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Title: Simplex Munditiis, Gentlemen
Author: Arnold, Reginald Harvey, Lannoy, Mortimer Delano de
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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SIMPLEX MUNDITIIS



                            SIMPLEX MUNDITIIS

                                GENTLEMEN

                             [Illustration]

                                NEW-YORK
                           THE DE VINNE PRESS
                                MDCCCXCI

                         Copyright, 1891, by the
                    SIMPLEX MUNDITIIS PUBLISHING CO.



                                   TO
                             ALL WHO ADMIRE
                 PERFECT DRESS AND CORRECT SOCIAL HABITS

                         This Book is Dedicated

                            IN THE HOPE THAT
                  THE PRINCIPLES IT TEACHES MAY PROMOTE
                        STRICT OBSERVANCE OF THE
                           USAGES OF SOCIETY.



PART I

DRESS FOR GENTLEMEN



CONTENTS


                                                   PAGE

    INTRODUCTION                                     11

    MORNING WEAR                                     15

    AFTERNOON DRESS                                  21

    EVENING DRESS                                    27

    THE OVERCOAT                                     33

    ATTIRE FOR RIDING, DRIVING, TRAVELING,
        YACHTING, AND LOUNGING                       38

    HOUSE WEAR                                       48

    SLEEPING ATTIRE                                  50

    LINEN                                            51

    UNDERCLOTHING                                    55

    THE ART OF DRESSING THE COLLAR                   57

    WALKING STICK AND UMBRELLA                       63

    MISCELLANIES                                     65

      DRESS FOR WEDDINGS—FUNERALS—CHRISTENINGS—AT
      HOME OR CHURCH—NEW YEAR’S
      CALLS—MOURNING—CHURCH
      WEAR—SUSPENDERS—UPPERS—ATTIRE
      MADE TO ORDER—BLONDES AND
      BRUNETTES—JEWELRY—DRESSING CASE—ARTICLES
      FOR SAME—RUBBERS—ENGLISH RAIN
      ATTIRE—CLOTH BANDS ON TOP-HATS—WIGS—OPERA
      GLASS—DECORATIONS—FANS—TROUSERS
      CREASE—POCKETS—MONOCLE—DRESS
      SHIELDS—ENGLISH HUNT ATTIRE—HUNT
      BALL—CLOSING REMARKS.



_INTRODUCTION_


_Dress is the embodiment of taste and refinement. A man looks, and is,
distinguished, when he shows simple elegance in his dress. It is not
necessary to have wealth in order to dress well. With judgment and
economy, one can be something of a dresser. This book is but a guide for
men who desire to dress, and are perplexed by the multitude of things
there are to wear, and the ever-changing styles._

_When a thing becomes vulgarly popular, then, if you wish to be in dress,
as well as manners, a gentleman, cast it aside, and seek something newer
and less common._

_Dressing may be carried to any extent, but it is not good taste to do
so._

_A gentleman is conspicuous for one thing only—his good taste. Above all
dress are manners and grace. Without these, one can never be a gentleman._

_In the other part of this work, manners and customs may be studied._

_A gentleman is a man of taste, culture, and refinement._

_No man is a gentleman who merely does the acts of a gentleman. He must
show good breeding—in dress, manners, and conversation._

_His dress is the perfection of raiment. His manner is grace and ease
personified. His conversation, knowledge itself._

_Proud, indeed, may the man be who can write after his name—gentleman._

_Let “Simplex Munditiis” be your motto for dress._

_Each person must remember one thing: that, to be distingué in dress, he
must dress, as regards material, richly; and, as to pattern of cloth,
plainly. In other words, simple elegance shows the gentleman._

_Everything you wear must be immaculate._

_There are three dress divisions of the day:_

_Morning wear._

_Afternoon dress._

_Evening dress._

_The first may be worn any time of the day before_ 6 P. M., _though it
belongs to the morning_.

_The second is not worn before_ 2 P. M.

_The third is not worn before_ 6 P. M.

_The attire for all athletic games, sports, amusements, for the clergy,
and gentlemen in the army and navy, it is not within the province of
this work to treat of. In fact, we treat of only that which is worn by
a gentleman at home or abroad, in summer or winter, when mingling in
society._



[Illustration]



MORNING WEAR

WORN ANY TIME OF DAY


Indoors or outdoors, morning wear consists of the following, as the
tastes of the wearer may dictate.

_The Head._—The black felt derby is the proper hat for morning. The light
brown in derbys is a pleasing change for spring, summer, or fall wear.
But never be without a black derby, as it is the hat worn when not in
formal dress.

A derby is never worn with a frock body-coat, a cutaway body-coat, a
Cowes body-coat, on a dress body-coat. It belongs entirely to the
walking or sack body-coat.

Have your hats made to order. You will be better pleased in the end.

The derby is proper and becoming to men of all ages. I would caution any
one against wearing such derbys as are of a pearl, gray, drab, slate, and
cigar browns. These are all in bad taste. The slouch felt hat is ignored
by gentlemen. If a man desires light shades of derbys, then let him have
them the same shade as the suit he wears them with.

_The Hand._—Gloves for morning wear should be a dark tan, and made of kid.

Heavy weight for the winter months, and very light for summer.

Raw seams and arrow-back stitching is the style. Generally one button
only on wrist.

The leading furnishing shops are recommended for gloves.

If possible, have your gloves made to order; you are then sure of a
perfect fit.

Never wear a glove after it becomes soiled. It is just as bad as having
dirty hands.

_The Foot._—Calf-skin, patent leather, and enamel leather, are used for
walking shoes. They should be made with moderately thick soles, taper at
the toes, and lace.

It is best to have shoes made to order. Nothing about a man’s dress is so
quickly noticed as ill-fitting shoes.

_The Body._—The body-coat: This is a black sack body-coat, either double
or single breasted. Both styles are correct. The materials used are
thibets, cheviots, and black serges. At present they are made with four
buttons, very wide collars, and very long in the body.

The waistcoat: This always matches the body-coat in material and pattern.
Likewise, it may be double or single breasted. It is not necessary, in
this respect, for it to match the body-coat.

Trousers: These may be of any material and pattern. They may match
the material of the body-coat, or not, as the taste of the wearer may
dictate. It is better taste to wear dark trousers with morning wear. See
that your trousers have the proper cut, and fit perfectly. This is at
once the most difficult to fit, and the ugliest part—if ill-fitting—of
the attire for men. Therefore, give it the most attention. In order
to have them cut correctly you must rely on the fashion-plate and its
accompanying directions. Insist on your directions being followed by the
tailor.

There is also the cutaway suit for morning wear. This is worn mostly by
elderly and heavily built men. It consists of a cutaway body-coat four
buttons, waistcoat single-breasted, and trousers. These three pieces are
always of the same material and pattern. The same things are worn with
this as with the sack body-coat.

       *       *       *       *       *

Heavy cloths for winter and light weights for summer wear.

The sack body-coat becomes all men, tall or short, thin or stout, old or
young.

Fancy serge waistcoats, also fine linen waistcoats, and sashes in summer,
may be worn with the sack body-coat.

Never wear trousers and waistcoat of one pattern, and body-coat another;
it is exceeding bad taste.

Suits, perfectly correct and very elegant, are made of selected
materials.

The sack body-coat, waistcoat, and trousers are always, in this case,
from the same piece of goods. Some beautiful materials of light shades
are made for summer wear. For winter wear darker and slightly heavier
materials are used.

       *       *       *       *       *

_A Morning Promenade Dress._—This consists of frock body-coat, waistcoat,
and trousers. These three pieces are always cut from the same material
and pattern. The body-coat and waistcoat may be single or double-breasted.

Only light shades or patterns of cloths are used. Never have this
promenade dress in black. The correct head covering is the black silk
top-hat with this promenade dress.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



AFTERNOON DRESS

WORN AFTER TWO P. M.


_The Head._—A black silk top-hat. Always of the latest pattern, either
Paris, London, or New-York make. All are equally stylish. This hat, above
all others, should be made to order; this being necessary if you desire a
fit both becoming and comfortable.

In this city spring and summer have light weights. For fall and winter a
slightly heavier hat is made. This is the only proper hat for afternoon
dress in summer or winter.

_The Hand._—Light or dark tan kid walking gloves are worn. The back
stitching may be black silk or same shade as the glove. One or two
buttons.

Undressed kid gloves, either light or dark shades, are also worn
especially for afternoon receptions.

_The Foot._—The leathers used are patent, and enamel. Laced Bluchers are
worn at this time of day. For summer wear, the same, or the same leathers
made in ties. Again, I caution you to pay particular attention to the
fit, and have them made to order. You exercise your own taste as to the
style the shoe is made in.

_The Body._—The proper body-coat is the black cutaway. This is now
made with three buttons, and wide collar cut low, single-breasted. The
material used is diagonal. This body-coat should be of light weight, as
it is a dress body-coat. French Thibets are also used.

_The Waistcoat._—This is made of the same material as the body-coat. It
may be double or single breasted. The waistcoat should be cut low in
front, that the large puff scarf may be well exposed. Four buttons.

Waistcoats may be of selected materials such as fancy serges and fine
linens. In summer white or black silk sashes are worn.

_The Trousers._—These should be carefully selected and well-fitted. The
material and pattern should go well with black, as this is always the
color of the afternoon body-coat.

Any pattern, checks, stripes, etc., may be worn for afternoon dress.
Never wear loud patterns; they are exceedingly bad taste and rowdyish.

Never wear trousers of the same material as the body-coat or waistcoat,
as it is not afternoon dress.

Very light patterns may be worn in summer. In winter slightly darker
patterns are worn.

If pockets are placed in trousers they are apt to be used; this spoils
the set of the cloth around the hips. Therefore leave them out if
possible.

As a rule, the bottoms of trousers should be turned up—about two
inches—while walking in the street. Of course, on a clear day this is
unnecessary.

_Frock Body-coat._—This is the formal afternoon dress body-coat. In Paris
the men wear no other.

It is never worn before 4.30 P. M.

It is worn at day weddings, at teas, receptions, and on the promenade.

The material used is the same as in a cutaway body-coat. Always black
goods.

The same things are worn with a frock body-coat as with a cutaway
body-coat.

It is made single or double breasted.

The wardrobe of a gentleman is never complete without one or more frock
body-coats.

The frock body-coat is always worn buttoned. It is worn in summer, but
always with a waistcoat.

       *       *       *       *       *

The cutaway body-coat is worn buttoned in winter, and may sometimes be
worn with rolled back collar in summer.

There is also a double-breasted cutaway body-coat, three buttons, always
black. This is worn more for promenading than anything else.

This can be worn in winter—on mild days—without a top-coat or greatcoat.
The waistcoat matches it and the trousers are selected.

Sometimes, for promenading in the spring, a frock body-coat with
waistcoat and trousers of the same piece of goods is worn. In this case
the material is some smooth, light-colored pattern.

Again, only a black silk top-hat can be worn with this frock suit.

This suit is worn without a greatcoat or light overcoat.

Afternoon dress is worn at day weddings, afternoon receptions, teas,
matinées, exhibitions of all kinds where ladies are present, and when
promenading with ladies.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



EVENING DRESS

WORN AFTER SIX P. M.


This is the culmination of grandeur in the dress of gentlemen. Bulwer’s
novel “Henry Pelham” is responsible for the almost complete blackness of
the attire for this otherwise gayest time of day.

_The Head._—The black silk top-hat is supreme and only here, as in
afternoon dress. Same style as that worn for afternoon dress. The crush
opera-hat is entirely out of style in this city. When indoors, the
top-hat should be carried in the left hand. The exceptions to this rule
are dances, evening receptions, and dinners.

_The Hand._—The white kid glove goes with evening dress, and must always
be worn with it, except at or during a dinner.

The back stitching may be self or black.

Pearl or gray shades are sometimes worn. No other covering should be worn
on the hand after 6 P. M.

If one travels through the streets and on the cars, the best glove to
wear—and perfectly proper—is the black kid glove, with black stitching,
worn only while _en route_.

Never wear tan-colored or any light shades of gloves with evening dress,
indoors or out-of-doors. It is bad taste, and looks, as it is, shoddy.
You may wear white evening gloves at any time or place after 6 P. M., and
you are not complete in your dress unless you so do.

_The Foot._—Dancing pumps are little worn in this city, in fact they are
_passé_. The climate is such, a man could never be out of his carriage,
if he wore pumps, without risk of a catarrh.

The proper shoe is made of patent leather, button, kid uppers, and no
tips. This is the shoe for evening dress.

Have them made to order, as that is the only way to secure a perfect fit.

_The Body._—The evening dress body-coat is always of a black material.

A radical change has taken place in the material used. Dress for evening
wear, especially among young men, no longer consists of the heavy, stiff
broadcloths and doeskins, but is now made of fine diagonals, of an almost
silky texture.

This is the body-coat above all others. Much care should be given the
fitting and style. They are made now with shawl collar, and silk lined.
Never wear any kind of binding on the body-coat. Do not wear buttons and
buttonholes on the sleeve of body-coat. The styles, changing each year,
should be followed minutely.

