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Title: Etiquette Made Easy
Author: Squier, Edward Summers
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.

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Made Easy Series





    COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY

    _All rights reserved_

    _Entered at Stationers’ Hall_



THE POLITEST MAN of whom history has record was a Norwegian. A stranger
in a town of Norway asked a passing native the way to a certain
address. The native raised his hat, bowed, and said:

“Sir, I am very sorry, but I do not know.”

The stranger passed on. A few minutes later, he heard the sound of some
one running behind him. He faced about, and recognized the native, who
came, halted, and after a few deep breaths, said, while bowing with
uplifted hat:

“Sir, after leaving you, I met my brother-in-law, and I regret to tell
you, Sir, that he also does not know.”

In spite of this story with its Norwegian hero, first place is
usually given to the French in matters of politeness. There is an old
story that illustrates with remarkable precision the national traits
of French, English and German. This has to do with the manner of
lighting a cigar. The Frenchman strikes a match, offers the flame to
his companions, then makes a light for himself. The Englishman lights
his own cigar first, and then offers the match to his companions. The
German lights his own cigar, then throws the match away. The brief
recital contains something deeper than mere humor in its analysis of
national characteristics. The consideration of the Frenchman for others
is indeed the essential basis for all true courtesy. Genuine politeness
has its root always in a very real regard for the feelings of others.

The ancient proverb declares that cleanliness is next to godliness. In
fact, so far as concerns casual associations, cleanliness is the more
important. We have ordinarily nothing to do with the morals of those
whom we encounter for a few fugitive moments, but the most fleeting
companionship with a dirty person is offensive, while a perfect
cleanliness is always pleasing in its effect.

As a matter of fundamental courtesy toward others, we are required to
keep ourselves clean. Such cleanliness may be excellent as a hygienic
measure, but one most eminent physician has declared that bathing is
not essential to health, and he offers in proof of his assertion the
great number of old persons there are in the world.

But those aged unwashed would be repulsive in refined society. Their
condition would distress others. Quite involuntarily, they would thus
be guilty of discourtesy.

The principle of consideration for others that exalts cleanliness as a
virtue is the principle that actually fashions all the essential forms
of politeness. At a decent dinner-table, one must not smack his lips,
or make loud noises in taking soup from the spoon, for the simple
reason that such behavior will annoy others. Often, a sympathetic
person, absolutely untaught in the niceties of etiquette, will do
the right thing by a natural instinct of kindliness, where another
individual of polite breeding will do the wrong from sheer lack of that
fellow-feeling which gives understanding.

Nevertheless, while the noblest courtesy must spring always from the
heart, common convenience has settled on definite methods of deportment
for various occasions. Ignorance of these details as to proper conduct
is not a matter to be contemned, but one to be regretted, because a
person thus ignorant, no matter how kindly his intention, must often
disturb others by failure to do the expected thing in the expected way.
In other words, he lacks knowledge of what are termed the proprieties.
It is with the intention of offering assistance to those finding
themselves in doubt as to the niceties of deportment that this book
has been prepared.

It is arranged with the contents in alphabetical order, so that the
topics are self-indexed.

In addition to the bulk of information set forth in the following
pages, there needs only one direction of importance.

This is based on the ancient saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans
do.” Practically every community has its local customs, and these are
always to be respected. There is nothing more snobbish than criticism
by a stranger of social forms that are well established. It is always
his duty to respect them and to observe them. Otherwise, he displays
that lack of consideration for others which is the root of all
rudeness. One sympathetically disposed toward his fellows who avails
himself of the information in this book may rest confident in the
assurance that he is indeed the possessor of good manners.


    AT HOMES                 13
    BACHELOR HOSTS           23
    BALLS                    26
    BREAKFASTS               31
    CALLS                    34
    CARDS                    45
    DINNERS                  61
    GARDEN-PARTIES           70
    HOUSE-PARTIES            75
    INTRODUCTIONS            84
    LETTERS                  95
    LUNCHEONS               103
    MOURNING                106
    MUSICALES               113
    OPERA                   117
    RECEPTIONS              122
    SMOKING                 123
    STAIRS                  124
    STREET ETIQUETTE        125
    TABLE MANNERS           128
    TEAS                    133
    THEATER-PARTIES         134
    WEDDINGS                141

Etiquette Made Easy


THE AFTERNOON TEA is perhaps the most popular of social functions, and
deservedly so, since it is essentially of the utmost simplicity, yet
may be expanded into a most elaborate social affair. In the original
simple form, the hostess merely welcomes her guests as they come to her
on her regular day at home, in the drawing-room, and there offers them
a cup of tea served by herself and light refreshments of sandwiches and
cakes and the like.

The next development in the tea is in the nature of a small afternoon
reception, or at home. For this occasion, the hostess issues
invitations a week in advance. A visiting-card serves the purpose, with
a line written below the name:

      _Wednesday, June fourth
    from four until seven o’clock_

If there is to be a guest of honor, an additional line may indicate the

    _To meet_........................

The procedure for the hostess at a function of this sort is more
formal. It is usual to have the refreshments in the dining-room, though
they should not be of an elaborate character. The teapot is placed
at one end of the table, and presided over by some friend, since the
obligations of the hostess prevent her rendering this hospitable
service in person.

The third stage of the afternoon tea has come to take the place of the
old-time reception, though it bears merely the designation “At Home.”

The requisite invitations must be sent out any time from a week to
a fortnight before the date set. For these, an engraved form is
essential. They are printed on heavy white bristol board, of the
quality described for dinner-invitations, and inclosed in a single
envelope. They may be issued in the name of the hostess alone, or in
the names of a hostess and her daughter or daughters, or in the names
of husband and wife—though this last is a very modern innovation. The
following will serve as a model:

      _Mrs. James French Putnam

              At Home

         April the seventh

    From four until seven o’clock

       208 Flagg Avenue_

If the husband joins with the wife in issuing the invitations, the only
change is in the first line:

    _Mr. and Mrs. James French Putnam_

Where a daughter is to receive with her mother, the girl’s name appears
just below that of the matron:

    _Mrs. James French Putnam_

         _Miss Putnam_

Where there are two or more daughters thus associated with the mother,
they are included under one title. Thus:

    _Mrs. James French Putnam_

       _The Misses Putnam_

When a younger sister is to appear at her début, her name in full is
given a line after those of her mother and elder sister:

    _Mrs. James French Putnam_

          _Miss Putnam_

    _Miss Helen Louise Putnam_

In the event of a guest of honor, the invitation may emphasize the
presence of this personage by a special engraved announcement at the
head of the invitation:

                 _To meet_


The remainder of the invitation will follow any of the forms indicated

Or the announcement may appear in one engraved line at the foot of the

    _To meet_................................

At a reception of this character, the hostess is obliged to remain
on duty near the door of the drawing-room throughout the hours set.
But a husband or daughter receiving with her, though expected to join
her in receiving the guests at the outset and for a considerable time
afterward, is not so rigidly held to the one place, but after a time
may properly move about among the guests with hospitable intent.

But a débutante must remain at the post of duty with her mother
throughout the whole time.

In recent years, there has developed a pleasant custom by which
the débutante invites a number of her young friends to join her in
receiving the other guests. It is usual to entertain these at dinner
after the reception.

The refreshments for an occasion of this sort are served in the
dining-room with servants in attendance. Tea is poured at one end of
the table, and perhaps chocolate at the other, while a bowl of punch is
commonly at hand. The refreshments are of the buffet variety, but they
may be as rich and varied as the hostess chooses. At such functions
in the city, it is usual to lay a strip of carpet from the house door
to the curb, and an awning raised over this offers protection to the
guests in inclement weather. Where the list of guests is long, a
liveried servant at the curb not only opens the doors of the motors,
but also issues checks by which the cars may be summoned for the
departure of the guests.

A butler opens the house door as the guest approaches, and gives
directions as to the dressing-rooms. Another liveried servant at the
door of the drawing-room announces each guest by name to the hostess.

At such affairs, both hostess and women guests wear what is properly
termed a reception-gown—that is to say, one of elegance and richness,
with a train if the prevailing mode permits, but not decolleté or
sleeveless. Hats of a character harmonious with the gown are worn
throughout the function, as are gloves.

The men wear black frock coats and gray striped trousers, with either a
black waistcoat or a fancy one according to choice. While he leaves his
coat and hat in the dressing-room at such formal affairs, a man retains
his gloves, either keeping the left glove on the hand, and carrying the
other, or carrying both. The right hand must be bare.

Each woman guest leaves on a tray provided for that purpose in the
hall a card for her hostess and one for each of any other women
receiving. She may also leave similarly the cards of any other woman
member of her family who has been invited, but does not attend.

The man leaves a card for his host if there is one, in addition to
those for the ladies.

No reply is necessary from one invited to such a reception, either
of acceptance or of refusal. The presence of the guests is deemed a
sufficient answer. In the event of non-attendance, the guest must be at
pains to send cards, and these should be so timed in the sending that
they will reach their address on the day of the at home, preferably in
the afternoon.

At crowded affairs, the guest displays good manners as well as good
sense by making the stay short. Twenty minutes is a sufficient time,
and departure should not be delayed much beyond a half-hour. It is
better not to say farewell to the hostess, unless the going should be
at a time when few guests remain, and she is obviously at leisure.

The punctilious guest will make a point of arriving neither too early
nor too late. Between half-past four and six is recommended.

The formal evening reception is less popular than in former days, but
it still prevails to a limited extent. The procedure throughout is
substantially the same as for that of the afternoon reception. The
wording of the invitation is identical, with the single exception of
the time specified.

The line that indicated the hours from four until seven o’clock must be
changed to read:

    _From nine until eleven o’clock_

Or, it may be properly stated, if one’s taste so dictates:

    _After nine o’clock_

While for the evening reception all other formal details are the same
as for an afternoon affair, the costumes of the guests, both men
and women, are changed as befits the change in hours. The men are
scrupulous in the exactitude of their evening garb—swallow tail, white
linen and white cravat and white waistcoat, and patent-leather shoes;
while the women array themselves in their handsomest evening gowns,
decolleté and sleeveless, and display the richest of their jewels.


WHEN A BACHELOR entertains either in the afternoon or evening, he
follows in a general way the procedure indicated for receptions under
the heading “At Homes.” If the affair is to be elaborate, he may use
engraved invitations.

          _Mr. Hartley Fane Treadwell

           requests the pleasure of



    on Wednesday afternoon, November the first

         From four until seven o’clock

          Nine East Third Street_

A word or two at the bottom on the left may indicate any special
entertainment, such as _Music_.

But there are certain proprieties to be observed that are peculiar to
the bachelor. For example, he is not permitted to use a visiting-card
with a line written on it for less formal invitations. Instead, he must
write a note in the first person, or he may give the invitation orally.
The invitations should be issued a week or a little less before the
appointed time.

There is one other requirement of vital importance. The bachelor must
always have a chaperon present for any gathering that includes both
sexes. And she must be invited by note, or orally—even in cases where
the formal engraved invitations are employed.

The chaperon pours tea, and on occasions when the guests are seated at
table, she is given the place on the host’s right, unless there is a
guest of honor, when she is given the position on his left.

The other women guests must take their departure at the same time as
the chaperon, unless they prefer an earlier hour.

The presence of the chaperon at such entertainments makes it
unnecessary for the unmarried girl to provide one for herself.

The chaperon should be a married woman, and her husband must be
included among the invited guests.

When a bachelor wishes to issue engraved invitations for a formal
dinner-party or luncheon, he uses the forms provided respectively in
the chapters entitled “Dinners” and “Luncheons.” The directions as to
breakfasts also will be found appropriate in a general way as set forth
in the special chapter.

