or a mother is under no compulsion
to do so, though to appear in bright colors shortly after the death of
a beloved one is certainly an evidence of bad taste.


The mourning outfit for men is not so pronounced as that for women. A
black suit with dull black shoes, black gloves and white linen
constitutes first mourning. Many men use only the black band around the
coat sleeve. The custom grew out of the English practice of having the
servants wear the black band in households that could not afford a
complete mourning outfit, and for this reason has met with disfavor
among the fastidious in this country. It has this much in its favor: it
accomplishes the purpose of full mourning with the added virtue of
economy, and when one's life has to be conducted on a frugal scale it
is better to wear the simple black band than to spend one's substance
foolishly for mourning.

A widower wears mourning for a year or a year and a half while a man
grieving for some other relative than his wife may wear mourning a year
or six months as he prefers. First mourning consists of a suit of black
with white linen, and dull accessories such as shoes, gloves, cuff
links, etc. The hat may have a crêpe border but it should not be a very
wide one. For second mourning his suit is of gray or black, with gray
gloves, white linen, etc. Men should never carry black bordered
handkerchiefs. A man wears mourning for a wife, a child, a parent, or a
brother or sister the length of time depending upon the strength of the
bond which held them together.


White stationery of a good quality is correct for _all_ occasions
and mourning is no exception. That which has a narrow black border is
good but a border nearly an inch wide is in bad taste. After three
months have passed gray stationery is permissible.

Since there are no formal invitations issued during the period of
mourning there are no special forms for them. There are, however, in
addition to the regular mourning stationery cards acknowledging
expressions of sympathy. These may be had from any up-to-date
stationer's. They may or may not have the black border. The following
is an example of such a card:

    _Mr. and Mrs. N. C. Graham
    thank you for your kind expression of sympathy
    during their recent bereavement._

The visiting card may have an unobtrusive border of black. The border
on this and on the stationery may be lessened from time to time during
the period of mourning or it may remain the same until it is discarded




When a child is born the mother and father announce the fact to their
friends by means of cards. These may be obtained in the prevailing
style from any good stationer. Sometimes only one card is sent bearing
the names of the parents and that of the child or the word, "Son" or
"Daughter" if the name has not been decided upon. Another fashion which
has become standard is the use of two cards, one somewhat larger than
the ordinary visiting card and attached to it by a tiny white ribbon
one very much smaller bearing the name of the infant. There are also
dainty and attractive cards specially designed for the occasion. While
these are not so formal as the plain white cards they are, when chosen
with discrimination, very delightful and almost as personal as a note.
Notes are usually sent only to one's most intimate friends.


Friends of the parents will, of course, hasten to congratulate them
upon their good fortune. They may send flowers, magazines, jellies,
etc., to the mother and to the youngster some little article pleasing
because of its beauty or its utility. Gifts are not necessary, however,
and a warm and sincere note expressing one's happiness at the good
fortune of the parents is quite sufficient. The note _must not be
perfunctory_. You must remember that the child of your friend is the
most wonderful infant that ever came to earth to live (and if your
private opinion is to the contrary it is best to keep it private), and
that conventional phrases are entirely inadequate. On the other hand it
will not do to gush. Simplicity and sincerity are the best means to
attain the end desired.


In the old world the selection of godparents is a very important duty
and the office of the godfather and the godmother is actual rather than
theoretical; but in this country it has a tendency to become a mere
form. This should not be the case, for it is a high tribute to a friend
to ask him to be the godfather of one's child and it is often an
excellent thing for the child. It assures him at least one friend older
than himself who has a very special interest in his welfare.

There may be four sponsors, or two, as one chooses, but in America
there are usually only two, a godfather and a godmother. Whenever
possible they should be asked in person and they should never be asked
through a formally engraved card. For the sponsors are always intimate
friends of the mother and father or relatives for whom they feel the
highest regard. It is the interest of the child that is at stake and
this should be taken into consideration by the parents before they make
their final selection.

The duties of the godparents are not onerous. They promise always to
befriend the child and at the time of the christening they present it
with a gift of some sort--jewelry, garments, carriage or toilette
accessories. They are present at the baptism, if possible, and
accompany the mother and father to the altar. The father and godfather
have little to do beyond lending the grace of their presence to the
occasion. The godmother carries the infant to the altar, resplendent in
his christening robe, and at the proper time hands it to the clergyman.
If there are no sponsors the office of the godmother at the church may
be filled by the baby's nurse or by the mother herself.


The christening is rarely an elaborate affair and the only guests are
relatives and close friends. If it is not too much of a tax on the
mother it is very lovely for her to write personal notes to each guest
asking him or her to be present at the ceremony. If there is to be a
considerable number present engraved cards may be dispatched. Examples
of both the formal and the informal invitation are given below:

    _June 6, 19--_

    _My dear Grace_,

    _The baby is to be christened next Sunday at four o'clock at the
    Brick Church and both Harry and I are anxious to have you present.
    I think Harry Jr. would be also if he were old enough to know what
    it is all about._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Alice F. Duncan._

    _Mr. and Mrs. Harry T. Duncan
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the christening of their son
    on Sunday afternoon, June 6
    at four o'clock
    at the Brick Church_


If the christening is to be an occasion of great formality and
elaboration the church should be decorated, not elaborately as for a
wedding but simply and prettily with smilax and ferns and delicate
white flowers or in some other way that will indicate that the event
is for a child and not for an older person.

The child's christening robe should be simple but exquisite. He may
be brought in more gracefully if he is carried on a pillow or a

The mother usually wears a reception gown, hat, and gloves. The women
sponsors are similarly dressed while the masculine guests wear the
prescribed outfit for afternoon receptions, the cutaway coat, etc.,
unless the christening takes place in the summer when light flannels
may be substituted.


There is very little difference between a christening that takes place
at home and one at church. The house should be decorated and a font may
be placed in the drawing-room. The mother's gown is less formal than
the one she would wear to the church but the other details are
practically the same.


After the ceremony is over and the youngster has been duly admired and
sent back to the nursery, there may be a reception or tea or even a
dinner or breakfast, according to the time of the christening, for the
guests. If the baptism took place at church the guests may drive
immediately from there to the home, allowing the automobile containing
the mother and father to precede them by a few minutes. If it took
place at home matters are simplified, for the guests may pass into
another room or the font may be placed to one side.

If there is a breakfast or luncheon served the clergyman who performed
the ceremony is invited to be present, and whether or not it is
customary to ask a blessing he is requested to pronounce one. He enters
the dining-room with the child's grandmother, or if both grandmothers
are present, with the elder.


Each person who is invited to the christening is expected to remember
the infant with a gift of some sort. In view of the fact that there is
usually nothing that he needs and that he is too young to appreciate
anything, many people give for the future rather than for the present.
Sometimes a friend of the mother will give the infant daughter a silver
spoon, adding duplicates each year after on its birthday or at
Christmas until they form a complete set. Books which he will
appreciate later may be given. Money in the form of gold pieces or
checks is most appropriate and is one of the most popular of gifts.
Carriage and toilette accessories, jewelry, etc., are, of course,
suitable but one should make sure that there is an actual need for
them. Most people nowadays live in a limited amount of space with
neither a garret nor a cellar to store things in.


"_Politeness itself is always the same. The rules of etiquette which
are merely the forms in which it finds expression, vary with time and
place. A sincere regard for the rights of others, in the smallest
matters as well as the largest; genuine kindness of heart; good taste
and self command, which are the foundations of good manners, are never
out of fashion._"

--_Samuel R. Wells._




The days of gallant cavaliers and courteous knights who bowed profusely
and doffed their feathered hats to the very ground when introduced to
ladies of the court are over. To-day, simplicity is the keynote in
introductions--as in everything else. But the significance of those
charming introductions of yore remains. We find that the introduction
of to-day is still made and acknowledged with a certain measured grace
and courtesy of manner. What it lacks in old-time picturesque gallantry
it gains in a new friendliness that is in accord with whole-hearted
warmth for which the Americans are famous.

Every day, in the social and business worlds alike, there is the
constant need of introducing people correctly. But the correct
introduction does not consist merely of making two strangers known to
each other--perhaps just temporarily. To create an immediate
friendliness between two people who have met for the first time, to do
away with all hesitancy and embarrassment, to create smooth and
pleasant conversation, to make the strangers want to continue their
acquaintance--that is the purpose of the correct introduction. And its
achievement rests entirely with the man or woman who is the medium of

A great many people have the mistaken impression that an introduction
is meant solely to make two people known to each other for the short
time that they are in company together. The correct introduction helps
to create friendship--the kind of friendship that lasts. It is not
enough to exchange names. It is not enough to present one person to
another, and then forget about it completely. The adroit introducer
draws the strangers into conversation at once, and leads casually into
channels that he, or she, knows are of interest to both.

To introduce people correctly is an art in itself, and like any other
art, it requires constant study and practice before one becomes adept.


We have mentioned conversation as being an ideal means of establishing
immediate understanding between two strangers--or between a stranger
and a group of guests. Let us consider first the best means to employ
in creating conversation between two persons who have just been

Elaborate manner should be avoided. Simple words and phraseology are
always most effective, especially when one's manner and tone are
sincere. Brevity is also a virtue to be developed in introducing
people. If a scientist and a student meet in your home for the first
time, the student is presented to the older man. The host or hostess
might introduce them in this manner: "Mr. Rogers, let me present Mr.
Brown, who is making a study of social science at Pennsylvania
University." Naturally, an introduction of this kind would lead
directly into a discussion on science--and both men would feel entirely
at ease in each other's company.

In introducing a gentleman to a lady, the same rule of mutual interest
for creating conversation holds true. The hostess might say, "Miss
Murray, allow me to present Mr. Smith, who stopped at the Palms last
summer just before you arrived." Of course, the young people would
immediately have something to talk about, and there would be no
strained feeling of the sort that usually follows in the wake of a poor
introduction. Or, if Mr. Smith is an author, and Miss Murray is very
fond of reading, the hostess would say, "Miss Murray, I'm sure you will
be pleased to meet Mr. Smith, who writes such charming fiction. You
remember how much we enjoyed 'The Rose Garden.'"

A great deal depends upon the strangers themselves, whether or not
conversation will move forward, but the hostess who has introduced them
skilfully has certainly given them a pleasant opening.


"To introduce or not to introduce?" has often puzzled men and women of
better society. It requires infinite tact, and also a certain keen
knowledge of the world, to determine just whom one should and one
should not introduce to one's friends.

This does not refer to home or private entertainments where everyone is
an invited guest. In this case, the host and hostess make whatever
introductions they deem necessary, being sure that a stranger is
carefully presented to each guest. When the reception is a large one--a
ball, for instance--the roof may serve as an introduction; that is, the
guests may take it for granted that everyone present, being an invited
guest, has already the endorsement of the hostess. Thus they may
address and converse with anyone they choose, without trespassing any
laws of good conduct.

If a lady passes two gentlemen, one of whom she knows, both raise their
hats and greet her, but no introductions are made. If he stops for a
moment--and it must be only for a very brief moment--he does not
present his companion. Street introductions are bad form unless the
little group joins forces and walks on together.

In the business world, introductions are made whenever a mutual
acquaintance or friend is present. Business introductions are governed
very largely by diplomacy, although the gentleman will make sure that
his business introduction is just as courteous and graceful as his
social introduction.

Granting that all your friends and acquaintances are of the very best
society, it is quite safe to say that you may introduce two people to
each other, or a group of people to one another, whenever you chance to
be a mutual friend. Whether or not the acquaintanceship continues
depends entirely upon the people who have been introduced. It is
certainly better form to introduce two people, even though you are in
doubt as to their similarity of character and personality, than to have
one of your friends--or several of them--feel slighted. There are few
things more unkind and discourteous than to neglect introducing
strangers to each other.


An awkward or haphazard introduction can not be effective. A common
fault seems to be to mumble hurriedly over names--a very bad fault,
indeed, as it leaves the strangers in ignorance as to each other's
identity. Names should be pronounced carefully and distinctly, leaving
no doubt whatever in the minds of those who are being presented to each
other. To slur over names in haste or embarrassment, is to create a
strained and uncomfortable atmosphere.

As in everything else in good society, ostentation is extremely vulgar.
Deep bows, flourishes, and forced phrases have no place in the right
sort of presentations. Brief, simple introductions, with a note of
sincere cordiality, are certainly more impressive than much elaborate
waving of hands and bowing.


It is, of course, an established rule that a man should always be
presented to a lady. But the rule does not hold true when a lady is
presented to some gentleman of exceptionally high and distinguished
position. Thus, if a lady is presented to the President of the United
States, or to an ex-President, or prince, duke, or archduke, the
gentleman's name is mentioned first. Another exception to the rule is
when unmarried ladies are presented to important members of the clergy,
such as the bishop or archbishop; here also the gentleman's name is
mentioned first.

There is only one great exception to the rule that all unmarried women
are presented to matrons: all women, no matter whether they are young
unmarried women or elderly matrons, are introduced _to_ the wife of the
President of the United States.

There are several exceptions to the rule that all young and unmarried
men be presented to older men. First, there is the President of the
United States, to whom all men, young and old, are presented.
Similarly, a host in his own home is always mentioned first. A member
of a royal and reigning family is never presented to anyone unless it
is someone of higher royalty; all introductions are made to him. A
guest of honor at an entertainment is also given the distinction of
having all guests presented to him.


It very often happens, in making introductions, that one does not quite
understand the name murmured by the one who is making the introduction.
There is absolutely no reason to become flustered and embarrassed.
Simply smile or nod in acknowledgment, and say, "I beg your pardon, I
did not catch your name." Or one might say, "I am sorry, but I did not
catch the name." Profuse apologies are not good form; in fact, they are
entirely out of place, for the fault lies completely with the man or
woman who has made the introduction. Address yourself to the stranger,
when you wish the name to be repeated, and make your request simply,
directly and with calm dignity. Do not show either by haste or
embarrassment that you are ill at ease because the name escaped you.

Many times it is the fault of the people who are being introduced that
they do not understand the names. They do not listen for them. It is
one of the secrets of social success, if there can be anything secret
about a thing so obvious, to be able to remember names correctly.
People in business realize this and salesmen devote special time to
training themselves to remember the names of their customers.

A very bad fault is to attempt to guess at a name when it is not heard
distinctly. It is perfectly correct to ask: "Did Mrs. Roberts call you
Miss Gray?" But never address the young lady as Miss Gray if you have
the least doubt as to whether or not that was the name given. Her name
may be Graham, or Grayerson! It is much wiser to ask and be correct,
than to guess and be corrected.


Let us now consider the correct forms for the general introduction. For
all ordinary occasions the simple form, "Mrs. Johns, let me present Mr.
Brown," is the best. Because it is brief, direct and simple it may be
used effectively on almost any occasion. In introducing men to women,
the woman's name is invariably spoken first, and the gentleman is
presented to her. Several phrases that are quite generally used in
social circles are: "Mrs. A, allow me to introduce Mr. B," or "Mrs. A,
Mr. B wishes to be presented to you," or "Mrs. A, may I present Mr. B?"
Such phrases as "Let me make you acquainted with" and "I want you to
shake hands with" are awkward and altogether too casual. They should
never be used.

When there is a great difference in the ages of two women, the younger
is presented to the elder. Thus, if Mrs. Brown is an elderly matron,
and Mrs. Smith is a recent bride, one would say: "Mrs. Brown, let me
present Mrs. Smith." An unmarried woman is always presented to a matron
in this manner: "Mrs. Brown, may I present Miss Jones?" or "Mrs. Brown,
this is Miss Jones." When it is hard to decide which of two married
women is older, one may give due reference to both by introducing in
this most satisfactory manner: "Mrs. Brown, let me present Mrs. Smith;
Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Brown."

Similar distinctions are made in the introducing of two gentlemen.
Where there is no difference in age, title or dignity, the introduction
may be merely: "Mr. White, Mr. Jones." A young man is presented to an
older man, a bachelor to a married man. However, if the bachelor is a
venerable old gentleman, a married man is presented to him, in
deference to his age. Citizens without official distinction are
invariably presented to senators, judges, governors, etc.

When introducing a friend to one's parents it is correct to say,
"Mother, may I present Miss Smith?" or "Mother, this is Mr. Jones." The
friend is always introduced to the mother first, then to the father.
Other relatives are introduced in the order of their age and position
in the family.

In presenting a relative whose name is the same as your own it is
unnecessary to repeat the name. For instance, "Miss Daniels, do you
know my sister, Mildred?" or "Miss Daniels, may I present my brother,
Harry?" If the name is different particular pains should be taken to
pronounce it. "Miss Daniels, this is my sister, Mrs. Graham." Or, "Miss
Daniels, may I present my brother, Mr. Franklin?"


It is considered bad form to interrupt a conversation to introduce a
newcomer. Always wait until the conversation has subsided before you
venture to present a stranger to a group of people.

The best way to introduce a gentleman to a group of guests is to
mention the names only, in this manner: "Mr. Jones--Miss Smith, Miss
Roberts, Mr. Frank and Mr. Brown." Or one might say, "Mr. Jones, let me
introduce you to----" and then give the names of the guests in the
group, being sure to mention the ladies first.

A lady is introduced to a group of people in the same manner. It is
indicative of bad taste to conduct a young lady around a large room and
introduce her individually to each stranger. Gentlemen should always be
taken to her to be presented to her. It is only when the young lady is
a _débutante_ or a youthful member of society that she is conducted
across a room to be presented to some elderly dowager or to the guest
of honor. It is inconsiderate to present any one person to a great
number of others all at once. It is not only embarrassing but the task
of remembering anyone of the people introduced is hopeless.


Before we go any further in the correct forms for introductions, we
will offer a word of caution that should be carefully heeded. Never
introduce people to each other unless you are quite certain that it
will be agreeable to both. For instance, if two young women of your
acquaintance have been attending the same church for several years and
yet do not greet or recognize each other, it may be assumed that they
have a reason for remaining strangers. In such a case, an introduction
could only be painful to both.

An introduction is not merely a trivial convention--a duty that must be
attended to. It is an important ceremony, the very corner-stone of
friendship. To be formally introduced is to have a certain demand on
one's future good graces and friendliness. Thus, it is bad taste to
introduce rashly and indiscriminately.

Assuming that you have no reason to believe that they do not wish to
know each other, this is the best form to employ in introducing two
young women, both of whom you meet at the same time: "Miss Jones, Miss
Smith." This form should invariably be used in making public
introductions, at church, the theater, the opera, etc. If the name of
one of the young women has been forgotten, one may say, "I'm afraid I
have forgotten your name," or "Forgive me, but I cannot recall your
name just now." As soon as the required information is given, the
introduction may proceed as above.


Some careless hostesses neglect to complete introductions. This causes
embarrassment for both, or all, people concerned, and reflects
discreditably on the hostess.

Who has not heard the otherwise charming hostess greet a friend
cordially in this manner: "Oh, how-do-you-do, my dear! Let me introduce
Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Baker and Mr. Carter." The young person who has just
arrived can hardly avoid feeling a bit confused, and perhaps a bit
slighted. And the people to whom this introduction was made will
certainly feel embarrassed when they meet the stranger again and must
ask his or her name.

Another type of incomplete introduction is to draw two strangers into
conversation by saying casually: "Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. Jones was at the
opera last night and heard the same pianist you heard two weeks ago."
This is hardly sufficient. The remark should have been either preceded
or followed by a _bona fide_ introduction, though the smile and
bow of the hostess as she speaks may be so cordial as to remove
whatever feeling of constraint there might have been.

The incomplete introduction is careless and unkind. The hostess is
unfair to her guests if she does not make each introduction definite
and formal, if she does not pronounce clearly the names of both people
to be presented to each other.


The indirect introduction is entirely different from the incomplete
introduction. The former is often necessary and purposely resorted to;
the latter is invariably a mistake or the result of carelessness.

When it is desirable to draw another into conversation, then the
hostess may make an indirect introduction to avoid stiffness and
constraint. Thus, while conversing with one guest, she may turn to
another and say: "Mrs. Blank, Mrs. Smith was just telling us about the
famous picture that was brought recently to America. Have you seen it?"
The purpose of the hostess will be achieved, for the guest addressed
will join the conversation, although there has been no formal

When two people are brought together in this manner, the question of
whether or not they continue their acquaintanceship depends entirely
upon themselves. In taking leave of each other, women who have been
only semi-introduced may nod or shake hands as they please. It is not
necessary to seek out a woman to whom one has been indirectly
introduced in order to take leave of her. If the semi-introduction is
between a man and woman, the woman must either nod first, or offer her
hand first, in leave-taking. It is the sign of her willingness to be
formally introduced.


A courteous acknowledgment is essential to every introduction. It is
not enough to chant a stilted phrase each time the hostess presents you
to a stranger. Parrot-like repetition will make you appear dull and
ordinary. But to make gracious, cordial acknowledgments is to gain the
immediate sympathy and friendliness of those to whom you have been

The stiff formal bow is quickly losing all its prestige in the best
social circles. In its place is the warm, cordial handclasp, or the
friendly smile and inclination of the head. The bow is only acceptable
when a stranger is presented to a group of guests. And even then it
should consist merely of a nod and genial smile that includes the
entire company.

A hostess rises to receive all introductions, and offers her hand both
to men and women. But a woman guest retains her place when introduced
to a gentleman, or when she is one of a group to whom a woman guest is
presented. However, if the stranger is introduced to her individually,
she rises in acknowledgment. Other occasions that require the woman of
culture to rise are when she is being introduced to the hostess, to an
elderly or distinguished gentleman, to a guest of honor, or to an
elderly woman.

A gentleman invariably stands when introduced. If the introduction
takes place out of doors, he is expected to lift his hat and bow
slightly. When introduced to a lady, he must wait until she takes the
initiative in offering him her hand. If she does not offer her hand in
acknowledgment of the introduction, he may merely nod, lift his hat,
and offer a word or two of gracious pleasure at having been introduced
to her.


The hostess extends her hand and says cordially, "I am delighted to
know you Mrs. Brown," or, "Mrs. Brown, I am most pleased to meet you."
"How do you do, Mrs. Brown," is used a great deal.

On being presented to a lady, a gentleman might say, "Delighted to know
you, Miss Jones," or "Miss Jones, I am very glad indeed to meet you."
The correct form to use when one man is introduced to another is
usually, "How do you do?" although a great many men like to use the
expression, "I'm very glad to meet you." A young woman introduced to a
matron might say, "This is a pleasure indeed, Mrs. Rogers." A gentleman
might acknowledge an introduction to a lady by saying, "I am pleased to
know you, Mrs. Jones," or simply, "How do you do, Mrs. Jones?" It is
not so much a question of what is said as of how it is said.

It happens, sometimes, that a hostess unknowingly will introduce to
each other two men, or two women, who have long been on unfriendly
terms. To ignore each other completely under such circumstances would
be a breach of good conduct, and an embarrassment to everyone
concerned. It is certainly wiser, if not more agreeable, to nod as
though one were a stranger, and later tactfully avoid the man or woman
whose company you do not wish to share.

The acknowledgment to an introduction is important. It is the first
impression the stranger gains of you, and it is your duty to make it a
good--and lasting one.

It is always best to repeat the name--in fact, the repeating of the
name is all that is necessary--since it gives an opportunity for
correction if the person to whom the introduction was made
misunderstood it. For example, when the hostess says, "Mrs. Davis, let
me present Mrs. Raymond," the ladies may bow politely, each murmuring
the name of the other.


With introductions made as hurriedly and haphazardly as they are
to-day, at large receptions and balls, it is often puzzling to
determine whether or not one should greet a certain new acquaintance at
the next meeting. There are certain definite rules that may be followed
with confidence.

It is important to remember that the first intimation of recognition
after an introduction must always come from the lady. A gentleman does
not offer his hand, nor does he bow or nod to the lady he has met only
once before until she has made the first movement. The privilege of
continuing or ending the acquaintanceship rests with her.

As a general rule, one bows to all those whom one has met at dinner,
luncheon or breakfast. It is also usual to greet those with whom one
may have drunk tea at a reception, and with whom one may have played a
game of tennis or golf. Incomplete introductions require no future
recognition, unless the people introduced desire to cultivate a

If two people are presented to each other for the second time, polite
acknowledgment must be made. It is not necessary, though often it is
pleasant, to recall a former introduction, especially if one feels sure
that the other will have no difficulty in recollecting the occasion. It
is the duty of the gentleman to recall a previous introduction. He may
say, "I think I have had the pleasure of meeting Miss Stone last week,"
or, "Miss Stone and I have already been introduced." If two ladies are
presented to each other for the second time, the younger or unmarried
one incurs the duty of recalling the first introduction. "I have
already met Mrs. Jessup," is a form that may be used on any occasion.


At a formal or informal dinner, the host and hostess must make all
guests known to one another before leading the company to the table. It
is neither graceful nor good form to introduce after the guests are

The secret of correct introduction at dinner is to avoid all obvious
efforts to present certain guests to one another. For instance, it is
not the best form to interrupt a conversation and draw a young man to
another part of the room to present him to a young lady. Nor is it
necessary for the hostess to incommode herself by rising, during the
course of the dinner, to greet a late-comer and make him known to the
other guests. She may merely nod to him, accept his excuse for
tardiness with a gracious smile or word of welcome, and retain all
introductions until later in the evening when the guests have assembled
in the drawing-room.

Sometimes, at a very large formal dinner, it is not possible for the
host and hostess to introduce every guest. In this case it is necessary
to introduce only the gentlemen and ladies who are to go in together to
table. Later, when the ladies gather in the drawing-room, the clever
hostess will contrive to make all her guests known to each other; and
when the gentlemen join them after their cigars, both host and hostess
may adroitly conclude the introductions. However, it is also good form
for the host to make his complete introductions while the gentlemen are
having their after-dinner smoke and chat, and for the hostess to make
her introductions in the drawing-room among the ladies. The gentlemen
may then be presented to the ladies during the course of the evening.

If there is a distinguished guest, or a guest of honor, for whom the
dinner is given, all guests must be presented to him at some time
during the evening. If the introductions cannot be completely achieved
before dinner, the host and hostess may continue them when the guests
reassemble in the drawing-room.


When a ball or dance is given in honor of a _débutante_ daughter, or
in honor of a visiting guest, the hostess, on receiving her guests,
presents them to the honored person who stands at her side. During the
course of the dance itself, the host and hostess, as well as the
members of their family, make all the introductions they can without
inconveniencing either their guests or themselves.

At a private dance the host and hostess must constantly contrive to
present gentlemen to ladies, so that there will always be new partners
for each dance. If it is a very small dance, the strictly formal
introduction is rarely performed; the girls introduce their partners to
their particular friends, and the young men present their friends to
their partners without asking permission to do so.

At a very large, formal ball or dance, it is good form to ask
permission of a lady before presenting a gentleman to her. It is
certainly the safest and most satisfactory way, and reflects good taste
and courtesy both on the part of the gentleman who wishes to be
introduced and the gentleman who is the medium of introduction.

