|Diane's Antique Book Collection|
There cannot be a more awkward situation for both parties than for one person to be waiting whilst the other is reading a letter, with the endeavor to discover who the stranger may be, or a position in which the bearer looks so foolish, or feels so uncomfortable. Then comes the bow, a cold shake of the hand, with the few civil words of course, and all because you come upon a stranger unawares. Therefore, give him time to read the letter you have been furnished with, by sending it instead of presenting it in person, thus forcing yourself upon him whether he will or no. He will then have time to consider how he may best show his regard for your introducer by his attentions to yourself.
Observe that letters of introduction are never scaled by well-bred people; the seal of the writer is attached to the envelope, requiring only a little wax to close it, at the option of the person to whom it is confided.
Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884