to return and announce to the person waiting that the
lady will be down immediately. Any delay whatever
should be apologized for.
If, on making a call, you are introduced into a room
where you are unknown to those assembled, at once
give your name and mention upon whom your call is
In meeting a lady or gentleman whose name you can-
not recall, frankly say so, if you find it necessary. Sen-
sible persons will prefer to recall themselves to your
memory rather than to feel that you are talking to them
without fully recognizing them. To affect not to re-
member a person is despicable, and reflects only on the
Gentlemen, as well as ladies, when making formal
calls, send in but one card, no matter how many mem-
bers of the family they may wish to see. If a guest is
stopping at the house, the same rule is observed. If
not at home, one card is left for the lady, and one for
56 ETIQUETTE OF CALLS.
the guest. The card for the lady may be folded so as
to include the family.
RULES FOE SUMMER RESORTS.
At places of summer resort, those who own their
cottages, call first upon those who rent them, and those
who rent, in turn, call upon each other, according to
priority of arrival. In all these cases there are excep-
tions; as, where there is any great difference in ages,
the younger then calling upon the older, if there has
been a previous acquaintance or exchange of calls. If
there has been no previous acquaintance or exchange of
calls, the older lady pays the first call, unless she takes
the initiative by inviting the younger to call upon her,
or by sending her an invitation to some entertainment,
which she is about to give. When the occupants of
two villas, who have arrived the same season, meet at
the house of a common friend, and the older of the two
uses her privilege of inviting the other to call, it would
be a positive rudeness not to call; and the sooner the
call is made, the more civil will it be considered. It is
equally rude, when one lady asks permission of another
to bring a friend to call, and then neglects to do it, after
permission has been given. If the acquaintance is not
desired, the first call can be the last.
CALLS MADE BY CARDS.
Only calls of pure ceremony such as are made pre-
vious to an entertainment on those persons who are not
to be invited, and to whom you are indebted for any
ETIQUETTE OF CALLS. 57
attentions are made by handing in cards; nor can a
call in person be returned by cards. Exceptions to this
rule comprise P. P. C. calls, cards left or sent by per-
sons in mourning, and those which announce a lady's
day for receiving calls, on her return to town, after an
Some ladies receive only on certain days or evenings,
which are once a week, once a fortnight, or once a
montH as the case may be, and the time is duly
announced by cards. When a lady has made this rule
it is considerate, on the part of her friends, to observe
it, for it is sometimes regarded as an intrusion to call at
any other time. The reason of her having made this
rule may have been to prevent the loss of too much
time from her duties, in the receiving of calls from her
CALLS AFTEE BETROTHAL.
When a betrothal takes place and it is formally
announced to the relatives and friends on both sides,
calls of congratulation follow. The bridegroom that is
to be, is introduced by the family of the proposed
bride to their connections and most intimate friends,
and his family in return introduce her to relatives and
acquaintances whom they desire her to know. The
simplest way of bringing this about is by the parents
leaving the cards of the betrothed, with their own,
upon all families on their visiting list whom they wish
to have the betrothed pair visitw
58 ETIQUETTE OF CALLS.
THE CARDS AND CALLS OF STRANGERS.,
Strangers arriving are expected to send their cards to
their acquaintances, bearing their direction, as an
announcement that they are in the city. This rule ig
often neglected, but, unless it is observed, strangerg
may be a long time in town without their presence
RETURNING A FIRST CALL.
A first call ought to be returned within three or four
days. A longer delay than a week is considered an
intimation that you are unwilling to accept the new
acquaintance, unless some excuse for the remissness i*
In an event of exchange of calls between two ladies.,
without meeting, who are known to each other only by
sight, they should upon the first opportunity, make
themselves acquainted with one another. The younger
should seek the older, or the one who has been the reci-
pient of the first attention should introduce herself, or
seek an introduction, but it is not necessary to stand
upon ceremony on such points. Ladies knowing each
other by sight, bow, after an exchange of cards.
THE FIRST CALL.
When it becomes a question as to who shall call first,
between old residents, the older should take the initia-
tory. Ladies, who have been in the habit of meeting
for sometime without exchanging calls, sometimes say
ETIQUETTE OF CALLS. 59
to each other: "I hope you will come and see me."
and often the answer is made: " Oh, you must come
and see me first!" That answer could only be given,
with propriety, by a lady who is much the older of the
two. The lady who extends the invitation makes the
first advance, and the one who receives it should at
least say: " I thank you you are very kind," and then
accept the invitation or not, as it pleases her. It is the
custom for residents to make the first call upon
CALLS OP CONGRATULATION.