The gentleman who escorts a lady to a dance has a very distinct duty
with regard to introductions. He must present to her, at various
intervals during the dance, as many of his masculine friends as he
feels she would welcome as partners. At a public ball, he invariably
asks her permission to make these introductions, as he does also at a
very large formal ball. But if the young lady is a friend of long
standing, and his own comrades personal friends for whom he can vouch,
it is not necessary to request formally the lady's permission before
making the introductions.

At public balls, the reception committee presents each guest to the
guest of honor. If there is no guest of honor, the committee merely
welcomes the guests, and leaves the duty of introduction to chaperons
and escorts. Patronesses and reception committees are not obligated in
any way to make introductions at subscriptions or public balls, though
it often helps to make the affair more pleasant when they take part in


The hostess of an afternoon or evening reception presents each guest
who arrives to the guest of honor or _débutante_ daughter, who
stands at her side and receives with her. She may not leave her post at
the door to make introductions, but she may present as many guests to
one another as is possible without leaving her place.

The wise hostess always has several feminine members of her family to
assist her in making guests known to one another. These young women may
introduce any strangers in the company. The ladies in charge of the
refreshments in the dining room may also speak without introduction to
guests of either sex, in order to offer tea, chocolate or bonbons. They
are privileged to make introductions whenever it is in their power to
do so.

A committee is usually appointed to receive the guests at a public
reception. The committee, or part of it, stands by the door to receive
each guest formally, and introductions are made merely by having a
liveried servant announce the name in a loud, clear voice. The guest
bows to the committee, and considers himself introduced. Then the
committee may be addressed by the stranger who desires further
introductions to other guests. It is important, at these public
receptions that the committee in charge perform as nearly as possible
the duty of host and hostess.


Some people who pride themselves upon being well-bred make themselves
appear actually ludicrous by being highly indignant when addressed by
someone to whom they have not been introduced. Surely in this world of
good-fellowship and open-hearted friendliness it is ridiculous to seal
one's mouth and be aloof, merely because one has not been formally

There is, for instance, the gentleman one sits next to on the steamer
deck. A lady, of course, may not on any condition address a gentleman
whom she does not know, nor may a gentleman address a lady who is a
stranger to him. But when two men are sitting side-by-side on a steamer
deck, both glorying in the solemn dignity of the sea, and the wide
expanse of sky, it would be petty indeed to refrain from conversation.
If a friendship is to be developed later, a formal introduction may be
sought; but for the present, though they have never been presented to
each other, the men may enjoy a conversation without feeling that they
are trespassing beyond the boundaries of etiquette.

Similarly, the lady traveling across country may comment upon the
splendid open stretches of country, the hazy impressiveness of the
mountains in the distance and the surprising beauty of the train's
smoke against the azure sky, to the lady sitting opposite her, even
though they have never been introduced. And they may carry on quite a
delightful conversation without being formally presented to each other.

There can be nothing quite as shallow as refusing to answer, or
answering coldly, the person who addresses you in a spirit of
friendliness, merely because there have been no formal introductions.
One must have vision enough to see that what is correct in the ballroom
would be strained and narrow in the shadow of the huge mountains where
men and women of every social standing gather to enjoy the same
glorious bigness of things.


It is important for children to be taught early the significance and
value of formal introductions. But parents must carefully avoid all
suggestion of snobbishness in their young sons and daughters. There is
an amusing story related of a certain little English lad who was
visiting in America with his father, who happened to be a member of the
House of Lords. The youngster had a well developed case of

At an afternoon reception given in honor of his father, the boy was
introduced to several young Americans, invited especially for his
benefit. During the course of the afternoon, the hostess noticed that
he was sitting off to one side, avoiding the other young guests. When
she spoke to him about it, and asked him why he didn't join the other
young people, he remarked stiffly: "In England, the son of a member of
the House of Lords does not associate with commoners!" While the father
crimsoned, the little American guests laughed in amusement. And a
newspaper correspondent who was present enjoyed the humor of the
situation so keenly that he devoted a whole column to it.

A well-bred child introduces his or her small friend to older persons
by saying, "Mrs. Thompson, this is my sister Ray," or, "Mother, may I
present my schoolmate, Bob, to you?" Children should be taught not to
use stilted, unnatural phrases. Their introductions should be easy and
natural. A child introducing his young cousin to a friend would say,
"Bob, this is my cousin, Ralph." When introduced to an adult, the
properly trained child waits for the elder to speak first. If some
expression of pleasure at the meeting is made, the child may say,
"Thank you, Mrs. Anderson."

A parent would introduce her daughter in this manner: "Mrs. Brown, this
is my little daughter Anne," or, "Mrs. Brown, my boy John wishes to be
presented to you." Children should be introduced to each other in a
casual way for strained introductions cause them to feel ill at ease in
one another's company. "Harry, this is John Brown. I am sure you will
enjoy hearing all about his new pony," or, "Mary, Bob wants to tell you
about something funny that happened at school the other day." The
simple expression, "How do you do," is always best for children who are
acknowledging introductions.


With the passing of the ridiculous half-finger handshake, with the arm
extended upward and the wrist bent awkwardly, introductions have become
more cordial and sincere. Which is entirely as it should be. Too many
people go through the ceremony of an introduction merely as a matter of
duty, without realizing its portent in the matter of friendship and
future acquaintance.

We have all met the man or woman who nods stiffly in acknowledgment of
an introduction, and offers some stereotyped expression of welcome. And
we have all met the man or woman who smiles warmly, offers a sincere
handclasp, and acknowledges the introduction so cordially that one
feels entirely at ease. In the latter case, a brief acquaintance
usually ripens into friendship, while in the former instance, one is
inclined to forget promptly the one to whom the introduction has been

The next time you are introduced to a stranger, smile sincerely, make
your handclasp warm and firm, put cordiality into your welcome and see
how your new acquaintance responds! The correct introduction alone is
not the corner-stone of friendship; but the correct introduction that
is also cordial opens the door to friendships that perhaps are sealed
to every other effort.

Whether you are making an introduction or acknowledging one, be sure
that it is both correct and cordial.




Letters of introduction should be drawn only on relatives, or on very
close friends. It is not considered entirely ethical to introduce by a
letter an individual of whom the writer knows very little, or toward
whom the writer is not especially friendly. It is also scarcely good
form to ask for a letter of introduction; the truly cultured person
will depend upon the kind impulses of a friend or relative to recognize
the need for such presentation.

Care should be exerted in the issuing of these letters. Some people,
because they have not sufficient willpower to refuse a direct request,
will issue such a letter to a person whom they hardly know, and for
whose character they cannot vouch. Thus they are forced to send a
private letter to the person to whom the letter of introduction is
addressed, explaining that the stranger is really not very well known
to them, and that perhaps the hostess had better find out more about
him, or her. This always causes an embarrassing and uncomfortable
situation; it is always better to refuse frankly, unless one knows the
man or woman and is willing to endorse him heartily and sincerely.

A letter of introduction should be brief, concise and free from matters
of personal or private interest. If the bearer of the letter is in
mourning, or has suffered some recent grief or loss, or if he is the
victim of unhappy circumstances or peculiar prejudices, a private
letter should be sent to the person to whom the letter is addressed,
explaining the situation. This does not hold true when the stranger has
some special mission to perform; in this case, the explanation is
written directly in the original letter of introduction.

A note of introduction rarely covers more than a page or a page and a
half of medium-size note paper, and it should be confined strictly to
the presentation of the person in whose behalf it is written. Nothing
irrelevant, such as inquiry regarding the health of certain people of
mutual acquaintance, or of domestic interest, should be included. The
letter is placed in an unsealed envelope.


Usually letters of introduction are not presented in person, but sent
with the card of the man or woman to be introduced. This relieves the
ceremony of that awkwardness which usually follows when someone
presents a letter of introduction and waits while it is being read. If
one does not wish to send it through the mails, the letter may be left
with one's card at the door of the one to whom it is addressed.

When the letter of introduction is from a gentleman to a lady, or
rather when the letter introduces a gentleman to a lady, he invariably
calls in the afternoon and sends up the letter with his card. If the
lady is not at home, he may slip the card into the same envelope as the
letter, and leave it with the servant to be delivered. A gentleman also
calls to present a letter of introduction to a member of his own sex.

A woman who wishes to present a letter of introduction to another
woman, calls personally and leaves the letter with her own card, or
slips her card into the envelope, seals it, and sends it through the
mails. Either method of presentation is correct. However, when the
letter is addressed to a gentleman, she does not call, unless it is
some very special and unusual occasion, but trusts the letter to the
mails for safe delivery.


A letter of introduction requires immediate recognition in some form.
Either a call or an invitation should be made within three or four
days. If it is impossible to honor a letter of introduction by the
usual form of visiting or entertaining then it is absolutely essential
that a prompt and adequate explanation should be written to the author
and bearer of the letter.

Ordinarily, when the bearer of a letter of introduction is a woman, a
call is made within three days. This call is followed by the offer of
some hospitality, usually a luncheon or tea. A gentleman calls upon a
lady or upon another gentleman as soon as he receives a letter of
introduction. But a lady, instead of making a call, sends an invitation
to the gentleman who is introduced to her by means of a letter.

Any delay in acknowledging a letter of introduction is uncivil, both to
the person who wrote the letter and the one being introduced. If one is
invalided, a short note should be written explaining why a call cannot
be made, and arranging for a meeting as early as circumstances permit.
But to wait a week or two before acknowledging a letter of
introduction, and then writing to explain, is to show lack of good
breeding and ignorance of the laws of good conduct.

It is a mark of courtesy to write to the person who brought about the
acquaintance with a new friend by means of a letter of introduction,
thanking him or her for the note that inspired the friendship.


A letter of introduction should be simple and to the point. It should
also be friendly, cordial and explanatory. It is placed in a single
envelope, unsealed, with the full name and address of the person to
whom the bearer is introduced. Here are some letters that are offered
merely as suggestions. Of course they may be changed and added to, to
meet certain conditions:

_New Haven, Conn.,
    March 4, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Brown:_

    _This will introduce to you Miss Rose Johnson of Camden, New
    Jersey, who intends staying in your charming city during December
    and January._

    _I have known Miss Johnson for three years, and feel sure that
    you will find pleasure in her company._

    _With warmest personal regards, I am_

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Margaret F. Dowe._

    _New York, N.Y.,
    April 4, 19--_

    _Dear Travers:_

    _The bearer of this note, Mr. Robert Duncan, of Chicago, plans to
    be in your town for two months. Besides being a personal friend of
    mine, he is the advertising manager of the Goodfield Company in Los
    Angeles, and knowing as I do how interested you are in advertising,
    I feel that you would like to know him._

    _You will find him good company everywhere, I think, for he not
    only talks entertainingly but he plays tennis and golf and bridge
    and plays them well. I hope that you will be able to help him enjoy
    his stay in Madison._

    _With kindest regards to Mrs. Travers, I am_

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Bob Westely._

    _Baltimore, Md.,
    Oct. 19, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Rowell:_

    _It gives me great pleasure to present to you Mr. Raymond Gordon,
    the bearer of this note, with whom I have been associated in
    business and socially for many years. Business takes him to
    Baltimore, where he is an entire stranger. I will personally
    appreciate any kindness you may show him during his stay there._

    _Yours most sincerely,_

    _Robert S. Balfour._


Very often a card of introduction, instead of a letter, is issued. The
letter is preferred in the case of special friends, as it conveys a
certain courtesy that the strictly formal card lacks. Yet the card is
no less powerful an agent in soliciting and securing civilities for a
man or woman in a strange town. Its place is in the business rather
than the social world, where often it is the means of securing an
interview which it would be almost impossible to get without some kind
of endorsement.

The card of introduction consists merely of a visiting card with the
name of the person to be introduced written above that of the sender. A
card so prepared should be placed in a card envelope, left unsealed,
and addressed to the person to whom the introduction is to be made. The
words which appear at the top of the card are written also at the
extreme bottom of the envelope, either below the address or in the
left-hand corner.

Here is a typical visiting card, inscribed correctly with the name and
address of the medium of introduction, and bearing the correct
introduction above the name:

    _Introducing Miss Rose M. Roberts_
    Mr. Charles Hanson Morton
    28 West 18th St.


The man who values his good name among his business associates will not
give letters of introduction indiscriminately. There are no special
rules governing such letters in the business world beyond those of the
social world. It is very annoying to a busy man to have to interrupt
his work to make himself agreeable to all sorts and conditions of men
who may come bearing missives which give them entrance. People should
remember this in giving letters of introduction and should absolutely
refuse unless they feel sure that something of mutual benefit may arise
from the meeting. To give a letter of introduction for the same reason
that one sometimes buys goods of a persistent agent--to get rid of
him--is a very poor way out of the difficulty.

It is permissible to ask for a letter of introduction to a business man
if the person from whom it is requested is a good friend and the person
who asks for it has an excellent reason for doing so. Of course it is
much better when the letter comes as a free-will offering, for there is
no possibility of having to meet with a refusal. A refusal to grant a
letter should not anger the person who asked for it, and the person who
feels compelled to deny the request should give a courteous
reason--there is usually such a reason--for doing so.




The origin of the "social" call dates from the Stone Age, when the head
of a family used to leave a roughly carved block of stone at the door
of another, as an expression of good-will and friendship. The most
marked development in calls and visiting is traced among the Orientals,
and especially the Chinese. In China, even to-day, the social call is
practically a sacred ceremony, and it is only the very lowest coolie
who does not pay regular calls upon his friends and neighbors.

It is contrary to the American ideal to develop or encourage highly
complicated social ceremonies, and even the most formal call in this
country to-day is simply a meeting of good friends. With the rush of
modern life and the multitudinous opportunities which it offers for
diversion and instruction there is a tendency to neglect one's social
calls. It is a great pity, for nothing is quite so precious as one's
friends, and was it not Emerson who said, "Go often to the house of thy
friend for weeds choke the unused path"?


In the city, formal calls are made between four and six o'clock in the
afternoon. Morning calls are considered informal in the city; they are
made only to transact business, or by special appointment. Only a very
intimate friend is privileged to call in the morning merely for social

[Illustration: © Brown Bros.


A similar plan of decoration may be used effectively in a much less
pretentious home.]

Women rarely call in the evening, unless it is a friendly informal
visit. Men may make formal evening visits both in the city and country.
In the city they may call as early as eight o'clock or as late as
half-past nine. It is not in good taste to call very late in the
evening, especially in the country where the retiring hour is early. It
is perfectly correct for a woman who is at business during the day to
pay her calls during the early part of the evening.

Morning calls in the country may be made between half-past ten and one
o'clock. Both men and women should observe these hours. It is only in
the centers of formal and fashionable society, where luncheon is
usually served at one o'clock that morning calls are reserved for
occasions of business.

When a call is paid for the purpose of condolence, or of inquiring
after a sick friend, no special hour need be observed, as the caller
rarely advances beyond the threshold of the front door. Before calling
on a friend in a hospital one should ascertain the hours during which
visitors are allowed.


Never prolong a call until it becomes a relief to depart--both for you
and your hostess. This is not irrelevant, nor is it too severe. There
are many people who do not know when to depart, and simply because they
are afraid of leaving too early and offending the hostess, they prolong
the visit unduly and depend upon gossip and forced conversation to pass
the time. It is not good taste to make a call that lasts ten minutes;
but it is certainly no better to make one that lasts three hours.

When a first and formal call is paid, fifteen or twenty minutes is the
usual time for exchanging civilities, and for making a graceful exit.
The ordinary formal call may be extended from a quarter to
three-quarters of an hour. A friendly call may be continued an hour,
and sometimes an hour and a half.

Calls of inquiry, condolence and information should never be prolonged
longer than is required to obtain the information required. Calls of
condolence should be made especially short, as it is a mark of
inconsideration to force oneself on a hostess who is suffering a recent


Calls should always be paid on the hostess' day at home, if possible.
It is always more complimentary and considerate to observe a day at
home than to call on an afternoon when the hostess does not expect you.

In large cities and fashionable circles, it is customary for every
hostess to issue at-home cards, giving the day and hour, or just the
day, when she will be at home to visitors. These are issued to all her
friends and acquaintances and they are expected to make their social
calls, calls of congratulation, calls of appreciation--all calls except
those that have to do with business--on that afternoon.

Sunday calls are now considered informal. In small towns and country
neighborhoods they may be made after church or in the evening, but in
large cities formal visits are rarely made on Sunday. Here again men
(and business women) enjoy a special privilege; they may make their
formal calls any afternoon or evening of the week, Sunday not excepted.
Perhaps this is only fair, as the American man, and many of the
American women, have their mornings and afternoons completely absorbed
by the exactions of their business.


In making business calls a woman should wear street dress of the most
simple and conservative type. For her social calls also she should wear
street attire, but it need not be so severe as for business purposes.
Especially if she is to go by public conveyance she should be careful
not to make herself conspicuous by her dress. The hostess is always
more or less informally dressed unless her at home takes on the
proportions of a reception, in which case she wears an elaborate
reception gown.

Men seldom pay calls, and when they do, for the most part, they wear
ordinary business suits unless the occasion is one of importance.
Formal evening calls require formal evening dress.


In the country, all newcomers wait until they are called upon before
calling or leaving cards. Formerly, calls were paid only upon those
newcomers who were in one's immediate neighborhood, but now motoring
has greatly increased the area of visiting. Thus, when a newcomer
builds or rents a home within easy motoring distance, one must feel
obligated to call and leave cards.

Brides also wait to receive first calls. Neighbors and friends are
expected to call and leave cards immediately upon the return from the
honeymoon. It is the particular duty of all wedding guests to call
promptly as soon as the bride announces her return.

When a lady comes to visit a friend in another town, it is the duty of
all friends of the hostess to make the first call. It is also the rule
for women who have been entertained in a friend's house in the country
to be the first to call on that friend immediately upon her return to
town. Where there is no indebtedness of this kind and when two women
arrive home from their respective summer vacations at about the same
time, it is customary for the younger to make the first call upon the

The matter of paying the first call is often a very delicate one.
Frequently sensitive people are offended by some unconscious slight on
the part of a friend. The following rules will help those who are in
doubt, and who are anxious to follow the correct usage, and thus avoid
blunders that may result in broken friendships.

An unmarried woman always pays the first call of the season upon a
matron. The elder of two women is entitled to the first visit. This
same rule holds true among men, when the question of the formal call
arises. In large cities, when the recognized winter period for
exchanging formal calls opens, very little attention is paid to the
matter of the first calls of the season. It is usually dependent upon
convenience and inclination of individuals, and upon the settling of an
at-home day. Sometimes women who are exceptionally punctilious make
their first calls with reference to courtesies extended or received in
the foregoing season. Thus, they refer to their calling lists of the
preceding winter, in deciding on whom to make the first calls. However,
this is entirely in the hands of the individual.


There are certain obligatory calls that must be made, if one wishes to
be in accord with the laws of etiquette. These are sometimes referred
to as "duty calls." For instance, it is essential for all wedding
guests, bridesmaids, ushers, and for the best man, maid of honor and
matron of honor to call on the bride's mother within three weeks after
her daughter's wedding. They must also call upon the bride as soon as
she returns from her honeymoon. If the wedding was held at the home of
a sister or other relative, the call is made to the lady who acted in
the capacity of hostess. The guests at a home wedding, wedding
reception or breakfast, are also obligated to call on the bride's
mother, and on the bride herself, in due course.

It is distinctly important for all guests, both men and women, at a
formal dinner to call upon the hostess within two or, at the most,
three weeks after the dinner. This holds true even if the invitation
was not accepted. The dinner call should be paid promptly; if a man or
woman who has not accepted an invitation to dinner does not call within
three weeks, the hostess has every reason to believe that he, or she,
does not desire her friendship and hospitality. This same holds true of
balls, suppers, parties and receptions. Not to accept an invitation,
and not to call, is a gross incivility and reflects upon the good
manners of the person who has neglected to make the obligatory call.

Duty calls are necessary after formal luncheons or breakfasts, and
after musicales, theater parties, opera parties, garden parties, and
after attending a christening. Such a call should be made within the
two weeks following the event.

Other obligatory calls are made both before and after a funeral. The
first call is merely a matter of card-leaving, unless one is an
intimate friend of the bereaved family. After the funeral a call of
condolence should be made.

A hostess who follows the laws of good society to the letter,
invariably calls on a new acquaintance before offering her any
hospitality, or before issuing any invitations to her. Other calls that
are a matter of obligation are those of inquiry regarding a friend's
health, of congratulation to parents on the birth of a child, and of
congratulation to the young lady who has announced her engagement. All
these calls are social necessities, and the man or woman who is
well-bred never neglects them.


It is of the utmost importance that calls be promptly returned. But
perhaps the most exacting of all is the first call. To neglect to
return it within two weeks, or three at the most, or to explain by
letter why it cannot be returned, is to indicate tacitly that the
caller's friendship is not desired. This, of course, is an extremely
rude and inconsiderate method to choose, if one really does not desire
to cultivate a certain friendship, for there are many gracious and less
unkind means to employ.

A bride, or a visitor in a neighborhood, or a newcomer to a town,
should not let more than ten days, or at the most two weeks, elapse
before returning the civilities of their new neighbors. The first call
of a new acquaintance should be just as promptly returned. After the
first call is returned, it depends upon the individuals concerned
whether a friendship shall be developed, or whether a "calling
acquaintance" shall be kept up. (The expression "calling acquaintance"
is used to indicate the custom of ladies calling upon each other once
or twice during the year as a social duty, rather than as a means of
developing friendship.)

When calls are exchanged only once in twelve months it is an indication
that only a purely formal acquaintance exists between two people. But
when two women are friends, they may exchange calls at intervals of
three weeks or a month, and sometimes very dear friends exchange calls
every week. However, in this latter case the calls are more or less

Calls of condolence, sympathy, inquiry and congratulation are usually
answered by sending cards or brief notes to the callers. Later, on
issuing from mourning, or on recovery of health, the calls of
condolence and inquiry may be returned, but it is not entirely
necessary, and depends largely upon the convenience and individual
desire of the person on whom the call was made.

When a hostess is asked to invite the friends of her friends to a
reception at her home, she is not obligated to return their "calls of
duty." Nor does a woman return any of the calls, formal or informal, of
her gentlemen acquaintances. When one woman receives a call from
another woman who bears a letter of introduction, a return call must be
made promptly, or a letter of explanation written within two weeks
after the day of the first call. The same rule is observed between men.


It should be remembered that no hasty intrusions should ever be made
upon grief. It shows lack of good taste and extreme inconsideration.

Only intimate friends of a bereaved family, or of one member of that
family, call for any length of time. Others merely leave their cards
with cordial inquiries regarding the health and spirits of the members
of the family.

They may forward a box of flowers, including their personal card in the
box, instead of calling to leave a card in person. But when the formal
call of condolence is made, ten days or two weeks after the funeral,
the intimate friends of the family should be careful to avoid all
subjects that would cause pain to the bereaved ones. They should not,
unless gifted with rare tact, make any reference to the death but
should rather speak of cheerful things. However, it may be necessary to
give some word of sympathy either upon greeting or departure. A tactful
way to greet a sorrowing person is to say simply, "I have called to
assure you of my sympathy." The subject should then be dropped and
other matters discussed.

On departure a word of cheer and sympathy, and a hearty warm hand-clasp
go a long way towards helping matters.

Calls of condolence should be brief. It is poor form to remain longer
than fifteen minutes, unless one is a particularly intimate friend and
able to relieve the intensity of grief by his or her presence. If the
person called upon feels the loss so poignantly that he or she cannot
be composed, it is far better to leave a cordial note at the door
asking to be excused from all callers, than to greet them and cause
embarrassment by a display of emotion. Persons in affliction often
prefer to be alone, and the intrusion of anyone except their very
dearest friends causes fresh grief.


Calls of congratulation are warranted only by intimacy or by friendship
of long standing. After the birth of a child, feminine friends of the
mother incur the duty of calling upon her and leaving inquiries about
her own and her child's health, along with the customary
congratulations. Friends of the young lady who announces her engagement
are expected to call and offer congratulations. This call is usually
made between ten days and two weeks after the announcement is received.
Married women who are friends of the young woman's mother also call to
make their congratulations.

Calls of inquiry are made during the illness or convalescence of a
friend or acquaintance. Sometimes these calls are made after a fire or
accident, or after some several financial loss or other disaster.
Extreme tact is needed in paying such calls. The call itself assumes no
greater proportions than that merely of doorstep card-leaving, yet it
is an expression of genuine sympathy and a desire to show that
friendship will be continued no matter what happens. The chapter
devoted to visiting cards contains several model cards of inquiry that
can be used on the various occasions mentioned.


Gentlemen of good society usually devote Sunday afternoons and evenings
to their formal visits. Weekday evenings are also often given over to
the same purpose. The gentleman who calls upon a lady shows good taste
and consideration by selecting her day at home.

A man is expected to make calls of condolence, inquiry and
congratulation upon all his intimate friends, men and women. He is also
expected to pay a call promptly upon a hostess who has entertained him
either at dinner or a dance. However, he may not call again unless he
is invited to do so by the hostess. A bachelor residing in a new
neighborhood is expected to return all first calls made upon him, but
he has the privilege of requesting a sister or woman relative living
with him to make the return call in his name.

When introduced to a gentleman by means of a letter of introduction
from a mutual friend, it is essential that the recipient return the
call within three days. This holds true also if it is a lady who
presents the letter of introduction. Gentlemen who are invited to
balls, dinners, theater parties, garden parties, etc., are expected to
make calls within ten days or two weeks, even though they do not accept
the invitation.


An invalid may return calls by sending a daughter or a close friend in
her stead. A sister may also make calls for an invalided woman. When a
member of society is an invalid, with no daughters or sisters, and with
no very intimate friends, she may issue cards or notes through the
mails if she wishes to keep up her social activities.

A daughter of an invalid calls upon all her mother's friends,
introduces herself, and explains why she is appearing in her mother's
place. Or she may just leave her mother's card, with her own name and a
word of explanation written above it. The latter method is undoubtedly
the most satisfactory.

A person who is invalided temporarily may send cards in answer to the
courtesies of friends or she may allow her daughter to assume her
social responsibilities. Usually because of the heavy demands which
society places upon one she goes back to her round of calls, teas,
receptions, etc., gradually rather than all at once. Friends are always
considerate under such circumstances and etiquette never exacts more
than one can possibly do.


You cannot, except under special conditions, invite people to your home
unless you have called on them in formal manner and they have returned
the visit. A young woman, and an unmarried woman, wait for an
invitation to call from an older woman and matron. It is not advisable
for a young woman to ask a gentleman to call until she has met him
several times and is quite sure that she wishes to develop his
friendship. A woman never calls upon a gentleman except on a business
mission, in which case she may not discuss social or domestic topics. A
married woman does not leave a card for an unmarried man unless she has
been to a reception at his house; then she leaves one of her own cards
with one of her husband's.