In evening dress one must appear a gentleman, if it is in him at all.

_The Waistcoat._—Materials used, same as body-coat, or white silks and
black silks. Patterns selected as taste directs. Of course the waistcoat
is confined strictly to black or white.

It may be three or four buttons; double or single breasted. It may be low
or high. Never wear linen waistcoats for evening dress.

_The Trousers._—Black, and always the same material as the body-coat. As
much care is given to the set and fit, as to that of the body-coat. Leave
out pockets. Wide, black, silk-braided braid is worn on the outside of
trouser-legs. Width of legs, medium.

_The Cowes or Tuxedo Body-coat._—This is for informal evening and home
wear. It is made of the same material as the dress body-coat. Shawl
collar. The same things are worn with it as with the dress body-coat. It
is worn at home, to informal dinners, the club, and the theater.

For Sunday evenings this is worn in place of the dress body-coat, with
dress waistcoat, dress trousers, and black satin cravat. Again, only the
top-hat is worn with the Tuxedo body-coat.

_Knee-Breeches._—These may be worn in place of dress trousers at any
grand ball, reception, or soirée. They are black silk or black satin, or
same material as dress body-coat.

In Paris and London they are much worn. Patent leather pumps and black
silk stockings are worn. This is the only change in evening dress, when
knee-breeches are worn.

Of course, in this attire you must always drive in a closed carriage.

Flowered or figured colored waistcoats, double or single breasted, may
be worn; white or black preferred. The dress body-coats may also be in
colors as well as black. An elegant attire, such as this, is to be worn
for grand formal evening dress.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



THE OVERCOAT


_Greatcoat._—This is a heavy greatcoat, with or without a cape, as
fashion or taste may decide. Double or single breasted, long or short. It
is worn during the day only, either over morning wear or afternoon dress.

It is most fashionable and elegant when made of some black or dark blue
material.

The very latest in this greatcoat is made thus: very long—five inches
below knee—no fit, without seam in middle of back—broad shawl collar of
black velvet, single-breasted, dark blue box-cloth. It is shoulder-lined
with black silk. For afternoon dress wear only.

One may follow his own taste in selecting a material for this day
greatcoat.

This is made to wear during the coldest weather. It should be removed
immediately on going indoors.

_Light Overcoat._—For fall and spring wear. This is box cut, made of a
light weight material.

The overcoat for cool days and evening wear, as over evening dress in
summer, is of some selected black material. The day overcoat or afternoon
walking-coat is of some light pattern, selected according to taste of
wearer. These overcoats are now cut very short.

These overcoats are worn over morning wear or afternoon dress,
particularly the light shades over the latter.

_Driving Overcoat._—This is a box-coat cut long or short. Double or
single-breasted. The color should be light, as it will not show dust.

Heavy material is used for winter and light for summer driving.

_The Riding Top-coat._—This is a short English box-coat. The material is
soft and of medium weight. The color may be light or dark.

_The Raglan._—“Lord Chumly,” Inverness, or sleeveless, greatcoat for
evening wear.

This is the only greatcoat to wear over evening dress.

It is always black, and with a large, full-length cape.

There are no sleeves, the cape covering the arms completely.

This is the perfect greatcoat to wear over evening dress, as removing and
placing on can be accomplished without disturbing in any way the dress.

This greatcoat makes up for the ugliness of the day overcoats in the
graceful appearance it gives the wearer.

It is worn at night only, in the carriage, or on the street. It is
removed on going indoors.

Ulsters, fur greatcoats, and greatcoats with fur collars and cuffs, may
be worn for very cold weather. They are for day wear only.

_The Mackintosh._—This is made in any pattern; the inner lining being
rubber. With or without cape. Double or single breasted. Light weights
for summer and heavy for winter wear.

It is worn by day only. It may be worn with morning wear or afternoon
dress. In the latter a top-hat should never be worn with a mackintosh.
Only a derby is worn.

In all cloudy, damp, or wet weather the mackintosh appears.

It is not necessary to carry an umbrella.

The mackintosh should be worn very long, and rather loose in fit.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may follow the fashion-plate as regards the style your greatcoat or
overcoat is to be made in.

You will discuss with your cutter the correct thing in seams, linings,
buttons, and pockets. These things are constantly changing, and therefore
have no fixed rule.

Covered buttons are worn only on light walking overcoats and evening
greatcoats.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



ATTIRE FOR RIDING, DRIVING, TRAVELING, YACHTING, AND LOUNGING


RIDING

_The Head._—Black derby for winter. Brown derby for summer.

A cord is attached to the hat, which may be loosened and made fast to a
body-coat button.

Same style of derby as that used for morning wear. The silk hat may be
worn for formal riding when without the top-coat.

_The Hand._—Dark tan gloves or gauntlets, same as morning wear.

_The Foot._—Riding boots or shoes are worn, according to taste of wearer.

The leathers used are patent or enamel.

Spurs of nickel or silver plate are worn.

The crop is always carried. This is silver mounted, and any selected wood.

_The Body._—A four-button, single-breasted cutaway of any selected
material and pattern—not black—is the proper body-coat. Very short
skirts. Waistcoat same, or selected material. High cut; single-breasted.

_Trousers._—They may be long, with straps.

They may be short—just below knee—buttoned at side and baggy above knee.
Riding boots or leggings are worn with the knee-breeches, while with the
trousers laced shoes are worn. The leggings are made to button, strap, or
hook. The most stylish leggings are of the same material as the breeches.

Trousers or breeches should be of some light pattern; material should be
strong. They are lined on the seat and inner side of legs with chamois
skin.

For evening rides, as in academies, the black silk top-hat, white suéde
gloves, single-breasted, black, cutaway body-coat, and strap trousers of
the same material. Spurs and crop may be worn.

For elderly men the black body-coat and strap trousers may be worn during
the day.


DRIVING

Morning wear is worn for morning drives.

Afternoon drives, if formal, afternoon dress is worn.

The same rule holds good when you handle the ribbons, as when the
coachman occupies the box.

The driving overcoat is only worn in the box seat.


TRAVELING

Morning wear is the proper dress for all travel, be it on ocean or land.

Sack suits, double or single breasted, are exceedingly stylish and
comfortable. Dark colored material is doubtless the best, as it does
not show the dust and wear of travel. Heavy cloths for winter and light
weights for summer travel.


YACHTING

This is worn on board ship any time of year. For visiting on shore, a
day or so, it may be worn, if your temporary home is the yacht. Heavy
material for winter, and light weights for summer.

_Head._—The proper head apparel is the yachting cap. This may be made in
white or blue flannel, serge, or white canvas.

The yachting cap is for morning, afternoon, or evening wear, in port or
at sea.

_The Hand._—For all formal affairs on board ship, white suéde gloves
are worn. In winter or summer, tan kid gloves may be worn with yachting
attire.

_Foot._—Either a blue or white canvas laced shoe or tie, with rubber
soles, for day wear.

For summer evening wear, white suéde or canvas ties. For the same in
winter, evening dress-shoes.

_Body._—For day wear, the double-breasted, sack body-coat. This may be
blue or white flannel, or serges in blue or white. Brass buttons are
generally used.

_Waistcoat._—This may match the body-coat in material and color, and cut,
or not, as the wearer desires.

_Trousers._—These always match the body-coat in material and color.

White canvas suits may be worn, but they are coarse and clumsy.

White trousers may also be worn with a blue body-coat.

       *       *       *       *       *

For formal occasions, evening wear on a yacht consists of evening dress,
as on land.

The silk negligé shirt is worn for day wear, if preferred to linen.

The ties for day wear are four-in-hands and cravats, self-tying.

These are in silk, either white, black, or blue, flowered, figured, or
solid colors.

De Joinvilles, also, tied in bow knots, are worn.


LOUNGING

This dress belongs strictly to the summer months; it is never worn in the
city.

_The Head._—For day wear there is the white split straw, with white or
black silk bands.

Also, the yachting cap, in white or black. This is made of flannel, or a
material matching the lounging suit.

These hats are worn for tennis, walking, driving, riding, day receptions,
lawn parties, etc. However, these hats are never to be worn in the city.

_The Hand._—White suéde gloves are worn with lounging suits, when walking
or driving.

_The Foot._—White canvas, white suéde, tan or white buckskin, and patent
leather ties, are worn with lounging suits.

For tennis, and games on the lawn, canvas, or suéde, or buckskin shoes,
or ties, with either felt or rubber soles, are used.

Have these shoes fit, and look as neat as possible.

_The Body._—First the material—this may be serge or flannel—though the
latter is out, for the reason that it is more heating than serge—these
are always full white.

It consists of a long or short sack body-coat, waistcoat, and trousers.
The body-coat may be single or double breasted.

The waistcoat may match the body-coat in cut and material or not. Fancy
patterns may be used.

Trousers are always the same material and color as the body-coat.

Have the cut loose, and almost flowing.

The trousers may have a stripe at the side. No pockets.

Lounging suits may also be made up in some selected pattern, as small
checks or narrow black stripes. But there is nothing so rich as the solid
white lounging suit.

The sash or kummerbund.—The length is from four to five yards. Always tie
your sash—never wear those cheap, common made-ups.

A sash may be worn any time of day. The material is always silk. Never
wear any but solid colors. Black silks and white silks are the most
elegant and correct.

Sashes of maroon or dark blue are sometimes worn. The ends hang over the
left hip, and should be evenly tied. The sash is worn with a lounging
suit, morning wear, afternoon dress, and evening dress.

The white sash is worn with a white lounging suit and evening dress only.

The negligé shirt is made of silk, or cheviots. However, this is no
longer worn by young gentlemen of fashion.

A word about this shirt—it is doubtless very comfortable, and can be worn
longer than linen, but it is not as cool as linen, nor does it look as
well about the neck.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



HOUSE WEAR


The formal dress is the same as that worn at any other house.

In the privacy of your rooms, however, you change this attire for
something that is loose and comfortable.

Sack body-coats of selected materials are used. The trousers are of some
black or blue material, as selected.

There is also the smoking jacket and the poker jacket—these are in many
varieties of material and pattern.

Again, we have the short and the long dressing-gowns. There are many
patterns to choose from.

Before and after the bath, the bath-robe is put on. This differs from
the silk dressing-gown in being made of Turkish toweling. No part of
man’s attire is more brilliant or beautiful than this robe. The comfort
experienced in wearing is only equaled by its delicate and beautiful
colors.

For the feet we have the slipper; this may be any leather and style your
taste desires. Slippers are also made to match the bath-robe in material
and pattern.

You must not wear any of these things out of the privacy of your own
apartments.

For a lunch at home you would wear morning wear; a reception or tea,
afternoon dress; evening affairs, evening dress.

It is as necessary—in fact, it is due—when acting the part of the host to
look your best as when you are a guest.

When you dine at home evening dress is always required.



[Illustration]



SLEEPING ATTIRE


These are pajamas—consisting of a loose fitting sack coat, and loose
fitting trousers.

The material and pattern are selected as the wearer desires.

Light weights for summer, and heavy for winter. Fine linen, silks, and
cheviots are used.



[Illustration]



LINEN AND KERCHIEFS


This consists of the white linen shirt. It should always be made to
order, if a fit is desired.

The shirt opens in front only. You may have two or three buttonholes in
the bosom.

The collar and cuffs are attached. Never wear detachable collars and
cuffs.

This shirt with the plain bosom is worn for morning wear, afternoon
dress, evening dress, or any other wear during the day. The same style of
shirt is worn winter or summer.

Very elegant shirts are made for evening dress, consisting of embroidered
bosoms or frills of linen. With each change of wear the linen should also
be changed.

At least three changes a day are made.

The style of the collar. This may be very high, or medium, as your taste
directs.

The cuffs should extend to the first thumb-joint. Cuffs are made with
round or square edges.

The high, or standing, collar is worn with morning wear, afternoon dress,
evening dress, and all other dress.

_The Handkerchief._—This is of pure white linen, with white borders.

Embroidered or not, as taste dictates.

The same style is carried with morning wear, afternoon dress, or evening
dress, or any other wear.

The upper left outside pocket is the place to carry it, except in evening
dress, when it is carried in the left or right side upper inside
waistcoat pocket.

The handkerchief of silk is carried with evening dress only. It is
carried in the right hand while dancing, and worn in the shirt front.

It may be any pattern desired. White silk is always the body, the border
only being colored.

_The neckerchief._ This is of silk, selected as to color and pattern.
This is worn around the neck with greatcoat during cold weather.

It is not a good thing to wear, as far as health goes.

It is not necessary to the stylish dresser.

A gold pin may be worn in a neckerchief.

_Waistcoat Facings._—These are seldom worn now by the dressers.

The material used is linen or silk, always white. They are cut to match
the waistcoat, opening about the tie.

Worn in winter only.

They can be worn with morning wear or afternoon dress.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



UNDERCLOTHING


This consists of shirt, drawers, and half-hose.

The material may be flannel, balbriggan, or silk.

