Diane Kalas, Inspirational Historical Romance Author

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 (KJV)





Saturday, August 18, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - INTRODUCTION BY LETTER

Diane's Antique Book Collection
Introduction by letter.- A lady who receives a letter introducing a gentleman, may answer it by a note to the bearer, inviting him to pay a morning or evening visit. You should not remark to a gentleman, “I am very happy to make your acquaintance,” because it should be considered a favor for him to be presented to you, therefore the remark should come rather from him.

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

2 comments:

Mocha with Linda said...

I miss "real" letters, although I'm glad we don't do letters of introduction socially! They sound a bit awkward! LOL And the whole "happy to meet you" thing - how snooty that must have made women feel!

I've been on vacation the past couple of weeks; it's fun to reconnect.

Naomi Musch said...

Really interesting stuff, Diane! Can you imagine having to learn all that detailed etiquette? I'd have been shocking people left and right, I'm afraid. And I have to say, though I've never been a really big fan of The Message Bible, that rendition of Matthew 13 is really awesome. I, too, can totally relate!
Blessings~