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, February 23, 2013

19th CENTURY ETIQUETTE - CHECKING FAMILIARITY

Diane's Antique Book Collection


TRAVELERS AND TRAVELING

 Checking Familiarity.- It is impossible to dwell too strongly upon the importance of reserve and discretion on the part of  ladies traveling alone. They may, as has been already said, accept slight services courteously proffered by strangers, but any attempt at familiarity must be checked, and this with all the less hesitation that no gentleman will be guilty of such familiarity; and a lady wants only gentlemen for her acquaintances.

Once, when traveling from Chicago to Toledo, there were upon the same train with ourselves a young lady and gentleman who were soon the observed of all observers. He was a commercial traveler of some sort, and she probably just from boarding school. They were total strangers to each other as they both entered the car at Chicago. The acquaintance began soon after starting. By the time L Porte was reached he had taken his seat beside her. At Elkhart the personal history of each was known to the other. The gentleman here invited the lady to supper and paid her bill. Shortly afterward photographs were exchanged, they had written confidentially in each other’s note-books, and had promised to correspond. All this passed between them in tones so loud and with actions so obtrusive that they attracted the notice of every one in the car, and many were the comments upon them. As daylight waned she sunk upon his shoulder to sleep while he threw his arm around her to support her. If they had announced their engagement and inquired for a clergyman upon the train to marry them upon their arrival at Toledo, no one would have been really surprised. She was a foolish girl, yet old enough to have known better. He must have been a villain thus to take advantage of her silliness.

Still, if the journey is long, and especially if it be by steamboat a certain sociability is in order, and a married lady or lady of middle age should make good use of her privileges in this respect.
 

Wells, A. M., Richard A., MANNERS, CULTURE AND DRESS, Massachusetts, King, Richardson & Company Publishers, 1893

 

3 comments:

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

That was wonderful! Love this!

Carol Moncado said...

I sense a plotline there... ;)

Elaine Manders said...

Since my character has some trouble with propriety, I found this very telling. Thanks