White is the proper color, because it is pure and clean.

Such colors as pink, or blue, or black may be worn.

Have the drawers fit tight, or the trousers will set ill.

_Half-hose._—These should fit very tight.

They should match the shirt and drawers in material and color.

Half-hose should be in solid colors only.

Morning wear and afternoon dress. White or black is the most elegant;
other shades may be worn, if desired. They should match the underwear.

For evening dress, white or black only. White half-hose worn with white
underwear only. Black half-hose with white or black underwear only.

_Half-hose Supporters._—These are made to hold up half-hose. They are of
white silk. Other colors may be worn.

       *       *       *       *       *

Underclothing should be changed at least twice a day. Silk is worn always
with evening dress. Indulge in baths as frequently as possible.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



THE ART OF DRESSING THE COLLAR


In ties, cravats, and scarfs we have two colors—these are the principals.
They are black, and white. With these, combined or separate, the most
elegant scarfs are made. They may be figured or flowered, or solid
colors. The materials used are silks, crêpes, satins and lawn.

The patterns—with black or white as a background—are innumerable.

Use all the taste you can command in selecting ties.

Remember that black is your principal body-coat color, and select your
ties accordingly. At the same time you must not have the color or pattern
of the tie at war with that of the waistcoat or trousers.

Never wear those flaming ties, or shades that remind you of the colored
paper sold in shops.

But a gentleman need not be cautioned in this, for he has or will acquire
taste.

Besides black or white it is permissible to wear such shades of maroon,
green, blue, violet, as are of a rich but quiet style. These are only
worn with morning wear.

_For Morning Wear._—Cravats, four-in-hands, and puff scarfs. All
self-tying. These may be black, white, or any of the before-mentioned
shades. In silks and black satin. Gold pins are worn in the scarfs. It
is the acme of ugliness to wear pins in a four-in-hand, besides being
vulgar. The four-in-hand may be tied in the regulation style or in the
form of a bow.

Never wear a made-up bow, scarf, or four-in-hand. They look cheap, and
they are vulgarly common.

Then there is the bow or cravat, tied in the regular bow-knot.

Black is the richest and most elegant color for morning wear.

The same styles are worn in summer as in winter. In summer much of the
bosom is allowed to show; while in winter it seldom or never shows,
excepting evening dress. Wherever and whenever morning wear is used, any
of these ties may be worn.

For riding, driving, traveling, yachting, and lounging, the ties for
morning wear may be worn.

Very elegant, large cravats—tied in a bow-knot, or as a four-in-hand—are
made from De Joinvilles; either in black satins or black silks, or dark
shades of silk.

The De Joinville is folded by yourself or your furnisher. It may be sewed
or not. This De Joinville cravat is for morning wear only. Always have
your ties, cravats, and scarfs made to order. This is the only way to
keep them uncommon.

_Afternoon Dress._—Here is the chance for the greatest amount of display.
Diamond pins, and large, white, puff scarfs tied and pinned in shape by
yourself, are worn with the cutaway body-coat or the frock body-coat.

In winter the large puff scarf only is worn with afternoon dress.

In summer, four-in-hands—either in bow or regular tie—as well as the puff
scarfs are worn. With a sash—a bow tied or a four-in-hand tied, its ends
placed in the opening of the bosom, is worn. A scarf may be worn with a
sash when the body-coat is not worn open.

Waistcoats should be four buttons, and body-coats cut low in collars in
order to show the beauties of the huge puff scarf now worn.

Silk is the material for the white scarf.

Satin is only allowable in black and dark shades for scarfs.

Exquisite silk or crêpe puff scarfs consisting of white background with
figures or flowers of a violet, blue, purple, maroon, etc., as your taste
directs, are worn.

Remember, simplicity for morning wear—elegance for afternoon dress.

For house wear the black silk or satin four-in-hand is the neatest tie
worn.

The Ascot form of tying a scarf is seldom used now.

_Evening Dress._—Full evening dress requires the white lawn
cravat—self-tying.

Long and wide is the most elegant.

Once or twice around may be worn. For wear with Tuxedo or Cowes
body-coat, or the dress body-coat at informal affairs, theater, club, or
home dinners, the black satin cravat—self-tying—is the proper thing. It
may be once or twice around as you like. Never wear this cravat with a
white waistcoat or white sash.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



WALKING STICK AND UMBRELLA


The walking stick is worn with morning wear, afternoon dress, but never
with evening dress.

The styles are ever changing. Sticks are worn in summer and winter. In
selecting sticks do not take the extremes in heavy or light. Never have
any metal but silver—it is the most elegant.

Among the best dressers and beaus of this city the walking stick is no
longer carried or worn, either with morning wear or afternoon dress. As
went the rapier so goes the walking stick.

_The Umbrella._—This is worn only in doubtful or wet weather.

It is worn at any time of day. Silver is the only proper metal. The
material should be silk or part silk. Never wear the case in the street.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



MISCELLANIES


_Weddings._—At morning weddings, the bridegroom wears formal afternoon
dress and pearl-gray gloves. The others wear morning dress.

Afternoon weddings, all wear afternoon dress.

Evening weddings, all wear evening dress.

_Funerals._—If in the morning, morning wear. Afternoon, afternoon dress.
Evening, evening dress. Of course, all the attire is black in this case;
the only reason for black being the demand of superstitious custom.

_Christenings._—According to the time of day it takes place. If morning,
morning wear. Afternoon, afternoon dress. Evening, evening dress.

_At Home or Church._—The dress is the same when weddings, etc., take
place at home as at church.

_Calls New Year’s._—It is not proper now to make calls on New Year’s day.
That is the only time that evening dress was ever worn before 6 P. M. It
was worn nearly all day then.

_For Mourning._—Everything worn that shows, excepting the linen, should
be black, for all times of day.

_Church Wear._—On Sunday, afternoon dress is worn at morning, afternoon,
or evening service.

On the other days of the week, morning wear, or afternoon dress, or
evening dress, according to time of service, may be worn.

_Suspenders._—These may be of silk, or any other suitable material. Silk
should always be worn with evening dress. White is the neatest color that
can be worn.

Suspenders are worn with every dress, summer or winter, with or without a
sash. Each pair of trousers should have its individual suspenders. Great
care must be used in adjusting the suspenders; if not, the trousers will
set awkwardly.

_Uppers, or Overgaiters._—This article is becoming somewhat obsolete
here. They are worn in the street only. They may be worn over any shoe or
tie. For traveling or walking only.

On entering the house they should be removed. If worn, they should always
be made the same as the trousers, in material and pattern. They spoil
the set of the trousers in the legs. They are also clumsy. They are some
protection to the trousers in muddy weather. They may be worn summer or
winter.

Uppers may be worn with morning wear, afternoon dress, or evening dress.
Black cloth uppers may be worn during the daytime as well as in the
evening.

_Attire Made to Order._—Have everything you wear made to order, when
possible.

_Blondes and Brunettes._—Blondes should prefer dark materials. Brunettes,
light materials.

_Jewelry._—The jewelry for a gentleman: Gold hunting-case watches. Gold
fob-chains and silk fobs.

A watch may be worn with any dress. Silk fob for morning wear. Gold for
afternoon and evening.

As many rings as he cares to possess. Rings are not worn with evening
dress; only in the afternoon. In fact, it is not fashionably necessary to
wear rings.

The buttons used in the shirt bosoms are of gold set with precious
stones. Diamonds are the most elegant.

Plain gold buttons are worn with morning wear.

Stonine studs or buttons, in fact all studs, are out of style.

For the sleeve or cuff: gold buttons are used for all wear.

Any number of gold pins for the scarfs. These may be plain gold or set
with precious stones; diamonds, of course, being preferable.

Simple elegance is now the rule in jewelry.

_Dressing Case._—Always have on hand a large valise or dressing case for
traveling.

It is requisite if you go out of town for a night only, it being
necessary to carry evening dress.

_Dressing Case Articles._—Articles for a dressing case are hair-brushes,
combs, whisk-brooms, cloth-brushes, hand-mirrors, manicure set, soaps,
washes and toilet lotions, wash-cloths, brushes and picks for the teeth
and gums, and shaving outfit.

_Rubbers._—Rubbers or goloshes are worn, if desired; but only while
walking in the street. It is much better to have a heavy pair of
laced-shoes for mud or snow. Of course, when there is ice on the walks,
it is necessary to wear rubbers, if you do any walking. Rubbers, when
walking, may be worn over evening dress shoes.

_Dress Shields._—These are of silk or satin. White or black.

It is for evening dress only. Only for winter weather. It is placed over
the linen bosom while _en route_.

_English Rain Attire._—An English attire for rainy weather consists of an
oiled topper—top-hat oiled with vaseline—and a long-skirted greatcoat,
with a cape. Material and pattern selected. This is worn only during the
day. Umbrella and rubbers are unnecessary.

_English Hunt Attire._—A heavy top-hat of black silk plush is worn.
Gloves, crop, and spurs.

A single-breasted, frock body-coat, green or pink, kersey. White
moleskin, loose breeches. Top riding-boots.

_Hunt Ball._—The only change is in the body-coat. This is a pink
broadcloth evening dress body-coat. A white lawn cravat and white silk
waistcoat are worn with it.

_Cloth Bands for Top-hats._—Wide black cloth bands are now worn on the
silk top-hat, afternoon or evening. For riding or driving.

_Wigs._—The wearing of wigs is a custom of the past. Whether it is to be
revived or not the future alone will show.

It is perfectly proper for a bald man to wear a wig. There is no reason
in his hiding the fact either. A young man may wear a wig if he is
prematurely bald. He certainly will make his appearance more presentable
to others by so doing.

_Opera Glass._—A gentleman may carry one to the theater or opera—evening
or afternoon. The small opera glass is most convenient.

_Decorations._—These are worn only on formal occasions. Then they should
appear on evening dress, or on afternoon dress with a frock body-coat.
Worn on the left breast.

_Fans._—These may be carried at any evening reception by a gentleman, if
he desires to so do, when there is to be dancing.

Folding fans, with a heavy black or white silk cord and tassel, are
recommended.

As a rule, fans are carried only for summer dances. A gentleman will find
it convenient and comfortable to have his own fan.

_Knee-buckles and Shoe-buckles._—These are of sterling silver. Buckles
may be worn when knee-breeches are worn.

_Trousers Crease._—This may be worn in trousers or not as taste dictates.

It certainly improves the set of the trousers, and keeps the knees
straight.

_Pockets._—These appear only in the waistcoat and body-coat. The only
things carried—morning wear, afternoon dress, and evening dress—are the
linen kerchief—including the silk when in evening dress—money, watch, and
fob chain in silk or gold, cards, pencil, silver or gold.

_The Monocle._—This is worn any time of day. Narrow black silk ribbon or
cord is worn on it for morning and afternoon. For evening a wide black
silk ribbon is used.

Wearing a monocle is an English custom.

The monocle is seldom worn in this city. When worn it is placed in the
right eye.



CLOSING REMARKS


A gentleman in ordering his apparel, whether for morning wear, afternoon
dress, or evening dress, will follow his own taste and desire as regards
the style of seams, the material and style of linings, the size, number,
and kind of buttons to be used, the number of pockets, the length of
body-coats, overcoats, length and width of trousers, the style of his
hat, gloves, and shoes, the length of sleeves and width of collars, use
of braids and bindings, use of collar facings,—in fact, every point
connected with the making of garments, both outer and under clothing,
hats, shoes, gloves, and ties, all these he must decide and order the
maker to follow out.

It is only through this care and attention to details that he can show
his taste and ability to dress. Most important of all—especially in
clothing—is the selection of material.

This completes the dress necessary for a gentleman of fashion, in society
or out. He is not asked to follow implicitly the rules as laid down here,
but rather follow his own taste and ideas in the making and wearing of
garments.

This is only meant as a guide. It is believed to be correct in all its
details, and can be followed safely as such.

_Finis coronat opus._

[Illustration]



PART II.