A bachelor should always be punctilious in calling on a chaperon
shortly after any affair at which she has officiated, in order to
tender his grateful appreciation of her services in his behalf.


THE INVITATIONS for a formal ball are engraved on a sheet similar to
that used for dinner-parties. But, like the dinner-invitations, they
may also be written by the hostess. In sending these invitations by
mail only one envelope is used when the invitation is written out. But
the engraved form is enclosed first in an unsealed envelope with merely
the name of the guest on the cover. This is put in a second envelope,
which is sealed and has both the name and address written on it for
posting. An engraved invitation, however, when delivered by a messenger
requires only a single envelope, sealed.

These invitations must be sent out not less than ten days before the
date of the ball, and they may be issued three weeks before the
appointed time.

The accepted form may be either of those following:

       _Mr. and Mrs. George Wheatley

     request the pleasure of your company

    on Wednesday evening, April the second

         at half-past nine o’clock

    Dancing             71 Hamilton Place_

       _Mrs. George Wheatley

          Miss Wheatley

            At Home

      Tuesday, April the ninth

        at eleven o’clock

    Dancing    71 Hamilton Place_

It is permissible to write the initials, _R.s.v.p._ below the word

In place of _Dancing_, the word _Cotillon_ may appear, if the whole
evening is to be devoted especially to this dance. So, too, the words
_Bal Poudré_ may be substituted for _Dancing_, if the affair is to be
a costume ball. Or any other form of entertainment may be similarly

The form used in accepting or declining such an invitation follows
exactly the wording given in a later chapter in connection with

It is the duty of the hostess to greet her guests as at a dinner-party,
and a daughter or daughters may assist her in her hospitable duties,
but such assistance is not required of them. The host, also, may join
his wife in receiving, and may make himself socially useful by various
attentions to the guests. But such action on his part is discretionary,
except that in the case of a woman guest of particular importance,
he should take her in to supper if this is served at tables. Where a
buffet supper is served, it is fitting that he should escort various
guests from time to time.

It is not always necessary to invite mothers or chaperons to a private
ball, and in that case a girl may be sent with a maid to accompany
her. When the mother receives an invitation and accepts it, she may
choose not to remain, but to leave after entrusting her daughter to the
care of the hostess, or some other friend.

At elaborate dances, the supper at midnight is served on small tables,
at which the guests are seated. The buffet supper is popular on account
of its convenience, since the guests select whatever pleases them at
any time.

Unlike the rule as to dinners, there is no obligation for prompt
arrival on the ball guest. Likewise, the guest may leave at any time.
It is not necessary to seek the hostess for a farewell, but if she is
near, she should be addressed with appropriate phrase in appreciation
of the hospitality that has been enjoyed.

A girl at a ball usually establishes herself in a seat by her chaperon,
to whom she returns according to her convenience after dancing. It
is perfectly proper for her, if at any time she wishes to be rid of
a partner, to ask that he accompany her back to this seat beside her

Evening clothes are essential for the male guest at a ball, and the
wearing of white gloves is obligatory. A careful man is very likely to
provide himself with an extra pair. At informal dances, ungloved men
often cover the hand with a handkerchief to avoid any risk of soiling a
partner’s bodice. If a man serves as escort for a woman, or for a girl
and her chaperon, it is a part of his duty to provide a carriage to and

The ball-dress for women is usually the most elegant their taste and
means will contrive. It is always decolleté, and commonly sleeveless.


A HOSTESS MAY USE her visiting-card for invitations to breakfast,
simply writing on it below her name:

    _Breakfast at eleven o’clock
          April the fourth_

A more formal affair may have an engraved invitation on paper similar
to that used in the case of dinners. This would have the following form:

        _Mrs. George Vinton Thorne

          requests the pleasure of


            company at breakfast



          Eleven Green Street_

Or the hostess may, if she prefers, write a brief note of invitation
in the first person. Whatever form is employed, the invitations should
be sent out a full week, or a little more, before the date set for the

The answer to such an invitation should be sent promptly, whether
in acceptance or in refusal. The form is identical with that for
dinner-invitations, except that the word _breakfast_ is substituted for
the word _dinner_.

Where the invitation is a note written in the first person, the answer
must follow the same style.

A breakfast of the more informal sort, with no more than eight or
ten guests, may begin as early as ten o’clock, but a later hour is
preferred for very ceremonious affairs, with noon most esteemed as the

Grapefruit is usually served, with finger-bowl accompaniment, and the
meal that follows may be as simple or as elaborate as the taste and
resources of the hostess dictate.

Usually both sexes are included among the guests at a breakfast. The
women remove their gloves after taking their places at table, but not
their hats. Veils may be removed entirely or pushed up out of the way,
according to the wearer’s choice.

The guest should remain at least a half-hour after the conclusion of
the meal, but not longer than an hour unless justified by exceptional

Frock or cutaway coats are worn by the men, and afternoon dress by the
women. The costumes for a ten o’clock breakfast should be somewhat
plainer than for one at the more formal hour of noon.


FORMAL CALLS are to be made in the afternoon between three o’clock and
half-past five.

If a hostess has a day at home, formal calls on her should be made on
that day. It is well also so to time visits for congratulation or to
return thanks for any hospitality, or the like, as to have them also
fall on the day at home. Usually, a due attention by visitors to this
set time for calling is appreciated by a hostess.

While the formal hours for calls are in the afternoon as indicated
above, the time varies in different neighborhoods. Evening calls are
common in the country necessarily as a matter of convenience. And,
while in the city women pay no formal calls on Sunday, these are
permitted in smaller places. Ordinarily, too, there is license in the
country as to the length even of formal calls, which may be extended
without impropriety far beyond the limit of fifteen or twenty minutes
which is well established in the city. A new resident or visitor in any
community should be at pains to get information as to the local usage,
and conform to it in all details.

It is permissible for men in our country to make social calls in the
afternoon on Sunday, or in the evening. The exigencies of business
are the excuse for the departure from the stricter form, which still
holds in the case of women. The hour of such evening calls in the
larger cities is from eight to nine, but the time is earlier in smaller
towns and in the country. In every instance, the local custom is to be
followed. Of course, too, men of leisure may pay their calls in the

New residents in a neighborhood must await calls from those already
established there. In the city, the first calls of the social season
should be received by the hostess who first sends out her at-home
cards. Where women have met out of town, and wish to continue the
acquaintance in the city, the unmarried woman should call on the
matron, or one who is under any obligation for hospitality should make
the first call. Unless a distinction be drawn for some such reason,
either may properly pay the first visit.

It is notorious that in the large cities there is no welcome for
the newcomer from the dweller next door or across the street. The
conditions of city life justify such aloofness. On the other hand, the
conditions of life in the smaller places warrant exactly the opposite
in the matter of hospitality. It is the recognized duty of the older
residents to welcome new arrivals by calling on them promptly, after
the strangers have had time to dispose themselves comfortably.

There are many varieties of those calls that are imposed by formal
courtesy. Thus, in the matter of weddings, it becomes the duty of any
one who has taken official part in the affair, such as a bride’s-maid
or a best man, to call on the mother of the bride within a few days
after the marriage ceremony, and also to call on the bride immediately
after her return from the honeymoon trip. The like duty devolves on
invited guests to a home wedding, to a wedding-reception and to a

A similar formal call should be paid to the hostess by each guest at
a dinner, or breakfast, or other special entertainment. Such a call
must be made within two weeks. The obligation is the same even in cases
where the invitation has been declined.

As to the returning of calls, such visits should be made on the day at
home if there is one, and otherwise at a suitable time according to the
social usage of the neighborhood within a fortnight. But this ruling
applies properly only to the return for a first call. Afterward, a
longer or shorter interval may elapse between visits according to
the desire of the parties concerned. A former acquaintance may be
maintained merely by an annual exchange of calls. It must be noted,
however, that a call in person demands a personal visit in return. The
formal leaving of a card at the door does not suffice.

Persons giving up their residence in a community or going on a long
journey should send their cards to their full visiting-list with the
initials _P.p.c._ (_Pour prendre congé_, for leave-taking).

It occurs often that a person wishes to call on a friend in the home of
a stranger. Such a call is permissible, but the visitor should ask for
the hostess as well as the friend, and leave a card for her.

In the matter of initiative, it is fitting that an elder woman should
invite a younger to the exchange of cards and calls, and that the
matron should thus invite the maiden. Where there is equality of years
or station, the first advance must depend on the personal inclinations
of the parties.

The proprieties in reference to calls between women are thus seen to
be simple enough. There is more complexity in the procedure when it
has to do with the calling of men on women. It is not deemed proper
for a young unmarried woman to invite calls from men. Such visits on
their part are left to the discretion of the mother or chaperon. But,
undoubtedly, the débutante will see to it that mother or chaperon
does not fail in her functions. As to the older women, and those
married, there is some variation locally in the polite usage. Sometimes
the woman feels it her privilege to invite the man to call without
awaiting solicitation on his part; sometimes she requires that the
advance should be on the part of the man in the form of a request for
permission to visit her.

If any person requires that a definite time should be given for the
emancipation of a girl from the social dominance of her mother or
chaperon, it may be set at about the twenty-fifth year, after which
time a young woman is theoretically fitted to decide for herself as to
who her visitors shall be.

A young woman of sensibility will be extremely chary of her invitations
to men, and very sure before extending them that they are really
desired. If at any time a man fails to avail himself of such an
invitation, her self-respect will not permit her to repeat it.

The strictness of the above rules of conduct has been greatly relaxed
in the case of the average American girl, who democratically insists
from the outset of her social career on her own choice in the matter
of acquaintances and friends. But even this laxity does not permit an
invitation to a man on the first meeting. Such haste is neither good
form nor ordinary prudence.

In a consideration of formal calls, it should be noted that in
practise the offices of the wife are commonly accepted in her husband’s
behalf by her leaving his card when she pays her dinner-call, or the
like. The exigencies of business are supposed to justify this vicarious

While it is proper for a woman to call upon a man for business reasons,
social calls are forbidden.

Calls of condolence, except when there is an intimate friendship, are
properly made by leaving a card. The expression of sympathy is usually
best made by a brief note.

Calls of congratulation may be made by acquaintances of both sexes on a
woman who announces her engagement to be married. Calls following the
announcement of a birth are expected by the mother from the women of
her acquaintance.

The day at home is such a social convenience that it is popular, not
only in the cities, but in many smaller towns. It is usually set for
one afternoon in the week, sometimes for an afternoon each two weeks
during the social season. The day should appear on the visiting-card.
The hours for entertaining on the day at home are from three until six,
but this period is frequently extended for another hour. The hostess
should devote herself assiduously to her guests, and should provide
some light forms of food and drink. Usually, tea is served. Sufficient
notice is given of the day at home by sending out the visiting-cards
at the beginning of the season. One advantage of the day at home is
that it justifies the hostess in not receiving casual callers on other

It is the duty of the hostess to meet and address each guest with a
handshake. “How do you do, Mrs. Smith? I am so glad to see you!” or a
similar phrase, should be used in greeting each arrival. She should
also introduce strangers to other guests near by. She should not leave
the reception-room to make her farewells to departing guests, unless in
case of some person of particular distinction. “Good-afternoon, Mr.
Brown. I shall hope to see you again very soon,” or the like, affords a
sufficient form of farewell.

If the husband is present during his wife’s at home, he should
undertake to second her hospitable efforts to the best of his ability,
showing attention to any requiring it.

A woman caller does not remove her gloves or veil, or even her wrap,
unless it is a heavy one. But rubbers and umbrella and any heavy outer
garment should be left in the hall.