It is expected of a young matron or of a _débutante_ that she request
being permitted to call upon an elderly matron or old lady after the
two have met at a watering-place or in the home of a mutual friend, and
after having exchanged cards. A gentleman who wishes to call upon a
young girl he admires, first asks permission of the lady's mother,
being quite certain, of course, that his visit would be agreeable to
the young lady herself. To ask permission of the mother is to convey a
very distinct compliment to both women, and reflects culture and
breeding upon the character of the young man himself.

When asking a gentleman to call it is sufficient to say, "Mother and I
will be at home Wednesday at three o'clock, Mr. Blank. I hope you will
come to see us," or, "I should be very glad to have you visit me, Mr.
Blank. Mother and I are usually at home in the evenings."

In some sections of the country it is customary for the gentleman to
ask permission to call upon a young lady, rather than for the young
lady to request him to call. He may say, "Miss Blank, I hope I may call
on you sometime before very long," or "I would like to call upon you at
your home, Miss Blank. May I call some evening when you and your mother
are at home?"


A woman may call on a man only for business purposes. In this case the
man is usually her clergyman, editor, lawyer, physician or merchant,
and the call is made during office hours.

The woman who is making a business call does not usually send in a
visiting card, but merely gives her name to the attendant. She states
her business briefly, remembering to avoid all personal, social or
domestic topics not essential to the furtherance of the matter in hand.
If it is necessary for a woman to call upon a man at his home, she must
be accompanied by a male relative, or by a woman older than herself.
This holds true only when she is entirely unacquainted with the members
of the man's family, and is only acquainted with the man himself
through business interests. She does not send up her cards, merely her
name, and she makes her visit as short as possible. When a woman calls
at a bachelor apartment or at a gentleman's studio it is an
unimpeachable law of etiquette that she be correctly chaperoned.
Etiquette also bars a woman from visiting a gentleman's club, even for
the purpose of seeing her husband.

The lady who has been entertained at the home of a gentleman may drive
to his door and send up her card. But she never enters his home for a
social visit.


The day at home is devoted exclusively to the receiving and
entertaining of callers. This day at home is decided by the hostess at
the beginning of the season; one day each week, or one day in every two
weeks, is set apart for receiving calls.

The hostess should be ready to receive her first call by a few minutes
before three o'clock. She may, if she wishes, specify a certain hour
for calling on her at-home card, but if she prefers to leave the hour
open, she should be prepared to greet her guests from three o'clock in
the afternoon until a little before half-past five.

There are three methods that may be employed in announcing a caller.
The method you choose should be governed by what you can afford and by
what is most convenient for you. The most formal and effective plan is
to have a full-liveried butler at the door to lead each guest to the
drawing-room, and then announce his or her name to the hostess. Or a
servant may be at the door to offer each visitor a small silver tray,
on which to place his or her card. The most simple method is to place a
large tray in the hall, preferably on a small table that is
conspicuously situated, and into this the cards of the callers may be
cast as they pass into the drawing-room. It should be remembered that a
maid-servant never announces callers, but only offers them a card-tray
and helps them with their wraps.

The caller at an apartment house should first have the hall boy
telephone up to the hostess--unless the caller is expected--to know if
she is at home. It is not permissible except among very intimate
friends to go up unannounced.

The hostess should always prepare some sort of refreshment for her
guests on the day at home. In winter, tea or hot chocolate may be
served with wafers or cake. Sometimes light sandwiches and bonbons are
served on the day at home. In the warm summer months, if calls are
made, the visitors may be refreshed with iced tea, chocolate or punch.


On her day at home, the hostess makes every effort to make her callers
feel that she is glad to have them. She rises as each new guest makes
his or her appearance, steps forward and offers her hand in greeting.
The expressions, "How do you do, Mrs. Brown," and "I am delighted to
see you, Mr. Gray," are effective phrases of greeting. It is her
important duty to make general introductions, and to give some special
attention to each caller as he or she arrives, drawing him into
conversation with the others before leaving him to greet another

If the rooms are warm, the hostess may invite a feminine caller to
remove her wraps, but she must not assume this privilege with the
gentleman. She usually serves tea or chocolate herself, but if there
are many guests, she may ask one or two friends to assist her. It is
poor hospitality to insist upon replenishing a cup of tea after a guest
has declined with thanks.


It is not always very convenient to entertain chance callers,
especially if one has some important business or appointment to attend
to. But when the servant at the door has admitted that her mistress is
at home, the hostess should exert every effort to make good the
servant's assurance. She must not keep the caller waiting, nor must she
ask to be excused after the caller has been admitted. If important
business claims her time, she may come to the drawing-room and after
welcoming the visitor, explain the situation and ask to be excused. By
no means may she send a written or verbal excuse by messenger. Having
been admitted, the presence of the hostess is demanded if it is for no
other reason than to offer an excuse.

If the hostess has no pressing business duties or appointments to which
to attend, it is her duty to afford every hospitality to the chance
caller. If the call is made in the afternoon, and if the hostess
ordinarily serves tea at that hour, she may serve tea, chocolate or
punch with cake or wafers.

When the caller is a gentleman, and the hostess a young lady, it is
proper to call one's mother or chaperon into the drawing-room to make
the correct introduction, or if the visitor is already known, to
welcome him. A young lady who is well-bred does not entertain gentlemen
until they have been welcomed by her mother.

When two chance callers arrive at the same time, the hostess is, of
course, under obligation to make the necessary introductions.


It is not very often that the host is present at his wife's day at
home, for the very good reason that business claims all his time during
the day. But there is no reason why he should not be present if he
desires to and if it is convenient for him.

The duty of any masculine member of a family appearing in the
drawing-room on the day at home--whether it be husband, son or
brother--is to share in the honors and obligations of the occasion. He
will be introduced to those visitors with whom he is not already
acquainted, by his wife or sister, as the case may be; and he is
expected to assist in entertaining, pass the cups, make introductions,
accompany departing guests to the door and join in the conversations.

When it can be arranged it is most delightful for the husband and wife
to receive their friends together. For this reason even formal society
is lenient with regard to time and Sundays may be utilized for "at
homes," teas, or receptions.


The hostess is not expected to accompany her departing guests to the
door when there are others still in the room to claim her attention.
However, it is only a matter of genuine friendliness and politeness to
accompany each departing guest as far as the drawing-room door. This
rule does not hold true when one of the guests is infirm, or when the
hostess is entertaining a very distinguished visitor. But ordinarily,
it is all-sufficient to rise when a guest moves to depart, offer one's
hand in cordial farewell, and say, "Good afternoon, Miss Cary. So good
of you to come," or, "Good-by, Mrs. Blank, I hope to hear some more
about that wonderful trip to East India."

The hostess continues to stand until the guest turns to pass out of the
room. If the guest is a woman, it is a mark of extreme politeness to
remain standing until she has left the room entirely. When all the
guests have departed, the hostess usually accompanies the last visitor
to the hall door; and if it is a special friend, she is privileged to
accompany her to the very street door. However, the hostess must be
careful not to extend any special courtesies to an intimate friend
while other guests are present, nor may she draw a visitor aside to
converse in an undertone about some private or personal affair.

On rising to depart, a caller seeks out the hostess and bids her a
formal adieu. Prolonged farewells are not the best taste, for they keep
the hostess standing and distracted when there are others who are
entitled to her time and attention. As soon as one intimates that he or
she wishes to depart, a quick but cordial farewell should be taken and
the departure made as soon as possible. To bow oneself out of the
drawing-room is a foreign and wholly undemocratic custom which no
well-bred man or woman recognizes. A slight inclination of the head, a
cordial good-afternoon to the guests, and a formal farewell to the
hostess should be followed by immediate leaving of the room.

In apartment houses it is a pretty little attention for the hostess to
accompany her guest to the elevator and ring the bell for her. This she
should, of course, not do in the event that there are others present to
claim her attention.

A gentleman rises from his seat when a woman enters and when she rises
to depart. When taking leave of the hostess he waits for her to offer
her hand, otherwise he merely bows and offers some word of farewell.


A gentleman is privileged to make his call in return for a hospitality
extended him in the evening. It is considerate of him, when he cannot
call in the afternoon, to call on the evening of the hostess' day at

When a young man has been asked to call by a young lady, he does not
ask to see her alone but requests of the servant at the door that he
be announced to _the ladies_. This is especially important, for it
infers that he expects to be presented to the young lady's mother or
her chaperon. After he has met her mother, it is entirely proper for
him, when calling, to request to see the particular lady for whom the
visit is intended.

A gentleman is usually shown into the drawing-room by the servant. He
retains his overcoat and gloves until the servant returns to let him
know that the young lady will receive him presently; then he divests
himself of these garments and either puts them himself in the hall, or
entrusts them to the servant. When the lady enters, he rises, steps
forward to meet her, and does not resume his seat until she has seated


A lady does not call upon a gentleman unless it is for the purpose of
business. Under such conditions, the gentleman rises, finds her a seat
and proceeds immediately with the matter of business. No social or
domestic topics are introduced. If the interview is to be a short one,
or if the man is pressed for time, he may go out to meet the lady in
the corridor or outer office and stand while he hears her business.

When a lady is admitted to his private office, a gentleman does not
receive her with his hat on, or with his coat off. He refrains from
smoking, and gives her his whole attention during the interview. If the
telephone rings, he must excuse himself before answering it. He rises
when the lady is ready to leave, opens the door for her, and
accompanies her to the door or elevator if he wishes to be extremely
polite. However, this latter courtesy is necessary only when the
visitor is a relative or special friend. A gentleman merely bows when a
lady takes her departure, unless she herself offers her hand.

It is quite permissible when certain pressing affairs claim one's
attention to request to be excused or postpone the business call until
some later date. Or if he wishes her to be brief, the gentleman may
courteously request the lady to do so, and he will invariably find that
she will be only too willing to comply with his request. But there can
be no excuse for the man who insists upon being curt to women who call
at his office on matters of business, any more than there is an excuse
for lack of gallantry and courtesy in the drawing-room.

A gentleman receives his masculine callers at his home as cordially and
with as much hospitality as the lady receives her feminine friends. He
must observe all the rules outlined for the hostess. He greets each
caller formally, makes all necessary introductions, sees that
conversation runs smoothly and pleasantly, and if he wishes, offers
refreshments. When he has a mother or sister to help him entertain, he
may invite women guests, and then it is his duty to accompany each lady
as far as the door and see that her car is in readiness. When the last
guest to depart is a gentleman, the host usually goes with him as far
as the hall door, and assists him with his coat.


Very often a call is returned on some other day than that set apart by
the hostess for the day at home. It is not always convenient for
friends and acquaintances to observe a certain day at home, but when
they call on other days they always are faced with uncertainty. Of
course there are some women who do not have a definite day at home, but
they may be found at home almost any afternoon.

A woman calling on a friend or acquaintance on no definite day makes
some such inquiry as follows of the servant at the door: "Is Mrs. Gray
at home?" or, "Are the ladies in this afternoon?" Having received a
reply in the negative, the caller leaves her card and departs. There
must be no questions as to where the ladies may be, or what time they
shall return, unless one is a particularly intimate friend of the
entire family.

When the servant announces at the door that her mistress is not at
home, it may mean either that she is out of the house entirely or that
she is so completely occupied with business that she is not able to
entertain. In either case, however, the report of the servant must be
taken as final, and it may not be questioned.


We will call it that--these friendly little visits that neighbors make
upon each other in smaller towns, or in less fashionable circles.
Informal calls. But you may call them friendly calls, if you wish.

In small towns, and especially in the country, women may "drop in" for
a chat with their neighbors any time in the afternoon. Even morning
calls between ten and one o'clock are permissible. There is nothing
formal about these calls. It is not necessary to have a liveried butler
at the door to announce the name, nor a small silver tray on which to
place the caller's card. Butlers, cards and formalities are all
omitted, and the call drops into a delightfully intimate visit.

It would be ridiculous to attempt to set down a definite time limit for
these calls. They may be as short as twenty minutes or as long as two
hours, depending entirely upon the individuals and the circumstances.
Refreshments may or may not be served as one pleases. Formal greetings
and farewells are dispensed with, and in their place are cordial
"hellos" and "good-bys" that are entirely conducive to good friendship.

If you feel that, because you are not fortunate enough to own a
pretentious dwelling and to hire impressive butlers and maid-servants
to welcome your guests, you should not make calls and have them
returned, you are depriving yourself of a pleasure infinitely greater
than all elaborate display and ostentation. Simple, informal calls made
for the purpose of creating and developing friendships, and made with a
feeling of genuine cordiality and friendliness, are even more
gratifying than the stiffly formal social calls.

Do not feel that you are obeying etiquette's decrees when you neglect
your friendships merely because your home and facilities do not warrant
extensive social intercourse. True etiquette is universal in its appeal
and reaches the country-woman in her little cottage as directly as it
reaches the stately dowager in her city mansion.




An interesting anecdote we have in mind will illustrate better than
anything we can say, the importance of the correct card, whether it be
in business or social activities.

A rather eccentric gentleman discovered an amazing new commodity for
which there had been considerable demand for many years. He became
immediately famous. Reporters besieged his home and office in quest of
interviews, but the reports in the newspapers were of the vaguest and
most indefinite. He shunned publicity, and absolutely refused to see or
speak to anyone.

Then a brilliant young chap who knew and understood the eccentricities
of the inventor, conceived the idea of having a special card engraved
to send in to him. The others laughed at his "foolish idea" as they
called it, but he had absolute faith in his plan. He had a neat white
card engraved with his name and address, much the same form and size as
the ordinary social card. But in the lower left-hand corner, in tiny
italics, these words were printed: "Wishes to tell the people the truth
about your discovery."

The card went in to the inventor. The reporter was admitted. And his
paper boasted headlines and columns of startling facts the next day
that no other paper in town had. The very appearance of the card, its
neatness and its obvious originality, commanded the attention of the
man who hated publicity, and caused him to submit to an interview.

Of course we cannot all have special cards printed for certain
occasions. Nor can we be original to the extent that we do not follow
the rules of etiquette regarding correct forms for social cards. But we
can make our cards so distinctive, so representative of ourselves, that
the recipient will find as much pleasure in receiving them as we in
offering them. And by distinctive we do not mean the fancy or
embellished card, but the one that is strictly in accord with the rules
of good usage as outlined in the following paragraphs.


Social and professional cards should be engraved either on copper or
steel; plain, readable type should be used. Ornate scripts that are
hardly legible should be avoided. Ordinary script type is permissible,
but it must not be fancy or comprised wholly of swinging flourishes. A
plain letter is always preferable. The ordinary Roman type, or any new
modification of it, or Gothic lettering, is always in good taste.

When a large quantity of cards is desired, the copper-plate should be
requested, as the greatest number of clear impressions can be taken
from it. Requests may also be made of the stationer to use an embossed
plate so that the letters stand out in relief. The color should be
white or cream. Other colors are in bad taste, although sometimes buff
and pale blue cards are used by professional men and women. The stock
should be thin; not as thin as paper, but much thinner than that used
for other kinds of cards.

Cards are engraved with the owner's name and address, or with the name
alone. If it is a professional card, the word "Artist" or
"Attorney-at-law" or whatever the profession happens to be may appear
in the lower left-hand corner. Military men may also print their rank
or position in this corner, as may also professors and others holding a
title of distinction.

The engraving of names and addresses should never be in any color but
black. Black engraving on a pure white card is the best form for the
social card. Gilt letterings are an indication of ignorance, and so are
brightly colored engraving or highly tinted paper.


Each new visiting season brings with it new fashions in cards--fashions
that chiefly affect the size of the card. Thus it would hardly be
practical to state definitely correct sizes. But we will give here the
approximate size for the woman's visiting and social cards, and exact
information can be acquired from one's personal stationer or from one
of the current magazines which run special departments to take care of
matters of this kind.

When a lady's card bears her name only, it should never measure more
than two and seven-eighths inches in length and two and one-eighth
inches in width. No card should be smaller than two and one-half inches
in length and one and seven-eighths inches in width. A double card, on
which the names of both mother and daughter or both husband and wife
appear, should be about three inches and a half in length, by two and
one-half in width. No decorations of any kind should be used on a card.

Polite society at the present time favors pure white, unglazed bristol
board about two and two-thirds inches in length by two and one-eighth
inches in width.


It is usual for a man's card to be narrower and the least bit shorter
than a woman's. The ordinary size is two and five-eighths inches by one
and three-eighths inches, but like the woman's card is subject to
change. The stationer will be able to give definite information
regarding the size of the man's card at the present time.

A man's card is as severely simple and unadorned as the woman's. No
ornamentation, no flourish in the lettering. Just plain, readable type
or script engraved in black upon white. The card itself should be of
polished, but not glazed, bristol board, the kind that is flexible and
thin. Some gentlemen have their cards made of especially thin stock to
avoid bulky card cases or waistcoat pockets.

A bachelor may have his home address engraved in the lower right-hand
corner of his card, with the name of his favorite club opposite. If he
resides entirely at his club, the name is engraved in the lower
right-hand corner. It is bad form to have a business address engraved
on one's social visiting card. An at-home day is never given on a
gentleman's card, but appears in the lower left-hand corner of his
wife's card. A bachelor is not expected to devote a definite day to the
entertaining of callers unless he is an artist with a studio.


A woman's visiting card should be engraved solely with her name,
address and day at home. Any decorations such as gilded edges, crests
or superfluous engravings are an indication of bad taste.

In America a lady never assumes any title other than Mrs. or Miss on
her social card. There is only one exception to this rule: a
professional woman may use her title of doctor of medicine, etc. In
this case, even though she is married, she drops her husband's
Christian names and signs herself Marian M. Browning, M.D.

A woman does not share, on her cards, the honorary titles of her
husband. For instance, the wife of our president has her cards engraved
"Mrs. Warren Gamaliel Harding." The wife of a secretary, judge, general
or admiral does not use any title other than Mrs. Even the woman who is
a successful physician should not use her title on her social cards,
unless, as explained above, she is elderly. It is wise for a woman
physician to have two sets of cards, one with her name and title, and
with her office hours in the corner, the other with her name alone, and
her house address in the corner. A physician's social card should be
engraved simply "Miss Marian Mansfield Browning."

It is always better form to give in full the Christian name or names,
as well as the surname. It is not tasteful to indicate by an initial
only the husband's first name, and engrave his middle name, thus: "Mrs.
J. Henry Williams." Both names should be given in full. It is not
considered dignified to use abbreviations of a husband's name, as Frank
for Francis, Alec for Alexander, Joe for Joseph. Nor should an
unmarried woman use such abbreviations of her name as Polly, Sally,
Dolly, etc.

The wife who is the senior matron of the senior branch of a family may
drop both her husband's first and middle names from her cards, and have
them read simply: "Mrs. Robinson." Her eldest unmarried daughter is
entitled to use a card reading: "Miss Robinson." When the name is a
very ordinary one like Brown or Smith, it is always wiser to use the
Christian names to avoid confusion.

A spinster, or as the modern woman likes to call herself, the "bachelor
girl," may not use cards engraved merely Miss Gray, unless she is the
oldest daughter of a family. She has her cards engraved in either of
the three following forms: "Miss Mary Hammond Gray" or "Miss Mary H.
Gray" or just "Miss Mary Gray." The first initial should never be used,
except when the young lady is known by her middle name, unless
professional purposes demand it.

    _Mrs. John Jay Holmes
    12 West Street_

    _Miss Helen Holmes
    12 West Street_


A widow is privileged to retain her husband's Christian name on her
card if she wishes, unless her eldest son is married and bears the full
name of his deceased father. In this case, of course, there would be
confusion, and it is much wiser for her to have her cards engraved with
her own Christian and middle names, in this manner: "Mrs. Lucille May
Hopkins." If there is no reason for her to drop her husband's Christian
and middle names after his death, she may sign herself: "Mrs. Henry
Waltam Hopkins."

At the present time, it is good form for the woman who has been
divorced to use her maiden surname with the surname of the divorced or
deceased husband, dropping all Christian names. Thus a woman whose
maiden name was Harris would have her cards engraved "Mrs. Harris
Smith" if she is divorced from her husband. The name, even if she
resumes her full maiden name, should be prefixed by "Mrs.," never by
"Miss." A widow should avoid following the style prescribed for a
divorced woman, since it is likely to cause embarrassing ambiguity.

It is fully permissible for a widow to revive her maiden name after
several years of widowhood. The divorced woman, however, may not use
her maiden name on her cards until there has been a legal annulment of
her marriage, in which case, as was stated above, she uses it with the
title "Mrs.," not "Miss."


When a young lady has been formally introduced to society by her
mother, she uses for her first year of calls, cards that bear her name
below that of her mother. She assumes a private card only when she is
no longer a _débutante_. The joint card, as it is called, should
be larger in size than the card her mother ordinarily uses, and the
young lady's Christian and middle names should be used unless she is
the eldest daughter of the family. A model card appears below:

    _Mrs. Robert Cole
    Miss Jean Evelyn Cole
    Tuesdays      South Street_

When mother and daughter pay calls together, this one card serves for
both. But when the daughter makes calls alone, she runs a pencil line
lightly through her mother's name--unless, of course, she is merely
leaving cards and not making formal calls. The mother does not use the
double card when calling alone, unless she is leaving cards for herself
and her daughter. Very often the double card, with the name of mother
and daughter, is used even after the daughter has emerged from her
_débutanteship_, when both are visiting together. In less formal
society the daughter has her own card bearing only her name, with or
without title, which she uses whenever the occasion demands it, and in
many instances, even when she makes her _début_ she has a card of
her own which she uses instead of or in addition to the one which she
shares with her mother.

When daughters make their _début_ in society at the same time, the
name of the mother appears nearest the top, as before, directly below
it is "Miss Cole" for the eldest daughter, and below that "Miss Edna
Cole" for her younger sister. The form "The Misses Cole" may also be
used when there are two or three daughters. The joint card is used to
announce the address and at-home day, at the beginning of the season;
but it is also used when the ladies of a family send a wedding gift
with their card, when they send flowers to an invalided friend or when
they make calls of condolence or congratulation together.

There are several other double, or joint, cards used besides those of
the mother and daughter. A motherless girl, living with her father, may
couple her name with his. Sisters who have no parents may use a double
card with the name of the older engraved above that of the younger, or
with the simple inscription, "The Misses Gray." A sister who is
unmarried often shares a joint card with a married sister, when they
are living together. A chaperon and motherless girl, an aunt and
unmarried niece are entitled to use joint cards if they wish.

After her first season, a young lady, when calling alone, uses her own
card. However, if her mother is an active hostess who issues her cards
every season and receives with her daughters, she does not indicate a
day at home on her personal cards. A supply of double cards should
always be available when there are daughters in the family, even though
they issue their own cards, for many instances arise when the double
card is more acceptable than any other.


The lower left-hand corner of the visiting card is reserved for the day
at home. If one day each week--or rather one afternoon from three until
six o'clock each week--is devoted to the entertaining of visitors, the
word "Fridays" or "Tuesdays" is engraved in the corner. There need be
no explanation, no further details, unless the hostess for some reason
wishes to state the hours during which she will be receiving, in which
case it is quite permissible to add them to the names of the day or

Sometimes particular limits are set on the days at home. For instance
some hostesses are at home only one afternoon in every second, or every
third, week. This requires special wording. For instance, "First and
Fourth Wednesdays" or "First Fridays" (meaning first Fridays in the
month). One may also set a time limit by having one's cards engraved:
"Tuesdays until Lent" or "Mondays until April," or "Wednesdays,
December 9--16--23."


The married woman finds many occasions to use the card that is engraved
with her husband's and her name. It is never used to announce her day
at home, unless he is to receive with her, though she may use it when
calling, if she wishes.

The double card for a married couple is larger than the individual
card, but just about the size of the double card used for mother and
daughter. A model is shown below.

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Blake
    200 West End Avenue_

Brides use the joint card when returning calls made upon them after
their return from the honeymoon. It is also customary for such a card
to be inclosed with a wedding invitation or with an announcement of
marriage, to give the united names of the couple with their future
address and day at home. If this last plan is not followed, the bride
posts, immediately upon her return home, a double card bearing her
address and day at home, to all her own and her husband's friends. The
double card is then rarely used, except for such occasions as when
husband and wife send a gift together, or pay calls of inquiry,
condolence or congratulation together.


"Jr." is a contraction of the word Junior; "Sr." is a contraction of
the word "Senior." These suffixes are not generally used on women's
cards, but there are several occasions when they are necessary. There
is, for instance, the lady whose husband bearing the same name as his
father lives in the same town. Her cards must bear the suffix "Jr." if
they are not to be confused with the cards of her mother-in-law.

In this instance, if the mother-in-law were a widow using her husband's
full name, it would be necessary for her to add the word "Senior," or
its abbreviation, "Sr.," after her name to avoid having it confused
with that of her daughter-in-law. The latter would, in this case, omit
the "Jr." from her cards. If both women lost their husbands, and both
wished to retain the husband's Christian names on their cards, the
discriminating "Jr." and "Sr." should be used. These suffixes do not
have to be used if the younger widow only retains the Christian names
of her husband, and the older woman revives the use of her own
Christian and middle names. "Jr." and "Sr." may appear on the cards in
their abbreviated forms. Indeed, it is preferable if the name is a long


A gentleman's card should always bear some distinguishing title. The
only time when "Mr." may be omitted, is when "Jr." or "Sr." follows the
name, or when some honorary title is conferred. A boy under sixteen may
have a card which bears only his name without title.

Undignified abbreviations or contractions of names should never be used
on a gentleman's card. The inscription should read: "Mr. Robert W.
Blake" or, preferably, "Mr. Robert Walter Blake." Such contractions as
"Mr. Bob Blake" or "Mr. R. Walter Blake" are discountenanced by good
society. Only the gentleman who represents the head of the senior
branch of his family may use a card with his name engraved simply, "Mr.

Very often a bachelor has his home address engraved in the lower
right-hand corner of his card, with the name of his favorite club in
the corner opposite. If he resides entirely at his club, its name
occupies the place usually reserved on the card for home addresses. An
at-home day is never given on a gentleman's card, unless he is an
artist and has many friends who are fond of coming to his studio.

In the army, only those men whose ranks are above captain use their
military title on their visiting cards. Others use merely the prefix
"Mr." Men who are officers of volunteer regiments are not entitled to
the use of military titles on their cards, and they should be careful
to use only "Mr." before their names. A captain, major, or colonel in
the army signifies in the corner of the card whether his command is in
the artillery, the infantry, or the cavalry.

A Justice of the Supreme Court has his cards engraved with the title
Mr. Justice preceding his name, thus: "Mr. Justice John Emmonds Gary."
Lawyers and judges of the lower courts may use only the prefix "Mr."
Presidents of colleges, officers of the navy, physicians and clergymen
all signify their office, rank or profession on their cards. A
physician may have his card engraved in either of these two approved
manners: "Dr. Everett Johnson" or "Everett Johnson, M.D." A clergyman
who has received his degree does not use the title "Dr.," but has his
cards engraved, "Elmer J. Burnham, D.D." Other men with honorary titles
follow a similar style.