ESSENTIAL CUSTOMS FOR GENTLEMEN



CONTENTS

                                                   PAGE

    INTRODUCTION                                     81

    ACTIONS INDOORS                                  85

      (1) LEAVING THE ROOM—(2) WALK INDOORS—(3)
      MEETING ON STAIRS—(4) HAT INDOORS—(5)
      BODY-COAT INDOORS—(6) OVERCOAT INDOORS—(7)
      UNTIDY APPEARANCE—(8) CARDS—(9)
      CALLING—(10) IN COMPANY—(11) RECEPTIONS
      AND TEAS—(12) LUNCHEONS—(13) PARTIES—(14)
      DINNERS—(15) DANCING—(16) BALLS,
      DANCING CLASSES, THEATER PARTIES AND
      RECEPTIONS—(17) BOWLING—(18) MUSICALES AND
      MATINÉE PARTIES—(19) AMATEUR THEATRICALS
      AND RECITATIONS—(20) BREAKFASTS—(21) VOCAL
      AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

    ACTIONS OUTDOORS                                112

      (1) WALKING—(2) PROMENADING—(3) JOINING
      LADY—(4) PAYING OUT MONEY—(5) TAKING SEAT
      IN PUBLIC CONVEYANCE—(6) DRIVING—(7)
      RIDING—(8) SAILING

    PERSONAL APPEARANCE                             126

      (1) HANDS—(2) FACE—(3) TEETH—(4) HAIR—(5)
      FACIAL EXPRESSIONS—(6) POSITION

    HABITS                                          131

      (1) SMOKING—(2) DRINKING—(3) CHEWING—(4)
      STRETCHING AND YAWNING

    CONVERSATION                                    134

      (1) GENERAL—(2) GRAMMAR—(3) LAUGHING—(4)
      COMPLIMENTS AND FLATTERY—(5) SMALL TALK

    CORRESPONDENCE AND INVITATIONS                  138

    PERSONAL ACTIONS                                146

      (1) ESCORTS—(2) EXTRAVAGANCE—(3)
      KISSING—(4) FAMILIARITY—(5) CHAPERONS—(6)
      HANDSHAKING—(7) KISSING HAND—(8) GENTLEMAN
      ENGAGED—(9) INTRODUCTIONS

    PROPOSING                                       159

    PRESENTS                                        165

      (1) FLOWERS—(2) JEWELRY—(3) BON-BONS—(4)
      PHOTOGRAPHS

    GENERAL POLITENESS                              170

      (1) INSULTS—(2) EMBARRASSMENTS—(3) TEMPER

    VISITING                                        176

      (1) ACCEPTANCES AND REGRETS—(2) DUTIES OF
      VISITOR



_INTRODUCTION_


_Before entering upon my subject, I would first state that this work is
unlike former books on manners and etiquette, for it seeks not as in
those cases to establish rules, enjoining the reader to be controlled
thereby, nor does it define customs and force them upon his knowledge. It
merely touches upon usages of sufficiently long standing to constitute
customs of society, reviews them before his mind, and classes them
as faults if not properly practised, and gives the remedies of those
faults. Also it defines customs which are practised too exactly to appear
natural, and shows wherein they can be modified. In this work there are
no monotonous rules imperatively laid down and the subjects are not
tiresomely strained. The most important customs only are described, with
their modifying rules; and though the work may say what should be done
or omitted, yet it leaves it to the option of the reader whether or not
he will perfect his social training by a recognition and due exercise
thereof._

_To classify the subjects under two general heads, I would first speak of
“Appearance.”_

_There is no necessity for a gentleman to give opportunities for others
to criticize his appearance. There is no reason why a gentleman should
not at any and all times present a complete and neat attire. Dress,
extravagant or plain, can always have such an effect, if care and
taste are exercised. If he is in doubt as to his own ability to dress
tastefully, then he should submit himself to tuition, or, if he is too
proud to disclose his ignorance in the matter, he should take careful
notice of the appearance and good taste displayed by others, and
endeavor to gain knowledge therefrom. In order to carry out my advice, it
is only necessary that a gentleman should either possess or acquire good
taste, and refer entirely to styles established by custom, as elucidated
in Part 1. of this book._

_The second head of customs is “Manner.” For a gentleman should not
present a perfect appearance as to dress, and at the same time accompany
his good taste with bad or impolite manners. A gentleman should have
a thorough knowledge of polite manners as established by custom, such
as are defined in this work. I mention only the most important ones,
it being immaterial to go into the minor branches of etiquette and
manners, as they naturally follow in consequence of a due exercise of the
more important ones. It is a very simple matter to cultivate easy and
graceful manners, and just as easy to use those manners in a polite and
gentlemanly way, no matter how or under what circumstances one may be
placed in society._

_And now I think my reader is prepared for a perusal of what I would term
not a classification of rules, but a kind of outline history of customs
as they should be recognized._



[Illustration]



ACTIONS INDOORS


SECTION 1. A gentleman should never leave his room without a complete
attire, as it is essential that he present the same appearance before a
servant as a lady. The same rule should apply when he risks encountering
unknown gentlemen, or acquaintances, as it should be his desire to
receive respect at the hands of both sexes.

2. If passing up or down stairs or through halls, a gentleman should take
care not to tread heavily; especially is this urged in hotels, when it is
found necessary to pass through hallways late at night.

3. When about to ascend or descend a narrow stairway, if a lady is
discovered thereon, step aside and allow her to pass; your act thus
permitting her free way without the discomfort of turning, as would
follow if both met thereon.

If with a lady, in ascending or descending a narrow stairway, always
precede her, putting a distance of at least four steps between. If on a
broad stairway, allow her to occupy a place next the balustrade, placing
yourself at her other side.

4. Not under any consideration should a hat be worn in a house or
church; never in a theater till the play is over, when it is allowable,
as established by custom, on account of the draft following the opening
of the exits, and not in a hotel except in the office or smoking-rooms
thereof. The wearing of a hat is also permissible when lingering or
detained in the draft of any open exit to the street.

5. The body-coat should never be removed in the presence of ladies,
no matter how ready they may be to approve of the act, unless it is
their express and unanimous desire, in which case the better policy,
in choosing between the alternative of positive rudeness and a fall of
dignity, is to take the course requested.

6. An overcoat should never be worn in a private house unless the
temperature is such as makes the act compulsory in order to preserve the
health, and then only on receiving approval from the majority of those
ladies (only) who may be present. It is immaterial if it be worn in a
hotel, exceptions being made to the parlors, ball-room, dining-rooms
or apartments. The overcoat should be removed immediately on entering
a theater or music hall if the intention is to remove it at all, as it
is the height of rudeness to rise in the seat to remove it if the act
cause discomfort to, or obscures the view of, parties occupying rear or
adjoining seats.

7. (_a_) Never add to your comfort by making your appearance displeasing
to others. And under this head I would state that the pockets of either
coat, vest, or trousers should never be bulged out with articles so as in
any way to spoil the effect of neatness and cut of the clothing. (_b_)
The clothes should not be allowed to wrinkle; if carefully worn, or when
not in use hung smoothly on stretchers, wrinkles can be avoided. (_c_)
The hands should never be carried awkwardly, and especially must care be
taken to keep them out of the pockets; such habits mar the appearance of
the gentleman.

8. Cards.—(_a_) If calling upon one young lady, only one card should be
delivered at the door; if on two ladies, two cards are required. It is
unnecessary that more than two should be sent up, even if the call is
made on the whole family. This rule applies, also, in delivering cards at
receptions, teas, afternoon musicales, and the like. Always send cards
on occasions when you cannot attend in person. When calling upon ladies
visiting a card should also be sent to their hostess.

(_b_) The card should always have the gentleman’s address on the right
hand lower corner; or, if he has no permanent place of residence, then
the name of his club, or of some person in whose care communications can
be forwarded to him. If his name has too many initials to permit of using
the Christian name, then “Mr.” should be used, and only the initials
placed before the surname; but otherwise, the use of “Mr.” is according
to taste, whether it be placed before the Christian name or omitted,
though the latter is advised.

9. Calling should be confined entirely to the afternoon and evening; a
few exceptions can be made in the case of very dear friends, when a call
in the morning would not be out of the way. Such should be made between
the hours of eleven and one. Afternoon calls should be made from three
till five, exceptions being made on occasions where the lady is in the
habit of having five o’clock tea, when it is allowable for the gentleman
to stay till his cup or two cups are finished; on no account is he to
partake of more than two. Ordinary evening calls extend from eight to ten
and are not to be made later than eight-thirty. For no reason whatever
should a gentleman stay later than ten, unless he is calling upon his
fiancée; the evening receptions extend from eight to eleven, and the call
must be made before ten.

When pressed to remain to a meal, unless at least five or six calls have
previously been made, he should decline the invitation, exceptions being
permitted when the young lady’s parents or guardians are on intimate
terms with his own, in which case the second call will justify him in
accepting. Intimacy between her brothers or sisters and your own will
not suffice. The card is delivered at the door, and while waiting for
the lady, enter the parlor. It is not necessary to remove the overcoat
until the butler announces whether or not she is at home and can see you;
whereupon, if she acknowledges your card, the overcoat, hat, cane and
overshoes are to be left in the hall; on no account leave them about the
parlor. It is not necessary to remove the gloves. This rule applies in
all cases where ordinary calls are in question; if merely on a mission
to occupy but a few moments, the overcoat may be kept on, and the cane
carried in the hand, but the hat must always be left upon the rack.

Always rise and advance to meet a lady at the door; do not subject her
to the inconvenience of discovering you and coming to you herself. If
the lady seats herself upon a sofa, do not place yourself beside her
without first obtaining her consent. If you take the seat, be careful of
your position, and do not appear too easy and at home, and, above all,
do not cross the legs. Also, keep the hands as quiet as possible; don’t
handle any objects or toy with ornaments, or twist your watch-chain, for
it shows you are either nervous or fidgety, and you thereby produce
the nervous effect upon your companion. The conversation should be of a
sensible topic; or, if amusing, it should be at least interesting: the
best topics to converse upon being theaters, plays, society, picture
exhibitions, art, buildings, literature, and especially light gossip.
Travels may also be discussed, but first ascertain of the lady whether
she has traveled; if not, and she does not ask you to recite your
travels, and it is your desire to do so, then describe them as briefly as
possible. If you find a young lady begins to appear restless, say a few
words more and take your departure; there is no knowing but that she has
some other engagement. Never at any time speak of an acquaintance in a
disagreeable manner. Do not even say anything unguardedly about a third
person, for fear that the trait or action you describe may disclose to
your companion of whom you are speaking. These last two cautions may seem
of minor importance, but they are, on the contrary, very important, as
thousands of serious quarrels result from neglecting them.

10. When in company, do not by word or action make yourself obnoxious to
those present. Your words should be well chosen and spoken at the proper
time, and in good grammar; omit slang. If of a joking frame of mind,
deliver your joke in a quiet way, and do not carry your ability too far;
for too much of a good thing is worse than none at all. A few good jokes,
delivered with telling effect, will do more for your reputation in that
line than a thousand poor ones improperly delivered. No man should laugh
at his own joke, and when doing so at others’ he should take care not
to be boisterous. Do not monopolize the conversation; it cannot be done
without interrupting others, and to do that is the height of rudeness.
When in company, and persons are talking, do not pick them up on any
statement of which you do not approve, and pointedly contradict them, nor
start any argument which would tend to their embarrassment. Never flatter
or compliment in company, as it makes the object of your attention feel
conspicuous, and those present imagine that they are of less importance
in your estimation. Do not ask a young lady to attend any entertainment
with you, or do not extend any invitation if another lady be present,
with whom you are even but slightly acquainted; your partiality for one
should never be disclosed to another. Unless you can do it gracefully, do
not execute a dance or attempt to imitate stage performers.

Also take care not to upset or run into ornaments or stub the toe against
them, and be sure of your footing, that you do not trip on mats, etc. A
great many gentlemen imagine it to be necessary to back out of a room on
taking their departure; not so,—merely say “good-by” (or “good-morning,”
or words suited to the time of day), and, turning to the door, walk out
to the hallway. If the hostess has an inclination or desire to follow you
and continue any unfinished subject which may have been under discussion,
it is not necessary to retire in so awkward a manner. Promptly announce
your intention and enter the hall; while adjusting the overcoat and
gloves, the conversation can be continued. This method can be exercised
without the faintest appearance of rudeness.… Subjects to be carefully
studied for company use may be found under the head of “Conversation.”

11. If you are at a special invitation afternoon tea or reception, pay
particular attention to the hostess whenever she is seen unoccupied, and
offer your company in escorting her to partake of refreshments. Always
eat lightly of the viands yourself. If a crowded reception, half an hour
only should be spent thereat. A reception call should be made within
three months thereafter; half an hour, or possibly three-quarters, is
proper for such a call.

12. A gentleman should never enter his sister’s luncheon hall when the
repast is in progress; such intrusions prove fatal to topics of dress
generally under discussion, or other matter not intended for his ears.
A gentleman can give a stag luncheon, or a luncheon for both ladies and
gentlemen if a chaperon presides.

Under this head informal lunches may also be discussed. These are
such as persons are apt to partake of without any special previous
arrangement, either at restaurants or private houses. As a gentleman
is at liberty to dine where he pleases, I only speak of the subject in
connection with ladies.

A gentleman should never invite a lady to lunch at his own house, no
matter how well acquainted he may be with her, not even when engaged,
unless a chaperon be present at the meal, and not invite her at all
unless he has met her very frequently beforehand.

A gentleman can accept an invitation to lunch with a lady under the same
conditions as those of an invitation to stay to dinner when calling (see
Sec. 9.)

When desirous of asking a lady to lunch at a restaurant, whether you take
her direct from the house to it, or while walking, makes no difference;
a chaperon must be present at the meal unless you bear an existing or
agreed future relationship to her, or your friendship is understood
by your own and the lady’s friends to be so dear as not to allow of
suspicion or question—when a chaperon can be dispensed with.

