|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