For a man, formal politeness permits the carrying of both hat and
stick into the drawing-room. But this rule is to-day more honored in
the breach than in the observance. And, too, the right hand at least
is usually ungloved. The hat and stick, when carried, are held in the
left hand, and should be retained throughout the call, though it is
permissible to put them down on the floor beside one, for greater
convenience when taking refreshments.

When the day at home is of a formal sort, the women do not exchange
kisses in greeting, and the gloves are not taken off even when tea is


VISITING-CARDS are of three sizes, which remain practically the same
year after year. The largest is that used by matrons, while that of
the unmarried woman is a very little smaller, and that of the man much
smaller. The present style as to materials favors a polished bristol
board that is white and substantial without being too heavy. This
should be printed from an engraved plate in black ink. The lettering
may be a running script or old English.

Under no circumstances should a woman’s card carry any prefix other
than _Mrs._ or _Miss_, but one or the other of these invariably
appears. This rule does not apply in the case of professional women
who may wish a distinctive card for business purposes, with its prefix
of _Dr._ or _Rev._ Such a card would also carry the address in the
lower right-hand corner and perhaps office-hours in the lower left-hand
corner. But even the professional woman requires the plainer form of
card for social purposes.

There is a tendency at present to give the name in full on the card.
For example, _Mrs. John James Smith_, or _Miss Maude MacArthur_.

It is permissible for the senior matron of a family to use only the
family name on her card with the prefix: for example, _Mrs. Fuller_.
It is more common, however, to omit the Christian name of an eldest
daughter who is unmarried: _Miss Fuller_. The other daughters require
the Christian name on their cards: _Miss Mary Fuller_, _Miss Gladys

The tendency in this country is strongly against the omission of the
name in either of the above cases. Although it is perfectly correct as
a social usage, it is opposed to the spirit of our institutions.

There is some variation in the use of the name on the card in the case
of a widow. It is within the woman’s choice whether she will continue
to use the Christian name of her husband on the card, or will put her
own in place of it. In other words, she may use the same cards after
the death of her husband as before if she prefers, or she may follow
the _Mrs._ with her own Christian name. A common form to-day gives
the woman’s Christian name and the surname to which she was born and
finally the surname of her husband. A present vogue permits also the
use of only the two surnames, without the Christian name. Thus, Mary
Brown marries James Robinson. The husband dies and the widow changes
her visiting-cards, which have read, _Mrs. James Robinson_, so that
they now read, _Mrs. Mary Robinson_. Then presently she grows ambitious
socially and has her cards changed to read, _Mrs. Mary Brown Robinson_.
Soon, she seizes on a newer style, and again changes her cards in
accordance with it to read, _Mrs. Brown Robinson_.

It should be noted that the variations in cards practised by widows are
used also by divorced women. And when a divorcée resumes her maiden
name she properly uses with it the prefix _Mrs._, not _Miss_.

As a matter of strict propriety, a girl during her first social season
does not formally use an individual card. Her name appears below that
of her mother in the same lettering. When making calls unaccompanied by
her mother, the latter’s name is crossed out with a pencil mark.

Where two daughters of nearly the same age are concerned, both are
included on the mother’s card by the words _The Misses_, followed by
the family name.

The above details are applied especially to a débutante in the first
season. Afterward, a young woman uses her own individual card when
calling alone. But this card should not carry on it the day at home.
The at-home statement appears on the mother’s individual card. It is
given also on the card combining the names of mother and daughter. The
combination card may with correctness be frequently used in appropriate
circumstances until the daughter’s marriage.

The notice of the day at home is placed in the lower left-hand
corner of the card. Only the day of the week is given, or with such
qualification as may be required if the at-home day is not of weekly
recurrence. The hours should not be specified unless they are a
distinct variation from the customary time, between three and six. In
addition, a time limit to the at homes may be specified. Thus, _Fridays
until March_. Of course, the beginning is set for any individual by
reception of the card.

A married woman finds frequent use for a card in combination with her
husband, though this by no means takes the place of her individual
cards, and, while it bears the address in the lower right-hand corner,
does not usually give the at-home day. This card may properly be used
for those formal occasions in which her husband is concerned. For
example, it may fittingly accompany a gift from husband and wife. It
serves also for announcing a marriage with the residence of the bridal

A man’s visiting-card always carries the prefix _Mr._ The single
exception to this is when _Jr._ follows the name. The name is commonly
given in full, but it is permissible to use only the initial of the
middle name. It is strictly proper for the male head of a family to use
only the family name on his card, preceded by _Mr._ Thus, the head of
the Smiths—could he be located—might use on his visiting-card merely
_Mr. Smith_, instead of _Mr. John Smith_.

The home address appears in the lower right-hand corner of the card,
and a bachelor may add also the name of a club in the lower left-hand
corner. The business address, of course, should never appear on the
card used for social purposes. Likewise, a day at home should not be
given by a bachelor even though he may entertain regularly.

It is a safe rule to avoid titles on the visiting-cards of men as of
women. The only exceptions are in instances little likely to concern
the average reader of this book. Such instances are afforded by the
President of the United States, the Vice-President, Ambassadors, the
higher Judiciary, Army and Navy Officers, clergymen and physicians. The
custom in the army, however, forbids any prefix except plain _Mr._ to
an officer below the rank of Captain.

In the case of all officers the nature of his command is properly
stated in a lower corner of the card.

Lawyers and physicians should have only the home address on the card
used for social purposes. Another card with the business address
should be used for business purposes. But _Dr._ is properly used by
the physician in place of _Mr._ on his visiting-cards. Likewise, a
clergyman uses _Reverend_, or its abbreviation _Rev._, on all his
cards, which are commonly identical for both social and professional

The letters indicative of degrees are not given after the name on the
visiting-card, though a single exception is sometimes made by clergymen
who omit _Rev._ before their names and, in lieu of it, use _D.D._
following the name.

When it becomes necessary, for any reason, to write one’s name on a
visiting-card, the prefix _Mr._ should be given, following the ordinary
form of the engraved card.

Care should be taken in the case of mourning-cards to avoid a too
ostentatious parade of grief by an unduly broad margin of black.
Somewhat less than a half inch is permissible for a widow’s card, and,
after the first year, it is well to have this width reduced. Often,
other reductions in the size of the border are made at intervals of six
months, as long as the period of mourning continues.

The card of a widower must carry a border proportionately narrower, as
its size is smaller than a woman’s card, but the decrease in width is
made after the same manner.

When a woman elects to remain in mourning permanently, the narrow black
border may be retained throughout her lifetime.

It is not customary to make variations in the mourning border for the
commemoration of persons other than husband or wife. For these, a
fitting width is about a twelfth part of an inch, which remains the
same throughout the period of mourning.

When a call is made on a day at home, the card or cards are commonly
left in the hall on a tray placed for that purpose. A married woman
calling on the at-home day of another married woman for the first time
in the season leaves her own card and two of her husband’s cards. But
in later calls on the at-home day she leaves her card and the two cards
of her husband’s only when the call acknowledges entertainment offered
to them by the hostess.

There has been considerable simplification in recent years as to the
leaving of cards. They are no longer weirdly bent in sign of delivery
in person, and a smaller number are used. Thus, though the hostess
referred to above may have unmarried daughters receiving with her,
cards for them need not be left. But the presence of a married daughter
or a friend formally assisting in the reception of the guests requires
the leaving of a card.

A woman leaves no cards for the men of the family where she visits.

It is the business of the wife to fulfill her husband’s formal social
duties by leaving his cards with hers whenever entertainment should be

Where two spinsters share a residence, a woman caller, the first time
in the season, should leave two of her cards, and also, if she is a
married woman, two of her husband’s. So, too, a card should be left
for a daughter or sister who is hostess of the house, even though she
may be unmarried.

When an unmarried girl uses her individual card, she should follow the
procedure indicated for the matron in the use of hers. Or she may use
the combination card of her mother and herself as already described

A call on a mother and daughter who are out requires the leaving of two
cards. The same procedure is necessary in the case of a hostess who
has a friend staying with her. Likewise, a call made on a friend who
is a guest in another’s house demands the leaving of two cards. This
rule applies in the case of a man as well as of a woman. It should be
observed that two cards are deemed sufficient in most cases. Where,
however, the hostess has a guest staying with her and also daughters of
her own, three cards are to be left.

A man wishing to call on a particular woman must be punctilious
in leaving cards not only for the particular one in whom he is
interested, but also for the mother or chaperon, and still a third for
the host. But, if a call is made on a woman on her at-home day, no card
need be left, unless the call is in acknowledgment of entertainment. In
the latter case, a single card is left for the host. It is advisable,
however, that in his first call he should leave a card for convenience
in the matter of address.

It is permissible on certain occasions to leave visiting-cards with
the servant at the door, or to send them through the mail or by a
messenger, instead of making the call in person. Sometimes a woman who
is owing a call thus sends her card along with an invitation, as for
luncheon or dinner. The invitation is considered to justify the merely
formal matter of the card. So, too, a person receiving an invitation
from a hostess who is a stranger must, if the invitation is declined,
leave cards within two weeks after the date of the entertainment. An
invalid may send cards through the post in acknowledgment of calls of
inquiry, and a woman in mourning is able to fulfill her obligations in
the same manner. Cards are formally left by all who receive invitations
to a church wedding, and the requirement is the same for those to whom
an announcement of the marriage is sent. Such cards are demanded of
men and women both, to be left for the mother of the bride within a
fortnight after the ceremony. Cards are left within a proper time after
any form of entertainment to which the members of a club are invited,
though there may be no other social acquaintance with the hostess. In
calls of condolence or inquiry, cards are always left. They may be used
also, as hereinbefore stated, to announce a prolonged absence or a
change of address.

When cards are left in person, they are delivered to the servant
at the door. One or two or three are to be left according to the
circumstances. The caller should tell the servant the persons for whom
the cards are designed.

Good taste dictates that calls of inquiry concerning the condition of a
sick person should be made in person. Cards should be left at the time
of such calls, except in the case of intimates. The cards should not be
mailed or sent by messenger.

Acknowledgment of cards of condolence are made after a funeral by a
large black-edged card of thanks, which should be sent within a month.
Such cards are usually merely printed, not engraved. The wording should
be of the simplest.

        _Mrs. Jack Robinson

         returns thanks to


       for her kind sympathy_

The address of the one sending the card should appear at the bottom.

The form is varied according to circumstances. Thus:

    _Mrs. Montgomery James and Family
    return thanks for your kind sympathy_

Some persons prefer to leave their visiting-cards with the mourning
border on those to whom acknowledgment is due, instead of sending
the special card by mail. Personal calls, however, are not made by
those in mourning within three months at least of the time of the
funeral. If earlier acknowledgment is to be made, the visiting-card
with mourning-border may be sent by mail within a few weeks. A word of
thanks should be written on the card. For example:

    _With grateful appreciation of your sympathy_

The use of _P.p.c._ cards has already been described in the chapter
on calls. It should be added that they are convenient when one is
leaving on short notice without time to pay in person all calls due.
The _P.p.c._ card involves no duty of acknowledgment on the part of its

A woman temporarily stopping in any place sends cards containing
her address to any acquaintances she may have there. Her ordinary
visiting-card serves the purpose, with a pencil line drawn through the
engraved address and the temporary one written above it. But a man, in
the same circumstances, makes his calls in person.