Calls of congratulation are made when any happy or
auspicious event may have occurred in the family
visited such as a birth, marriage, or any piece of good
fortune. Such visits may be made either similar to the
morning or the evening call. Such visits may also be
made upon the appointment of friends to any important
office or honored position, or when a friend has distin-
guished himself by a notable public address or oration.
p. P. c. CALLS.
When persons are going abroad to be absent for a
considerable period, if they have not time or inclination
to take leave of all their friends by making formal
calls, they will send to each of their friends a card with
the letters P. P. C. written upon it. They are the
initials of " Pour Prendre Conge " to take leave and
may with propriety stand for " presents parting compli-
ments.*' On returning home, it is customary that friends
60 ETIQUETTE OF CAJ.L8.
should first call upon them. A neglect to do so, unless
for some good excuse, is sufficient cause to drop their
acquaintance. In taking leave of a family, you send as
many cards as you would if you were paying an ordin-
VISITS OP CONDOLENCE.
Visits of condolence should be made within a week
after the event which occasioned them; but if the
acquaintance be slight, immediately after the family
appear at public worship. A card should be sent in,
and if your friends are able to receive you, your manners
and conversation should be in harmony with the charac-
ter of your visit. It is deemed courteous to send in
a mourning card; and for ladies to make their calls in
black silk or plain-colored apparel. It denotes that they
sympathize with the afflictions of the family, and a
warm, heartfelt sympathy is always appreciated.
Evening visits are paid only to those with whom we
are well acquainted. They should not be frequent, even
where one is intimate, nor should they be protracted to
a great length. Frequent visits are apt to become tire-
some to your friends or acquaintances, and long visits
may entitle you to the appellation of " bore."
If you should happen to pay an evening visit at a
house where a small party had assembled, unknown to
you, present yourself and converse for a few minutes
with an unembarrassed air, after which yx>u may leave,
ETIQUETTE OF CALLS. 61
pleading as an excuse that you had only intended to
make a short call. An invitation to stay and spend the
evening, given for the sake of courtesy, should not be
accepted. If urged very strongly to remain, and the
company is an informal gathering, you may with pro-
priety consent to do so.
KEEP AN ACCOUNT OF CALLS.
A person should keep a strict account of ceremonial
calls, and take note of how soon calls are returned. By
doing so, an opinion can be formed as to how frequently
visits are desired. Instances may occur, when, in con-
sequence of age or ill health, calls should be made with-
out any reference to their being returned. It must be
remembered that nothing must interrupt the discharge
of this duty.
CALLS OF CEREMONT AMONG FRIENDS.
Among relatives and friends, calls of mere ceremony
are unnecessary. It is, however, needful to make suit-
able calls, and to avoid staying too long, if your friend
is engaged. The courtesies of society should be main-
tained among the nearest friends, and even the domestic
" ENGAGED " OB " NOT AT HOME."
If a lady is so employed that she cannot receive call-
ers she should charge the servant who goes to answer
the bell to say that she is " engaged " or " not at home."
This will prove sufficient with all well-bred people.
62 ETIQUETTE OF CALLS.
The servant should have her orders to say " engaged "
or " not at home " before any one has called, so that the
lady shall avoid all risk of being obliged to inconven-
ience herself in receiving company when she has in-
tended to deny herself. If there are to be exceptions
made in favor of any individual or individuals, mention
their names specially to the servant, adding that you will
see them if they call, but to all others you are " en-
A lady should always be dressed sufficiently well to
receive company, and not keep them waiting while she
is making her toilet.
A well-bred person always endeavors to receive visi-
tors at whatever time they call, or whoever they may
be, but there are times when it is impossible to do so,
and then, of course, a servant is instructed beforehand
to say " not at home " to the visitor. If, however, the
servant admits the visitor and he is seated in the draw-
ing room or parlor, it is the duty of the hostess to receive
him or her at whatever inconvenience it may be to her-
When you call upon persons, and are informed at the
door that the parties whom you ask for are engaged, you
should never insist in an attempt to be admitted, but
should acquiesce at once in any arrangements which
they have made for their convenience, and to protect
themselves from interruption. However intimate you
may be in any house you have no right, when an order
has been given to exclude general visitors, and no excep-
tion has been made of you, to violate that exclusion, and
ETIQUETTE OF CALLS. 63
declare that the party should be at home to you. There
are times and seasons when a person desires to be left
entirely alone, and at such times there is no friendship
for which she would give up her occupation or her soli-
GENERAL RULES REGARDING CALLS.
