Diane Kalas, Inspirational Historical Romance Author

“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works." Psalm 73:28 (KJV)






Saturday, October 27, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - HOW TO TREAT FLATTERY

Diane's Antique Book Collection
 
The Art of Conversing 

How to treat flattery.- If a gentleman approaches you with words of flattery, and profuse attentions, especially after a short acquaintance, extend no encouraging smile or word; for a flatterer can never be otherwise than an unprofitable companion. It is better, by a dignified composure, to appear not to notice, than, with smiles and blushes, to disclaim flattery; since these are frequently considered as encouragements for further effusions of these “painted words.”

            You may with propriety accept such delicate attentions as polished and refined men are desirous of paying, but never solicit them, or appear to be expecting them. Ladies not infrequently, as a matter of course, extend their hand to take a gentleman’s arm before he has made any offer of such civility, but it is a mark of familiarity which has a most unfavorable appearance.

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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - A LADY'S INFLUENCE IN CONVERSATION

Diane's Antique Book Collection

 
The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety

A lady’s influence in conversation.- Every woman whose heart and mind have been properly regulated, is capable of exerting a most salutary influence over the gentlemen with whom she associates; and this fact has been acknowledged by the best and wisest of men, and seldom disputed, except by those whose capacities for observation have been perverted by adverse circumstances.

Conversing with modesty and simplicity.-Always seek to converse with gentlemen into whose society you may be introduced, with a dignified modesty and simplicity, which will effectually check on their part any attempt at familiarity; but never say or do anything that may lead them to suppose you are soliciting their notice.

            An instance can scarcely be recalled of a lady, either by direct or indirect means, attempting to storm a man’s heart into admiration, who did not effectually defeat her purpose, and instead of the coveted homage to her charms, awaken a feeling directly its opposite. What sight can be more pitiable or repulsive than that of a female, advancing in the vale of years, and leaving behind her all the youthful attractions she might once have possessed, and yet retaining her inordinate thirst for the society and admiration of gentlemen.

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

 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - SPECIAL RULES FOR THE TABLE

Diane's Antique Book Collection

Dinner Parties

Special rules to be observed at the table.-It is ridiculous to make a display of your napkin; to attach it with pins to your bosom, or to pass it through your button-hole; to use a fork in eating soup; to ask for meat instead of beef; for poultry instead of saying chicken or turkey; to turn up your cuffs in carving; to take bread, even when it is within your reach, instead of calling upon the servant; to cut with a knife your bread, which should be broken by the hand, and to pour your coffee into the saucer to cool.

            During the first course, each one helps himself at his pleasure to whatever he drinks; but in the second course, when the master of the house passes round choice wine, it would be uncivil to refuse it. We are not obliged, however, to accept a second glass. 

            When at the end of the second course, the cloth is removed, the guests may assist in turning off that part of it which is before them, and contribute to the arrangement of the dessert plates which happen to be near, but without attempting to alter the disposition of them. From the time that the dessert appears on the table, the duties of the master of the house diminish, as do also his rights.

            If a gentleman is seated by the side of a lady or elderly person, politeness requires him to save them all trouble of pouring out for themselves to drink, and of obtaining whatever they are in want of at the table. He should be eager to offer them whatever he thinks to be most to their taste.

            It is considered vulgar to take fish or soup twice. The reason for not being helped twice to fish or soup at a large dinner party is because by so doing you keep three parts of the company staring as you whilst waiting for the second course, which is spoiling, much to the annoyance of the mistress of the house. The selfish greediness, therefore, of so doing constitutes its vulgarity. At a family dinner it is of less importance.

            Never use your knife to convey your food to your mouth, under any circumstance; it is unnecessary, and glaringly vulgar. Feed yourself with a fork or spoon, nothing else; a knife is only to be used for cutting.

            As a general rule, in helping any one at a table, never use a knife where you can use a spoon.

            Do not press people to eat more than they appear to like, nor insist upon their tasting of any particular dish; you may so far recommend one as to mention that it is considered excellent. Remember that tastes differ, and viands which please you may be objects of dislike to others; and that, in consequence of your urgency, very young or very modest people may feel themselves compelled to partake of what may be most disagreeable to them.

            Ladies should never dine with their gloves on; unless their hands are not fit to be seen.

            In conversation at the table, be careful not to speak while eating a mouthful; it is indecorous in the extreme. 

            Bite not your bread, but break it with your fingers; be careful not to crumb it upon the table-cloth.

            The knife and fork should not be held upright in the hands, but sloping; when done with them, lay them parallel to each other upon the plate. When you eat, bend the body a little toward your plate; do not gnaw bones at the table; always use your napkin before and after drinking.
 
            Frequent consultation of the watch or time-pieces is impolite, either when at home or abroad. If at home , it appears as if you were tired of your company and wished them to be gone; if abroad, as if the hours dragged heavily, and you were calculating how soon you would be released.

 Leaving the table.- It is for the lady of the house to give the signal to leave the table; all the guests then rise, and, offering their arms to the ladies, wait upon them to the drawing-room, where coffee is prepared. We never take coffee at the table, except at unceremonious dinners. In leaving the table, the master of the house should go last.

            Politeness requires us to remain at least an hour in the drawing-room, after dinner; and, if we can dispose of an entire evening, it would be well to devote it to the person who has entertained us.

            As you pass from the dining-room, each gentleman should offer his left arm to the lady in charge.

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

Saturday, October 6, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - SERVING THE DINNER, CARVING AND CONVERSATION

Diane's Antique Book Collection

Serving the dinner, carving, etc.- As soon as the guests are seated, the lady of the house serves, in plates, from a pile at her left hand, the soup, which she sends round, beginning with her neighbor’s right and left, and continuing till all are helped. These first plates usually pass twice, for every one endeavors to make his neighbor accept whatever is sent him.
 
            The gentleman then carves, or causes to be carved by some expert guest, the large piece, in order afterwards to do the other honors himself. If you have no skill in carving meats, do not attempt it; nor should you ever discharge this duty except when your good offices are solicited by him; neither can we refuse anything sent us from his hand.

Conversation at the table. – It would be impolite to monopolize a conversation which ought to be general. If the company is large, we should converse with our neighbors, raising the voice only enough to make ourselves heard.
 
Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884