The new-born infant embarks on its social career by means of the card.
The birth of a child is made known to the mother’s social list by
mailing the mother’s card, which has tied to it by a strip of white
satin ribbon a card only a quarter as large carrying the full name of
the baby. In this case, the prefix _Mr._ or _Miss_ is omitted, but the
date of birth appears in a lower corner. The recipients of these cards
are required to call with inquiry as to the health of the senders,
and to leave their cards in return. Persons residing at a distance
may post their cards of acknowledgment, with a penciled phrase of


FORMAL INVITATIONS to dinner should be sent between five and ten days
before the date. A hostess may use her own discretion as to whether she
will write the invitations by hand or use an engraved form. The wording
is the same in either case.

         _Mr. and Mrs. Walter Peck

           request the pleasure of


             company at dinner



                          401 Armstrong Street_

The engraved form should be printed on a large, heavy piece of bristol
board in old English or block type, or in script. When the dinner has
a guest of honor, notice of the fact may be given by a line across the
bottom of the invitation:

    _To meet Captain Arthur Shayne_

Or a special small card may be inclosed with the invitation, on which
is engraved a similar phrase.

When the affair is of extraordinary importance, the form of invitation
may dignify the purpose by announcing it at the outset.

                 _To meet

            The Bishop of Albany

          Mr. and Mrs. William Astor

           request the pleasure of


              company at dinner



                            401 Armstrong Street_

For dinners to which only a small number of persons are invited and
these mutually acquainted, the formal mode of invitation is not
required. A simple note is sufficient.

                                         _31 Hamilton Place,
                                               March 7th, 1919_

    _My Dear Mrs. Robinson:_

    _Will you and Mr. Robinson, if disengaged, give us
    the pleasure of your company at dinner on Friday the
    thirteenth, at half-past seven o’clock?_

                         _Yours sincerely,
                                   Edith MacArthur_

This form may be varied according to the taste of the writer and the
degree of intimacy with the person to whom the invitation is sent.

When it becomes necessary to invite some one to take the place of a
guest who is unable to be present, this late invitation should not
be of the formal sort, but should be contained in a note frankly
explaining the circumstances. Such invitations, of course, are never
made to merely formal acquaintances.

The custom formerly prevailed of writing the initials _R.s.v.p._, on
the dinner invitations, the initials of the French words, répondez,
s’il vous plaît (reply if you please). But this usage has lost favor.

An invitation to dinner demands an immediate answer, either accepting
or declining. The invitation cannot be accepted conditionally, nor can
the decision be delayed. The form of reply should be as simple as the
form of the invitation.

                      _17 North Street

                        April 30th, 1919

       Mr. and Mrs. Sloan Potter

         accept with pleasure

     Mr. and Mrs. John Morehouse’s

         invitation to dinner

    Tuesday evening, May the sixth

        at half-past seven_

For a declination, the following form may be used:

                          _17 North Street

                              April 30, 1919

         Mr. and Mrs. Sloan Potter

    regret that their absence from the city

       must prevent their acceptance of

        Mr. and Mrs. John Morehouse’s

           invitation to dinner on

       Tuesday evening, May the sixth

           at half-past seven_

The invitation in the form of a note is answered similarly by a note.

                                      _42 Chestnut Street
                                             April 30, 1919

    My Dear Mrs. Morehouse:_

    _It is with much pleasure that I accept your kind
    invitation to dinner on Tuesday evening, the sixth, at
    half-past seven o’clock._

                                    _Yours sincerely,
                                               Helen Potter_

A declination should state a courteous reason.

All such answers are addressed to the hostess alone. If she is married
the husband is, nevertheless, omitted from the address.

The reply to an informal invitation should always be correspondingly

For a formal dinner, there should be an even number of guests, eight or
ten, or more, with the sexes evenly divided.

Either a round or square table will serve, but it should be large
enough to accommodate all the party without crowding.

A pad should cover the table. The white cloth over this should be so
large that the corners reach nearly to the floor.

A folded napkin is placed on each plate, with a roll or piece of bread
laid within it. Three forks are laid to the left of the plate, with
prongs up. Two steel knives are to the right of the plate, and then a
silver knife, the edge of each to the left. A soup spoon follows the
silver knife, and then an oyster fork. Other utensils are sometimes
added, but are not necessary.

A goblet for water is placed before the knives. With it are grouped
whatever wine glasses may be required. A small card lying on the napkin
carries the name of the guest to be seated here.

When dinner is announced, the host offers his arm to the woman who is
to sit on his right, and leads the way to the dining-room. Already, in
welcoming the guests, the hostess has made known the dinner-partners,
introducing them when necessary. These now follow in pairs to the
dining-room. The hostess brings up the rear. The guests find their
places by the cards.

The hostess does not rise in greeting a late arrival, even a woman. But
the host does, and sees to the seating of the laggard.

It has long been the custom for the ladies to leave the dining-room
after the fruit course, and to have coffee served in the drawing-room.
In such case, the men stand until the women have passed out.
Afterward, they seat themselves where they please, and smoking is
permitted. The present-day tendency, however, is toward lessening
the time of this separation and often doing away with it altogether,
especially at less formal dinners, which otherwise follow an
essentially identical routine.

Both host and hostess must say farewell, standing, with a handclasp, to
each guest.

As for the guest, his first duty is to arrive exactly on time. Fifteen
minutes of delay is the limit.

On ceremonious occasions, the hostess writes a lady’s name on a card,
and places it in an envelope. This is given to the male guest on his
arrival by a servant, and from it he learns the identity of the one he
is to take in to dinner. When the dinner is announced, he offers his
arm, and escorts the woman into the dining-room, where he pulls out her
chair, and stands until she is seated.

It is permissible for dinner-partners, after the opening courses, to
give some attention to their other immediate neighbors.

A guest is free to leave at any time after the conclusion of the
dinner. Usually, an hour is long enough to remain after the meal is

In taking leave, the guest must express a courteous appreciation of the
hospitality that has been extended.

“I am under deep obligation to you, Mrs. Johnson, for a most delightful

This, or any similar pleasant phrases of gratitude, will serve. The
words of appreciation should be particularly addressed to the hostess

Evening dress is required for all guests at a formal dinner. For
men, the regulation swallow-tail is imperative. The wearing of a
dinner-jacket is not allowable on any occasion of ceremony.


GARDEN-PARTIES are probably destined to grow in popularity in this
century, for they offer one of the simplest and most pleasant forms of
entertainment during those seasons when the outdoors is attractive.

For such an affair, the hostess sends out invitations about ten days
beforehand. These may be engraved on white bristol board, in which case
either one of two forms is permissible.

        _Mrs. Melville Stratton

                 At Home

       Friday afternoon, April third

       from four until seven o’clock

    Garden-Party      Nine Park Square_


       _Mrs. Melville Stratton

         requests the pleasure of


       company on Friday afternoon

               April third

      from four until seven o’clock

    Garden-Party      Nine Park Square_

If less pretentiousness is preferred for the occasion, the hostess may
merely use a visiting-card. Below her name she writes:

    _Garden-Party, April third, four to
             seven o’clock._

Still a third method of issuing the invitations is by means of a short
note, written in the first person.

The formal engraved invitation demands a prompt reply, written in
the third person. An acceptance might properly take this mode of

    _Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Brewster

          accept with pleasure

     Mrs. Stratton’s kind invitation

             for April third.

                  Thirty Abernethey Row

                   May twenty-fifth, 1919_

A refusal might be in the following form:

      _Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Brewster

     regret that a previous engagement

       prevents their acceptance

    of Mrs. Stratton’s kind invitation

          for April third

               Thirty Abernethey Row
                 May twenty-fifth, 1919_

When the invitation is by means of the visiting-card, an answer is not
obligatory. Yet, it is well to acknowledge this form of invitation,
also, by sending a short note written in the first person, either
accepting or refusing.

Of course, when the invitation itself takes the form of a note, the
answer should follow the same style.

It is part of the duty of the hostess to put her house in order, as
well as the grounds. The guests on arriving may, in many cases, go
within before greeting the hostess, to lay aside wraps or heavy veils.
Moreover, weather conditions may make it necessary to seek shelter
indoors. It is often convenient also to have the refreshments set
out on the porch. These should include hot and cold tea, punch or
claret-cup, cakes, sandwiches, salads, fruits in season, and the like,
which are partaken of by the guests according to their pleasure.

Or a marquée may shelter the refreshments—a tent roof set up at any
desired place on the lawn.

The hostess receives her guests on the lawn. She wears an afternoon
gown, suitable for the season, and a hat. But, if she prefers, she may
leave off the hat, and use a parasol in its stead.

The women guests, too, wear their most effective afternoon gowns and
also hats and veils and gloves, which are not taken off.

The men may wear frock or morning coats and silk hats, and this garb
is common at garden-parties in England. In this country, however, more
comfortable clothes are popular, and flannels, or other fabrics of
light material, are favored.

Guests leave their cards on a tray provided for that purpose in the
hallway of the house. The requirements concerning cards have already
been fully explained in the chapters on cards and at homes.

After greeting the hostess, a guest must remain for at least twenty
minutes, and may properly continue on throughout the whole afternoon.

Discretion should be used in the matter of saying farewell. It should
be omitted if the hostess is occupied. If she is free, good-bye may be
spoken, and with it a phrase in appreciation of the hospitality.


THE HOUSE-PARTY is made up of any number of guests, from half a dozen
to a score, and may be merely for a few days or for any desired length
of time. But, whatever is to be the length of the guest’s stay, it
should be specifically stated in the invitation. It is a common saying
that an invitation that sets no time for the visit is no invitation at
all, and the saying is quite true.

So, in writing her invitation, a hostess mentions the exact day for
the guest’s arrival, and, as well, the exact day of departure. The
invitation is always a note written in the first person. The following
may serve as an illustration:

                                   _The Oaks, Hyde Park.
                                           April 10, 1919._

    _Dear Mrs. Ashland:_

    _I should be delighted to have you come to us for the
    next week-end, and I hope that there is no previous
    engagement to prevent your giving us this pleasure._

    _The best train for you to take from the city is the
    one leaving at three in the afternoon. Mr. Lawrence
    will meet this at the station here on Friday._

    _In eager anticipation of your visit, believe me,_

                           _Cordially yours,
                                      Ella Lawrence_

The guest’s answer to the invitation must be of the promptest, whether
it accepts or rejects the proposal of a visit. It should, of course, be
written in the first person. The wording is a matter for the individual
taste, and the form following is offered merely as a suggestion.

                                        _47 Tremont St.,
                                                  New York._
                                       _April 11, 1919._

    _Dear Mrs. Lawrence:_

    _I am more pleased than I can tell you to receive your
    kind invitation, since there is nothing to prevent my
    acceptance of it. I shall take the three o’clock train
    on Friday afternoon for Hyde Park, and I am looking
    forward very eagerly to being with you so soon._

                           _Yours sincerely,
                                   Roberta Ashland_

The declination of the invitation should contain some fitting
expression of regret, and an explanation as to the causes that render
an acceptance impossible.

It is imperative that a girl should be met at the station by her host
in person, or, if convenient, preferably by the hostess, or perhaps by
both. But this attention is not obligatory in the case of a married
couple or with a bachelor guest. But these, too, should be met at the
station by a servant if not by the host, and duly conveyed to the house
where they are to be entertained.

The guest on arrival should be welcomed at the entrance by the hostess,
if she has not been to the station, and after the greetings she escorts
the guest, if this is a woman, to the chamber she is to occupy, and
there leaves her to freshen herself after the journey.

When the luggage is brought in, a competent maid will unpack it and
distribute the contents through the drawers of the bureau and in the
closet, and render such other services as may be required. A less
competent maid can at least unstrap the luggage, remove trays, and help
in the disposal of the contents.

In the case of a man, after being greeted by his hostess, he is
conducted to his room by the host.