Members of the cabinet, if they wish, may have their cards formally
engraved "The Secretary of State," "The Secretary of War," "The
Secretary of the Interior," etc. A senator, however, may use only the
prefix "Mr.," having his cards engraved "Mr. Johnson." Of course the
president and vice-president, and ambassadors indicate their office and
rank on their card, as do also all professors and deans of colleges. A
member of the faculty of Yale would have his cards inscribed, "Mr.
Walter Beacon Clark, Yale University." Foreign consuls and
representatives use only the title "Mr."

Business addresses should never be used on a gentleman's social card. A
physician or clergyman need not follow this rule, provided that no
office hours are given.

    _Mr. Robert Livingston
    4 West Tenth Street_


Professional cards and visiting cards should always be kept distinct
from each other. The physician who uses his professional card, with
business hours engraved on it, for a social call, is committing an
irretrievable blunder in etiquette.

A physician has the privilege of choosing either of two forms for his
professional card. He may prefix his name with "Dr." or add the
initials "M.D." to it. In the lower right-hand corner of the card, his
house address is engraved; and in the opposite corner, his office
hours. For his social cards, the physician omits the office hours and
uses M.D. after his name rather than "Dr." before it.

"Rev." or "Reverend," is the approved title for a clergyman. Cards are
engraved: "Reverend Raymond Falke Fleming" or "Rev. Raymond F.
Fleming." A clergyman who is entitled to the degree of doctor may use
all his titles on his professional cards, but has his social card
engraved merely: "Ralph Kendrick Williams, D.D."

Not infrequently it happens that a man has occasion to write his name
on a card with his own hand. In this case he does not omit the
conventional "Mr.," or his honorary titles, but writes his name
identically as it would appear if engraved.

No card should be crowded with a great deal of information but a
business card may bear whatever is necessary really to represent the
person whose name appears upon it. The salesman or other representative
of a large firm has the name of the firm on his business card and the
man who is in a highly specialized kind of work such as advertising,
may have the word "Advertising" engraved on his card. An agent for a
particular kind of commodity may have this fact indicated on his
business card. Such details have, of course, absolutely no place on the
social card.


The tradition of edging a card with black in deference to the dead can
be traced back to the ancient Patagonians who used black paint to
denote the passing of a spirit. They painted their bodies black, if
they were near relatives of the deceased, and painted all the
belongings of the dead man or woman black. This may not have been so
much mourning as it was fear, for these people of long ago were afraid
of death, and they used the death-color largely to please the spirit of
the one who died. Perhaps the black-bordered mourning cards we use
to-day are used more in the spirit of ostentation and display rather
than that of mourning.

Unless one is truly sorrowing over the death of some dear one, mourning
cards should not be used. When they are used, the borders should be
very narrow--never more than one-fourth of an inch. They should not be
carried by people who are not in strict mourning garments.

During the first year of widowhood, the mourning card should have a
black border one-fourth of an inch deep. The second year the border may
be diminished one-sixteenth of an inch; and every six months after
that, the same amount may be detracted from the border, until mourning
is put off entirely. A widower's card has a border narrower than the
widow's in proportion to the size of their respective cards. It, too,
is gradually decreased in width until the end of the mourning period.

This graduation, or rather gradual narrowing, of the border is not used
in the mourning of a sister's, brother's or parent's death. For these
relatives, a border not less than a sixteenth or more than an eighth of
an inch in width should be used. Mourning cards should not be assumed
for an uncle, aunt or cousin, unless genuine sorrow and heartfelt
sympathy are felt. A border that is a sixteenth of an inch in width is
sufficient for the complete period of mourning for these latter

The mourning cards of parents and widows should bear the broadest black
borders, but even they must not exceed the conventional width, which is
not more than one-fourth of an inch. Very wide, glaring borders denote
bad taste on the part of the owner. (See footnote)[1]

      [1] There seems to be a tendency for widows to use, the first
      year of their mourning, cards that have borders measuring
      one-third of an inch in width. Certainly if one is in deep
      mourning, and genuinely sorrowing, a border of this width is
      permissible. But the one-quarter inch border, varying down to
      one-sixteenth of an inch, is always preferred, always in better


A visiting card is always left on the hall table or on the card tray,
if it is not given to the servant. The caller must on no occasion carry
it in and present it to her hostess like a _billet d'admission_. A
woman _never_ presents it herself to her hostess.

When the call is made on the hostess' day at home, cards are left on
the tray in the hall as each caller passes through to the drawing- or
reception-room. If it is the first call of the season, to that
particular friend or acquaintance, she places one of her own cards and
one of her husband's in the tray. Subsequent calls of the season do not
require one of her own cards left each time in the tray; but if the
call is made in return for some hospitality or entertainment accorded
her and her husband, she leaves two of the latter's cards--provided,
only, that the hostess is a married woman.

Until about 1893, women, when paying calls and finding that the hostess
was not at home, turned down the left corner of the card towards the
center, to indicate that all the women members of the family were
included in the call. If the right corner was also turned down, it
meant that the visitor came to make a formal call, not for the simple
purpose of card-leaving. This custom has been entirely eliminated in
America, at any rate, though it still prevails in certain foreign
countries. And rightly so, for it is both affected and untidy.


A wife beginning her rounds of first calls, leaves two of her husband's
cards with one of her own. She repeats this when she comes to
congratulate or condole, and when she pays her final calls of the
season. It is wise for a wife always to carry a number of her husband's
cards in her card case, as she is often called upon to use them for
such social occasions that the busy business man is loath to attend.

If a wife calls upon a friend who is entertaining for a friend or
relative and the invitation included her husband, she leaves three of
his cards with one of her own if the hostess is a married woman, two of
his and one of hers if she is single. She never leaves one of her
husband's cards for an unmarried daughter. She should not use the card
bearing both her name and that of her husband but should use two
separate cards when it is in connection with social calls.

Etiquette does not permit a woman to leave a card for a man. She may
call on a man only for the purpose of business, and then she uses her
business cards, if she has them, instead of her social ones. A married
woman calling upon a single woman who is the hostess and mistress of
her own home, leaves one of her own cards and one of her husband's, or
the joint card which is engraved, "Mr. and Mrs. William Allan
Beckford." In many instances it may seem more courteous to leave more
than one card, but a woman calling alone should never leave more than
three. It has not been many years since she was almost compelled to
leave half a dozen or more but common sense intervened and this custom
like most others has been simplified.


A young lady during her first year in society may leave her name on the
same card with her mother's. If there are two _débutante_ daughters,
the joint card is made to suffice for all three. If a young lady using
separate cards calls on a friend's day at home, she may put two cards
into the tray on entering, if the hostess is receiving with a friend or
daughter, or she may leave only one card, if she prefers. This is done
only when the call is the first of the season, or when it is in return
for some entertainment. Otherwise, if the young lady is a frequent
visitor to the house, and calls on her friend's day at home, she need
not leave her card.

Neither a matron nor a young lady may leave a card for a masculine
member of the household. A young lady paying a chance call on a mother
and daughters, and being told that the ladies are out, leaves two of
her cards. An unmarried woman calling on her married friend leaves but
one card. But if this friend has a friend or relative receiving with
her, or if she has a daughter or daughters in society, then a card is
left for each of the ladies.

An unmarried woman, living with a father or brother, and acting as
mistress of the household, has cards left for her as carefully as the
matron. A widow must also be given scrupulous attention in the matter
of cards.

A young lady who calls after a dance, dinner or theater party leaves a
card for the mother of the young friend upon whom she calls. If a
mother gives a dance or dinner in honor of her son just returned from
college, or just leaving for college, the ladies who attend call
afterward only on the hostess and leave their cards for her.

Sometimes, one calls upon a friend or acquaintance at a hotel or inn.
If the ladies are out, the caller leaves cards marked for the persons
they are intended, in pencil. Otherwise they are likely to go astray,
considering the indifference and carelessness of the average servants.
It is also customary for both men and women, when paying calls in
strange neighborhoods, to write on their cards their temporary address.
The corner that is opposite that used for the permanent address is
devoted to the filling-in of this temporary address.


If a married woman calls in return for some hospitality shown her and
her husband, she leaves two of her own cards and two of his. But if it
is just a social call, she leaves only her own card. In this latter
case, she asks at the door to see the ladies. If she is informed that
they are not at home, she gives the card to the maid and departs. On
the other hand, if the ladies are at home, the card is placed on the
tray in the hall, and the caller goes into the drawing-room to be
welcomed by her friends.

If the maid does not know whether or not the ladies are at home, and
says she will see, the caller gives her own card and goes into the
drawing-room to wait further word from the maid. Should the ladies be
out, she leaves two of her husband's cards on the card tray in the hall
before leaving. If the ladies are at home, she does not deposit her
husband's cards in the tray until her departure.

Very often a lady will call on a very good friend, more for a friendly
little talk and for companionship than for social duty. In this case,
she is privileged to send up only one card; and leave it behind,
whether that lady is out or in, without any other cards.


Frequently, cards are left when there is no intention on the part of
the owner to make a call. To return calls made upon one, by persistent
card-leaving, is to indicate that one wishes to draw a friendship to a
close. It is accomplished merely by leaving a card, on no particular
at-home day but simply by chance, and by making no inquiries of the
servant. One says to a servant, "Please forward these cards to Miss
Adams" or, "These cards are for Mr. and Mrs. Blakelock."

There are several exceptions--several occasions when cards may be left
without a formal call and still indicate no desire to terminate an
acquaintanceship. It is only persistent card-leaving that is indicative
of this latter. A lady in mourning, for instance, is privileged to
leave her cards only in return for invitations she may have received.
It is proper for people in mourning to leave cards for all those
persons who called after the burial to leave cards of condolence; these
return cards are usually black-bordered, and they are left about one
month after the funeral.

Another custom that remains unchanged through the constant evolution of
social culture, is that of leaving cards for the bride's mother when
invitations to the church ceremony only are received, and when the
bride's mother is a stranger to the person invited. Upon receiving the
announcement of a wedding, the proper thing to do is to leave cards for
the bride's mother, even though she is a total stranger.

Cards must be left by each guest for the lady who has entertained a
club, charity or literary organization, at her home. They serve the
same purpose as cards that are left after an entertainment or
hospitality on the part of the hostess.

The custom of card-leaving without a call is also observed when a
friend or acquaintance goes to a home that has been visited by death.


The question has often been asked, whether or not a man or woman being
entertained by friends, is obligated to leave cards when they accompany
those friends on calls. There are certain varying conditions that
govern the answer to this question.

The stranger is invited to accompany the caller primarily as a matter
of convenience. If the person visited is not at home, no question of
card-leaving is involved--only the friend leaves cards and not the
stranger. But if the hostess is found at home, and if the stranger
intends to spend at least two weeks in the neighborhood, it is
necessary for him, or her, to leave cards. It is not necessary for the
stranger to leave cards when the visit in the neighborhood is to be a
short one, and the call is entirely a matter of convenience. If no card
is left, the hostess will understand that no call is expected in
return, and that the stranger expects no invitations to the coming
social activities in the neighborhood.

Sometimes a man or woman accompanies a friend or relative to the home
of a stranger, for the purpose, previously arranged, of being
introduced and paying a first call. Here the etiquette of card-leaving
is clearly defined. If the call is made on the day at home, the caller
leaves his or her cards on the hall table, just as for any other first
call. But if it happens to be a chance call, and the hostess is not at
home, the stranger leaves cards with those of a friend.

When two women pay a chance call together, and one is a perfect
stranger at the house visited, no question of card etiquette arises if
the hostess is not at home. But if she is at home, the stranger may
pencil his or her name on the card that the friend sends up. No card is
left by this stranger, unless he has been cordially entertained in the
hostess' drawing-room, served with tea, and unless the hostess has
expressed a desire of meeting him, or her, again. In this case, a card
is left when the stranger is departing, and a return call is expected.


The laws of social calling and card-leaving do not hold true when a
business call is made. A special set of rules takes care of all
business calls that the woman may make.

The usage which governs the woman who is calling upon a man on a matter
of business has already been described. She does not send in her card.
To give her name to the attendant, stating her business, or to write
both on a slip of paper provided for the purpose, is sufficient.

If the business call is made on a woman who is a stranger to the other
woman who is making the call, it is necessary to send in one card,
inscribed with the name of the caller and a few penciled words
regarding the nature of the business. Or the card may be sent in with a
brief word to the servant regarding the purpose of the call.

Two women who are on charity committees, or other committees, together,
who are social equals but who do not exchange cards and calls, have a
special card etiquette to follow when calling upon each other regarding
matters of mutual interest on the committee. The caller sends up one of
her own personal cards with a word or two explaining the object of the
call. This card is left with the servant to give to the hostess if she
is not at home.


All the rules of card-leaving outlined for the woman who follows the
dictates of social calling, may be applied to the well-bred young
man--but with the following exceptions:

A man never leaves the cards of any other man, nor does he assume any
of the card-leaving duties incurred by the feminine members of his
family. When calling on a lady's afternoon at home, the gentleman
leaves one card for the hostess and one for the host on the card tray,
on entering the house. Whether the host is at home or not, if the
caller is acquainted with him, he must leave one of his cards for him,
provided that the call is being made in return for some hospitality
enjoyed. If there is a young daughter in the family with whom the
caller is acquainted, a third card must be left.

A young man, calling at the home of a young lady, asks to see the
ladies, meaning the mother or chaperon as well as the particular young
lady herself. No well-mannered young man asks to see only one lady,
when there are several others in the house. If the ladies are out, he
may leave a sufficient number of cards for all of them, including one
for the host or he may leave one card without explanation. If the
ladies are in, he still leaves a card for the host on the hall table
when he is departing.

When making his first or last call of the season, a man may leave one
card for each one of the ladies and each one of the men of the
household with whom he is acquainted. This holds true only when the
call is made on the day at home, or on a Sunday afternoon or evening.
The man who calls on a lady's day at home, and whose call has no
reference to any social debts or obligations, leaves only one card--and
if he is an intimate friend of the house where the call is made, he
leaves no cards at all.

Men's social calls are few. Business affairs require most of their
time, and the duty of card-leaving is generally given into the hands of
a feminine relative--either mother, sister or wife. Married men
invariably entrust their formal social duties to their wives, but
single men must not take advantage of this privilege. It is all very
well for a mother or sister to leave the cards of a son or brother who
is busy at his office on the hostesses whose hospitality they enjoyed
together. But when a young man is entertained by a hostess who is not
on his mother's or sister's visiting list, it is very important for him
to make his return calls in person. This is especially true in regard
to dinner and ball hospitalities--they require immediate and cordial
reciprocation in the matter of calls and card-leaving.


Unless the ladies are in the drawing-room, ready to receive, a man,
upon making a chance call, sends up his card or cards to the people he
wishes to see. If the servant who opens the door does not know whether
or not the ladies are at home, or if she says that they are at home but
not downstairs, the caller places his cards on the tray and waits in
the drawing-room for the return of the servant.

If the call is made after a ball, dinner or theater party, and the
young man is calling on the young ladies of the household, he sends up
a card for each young lady, and also one for the mother or chaperon. If
the call is made for the express purpose of seeing one particular young
lady, a card must be sent up for her and for her mother or chaperon.
Two cards are also required when a man calls upon a married couple, in
whose name he has received some hospitality. He sends up one card for

After having called several times at a certain house, obviously for the
purpose of seeing a young lady of the family and enjoying her society,
it is no longer necessary to include the chaperon in the ceremony of
card-leaving.[2] (See footnote.) One may send a card up only to the
lady one wishes to see.

      [2] _Chaperon_ being to-day a practically obsolete term, we
      use it here to signify the parent or guardian most directly
      concerned with the social welfare of the young lady.


When an invalid, elderly lady or woman in deep mourning desires to
repay by some courtesy, calls made upon her or invitations received,
she may leave cards at a door instead of paying a personal call, or
sending them by post or messenger. A very busy hostess may employ the
same means of returning a dinner call or first call that she owes a
friend or acquaintance, especially if she is desirous of extending an
invitation. Instead of leaving the card, she may even, for lack of time
and opportunity, post it with an engraved or written invitation.

A man or woman unable to accept an invitation, extended by a hostess to
whom he or she is a stranger, is obligated to leave cards within two
weeks after the entertainment. Similarly, the guests, men and women,
invited to the ceremony of a church wedding, leave cards for the
bride's mother within two weeks after the wedding. Even though one is a
stranger to the mother, this card must be left as a matter of courtesy
and social obligation. People who receive cards announcing a marriage
are also expected to leave cards for the mother of the bride. A friend
of the groom who is a stranger to the bride and her family, and who
finds that he is unable to attend the ceremony to which he has been
invited, need not pay a call, but must leave a card for the bride's
mother a week or two after the wedding.

Other occasions requiring card-leaving are those inquiries regarding
the health and condition of a friend; sympathy and good feeling in the
event of some misfortune; condolence; congratulation; and upon
announcing a prolonged absence from, or a reëntrance into, society. A
change of address is also usually made known by means of card-leaving.

[Illustration: © Brown Bros.


In a simple church such as the one pictured above the ribbon at the end
of the pews may be omitted]

If one is invited to an afternoon or evening reception, and finds it
impossible to attend, cards should be sent either by mail or messenger,
so that they reach the hostess on the day of her entertainment. If the
cards are sent by hand or by post, they should be enclosed in a card
envelope, sealed, and addressed to the host and hostess--provided, of
course, that both of their names appear on the invitation. If the
affair is in honor of some special person a card is left for or sent to
that person in addition to the one for the hostess.

If posted cards of regret are sent by a single woman, she includes one
for the _débutante_ or for the guest of honor, in addition to the one
enclosed for the hostess. The married woman adds to these two, three
more of her husband's. A single man, under the same circumstances,
sends three of his cards if the reception is given in honor of a
_débutante_ or a guest of honor (masculine or feminine), and if the
invitation was issued in the name of a host and hostess.

One may send cards of inquiry, congratulation and condolence by post or
messenger, only if one is indisposed, invalided, or inconveniently
situated at a great distance from the persons addressed. It is always
better form to pay these calls in person, and leave the cards oneself.
However, the cards of inquiry, congratulation and condolence may all be
acknowledged by post or messenger, as one desires.


On one's card, the words "To inquire" or "May you recover rapidly" may
be penciled when a call of inquiry regarding the health of a friend is
made. During a long illness, calls by friends and acquaintances who
have been in the habit of making social calls, should be made at least
three times a week. By these "calls," you understand, we mean mere
calls of inquiry when the card is left by the door and the patient is
not seen personally.

Card-leaving for inquiry, condolence and congratulation is invariably
made in person. Before a funeral, an engraved card with a word or two
of regret penciled on the right side, may be entrusted to the servant.
When husbands and wives call separately or together, they leave their
own individual cards. In cases of this kind, they do not leave cards
for each other. But when a married couple calls to offer sympathy for
the loss of a daughter or son, two of the husband's and one of the
wife's cards are left. Only one card each is left for a widow, as for a
widower also. Cards left for orphaned children are meant for the
oldest, who now represents the head of the family.

About two weeks after a funeral, cards are left with the mourning
family, unless a special call of condolence is made. In this case, the
cards are left just as though it were a social call being made.
Black-bordered cards are never used except by people who are themselves
in mourning. A matron may leave cards for her entire family, and a
sister may fulfill the duty for a busy brother.

It is neither complimentary nor genuinely courteous to post a card to
inquire after a friend or acquaintance who is ill. It should be left at
the door in person, after asking news of the invalid's condition. A
word of cheer or inquiry may be penciled below the caller's name,
engraved on the card.

Calls of inquiry, condolence and the like are made without reference to
social indebtedness, but in all other cases except among intimate
friends, the convention of alternating calls should be adhered to.


A large, square card in plain white or with a black border, inscribed
as follows, is ideal to send to those people who called to offer
sympathy and condolence during a bereavement, posted two weeks after
the funeral:

    _Mrs. Robert Guy Mannering and Family
    gratefully acknowledge
    your kind expression of sympathy
    upon the death of their
    husband and father
    Robert Guy Mannering._

Another acceptable form frequently used to acknowledge calls of
condolence before and after a funeral, is:

    _The family of the late John Ray
    acknowledge with sincere appreciation
    your kind sympathy._

The name "John Ray" may appear on the second line by itself, or it may
be part of the first line as shown above, entirely according to taste
or the prevalent popular custom. The address of the bereaved family
should appear towards the bottom of the card, slightly to the left. It
is always better form to have it printed in italics.

Invalids, to express gratitude for the courtesies shown them by
friends, write or dictate notes of thanks immediately upon becoming
well again. Often a popular hostess will receive a vast number of
solicitous cards and notes of inquiry during an illness, and it will be
necessary for her in her still weakened state, to trust to the mails to
thank the friends and acquaintances who inquired for her. She may send
her ordinary visiting card, with the words, "Thank you for your kind
inquiries" or others to that effect, written across it. "Thanks" should
never be used instead of "Thank you." Its brevity carries a suggestion
of discourtesy.


At the present time, the vogue of sending out cards announcing a death
in the family, has been almost entirely discontinued in better society.
Instead, an announcement is inserted in the newspapers, giving
particulars about the death and also the day of the funeral. It is by
far a more satisfactory method. A typical newspaper announcement

    _Cole.--At Whitehouse, N.J., on February 23, 1921, Rose Emily,
    beloved wife of Robert M. Cole, succumbed to pneumonia. Services at
    Chapel, Albany Rural Cemetery, Saturday, February 26, at 3 P.M._

When a betrothal takes place, announcement cards are sometimes sent
out, but it is not necessary to have specially engraved cards. As a
rule, the mother of the happy young bride writes notes to intimate
friends and acquaintances, or inscribes the news on her visiting cards
and posts them to those of her friends with whom both she and her
daughter are most intimate.

Weddings are usually announced by means of engraved cards. The correct
form for these is given elsewhere. Engraved cards also announce the
birth of a child. For this, one may have a tiny white card engraved
with the baby's name, and attached to the mother's card with a narrow
white satin ribbon. It is posted to all friends and acquaintances. In
lieu of an address, which appears on mother's card, baby's card bears
the date of the birth in the lower right-hand corner. The joint card of
the father and mother may be used to announce the birth of a child, the
full name of the infant being engraved in small letters above the names
of its parents.

The card announcing the birth of a child is sent by mail. Immediately
upon its receipt, friends and acquaintances make calls to inquire after
the health of mother and child, and to leave cards for both. When one
is prevented from calling--and there should always be sufficient reason
for _not_ calling--one may respond to the card of announcement by
posting one's own card to the mother, with congratulations penciled
above the name. Acknowledgment of some kind must be made promptly.


To the man or woman who travels, those tiny bits of bristol board are
important factors in keeping him or her in touch with the home social
life left behind. When one arrives at a strange place, perhaps
thousands of miles from a friend, and one intends to remain there for
several weeks--or months--one's visiting cards posted to all friends
and acquaintances, and bearing one's temporary address, ties one to
home in a particularly pleasing way. Letters follow in their wake. News
of social activities reach one. And one begins to feel that after all,
this strange land is not so distant!

And so, if you travel, remember that as soon as you reach a place where
you intend to stop for a short while, send out visiting cards to all
your friends, relatives and acquaintances, and let them know your
temporary address. It may be written in pencil or ink above the home
address. When you change your address permanently, be sure that all
your friends and acquaintances know of the change. For this purpose,
the old visiting cards are the best to use; they may be sent with a
line drawn through the old address, and the new written above it.

A man stopping at a hotel for a week or two, and desirous of letting
his friends in the vicinity know of his whereabouts, posts his cards
bearing the temporary address, to all his masculine friends, and calls
and leaves his card upon the women he wishes to see. A woman stopping
at a hotel or resort, posts her visiting cards, with the temporary
address above her home address, to all whose attention she wishes to
claim,--men and women.


_Pour prendre congé_, it means, a French expression translated to read,
"To take leave." And it is used in connection with those last-day
visits before one sails for Europe, or starts on a long trip to some
distant place.

The ordinary visiting card is used, with the letters P.P.C. written in
pencil or ink in one corner, indicating the departure and so
differentiating it from other cards. Cards so inscribed are posted to,
or left with, all friends and acquaintances, a day or two before
setting out on the voyage. No acknowledgment is necessary as they are
courtesy-cards with no relation whatever to one's social debts and

P.P.C. cards are always necessary before an extended departure, but
they are particularly so when one owes calls in return for hospitality,
or calls in return for first calls. If there is very little time, and a
great many calls to be attended to, it is entirely correct in this case
to drive from house to house, leaving the cards with the servant who
opens the door. The cards may even be posted a day before the
departure, if time is very much limited.

It is not usual for P.P.C. cards to be distributed at the end of the
season, when members of society make their regular change of residence.
As explained under the head "When Traveling," a visiting card may be
sent to one's friends and acquaintances, bearing the temporary address
above the permanent home address. Thus the P.P.C. card would not be
especially necessary.




No matter how informal, an invitation should always be acknowledged
within a week of its receipt. It should be a definite
acknowledgment--either an acceptance or refusal--and no doubt should be
left as to whether the writer intends to be present or not. An
invitation must always be answered in kind; that is, a formal
invitation requires a formal reply, following closely the wording of
the invitation. The informal invitation should be cordial enough to
warrant a cordial and friendly reply; both invitation and
acknowledgment should be free of all stilted phrasing.

Formal invitations for evening affairs should be addressed to husband
and wife, omitting neither one nor the other. (The exception to this
rule is the "stag" or its feminine equivalent.) If there is only one
daughter in the family, she may be included in the invitation, but when
there are two or more daughters to be invited, a separate invitation
addressed to The Misses Brown is essential. Invitations sent to the
masculine members of a family, other than the husband, are sent

Invitations sent to a husband and wife are acknowledged in the names of
both. If a daughter is included, her name is also added to the
acknowledgment. The wife usually answers the invitation, and although
it was sent in the name of Mr. and Mrs. Blank, she sends her
acknowledgment to Mrs. Blank alone.

An invitation may never be acknowledged on any kind of a visiting card,
although a visiting card may be used in an invitation. For very large,
formal functions, invitations are always engraved. A young girl does
not issue invitations to men in her own name, but in that of her mother
or guardian. She should say in her invitations that her mother, Mrs.
Blank, desires her to extend the invitation to Mr. Brown, etc.

In replying to invitations, explicit details must be given. The day of
week, date and hour should be quoted, copying from the invitation, so
that any discrepancy made in the invitation will be noted and corrected
by the hostess when she receives the acknowledgment. This does away
with any possibility of such embarrassing blunders as calling on the
wrong day or at the wrong hour.

Only the most informal invitation should be given by telephone, by word
of mouth or orally by a messenger, but every invitation should be
either declined courteously or accepted with enthusiasm promptly.


The word "dancing" is usually placed in the lower left-hand corner of
the invitation to denote the object of the evening's gathering; thus no
specific mention that the entertainment is to be a ball is necessary.

