Manners are the happy ways of doing things; each one a stroke of genius or of love, now repeated and hardened into usage, they form at last a rich varnish, with which the routine of life is washed, and its details adorned. If they are superficial, so are the dew-drops which give such a depth to the morning meadows.
There was a time when good manners and right conduct maketh a man or a woman. More often than not, good manners are deemed old-fashion.
Project Gutenberg has published several books that allow us a glimpse of the past, let us take a look, shall we?!!!
Bygone Era : Customs & Traditions
Meeting a woman to whom he has been introduced at an entertainment, he should wait until she bows first.
After bowing to a woman, the man may join her, and with her permission may walk a short distance with her.
He should not stand in the street and converse with her any length of time. She may excuse herself and pass on. He should not feel affronted.
If he meets a woman he does not know accompanied by a man he does know, both men bow.
The man accompanying her should bow to every man or woman to whom she bows.
WOMEN. A woman’s bow should be dignified— a faint smile and a gentle inclination of the head.
Women bow first to men when meeting in the street. A man may bow first if the acquaintance is intimate.
When walking with a man, and they meet another unknown to her, but known to her escort, both men bow. If she meets a friend, man or woman, unknown to her escort, he bows.
Unless an introduction has taken place at any function, no recognition is customary. It is the woman’s privilege, however, to decide for herself whether she will recognize the guest or not.
A man bowing and joining a woman on the street must ask permission to do so. She is at perfect liberty to gracefully decline.
If a man stops to talk on the street, she may excuse herself and pass on. If she continues the conversation and he stands with his hat in his hand, she may request him to replace it. Such conversations should be brief.
CHAPERONES. For a small ball given in a private house, the hostess need not invite the mothers of the young women, and the young women can properly attend, knowing that the hostess will act as a chaperone.
Courtesy toward his hostess and consideration
for his friends demands that a
man who can dance should do so.
To accept an invitation to a ball and then
refuse to dance shows that a man is lacking
in good breeding.
CARRIAGE. A man should provide a carriage in which to call for the woman he escorts and her chaperone.
The overcoat, hat, and cane are left in the dressing-room, and the guest removes one or both gloves as he pleases—remembering that he must offer his ungloved right hand to the hostess.
In driving, if impossible to raise the hat, he should touch it with his whip.
SHAKING HANDS. Guests on being presented to the hostess should shake hands. If guest takes leave of hostess, they should shake hands. If the hostess is surrounded by guests, a pleasant nod of farewell is admissible.
An afternoon tea is a simple entertainment. Refreshments are generally served to the guests. An innovation lately introduced has become quite popular —namely, young women, invited for the purpose, wait upon the guests, bringing in one dainty at a time.
An afternoon tea is called a formal afternoon tea when engraved cards have been issued, naming set date.