Without a chaperon be extremely careful in your selection of a
restaurant; seek those whose reputation is quiet and refined and of less
publicity than the rest of the well-known restaurants. Always when with a
lady enter the restaurant by the door intended for ladies’ use; never by
the public entrance.

13. Evening parties should be attended before the hour of eleven, in full
dress. If with a lady do not keep her waiting, but rather let her find
you awaiting her at the dressing-room door. If alone or otherwise take
care to seek the hostess on entering the parlor; this is a piece of
politeness sadly overlooked nowadays, especially by individual gentlemen.
At a dance always take the inside arm of a lady while promenading.
Repeatedly ask after her thirst, and never allow her to approach the
refreshment table, but bring the glass to her on your kerchief if there
are no doilys. Always pay particular attention to the hostess, and
ask her repeatedly to dance. Never, if idle and you see her without a
partner, allow her to remain thus alone; under such circumstances, likes
and dislikes should be set aside, or you should not have attended the
dance. Always offer your arm to your partner immediately on ceasing to
dance. Make it a rule never to leave a dance without bidding the host or
hostess good-night, and thanking them for the pleasures of the evening.
This is another poor policy of a great many men, to leave quietly
without the knowledge of the host or hostess.

Party calls should be made within a year at the farthest after the party,
and should occupy the same length of time as an ordinary call.

14. Dinners should be attended promptly on time. Always allow the ladies
to be seated first. Do not attempt to pass anything if the servants are
present, nor even if they are not present unless expressly requested to
do so.

Do not attempt to speak when the mouth contains food. When spoken to,
a motion of the head will be sufficient to convey the reply intended,
and at the same time to acquaint your questioner with the fact that he
has spoken inopportunely. In order to conform to the various customs it
is advisable to abstain as long as is prudent from folding the napkin
till you view the action therein of the host or hostess. But this is
only necessary at more or less informal dinners. The prevailing custom
of formal dinners is never to fold the napkin. Care must be taken not to
make noises with the mouth, when eating, and not to smack the lips. If a
total abstainer from drink, you must not turn your glasses upside-down,
nor allow them filled. Merely stop the servant when your glass is half
filled, thus preventing comment and complete waste at one and the same
time. You must not call the servants, but endeavor to beckon them to you
with the head and eyes, not with the finger. Never speak louder than
will allow of a comprehension of what you are saying. Do not toy with
articles on the table, and when the hands are not employed in eating they
must be kept in the lap. Don’t put the elbows on the table. Reading is
not to be indulged in at the table, unless it is a letter or special
communication, when you must beg pardon for your rudeness. Do not leave
the table before the rest have finished except in case of necessity, and
then by permission only, always excusing yourself. When remaining till
the finish, never rise till the host or hostess or both have signified
that the meal is at an end, by rising first.

15. There is one custom in this work which above all others is essential
to every man who has any desire to play the _rôle_ of a thorough social
success, and that requirement is dancing. There is not one thing which
a society gentleman performs, which gives so much enjoyment not only to
himself, but to others. Nothing is more closely criticized, nothing more
prominent when in execution; nothing more benefiting as an exercise,
and nothing more satisfactory to the performer, than dancing. By that
word is meant any performance which has the name of dance, and which has
the requisites of “grace,” “ease,” and “perfect performance.” To be a
perfect dancer the above expressions in reference to your dancing should
be won from your admirers. Do not think, because you have an idea of
how to dance, that you really do so perfectly. The first requirement to
good dancing is grace. If you are graceful you cannot appear awkward to
on-lookers, for your step is firm, body quiet, and arms still. The arm is
never pumped, and the feet are barely lifted off the floor. To have ease,
a dancer should appear confident of his ability, and show that ability
by a correct and actual performance of the dance in the above-explained
graceful way. To have a perfect performance of a dance, both of
the former requirements are to be exercised, with these additional
requisites, viz.: use a long decided glide, never jump or hop, always
reverse equally as much as you turn the original way, keep to the side of
the room, direction to the right from the entrance. Do not collide with
other couples, or at least protect your partner from sudden collisions,
and on no account allow her to slip.

The right hand should be at the lady’s back, between the lower ends of
the shoulder-blades, and should always carry a silk handkerchief. Never
in dancing hold a lady close to you, for it is the most disagreeable
position for her, and looks decidedly improper. Hold your partner at
all times at arms’ length; this gives you freedom of speech, space to
use the feet, and allows you to glide more easily. In a waltz, always
take a long, sweeping glide, with as little rise as possible. Any step
between a Boston dip and the Philadelphia glide, if used as a sort of an
imperceptible, sweeping dip, will appear to great advantage on the floor.
A Polka should either be glided or walked through; never skip, and do not
take too long a step, and do away entirely with all fancy variations of
the dance. Keep strictly to the original Polka form and you will avoid
all awkward appearances. The same rule applies to the Yorke, Galop, etc.
The Schottische is a beautiful dance, if performed gracefully as in the
waltz, only much more care should be exercised in the forward steps. Do
not use that once popular, but awkward manner of skipping in this dance,
but the more modern three running steps. Those familiar with all these
popular dances will comprehend the importance of my criticisms. The
Caprice is the combination dance of waltz and polka, and necessitates
more care and attention than any other. Nothing but the glide step
should be used in this dance.

16. Balls, Dancing Classes, Theater Parties, Receptions.—These may all
be given by gentlemen, if they have married ladies as patronesses.
Theater parties can be followed by dinners at the popular restaurants,
the chaperon attending. If the party occupies more than one box, an equal
number of chaperons should accompany it.

17. Bowling—Card-playing.—In bowling, a gentleman should keep the score,
notify the ladies of their turns as they come round, hand them the
balls—not too large, but heavy enough to be thrown with ease and effect.
See that they enjoy the game thoroughly, or else cease the sport. If you
notice fatigue in a lady’s manner, ask her to desist. Many sprains,
dislocations, and twists are the result of attempting to throw balls
with tired wrists. A gentleman can organize a bowling club under the
supervision of a chaperon attending each meeting.

At cards, he pays strict attention to those playing; he endeavors to make
the games pleasant. He should never look over another’s hand of cards;
and, above all, should never cheat. He should never gamble and bet on
cards, nor allow games of that kind in his house.

18. Musicales—Matinée Parties.—Gentlemen attend these either as escorts
or alone. They are at liberty to give them whenever they desire to do so.
They must always have a patroness or chaperon present.

19. (1) When asked to participate in amateur theatricals, do not
unhesitatingly accept the invitation, but first consider your ability,
not only to act the part tendered you, but that which is of more
importance, viz., to be able to act gracefully, and carry it out in
all its perfection; for it is only of too frequent occurrence that
young men readily accept, confident of being able to memorize their
part, disregarding the fact that memorizing is not acting. After having
accepted an invitation to act, being of fair ability so to do, be
careful to pay strict attention to your part, and be punctual at all
the rehearsals. Gentlemen can organize amateur theatrical clubs among
themselves at discretion, but on no occasion should ladies be included
without a chaperon at hand.

(2) Never offer to recite, and if asked to do so, decline, unless you are
sure of what you are about to recite. Do not make your recitations too
lengthy, and not too dramatic. Be sure that your gestures are fitted for
the words used; make them few, but telling. Do not hurry through a piece;
and above all, do not shout; suit the voice to the size of the room or
hall in which you are reciting. If encored, acknowledge such by another
piece, or repetition of the first; but to further applause, merely bow.

20. Breakfasts can be given at any time within the hours of eight and
twelve A. M., to gentlemen, or ladies and gentlemen, a chaperon being
present for the latter. Invitations for these, as for any other event,
should be answered within the customary time—two weeks before the
occurrence; or, if the invitation is later than two weeks before date of
breakfast, an immediate reply is necessary.

21. When in company never offer to sing unless you are perfectly
confident of your ability to satisfy the expectations of those present.
If asked to sing, unless of ability to do so, be not too ready to accept
the invitation, but wait till it is tendered you again, so that, in case
of failure, you be not looked so unfavorably upon as if you had accepted
readily; the same rule applies to playing upon instruments. When singing
or playing reply to only one encore; to more, merely bow or offer your
excuses.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



ACTIONS OUTDOORS


SECTION 1. When walking alone a quick step is to be taken; the toes must
be turned out. Never run into a person, if ordinary care can prevent it,
and especially give way to a lady, no matter how you may meet. Always
keep to the right of the sidewalk, and never pass in front of a lady
coming at right angles at a street corner, unless a distance of six
feet intervene between said lady and the crossing-point when you reach
it. In bowing when alone the hat should be carried quickly down to the
right, or left if left-handed, till the back of the hand strikes the
hip, then slowly replaced on the head. The taking-off of the hat is to be
accompanied by a slight forward inclination of the body and a smile of
recognition.

Unless the cause of the act is known to the lady as well as yourself,
never cut her, that is, do not look at her and refuse absolutely to
return her bow, but recognize it in an indifferent manner sufficient to
convey the fact that something is wrong, and that the return bow was
forced, while still it is polite. If you know a lady whom you dislike and
have no desire to recognize, never look at her in passing, as you would
thus invite recognition, and would be exceedingly impolite in cutting
her. When you meet a person walking, and that awkward dodging in the
effort to pass occurs, always stop and turn slightly to the right till
the other has passed on. If it be a lady, the expression “Pardon” is
to be used as she passes. If you step on a man’s foot, address him with
an apology merely; if on a lady’s, the apology must be accompanied by a
slight bow. Never carry a parcel of any kind: if a hat is to be taken to
the store, carry it in a leather case; if articles of wear, carry them
in a satchel. Do not wear too large a boutonnière; a few dozen violets
or two or three pinks, or a few sprays of lily of the valley, or a few
pansies, or a very small red rosebud for afternoon, and as few leaves as
possible. For the evening a few sprays of hyacinth or lily of the valley
is the only proper buttonhole bouquet.

2. When walking with a lady keep either a military step, or if her step
is too short for your comfort, then take a Newport drag pace, taking care
that the body does not rise much, thus preventing a see-saw appearance.
Always walk on the side nearest the curbstone, except in the case of a
very crowded street, when it may be the most convenient for the lady to
walk on your right. A distance of half a foot should be kept between
the lady and yourself at all times when the walk is not crowded; this
is necessary always in the daytime, and also in the evening unless
the acquaintance is such as permits taking arms. Never lock arms in
the daytime. Always pay attention if your companion is speaking; your
mind should not be distracted by persons or objects passing; there is
nothing more unsatisfactory and disagreeable to a young lady than for
her to realize that she is unheard and unheeded. When with a lady it is
unnecessary to stop at all to permit another lady to pass when coming at
right angles, as is necessary when alone. When raining always hold the
umbrella; when sunny never offer to, or hold a parasol, unless expressly
requested to do so; a sunshade is for a lady to hold, and looks out of
place in a gentleman’s hand, unless it is a particularly heavy one, or
the wind is too strong to permit of the lady carrying it comfortably. If
she has a satchel or large parcel when you meet her, immediately offer to
carry it.

3. When joining a lady, if coming toward her, wait till she has passed;
then turning, join her with the usual or intended salutation, without
stopping her. Never come intentionally face to face to join her; she
will, presumably, think that you wish to stop, and it is a settled
conclusion that a lady and gentleman should never stop to talk on the
street; in a party it is permissible only if the several persons thereof
have chanced to meet, or are in the act of parting. When joining a lady
in the morning on the street only accompany her a few blocks, for the
morning is shopping-time, and escorts are seldom desired. Never fail to
raise the hat on leaving a lady on the street, or at doors or windows.
When it is muddy cross before a lady that she may profit by your action,
by crossing in your foot-prints. If very muddy offer your hand for her
support in finding good foot-rests. Never carry the cane in the hand next
the lady if it is possible to carry it in the other; if not possible,
because the other is the useful one, then it should be carried under the
arm next to her with that hand placed at the cane-head. The reason of
this rule will be understood on reflecting, that if the cane is carried
in the useful hand, it must necessarily be conveyed to the other every
time a man bows; it is a poor action, and presents an awkward appearance,
especially if the cane drops. This rule also applies to umbrellas when
rolled. Of course this is plain, as it is not supposed that a gentleman
when promenading carries any but these two articles. Never let a lady
carry your cane in the city.

When entering a door or passageway, allow the lady to precede you, as is
done indoors. When with a lady, and she bows, your bow should be less
marked than when alone; the hat is to be raised and carried quickly
to the front as low as the chin, then as speedily replaced. When you
consider the side you occupy, the advisability of this manner of bowing
is at once seen on reflecting that a sweeping bow would more or less
interfere with the continuation of your companion’s recognition of the
third party, which is a complaint the majority of young ladies set up.
In giving a lady soda-water or other cooling drink, do not allow her
to use her own kerchief, but insist upon her using one of your own; a
gentleman should always carry two. Also, in view of the fact that many
pockets in dresses are difficult to discover immediately, the gentleman
should thus be prepared for emergencies. If walking in the afternoon
with a lady, and you are overtaken by darkness, do not continue, but
immediately board a horse-car, enter a stage, or have your carriage
follow and meet you, and thus return. This rule is on the principle that
ladies and gentlemen should not walk the streets after dark, and this
principle is universally approved of by society. The walk to and from
cars to attend theaters in the evening, is a different matter entirely,
and cannot be offered in opposition to the above rule (as many have
claimed), as it is confined to only a few particular streets, and has
nothing whatever to do with avenue promenades; besides, it is understood
that crossing to theaters is compulsory, and so excusable. In taking a
lady for a walk, you should always provide her with a fair-sized bouquet
of violets, if popular, or, if not, of roses to harmonize with her type,
whether blonde or brunette; or any class of flowers which you know would
suit her taste, provided they are not out of style, or unsuited to the
season or for street wear, or perhaps too loud for her general appearance.