The wardrobe requirements for the visitor at a house-party are
regulated by the probable nature of the entertainment that will be
provided, by the season of the year, and by the particular social
status of the hosts. No hard-and-fast rule can be given. Thus, where a
woman visits a country house for a few days in the summer, she needs
no larger wardrobe than can be carried in the tiniest of trunks,
suitcase and hat-box. The hat used for traveling will serve her also on
occasion during the visit, but she will need in addition a sport-hat
for tramping or out-door games and another hat of sufficient elegance
for wear at a lawn party or wherever more elaborate dress is necessary.
The frocks should follow the lines thus indicated, and there should
be a sufficiency of dainty waists and footgear besides the inevitable
decolleté gowns for evening wear.

For the man, also, evening clothes are essential, and he should be
provided with flannels, besides the business suit in which he travels.
For winter, the change in season would demand a corresponding change
in the matter of dress, especially for out of doors.

The hostess plans sufficient entertainment for her guests, but, if
she is discreet, she does not plan too many things. It is customary
to leave the mornings to the devices of the guests, to be occupied by
them according to their individual pleasure. Where a morning start is
required on some expedition, such as a picnic, the hostess is likely to
leave the evening free from any special entertainment.

It is the duty of the guest to conform to the habits of the household.
If the party assembles together for breakfast, he or she must make
one of the number though the hour may be too early or too late for
personal convenience. Likewise, the guest should accept such disposal
of his or her time as the hostess may choose to make, even when the
preference would be quite otherwise. The tactful hostess, of course,
studies the likes and dislikes of her guests, and seeks to reconcile
her hospitality so far as possible to their prejudices.

It is customary to give tips on leaving a house-party to those servants
with whom the guest has been brought more closely in contact. The maid
who has attended to the room should receive a dollar from the visitor
for a few days; the butler, if there is one, should receive a dollar
and a half. The amount for the chauffeur should be regulated to some
extent by his personal service in the guest’s behalf. Where there has
been none, a dollar is sufficient.

These figures are applicable in the cases of unmarried women and
bachelors, although the tendency of the latter is to give more. The
sums named, however, are regarded as acceptable by the servants
themselves. Naturally, they enjoy the lavish, even prodigal tips given
by certain persons of wealth, who are more ostentatious than discreet.
Such indiscretions, however, need not set up a false standard for other

In the case of a husband and wife, the tips to maid and butler, etc.,
should be increased. It is usual for the wife to tip the female
servants, while the husband satisfies those of his own sex. When the
care of the guest’s shoes devolves on a house-boy, he, too, should be
remembered with a half-dollar.

The male guests frequently give a tip of a dollar or more to the cook.

It is the duty of the hostess in the case of a woman visitor to bid
her farewell in person, even if this should necessitate arising at an
unpleasantly early hour. But in the case of a man’s leaving thus early,
it suffices if she makes her farewell the night before. It then becomes
the duty of the host to attend on the guest for the breakfast and

In about a week after such a visit, the guest should write a note to
the hostess, expressing warm appreciation of the hospitality thus
enjoyed. It is also permissible for the guest to send a gift that is
not too costly, such as a book, or any simple thing that may serve
as a token of remembrance. But this is in no wise obligatory, and,
in fact, good taste is likely to prevent the bestowal of such a gift
in most cases. There could hardly be anything less satisfactory to a
hostess than a string of such souvenirs from her whilom guests.

Where the visit is a very short one, less than two days, it is
customary to dispense with the bread-and-butter letter.


SIMPLICITY SHOULD always characterize good manners, and this truth
applies especially in the matter of introductions. There should be no
attempt at fine phrases.

“Mrs. Smith, let me present Mr. Jones.”

It is to be noted that the names of both persons concerned are given.
They should be spoken with entire distinctness.

In this form, a man is presented to a woman, and this is the rule to be
generally observed. It is admissible for the introduction to contain an
expression of the man’s wish for it.

“Mrs. Smith, Mr. Jones desires to be presented to you.”

Slight variations in the phrasing of these forms are permitted. For
example, after saying, “Mrs. Smith, let me present Mr. Jones,” it is
proper to add some such phrase as, “He is very anxious to meet you.”

It is always a mark of courtesy to request a lady’s permission in
advance of the actual introduction. When introductions are to be made
between a woman, who is a newcomer, and an assembly of guests, the
newcomer is given the formal distinction of receiving the introductions.

“Miss Brown, let me present Mrs. Robinson, Miss Robinson, Miss Helen
Robinson, Mr. Jones, Mr. Truesdale.”

Often, the form of introduction is curtailed, especially when the
company is numerous. In such case, merely the names are spoken, that of
the stranger having first place.

“Miss Brown—Mrs. Robinson, Miss Robinson, Miss Helen Robinson, Mr.
Jones, Mr. Truesdale.”

Care must be taken to remember that the person to whom the introduction
is made has the place of honor. It is on this account that the rule of
proper procedure requires the presentation of a man to a woman, and
always the presentation of the inferior to the superior, although the
distinction is usually purely theoretical. For example, an unmarried
woman should be presented to a matron. So, the younger person should be
presented to his or her elders; the ordinary person should be presented
to the person of distinction. Where men or women are of nearly equal
age or station, it is safer not to discriminate between them by
presenting one to the other. It is enough merely to name them.

“Mr. Smith, Mr. Robinson.” Or: “Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Brown.”

It is a part of good tact on the part of a host or hostess in making
introductions to add a few words of explanation as to some particular
interest of each, which may be of assistance to them at the beginning
of their conversation.

In every instance, the greatest care should be taken by the person
making an introduction to pronounce both names with the utmost
clearness. Nothing is more annoying than an indistinct mumble that
leaves the hearers uninformed.

When, for any reason, one fails to understand a stranger’s name at the
time of introduction, it is permissible to ask it.

“Pardon me, but I did not understand the name.”

There are some variations that should be noted as to the manner of
acknowledging an introduction. In her own home, a woman should offer
her hand, while saying, “Mrs. Smith, I am very glad to meet you,” or
any similar phrase of cordial greeting. But such a cordial phrase is
not to be used by a woman when a man is presented to her, unless she is
the hostess. A man, on the contrary, on receiving his introduction to
a lady, should express his appreciation in a courteous sentence.

“I am very glad to meet you, Miss Robinson.”

The tendency to-day is toward elimination of handshaking by women on
the occasion of an introduction, except in the case of a hostess. A
slight bow of the head, a smile and the repetition of the stranger’s
name are deemed enough. But many women still prefer a less formal
manner, and give their hand when an introduction is made.

It is the duty of a hostess to stand up when receiving an introduction.
This applies equally whether the stranger is a man or a woman. But a
woman other than the hostess, when a member of a group, remains seated
during any introduction to her unless it is of one her superior in
age or station, whom she should honor by rising. Otherwise, it is
preferable for a woman to stand in acknowledging an introduction of
one of her own sex, though she should remain seated when a man is
presented to her.

In England, it is usual to omit introductions among those gathered
in the same house, and guests are expected to conduct themselves as
acquaintances without this formality. In our country, however, the
custom has not prevailed to any considerable extent, and it is not
ordinarily proper for strangers to address each other without having
been introduced, even though they are fellow-guests.

A hostess should introduce all her guests one to another at ordinary
dinner-parties, luncheons, or breakfasts. But, in the case of very
large dinner-parties, she is required only to introduce those who
are to be partners at table, though it is advisable for her to make
other introductions to any extent convenient. At the table, however,
introductions should be carefully avoided. If the women leave the table
before the men, other introductions may be made among them in the
drawing-room. The men, too, on returning to the drawing-room may be
presented to such women as they have not already met.

When a hostess receives at home, she should introduce each new arrival
to some of the guests who are near by. If she has an assistant in
receiving, each guest should be presented. On formal occasions, it is
not her duty to go about among the guests in order to introduce them.

The hostess at a large ball follows a similar course of conduct. But
in less formal affairs she should be at pains to see that no guest is
neglected, and that each, as far as possible, has a due share in the

It is especially desirable on all formal occasions, such as large balls
for example, that a man wishing to present a friend to a woman should
first privately ask her permission.

Introductions of a very casual sort should never be taken too
seriously. This applies particularly to those made in a public place,
such as the street, when a person accompanied by a friend meets an
acquaintance, who is a stranger to that friend, and there is a pause
for a brief chat. Usually, there is no occasion for an introduction
under these circumstances, and if one is made it may be afterward
ignored. As a matter of fact, only a rather extensive conversation
between the acquaintances would justify an introduction. Perfunctory
introductions of those temporarily associated in a game on the tennis
court, or the like, are to be regarded as equally casual, and not of a
sort necessitating subsequent recognition.

Introductions may be formally made by letter. In such case, the letter
should deal exclusively with the introduction. There is no set form,
but the following will serve as a sufficient guide, to be varied
according to personal inclination:

                                         _Burlington, Vermont._
                                                   _June 1, 1919._

    _My dear Mrs. Smith:_

    _It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you my
    friend, Miss Truesdale, who is about to visit relatives
    in your city. I shall deeply appreciate any courtesy
    you may show her._

    _With kindest regards to yourself and Mr. Smith, I am,_

                                     _Yours sincerely,
                                             Mabel Potter_

A similar form will suffice for the introduction of a man, whether to
another man or to a woman. Discretion should be exercised always in the
granting of letters of introduction, and it is well to write a separate
letter giving details concerning the person thus introduced. The letter
of introduction itself should be placed in an addressed envelope,
which is left unsealed, to be presented in person by the one to be

Instead of a letter, a common practise uses the visiting-card of the
person making the introduction. In such case, a line is written across
the top of the card.

    _Introducing Mr. Russell Elliot_

This card also is enclosed within its proper envelope, duly addressed,
but unsealed, and delivered to the person for whose benefit it is given.

It is common for a man to call at the residence of the person to
whom the introduction is addressed, and there give the envelope,
still unsealed, to the servant, together with his own card. In the
absence of the host or hostess, the caller places his own card inside
the envelope, which is then sealed, and left. A woman never follows
this procedure. She places her card in the envelope containing the
introduction, which is then sealed, and dropped in the post for

One receiving such a letter of introduction, whether man or woman, is
expected, if the bearer is a woman, to call on her within two days’
time, and to follow this up with some sort of hospitable entertainment.
If, for any imperative reason, a call is impossible, a letter should be
written in explanation.

The like procedure is followed when both parties are men. But when a
man presents such a letter of introduction to a woman, she does not, of
course, call upon him, but writes to extend her hospitable offers.


THE MOST TROUBLESOME detail in letter-writing is the matter of
address. It should be noted that there is a distinction between
_Dear_ and _My dear_. In our country, the more formal style is with
the pronoun, while the pronoun is omitted in writing to friends.
A letter to a mere acquaintance begins with the words, _My dear_
............................. But the form for an intimate is simply
_Dear_ .............................

The usual address for business purposes and to those with whom no
social relations are established is _Dear Sir_. The plural is used in
addressing firms, _Dear Sirs_, or the one word _Gentlemen_, may be

In addressing a man with whom social relations are established, the
surname is used, preceded by _Dear_ or _My dear_, according to the
degree of intimacy. _My dear Mr. Hudson; Dear Mr. Grant._

A woman who is a stranger may be addressed either as _Madam_ or _Dear
Madam_, whether she be married or unmarried. The form “_Dear Miss_” is
to be avoided under all circumstances.

For the woman with whom the writer is formally acquainted, the
address is: _My dear Mrs._ .............................., if she is
married, and _My dear Miss_ ............................, if she is
unmarried. When the person is a friend, she should be addressed: _Dear
Mrs._ ................, if she is a married woman, and _Dear Miss_
............................, if she is unmarried.