Following are the most approved forms of invitations used for the very
formal balls:

    _Mr. and Mrs. James Kilgore
    request the pleasure of your company
    on Thursday evening, January the tenth
    at nine o'clock
    Dancing        Scarsdale_


    _Mr. and Mrs. James Kilgore
    request the pleasure of
    company, at a costume dance
    to be given at their home
    on Thursday, January the twenty-sixth
    at eleven o' clock
    Costume de Rigueur    14 Main Street_

The words, "Please reply," may be added although they should be
unnecessary since every person of good breeding will reply immediately
to such an invitation whether he intends to accept or refuse.


When the invitation to a dance bears a request for a reply, a prompt
answer should be sent. If the invitation itself is in the third person,
the reply should follow the same form. For a formal ball, an acceptance
or regret should be mailed within forty-eight hours after receipt of
the invitation. Here are the correct forms for the invitations above:

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Harris
    accept with pleasure
    Mr. and Mrs. James Kilgore's
    kind invitation to be present
    for dancing
    on Thursday evening, January the tenth
    at nine o'clock
    148 Grand Boulevard_

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Harris
    regret exceedingly that they
    are unable to accept
    Mr. and Mrs. James Kilgore's
    kind invitation to a costume dance
    to be given at their home.

When the acknowledgment is a regret, it is not necessary to repeat the
date and hour for the obvious reason that as long as one is not going,
it makes no difference whether or not the details of time are correct.


When the dance is a small and less formal affair, a short note is used,
though the more punctilious social usage frowns upon the employment of
visiting cards for such purposes. Following is the correct visiting
card for informal dance purposes:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Harold Champ
    At Home
    Dancing at Ten    432 Maple Street
    April the Fifth_

The acknowledgment should be hand-written on white note paper, and
couched in a cordial, informal manner.


The dinner dance seems to be one of society's most favored functions.
For this affair it is necessary for the hostess to issue two sets of
invitations; one set to the people she wishes to entertain at dinner,
and one to those whom she wishes to invite for the dancing only. The
dinner invitation would be the regular engraved dinner card with the
words "Dancing at ten" written in the lower left-hand corner. The dance
invitations would be her regular at-home cards with the words "Dancing
at ten" written in the lower left-hand corner.

A very popular method of inviting people to informal dance parties--a
method that has won favor among hostesses who are fond of inviting just
a few young men and women in to dance and enjoy simple refreshment--is
that of using the joint visiting card of herself and her husband and
writing in the lower left-hand corner:

    _Dancing at eleven
    April the fourth_

This may be written in in ink--and as an invitation the card may be
used to take the place of the written invitation or the formal
third-person note.


An ordinary dance invitation with the calling card of the _débutante_
included may be used for the occasion of introducing the _début_
daughter to society. A more strictly formal form follows:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wendover
    request the pleasure
    of introducing their daughter
    Emily Justine
    on Tuesday, May the third
    at eight o'clock
    10 Merril Parkway_


Following is the correct invitation to use when the subscription dance
is held in the drawing-room of a hotel. It should be engraved in script
upon large white letter sheets:

    _The pleasure of
    company is requested at the
    Third Reunion
    at the Richelieu Hotel
    on Friday evening, April the tenth
    from nine until one o'clock.
    Mrs. Johnson    Mrs. Meredith
    Mrs. Mooers    Mrs. Thompson
    Mrs. Clure_

With the invitation above, "vouchers" are invariably included. These
"vouchers" are for the purpose of enabling subscribers and patronesses
to extend hospitalities to their friends, but also to bar the
admittance of those people who were not invited. Here is the form
usually used for the "voucher":

    _Third Reunion
    Gentlemen's Voucher
    Admit ............................
    on Friday evening, April the tenth
    Compliments of ..................._

To do away with the necessity of the "voucher" a card like the
following is used:

    _Third Reunion
    The pleasure of your company is requested
    on Tuesday, the tenth of June
    at eight o'clock
    Community Club
    18 Forest Avenue
    Please present this card at the door._

If the invitations are issued and distributed by a committee or board
of directors, instead of by private subscribers, the words:

    _The Committee of the Third Reunion
    Hilldale Club
    234 Kingston Avenue_

appear beneath the engraving, in the left-hand corner. The proper form
is to use a letter sheet, engraving the invitation on the outer face,
and listing on the second inner face, the names of the men who are
giving the ball. However, it is also correct to use a large bristol
board card, listing the hosts on the reverse side, or on another
similar card.


An invitation to a subscription ball, received in the name of the whole
body of subscribers, requires a prompt acknowledgment of acceptance or
denial to the address given on the card. But if a subscriber extends an
invitation to a friend, enclosing with the invitation his or her own
card, the answer is sent to this subscriber individually. It is usually
a short, informal note, something like the following, and it may be
addressed to the entire Committee or merely to its Chairman:

    _19 West Street,
    April 18, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Blake:_

    _It is with great pleasure that I accept your invitation to
    attend the Third Reunion of the Hilldale Club, on Friday, the tenth
    of April._

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Helen R. Haddock._


Public balls that require purchased tickets have a very distinct kind
of invitation. The following invitation should be printed or engraved
on very large letter sheets or cards, giving, either on the second
inner sheet or on the reverse of the card, the names of the

    _The pleasure of your company is
    requested at the
    Annual Masquerade Ball
    To be given at the Taft Hotel
    Thursday Evening
    January the fifth, at ten o'clock_

    _Cards of admission, Three Dollars
    On sale at the
    Taft Hotel and homes of the Patronesses_


When one is invited to an entertainment and finds it impossible to
attend without a visiting guest or relative, an invitation may be
requested. But a great deal of tact and good judgment must be exerted.
A note of request follows, but in writing notes for your own particular
instances, you must remember that each note has to be adapted to the
occasion in hand.

    _27 Claremont Terrace,
    May 8, 192--._

    _My dear Mrs. Jolson:_

    _Elsie Millerton, whose brother you remember was at Hot Springs
    last year when we were, is spending a few days with me. I wonder if
    I may bring her to your dance next Thursday?_

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Mary B. Hall._

It is rarely necessary to refuse such a request as this; but if the
ballroom is already too crowded and if the hostess has received a
number of similar petitions she may with propriety send a brief note of
refusal with a courteous word or two of explanation.


A dinner invitation is the highest form of courtesy. That is why it
requires prompt and very courteous acknowledgment.

Ordinarily dinner invitations are issued ten days ahead, unless it is a
very large formal affair, when two full weeks are allowed. It is not
good form to send an invitation just about a day or two before the day
set for the dinner-party, for then the guest will be perfectly correct
in feeling that the invitation was issued to her (or him) only because
some other guest was unable to attend. If there are only three or four
guests informal notes are usually sent, however elaborate the dinner
itself is to be. Such an invitation should occupy only the first page
of a sheet of note paper.

Dinner invitations may either be written on ordinary sheets of white
stationery, or engraved on cards. If the latter is decided upon, it
must be large, pure white, and of rather heavy bristol board. The
hostess who gives many large and elaborate dinners may have cards like
the following printed, leaving spaces for the insertion of the name of
the person invited, the day, hour and date:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Knight
    request the pleasure of
    company at dinner
    on ................ evening
    at ................ o'clock
    55 Court Street_

The words "To meet Mr. and Mrs. John Staple" may be written in ink at
the bottom of the engraved card, when the dinner is in honor of a
special guest. Or small cards may be printed and enclosed with the


Often, to introduce someone of distinguished position to the hostess'
acquaintances and friends, a large and elaborate dinner is given. The
cards should be engraved in a fine script or block letter, in the
following wording:

    _To meet
    Mr. and Mrs. McAllister Van Doren
    Mr. and Mrs. John King
    request the pleasure of
    company at dinner
    on Thursday, January the sixth
    at eight o'clock
    455 North Avenue._


For the formal invitation, written in the third person, a similar
acknowledgment must be sent within twenty-four hours. Following are an
acceptance and a regret that may serve as suggestions for the dinner
invitations that _you_ will accept and refuse in the future:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Thorne
    accept with pleasure
    Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Knight's
    kind invitation to dinner on
    Friday, August the fifth
    at eight o'clock
    64 West Drive_

    _Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Thorne
    regret that a previous engagement
    prevents their accepting
    Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Knight's
    kind invitation to dinner on
    Friday, August the fifth
    64 West Drive_

It is not necessary to give complete details regarding time and hour,
in the second acknowledgment--which is a regret. Inasmuch as one does
not expect to attend, it is unnecessary to pay great attention to
details that are important only for those who expect to be guests. In
writing regrets, it is always more courteous to give the reason for
being unable to accept, but it is not important to do so unless one
really wishes to.


The informal dinner invitation is invariably sent by the wife for her
husband and herself, to the wife, including the latter's husband. The
invitation takes the form of a short, friendly little social note, and
is answered as such. For instance, here is an invitation to an informal
dinner, and the acknowledgment:

    _356 Cosgrove Avenue,
    November 1, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Harris:_

    _Will you and Mr. Harris give us the pleasure of having you with
    us at a small dinner on Thursday, November the eighth, at seven

    _Hoping that you will be disengaged that evening, I am_

    _Yours very sincerely,_

    _Margaret B. Leanders._

You will notice that in signing herself, the wife uses her Christian
and married name, and the initial of her maiden name. She may spell her
maiden name out, if she wishes, but the form given above is the most
usual. Here is the correct acknowledgment to the invitation above:

    _654 Milton Street,
    November 5, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Leanders:_

    _Mr. Harris and I will be delighted to dine with you and Mr.
    Leanders on Thursday, November the eighth, at seven o'clock._

    _With kindest regards, I am_

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Mildred Travers Harris._


It happens quite frequently that a hostess gives a dinner for her
friends outside of her own home. In this case, the fact must be fully
noted on the invitation. For instance:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bruhn
    request the pleasure of
    Mr. and Mrs. John Perry Blascon's
    company at dinner
    at Shanley's
    on Wednesday, March the sixth
    at eight o'clock
    41 Tompkins Place_

The acceptance and regret would be exactly the same as the forms given
previously, except that the words "At Shanley's" would necessarily have
to appear.


It is necessary for the daughter, who is hostess in her father's house,
to include his name in every dinner invitation she issues. Following is
a model informal invitation to dinner, issued by a young

    _My dear Mrs. Curtis:_

    _Father has asked me to extend an invitation to you and Mr.
    Curtis to dine with us on Tuesday, April the fifth, at half-past
    seven o'clock. We are looking forward to your coming with a great
    deal of pleasure._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Rose Meredith._

In acknowledging this invitation, whether it be acceptance or regret,
the answer must go to the daughter, not the father. It is discourteous
and rude to receive a letter or an invitation from one person, and
acknowledge it to another.


When it happens (and it often does!) that something unforeseen and
unexpected happens to prevent one from giving the dinner for which
engraved cards have been issued, the hostess must immediately dispatch,
either through messenger or special delivery, short written notes
canceling the engagement. The third-person formula may be used, but
there must be a certain warmth in the note to avoid any semblance of
indifference. And it is a mark of fine courtesy to offer the reason why
the dinner has to be postponed. Here are two forms that may be used:

    _Because of the severe illness of their son Mr. and Mrs. John
    Smith beg to cancel their dinner, arranged for Tuesday, May the


    _Mr. and Mrs. John Smith regret that the damages done to their
    home by a recent fire make it necessary for them to postpone the
    dinner arranged for May the fifth until May the thirtieth._


When a vacancy occurs in a dinner party at the last moment, one may
call upon a friend to fill the place as a special courtesy. This is an
instance when tact and discretion are important, for not everyone is
broad-minded and sensible, and some people may take offense at being
asked to take the place that someone else relinquished. A short cordial
note should be written, explaining the situation, and frankly asking
the friend to come in the place of the invited guest who cannot be
present. Here, for instance, is a typical note for just such a purpose:

    _41 Hemingway Place,
    March 14, 19--_

    _My dear Mr. Cook:_

    _I am going to ask a very special favor of you, and I know that
    you will be good enough to comply--if no other engagement stands in
    the way._

    _Ralph Townshend, who was to have been present at a little dinner
    party that I am giving to-morrow evening, has just written that he
    has been called out of town on business. Won't you be good enough
    to take his place and give me more reason than ever for subscribing

    _Gratefully yours,_

    _Janet B. Raines._

In answering this letter, Mr. Cook must either accept or decline
definitely. To be courteous, he must give a reason for declining. To
write merely and say that one cannot serve as a stop-gap is both
impolite and inconsiderate. Either a good reason or an acceptance must
be given. Here is the way the acceptance may be worded:

    _1465 Emmet Road,
    March 16, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Raines:_

    _I'm rather glad that Ralph was called out of town, since it
    gives me an opportunity to be present at another of your delightful
    dinners. Thank you very much for the invitation._

    _Yours very sincerely,_

    _Ralph B. Cook._


There is no reason to feel embarrassed and unhappy because some
unexpected happening prevents you from keeping a dinner engagement. A
cordial note, containing a genuine and worth-while excuse for the
cancellation of the engagement may be sent by messenger, or if there is
time, by special delivery post, to the hostess. Here is an example of
the kind of note that may be written to break a dinner engagement:

    _156 South Bend,
    March 18, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Christy:_

    _Mr. Cross has been called to Chicago on account of the illness
    of his mother. We are very anxious about her, and I am sure you
    will understand why it is impossible for either of us to attend
    your dinner party next Friday. With many regrets, I am_

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Florence Bartlett Pitkin._


Although considerably less formal than dinner invitations, those of the
luncheon follow them in wording. They are issued about ten days before
the day set for the luncheon, if it is to be an elaborate, formal
affair, and only in the name of the hostess, unless men are invited and
the hostess' husband intends to be present. They are engraved on large
square white cards, with the name of the person invited, the day and
hour, written in by the hostess' own hand. The correct form follows,
but it must be remembered that this form can be used only when the
luncheon is an elaborate, formal occasion:

    _Mrs. John Roy-Thorndyke Blake
    requests the pleasure of
    company at luncheon
    on ....................
    at ................. o'clock
    11 Park Row_

Very often a hostess invites friends and acquaintances to a luncheon
for the purpose of presenting to them a certain visiting guest, and
perhaps to attend, after the luncheon, a matinée planned for the
purpose of enabling the newcomer to become better acquainted with the
hostess' friends. In this case, an invitation like the one following
should be used:

    _To meet Miss Helen Rhodes
    Mrs. Robert Blake
    requests the pleasure of
    Miss Joyce's
    company at luncheon
    on Tuesday, April the eleventh
    at one o'clock
    and afterward to the matinée
    167 Grand Concourse_

The name of the play and the theater may be included in the wording of
the invitation.

Breakfast invitations are rarely issued, for the very good reason that
formal breakfasts are very rarely given. But when they are, the wording
of the invitation is identical with the wording given above for the
luncheon invitations, substituting in each case the word "breakfast"
for "luncheon." Acknowledgments are also the same as those used for the


A prompt acceptance or regret must be sent upon receipt of an
invitation to luncheon. The following two forms are correct for use
with the two invitations given above.

    _Mrs. Frank Parsons
    accepts with pleasure
    Mrs. John Clancy Blake's
    kind invitation to luncheon
    on Friday, October the fourteenth
    at one o'clock
    146 Park Place_

    _Miss Jean Joyce
    accepts with pleasure
    Mrs. Blake's
    kind invitation for luncheon
    on Tuesday, April the eleventh
    at one o'clock
    to meet Miss Rhodes and to go
    afterward to the matinée
    48 Fremont Avenue_


For the informal luncheon, a brief note of invitation is sent from five
to seven days ahead. In making the note brief, one must be careful not
to sacrifice cordiality. We give here two notes of invitation, one for
luncheon and one for breakfast; and also their respective

    _86 Washington Terrace,
    April 14, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Blank:_

    _Will you come to luncheon on Wednesday April the twentieth, at
    half-past one o'clock? Mrs. Frank Richards will be here, and I know
    you will be glad to meet her._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Helen R. Roberts._

    _64 Main Street,
    April 16, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Roberts:_

    _I will be very glad to come to luncheon on Wednesday, April the
    twentieth, at half-past_ _one o'clock. It was very kind of you
    to remember that I have been wanting to meet Mrs. Richards for a
    long time._

    _Yours very sincerely,_

    _Justine Blank._

    _437 Fairview Terrace,
    May 5, 19--_

    _Dear Mrs. Miller:_

    _I expect a few friends to join me at an informal breakfast at
    half-past eleven o'clock on Tuesday, the tenth. Won't you be one of

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Maybelle Curtis._

    _822 Jennings Street,
    May 7, 19--_

    _Dear Mrs. Curtis:_

    _Thank you very much for asking me, but I regret that I will not
    be able to join you at breakfast on Tuesday. I have two young
    nieces stopping with me, and I promised to devote that morning to
    showing them the places of interest in town. They are planning so
    eagerly for the trip, and they are leaving here in such a short
    time, that I feel that I must not disappoint them._

    _With most sincere regrets, I am_

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Mary K. Miller._

There is still another approved form for inviting guests to luncheon or
breakfast. When the occasion is neither too strictly formal nor too
informal, the hostess may merely write, beneath the engraved name on
her ordinary calling card, the words, "Luncheon at one-thirty o'clock
March fourth." This is sent about five days before the chosen day. The
acknowledgment must be by informal note, never by a calling card. And
this holds true of all other invitations; when the personally inscribed
calling card is used, a first-person note of acceptance or regret must
be promptly written. The use of cards in this way is looked upon with
disfavor among people who are most careful of the amenities of polite


The word "reception" may mean several social functions which may or may
not be extremely ceremonious. There is the afternoon tea, for instance,
an informal little affair to which one invites one's best friends and
most interesting acquaintances. The invitation may be either written by
the hostess or engraved. The at-home day is also called a reception, as
is the more elaborate occasion when a special guest is introduced to
the hostess' friends.

There was a time when it was considered extremely bad form for a host's
name to appear on the invitation, but to-day the reception invitation
often takes the form of the following:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Harold Blaine
    At Home
    Tuesday afternoon, May fifth
    from four until half-past seven o'clock
    Twelve, Park Terrace_

The above invitation should be engraved in fine script on a large white
card of bristol board, and it should be mailed at least ten days in
advance of the day set for the entertainment. An acknowledgment is not
expected; if the invitation is accepted, the presence of the guest on
the day of the reception is sufficient. If one is unable to be present,
one's visiting card is sent to arrive on the exact day of the
reception--unless an answer is explicitly required on the invitation.
Not to be present at the reception, and not to send one's visiting
card, is to indicate either that one is ignorant of the correct social
laws, or that one desires to discontinue friendship with the hostess.

When a mother and her daughter are to receive the guests at a reception
together, the card is in this form:

    _Mrs. William B. Harris
    The Misses Harris
    At Home
    Friday Afternoon, October fifth
    from four until seven o'clock
    Thirty-two Amsterdam Avenue_

If the reception is for the purpose of introducing a young _débutante_
daughter, the hostess would issue cards similar to the one above,
except that the _débutante's_ name would appear immediately below
her own. It would be merely "Miss Harris" with no Christian name or
initial. If a second daughter is introduced to her mother's friends by
means of an afternoon tea, the cards are also like the one above,
except that the name of the second daughter is inscribed _in full_
beneath that of the hostess. Thus invited guests would know that "Miss
Harris" is the elder and introduced to society first, and "Miss Merian
Harris" is the second daughter to be introduced to society.


When the purpose of the reception is to honor a special guest the fact
should be indicated on the invitations. If the invitation is written on
a card, the words, "To meet Governor and Mrs. Frank Curtis" should
appear. The proper form for the engraved invitation follows:

    _To meet
    Governor and Mrs. Frank Curtis
    Mr. and Mrs. James Melvin
    request the pleasure of your
    on Thursday afternoon, June fifth
    from four until seven o'clock
    Eighteen, Washington Garden Heights_

No acknowledgment other than one's presence on the day of the reception
is necessary to this invitation. However, if one is unable to attend,
the visiting card should be mailed so that it arrives on the precise
day of the entertainment, or if an unexpected happening prevents one
from attending, a messenger may be dispatched with a card in an
envelope, forwarding it to the hostess while the reception is in


When the garden party is very formal, the invitations are engraved in
black script or block lettering, on white note sheets or large white
cards. The invitation is usually issued in the name of the hostess
alone, and the most fashionable stationers are to-day printing cards
that leave a blank space for the name of the person to be invited to be
written in by the hostess. For instance:

    _Mrs. Maurice Bronson
    requests the pleasure of
    company on Friday afternoon
    May tenth
    from four until seven o'clock
    Garden Party    Holyoke, West Lake_

In society, the formal garden party holds the place of an at-home held
out of doors. Thus the following invitation is considered the best
form, better even than the form shown above, although either may be
used in good taste:

    _Mrs. Maurice Bronson
    At Home
    Friday afternoon, May tenth
    from four until seven o'clock
    Garden Party    Holyoke, West Lake_

When the garden party is a small informal affair, the at-home card may
be used with the words, "Garden Party, Friday, May the tenth, from four
to seven o'clock," written by the hostess in the lower left-hand
corner. This method is usually for personal friends only, and it is
considered bad form when the garden party is elaborate and formal.

If the guest invited lives in another town, or must come from the city
to the country, a small card bearing the necessary train and schedule
information should be enclosed with the invitation, similar to the card
explained in the chapter on wedding invitations. Or the information may
be lettered neatly at the bottom of the invitation itself. The form is

    _Train leaves Pennsylvania Station at 3 o'clock
    Train leaves Holyoke Station at 6.20 and 7.10 o'clock_

Still another course is open to the hostess who wishes
to give a small garden party, yet not undergo the expense
and trouble of specially engraved invitations.
She may write brief, friendly notes, in the first person,
somewhat in the following form, and send them by post
to her friends and acquaintances:

    May 1, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Keene:_

    _I have asked a few of my friends to have tea with me,
    informally, on the lawn, Friday afternoon, May the tenth, at four
    o'clock. May I expect you also? Perhaps there will be a few sets of
    tennis. There is a racquet waiting for you._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Rose M. Roberts._


Whether the garden party invitation bears a request for a reply or not,
the courteous thing to do is send an acceptance or regret at once. This
is especially true when the invitation is engraved, for then one may
assume that the affair is to be a large and elaborate one. The reply to
an engraved invitation follows:

    _Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Bruce
    accept with pleasure
    Mrs. Bronson's
    kind invitation
    for May tenth
    Haywood Park,
    May second, 19--_


    _Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Bruce
    regret that a previous engagement
    prevents their acceptance
    of Mrs. Bronson's kind invitation
    for May tenth
    Haywood Park,
    May second, 19--_

In reply to a visiting card inscribed with the day and date of the
garden party, a brief, polite note of acceptance or regret should be
written. A similar note should be promptly written upon receipt of the
informal written note of invitation.

    May 2, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Bronson:_

    _Mr. Harris and I are looking forward with great pleasure in
    joining you on May tenth. We hope the weather will continue to be
    as delightful as it is now._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Janet B. Winslow._


The invitation for a house or week-end party differs from any other
invitation. By the week-end party we mean a visit from Friday or
Saturday until Monday. Thus the invited guest knows that he is expected
to arrive Friday afternoon (or Saturday morning) and leave Monday
morning. On the other hand, the house party may mean a visit of ten
days or two weeks' duration, or even longer. It is necessary,
therefore, for the hostess to mention specifically the date deciding
the length of the visit. It is also courteous for her to mention the
sports that will be indulged in and any special events planned, etc.,
and to send the necessary time-tables, indicating the best and most
convenient trains.

Whether for house party or week-end party, the invitation is always a
well-worded, cordial note offering the hospitalities of one's roof for
the length of time indicated. We will give here one letter of
invitation and its acknowledgment, which can be, perhaps, adapted to
your own purposes.

    _Pine Rock,
    June 14, 19--_

    _Dear Miss Janis:_

    _We have planned a house party as a sort of farewell before our
    trip to Europe, and we are particularly anxious to have you join
    us. I hope there is nothing to prevent you from coming out to Pine
    Rock on June twenty-third and remaining here with us until the
    eighth of July._

    _I hope to have many of your own friends with us, including Jean
    and Marie Cordine, who are also planning to sail towards the end of
    July. Mr. Frank Parsons and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kingsley may be
    here, too, along with several others whom you do not know, but whom
    I am most anxious to have you meet._

    _I am enclosing a time-table for your convenience, and I have
    checked the two trains that I believe are most convenient for you.
    If you take the 3.58 on Tuesday you will arrive here at 7.10, and
    you will be able to meet the guests at dinner at eight-thirty.
    There is an earlier train in the morning if you prefer it. If you
    let me know which train you expect to take, I will see that there
    is a car at the station to meet you._

    _Very cordially yours,_

    _Alice M. Bevans._

    June 16, 19--_

    _Dear Mrs. Bevans:_

    _It was very good of you and Mr. Bevans to ask me to your house
    party and I shall be delighted to come. I shall arrive on the 3.58
    train, as you suggest. It was so thoughtful of you to inclose the

    _Very sincerely yours,_

    _Helen R. Janis._

If the letter were one of regret, it would be necessary for Miss Janis
to write definitely just what was making it impossible for her to
accept the invitation. It would not be correct form to write vaguely,
saying that "you hope you will be able to come," or that "if you are in
town you will come." No doubt must be left in the hostess' mind as to
whether or not you will be present.


From constant usage, the term "bread-and-butter" letter has become
custom. Now, upon return from a week-end or house party, it is
considered necessary and, indeed, it would be a gross neglect to fail
in so obvious a duty, to write a cordial note to the hostess,
expressing appreciation of the hospitality received, and informing her
of your safe arrival.

The letter may be as long and chatty as one pleases, or it may be only
a brief note such as the following:

    _Terrace Revain,
    June 23, 19--_

    _Dear Mrs. Bevans:_

    _This is to tell you again how very much I enjoyed the week-end
    at Pine Rock. We got into the city at five and Morgan brought me
    out home in a taxi. Mother is giving a small bridge this afternoon
    and so I found everyone busy, for while there is not a great deal
    to do it is impossible to get anyone to help do it._

    _Tell Mr. Bevans that I am arranging for three or four tennis
    games next week, so that when I come again, if I don't win, I shall
    at least not be beaten quite so shamefully._

    _Let me know when you come to town on your next shopping trip.
    Perhaps we can arrange for lunch together somewhere._

    _Very sincerely yours,_

    _Helen R. Janis._


The host or hostess planning a theater or opera party should strive to
have an equal number of men and women guests. For this reason, the
person who receives an invitation should make prompt reply, so that if
he or she is unable to attend, someone else can be asked to take the
place. It is not necessary to have invitations engraved for these
occasions; in fact, a brief note, written with just the correct degree
of formality, yet with no sacrifice of cordiality, is much to be
preferred. The following form is correct for theater or opera, changed
to accord with the names, dates, and circumstances of the particular

    _22 South Street,
    October 13, 19--_

    _My dear Miss Johnson:_

    _Mr. Roberts and I have planned to have a small group of friends
    hear "Faust" at the Central Opera House, and we are hoping that you
    will be one of us. The time is Friday evening, the seventeenth of
    October. I have been fortunate enough to obtain a box in the
    parquet, where the eight of us who will comprise the party will be
    comfortably seated._

    _If you are free to join us on that evening, Mr. Roberts and I
    will stop for you in the car at half past seven._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Evelyn T. Roberts._

The acknowledgment must be made promptly. The host and hostess must not
be kept waiting for a definite reply.