4. When with a lady, always pay her fare in a public conveyance, at a
ticket office, or gate, or any place where fare is demanded, unless she
has a ticket for the occasion.

If in the vehicle, at the office, or gate, or any place requiring the
payment of fare, and you meet a lady friend who has not as yet paid
her fare, do not offer to do so for her, as it is very bad form, and
presents the appearance of a desire on your part to let people know you
have money, and the act more or less reflects upon the lady’s purse. If
accompanying a lady into a store, do not offer to buy her this and that;
such an act is simply out of consideration; it is an affront to her
purse, and she rejects your offer; no lady would accept it unless for
some very trifling purchase.

5. When in any crowded public conveyance, a lady gets in, always rise
immediately and notify her of the vacancy. Do not think, because you are
tired, you are justified in keeping the seat, for you do not know but
that the lady is just as tired as yourself. Again, when you see a small
space between two ladies, do not try to wedge yourself in; it is better
to be uncomfortable yourself, than to cause discomfort to the ladies. Do
not lean over or against a lady when holding the strap overhead, and she
is seated below. Always, if next the fare-box, offer to deposit a lady’s
fare, especially in stages. Never in city conveyances, if a conductor
is at hand, offer your assistance in raising or lowering a window,
but solicit the conductor to do it for you; if none is upon or in the
conveyance, then lend your help.

6. When asking a lady to drive, do so only on an advanced acquaintance,
and do not keep her out after dark. Take care not to allow the whip
to dangle in her face, and, in urging on the horses, do so in an easy
manner, without that sudden start which throws the lady so violently back
in her seat. Do not talk about horses; it is a very poor subject, and
savors of poor taste. In calling for a lady do not keep her waiting, but
have the vehicle at the door on time. If possible to leave the reins
loose on the horses, step out and help the lady into the vehicle, then
pass round to the other side and take your seat, carefully adjusting the
lap-robe over both. Do not keep up a continuous chuckle to the horses,
as it is a very monotonous sound, but use the whip. A full driving suit
should always be worn if a lady accompanies you. Always wear gloves in
driving. If you have spirited horses to handle, it is not necessary while
driving to take off the hat when recognizing a person; a smile and an
inclination of the head are sufficient, for taking off the hat interferes
considerably with your management of the animals, and has often resulted
in serious accidents. Do not take a lady riding in the morning. The
afternoon from three till five is the proper time. Never on any account
drive on Sunday. Never take a lady in a light wagon or buggy, or out with
fast horses, in the city, for it is not stylish; in fact, such turnouts
are common, as in use only by sporting men or horse lovers.

7. Riding should be confined to the morning as much as possible, and a
complete outfit worn upon all occasions. Especially is this urged when
with a lady. Always keep head and neck of your own horse beyond your
companion’s, if a lady, in view of being able and prepared to assist her
in case of fright or accident to her horse. Always assist her in mounting
and alighting from her horse.

8. Sailing is a pastime which can be indulged in at leisure by a
gentleman who knows a thing or two about such pleasure; whether he has
confidence in his ability or not, if he ventures upon that pleasure he
does so at his own risk. But when he has a lack of knowledge, and lack of
confidence in his ability to handle a boat, not under any consideration
should he venture to invite a lady to accompany him. To take ladies
sailing, when you are ignorant of the methods of handling sailing craft,
is a risk that often has frightful results; these have been often seen,
where summer men who know positively nothing about the art of sailing
have issued invitations, and ventured on their perilous, uncertain
pleasure. Always take a skipper, and no danger will arise. Take care to
look first after the comfort of the ladies, and always provide cushions,
field-glasses, and especially ice-water in view of a calm. This latter is
very often neglected, to the great distress of the ladies when the boat
is becalmed. The writer can safely make this suggestion, as he had such
an experience himself.



[Illustration]



PERSONAL APPEARANCE


SECTION 1. The hands should always be kept clean. Do not think because
you have gloves on that you are safe in neglecting your hands. You may be
suddenly called upon to perform some act which would necessitate taking
off the gloves, thus exposing soiled hands. The nails should be kept
perfectly clean and projecting about one-twelfth of an inch from the
tender flesh and not too pointed, and are to be only slightly polished.
All hang-nails should be cut off, and advanced flesh pushed back from the
root of the nails. Do not wear too many rings. A gentleman should never
have on more than two, and those to be placed one on each hand. Always
place them on the fingers next the little ones. Large diamonds should not
be worn; one carat is the usual weight. Also, do not wear broad bands
of gold, they are very common-looking on a gentleman; a seal-ring or
intaglio is quite sufficient. Never wear bracelets, it is exceedingly
effeminate. And, above all, do not wear ladies’ rings.

2. The face, if without a growing beard or moustache, should be kept
clean. This can best be done by a light shave. Do not shave too close; to
be sure it appears more free of hair for the time being, but then, as the
hair grows out, eruptions cover the face, especially the neck; thus for a
few hours’ clean appearance you undergo several days’ discomfort.

3. The teeth should be kept clean, white, and polished. It is necessary
that they be kept clean, as odors from them sometimes give the impression
of a disordered stomach, and makes conversation at close quarters
exceedingly disagreeable.

4. The hair should be carefully brushed, with a neat part, the sides at
the front being slightly raised and pushed back. The hair can be parted
on either the left, right, or center of the head, but it should never be
flattened and plastered down, as the appearance is very weakening to the
character of the face. Leave such a fad to those of bad taste, who have
nothing else to do but corrupt the standing customs.

5. Do not, no matter how much displeased, at any time wear a scowl or
severe expression; it does you no good as to others, for they do not
know the cause thereof, and they naturally conclude you to be of a
disagreeable disposition. Equally true is it that the face should be
free from that incessant smiling which overspreads the countenances of
so many. The face should possess neither one of these expressions, but
present a set, firm appearance, conveying no idea of the thoughts of the
mind. Outward causes are exceptions to the changes of facial expressions.
When talking, care should be taken not to accompany the words with
distortions of the face. The mouth should not be opened too wide, nor the
tongue stuck out. Never bite the lips or pick the teeth, as both distort
the face. Never use the eyes in a flirtatious manner, as it is very
poor taste and shows conceit. Also, do not glance at a strange lady in
a steady or impertinent manner; least of all on the street or in public
vehicles.

6. Your position should always be as dignified as possible; if sitting,
the body should be held upright and the arms gracefully placed, and
not twisted or hung over the back of the chair. Always face the person
whom you are addressing. When standing, your position must be straight,
shoulders back, and head well up. The legs to be close together or one
slightly advanced, in a position of rest. The arms can be carried either
by locking hands behind the back, or in front, or they can be folded upon
the chest; either way can be made to appear graceful. When walking, the
body is carried as in standing, and the busy hand must carry its contents
as gracefully as possible, while the other hand is allowed to hang by the
side, moving only with the motion of the body. Both, if free, must hang
thus; never put them in the pockets.



[Illustration]



HABITS


SECTION 1. Smoking should be confined entirely to a studio, smoking-room,
drawing-room, or library, when ladies are, or intend to be, in the
vicinity later, and should never be indulged in, even in the places
mentioned above, if the ladies are present, without their unanimous
consent thereto.

Smoking in the street is also objected to, exception being made when on
the front platforms of cars, when a gentleman should make it his duty to
see that the smoke does not prove disagreeable to ladies in the car.

2. Drinking to excess is not the habit of a gentleman. Drink should be
taken only in moderation, especially at dinner parties when ladies are
present. Do not boast of your fondness for the beverage. If you chance
to be at all under the influence of liquor, or even if you have merely a
strong odor of it on the breath, do not attend a reception or dance, as
such an odor is not perfume to the partners with whom you may dance or
converse.

3. Chewing tobacco or other stuff manufactured for the same purpose
should never be indulged in by a gentleman, no matter where he is.
Spitting must not be practised in the presence of ladies, and should be
done away with entirely unless alone and out of sight of others. Clearing
the throat should not be done in ladies’ company, and be careful not to
allow indications of indigestion to rise noisily in the throat. And
lastly, do not hiss through the teeth or hum to yourself in company.

4. Do not, no matter how cramped you may be, stretch in the presence of
ladies, and not at all at the table, even if alone. Yawning should be
confined to your own presence strictly, or, if it is irrepressible, place
the fingers before the mouth.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CONVERSATION


SECTION 1. Never use sarcasm in direct conversation, as it is but a
veiled form of insult. Do not use deceit, especially in conversing
with a lady; also, avoid prevarication, as such is bad policy. Do not
boast, it is an absurd habit to fall into. Too many puns or jokes become
monotonous; jokes should not be told in reference to a person present,
unless the acquiescence of the party be first received.

2. Your grammar should be of the best, and your words selected with
great care. Large words should be used very seldom unless the topic of
conversation calls for them.

3. Laughter should never be forced; if you are not amused, merely
smile. When laughing at a small matter do so in a light, sincere way;
when amused by some good joke or occurrence, laugh heartily but not too
loudly; merely convey the fact that the joke or event is appreciated.
This rule should apply at all times when ladies are present.

4. Never flatter a lady, for it is the poorest substitution for a
sensible topic that was ever thought of in society. It is disliked by
ladies and gentlemen alike, and it shows insincerity in its every use. If
you desire to say something nice to a person, make use of more serious
expressions, commonly known as compliments, for, if you intend to
compliment and speak too sweetly, it is not such, but flattery, you are
making use of. Only compliment when a person deserves it, and do not do
so too often.

5. In society one should always be prepared for impromptu conversation,
or small talk, and should always have plenty of it in stock; that is, not
the whole substance of the expected conversation, but subjects upon which
you can converse at a moment’s notice. At receptions, teas, dinners,
dances, or any other entertainment, the topics should be select, and the
oral abilities prepared to discuss them in a free and familiar way. Such
topics might well be classed under the simple heads of Art of latest
Artists, Receptions, Teas, etc., and especially Latest Novels, then also
Plays and the criticisms, or Noted People of the Day. You will find any
one of these sufficient for short conversation. Literature and grave
subjects would prove too extensive. Try not to criticize people severely,
and do not speak on any subject which, after a few remarks, appears
uninteresting or distasteful to the person conversing with you. When a
subject has been once discussed and abandoned by all, it is bad taste to
return to it during that same conversation or in the same company.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



CORRESPONDENCE AND INVITATIONS


SECTION 1. Correspondence is a thing which every man should be able to do
well in all its branches, whether social or business, whether formal or
otherwise, whether brief or extended in its subject-matter. A gentleman
should always be able to write sensible letters, and to the point,
without deviating from the general topic. When corresponding with other
men keep strictly, unless with a very close friend, to the subject in
question. But when writing to ladies the rule is different. To adhere so
exactly to the topic of discussion is significant of a desire to have the
matter through with. Always add further casual remarks tending to show an
interest beyond the duty of correspondence. The ladies’ writing rule is
just the reverse.

It does very well to insert, here and there, witty remarks to break the
monotony of a lengthy epistle. Above all, it is advised to abstain from
putting in writing any words imparting affection or soliciting such
from the lady. Write your letter in one complete part; that is, let all
you have to say be penned upon any number of sheets you may desire, but
be sure it is between the head address and your signature. Never add a
postscript; this in letters, like a parenthesis in sentences, has the
appearance of poor construction.

Do not write crosswise on the paper, and avoid blotting the same. Also
see that you never write to a lady on office paper, or any which is
ink-lined, for your social corresponding paper should always have a crest
or monogram at the top, and such would not appear well or to advantage on
that which is lined. If you desire ruled paper, let the lines be such as
are pressed into it during manufacture. Lastly, never use hotel paper,
except in the summer, and then only when traveling or visiting without a
trunk, which should always contain every necessity of a trip.

If it is formal, a lady’s letter should be answered immediately, if there
is the least hint of a reply in it, but without such hint the gentleman
must not answer. If it is informal, he must, if requested to reply, do
so immediately, otherwise he may suit himself, but within a limit of
one month; later, politeness would be at stake. But the lady should not
be expected to answer in either case to your letter unless she feels so
disposed, or you show good reasons why she should, and expressly request
her to do so.