The full name should be signed to formal letters. The married woman
should use her own Christian name, not her husband’s with the _Mrs._
prefixed. But, in business communications to strangers, she may very
properly give her husband’s name with the prefix _Mrs._, below her
usual signature, and inclosed in parenthesis.

Similarly, for the sake of clearness, a business letter by an unmarried
woman may have _Miss_ in parenthesis before the name.

Envelopes should be addressed to the recipient with the full name and
necessary prefix—-_Mr._, _Mrs._, or _Miss_.

The _Mr._, however, must be omitted if _Esq._ is written after the
name. The English custom limits the use of Esquire to those who are
technically gentlemen. For example, _Esq._ is placed after the name
in addressing a barrister, but it must not be used in writing to a
tradesman, who is given only the prefix _Mr._

The prefix _Mr._ is used when Junior or Senior is indicated after the
name by an abbreviation. In such case, _Esq._ must never be written.

It must be noted also that in the case of addresses, as with cards, to
which attention has already been given, the husband’s title must not
be given to the wife. _Mrs. Colonel_, _Mrs. Doctor_, _Mrs. Professor_,
and the like, are barbarisms, which are not tolerated in America or
England. The Germans, however, use them.

The phrase before the signature to a letter varies according to the
circumstances, and especially according to the individual taste.
Thus, in concluding a very formal communication, it is quite proper
to use the old-fashioned wording, _I am, my dear Madam, your obedient
servant_. An ordinary convenient form that covers a wide field is,
_I remain_, _Yours sincerely_, or _Yours faithfully_, or _Yours
cordially_, writing _I remain_ on one line, and the _Yours_, etc., on
the line below. Thus:

                                        _I remain,
                                            Yours sincerely,_

_Yours truly_, or _Very truly yours_, is best reserved for business
communications. _Yours respectfully_ is applicable for business
communications, and also for letters addressed to superiors, and for
use generally as a rather meaningless style.

Men of exalted position are commonly addressed as _Sir_ without any
qualifying word. And the form in ending is, _I have, Sir, the honor to
remain Your most obedient servant_—_Your_, etc., forming a separate

A letter of a social sort would begin, _My dear Mr. President_.

The like form would suffice for the vice-president, except for a letter
of social character, when he should be addressed by name, _My dear Mr.

A justice of the supreme court, a senator, a member of the house of
representatives, a cabinet officer, the governor of a state, etc., all
have the same formal _Sir_ as the address and the corresponding phrase
in conclusion. But there is variation in the address when the letter
is of social import. The justice may be addressed _My dear Justice
................._, or _Dear Mr. Justice ................._.

The senator is addressed _My dear Senator ......................._. The
representative in congress is addressed _My dear Mr. ................_.

On the envelope, the forms are respectively _Mr. Justice
..................._, _Senator ......................._, _Hon.
.............._ (for the congressman).

The social letter to a cabinet officer addresses him by name, _My dear
................._, and has on the envelope _Hon._ preceding the name
and his official designation following it.

A governor is usually addressed _My dear Governor
......................._. And the envelope should have the title
preceding the name.

In all cases except that of the President, the conclusion of a social
letter is a simple form such as, _I remain, Yours very sincerely_.

A mayor is addressed either as _Sir_, or _Your Honor_, in formal
communications, and as _My dear Mayor ................._ in social
correspondence. The envelope properly gives him a full designation,
_His Honor the Mayor of ...................._. The name follows,
written on a lower line.

The form of address is the same for both official and social letters
in the case of a Roman Catholic archbishop: _Most Reverend and Dear
Sir_. The conclusion should run: _I have the honor to remain Your
obedient servant_—_Your_, etc., being written on a lower line. The
envelope carries _The Most Reverend ......................., Archbishop
of .................._.

All letters to a cardinal begin _Your Eminence_. The conclusion is the
same as to an archbishop. The envelope reads _His Eminence Cardinal

For a Roman Catholic bishop all letters begin _Right Reverend and
Dear Sir_. The conclusion is that used for the preceding prelates.
On the envelope: _The Right Reverend .................., Bishop of

A Protestant bishop, also, is addressed _Right Reverend and Dear
Sir_ officially, but a social letter begins _My dear Bishop
...................._. The conclusion may take the form given for Roman
Catholic dignitaries, but for social letters it is sufficient to write,
_I remain Yours sincerely_. The envelope reads: _The Right Reverend
................, Bishop of ............................_.

Both priests and Protestant clergymen are officially addressed:
_Reverend and Dear Sir_. But, in a social letter, the beginning
is _Dear Father .................._, in the case of a priest;
while the Protestant minister is addressed as _Dear Mr.
........................_, or _Dear Doctor ...................._, if
he has such a title. The conclusion for either need be no more than:
_I remain, Yours very sincerely_. The envelope bears, _The Reverend

The possession of degrees may be indicated by writing the proper
initials after the name. Where the clergyman has the degree of Doctor,
this is sometimes used as an abbreviation preceding the name—_The
Reverend Dr. ........................._.


THE ETIQUETTE for a luncheon is essentially the same as that for a
breakfast, which has already been described. But the luncheon at
present enjoys a popularity that is distinctive in one respect:
it serves conveniently very often as a function wholly for the
entertainment of feminine guests.

The usual hour for a luncheon is from one to two o’clock. The
invitations, unless the affair is to be quite informal, should be sent
out ten days before the date set. As in the case of a breakfast, the
invitation may be sent on a visiting-card, writing below the name:

    _Luncheon at one o’clock
        April the fourth_

For an especially formal affair, the invitation should be engraved
on square white cards of large size, similar to those employed for

          _Mrs. George Vinton Thorne

           requests the pleasure of


            company at luncheon

       on ..............................

     at .......................... o’clock

           Eleven Green Street_

A note written in the first person may convey the invitation, if the
hostess prefers this manner.

The acceptance or refusal of an invitation may be in the third person,
following the examples given in the chapter on dinners, or it may be
written as a note in the first person. In either case, the method used
in the invitation itself must govern the style of the reply.

At the more formal luncheon, the menu may be elaborate, with oysters,
bouillon, fish, and other courses following to any desired extent,
but care must be taken always that the general character of the
viands served must not be oversubstantial. The meal should be of a
distinctively lighter sort as compared with dinner.

The women guests usually wear their most effective frocks. Wraps are
left in the cloak-room provided, or, if this is lacking, in the hall.
The hats are not removed, but the veil is either pushed up out of the
way, or removed, according to the wearer’s pleasure. The gloves are
taken off after arrival at table, and left in the lap, covered by the

A guest should remain for at least half an hour after the completion
of the meal, and from this minimum of time up to an hour or perhaps a
little longer, according to the particular circumstances.

The farewell of each guest should, of course, contain some phrase
expressing appreciation of the hospitality enjoyed.


THERE IS ROOM for so much variety in the expression of personal tastes
as to the matter of mourning that hard-and-fast rules are of doubtful
value. There is, however, some degree of exactness as to the dress
suitable for widows, although, even in this connection, individual
choice and the changes of fashion exert their influence to the display
of differing modes.

The widow’s mourning may be divided into three periods, termed
respectively first, second and third.

The first mourning includes the entire costume in black. Usually,
the material of the dress is of worsted, with a trimming of crêpe.
The black bonnet is of crêpe, and from it hangs a long veil, also of
crêpe. Formerly, these veils were of extreme length, reaching even to
the hem of the gown. The tendency has been, however, toward shortening
the veil, and the present fashion insists on only a moderate length.
Another veil, worn over the face, was formerly both long and heavy, but
the style has been modified, and at present it is of lighter texture
and of much briefer proportions. The bonnet has white ruching within
the front edge, and the gown is trimmed with sheer white cuffs, and a
collar of the same material.

The gloves must be of dull black, and ornaments of dull jet, with a
black-bordered handkerchief.

This first mourning should be worn for a full year. A change may then
be made to second mourning, in which the dress may be of crêpe de chine
or dull silk, with a hat carrying black chiffon, etc., and ornaments of
dull jet.

The third mourning is assumed after another six months. In this white
and lilac are permitted to relieve the somberness of the attire. This
mourning is worn for a period of six months, also, after which colors
may be resumed.

It should be noted that the white ruche on the bonnet is the one
distinctive feature of the first mourning that designates the wearer as
a widow. A woman may wear exactly the same costume, with the exception
of this white ruche on the bonnet, in the mourning for a parent, a
child, a brother or a sister.

The period for wearing mourning in such case, and the changes in it,
may follow the details given above for widows.

Mourning for a parent-in-law is black, with the crêpe omitted. This is
worn for only a month, and is followed by any preferred combinations of
black and white, relieved by lilac, for a fortnight or a little longer.

The mourning for close relatives worn by a young unmarried woman does
not include the bonnet and veil. Instead, a hat trimmed with crêpe is
worn, and a black net veil over the face is trimmed with crêpe. After
six months or a year, the crêpe is omitted from hat and veil, and also
from the gown. Black and white and lilac are then deemed suitable.
Usually, however, the older unmarried women wear the veil and bonnet of
the first mourning, as do widows, but with the white ruche omitted.

Mourning is not usually adopted when the death is of relatives-in-law
or of a grandparent.

Three months is ordinarily sufficient for mourning in the case of an
uncle or aunt, and it does not include crêpe. Ornaments may be worn,
though preferably of a very quiet sort.

In general, it is well to bear in mind that mourning should not be
worn except for the members of one’s immediate family. Of course, the
particular circumstances in each case must be a determining factor. For
example, while mourning is not customarily worn for a cousin, yet a
girl who had made a home with such a relative might appropriately wear
mourning as for her own mother.

Crêpe is not deemed suitable for girls not yet old enough for a formal
entrance into society, and children should be spared the lugubrious
trappings of woe in every case. But a girl about sixteen years of age,
on the death of a member of the family, appropriately wears a black
dress, relieved only by touches of white, and a black hat, with dull
black ribbons. She should leave off jewelry, but she should not carry a
handkerchief with black border.

The mourning for a widower is often divided into two periods. During
the first, black is worn throughout in the costume, with white linen.
The hat-band is of crêpe. The present tendency is to make this band
much narrower than it was of yore. It is left off altogether after
a year, or perhaps eight months, as the second mourning begins. The
second mourning permits the use of gray and white in the costume. A
man’s mourning for a child, parent, brother or sister may continue for
a full year, or it may be put off after six months according to his
choice. The mourning includes a hat-band of crêpe. If a man wishes to
wear mourning for a more distant relative, he may use the black and
white and gray of the widower’s second period, but men ordinarily do
not assume mourning for any except closest relations.

A mourning band on the sleeve is sometimes worn by men, but it is
impossible to describe its significance from the standpoint of
propriety, since it is worn equally for those most closely related and
for those most distantly, without distinction, and since it is a custom
derived originally from England, where it serves as a cheap method of
providing mourning liveries for servants.

After the loss of a close relation, a woman pays no calls for six
months. After that time, she may visit her intimates, but not on their
at-home days. She may also attend concerts and theater matinées and
the like, in a very quiet way. After a year, she may appear at small
dinners, and at the theater in the evening, and the like. But box
parties and all the elaborate functions, such for example as balls,
must not be resumed until the period of mourning has expired.

Elderly women are likely to prefer a mourning garb for the remainder
of their lifetime, after the death of a husband. In such cases, after
perhaps two years, the widow’s bonnet and veil are given up, and nun’s
veiling is substituted. While the gown remains black, the crêpe is
omitted from it, and the mourning handkerchief is no longer carried.
Jewelry is worn, but not of an ostentatious kind.