A ceremonious drawing-room concert requires engraved invitations,
issued at least two weeks in advance of the date decided upon. The two
approved forms follow:

    _Mrs. John M. Cook
    At Home
    Tuesday evening, October first
    at nine o'clock
    Ten, Farnhut Terrace


    Mr. and Mrs. John M. Cook
    request the pleasure of
    company at a musicale
    on Tuesday evening the first of October
    at nine o'clock
    Ten, Farnhut Terrace

It is also permissible for the hostess to write in the lower left-hand
corner of her visiting-card the following words, when she wishes to
invite friends to hear a famous soloist or orchestra: "Tuesday, October
first, half past three o'clock, to hear Mischa Elman." These cards are
then posted to friends and acquaintances, and the recipient either
accepts by attending, or sends his or her cards to the hostess' house
while the entertainment is in progress, or shortly beforehand.

For private theatricals, invitations follow very much the same form as
those used for musicales. The hostess may either add the phrase,
"Theatricals at nine o'clock," to her invitation, or she may issue
engraved cards requesting the pleasure of a friend's company at Private
Theatricals. The word "dancing" may be engraved in the left-hand corner
of the card, if dancing is to follow the theatricals. It is courteous
to send a reply to these invitations.


The invitation to the child's party is the one exception to the rule of
simplicity. Children love color and decoration, and so etiquette very
graciously permits them to have cards and invitations that boast
colorful designs. For instance, in a well-known stationer's shop in New
York, there are little sheets of pink note paper, in the upper corner
of which is a little girl courtesying and smiling. Beneath the picture
the words "Won't you please come to my party?" are printed in fine
italics. It makes most attractive stationery for the youngsters.

On stationery like that described above, mother might write in the
following strain, providing the little host (or hostess) is not old
enough to do the writing himself:

    _16 Blake Hall,
    June 14, 19--_

    _My dear Mrs. Blank:_

    _Harold will be seven years old on Thursday, the eighteenth of
    June. We are planning to give a little party for his friends on the
    Sunday following, June the twenty-first. I know he will not be
    happy unless little Marian is present. I do hope you will let her

    _If the nurse brings Marian here at three o'clock, she will be in
    time for the opening game, and I will see that she arrives home
    safely at about half past six._

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Helen M. Roberts._

A friendly note of acceptance or regret should be written promptly upon
receipt of the above, and if the child is unable to attend, the reason
should be given.

Very often, a young host or hostess has a very large and formal party,
in which case the invitations must be quite as dignified and formally
correct as mother's. For instance, the youngsters who entertain their
friends at a small afternoon dance word their invitations in the
following manner:

    _Miss Jean and Master Walter Curran
    would like to have the pleasure
    Miss Helen Thompson's company
    at a dance at 3 o'clock
    Thursday afternoon, November third
    Clover Hall_

A young boy or girl just old enough to write his or her own
invitations, may find some useful suggestions in the following model
for a birthday party:

    _Hanover Court,
    October 6, 19--_

    _Dear Elizabeth:_

    _I am going to have a birthday party on Saturday afternoon, the
    thirteenth of October, at 3 o'clock. All of our friends from
    dancing school and a good many of Jack's friends from his school
    will be here. We are planning a donkey game, and I am sure we will
    all have a great deal of fun. Won't you come, too? I shall be very
    disappointed if you cannot._

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _Helen Camden._

It is always wise, however, for the children to make some sort of
acknowledgment of the formal engraved invitation, for it impresses upon
them the importance of their social duties.


It is not usual for many guests to be invited to the christening of a
child. But when it is made an occasion of formal entertainment, it is
necessary to have engraved cards prepared and issued to friends and
relatives. Here is the correct form:

    _Mr. and Mrs. John B. Meredith
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the christening of their son
    on Tuesday, April second
    at three-thirty o'clock
    Ten, Jerome Avenue_

The letter requesting a relative or friend to serve as godfather or
godmother must be tactful and well-worded. It is usually very intimate,
for no one with fine sensibility will ask any except a dear friend to
act as godmother or godfather. Such a request is much better given in
person than by letter, whenever it is possible. And it requires an
answer in kind. We give here one brief letter of request, and another
of acknowledgment, to serve as suggestions:

    _34 Kinston Road,
    March 5, 19--_

    _Dear Mr. Burke:_

    _Jack and I have both agreed that we would rather have you serve
    as godfather for John Paxton, Jr., than anyone else. We hope that
    you will not refuse._

    _The baptism has already been arranged for four o'clock, next
    Sunday, at St. Peter's Church. We hope you will be present at the
    church, and later at a small reception here in our

    _With kindest regards from us both, I am_

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Amelia B. Johnson._

    _18 Woodlawn Hills,
    March 7, 19--_

    _Dear Mrs. Johnson:_

    _It will give me great pleasure to be godfather for your son.
    Truly, I count it no small honor, and no slight responsibility. I
    am very eager to see young John Paxton, and shall be present both
    at the christening and at the reception._

    _With every good wish for him and for his father and mother, I

    _Sincerely yours,_

    _William A. Burke._


In answering an invitation never say "will accept." The act of writing
the answer involves either the acceptance or the regret, as the case
may be, and the present tense should be used.




It is customary nowadays to deplore the fact that the art of
letter-writing has fallen into decay, and when we read that the entire
correspondence of an engaged couple recently was carried on for two
years by telephone and telegraph we are inclined to believe it. Yet
such is not the case. It is true that we no longer have--and for this
we should be truly grateful--flowery expressions of rhetorical feeling
interlarded with poetic sentiments selected from a "Home Book of
Verse," or some similar compilation, but we do have letters which are
genuine and wholesome expressions of friendship.

It is a gift to be able to write lovely notes of congratulation,
sympathy and appreciation, and one that has to be cultivated. Writing
of all kinds grows perfect with practice and the large majority of
people have to serve a long apprenticeship before they have mastered
the gentle art of expressing themselves on paper. It is an art worth
mastering even if one never has to write anything but polite social
notes and letters.


From Buckingham we have the following little rhyme that does full
justice to the important art of letter-writing:

    Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
    Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well.

A letter, business or social, is simply talk upon paper. And as a wise
philosopher once said, "Never put on paper what you would not care to
see printed in the newspaper for all to read." As in everything else
connected with the social world, ease is absolutely essential to the
correct letter. The style must not be cramped, stilted, forced. A free
and easy flow of language, simple and understandable, and with just
that acceptable degree of cordiality and heartiness that makes one
enjoy reading, is essential in all correspondence.

And yet, letters should be written _personally_--that is, they should
represent the sender. Be sure, first, that you know exactly what you
want to say, and how you want to say it. Then put it down on paper as
though you were speaking; make no pretense at being so very highly
educated that you must use flowery language and poetical phrases.
Simplicity in form and wording is the most effective and graceful
method. It is a greater mark of learning and intelligence to write a
simple, ably expressed, cordial letter, than to write one that shows an
obvious effort to cover, by extravagant expressions and highly
figurative language, the reserve and dignity that are the foundation of
all good-breeding.

In the following pages it is possible for us only to give the
prescribed principles of correct form, suggesting the forms and
expressions to be avoided. But the true art of letter-writing rests
with you--and your own personality. We would suggest that you read
carefully each letter you receive, noting and remembering those
expressions that most appeal to you. A good appeal is generally
universal; what appeals to you in a letter you receive will appeal to
others. Thus you will find that personal experience in this matter will
help you much more than any book that gives you only the foundation of
form and style.


It is interesting to find in the midst of the lament that in the
twentieth century people have ceased to find time to write letters or
to be courteous that the Postmaster General has rescinded previous
orders which directed that departmental correspondence should not begin
with the ceremonial form of "My dear Sir," and that the complimentary
close, "Yours sincerely," etc., should not be used. His order is worth

    "In no part of our work does the demand for the human quality apply
    more than in the matter of writing letters. By far the largest
    contact of this department with the public is by means of the
    letters which are written. Letters can be cold, stereotyped,
    following the same routine day by day, appearing more or less
    machine made, and the impression which the recipient has upon
    reading the letter is that the suggestion, complaint, petition or
    application made has been given scant consideration.

    "I want every letter that goes out from this department or any of
    the Post Offices or other field offices to convince the reader of
    the fact, for it must be a fact, that whatever he has written has
    been received sympathetically and that an effort has been made to
    give the writer the benefit of every possible service which the
    department affords.

    "To this end I think the writers should endeavor to make their
    letters more informal than is now the case generally; that they
    should, wherever the exigencies of the case do not require
    otherwise, be as explicit as possible, and that reasons for the
    position taken by the department should be given. Above all, I do
    not want the letters to be stereotyped."

A business letter is written with a purpose. It is a good letter when
it accomplishes that purpose briefly, thoroughly, and courteously.
Women especially should be careful not to be discursive. Business men
have not time to puzzle over bad handwriting or ambiguous sentences.
Whenever it can be done conveniently the business letter should be
written on the typewriter. Tinted stationery is never appropriate, and
ruled stationery should never be used either for business or social

The correct form for the salutation of a business letter includes the
name and address of the person or firm to whom the letter is written as
well as the ceremonial form of salutation. Thus:

    Bradford and Munro,
    534 Fifth Avenue,
    New York City, N.Y.

    Gentlemen: (or Dear Sirs or My dear Sirs)

    Mrs. H. K. Weatherly,
    Secretary of the Citizens' League,
    Smithville, Arkansas.

    Dear Mrs. Weatherly: (or Dear Madam or My dear Madam)

Except when it is the first word of the salutation, _dear_ should
not begin with a capital letter. The address in the salutation should
be repeated exactly on the envelope and particular care should be taken
to make it legible. The stamp should always be placed in the upper
right-hand corner. It is bad form to put it on obliquely or upside down
or to place it in the left-hand corner or on the back flap of the
envelope. It is a silly practice to do so and causes the postal clerks
a great deal of trouble.


There are, necessarily, several kinds of letters, the three most
important divisions of which are the friendly letter, the business
letter, and the social letter. In its strictest sense, the social
letter is written for a distinct social purpose--usually about, or in
response to, some purely social circumstance. The difference between a
friendly letter and a social letter is relatively the same as the
difference between a strictly formal and a friendly informal visit.

To write a friendly letter, one simply writes what one feels, heeding
no very stringent rules regarding letter-writing. But the social
letter-writer finds that there are certain forms that must be carefully
observed, if his or her letters are to be considered entirely correct.
There are two distinct forms of the social letters--the formal and the
informal. The formal social note is used only for invitations,
announcements and their respective acknowledgments. It is always
written in the third person, and always requires an answer. Even though
it is sent to the most intimate friend, the formal note remains formal;
although later a friendly letter may be sent to remove any possible
constraint or "chill." The informal note has no definite formula,
except that it can be generally compared to all the informal trend of
correct social usage. The first person is used in the writing of
informal notes.

Whether formal or informal, the social note always bears the name of
the person to whom it is addressed. To illustrate, when writing
socially to Mrs. Joselyn, one does not use the expression, "Dear
Madam," but "Dear Mrs. Joslyn." In America the form "my dear" is
considered a trifle more formal than just "dear," although in England
the reverse is true. "Dear Madam" and "Dear Sir" are forms reserved
exclusively for use with business letters.


The well-known proverb may well be changed to read, "A man is known by
the stationery he uses." There is no greater opportunity to show good
taste--or bad--than in the tone, design and type of note paper we use.
It is as effective an index to one's individuality as are the clothes
we wear.

Just as in everything else, there are new fashions in the sizes, forms
and general appearance of social correspondence each season.
Invariably, the new form is an improvement on the older and more
stilted form. However, there are slight changes, and the general rules
of correct correspondence remain unchanged from year to year. A good
stationer is the best authority in regard to the minor modifications
that come each new season.

The _outré_ in everything pertaining to good social usage is offensive
to good taste. Thus, those who are refined and well-bred avoid such
startling color combinations as deep purple paper inscribed with white
ink. Of course, by its very daring, such a letter would gain immediate
attention. But the impression made would be one of poor taste and
eccentricity, rather than the striking personality the writer doubtless
tried to convey. Let us, then, avoid all fads in size and color of
social stationery


Plain, unruled sheets, either white or light gray in color, and folding
once into their envelopes are the approved materials for all social
correspondence. Black ink should always be used--violet, blue or purple
expresses extremely bad taste. There are, of course, many varying
qualities of note paper, depending entirely upon the means and
preferences of the individual. Some manufacturers are to-day issuing
delightful stationery in delicate tones of gray, blue and buff, and it
is necessary to mention here that there can be no objection to note
paper of this kind. It is only bad taste to use paper of vivid red,
yellow or green--so glaring in color that it is conspicuous. Colored
borders on stationery are in poor taste, as are also heavy gilt edges.
Paneled stationery and that with the deckle edge are both very lovely
and in excellent taste, if the color is subdued or pure white. And to
be conspicuous is to be ill-bred.

The complete text of a formal note must appear on the first page only.
Thus, a good size for a woman's social correspondence stationary is
four and a half inches by six inches, although it may be slightly
larger than that for general correspondence. Then there are the very
small sheets used merely for a few words of condolence or
congratulation. The size of stationery for men's social correspondence
varies, but it is usually a trifle larger than a woman's note paper. A
man never uses small sheets of paper, nor may he conduct social
correspondence upon business or office paper. It is only when private
stationery is not easily available, and a letter must be immediately
mailed, that club or hotel paper may be used for social correspondence.

Letter paper and envelopes should be of the same color and of about the
same material. We say "about" for, when the note paper is very thin, a
slightly thicker paper should be used for the envelope. Incidentally,
very thin paper is objectionable for social correspondence when both
sides of the sheet are written upon.

Some women like to use perfumed paper for their social correspondence.
While it is not exactly bad form to use perfumed stationery, a very
strong fragrance is most objectionable. Thus only the most delicate of
perfumes may be used. The use of perfumes for men's stationery is
entirely discountenanced.


Just as the gaudy frills and furbelows of the dress of Queen
Elizabeth's era have disappeared, so have the elaborate crests, seals
and monograms of earlier social stationery gradually given way to a
more graceful and dignified simplicity. Originality may be the
possession of those who can attain it, but it must always be
accompanied by simplicity of style.

Gorgeous monograms are not desirable. If used at all--and very few even
of our proud and aristocratic families _do_ use them--they should
be decorative without being elaborate. A good stationer should be
consulted before one determines upon a monogram. His taste and
knowledge should direct the ultimate choice.

Monograms and crests should not appear on the envelope, only on the
letter paper. Seals may be stamped wherever one wishes on the back of
the envelope, although the most fashionable place is in the direct
center of the flap. On mourning stationery, black wax is permissible
for the seal; red, blue or any dark color may be used on white or light
gray paper. Care should be taken in dropping the hot wax and pressing
the seal, for nothing is so indicative of poor taste as an untidy seal
on the envelope of a social letter. A seal should not be used unless it
is actually needed. It is bad form to use it in addition to the
mucilage on the flap of the envelope unless the mucilage is of a very
poor quality.

A monogram or crest is placed in the center at the top of the page when
no address is given. It should be omitted entirely when the address
appears at the top of the page. The space occupied by a crest or
monogram should not cover more than the approximate circumference of a
silver dime. A crest is usually stamped in gilt, silver, black, white
or dark green. Vivid colors must be avoided.

When an address is engraved on a sheet of paper the chest or monogram
should be omitted. The stationery of a country house frequently has the
name of the place in the upper right hand corner with the name of the
post office or railroad station opposite. Authors sometimes have their
names reproduced from their own handwriting and engraved across the top
of the paper they use for their business correspondence.

The most fashionable stationery to-day does not bear crests or
monograms or seals, but the address engraved in Gothic or Roman
lettering in the upper center of note and letter sheets, also on the
reverse side of the envelope. Black ink, of course, is used.


Having invaded and conquered the business world, the typewriter has now
become a social necessity. Personal typewriters, made in portable
sizes, are now being used for social correspondence, although many
conservative people prefer to remain loyal to the use of the old pen
and ink method. Yet, when the best handwriting is often illegible and
hard to read, a modern invention so necessary as the typewriter should
be hailed with delight and used with enthusiasm.

There still may be a few "extremists" and etiquette fanatics who insist
that typewritten letters are for business purposes only, and that they
are an insult when used socially. Prevalent custom to-day permits
typewritten correspondence for nearly every occasion, and the
well-typed social letter reflects better taste upon the sender than a
hand-written letter that is difficult to read--and yet took a much
greater length of time to write.

Social letters, whether hand or typewritten should not be on ordinary
commercial paper. The letter written on the machine should have a wide
margin at the top, bottom and sides. Signatures to a typewritten
letter, social or business, should be made personally, in ink.


It is only in cases of extreme formality that the expression "Dear
Madam" or "Dear Sir" is used. For ordinary social correspondence, the
salutation is either "Dear Mr. (Mrs.) Roberts" or "My dear Mr. (Mrs.)
Roberts." The use of "My dear" is considered more formal than merely
"Dear," except in England where the first form is considered the more

The form "Dear Miss" or "Dear Friend" may be used on no condition
whatever. It is either "Dear Miss Wimberly" or "Dear Madam." It is
considered presumptuous, in good society, for a man to address a lady
as "Dear Mrs. Brown" until she has first dropped the formal "my" in her
correspondence with him.

The strictly formal method for addressing a letter to a man by a woman
who is a total stranger to him, is:

    "Mr. John D. Brown,
    "Dear Sir."

If he is a distant relative, addressed for the first time, or the
friend of a very intimate friend, the salutation may read, "My dear Mr.


The endings "Very truly yours" or "Yours truly" express a certain
formality. Friendly letters are closed with such expressions as, "Yours
most sincerely," "Cordially yours," "Very affectionately yours,"
"Lovingly yours." The latter two expressions are confined largely to
intimate friends and relatives, while the others are used when letters
are written to new acquaintances or casual friends. The pronoun _yours_
should never be omitted, as it leaves the phrase unfinished and is not
complimentary to the person addressed. Thus, closings, such as "Very
truly" or "Sincerely" are in bad form.

Always remember in social letter-writing, to make a "graceful exit." An
awkward sentence in closing often mars what would otherwise be a
perfect letter. Forget certain strained expressions that remain in the
mind and demand to be used as closings, merely because they have been
used by so many people, over and over again. Make the farewell in your
social letters as cordial and graceful as your farewell would be if you
were talking to the person, instead of writing. Such kind expressions
as "With kindest personal regards" or "Hoping to have the pleasure of
seeing you soon" or "With best wishes to your dear mother and sisters"
always add a note of warmth and cordiality to the social letter. These
should be followed by "I am." It is not considered good form to end a

    _Hoping to hear from you soon,
    Yours sincerely,_

but it should be

    _Hoping to hear from you soon, I am
    Yours sincerely,_

No comma is used after "am."

It is not good taste to use only the initials, the surnames or given
names alone, or diminutives, when signing notes or letters except when
they are addressed to one's most intimate friends. A married woman
signs her self Ellen Scott, not Mrs. Guy Scott, in social
correspondence. Often, in business letters, when the recipient would be
in doubt as to whether or not the lady were to be addressed as Mrs. or
Miss, the conclusion to the letter should be in this form:

    _Yours truly,
    Ellen Scott
    (Mrs. Guy Scott)_

An unmarried woman signs her letters "Margaret Scott," unless it is a
business communication and she is liable to be mistaken for a widow. In
this case, she precedes her name by the word Miss in parentheses.

The first and last names of the man writing the letter must be given in
full, and if there is a middle name, either the initial or full
spelling may be given. But such a signature as J. Ferrin Robins is bad

It is both undignified and confusing to sign a letter with one's
Christian name only, unless one is a relative or very intimate friend.
A woman never signs her Christian name alone in a letter to a man
unless he is a relative or her _fiancé_ or a very old friend of the


Although there is a distinction in England regarding the use of "Mr."
and "Esq.," both forms are optional here in America. Either one may be
used in good form. But to omit both, and address a man just as "Walter
J. Smith" is exceedingly rude and bad taste. Neither should "Esq." and
"Jr." be used together in this manner, "Walter J. Smith, Esq., Jr." The
correct form would be "Walter J. Smith, Jr." A servant would be
addressed merely as Walter J. Smith, without any title.

"Mrs." or "Miss" must invariably precede the name of a woman on an
envelope unless she is a professional woman with some such title as
"Dr." A woman does not assume her husband's honorary title; thus, it is
not good form to address an envelope in this manner: "Mrs. Captain
Smith" or "Mrs. Judge Andrews."

A practicing woman physician is addressed in this fashion, when the
communication is professional: "Dr. Ellen R. Blank." This form is not
used in social correspondence, except in the case of a very famous,
elderly physician who is entitled to the honorary title at all times.
Otherwise this form is used when the communication is social: "Miss
Ellen R. Blank" or "Mrs. John T. Blank."


Letters of condolence should never be written, unless the writer has
been genuinely moved to sympathy. For that reason, they are usually
forthcoming only from relatives and intimate friends of the bereaved
family. A letter of sympathy should be brief and cordial. Those
pretentious letters that are filled with poetic quotations and
sentimental expressions are not genuinely sympathetic, and those that
refer constantly to the deceased are unkind. A few well-chosen words of
sympathy are all that is necessary. Following are two model letters of
condolence, that may be used as basic forms for other letters:

    _New York, August 24th._

    _Dear Miss Curtis:_

    _I hasten to offer you my most profound sympathy for the great
    grief that has fallen upon you and your house-hold. If there is
    anything I can do, I hope you will not hesitate to call upon

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Harriet B. Wainwright._

    _Philadelphia, May 5th._

    _My dear Mrs. Andrews:_

    _Knowing as I do from my own experience how deep your grief must
    be I also know that there is little that anyone can say or do to
    make your sorrow any the less. Yet I cannot refrain from offering
    my sincerest sympathy, and along with it the hope that Time, which
    softens all things, will make even this easier to bear._

    _Believe me, most sincerely yours,_

    _Lillian M. Roberts._


Mourning or white paper is always used when answering a letter of
condolence, except when the engraved cards of acknowledgment are sent.
These are severely plain, and the message is always brief. Often they
are sent in the name of the entire family, as:

    _Mr. and Mrs. John Hall Hammond
    gratefully acknowledge your expression of
    sympathy upon the death of their daughter.
    June 6, 1921._

This is certainly the easiest way for the bereaved to express their
gratitude, though simple notes of thanks may be sent instead of the
more formal card.


It is often a moot question among friends as to who shall write the
first letter. Generally speaking, it is the one who has gone away
rather than the one who remains behind who writes first, though among
good friends there is no more necessity to count letters than there is
to count visits. The writer knew a college girl who, when she came
home, decided to wait before writing and see how many of her friends
cared enough for her to write to her. She was rather gratified by the
result but if each girl who came away from the school had arrived at
the same decision the situation would have been a very queer one, to
say the least of it.

A young lady who has gone away may send a card or write a brief note to
a gentleman but if he is the one who has departed she should not write
to him until she has received a letter from him.

Some people may feel that a discourse on friendly letters has no place
in a book on social intercourse. But we feel that social success is
just as largely dependent upon one's simple friendships as it is upon
highly extravagant social activities, and therefore it is necessary to
know something about the friendly letter.

The salutation in a friendly letter should always be "Dear Mary" or
"Dear Miss Jones." The text of the letter should be written with ease,
and instead of a long list of questions (as some letter-writers delight
in using), bits of choice news of the day, interesting personal
experiences, and the like should be disclosed. As Elizabeth Myers in
her book "The Social Letter," says: "The friendly letter is our proxy
for a little _tête-à-tête_, telling of the personal news of the day,
and should be as extemporaneous as daily speech. Such letters are given
free scope and it would be as bootless to dictate rules as it would be
to commit a monologue to memory prior to a friendly visit."

Unless you are very intimate with a friend, and your letter contains
"identifying" news, do not sign yourself merely with your Christian
name. There are many Marys, and Johns and Harolds; and a letter signed
with the full name is as cordial as one which gives only the baptismal

There is an old Latin proverb, "_Litera scripta manet_," meaning "The
written letter remains." A very pretty sentiment is attached to this
one short sentence. It means not only that the letter itself remains,
but that the thoughts contained in that letter, the kind, unselfish,
pretty thoughts of friendship, remain forever in heart and mind of the
person for whom it was intended. When you write to your friends, make
your letters so beautiful in form and text, that they will be read,
re-read, and cherished a long time after as a fond memory. It will be a
big step on the road to social perfection. Another point to be kept in
mind is that nothing should be written in a letter that one would not
be willing for almost anyone to see. Letters sometimes travel far, and
one can never be altogether sure into what hands they may fall.


The sooner the child is taught to take care of his or her own personal
correspondence, the sooner he or she will become perfect in the art of
letter-writing. The little ones should be taught early the significance
of the correct letter, the importance of correct social correspondence.
Their duties at first may be light, and guided entirely by mother's
suggestions; but the youngsters will soon find keen pleasure and
enjoyment in creating letters themselves.

Here are a few letters that might have been written by children between
the ages of seven and twelve. They are not offered as model letters,
for children have a great deal more personality than grown-ups, and
they must get that personality into what they write; otherwise the
letter will be strained and unnatural. Do not be too critical of their
first efforts. Pass over mistakes, and let the letter sound as if the
child and not you had written it. At the same time teach them to be
careful. With a very small bit of diplomacy the child can be brought to
take great pride in a letter which he wrote "with his own hand." And
don't make the children say things that they do not want to. Protect
them from the petty insincerities of social life as long as possible.

    _Dear Aunt May:_

    _Thank you ever so much for the pretty doll. I have named her
    May. Mother thinks she is very pretty but Tom does not. Tom does
    not like dolls. He plays with the dog and his tops and marbles
    nearly all the time. The dog's name is Mike. He is black. I like
    him lots. We are going to have strawberry ice cream Sunday. I wish
    you could be here. I would give you a big plate full._

    _Please come to see me soon._

    _Your loving niece,_


    _Dear Uncle Frank,_

    _I have a box of paints. I painted a dog and a soldier this
    morning. The soldier has on a red coat. The dog is a pointer. My
    dog is a rat terrier named Jack. He caught a big rat this morning
    in the barn. Mother says she thinks he has been eating the
    chickens. School will be out in a week. I will be glad. Mother says
    she will not. I know how to swim. There is a creek near here. The
    water is over my head in one place. I am going fishing one day next
    week. I caught two perch last time I went._

    _Your nephew,_


    _Dear Grandma:_

    _I wish you a very happy birthday, and I hope that you will like
    the present I sent you. Mother says that she will take me to see
    you soon. I wish she could take me to-day._

    _Your loving grandchild,_



A certain set of definite rules is prescribed for all communication
with titled people. The general rules given for ordinary social
correspondence are not the same for persons of title, and as each
executive, dignitary and man or woman of royal blood requires special
address, it will be necessary to incorporate them into a compact scale
that can be easily referred to. At the end of this volume is a scale
giving the opening, closing and address, formal and informal, for every
person of title.