Formal correspondence can be indulged in between any persons who may
be related, very dear friends, or even mere acquaintances. With the
first two classes, a gentleman can correspond formally at any and all
times, unless expressly solicited not to do so by the lady’s parents,
or guardians, or herself. But in the last case he must have a request
to offer or an answer to return, and it should be very formal, implying
by its very subject-matter that necessity caused the correspondence.
When writing a formal note to a lady acquaintance, without her consent,
merely sign your name to the matter and place therein your card, such
as is described in Sec. 8, Actions Indoors. Never write your address
beneath the signature, or, as is sometimes done, above the head address,
in this class of notes.… But informal and lengthy correspondence only
pertains to, and can be exercised at all times by, very dear friends,
_fiancés_, or very dear relatives. Acquaintances must be subjected to the
rule of formality of correspondence, till they have reached the relation
of friend, which can be acquired only after eight or ten meetings, when
there has been sufficient conversation to establish what the parties
mutually agree to constitute fast friendship.

2. Invitations are so many and varying in their nature, that it is
generally difficult to say what kind of a reply, and how soon, should be
given. But all can be summed up in a few divisions, viz.: Reception,
Dance, and Wedding invitations. (_a_) Reception invitations are never
to be replied to, unless accompanied with an informal invitation to an
after-reception dance, bearing an R. S. V. P., when a few days can be
permitted to elapse before replying thereto. (_b_) A wedding invitation,
like the reception, needs no reply, except under the same conditions as
annexed to reception invitations. But dances are the subjects for which
dozens of different kinds of invitations are issued, when it is decidedly
difficult to ascertain the exact time, or answer as desired by the
inviter. The answer depends upon the number of inviters included in the
invitation; the time upon the number of days intervening before the date
of the event; if two weeks, the regular time allotted, then an immediate
reply is necessary (exceptions in subscription dances). If two or three
ladies or gentlemen, or both, are the inviters, then address the reply
to the one so selected as secretary for the reception of replies, and
of course sign your name on the completion of the reply; then in the
left-hand lower corner, pen, “Politeness to”; then write, one beneath
the other, the names of all the inviters, including the secretary last;
this shows that the reply is politely tendered to all. In a subscription
dance, an invitation for all and every date of dances is usually sent out
six weeks before date of first meeting, in which case three or four weeks
at the most can be allowed to pass; but no matter when the invitation is
received, if two or six weeks prior to the first meeting, always reply at
least two weeks before such first date. Dinners, teas, breakfasts, etc.,
are the same as dances as to time and answer. Invitations by card to call
are not to be answered, but should be acknowledged in person, as soon
after their reception as possible. Invitations to subscription dances
need only be addressed to the secretary or inviter.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



PERSONAL ACTIONS


SECTION 1. When a gentleman accepts the honored position of escort he is
supposed to do so willingly, and with the intention of fulfilling its
many requirements. Do not accept and accompany a lady to her intended
destination, and continually show any displeasure in your position. Pay
strict attention to her, and leave her only when she is engaged in some
dance or occupation with another partner. Young ladies take escorts in
substitution for a brother or relative, and when so taking expect to find
them congenial and as equal to their duties as any brother or relative
would be. When asking a gentleman as escort the lady is expected to
furnish the carriage if it is her desire to ride; it is not necessary
for the gentleman to bring her flowers in return for her kindness, but
an after-gift of the same will suffice. When asking a lady to give you
the pleasure of her company for any event, you must, of course, expect
to pay all expenses; if in the evening, and she is an old acquaintance,
always expect to furnish a carriage. If only an acquaintance, and it is
necessary to use a carriage, then a chaperon should be brought with you.
But the cars are generally the mode of travel which can be used if a
chaperon is not desired.

Never take advantage of your situation when in a carriage alone with a
lady, by addressing her in any way too familiar to be polite.

2. Extravagance is one of the greatest faults into which young and old
persist in falling. Very few society men know what economy means. So to
point out a few ways by which extravagance may be at least modified by
gentlemen: (_a_) It is very poor taste for a person to show by his attire
extravagant inclinations. Do not dress too gaudily, or change the suits
more than is ordinarily necessary for special occasions. Let your dress
be not too costly, not too loud, but neat, of the styles described in
Part I. of this book, and do away with too great a variety of top and
over coats, neckties, patent leather shoes (for walking), and, above
all, elaborately figured waistcoats, also elaborate canes. They all
combine not only to appear extravagant, but destroy the effect of simple
elegance. (_b_) Do not spend money for a thing unless it is necessary
for your own good or that of a relation. Presents given by a single man
should be simple and of slight cost.

If engaged the rule is less strict; but if married a man should not only
teach himself the law of economy, but also his wife and children. Such
gifts as candy, flowers, jewelry, etc., should be given only by very dear
friends, which relation permits such presents to be of slight cost, while
they are appreciated as if of great cost. Costly gifts to acquaintances
are a gross extravagance.

3. Kissing is a pleasure which is not to be indulged in except among dear
relatives, the family, wife, or your _fiancée_. Never kiss or embrace
a person outside of these exceptions, no matter how old friends they
may be. No lady would allow you such a privilege, and if she should
so far forget her standing as to permit the act, you would be rude,
exceedingly so, and no gentleman, to take advantage of her forgetfulness.
Never, on any account, kiss or embrace the persons, as stated above, in
a public place,—it is common. No one knows your relationship, and no
one the length of time of separation; besides, the act of kissing is
very undignified and ungraceful. Of course these rules only apply to
gentlemen; they are not enforceable in respect to ladies, as the feminine
sex is supposed to be more demonstrative. Familiarity, though allowed,
breeds contempt by degrees.

4. Familiarity is a subject upon which the majority of society men can
discourse fluently, so practised are they in the art. In fact, society is
infected with this disease. It reigns on all occasions, be they private
or public. It is found in the most aristocratic circles, as in those of
less refinement. Why should this continue? It should not. Both ladies
and gentlemen use it; but of gentlemen, alone, I now speak. Freedom of
speech and freedom of manner constitute the general heads of familiarity.
(_a_) Freedom of manner has been partly defined under the heads of
kissing and embracing. Do not on any account allow of any rude actions on
your part; always keep a polite distance from a lady, and do not, if you
take her hand, retain too long a hold thereof, or press it with your own;
in fact, never touch a lady unless she is related to you, under the heads
set forth in Section 3, Personal Actions, unless it becomes absolutely
necessary; then do it in the most polite manner possible. (_b_) Freedom
of speech is the most important head of familiarity, and includes many
classes of rudeness. Do not be impertinent in your remarks to ladies,
ask no personal questions, do away with rude speech; seek not to impart
to her that which she should not know, or tries to turn a deaf ear to.
Improper remarks are poison from the tongue, and tend to ruin your
reputation in her estimation, as a gentleman, sooner or later. It is no
excuse if she tolerates your advances or not,—a gentleman is a gentleman,
and should remain so. Not only is this rule applicable to acquaintances,
but it should be strictly observed in your own family. Your sisters
should be as acquaintances as respects your behavior, and your mother and
father should command respect in your every word or action.

5. A gentleman, because he is married, should not suppose himself fitted
for the position of chaperon on occasions where it is necessary to leave
the city, or it is an evening affair; on the contrary, it is his duty
to refuse acceptance of such a position, unless himself and wife act as
the chaperons. If single, he should never offer his services as chaperon.
He may be such in the daytime, within the city, acting as a guide or
protector of his companion; but this is a very weak form of chaperonage
compared to that customary in society, which form generally concerns only
evening or out-of-town events, when a stricter rule is applied, under
the conditions of which a gentleman can never be a chaperon. It must be
remembered that though guide and protector are the true meanings of the
word chaperon, yet, as far as a gentleman can exercise that right, he can
be no more than an escort.

6. A gentleman should shake hands as seldom as possible. On introduction
and at parting should be the chief occasions for the act. This rule
refers only to your own sex. With ladies it is far stricter. You should
not shake hands on introduction to ladies, nor at parting; but at the
next meeting, or subsequent ones, if they appear desirous of such a
cordial greeting, grasp their hand, for it is at the option of a lady
whether or not the hands should come in contact with each other; but
never shake at parting. When taking a lady’s hand, grasp it firmly, but
gently, just sufficient pressure to convey the feeling of cordiality,
nothing more, and raising her hand to the height of her waist, shake it
gently two or three times, then release it; never hold it while speaking,
and do not attempt that awkward, lately originated style of raising
the hands above the face, with the fingers twisted out of shape; it is
clumsy, decidedly ridiculous in appearance, and very uncomfortable for
the lady.

7. Never kiss a lady’s hand when in public, and never privately, unless
engaged or very much attached to her, and not then unless she is willing
to undergo the torture.

Do not, as in hand-kissing, throw kisses to a person in public, and not
at all unless under the conditions stated above.

8. When engaged a gentleman should devote all his spare moments to his
_fiancée_. He should compel himself to forsake other ladies’ society,
allowing himself to be thrown therein only when accompanying his intended
to entertainments or dances, and then should control himself, so as to
give no cause of jealousy by his actions or apparent interest in others
of the fair sex. He should give all presents to her, take her to all the
entertainments and dances, and, in fact, let her find him always devotion
in everything. Clubs should be partially or wholly neglected for her.
Even under the circumstances, familiarity should be guardedly exercised,
especially with her family.

9. Introductions are the most important of any of the numerous acts of
society, constituting a custom established by long and frequent usage.
It is easy to introduce, no matter how or in what manner it is done, and
ninety-nine per cent. of introductions are either improperly conducted or
a mere mention of names. To constitute a proper introduction there must
be three requisites, viz.: Sufficient language to imply an introduction,
an objective name and a subjective name each distinctly pronounced. That
is to say: the object is the person to whom the subject is presented;
second, the subject of the introduction is the one whom you present. You
must pronounce both names distinctly. First, be sure that both are aware
of your intention and secure of each other’s attention, then proceed
by saying: _(Ex.)_ “Miss Smith [object], please allow me to present
Mr. Brown [subject].” This is all, and it is as simple as can be; yet
people will mumble and stammer and stumble through an introduction as
if it were the most difficult of performances. If the object or subject
of an introduction is a sister, brother, or parent, do not say, as many
do—Miss Smith, my brother, or my sister, naming the relation only; but
say always—Miss Smith, my brother, Mr. Brown. This rule is in view of the
fact that the introducer’s name is not always familiar to the object.
Never mention the name of the subject first. When introducing extend
the right or left hand as a gesture towards the person whom you are
introducing.

It is important to make introductions carefully and at the proper time.
Do not suffer a person with whom you are acquainted to remain in your
own party without introducing him to every member of that party. When
talking to a person, and joined by a third, immediately introduce. The
rules of introduction should be strictly observed in regard to ladies.
As much as possible avoid introducing on the street, and when doing
so do not stop the objective persons, but join them as explained in
Section 4, Actions Outdoors, whether lady or gentleman, and present the
subject while walking. Do not introduce to young ladies under age without
the chaperon’s or guardian’s consent, and ladies of age without their
approval having first been received. Do not present or attempt to present
a man of whose character or reputation you are doubtful; for thousands of
serious results have been thus occasioned.



[Illustration]



PROPOSING


A gentleman, when he is sure that his attachment to a lady has attained
perfection, and is positive of being ever afterward so attached to her as
to permit of no disturbance of that affection by force of circumstances,
may then and only then have the right of asking for her hand in marriage.
It is a much-mooted question whether a gentleman should ask the parents’
or guardian’s consent to the proposal, if the young lady or himself
or both are under age. If we follow the continental rule, this is the
proper action in the matter. This course is certainly more honorable.
It matters not which parent is first consulted, though the father is
preferred. The parent, or parents, or guardian may be consulted in person
or by letter. After their consent has been gained, the proposal is made
to the woman chosen. If she refuses, then nothing more on the subject
need be said till subsequent proposals are attempted. A refusal need not
be reported to the parents or guardians. If she accepts, he immediately
informs them. If both parties are of age, or independent, it is not
essential to a proposal that parents or guardians should be consulted.


HOW TO PROPOSE

Remember that you are a gentleman, and success will be yours if the lady
possesses any love or affection in her heart for you. It is best not to
force your suit upon a woman, for such engagements often cause either a
breaking of the engagement between the parties, or unhappiness to both.
It is far better to undergo the pain of a refusal for the time being,
and endeavor to gain her affection afterward in view of another and more
successful trial.

Never propose in any way but in person. Letters are very poor mediums of
the affection; besides, a woman prefers personal tenders of affection.
When you propose, never do so unless alone with the lady, either in-doors
or out, but not in public, when promenading, driving, or riding, or on
any occasion where she cannot give you her undivided attention.

A proposal is, next to a marriage, the most important event in a man’s
life, and, if looked favorably upon by the woman, is such also in her
life. Therefore take plenty of time to think over the seriousness of the
step; consider how much interest the lady has previously shown in you,
and the result to your feelings if refused.

If a lady appears uncertain in her answer, you can depend upon it that
she is weighing in golden scales the results, the strength of her own
affection; and, above all, you may justly and correctly construe that the
greater cause of her hesitation is uncertainty of your regard for her,
whether true of the heart, or falsely stated. For no woman cares to have
a man know that she entertains affection for him unless she is confident
he will appreciate it. Thus if it be not a positive refusal, but
hesitation only, always be determined, and decide for her by describing
the happiness that only you could furnish her. These arguments, if
anything would avail, will help to strengthen and control her decision.

