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, December 29, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - Things, Words, and Sayings to be Avoided in Conversation

Diane's Antique Book Collection

The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety

Things, Words, and Sayings, to be avoided in conversation.- Do not use the terms “genteel people;” this, that, or the other, is very genteel.” Substitute for them, “They are highly accomplished;” or “He is a gentlemanly man;” or “He has a gentlemanly appearance;” or “She has the manner of a gentlewoman.” 

            It is not in good taste for a lady to say “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir,” to a gentleman, or frequently to introduce the word “Sir” at the end of her sentence, unless she desires to be exceedingly reserved toward the person with whom she is conversing.

            Do not use such words as “I guess,” or “I calculate,” or “I expect,” or “I reckon,” too often, and, as they are generally used, out of place.

            When relating a conversation, do not, at every few words, put in “says he,” or “says she,” which last is sometimes shortened into a continual “sheshe.”

            Interrupt no one while speaking, though it be your most intimate friend.

            Laugh not at your own story; if it have any wit, it will be appreciated.

            Speaking of any distant person, it is the height of rudeness to point at him.

            Do not forget names, nor mistake one name for another. To speak of Mr. What-d’ye-call-him, or You-know-who, Mrs. Thingum, What’s-her-name, or How-d’ye-call-her, is exceedingly coarse and unlady-like. It is the same to begin a story, without being able to finish it, breaking off in the middle with the exclamation “I’ve forgot the rest.”

            Always look people in the face when you speak to them, otherwise you will be thought conscious of some guilt; besides, you lose the opportunity of reading their countenances, from which you will much better learn the impression which your discourse makes upon them, than you possibly can from their words; for words are at the will of every one, but the countenance is frequently involuntary.
 
            Do not repeat the name of the person to whom you are speaking, as “Indeed, Mr. Stubbs, you don’t say so, sir,” – or “Really, Mrs. Smith, I quite agree with you, Mrs. Smith.” It is a sufficiently bad habit in an equal, but in one of lower rank it becomes impertinence.

            There cannot be any practice more offensive than that of taking a person aside to whisper in a room with company; yet this rudeness is of frequent occurrence – and that with those who know it to be improper.

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - SPEAKING OF ONE'S SELF

Diane's Antique Book Collection


The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety

Speaking of one’s self. – When we speak of ourself and another person, whether he is absent or present, propriety requires us to mention ourselves last. Thus we should say, he and I, you and I.


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

 

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - HOW A LADY SHOULD BE SPOKEN OF BY HER HUSBAND

Diane's Antique Book Collection


The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety

How a Lady Should Be Spoken of by Her Husband.- It is equally improper for a gentleman to say “my wife,” except among very intimate friends; he should mention her as “Mrs. So and So.” When in private, the expression “my dear,” or merely the Christian name, is considered in accordance with the best usage among the more refined.

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

 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - HOW A LADY SHOULD SPEAK OF HER HUSBAND

Diane's Antique Book Collection


The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety 

How a lady should speak of her husband.- A lady should not say “my husband,” except among intimates; in every other case she should address him by his name, calling him “Mr.” It is equally proper, except on occasions of ceremony, and while she is quite young, to designate him by his Christian name.

            Never use the initial of a person’s name to designate him; as “Mr. P.,” “Mr. I.,” etc. Nothing is so odious as to hear a lady speak of her husband, or, indeed, any one else, as “Mr. B.”

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

 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - SPEAKING OF THE ABSENT

Diane's Antique Book Collection


The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety

 Speaking of the absent.- Never volunteer unnecessarily in speaking ill of anybody. You may indeed be placed in circumstances in which it may be proper and even necessary that you should express an unfavorable opinion of characters; that you should state facts concerning them of the most disagreeable nature.

            What is objectionable is that you should do this when circumstances do not require it, and when no good will be likely to result from it; for it at once indicates a bad disposition, and is a means by which that disposition will gain strength. But in no case allow yourself to make any unfavorable representation of a character, unless you have ample evidence that it is accordant with truth. By neglecting to observe this suggestion, you may irretrievably injure an innocent person, and procure for yourself an undesirable name.

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

 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - AGAINST SARCASTIC REMARKS

Diane's Antique Book Collection


The Art of Conversing with Fluency and Propriety

Against sarcastic remarks.- Be careful also how you indulge in sarcasm. If you are constitutionally inclined to this, you will find that there is no point in your character which needs to be more faithfully guarded. There are some few cases in which severe irony may be employed to advantage; cases in which vice and error will shrink before it, when they will unhesitatingly confront every other species of opposition.

            It too often happens, however, that those who possess this talent use it indiscriminately; and perhaps even more frequently to confound modest and retiring virtue than to abash bold and insolent vice. But be assured that it is a contemptible triumph that is gained, when, by the force of sarcasm, the lips of a deserving individual are sealed, and the countenance crimsoned with blushes.

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