THE MUSICALE is merely a formal at home where music is made a special
feature of the entertainment. Throughout, the procedure is that of an
at home, and the details are to be found in full in the chapter under
that heading. The only formal difference is in the wording of the
invitation, which makes mention of music as the feature.

The invitations are engraved, and may take either of the two usual
forms, according to the choice of the hostess.

        _Mrs. George H. Baxter

        requests the pleasure of



              at a musicale

       on Friday evening, May first

         at half-past nine o’clock

        Twenty-seven Maple Street_

Or the at-home form may be used as follows:

    _Mr. and Mrs. George H. Baxter

                At Home

        Friday evening, May first

        at half-past nine o’clock

        Twenty-seven Maple Street


Such an affair in the evening is often of the most elaborate character,
and is essentially a concert. But a musicale may be given with equal
propriety in the afternoon. The form for engraved invitations is
precisely the same, with the single exception of the hours named, for
the afternoon entertainment specifies the time as _from four until
seven o’clock_.

For a less formal occasion, a hostess may extend her invitations by
sending a visiting-card, on which she writes, below her name, _Friday,
May first, four to seven o’clock_, and underneath this the single word
_Music_. Or in place of the word _Music_, she may write _To hear_
.............. adding the name of a particular performer.

The obligations of the guests follow in all respects those to which
attention has been already given under the title “At Homes.” Thus, in
the matter of costumes, the usage resembles that explained concerning
correct garb for both afternoon and evening receptions in the earlier

It might be well to emphasize the fact that no direct reply is required
for an invitation announcing that the hostess will be at home on a
certain date. But the case is quite otherwise when that form of
invitation is employed which requests the pleasure of the guest’s
company. This demands a prompt answer, whether of acceptance or of
refusal, which should be couched in the third person. Thus:

     _Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sage Beckett

            accept with pleasure

       Mrs. Baxter’s kind invitation

                for May first

         Nineteen Wentworth Square

        April twenty-first, 1919_

Or, in the event of inability to accept, or disinclination, the answer
should run as follows:

     _Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sage Beckett

     regret that a previous engagement

         prevents their acceptance

      of Mrs. Baxter’s kind invitation

             for May first

        Nineteen Wentworth Square

        April twenty-first, 1919_


A SUFFICIENT FORM for an invitation to an opera party will be found in
the chapter on the theater, which needs only a verbal change to specify
the particular performance at the opera instead of at the playhouse.
In general, also, the procedure suited to attendance at the theater
is to be followed in connection with the opera. But there are certain
differences that should be regarded.

The dress for the opera is more formal than for the theater, generally
speaking. The man, for example, usually keeps his white gloves on. The
woman, for her part, wears a gown that is sleeveless and decolleté, and
displays jewels according to her means or taste. An aigrette takes the
place of the hat that may be worn to the theater. Nevertheless, it is
quite permissible for a woman occupying a stall in the orchestra at the
opera to wear a costume of the sort commonly seen at the theater.

Visiting at the opera is a distinctive feature, facilitated as it is
by the number of boxes, so greatly in excess of those with which the
theater is supplied. For it is with the boxes that this visiting is
chiefly concerned, though it reaches to some extent to the orchestra

Between acts is the proper time for such calls, which are usually, but
not exclusively, paid by men. A gentleman may call on a lady of his
acquaintance in a box, though she is a guest of a host or hostess who
is not known to him. In such case, the woman to whom he pays the visit
must introduce him to her entertainer. But an introduction of the sort
is merely formal, and entails no necessity of subsequent recognition by
either party.

No more than five minutes, or even less, should be given to
such calls, but some discretion is permitted by the particular
circumstances. Thus, where there are many coming and going, the time
should be shorter than when there are few other visitors, or none. The
call should never extend beyond the end of the intermission.

Since an opera box is equipped with a vestibule of its own, the
women do not leave their wraps in the cloak-room, but wait until
their arrival at the box, when they are taken off in the vestibule.
Afterward, on entering the box, the chaperon and other older women
precede the younger, and are offered the choice of seats. But they
usually prefer the less conspicuous positions, and the chairs at
the rail are given to the débutantes, or younger matrons. The exact
arrangement is always a matter for the display of tact on the part of
host or hostess.

Visiting among the stalls is necessarily more limited, but is practised
to any extent rendered convenient by location.

In such visiting, the ordinary amenities of social intercourse are to
be observed. The men, for example, must stand when a lady enters the
box in which they are seated, and they should remain standing until her
departure, or until she has taken a chair.


PRIVATE THEATRICALS are usually the feature of an evening function.

The form of invitation is exactly the same as for a musicale, with the
one exception in substituting _Theatricals at ten o’clock_. The phrase
appears thus in the at-home form of announcement. When the invitation
requests the pleasure of the guest’s company, _At Private Theatricals_
is preferred as the descriptive statement.

On occasions when the theatricals are to be followed by a dance, the
word _Dancing_ is added at the bottom of the card.

The letters _R.s.v.p._ are commonly employed in connection with such
invitations, and their appearance on the card emphasizes the necessity
of a written reply.


ALL DETAILS of the etiquette that has to do with receptions, whether
they are held in the afternoon or in the evening, are carefully
described in the chapter treating various forms of the at home.


A GUEST in the home of another must not smoke unless invited to do so
by host or hostess.

A man in the presence of a lady must not smoke unless he asks for, and
receives, permission to do so.

A man should not smoke when walking with a woman in public.

A man must not converse while holding cigar, pipe, or cigarette in his


IN A FORMER generation, women hid their ankles, and gave brief glimpses
of them only by accident or naughty design. It was then required of a
gentleman that he should precede a lady in ascending stairs. To-day,
fashion has cleared away all mystery concerning feminine ankles, and a
gentleman is permitted to follow the lady as she mounts the stairs.


WHEN A MAN and woman walk together in the street, the man’s proper
position is usually on the side toward the curb, and he maintains this
place also when walking with two women. He should never station himself
between them, unless under the informal circumstances of a country
road, or the like.

In the day time, a man does not offer a woman his arm when they walk
together, though of course he should give her the support of his hand
under her elbow when such assistance is obviously required, as in
mounting the steps of a car. But in the evening a man properly offers
his arm to a woman when they are to walk together, and she lays her
hand on his forearm. They should never hook arms.

When a man and woman who are acquainted with each other meet in the
street, it is the woman’s place to extend recognition by a nod and
smile, which latter varies from coldness to warmth according to
her will. On receiving such recognition, for which in any formal
acquaintance he must wait, the man raises his hat, and at the same time

When a man is walking with a woman, he must salute in the same fashion
any others that pass who recognize either himself or his companion,
except that where the person is not an acquaintance of his own, he
merely lifts his hat without bowing.

When a man encounters a woman on the street, and wishes to talk with
her, he should not detain her, but with her permission should turn and
walk beside her. The woman, however, is privileged thus to retain the
man in conversation, but she should withdraw to one side, out of the
way of passers-by.

In escorting a woman in a car, the man should assist her to enter, and
then follow. But in leaving, he precedes her and descends first, then
turning to help her down.

Good sense must determine the precise conduct for propriety in various
circumstances. Ordinarily, where a couple cannot well walk side by
side, the man follows behind the woman. But where the way is difficult
for any reason, he goes in advance—as, for example, when it becomes
necessary to force the way through a crowd.

Some men make a point of standing uncovered throughout the length of
any conversation with a woman in the street. This mode is not to be
encouraged, especially in the inclement northern winter. Merely raising
the hat at meeting and again at parting is quite sufficient.


DEPORTMENT AT TABLE is the most important single item in the total of
good manners. Yet, the requirements are very simple—so simple indeed
that there is little excuse for those who fail in them.

It should hardly be necessary to say that the position must be one of
well-balanced erectness. A man’s hands should be kept in his lap when
not busy. So of a woman’s—formerly. Of recent years, a new custom has
crept in, and it is common to see a woman’s forearm or elbow resting at
ease on the table.

The napkin is only partly unfolded, and laid across the lap. In the
case of a woman, it covers her gloves, which she has taken off on
seating herself. At the end of the meal, the crumpled napkin is laid
beside the plate. But, when making an extended stay with friends, the
napkin is folded if the host and hostess fold theirs in preparation for
use at another meal.

The knife is employed only for cutting purposes, being then held in the
right hand. It is afterward put down, while the fork is transferred
to the right hand for passing food to the mouth. When not in use both
knife and fork are left on the plate. They should not be held in the
hands, or laid down on the table. They are to remain on the plate also
if it is sent for another helping. When eating is ended, knife and fork
are laid together on the plate—parallel, points to the center, and the
fork tines down.

The fork should be used throughout with the tines downward. It is only
used spoon-fashion for small vegetables such as peas. The fork rather
than a spoon should be used for eating ices, melons, and the like. It
is used to fold lettuce and other salad leaves, which must not be cut
with a knife.

The knife is used only for cutting, and is afterward laid down on the

Beverages in glasses or cups are tested by sipping from a spoon, which
is then laid down. Afterward one drinks directly from the container.
The spoon must never be allowed to stand in a cup or glass. For taking
soup, the spoon is pushed forward, not drawn toward one. The soup plate
is never tipped. The liquid must be taken into the mouth from the side
of the spoon never from the end.

Boiled eggs are properly eaten with a spoon, of course, as are jellies,
custards and the like, grape-fruit and various fruits served with
cream, and cereals.

A finger-bowl is properly used on finishing a fruit course. A slight
rinsing of the finger-tips suffices, after which they are wiped on the

Butter is not served at formal dinners.

At all other meals a special plate is laid for bread and butter, and
a small knife of silver for spreading the butter. The bread is broken
with the fingers, a mouthful at a time and separately buttered. Cake is
eaten either in the fingers or with a fork.

Cheese is cut into small pieces. Each piece is placed on a mouthful of
bread or cracker, and then eaten from the fingers.

Apples, pears, etc., are quartered, peeled, cut in mouthfuls, and
then eaten from the fingers. Smaller fruits with pits are eaten from
the fingers. Each pit is taken from the mouth in the closed hand and
deposited on the plate.

Asparagus is eaten with a fork. That part of the stalk not easily cut
by the fork is left. But burr artichokes are eaten from the fingers a
leaf at a time, after it has been dipped in the sauce. Only the heart
demands the use of a fork.

Celery, olives and radishes are eaten from the fingers. So, also, are
crystallized fruits, almonds and other nuts.

When leaving the table at the conclusion of a meal elsewhere than in
one’s own house, the chair is left without being pushed back close to
the table.


IN THE COUNTRY, where the dinner is in the middle of the day, the
evening meal is called either supper or tea, and an invitation to tea
ordinarily means an invitation to the evening meal. In England, where
afternoon tea-serving is universal among all classes, the evening meal
is frequently designated high tea.

The proprieties concerning afternoon tea are explained in the chapter
entitled, “At Homes.”


WHEN A THEATER-PARTY is to be given, it is not customary to use the
engraved form of invitations, but notes written in the first person

                                            _97 Hamilton Street,
                                                       May 1, 1919_

    _My dear Miss Hammer:_

    _Will you give me the pleasure of dining with me on
    Wednesday evening of next week, at seven o’clock, and
    of afterward witnessing the new play at the Brooke

    _In the hope that you are free that evening and kindly
    disposed toward my invitation, I remain,_

                               _Yours sincerely,
                                          Mary Holmes_

To such an invitation, the guest should return an immediate reply,
either of acceptance or rejection, written in the first person, after
the manner of the other missive.

