Diane Kalas, Inspirational Historical Romance Author

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success." Quote by Henry David Thoreau




Saturday, September 29, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE-THE LADY AT DINNER PARTIES

Diane's Antique Book Collection

Manner of going to the dinner-table, on special occasions.- The table should be ready, and the mistress of the house in the drawing-room, to receive the guests. When they are all assembled, a domestic announces that the dinner is served up; at this signal we rise immediately, and wait until the gentleman of the house requests us to pass into the dinner-room, whither he conducts us by going before.

            It is quite common for the lady of the house to act as guide, while he offers his hand to the lady of most distinction. The guests also give their arms to ladies, whom they conduct as far as the table, and to the place which they are to occupy. Take care, if you are not the principal guest, not to offer your hand to the handsomest, for it is a great impoliteness.

Proper disposition of guests at the dinner-table.- Having arrived at the table, each guest respectfully salutes the lady whom he conducts, and who, in her turn, bows also.

            It is one of the first and most difficult things properly to arrange the guests, and to place them in such a manner that the conversation may always be general during the entertainment; we should, as much as possible, avoid putting next one another two persons of the same profession, as it would necessarily result in an aside conversation, which would injure the general conversation, and consequently the gaiety of the occasion.

            The two most distinguished gentlemen are placed next the mistress of the house; the two most distinguished ladies next the master of the house; the right hand is especially the place of honor. If the number of gentlemen is nearly equal to that of ladies, we should take care to intermingle them; we should separate husbands from their wives, and remove near relations as far from one another as possible, because, being always together, they ought not to converse among themselves in a general party. The younger guests, or those of less distinction, are placed at the lower end of the table.

            In order to be able to watch the course of the dinner, and to see that nothing is wanting to their guests, the lady and gentleman of the house usually seat themselves in the centre of the table, opposite each other.

Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884

Saturday, September 22, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - THE LADY AT THE PIANO-FORTE

Diane's Antique Book Collection

Invitations to sing or play.- Never exhibit any anxiety to sing or to play. You may have a fine voice, have a brilliant instrumental execution, but your friends may by possibility neither admire nor appreciate either.

            If you intend to sing, do not affect to refuse when asked, but at once accede. If you are a good singer, your prompt compliance will add to the pleasure of your friends, and to their regard; if you are not, the desire to amuse will have been evinced, and will be appreciated.

Kind of songs and style of singing.- Do not sing songs descriptive of masculine passion or sentiment; there is an abundance of superior songs for both sexes.

            If you are singing second, do not drag on, nor, as it were, tread upon the heels of your prima; if you do not regard your friend’s feelings, have mercy on your own reputation, for nine or ten in every party will think you in the wrong, and those who know you are singing in correct time will believe you ill-natured, or not sufficiently mistress of the song to wait upon your friend.

            If playing an accompaniment to a singer, do not forget that your instrument is intended to aid, not to interrupt; that is, to be subordinate to the song.

            If nature has not given you a voice, do not attempt to sing, unless you have sufficient taste, knowledge, and judgment, to cover its defects by an accompaniment.

            When at concerts, or private parties where music is being performed, never converse, no matter how anxious you may be to do so, or how many persons you may see doing so; and refrain from beating time, humming the airs, applauding, or making ridiculous gestures of admiration.

Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884

Saturday, September 15, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE-DANCING OCCASIONS

Diane's Antique Book Collection

 Dancing occasions – in what manner ladies must be treated by gentlemen. We are not obliged to go exactly at the appointed hour; it is even fashionable to go an hour later. Married ladies are accompanied by their husbands, unmarried ones, by their mother or a chaperon. These last ladies place themselves behind the dancers; the gentleman of the house then goes before one and another, procures seats for them, and mingles again among the gentlemen who are standing, and who form groups or walk about the room.

            When you are sure of a place in the dance, you go up to a lady, and ask her if she will do you the honor to dance with you. If she answers that she is engaged, invite her for the next dance, but take care not to address yourself afterwards to any ladies next to her, for these, not being able to refuse you, would feel hurt at being invited after another.

            A lady cannot refuse the invitation of a gentleman to dance, unless she has already accepted that of another, for she would be guilty of an incivility which might occasion trouble; she would moreover seem to show contempt for him whom she refused, and would expose herself to receive an ill compliment from him.

            A married or young lady should never leave a party, even to go into an adjoining room, without either her mother or a married lady to accompany her.

            Avoid talking incessantly; it would occasion remarks and have a bad appearance to whisper continually in the ear of our partner.

 Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884

 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE-BEHAVIOR AT PARTIES, TIME TO GO, LADY OF THE HOUSE, TAKING LEAVE

Diane's Antique Book Collection

Management and behavior at parties and other entertainments; who may be invited.- Persons absolutely and generally objectionable will not be invited; but mere personal quarrels cannot be regarded, as one may be on the most friendly terms with two persons, who, from some cause, are at enmity with each other.

            A lady invited to a party may be accompanied by a gentleman who has no invitation, but who is welcomed upon her introduction. This rule, however, does not work both ways, as a gentleman cannot thus introduce a lady.

 Time to go, and manner of entering the room.- The usual time for going to a party in the country is from seven to eight o’clock, in the cities an hour later. The mistress of the house, or the lady giving the party, should remain at the head of the principal apartment until the guests have generally arrived, and then mix with her company, attending to every body’s comfort.

            After leaving the carriage, the gentleman conducts the lady in his charge to the door of the ladies’ dressing-room, while he goes to the gentlemen’s apartment, each to prepare their toilet suitably to entering the reception room. The lady waits at the door of her dressing-room till the gentleman joins her, and they make their entrĂ©e together.

Treatment of the lady of the house.- When a gentleman and lady, or either separately, enter a drawing-room, they should salute all generally, by a respectful inclination of the head, and make their way immediately to the lady of the house, whom they should salute cordially, congratulate her upon her good health and looks, and with a few words additional pass on, in order to make room for the succeeding guests who may wish to address her.
 
Taking leave.- It is not proper to withdraw abruptly in the midst of a conversation, but to wait until the subject in which you are engaged shall be finished; you then salute only the person with whom you have been talking, and depart without taking leave of any one, not even the gentleman and lady of the house.

 
Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884

Saturday, September 1, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - GIVING, RECEIVING, AND ANSWERING INVITATIONS

Diane's Antique Book Collection

Giving Invitations. – When we intend giving an entertainment, we begin by selecting such guests as may enjoy themselves together, or at least tolerate one another. If it is to be composed of gentlemen, there should be no lady present, except the lady of the house. The dinner being determined upon, we give out, two or three days beforehand, verbal or written invitations. During the season of gaiety, it is necessary to do it at least five days in advance, on account of the numerous engagements.

            Invitations to dine should be answered to the lady. Invitations to a ball should be in the lady’s name, and the answer of course sent to her.

Receiving and answering invitations.- When we receive a written invitation we must answer immediately whether we accept or not, although silence may be considered equivalent to an acceptance. If we decline, we should give a plausible and polite reason for not accepting. When the invitation is verbal, we must avoid being urged, for nothing is more weak and disobliging; we ought either to accept or refuse in a frank and friendly manner, offering some reasonable motive for declining, to which we should not again refer.

            It is not allowable to be urged, except when we are requested to dine with some one whom we have only seen at the house of a third person, or when we are invited on a visit, or other similar occasion. In the former case, if we accept, we should first leave a card in order to open the acquaintance. Having once accepted, we cannot break our engagement, unless for a most urgent cause.

Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884