The home is the unit of our social life, and just as the whole can be
no greater than the sum of its parts so the standard of behavior in a
community can be no higher than the sum of the standards in the homes
that make up that community. If in the home one observes strictly the
rules of politeness, which means kindness, one will have very little
trouble with the rules of etiquette, which is simply the way politeness
finds expression in our intercourse with each other. Minor canons of
etiquette change from time to time but good manners are always the
same, and never out of fashion.


Obviously a book on etiquette cannot go into the problems of interior
decoration; yet a word or two will not be out of place. The influence
of one's surroundings on one's temper is enormous though the person may
be unconscious of the fact. A disordered room gives a feeling of
depression and hopelessness to the one who enters it while one that is
tidy tends to impart a feeling of restfulness. If in addition to its
neatness it is furnished in harmonious colors--and one cannot be too
careful of the colors that are used in the home--in subdued tones it
will contribute much more to the peace and happiness of the home than
even those who live there realize. It will not eliminate bad tempers or
do away with disagreeable moments but it will certainly help to reduce
them to a minimum.


In another volume in the chapter on funerals we have spoken of the
influence of dress, especially of the influence of the constant
presence of black on young children. This is only one small phase of a
very big subject.

In the home the chief requisite of one's dress is neatness. A man will
find it much easier to accord the little courtesies of well-bred
society to his wife if she is neatly and becomingly dressed, however
simple the gown may be, than if she is slatternly and untidy. The
children also will find it much easier to love, honor and obey if their
parents give a reasonable amount of time to taking care of their
personal appearance. It is not the most important thing in life but it
is one of the little things "that of large life make the whole" and one
that has much to do with making it pleasant or unpleasant.

In one of O. Henry's stories a little girl down on Chrystie Street asks
her father, "a red-haired, unshaven, untidy man sitting shoeless by the
window" to play a game of checkers with her. He refuses and the child
goes out into the street to play with the other children "in the
corridors of the house of sin." The story is not a pretty one. Six or
seven years later there is a dance, a murder and a plunge into the East
River. And then the great short story writer says that he dreamed the
rest of the story. He thought he was in the next world and "Liz," for
that was the girl's name, was being tried for murder and
self-destruction. There was no doubt but that she had committed the
crimes ascribed to her, but the verdict of the officer in the celestial
court was, "Discharged." And he added, "The guilty party you've got to
look for in this case is a red-haired, unshaven, untidy man, sitting by
the window reading, in his stocking feet, while his children play in
the streets." It is not so much that dress in itself is important but
that it is an index to so much else, and while it is not an infallible
one it is about as near right as any we have.


There can be nothing quite so humiliating to a child as to be dressed
in an outlandish fashion that renders him conspicuous. Some mothers,
delighting in the attractive clothes that they buy for their children,
do not realize what havoc they are causing to the tastes of the child.
A little boy should be dressed like a little boy, and he should be
allowed to develop his own tastes in the selection of his suits and
blouses. A little girl should by all means be allowed to make her
choice of the clothes she is to wear, guided by mother's superior
knowledge and experience. But to force a child to wear a garment
against which its very soul revolts, is to crush whatever natural
instincts the child may have for the beautiful and artistic.

It is sad to see a child fretting uncomfortably in a suit that is too
tight, or a huge sailor hat that laps down over the eyes. Simple,
comfortable clothes are the best for children, but they should be
excellent material. Rather give the child one dress of excellent
material and workmanship, than two that are faulty and inferior. Teach
her to appreciate material and she will always prefer quality to


It is not enough to give children the material things of life. There
are some things that money cannot buy, and this thing we call "culture"
is one of them. It is a part of the heavy responsibility of parents to
lead the children in their charge into the paths of right thinking and
right living and the task should be a joyous one. For every child born
into the world has infinite possibilities and at its very worst the
task is illumined by the ray of hope. Even the ugly duckling became a


Make that your first commandment in your plan of child-nature. Know
your children! And by "knowing" we do not mean their faults, their
likes and dislikes, their habits. Know their ambitions, their little
hopes, their fears and joys and sorrows. Be not only their advisors and
parents, but their _friends_.

In his book, "Making the Most of Children," La Rue says: "We may say
there are four kinds of parents,--spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts."
The spade parent, he explains, is buried in his work, eager only to
clothe attractively the body of the child, but willing that the soul
go naked. The club parent is engrossed in social activities; the
father with his clubs and sports, the mother with her dinners and
entertainments. The diamond parents love glitter and ostentation. They
must seem wealthy and prosperous at all cost. They devote their time
and thoughts to their home and outward appearance--they never think
about _knowing_ their children.

But the heart parent, La Rue tells us, is the man or woman who is
essentially a home maker. He provides a library for the child, a cozy
room, an environment that is truly _home_. And he spends time with
him, learning all about his hopes and ambitions, encouraging him,
teaching him. He knows the child; and the child knows that he has a
friend upon whom to depend not only for material comforts but for
spiritual advice and guidance.

You must know your children, before you can attempt to make them
well-mannered and well-bred.


The strongest force that enters into the molding of children's
character and deportment is the character and deportment of their own
parents. Youngsters cannot find the beautiful gift of good manners in
some unknown place; whatever they do and say is in imitation of
something they heard their elders do and say. The whole life of a man
or woman is colored by the environment and atmosphere of his or her
early childhood.

Children should not be taught "party manners." If they are to be
well-bred at all, they must be so at all times; and ill-bred parents
can no more have well-bred children than an oak tree can have pine
needles. And the chief beauty of perfect manners is that they are so
habitual as to be perfectly unconscious.

Of great importance, therefore, is the law of teaching by example. Show
the children that you yourself follow the laws of good conduct and
courtesy. Whether guests are present or not, let your table etiquette
be faultless. Address everyone, and especially the children themselves,
with studied courtesy and thoughtfulness. A well-bred child is known
immediately by his or her speech; and when courtesy and gentle, polite
conversation is the rule in the home, it will follow as the night the
day that it will be the rule elsewhere.

Parents invariably feel embarrassment at the ill-manners and lack of
courtesy on the part of their children. They would often be able to
avoid this embarrassment if they realized that it was simply their
manners and lack of courtesy in the home, an indication that they
themselves neglect the tenets of good breeding.


It is a very grave mistake to repress constantly the speech of
children. But it is necessary that they should be taught early the true
value of conversation, instead of being permitted to prattle nonsense.
An excellent training is to converse with the child when you are alone
with him, drawing out his ideas, giving him "food for thought," telling
him interesting stories and watching his reactions.

In addressing elders the child should know exactly the correct forms to
use. For instance, it is no longer considered good form for anyone
except servants or tradespeople to use the expressions "Yes, ma'am,"
and "Yes, sir." Still there is some deference due parents and elders,
and the correct method of address is, "Yes, mother," or "No, father,"
or "Thank you, Mr. Gray." The manner of the child is just as important
as the form of expression; a courteous, respectful manner should always
be used towards elders.

Contradictions are unbecoming in children. Yet the young girl or boy
must be entitled to his or her own opinion. If something is said with
which he does not agree, and if he is taking part in the conversation,
he may say, "I beg your pardon, but...." or, "I really think you are
making a mistake. I think that...."


The final test of good manners comes at the table. Remembering this the
parents should lay special stress on this part of a child's training,
so as to make his manner of eating as natural as his manner of
breathing. And one is almost as important as the other. There are no
particular rules for children beyond those which older people should
follow and these are given further on in this volume. Children are
really little men and women and their training is all for the purpose
of equipping them to live the lives of men and women in the happiest
and most useful way possible.

A child should never seat himself until those older than he are in
place though even this should not be ostentatious. As soon as the
mother or whoever is presiding at the table indicates that it is time
for them to be seated they all should take their places almost

Disparaging comments on the food are ill-bred. Unpleasant incidents
should be passed over lightly whether they take place in the intimacy
of the home circle or in a more formal gathering.

The conversation should be agreeable. Quarreling, nagging, gossiping,
scandal-mongering, and fretting are absolutely taboo.


We have already said that children catch their manners from the people
about them. This is as true of their playmates as of their parents and
when the child is in school nearly all day and playing out somewhere
the rest of the time except during the evening when he is at home
studying it is perhaps even more so. The most rigid discipline and the
most loving care will not prevail against the example of Tom, Dick, or
Harry, if these three have been allowed "to run wild." There is a
glamor about lawlessness even among children. This should be kept in
mind by their parents, and while they should be placed, insofar as it
is possible, among desirable playmates, there should not be too stern
repression. For this may stifle development, it may breed sullenness,
or it may engender rebellion.

There are too many parents to-day who try to bring up their children
"by the rule." There is no rule. Each child is a law unto himself and
the best way the mother or father can learn to take care of him is to
study the youngster himself.

Instead of the swaggering playmate or one that is otherwise undesirable
the parent should offer something better. Of course, he should be his
child's friend and counselor as well as his parent, but the wisest and
most lovable parent that ever lived could not satisfy all the longings
and desires of the child's heart. He needs companionship of his own
age. The constant friction among playmates is the best way in the world
to rub away sharp corners and rough places.

Games, books, music, toys, friends--carefully chosen, these are the
most important elements which enter into the molding of the child's
life and are therefore the ones to which greatest attention should be


A party is something that the average child looks back upon with
pleasure for a long, long time. There is no more pleasant way of
inculcating a feeling of genuine hospitality or of bringing about an
easy manner in the drawing-room than through allowing children to have
parties and giving them a large share of the responsibility for making
them successful. The mother should superintend everything but she
should consult and advise the child about favors, refreshments, etc.
The most attractive invitations are those which the youngster himself
writes. Charming designs may be had from the stationers with blank
spaces to be filled in by the person sending them. This makes the
child's task delightful as well as simple.

Until he is old enough to write, his mother pens his invitations.
Rarely are engraved invitations used for a children's affair. The
invitation may be addressed to the child or to its mother and since
parties for little people are usually very informal the invitation
should be informal also. The following shows a form which is sometimes

    _Dear Mrs. Grant,_

    _I am having a little party for some of Julian's friends Thursday
    afternoon and am so anxious for Mary to come. If you will send her
    about four o'clock I will see that she gets back home around

    _Cordially yours,_

    _Agnes K. Marshall_

If the invitation is addressed to the child it might be worded
something like this:

    _Dear Mary,_

    _Julian is planning to have a little party Thursday afternoon and
    he wants you to come about four o'clock. Tell your mother that we
    will see that you get home about six. We both want you very

    _Cordially your friend,_

    _Agnes K. Marshall._

Birthday parties are usually held in the afternoon between three and
six. Older children, those of the Sweet Sixteen age, may have parties
from four to seven, or eight o'clock. Hallowe'en, New Year and St.
Patrick's Day parties for little tots, are invariably in the afternoon.
Mother should arrange for sufficient interesting games to keep the
youngsters amused and entertained; and it always adds greatly to the
fun, if a little prize is offered for the winner of each game.

Parties and ice-cream, of course, go hand in hand. Sweets, cakes and
fruit usually accompany the ice-cream. Sometimes hot chocolate and
wafers are served to the youngsters. At the birthday party, the
inevitable birthday cake is usually cut and served by the young host or
hostess. Mother must not forget the candles, "one for each year and one
for good measure." The refreshments at young folks' parties are usually
served at or about four o'clock.

It is most essential to have a sufficient number of amusements planned
to keep the children entertained every minute of the time. They cannot
be trusted to take care of themselves especially if the party is a
mixed one. The hostess must also be careful not to have the games so
active as to tire the youngsters out and she must be sure that the
refreshments are wholesome. It is no very small undertaking to give a
successful children's party but the reward is great enough to make it
worth while.


The two important rules of children's parties may be analyzed briefly
as: simplicity and a surprise combined with suspense. Suspense is
especially important; children have impatient little souls and when
they are promised some strange and vague surprise, they are delighted
beyond measure, and spend the time awaiting it with keen delight and

The surprise may consist of a huge Jack Horner pie, filled with pretty
souvenirs. It may be a Brownie party, with cunning little Brownie hoods
and caps previously prepared for the young visitors. It may be any one
of a thousand gay, simple, childhood games that youngsters delight in.
To offer a prize for the winner always arouses keen interest in the


At children's parties, the hostess stands in the background cordially
seconding the welcomes extended by her little son or daughter. When
everyone has arrived, the young host or hostess leads the way into the
dining-room and the dinner.

After the dinner there will be games until it is time to leave. The
wise hostess will see that all fragile bric-à-brac and expensive
furniture is well out of the way before the children come. And she will
see that as soon as a game is becoming too boisterous, or too tiresome,
another is suggested. There must be variety to the entertainment for
children grow weary very quickly.


If the party is in honor of a child's birthday, an effort should be
made to make it as festive as possible. The birthday flower, whatever
it happens to be, should be given prominence. The table should have an
attractive floral centerpiece, and must be as well-laid as the
correctly formal dinner-table of the older folks.

It is customary for the guests to bring a gift for the child, but
lately it has been forbidden by some parents. There is no reason to
forbid it, however, as the custom is a pretty one and the gifts are
usually trifling. And it is as amusing as it is pleasing to watch how
proudly and importantly the young visitor bestows his gifts upon his

The birthday cake holds the place of honor on the table. Around the
edge of it, in small tin holders, are candles--one for each year the
child has thus far celebrated. One candle is blown out by each little
guest, and with it goes a secret wish of happiness for the boy or girl
whose birthday it is. Some parents do not wish to run the risk of
accidents caused by burning candles. In this case, it is pretty to have
the icing on cake represent the face of a clock, with the hour hand
pointing to the hour which indicates the child's age. Very often when
the slices of birthday cake are distributed, tiny gifts are presented
with them.


A problem which the hostess of children's parties invariably meets, is
how to get the children home safely. Undoubtedly, the parents of the
young children should provide some means of having them escorted home
safely after the party; the duty should not be allowed to devolve upon
the hostess. If the children are older, of high-school age, the young
boys may be trusted to escort the girls to their homes. When children
are very young they have no idea when to leave. The hostess may say,
"Let us have one more game before you start for home, children," and
immediately proceed to explain what the game shall be, impressing it
upon them that they are expected to leave for home as soon as it is
over. Or she may suggest a final grand march which the youngsters will
no doubt enter into whole-heartedly--and the march may lead into the
room where their wraps are waiting.

There is nothing quite as beautiful and gratifying as a group of
laughing, happy children; and the hostess who has attained this may
indeed feel repaid for her trouble. Children are easy to please, too.
Something absurd, something the least bit out of the ordinary,
something queer or grotesque, is bound to win their immediate applause
no matter how simple and inexpensive it may be. And strangely enough,
the hostess who manages to bring the sunshine and merriment into the
hearts of her young guests, feels young and childish herself for the
time being--and the feeling is one of such utter delight and happiness
that it is well worth the effort.


There are many delightful ways of entertaining children away from home,
and out-of-door parties are especially wholesome. Motion pictures
parties for children that are old enough are very pleasing if the
picture is a good one. This is a point that should be carefully
attended to beforehand. It is no time to "take a chance." At the party
out in the woods or down by the bank of the creek refreshments should
consist of picnic fare. The motion picture party or the matinée party
might be followed by ice-cream or by a simple dinner. But however many
of these entertainments one may give one must remember that there is
after all not a great deal of art in amusing people when the amusements
are furnished by someone else, and also that the art of entertaining
charmingly at home is perhaps the greatest art of them all.


The dancing school teaches the youngster a great deal more than merely
a few dancing steps. From no other source is it possible for the young
boy or girl to acquire the grace, the poise, the charm of manner that
the dancing school imparts.

The writer knows a very lovely young miss of twelve years, who has so
charming a manner that one delights to be with her. Yet, her parents
confide, that two years ago she was so nervous and fidgety that they
were ashamed to take her anywhere. They attribute her present grace and
ease to her lessons at dancing school.

There is no reason why boys should not also be registered at the
dancing school. A young man who, in childhood learned the little
formalities of the dancing school, will not be likely to feel ill at
ease in the formal drawing-room, or at the elaborate dinner. He will
know how to conduct himself without embarrassment or

In training our children's manners and speech, we must not forget that
their physical development is most important. Etiquette requires that
the child know, not only how to act at the table, how to greet visitors
and how to be well-behaved and mannerly, but also how to _appear_
polite and polished. Dancing gives them just the right foundation for
grace and courtesy of manner.


In your hands has been placed the destiny of a child, or of children,
to be molded, developed and formed into a perfect being. Do not make
the mistake that so many parents make--the mistake of thinking that the
child is a miniature of yourself, a pocket edition of yourself as it
were. You have certain tastes, habits, hopes and desires cultivated
through years of experience and education. The child has a young mind
to be expanded and developed, a young body to be molded into lines of
grace and charm, a young life to be made fine and beautiful.

It is not an easy task, this leading a child through the correct
channels of early life. The young minds are so sensitive, the young
memory is so retentive; evil influences are so easily made, and become
so readily a part of the boy's or girl's life. Someone once said,
"Motherhood is made up of denial." All parenthood is made up of
denial--for from the time the youngster first opens its eyes in its
cradle, the parents must deny themselves everything that is necessary
to make that child a perfect man or woman.

They must give up much of their social duties to attend to the
development of the child's mind. They must spend hours with the
youngster in his own or her play, so that there will be woven in with
that play, a subtle teaching. They must deny themselves material and
spiritual comforts so that those whose destiny is in their hands, will
be correctly prepared to meet life.

There are several chapters to the book of childhood. It is the complete
volume that counts--not just one page. Follow your child through all
his chapters of childhood, enter into his play and study and ambitions.
There are so many little incidents that remain in the memory and
permanently change the behavior. It is one thing to be just a parent,
quite another to be parent and friend. Let your child see that you are
interested in _all_ his activities, and your influence will have a
great deal to do in the shaping of his future manners.


"Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep; for
your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as
by the latter." This bit of wisdom from the pen of Paxton Hood reveals
one great duty which confronts every parent. The child must have its
own library, and one that will correctly develop its mind and manners.
Even if it is only one shelf of books in the nursery, it should belong
to the child itself. The pride of personal ownership increases the
value of the books.

Books should be chosen with care, but there should be sufficient
variety to enable the young boy or girl to select the subject that he
or she is most interested in. Fiction should be of the better kind,
"Robinson Crusoe," "Little Lord Fauntleroy," the "Jungle Books,"
"Grimm's or Andersen's Fairy Tales," "Alice in Wonderland," etc. Boys
will like "Plain Tales from the Hills," "Bob, Son of Battle," "Treasure
Island," "The Sea Wolf," "Huckleberry Finn," "Twenty Thousand Leagues
Under the Sea," etc.

There should be special attention given to the classics. It is
unfortunate that so much of the time devoted to them should be spent
altogether in the schoolroom for books that one has to read are rarely
the ones that one likes best. Dickens, Thackeray, Shakespeare, George
Eliot, and a mighty host of others are waiting for the child who is old
enough to understand them. The parent should watch the tendencies of
the mind of his child and should keep him supplied with books that will
develop and expand the little intellect in accordance with its natural
preferences. The best way to teach a child to care for books is to keep
him surrounded with them and to read to him or tell him stories from
time to time and to be patient if he is slow in manifesting a desire to
use the key that unlocks the treasure that lies between the covers of

Music is one of the best means of developing the child's emotional
nature and of subduing wayward impulses and of bringing about harmony
in the home circle. The writer knows of one family--and there are many
others--which sometimes in the evening finds itself all at sixes and
sevens. Nobody agrees with anybody else; the whole group is hopelessly
tangled. The mother goes to the piano and begins playing a song that
they all know. One by one the members of the family join in and it is
not long before they are all gathered around the piano singing song
after song and the petty disagreements and the unpleasant feeling of
discord have vanished into thin air.

Much is to be said in favor of the gramophones. Through them the best
music is accessible to almost everyone. But it is not wise to depend on
them altogether, for children have talent to be developed, and there is
a charm about music in the family that is like, to use a crude
comparison--home-cooking. It cannot be duplicated elsewhere.


After all, the greatest charm of childhood is natural, spontaneous
simplicity. Stilted, party-mannered children are bores. They are
unnatural. And that which is not natural, cannot be well-bred.

The cause of shy, bashful, self-conscious youngsters is wrong training.
They are repressed instead of developed. Their natural tendencies are
held down by constant reminders and scoldings and warnings. Instead,
they should be _brought out_ by proper encouragement, by kind,
sympathetic understanding. Some children have the idea, in their
extreme youth, that parents are made only to forbid things, to repress
them and make them do things against which their natures revolt. The
bond that should exist between parent and child is a certain
understanding friendliness--an implicit faith on the part of the child,
and a wise guidance on the part of the parent.

Remember that a child is like a flower. If the flower is not permitted
to struggle upward towards the sun, and to gather in the tiny dewdrops,
it will wither and die. If the child is not allowed to develop
naturally, its tastes and ideals will be warped and shallow.

Teach your child to be well-mannered and polite, but do not disguise
him with unnatural manners and speech.


There are two kinds of young girls--those who face life as some great
opportunity, who consider it a splendid gift to be made the most of,
and who help to create the beauty that they love to admire; and those
who are butterflies of society, whose lives are mere husks, without
depth, without worth-while impulses and ambitions. They are satisfied
if they know how to dance gracefully, if they know how to enter a room
in an impressive manner, if they know how to be charming at the dinner
table. Their conversation is idle chatter; their ambitions are to be
"social queens," to earn social distinction and importance.

Fortunately, the twentieth century girl is less of a butterfly than the
tight-laced hoop-skirted young miss of the latter part of the
nineteenth century. Perhaps the war had something to do with it.
Perhaps it is because so many new occupations have been opened up to
her. Perhaps it is evolution. But the young miss of to-day is certainly
more thrilled with life and its possibilities than her sister of two or
three decades ago ever was.

Life is no longer shown to the young daughter as a plaything by fond
parents who plan no future except marriage and social success for the
young woman whose future rests in their hands. To-day life is shown to
her as it is shown to her brother--as something beautiful, something
impressive, something worthy of deep thought and ambitious plan.

To-day the young girl is not only taught to dance gracefully, to enter
a room correctly, and to conduct herself with ease and charm at the
dinner table, but she is taught to develop her natural talents and
abilities so that the world will be left a little better for her having
lived in it. Her conduct, therefore, is tinged with a new dignity of
purpose, a new desire to make the best of the gift of life. Instead of
idle chatter her conversation assumes the proportion of intellectual
discussion, and young men and women to-day discuss intelligently
problems that would not have been mentioned in polite society a
generation ago.

It is to help the young girl to prepare for the glorious future that
awaits her that the following paragraphs are written.


There is nothing quite as charming in a young girl as repose of manner.
A soft voice, a quiet, cultured manner is more to be admired than a
pretty face, or an elaborate gown.

Let the young girl look to the ancient Greeks for inspiration. Here she
will find the true conception of beauty--repose of manner and utter
simplicity. She will find that to be perfect is to be natural, and that
one must be simple and unostentatious to be beautiful in the true sense
of the word. After all, what can be quite so lovely as beautiful
manners? And what can be more worthy of admiration and respect than a
sweet, well-mannered young girl?

Politeness and courtesy are two other important virtues that the young
girl should develop. She should be as polite to her mother and sister
as she is to strangers. She should be courteous and kind to everyone.
And she should learn the art of listening as well as the art of


American girls with their independent ideas of social requirements mock
the idea of a chaperon to the theater or dance. And this is especially
true of the many young women who are planning careers for themselves,
who intend to be more than social butterflies.

We are proud of the ideal American girl. We do not mean, of course, the
self-esteemed, arrogant young miss who derides all conventions and
calls herself "free." In her we are not interested at all. But there is
the true American type--the young girl who is essentially a lady, who
has self-reliance but is not bold, who is firm without being
overbearing, who is brainy but not masculine, who is courageous, strong
and fearless, yet _feminine_. She has no need of the chaperon; and
it is because of her that the "decay of the chaperon" has been so rapid
in America.

And so we find that the American girl who is well-bred, who is
well-mannered and high-principled, may attend the theater and the dance
with gentlemen, unchaperoned. It is only when she travels abroad or
stops at a hotel for any length of time that social requirements still
command that she be chaperoned. But even then, the girl who travels on
business purposes, need feel no embarrassment when she is alone, if her
manner and speech are as polished and correct as they should be.


In the small town or in the country, if a young girl goes to a party or
other social meeting with a young man, he is, of course, expected to
escort her home again. If the hour is early and the family will
probably still be up, she may invite him in if she wishes to do so. But
it is not an obligation. If it is late, she does not invite him into
the house, but she may ask him to call. In some sections of the United
States it is still considered correct for the young man himself to
request that he be permitted to call.

A correspondent has written to inquire whether or not it is correct for
a young girl to thank a young man for his escort just before leaving
him at her own door. Evidently the young lady who has written has
herself been in doubt as to whether or not it is correct. In this
instance, circumstances alter cases. If she were a young country miss
returning from an informal village function, she would by no means
offer thanks. But if the young man has obviously put himself to an
inconvenience to escort her home, then it is only polite that she offer
him some expression of gratitude. A city girl does not thank her
escort, but he on the other hand, may thank her for a very pleasant
afternoon or evening if he wishes to do so.


The young girl should follow her mother's example and advice in all
things. Eighteen is the correct coming-out age for the young American
girl, and until then she should obey her mother without question. She
should be guided by her wider experience, by her more mature knowledge.
But unfortunately this is not always so. Mothers and daughters are not
the "pals" they ought to be.

Recently a woman was asked by a very close friend why she allowed her
daughter to attend the theater and the dance with a young man who was
of questionable character. "Surely you have some influence over her,"
the friend persisted. "Tell her to avoid him." But she simply smiled in
a tired sort of way and said, "I am only her mother."

This should not be. The mother should guide her daughter in all she
does, and the daughter should be willing to abide by her mother's
decisions. Otherwise that sacred, beautiful friendship that can be
created only between a mother and daughter will never exist.


A great many of us suffer from self-consciousness. We always imagine
that people are looking at us, talking about us, ridiculing us. We are
never at ease among strangers, never happy when people are around. We
are always embarrassed, shy, ill at ease.

There is a story told about the famous Hawthorne who was so shy and
self-conscious that he ran out of the house or hid himself whenever he
saw visitors approaching. His wife, who was also very timid and
retiring by nature, was left to entertain the guests as best she could.
Hawthorne was heartily ashamed of himself, but instead of trying to
overcome his self-consciousness he sought and found forgetfulness in
his books and writings. His wife, on the other hand, was forced to
overcome her natural timidity for the sake of her husband and for the
sake of the hospitality of the Hawthorne home. And because she
determined to do it, she soon became entirely unself-conscious and able
to conduct herself with ease and unconcern even among the most
celebrated people.

And so you see that self-consciousness can be overcome. There is no
reason for the bride to feel embarrassed and ill at ease when she is
hostess for the first time in her new home. There is no reason for the
young girl to feel shy and timid when she is introduced in society.
There is no reason for the young man to be self-conscious in the
presence of ladies. A little will power and a little sincere effort
will banish this fault forever.