It is within the discretion of the host or hostess to secure orchestra
seats, or a box. Care should be taken, in the case of a box, not to
have a sufficient number of guests to cause crowding. The invitations
should be sent out about a week before the evening of the party, but a
longer or shorter notice is permissible. A bachelor may find it more
convenient to give his invitations in person, orally, and such laxity
is allowable on his part.

The giver of the entertainment may use his or her discretion in having
attendance on the play preceded by an early dinner-party, which may
include all or only a part of his guests; or having it followed by
a supper-party. Or the theater alone may be deemed a sufficient

Very often, a host orders an omnibus to collect his guests for a
theater-party and to carry them to the theater, and back home after
the performance. If this is done, the invitation should specify the
fact, and notify the guest of the exact time of the omnibus’s arrival.

When a man invites an unmarried woman to be his companion at the
theater, he is expected also to invite another woman, either a relation
or friend, according to circumstances, who shall act as chaperon.
But this rule is not too strictly enforced where a friendship exists
between a man and a spinster of mature age.

It is the duty of the man to call in person for his guests, and to
provide them with fitting transportation to and from the theater. On
their arrival at the theater, if the women leave their wraps in the
cloak-room, he also should check his hat and coat. He allows the ladies
to precede him, and inside the theater secures programs for them, and
then gives his checks to the usher. The usher now leads the way, with
the ladies following and the host bringing up the rear. If he has
retained his coat and hat, he places his hat under the seat and lays
the folded coat over the back of the chair or holds it across his
knees. He is careful always to retain the checks during the evening
since lack of them might prove embarrassing if any error has been made
in the seating arrangements, as sometimes happens.

A man thus escorting ladies to the theater properly remains with them
throughout the performance. The only justifiable excuse for leaving
them for a few minutes is when he occupies an aisle seat, and then only
when during an intermission a friend comes to pay his respects, who can
take his place until the rising of the curtain.

The man wears evening dress for the theater. He should by no means
appear in a tailless coat when acting as an escort for ladies, or when
a guest in a party that includes ladies. He is permitted, however, to
remove his gloves on arrival at the theater. The silk hat is often
inconvenient for theater purposes, and for that reason the crush hat
has been preferred. But this folding form of headgear has lost its
vogue to a great extent, and there is a growing tendency toward the use
of a black soft hat for such evening wear.

The more usual form of woman’s dress is not the decolleté of the
ball-gown, but a less extreme style, with sleeves. It is, of course, of
such elegance as to suit the occasion. But the low-neck and sleeveless
gown is frequently to be seen, more especially in the boxes.

With the less formal costume, a hat is worn. This and the veil may be
removed in the cloak-room, or, if the wrap is retained, it may be kept
on until the seat is reached. The outer garment is then folded and laid
over the back of the chair. After having seated herself, the woman then
unpins her veil and removes it, together with the hat, and these are
afterward held in the lap.

If the arrival at the theater is a little late, and the wraps are not
left in the cloak-room, it is the part of good taste to remove them
before passing down the aisle to the seats. Otherwise, their removal
becomes an unpleasant interruption to those seated near by.

This same matter of consideration for the rights of others is the
reason why it is necessary that the hats should be removed, since
it would shut off the view of the stage from those seated behind.
It should be borne in mind always, also, that this consideration
for others should extend to the matter of conversation during the
performance, which must be rigidly suppressed. Care ought to be taken
in every respect lest there be an impolite intrusion on the rights of

If there is supper in a restaurant after the play, the wraps should
be left in the cloak-room as a rule, but a woman may retain one of a
sort that is not cumbersome, according to her pleasure. The hat is not
removed for the meal. The veil may either be pushed up or taken off
according to the individual preference. The gloves are removed after
the party is seated at table, and kept in the lap under the napkin
until the conclusion of the meal. They are put on again before leaving
the table.


THE WEDDING-INVITATIONS are sent out fully two weeks before the
marriage, at least, and they may be sent earlier, up to a limit of two

The invitation is engraved on white paper, of which there is a double
sheet. The invitation itself must occupy only the first page. An
average size is between seven and eight inches in length and about an
inch less in width. Script is usually preferred. The invitation is
folded once and placed in an unsealed envelope with the guest’s name
written on it. Another envelope is used to contain this, on which are
written both the name and address, and it is sealed for delivery by
post or messenger.

It should be borne in mind that, while husband and wife are joined in
a single invitation, other members of the family must be separately
invited, except that more than one daughter may be included under the
designation _The Misses ...................._, and similarly more than
one son, _The Messrs. ...................._. Otherwise, a daughter
receives an individual invitation, as does also a son.

In cities, on the occasion of church weddings where strangers often
intrude, it is common to inclose with the invitation a small card

    _Please present this card at

    the Church of the Incarnation

     on Tuesday, June the first_

A standard form for the wording of the invitation is as follows:

        _Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Hudson

      request the honor of your presence

      at the marriage of their daughter



        Mr. James Meade Trowbridge

    on Tuesday afternoon, June the first

        at half-past three o’clock

       The Church of the Incarnation


The invitations are issued in the names of the bride’s parents, or,
lacking them, in the name of her nearest relative, unless this should
be an unmarried sister. When the invitations are issued by a brother,
his name only may be used, even though he is married. But where the
relation is a married woman, the name of the husband also appears on
the invitations. Such invitations issued by some one other than the
parents follow the form given above exactly, save that the full name of
the bride must be given instead of her Christian name alone, and, of
course, the proper relationship must be indicated by a word substituted
for _daughter_.

It is usual, when the bride is a step-daughter, to specify the
relationship in the invitation. Thus, in the form given above, if
Harriet were the daughter of Mrs. Hudson by a previous marriage, the
phrase would run, _at the marriage of Mrs. Hudson’s daughter, Harriet
Blake Rothwell_. If she were the daughter of Mr. Hudson, the phrase
would be, _at the marriage of Mr. Hudson’s daughter, Harriet_.

The invitations to either a wedding-breakfast or reception is inclosed
with the invitation to the ceremony, but the engraved card is of the
ordinary size.

    _Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Hudson

        request the pleasure of



       on Tuesday, June first

      at half-past twelve o’clock

      Thirty-six Fremont Avenue_

But often the name is omitted, and the invitation may read simply:


         From four o’clock

      Thirty-six Fremont Avenue_

The initials _R.s.v.p._ may be used in the lower left-hand corner of
either form.

The only essential difference in the form of the invitation to
a home-wedding is that instead of asking for the _honor of your
presence_, the request is for the _pleasure of your company_. Of
course, the home-address must be given at the end, instead of the name
of the church. When the ceremony is to be performed in the presence of
only a limited number of friends, those who are to witness it receive
with their invitation a small engraved card, inscribed _Ceremony at
three o’clock_, or whatever the hour may be.

Announcement-cards, following the celebration of a quiet wedding, are
sent out on the day of the marriage. The paper used is the same as that
for the invitations.

        _Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Hudson

        have the honor of announcing

       the marriage of their daughter



       Mr. James Meade Trowbridge

       on Tuesday, June the first

    at the Church of The Incarnation_

A combination-card of bride and groom, with their address, and perhaps
her at-home day, may be inclosed with the announcement.

If, for any reason, the announcement-cards are not issued by the
bride’s relatives, they may be sent out by the engaged pair, using the
bride’s maiden name

          _Mr. George Hart Bagot


           Miss Mary Elizabeth Peck

    have the honor of announcing their marriage

          on Monday, June the seventh

        at the Church of The Incarnation


Unless the invitation to a wedding carries the letters _R.s.v.p._,
it does not require any reply, but an invitation to the reception or
breakfast should be acknowledged by two visiting-cards, sent to the
bride’s parents, when attendance is not possible or convenient. An
acceptance or declination is written in the third person, and follows
the corresponding form in reference to a dinner-invitation, with the
necessary verbal change, substituting, _wedding-reception of their
daughter_, for _dinner_.

No acknowledgment is required for announcement-cards; but it is well to
call on, or leave cards for, the bride’s parents.

It is impossible to state exactly all the details in connection with
the marriage-ceremony, since the variations in personal taste and
circumstances are such that the wedding may be fittingly celebrated in
almost regal state, with a dozen bridesmaids and everything else with
like profusion, or the rite may be carried out with a plainness and
simplicity that yet perhaps yields a significance more touching than
that of the gorgeous spectacle. Each circle in every community has its
own accepted traditions, and it is always better that these should
be followed. The vagaries of fashion may often tempt its votaries to
extravagances in following the fads and fancies of the moment. But
there should be no frivolous tampering with the marriage rite, which is
proclaimed as a sacrament by the church, and should be always esteemed
as the most sacred act in the lives of those who thus make their
covenants together.

It need only be added that for an evening wedding the bridegroom wears
the regulation evening clothes, while for an hour earlier in the day
his costume includes a frock-coat of black or dark blue, a black or
white waistcoat, and striped trousers of a lighter shade than the coat.
The scarf should be a white ascot, caught with a pearl pin.

He wears patent-leather shoes and gray suède gloves. A silk hat forms
the headgear to accompany either the evening dress or the other.

A maiden bride should wear white and a veil of tulle with orange
blossoms. The gown may be decolleté and sleeveless for an evening
wedding. A woman who has been married before may wear any color
pleasing to her, but not white, and she must not veil herself, nor
display the orange blossoms. A train properly distinguishes the

On receipt of an invitation to a wedding, any gift should be sent to
the bride without delay. There is no obligation on the part of a merely
formal acquaintance to send a gift when invited to a church wedding,
but it is permissible. Such an obligation exists for one invited to the
breakfast or reception, as well as one to be among a limited number
present at the actual marriage on the occasion of a home wedding.
Sometimes, those invited to a church wedding compromise by sending

The distinction between the maiden and the matron is again emphasized
in the matter of the bouquet carried by the bride, which for the maiden
should be of white flowers, such as lilies of the valley, while for the
woman it must be at least touched with color—perhaps of orchids.

[Illustration: “MADE EASY” SERIES]

THERE is no royal road to learning.

IT is an old saying, and a true one, in a sense: for prince and peasant
must alike travel the path.

YET, there are many paths, and great differences among them, as they
lead to the temple of knowledge. In some, the going is easy: in some,
hard. In some, the journeying is pleasant and profitable: in some,
toilsome—a weary scramble over many stumbling blocks.

THE builder of the road is the teacher. It is his task to smooth the
way, and to make it straight: or to leave it all cluttered, a twisted,
haphazard course, that runs roughly and reaches nowhere.

IN the “Made Easy” Series, it has been the publisher’s purpose to
provide for the student the best possible road to learning—a road truly
royal in its simplicity, its worth: a road wide and direct, and free
from foolish, needless litter.

THE various writers of the books in the series have been chosen for
their special fitness. Such fitness includes, in the first place,
mastery of the particular subject: in the second place, ability to
interpret knowledge to others.

RIGHT teaching makes easy learning. Few subjects are really hard to
learn, when properly set before the pupil. These volumes are the
product of a painstaking care to simplify every detail of instruction,
yet to make it complete. The result for the student is, indeed, a
learning made easy, yet none the less exact, thorough, wholly adequate
for his needs.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The volumes now ready, or in the course of preparation_—price $1.00

    Arithmetic Made Easy
    Spelling Made Easy
    Penmanship Made Easy
    Grammar Made Easy
    Drawing Made Easy
    Dressmaking Made Easy
    Dancing Made Easy
    Etiquette Made Easy
    Keeping Young Made Easy
    Love Letters Made Easy
    Shorthand Made Easy
    Bookkeeping Made Easy
    Entertaining Made Easy
    Tricks and Magic Made Easy
    Mental Healing Made Easy

    _Further titles will be added as opportunity presents itself to secure
    the proper type of manuscript._

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