Always plead your cause with eyes and speech only. When accepted it is
left to the option of the suitor as to what mode of procedure will best
express his delight and happiness. But perhaps for those of timid and
bashful nature it is advisable to suggest a standard course of action,
viz.: when the lady replies affirmatively, immediately clasp her in your
arms; this is not, for true lovers, a very embarrassing position. Let the
embrace be gentle, simply to signify and give strength and proof of your
affectionate expressions prior to the acceptance.

Always stand when proposing, as it lends dignity to the occasion and
allows of more freedom in expressing the feelings; besides, it savors of
very little earnestness to remain in any other attitude while making so
important a confession.

Before proposing it would be best to ascertain how the lady regards you
in any particular light. If she speaks favorably of any one of your
fascinations, then on that foundation you may attempt to build your
future happiness. Do not propose in an uncertain manner, bashfully, or
yet too boldly. Be serious, desirous, and speak to the point; confess all
your feelings, state everything correctly and truly, and in as telling
language as you can possibly command. Do not laugh or smile, or cause it
to appear an amusing matter. It would be utterly impossible to illustrate
the language of proposals, for many and varied are the methods employed
and the language used. But if a gentleman adheres to all I have stated
on the subject, it will only be fate which will prevent the fulfilment
of his anticipations. A gentleman never makes free with the lady, at the
time of the acceptance, beyond the conditions stated herein. And from the
moment she accepts him, through all her life he must be constant in his
attention to her.



[Illustration]



PRESENTS


Under the general head of presents is classed anything given to another
at one’s own expense. Give presents to your own family, relatives,
_fiancée_, or very old friends, but not to mere acquaintances.

SECTION 1. Flowers, though short-lived, are nevertheless the most
beautiful gift one person can make to another. It shows taste and a love
of nature, and nothing finds more appreciation in the hearts of womankind
than flowers. Be careful in your selection; suit the color and quality
to the taste and dress of the lady. Have them tastily laid in a box,
loosely, if merely as a favor; but if for a dance or entertainment, the
best way is to gather the flowers loosely half-way down the stems, and
tie with ribbon harmonizing in color, placing at the end of the bouquet
a bunch of leaves to hide the stems. Always send the flowers in a box;
do not carry them to the lady yourself—if in a hurry, call a messenger.
Flowers may be sent to any lady, married or maiden, but never send them
as a wedding present. When desirous of sending flowers to a lady with
whom you are about to attend an affair, first ascertain whether she
desires to wear flowers, and the color of the gown she intends wearing.
It is hardly the fashion nowadays to carry hand-bouquets; only loose
flowers to be worn on the dress should be sent.

2. Jewelry should be given as seldom as possible outside of your own
family, dear relatives, or _fiancée_. If given to others, it should be
very small, cost little, and not be too elaborate; having merely enough
beauty about it to convey the feeling and intention of the gift. A costly
present of this class is seldom appreciated as it should be, unless it is
given to a lady who stands, or intends to stand, in a very dear position
towards you, or to a gentleman friend of long standing and sincere
friendship. The only exception allowable for costly gifts of jewelry
outside of those rules already stated is in cases of marriage; where
the act of presentation of jewels would furnish no ground of suspicion
further than extravagance. Whether for a wedding or an ordinary gift,
jewelry should always be sent in a box from the store direct, or by
messenger; never present it in person. And when calling subsequently
refuse the acceptation of thanks.

3. For bon-bons and elaborate boxes, also for articles not classed as
jewelry, a much more lenient rule is applied. In fact, except for mere
acquaintances, a present of this kind may be given to any one, friend or
relative, married or unmarried. These, too, are not to be delivered in
person, but sent with card from store or by messenger. In such presents,
as in others, taste and fine judgment should be exercised. To a gift of
any kind whatsoever an answer should not be expected for three days.

4. Photographs should never be solicited from a mere acquaintance. Wait
till you know a lady well before asking for her likeness. No gentleman
should be allowed to possess, nor should he seek to possess, a lady’s
picture without first having met her at least seven times. He must
first so establish his friendship with her that when he asks for her
likeness she cannot justly use the common expression that “he must have
her photograph for fear he might forget her face,” but would understand
that his desire for it comes straight from the heart, and not with the
intention of adding to a variety collection. And it is also unnecessary
to comply with a like request from the lady till of fast acquaintance.
An exchange of photographs is generally the safest way of overcoming any
doubt which may arise in your mind as to the disposition which the lady
will make of your picture, for then the maxim can be applied—“It’s a poor
rule which can’t work both ways.”

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



GENERAL POLITENESS


SECTION 1. A gentleman should always be perfectly polite with his social
inferiors, no matter how he may be brought in contact with them, whether
he meets them in company with his equals or inferiors, or if alone.
For though your inferiors, they deserve respect, and a deviation from
politeness on their account would cause your politeness towards equals
to appear false, a shield to your true manner. Always be polite to your
inferiors, and it naturally follows that you will be politeness itself
with your equals. A gentleman has no superiors.

Politeness is called for in every turn a gentleman may make, whether
among ladies or gentlemen, or inferiors, in society or in business, among
relatives, acquaintances, friends, or strangers.

2. An insult is not to be recognized when offered by an inferior; pay no
attention to such, unless it is followed by violence, or when it places
you in an awkward position in presence of equals, and even then, if
from one decidedly inferior, or a woman, do not return it, but summon
the agents of the law to rid you of the nuisance. If an equal, it is at
your own option whether or not you resent the insult, which can be done
by the use of irony; thus, though an implied return of the insult, your
resentment is on its face politeness itself. Duels are not allowable
in America, and seldom in any country. A deadly insult is now usually
looked upon by society as a just cause of expulsion of the insulter from
its ranks, as no longer worthy of the name of gentleman; for modern
society is more just than the society in the days of knighthood, when
a gross insult would be looked upon with favor, as but a preliminary
to a test of skill at arms. All the remedy a gentleman has in this age
is either an apology from his opponent, or the future avoidance and
non-recognition of him, or, in extreme cases, a resort to the law.

3. The most indifferent, collected, firm, and _blasé_ of society men are
susceptible to embarrassments. No matter how sure you may be of being
proof against them, there always comes a time when the firm foundation is
undermined by a sudden inpour of unforeseen circumstances, which brings
your guarded and fortified walls of conceit and coolness to earth,
and tends to humble your pride. Now, many society men hold that a man
should never become embarrassed under any circumstances. Not so; there
are instances where to remain unmoved and indifferent to embarrassment
would show an uncultured exercise of politeness. For example, how
could a gentleman, having spoken to his companion of a third party in
an insulting manner, refrain from embarrassment when that companion
subsequently turns up and presents the third person, who thereupon
reproaches him for his prior insinuation and insult? Yet in ninety-nine
cases out of every hundred the gentle and polite society men remain
unmoved and unembarrassed, making excuses and stating falsely. Yet they
leave impressions of impoliteness and rudeness upon the minds of their
victims. Suit the necessity of embarrassment to the occasion. Only if he
has shown marked impoliteness or rudeness, or both, need a gentleman show
concern subsequent to his remark or manner.

4. Temper is the last subject for discussion here; but it is not by any
means the least in importance. In fact, if it were not for a proper
control and exercise of temper, there would hardly be necessity for
elucidating half the subjects already so defined. The temper should never
be displayed under circumstances pertaining to society proper. That is,
to your equals a tranquil nature and manner should always be shown, no
matter how trying the position. To inferiors temper should not be shown
while in sight or hearing of equals, and even when alone with servants
or agents only in case of breach of duty, and then should merely be
shown sufficiently far to make a reprimand more severe. In fact there
are so many remedies for circumstances tending to rouse the temper that
it should be done away with as a bad habit. When you do so far forget
your politeness as to allow the temper to rise, be sure that it is not
directed to a lady.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



VISITING


A gentleman should as seldom as possible offer a regret for an invitation
to visit, and when doing so must see that his excuse is a good one.
Only business, traveling, and sickness are sufficiently strong causes
of refusal. To offer a poor excuse is to cause a suspicion of a dislike
on your part for the inviter, his or her family or home, or perhaps
that you are too little interested in the whole affair to bother about
visiting the person. Such poor excuses, though apparently sufficient
in your judgment, not only appear weak to the inviters, but cause
them to neglect you in the future in respect to visiting. Of course,
if you are visiting or about to visit, an excuse to that effect is
sufficient, provided you explain that the invitation you have accepted
was received and acknowledged prior to the one which you are regretting.
Your excuse, when a good one, should be strong, sincere, and regretfully
expressed, and, above all, never hint that you will be at liberty for
a visit later, or at some future date. There is such a thing as being
too indifferent in a regret to an invitation, and also such a thing as
showing in a regret too deep an interest or anxiety to accept. And this
latter is bad enough without being accompanied by broad hints. If the
first invitation was sincere and the inviter really desired your company,
you may be sure a second attempt will be made and another invitation
issued. When accepting an invitation, it is best to adhere strictly to
your acceptation of the kindness and express such in sincere terms. Do
not be too effusive, but to the point, for an acceptance is not a letter
and should therefore be short and formal. If a regret, the rule may be
reversed, as, not intending to visit, you are justified in substituting
a letter, whereas acceptances are followed by the visit, and a lengthy
epistle would be unnecessary.

After having accepted an invitation, be sure to take with you a
sufficient supply of clothes for variety, and also that you may be
prepared for emergencies or a prolongation of your visit. It is very rude
and impolite to inquire in your note of acceptance as to the length of
time of stay. You may depend upon it that no person having any knowledge
of society would invite you for, at the most, more than a week, and if
longer the inviter would acquaint you of the fact in the invitation. But
for a week or less the inviter would neglect to mention any given time
of stay. But it should be understood that at the close of the second day
the visitor is to remark upon his departure as fixed for the following
day; then if the host or hostess desire your presence for a longer
period, they will express themselves to that effect. It is safer always
to take one week’s supply of linen, in view of such an expression from
them. Of course these rules only apply to formal invitations between
friends of long standing, but who have been more or less separated, or
friends of late acknowledgment, or perhaps, in rare instances, mere
acquaintances, and have nothing whatever to do with fast friendship,
where it would be absolutely impossible to govern the parties in their
manner of recognizing and accepting or regretting invitations, and their
actions subsequent to their arrival at the place of visitation. Such
an invitation is controlled generally by the mutual acquiescence and
approval of the parties, and is too informal to be considered under the
head of formal customs.

Therefore to adhere strictly to the essential rules for a formal visitor:

A gentleman should make it a rule to be punctual to the time set for
his arrival, be it morning, afternoon, or evening. When expected in
the morning for breakfast, and the place of visit is out of town, if
he arrives at his destination earlier than to his knowledge the family
are accustomed to rise, then he should occupy himself in some way till
it is time to put in an appearance, that he may be received by the
host or hostess at a reasonable hour. The first duty of a visitor is
to be punctual to breakfast every morning during his stay; and more
too, he should never fail to precede the host or hostess or both (only
these), that he may be thus prepared to receive them with the usual
morning salutation. As to dinner, lunch, or supper, punctuality is not
considered, as, being in company with his entertainer, it would be hardly
possible for him to be dilatory.

A gentleman should never wear a dressing gown or slippers outside of his
room, when visiting or otherwise. He should never enter the dining-room
till the host or hostess, or both, have preceded him. Table manners are
the same in visiting as at dinners at home and the like.

After any meal be careful not to appear uneasy or dissatisfied with
the proceedings of your entertainer; and do not, no matter how great a
desire you may have, express opinions upon any arrangements, or suggest
any occupation for the consumption of time, without first being asked
for your advice or opinion; for very often the host or hostess is led
into doing that which but for your request, and the fact of your being a
visitor, they would never have thought of or desired to do; so be careful
always to control your desire to make suggestions. Let your conversation,
manners, and actions be ruled substantially as in calling. Never remain
astir after the host or hostess, or both, have retired, but ascend to
your own room coincidently with them and retire immediately. During a
visit a gentleman should acquiesce in everything requested of him by host
or hostess, unless his opinion is called for, when he should, in deciding
between his entertainers and others, speak freely but impartially; but if
possible always decline the honor of judge.

Do not appear at ease or at home beyond the unembarrassed exercise of a
visitor’s duties, for such freedom may tend to cause dislike for you as
presuming on your liberties.

A gentleman should not visit unless he be prepared, in case of
emergencies, for a request from the hostess, if the host is absent,
or from both if the host is himself incapable, to act the part of
table-host; and to do this he must be thoroughly versed in the art of
carving and serving the viands, and in other ways demeaning himself as is
essential to hosts.

In fact, in going on a visit a gentleman should be proficient in its
many requirements. Such rules as are here laid down will be sufficient,
and will not fail in leading him safely through the minor branches of
politeness.

FINIS.





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