That is the only way you can hope to cure yourself of
self-consciousness--forget about yourself! There are so many delightful
things you can think of, so many interesting things beyond the selfish
little boundaries of your own self. Send your thoughts abroad, send
them into the universe to drink deeply of knowledge and learning, to
delve into the wells of profound interest that surround us on every
side--and forget about the petty commonplaces of life, the unimportant
everyday conventionalities. Then you will forget about yourself also,
and before you realize it you will be calm, dignified, unafraid. All
suggestion of self-consciousness will have vanished.


When a bride leaves a small country place to become the hostess in a
large house in a large city, she is very likely to feel ill at ease and
conscious of herself. Naturally, this makes her awkward in her manners.

Shyness is over-sensitiveness--a shrinking from observation. It causes
us to worry about what others are thinking about us, and naturally it
makes us morbid. Thus we are kept from appearing at our best, and in
all our manners and actions we appear awkward and nervous. It is very
necessary to overcome this fault if one wishes to mingle with people of
the best society.

Orison Swett Marden says, "If you are a victim of timidity and
self-depreciation, afraid to say your soul is your own; if you creep
about the world as though you thought you were taking up room which
belonged to somebody else; if you are bashful, timid, confused,
tongue-tied when you ought to assert yourself, say to yourself, 'I am a
child of the King of Kings. I will no longer suffer this cowardly
timidity to rule me. I am made by the same Creator who made all other
human beings. They are my brothers and sisters. There is no more reason
why I should be afraid to express what I feel or think before them than
if they were in my own family.'"

The great inspirational writer has shown you in this little paragraph
the way to overcome your self-consciousness--the foolish timidity that
is robbing you of your privilege of self-assertion, of your ease and
grace of manner, of your very happiness. Whenever you feel embarrassed
and ill at ease in the presence of strangers, think of the words of
Marden. Remember that you are one of the children of the universe, that
we are all brothers and sisters, and that you have as much right to
assert yourself as any other man or woman in the world. And when you
finally do overcome your timidity you will find that you have acquired
a splendid new grace and charm of manner.


Do not have the mistaken idea that confidence in oneself, lack of
self-consciousness, is conceit. As a matter of fact, it is much better
to be shy and self-conscious than to be a pert, aggressive egotist.

The first lesson to learn, in your crusade against self-consciousness,
is that you must not be _ashamed of your shyness_. That will make
you even more conscious of yourself. Forget that you are shy. Or if you
cannot forget, tell yourself that it is better to be reserved and
modest than to be conceited and aggressive. Do not shrink from
strangers, but meet them and talk to them as though they were your
brothers, or sisters. Treat everyone like an equal, but do not treat
yourself as an inferior.

Self-confidence is what makes success, whether it is in the social
world or the business world. It was self-confidence that helped Edison
with each new invention. It was self-confidence that enabled Madame
Marie Curie, penniless and obscure, to discover radium, the greatest
and most wonderful metal in the world. All achievement is founded on
self-confidence--not of the aggressive sort, but of the quiet, calm,
unassuming sort that is so easy to develop if one will only try.

Determine that you will no longer allow timidity and shyness to rule
you. Assert yourself! And watch how your manners improve.


The country hostess must not feel that she is expected to entertain her
guests in city fashion. There is a great deal of difference between the
facilities and conditions of country and city life, and social
activities are consequently different in both localities.

In the country there is much less mingling with strangers than there is
in the city. Social entertainments are confined very largely to the
home fireside. There are few clubs, few large halls and auditoriums. A
feeling of intimacy and good-fellowship exists which is entirely
lacking in large cities. Almost everybody knows everybody else, and
when a large entertainment is given, the whole village knows about it.

To attempt to emulate her city sister would be folly for the country
hostess. She hasn't the facilities nor the natural conditions conducive
to the elaborate and strictly formal entertainments and activities of
the city. In the country everything should be on a simpler, more
informal basis; the natural beauties of the country are certainly not
compatible with the fashionable and often ostentatious activities of
the city.


We go to the country because we are tired of the town and we want rest,
quiet, peace. We do not expect to find a frenzied attempt at imitation
of city entertainments. Yet this is what so many hostesses do--instead
of retaining the delightful natural simplicity of their homes, they
feel that they must entertain their city friends in city fashion. And
invariably they fail.

Very often when a city man or woman is tired of the sham and narrow
conventionalities of city life, he or she will plan to visit a country
friend. If that country friend is wise, he or she will make no
elaborate preparations, but just greet the friend with the simple
country hospitality that is so alluring to city people. Where in the
city can you find the good-fellowship, the spontaneity, the courteous
kindliness that you find in the small town and village? Where in the
city can you find the open-hearted generosity, the sympathetic
understanding and the simple courtesy that you find among country
people? The elaborate ball room with its richly gowned women is
charming and impressive; but the simple country party with its Virginia
reel, the daughters in their party clothes and mothers in their "best
black silks" are no less charming.

For the sake of those young men and women who live in the country and
know liveried chauffeurs and uniformed butlers only through books, for
the sake of those men and women who live in the country because they
love simplicity and the beauties of nature, but for those who are eager
to know good manners and know what is correct at all times, we are
writing the following paragraph on etiquette in the small town. Let us
first write about


When entertaining guests from the city, fresh flowers should be brought
into the house every day. The meal served should be simple; elaborate
course dinners are not in good form when the facilities of the hostess
do not permit them. Nothing ostentatious should be attempted; just
simple, homelike hospitality such as is offered the neighbors and
friends of the village.

Early dining is usual in the country, especially in the summer.
Sometimes high tea is served. The tea-urn is placed on the table before
the hostess to give a homelike air to the function, and fruits and
flowers are placed in cut glass bowls on the table. Preserves, honey
and cakes should also be on the table in cut glass or china dishes. Hot
biscuits, muffins and wafers are usually served at high tea, with one
substantial dish like cold chicken, salad or cold sliced meats.

Hammocks, tennis courts, rowboats, etc., should be placed at the
disposal of visiting guests. The considerate hostess always plans some
sort of entertainment for guests that have come a long way to visit
her, but she does not make any attempt to provide anything elaborate. A
simple country dance or a musicale is relaxing and entertaining.

Protection from flies, mosquitoes, etc. should be provided for guests.
If chairs and hammocks are on the porch, it should be completely
screened in to prevent mosquitoes from annoying the guests. It is just
such little considerations as these that make country hospitality so


Whether you are a guest from the city, or a friend from the village,
you have a certain definite etiquette to observe when you are at the
home of a country hostess. First you must make yourself agreeable and
helpful. If you are from the city, forget the restricting formalities
you have been accustomed to. You may speak to everyone in the hostess'
drawing-room--or parlor--even though there have been no introductions.
And if you see an elderly man or woman standing all alone in one corner
of the room, you can go over to him or her, start a conversation, and
offer to get a chair or an ice for the stranger. It is not necessary to
wait for an introduction.

Do not be dull during the afternoon or evening. Be pleasant and
agreeable; if conversation lags, stimulate it with an interesting
anecdote. If you can entertain in some way, either by singing, playing
some musical instrument, or reciting, don't be backward about offering
your services. Remember you are not in an elaborate ball room but among
simple country folks, and if you can provide enjoyable entertainment
for them, they will appreciate it just as much as you yourself will
enjoy it.

An offish person always spoils the fun of a country party. If you feel
you are superior to the Virginia reel and the apple paring contests, do
not attend. Move to the city where you can attend elaborate social
functions. But while you are at the party, do your best to add to the
general enjoyment, and do not spoil things by being disagreeable and

It is poor taste to wear very fashionable city clothes to a simple
country entertainment. If you come from the city, wear something simple
and pretty, but not something that will make you conspicuous. If you
are a man and you know that none of the other men will wear full dress,
then don't be presumptuous enough to appear in your swallow-tail. But
if you are a village friend, you may wear your "Sunday best" for
undoubtedly everyone else who attends the party will do likewise.


Never attempt to make false impressions. That is one great fault found
among certain country people. When city friends call, they attempt to
overawe them with their superiority. While the city friends are with
them, they do not notice their village friends at church, nor do they
invite them to their house. They devote themselves exclusively to their
friends from the city--and invariably those friends return home
disappointed and disillusioned.

When people move in the neighborhood, it is considered polite to pay
them the first visit--"to extend the hand of welcome," as the
expression is. The hostess should offer a cup of tea with crackers or
cake, and should make herself agreeable in every way. However, the
acquaintance should not be forced; if the newcomers are haughty and
aloof, it is well to leave them to themselves, until they have absorbed
some of the good-fellowship and courtesy of the village.

There is very little need for formal calling cards in the small village
where everybody knows everybody else. A great many of the
conventionalities of city life are, of course, found in the country;
but a great many more of them are lacking. And among them are the
strictly formal introductions, calls and social functions that are
observed with such punctiliousness in the city. Simplicity should be
the keynote of country life, and quiet, dignified manners should be the
ideal of country people.


Hospitality does not mean the giving of sumptuous banquets or elaborate
dinners. It does not mean the extravagant recklessness of much-talked-about
house parties, or extended yachting trips. It does not mean the holding
of gay and festive balls.

No, it means none of these, for even in the most humble home one can
find the truest hospitality. There need be no rich display, no obvious
effort at ostentation. For hospitality is that open-hearted,
open-handed, generous, lovable, beautiful fellow-feeling for
fellow-mortals--the kind of feeling that makes you throw open your
home, small apartment or mighty mansion, as the case may be, and bid
your friends and acquaintances welcome. Welcome, mind you, that has in
its greeting none of the sham cordiality, that wealthy people sometimes
parade merely for the sake of being able to show their worldly goods to
the envious eyes of their guests,--but a whole-souled and whole-hearted
welcome that is willing to share everything one has.

And so, the round of hospitality goes endlessly on, host and hostess
making the pleasure and comfort of the guest their prime consideration.
Parties, receptions, dances, balls, dinners--all are instances of the
eagerness of the world, the social world, to entertain, to give
pleasure, to amuse. And the guests, in their turn, repay the
hospitalities with other hospitalities of their own. And we find, in
this glorious twentieth century it is our fortune to be living in, a
wholesome, generous hospitality that puts to shame the history-famed
achievements of kings and princes of yore.


The question naturally arises, what are the occasions that require
hospitality? Frankly, there are no definite occasions. Hospitality is
the index to breeding and culture at all times. But there are certain
ceremonious occasions that warrant the _invited hospitality_--and
such are the occasions that we will study in this chapter.

First, we find the wedding anniversary claiming the ceremony of many
invited guests and much festive entertainment. Thus, wedding
anniversaries offer an excellent opportunity for hospitality. Then
there is the occasion of the young daughter's introduction to
society--an event which is important, indeed, and requires the utmost
hospitality on the part of host and hostess alike. When one's son
graduates from college, a little dinner party and perhaps some musical
entertainment afterward is an appropriate time to show by one's
hospitality, sincere gratitude for the splendid educational
opportunities afforded the youth of America. Oh, there are countless
opportunities, countless "excuses," if you will call it that, countless
occasions when hospitality can be shown to one's friends and
acquaintances! And it is only by taking advantage of these
opportunities, by revealing one's unselfish, ungrudging hospitality,
that one rightly earns the name of _cultured_.

The hostess who sighs in relief when the guest has departed is not
truly hospitable. She should have a certain sense of satisfaction in
the knowledge of her very weariness. For hasn't she served her guests
well? Hasn't she sent them to their homes a little happier than when
they first came? The sigh should be one of sheer joy.

No one invites guests to his or her home to make them unhappy.
Therefore, if among your friends you number one whose worldly goods are
very much less than your own, do not invite him or her to a fashionable
ball where rich display will make him feel sadly out of place. Rather
save the invitation for a quiet, afternoon tea. And on the other hand,
if you are unable to care for the wants and comforts of several guests,
do not invite them to house parties.

Be hospitable--but above all use good sense and good judgment before
you invite.


The fact that America is the home of hospitality and land of the most
generous hostesses, does not indicate necessarily that the guest, in
his selfishness, should take advantage of it. A well-bred, considerate
person always seeks to minimize as far as possible the efforts of his
or her hostess, and to make the visit or stay pleasant. She, or he,
constantly endeavors to aid the hostess in providing entertainment. In
short, he returns the hospitality of the host and hostess, with a
hospitality of his own--a hospitality that, in itsconsideration and
regard for the rights of others, is one of the beautiful things that
makes life worth the living.

It is superb--this giving and returning of hospitality: We find a
worried, anxious business man, forgetting for the moment his pressing
affairs in the diverting entertainments provided for him by his
hostess; in return, exerting every effort to contribute to the success
of the evening, to join in the conversation when he would rather be
silent and pensive, to be witty and humorous when he would much prefer
being moody and despondent. And so it goes on, a constant giving and
returning of hospitality, so beautiful and so inspiring that it is
worthy of the stress given to it in the social world.

There are some paramount obligations which the guest must observe.
Among them, perhaps most exacting, is punctuality. To keep others
waiting, to be continually tardy, is to demonstrate one's rudeness and
want of good breeding. Promptness in regard to the answering of
invitations, punctuality in attending dinners, luncheons and parties of
any kind,--these are marks of good breeding.

If one is invited to a dance or party and does not wish to attend
without an out-of-town friend who happens to be stopping with him or
her at the time--a friend who certainly cannot be deserted on the
afternoon or evening of the occasion--it is permissible to write a
cordial note to the hostess explaining the situation and requesting
that an invitation be extended to the friend. However, no resentment
should be felt if the hostess finds she must refuse the request; for
she may have had to refuse some of her own friends on account of
conditions beyond her control.

But no guest may bring to a party, dance or dinner, a friend or
acquaintance who has not been invited. This is considered a breach of
etiquette, and the hostess is not inhospitable when she does not invite
that particular guest again.

The guest must conform in all things to the tastes and customs of his
host and hostess. He must find (or feign) enjoyment in everything that
is proposed by them, everything that is offered by them in the way of

In taking leave of the hostess it is necessary to thank her cordially.
Criticisms, either of the conduct of some other guest, or of servants,
are poor form and should be avoided. The ideal guest is the one who has
that ease and poise of manner, that calmness and kindness of temper,
that loving and lovable disposition that makes people somehow want to
talk to and be with him. Such a guest needs no set of rules--inherently
he knows the laws of good conduct and fine manners; he is the boon of
hosts and hostesses the world over.


            |Addressing   |Salutation|Salutation|Closing      |Closing
  Title     |Envelope     |Formal    |Informal  |Formal       |Informal
  President |President    |Sir       |My dear   |I have the   |I have the
  of        |Calvin       |          |Mr.       |honor to     |honor to
  United    |Coolidge     |          |President |remain your  |remain most
  States    |             |          |          |most         |respectfully
            |             |          |          |obedient     |(sincerely)
            |             |          |          |servant      |yours
  Vice-     |The Vice-    |Sir or    |My dear   |I have, sir, |I have the
  President |President    |Dear Sir  |John Doe  |the honor to |honor to
            |John Doe     |          |          |remain your  |remain most
            |             |          |          |obedient     |respectfully
            |             |          |          |servant      |(sincerely)
            |             |          |          |             |yours
  Cabinet   |Hon. or      |Sir or    |My dear   |I have, sir, |I have the
  Member    |Honorable    |Dear Sir  |Hubert    |the honor to |honor to
            |Hubert Work, |          |Work      |remain your  |remain most
            |Secretary of |          |          |obedient     |respectfully
            |Interior,    |          |          |servant      |(sincerely)
            |etc.         |          |          |             |yours
  Senator   |Senator      |Sir or    |My dear   |I have, sir, |Believe
            |William M.   |Dear Sir  |Senator   |the honor to |me, most
            |Calder or    |          |Calder    |remain your  |sincerely
            |Honorable    |          |          |obedient     |yours
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            |Calder       |          |          |             |
  Member of |Honorable    |Sir or    |My dear   |I have, sir, |Believe
  House of  |Robert C.    |Dear Sir  |Mr. Bacon |the honor to |me, most
  Represen- |Bacon        |          |          |remain your  |sincerely
  tatives   |             |          |          |obedient     |yours
            |             |          |          |servant      |
  Justice   |Mr. Justice  |Sir or    |Dear      |I have, sir, |Believe
  of Supreme|H. Taft, or  |Dear Sir  |Justice   |the honor to |me, most
  Court     |The Hon. H.  |          |Taft      |remain your  |sincerely
            |Taft Justice |          |          |obedient     |yours
            |of Supreme   |          |          |servant      |
            |Court        |          |          |             |
  Governor  |Governor     |Sir or    |Dear      |I have, sir, |Believe
  of State  |Alfred E.    |Dear Sir  |Governor  |the honor to |me, most
            |Smith        |          |Smith, or |remain your  |sincerely
            |             |          |Dear Mr.  |obedient     |yours
            |             |          |Smith     |servant      |
  Mayor of  |His Honor    |Sir or    |My dear   |I have, sir, |Believe
  City      |the Mayor of |Dear Sir  |Mayor     |the honor to |me, most
            |New York,    |          |          |remain your  |sincerely
            |John F.      |          |          |obedient     |yours
            |Hylan        |          |          |servant      |


            |Addressing   |Salutation|Salutation|Closing      |Closing
  Title     |Envelope     |Formal    |Informal  |Formal       |Informal
  Archbishop|The Most     |My Lord   |My dear   |I remain, my |I have
  Anglican  |Reverend,    |Archbishop|Lord      |Lord         |honor to
  Church    |His Grace    |May it    |Archbishop|Archbishop,  |remain
            |the          |Please    |your      |             |my dear
            |Archbishop   |Your      |Grace's   |             |Archbishop
            |of York      |Grace     |obedient  |             |
            |             |          |servamt   |             |
  Anglican  |To the Right |My Lord   |My dear   |I have       |I have
  Bishop    |Reverend,    |          |Lord      |honor to     |honor to
            |the Lord     |          |Bishop    |remain your  |remain,
            |Bishop of    |          |          |Lordship's   |my dear
            |Kent         |          |          |obedient     |Lord
            |             |          |          |servamt      |Bishop,
            |             |          |          |             |faithfully
            |             |          |          |             |yours
  Roman     |The Most     |Most      |Most      |I have the   |I have the
  Catholic  |Reverend John|Reverend  |Reverend  |honor to     |honor to
  Archbishop|G. McCaular, |and dear  |and dear  |remain your  |remain your
            |Archbishop   |Sir       |Sir       |humble       |humble
            |of Newgate   |          |          |servant      |servant
  Cardinal  |His Eminence,|Your      |Your      |I have the   |I have the
            |Cardinal     |Eminence  |Eminence  |honor to     |honor to
            |Newton       |          |or Dear   |remain your  |remain your
            |             |          |Cardinal  |humble       |humble
            |             |          |Newton    |servant      |servant
  Roman     |To the Right |Right     |My dear   |I have the   |I have the
  Catholic  |Reverend     |Reverend  |Bishop    |honor to     |honor to
  Bishop    |Joseph F.    |and dear  |White     |remain your  |remain your
            |White,       |Sir       |          |humble       |humble
            |Bishop of    |          |          |servant      |servant
            |Massachusetts|          |          |             |
  Protestant|Right        |Right     |Dear      |I have the   |I have the
  Bishop    |Reverend     |Reverend  |Bishop    |honor to     |honor to
            |Edward F.    |and dear  |Conroy    |remain your  |remain your
            |Conroy,      |Sir       |          |obedient     |obedient
            |Bishop of    |          |          |servant, or  |servant, or
            |New Jersey   |          |          |I remain     |I remain
            |             |          |          |respectfully |respectfully
            |             |          |          |(sincerely)  |(sincerely)
            |             |          |          |yours        |yours
  Roman     |The Reverend |Reverend  |Dear      |I beg to     |
  Catholic  |James G. Hill|and dear  |Father    |remain, very |
  Priest or |(with D.D.)  |Sir       |Hill (to  |sincerely    |
  Protestant|or Reverend  |          |Catholic) |             |
  Minister  |Doctor Hill  |          |Dear      |             |
            |             |          |Doctor or |             |
            |             |          |Mr. Hill  |             |
            |             |          |(to Prot- |             |
            |             |          |estant)   |             |
  Rabbi     |Dr. F. G.    |Dear Sir  |Dear Dr.  |I beg to     |
            |Krauss       |          |Krauss    |remain, Yours|
            |             |          |          |sincerely    |


            |Addressing   |Salutation|Salutation|Closing      |Closing
  Title     |Envelope     |Formal    |Informal  |Formal       |Informal
  King or   |To His (Her) |Sir (or   |Dear (or  |I have the   |
  Queen     |Most Gracious|Madam),   |Honored)  |honor to     |
            |Majesty King |May it    |Sir (or   |remain your  |
            |George (Queen|please    |Madam)    |Majesty's    |
            |Mary)        |your      |          |most         |
            |             |Majesty   |          |obedient     |
            |             |          |          |servant      |
  Royal     |To His (Her) |Sir       |Dear Sir  |I have the   |Your Royal
  Prince or |Royal        |(Madam),  |Dear Madam|honor to     |Highness'
  Princess  |Highness,    |May it    |          |remain your  |most
            |the Prince of|please    |          |Royal        |obedient
            |Wales (or    |your      |          |Highness'    |servant
            |Princess     |Highness  |          |humble       |
            |Mary)        |          |          |servant      |
  Duke and  |To His (Her) |My Lord   |My dear   |I have the   |Believe
  Duchess   |Grace, the   |(Madam),  |Duke      |honor to     |me, dear
            |Duke of      |May it    |My dear   |remain your  |Duke
            |Devonshire   |please    |Duchess   |Grace's most |(Duchess)
            |(or Duchess  |your Grace|          |obedient     |yours very
            |of           |          |          |servant      |sincerely
            |Devonshire)  |          |          |             |
  Dowager   |To Her Grace,|Madam, May|My dear   |I have the   |Believe
  Duchess   |the Dowager  |it please |Duchess   |honor to     |me, dear
            |Duchess of   |your Grace|(Informal)|remain your  |Duchess,
            |Devonshire,  |          |          |Grace's most |yours very
            |or To Her    |          |          |obedient     |sincerely
            |Grace, Anne, |          |          |servant      |
            |Duchess of   |          |          |             |
            |Devonshire   |          |          |             |
  Marquis   |To the       |My Lord   |My dear   |Believe me,  |Believe me,
  Marchion- |Marquis of   |Marquis   |Lord Fife |Lord (Lady)  |Lord (Lady)
  ess       |Fife, To the |Madam     |Dear Lady |Fife, very   |Fife, very
            |Marchioness  |          |Fife      |sincerely    |sincerely
            |of Fife      |          |          |yours        |yours
            |To the Most  |          |          |             |
            |Noble Marquis|          |          |             |
            |of Fife, To  |          |          |             |
            |the Most     |          |          |             |
            |Noble        |          |          |             |
            |Marchioness  |          |          |             |
            |of Fife      |          |          |             |
  Dowager   |To the       |Madam     |Dear Lady |Believe me,  |Believe me,
  Marchion- |Dowager,     |          |Fife      |Lady Fife,   |Lady Fife,
  ess       |Marchioness  |          |          |very         |very
            |of Fife, To  |          |          |sincerely    |sincerely
            |Mary,        |          |          |yours        |yours
            |Marchioness  |          |          |             |
            |of Fife      |          |          |             |
  Younger   |To the Right |My Lord   |My dear   |I have the   |Believe me,
  son and   |Honorable,   |          |Lord James|honor to     |My dear
  wife of   |the Lord     |          |Grey,     |remain  your |Lord (Lady)
  a Duke or |James Grey,  |          |Dear Lady |(Ladyship's) |Grey,
  Marquis   |To the Right |          |James Grey|obedient     |faithfully
            |Honorable,   |          |          |servant      |yours
            |the Lady     |          |          |             |
            |James Grey   |          |          |             |
  Daughter  |Right Hon.   |Madam     |Dear Lady |I have the   |Believe me,
  of Duke,  |the Lady     |          |Janet     |honor to     |dear Lady
  Marchion- |Janet Gregory|          |          |remain  your |Janet, very
  ess or    |(Informal)   |          |          |Lordship's   |faithfully
  Earl      |To the Lady  |          |          |(Ladyship's) |yours
            |Janet Gregory|          |          |obedient     |
            |             |          |          |servant      |
  Earl      |Right        |My Lord   |Dear Lord |Believe me, my dear Lord
  Countess  |Honorable    |(Madam)   |Kent      |(Lady) Kent, sincerely
            |the Earl of  |          |Dear Lady |yours
            |Kent,        |          |Kent      |
            |Countess of  |          |          |
            |Kent         |          |          |
  Viscount  |Right        |My Lord   |Dear Lord |Believe me, my dear Lord
  Viscount- |Honorable    |(Madam)   |(Lady)    |(Lady) Kent, sincerely
  ess       |Viscount     |          |          |yours
            |(Viscountess)|          |          |
            |Grey or To   |          |          |
            |Viscount Grey|          |          |
            |To Viscount- |          |          |
            |ess Grey     |          |          |
  Baron     |Right        |My Lord   |Dear Lord |Believe me, my dear Lord
  Baroness  |Honorable    |(Madam)   |(Lady)    |(Lady) Kent, sincerely
            |the Baron    |          |          |yours
            |Whiteside,   |          |          |
            |The Right    |          |          |
            |Honorable the|          |          |
            |Baroness     |          |          |
            |Whiteside    |          |          |
  Younger   |To the       |Sir, Dear |Dear Mr.  |I have the   |Believe me,
  son and   |Honorable    |Sir       |Warwick   |honor to     |dear Mr.
  Wife of   |James        |(Madam,   |Dear Mrs. |remain your  |or Mrs.
  Earl,     |Warwick, To  |Dear      |Warwick   |obedient     |Warwick,
  Viscount  |the Honorable|Madam)    |          |servant      |sincerely
  or Baron  |Mrs. Warwick |          |          |             |yours
  Daughter  |To the       |Dear Madam|Dear Miss |Believe me, sincerely
  of        |Honorable    |          |Grey      |yours
  Viscount  |Miss Grey    |          |          |
  or Baron  |             |          |          |
            |             |          |          |
  Baronet   |To Sir James |Sir       |Dear Sir  |Believe me, dear Sir
  Lady      |Grey, Bart.  |Madam     |James     |James, faithfully
            |To Lady|          |Grey      |yours
            |Grey         |          |Dear Lady |Believe me, dear
            |             |          |Grey      |Lady Grey,
            |             |          |          |faithfully yours
            |             |          |          |
            |             |          |          |
  Knight    |Sir James    |Sir       |Dear Sir  |Believe me, dear Sir
  Lady      |Grey,        |Madam     |James     |James, faithfully
            |Lady James   |          |Dear Lady |yours
            |Grey         |          |Grey      |Believe me, dear
            |             |          |          |Lady Grey
            |             |          |          |faithfully yours

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Book of Etiquette - Volume I" ***

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