Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Online Bookshelf-Social Life, Or The Manners And Customs Of Polite Society

Note merely an etiquette book, but containing The Rules Of Etiquette for All Occasions and Forming a Complete Guide to Self-culture in Conversation, Dress, Deportment, Correspondence, The Care of Children and the Home , profusely illustrated in the style of the Police Gazette.

From the chapter on Introductions and Salutations: "As a rule, introductions, to be agreeable, should be desired before being given; and since we are, or should be, in a measure, the endorsers of those whom we present to our friends, a due degree of care should be exercised in so doing, lest inadvertently we force upon another what may prove an undesirable acquaintance."

From The Art of Conversation: "Beware of evil speaking. In the eyes of all right-minded persons much that you have said recoils upon your own head, for no one has quite the same opinion of an individual after having listened to a series of scandalous stories from his lips. Hence, for your own sake, as well as for that of others, eschew the vice of evil speaking as a very pestilence."

From Courtship and Marriage: "The passion of love generally appearing to everyone save the man who feels it, so entirely disproportionate to the value of the object, so impossible to be entered into by any outside individual, that any strong expressions of it appear ridiculous to a third person. For this reason it is that all extravagance of feeling should be carefully repressed as an offense against good breeding."

And should you be unsure of the appropriate form of invitation to an afternoon tea or (how daring of you!) a masquerade, Miss Cooke explains it all for you.


Packrat said...

Basically still good very good advice.

My only complaint is that people here (is it only here?) are really bad about *not* introducing people to each other. I get really uncomfortable standing like a bump on a log while the person I'm with engages in a long conversation with someone I don't know. I think it is rude. (Is that evil speaking? lol)

Also, I never really thought of myself as a prude, but I really don't like seeing people pawing or hanging all over each other. Simple holding hands is fine with me, but I'm sure that was frowned upon, too.

Thanks for sharing this one.

Anonymous said...

My problem is, I don't care to introduce most people to other people. I know they will be rude and the introductions lost on them, and I feel it a waste to do so.

I do them, and I do use manners, but it is increasingly a waste of time to do them.

And I want to scream at people "the correct response to "this is so and so" is "How do you do?"!!"

Yeah. Ahem.

Shay said...

My personal pet peeve is someone who introduces her children to me using my given name.

If I want to be on first-name terms with a six year old, I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I forgot that one because I don't do it. It's always Mr/Ms/Mrs So and so.

I may say "Wanda, this is my son, Casey. Casey, this is Mrs. Smith." but that's about it.

I'm so used to being "Casey's Mommy" or "Sammi's sister" since they don't use names but titles in schools.

Amy said...

You know it's a real pity that alot of these rules are no longer applicable now. I think people of all ages need reminding about now important manners and etiquette are.