A gentleman in making a formal call should retain his
hat and gloves in his hand on entering the room. The
tat should not be laid upon a table or stand, but kept in
the hand, unless it is found necessary from some cause
to set it down. In that case, place it upon the floor.
An umbrella should be left in the hall. In an informal
evening call, the hat, gloves, overcoat and cane may be
left in the hall.
A lady, in making a call, may bring a stranger, even
& gentleman, with her, without previous permission. A
gentleman, however, should never take the same liberty.
No one should prolong a call if the person upon whom
the call is made is found dressed ready to go out.
A lady should be more richly dressed when calling on
her friends than for an ordinary walk.
A lady should never call upon a gentleman except
upon some business, officially or professionally.
Never allow young children, dogs or pets of any sort
to accompany you in a call. They often prove disagree-
able and troublesome.
Two persons out of one family, or at most three, are
all that should call together.
It is not customary in cities to offer refreshments to
64 ETIQUETTE OF CALLS.
callers. In the country, where the caller has come from
some distance, it is exceedingly hospitable to do so.
Calls in the country may be less ceremonious and of
longer duration, than those made in the city.
A person making a call should not, while waiting for
a hostess, touch an open piano, walk about the room
examining pictures, nor handle any ornament in the
If there is a stranger visiting at the house of a friend,
the acquaintances of the family should be punctilious to
call at an early date.
Never offer to go to the room of an invalid upon whom
you have called, but wait for an invitation to do so.
In receiving morning calls, it is unnecessary for a lady
to lay aside any employment, not of an absorbing nature
upon which she may happen to be engaged. Embroi-
dery, crocheting or light needle-work are perfectly in
harmony with the requirements of the hour, and the
lady looks much better employed than in absolute idle-
A lady should pay equal attention to all her guests.
The display of unusual deference is alone allowable
when distinguished rank or reputation or advanced age
A guest should take the seat indicated by the hostess.
A gentleman should never seat himself on a sofa beside
her, nor in a chair in immediate proximity, unless she
specially invites him to do so.
A lady need not lay aside her bonnet during a formal
call, even though urged to do so. If the call be a
ETIQUETTE OF CALLS. 65
friendly and unceremonious one, she may do so if she
thinks proper, but not without an invitation.
A gentleman caller must not look at his watch during
a call, unless, in doing so, he pleads some engagement
and asks to be excused.
Formal calls are generally made twice a year; but
only once a year is binding, when no invitations have
been received that require calls in return.
In calling upon a person living at a hotel or boarding-
house, it is customary to stop in the parlor and send
your card to the room of the person called upon.
When a person has once risen to take leave, he should
not be persuaded to prolong his stay.
Callers should take special pains to make their visits
opportune. On the other hand, a lady should always
receive her callers, at whatever hour or day they come,
if it is possible to do so.
When a gentleman has called and not found the lady
at home, it is civility on the part of the lady, upon the
occasion of their next meeting, to express her regret at
not seeing him. He should reciprocate the regret, and
not reply unthinkingly or awkwardly: "Oh, it made no
particular difference," " it was of no great consequence,"
or words to that effect.
After you have visited a friend at her country seat,
or after receiving an invitation to visit her, a call is due
her upon her return to her town residence. This is one
of the occasions when a call should be made promptly
and in person, unless you have a reason for wishing to
discontinue the acquaintance; even then it would be
66 ETIQUETTE OF CALLS.
more civil to take another opportunity for dropping a
friend who wished to show a civility, unless her character
has been irretrievably lost in the meantime.
The custom of New- Year's calling is prevalent in all
cities, and most villages in the country, and so agreeable
a custom is it, that it is becoming more in favor every
year. This is the day when gentlemen keep up their
acquaintanceship with ladies and families, some of whom
they are unable to see, probably, during the whole year.
Of late it has been customary in many cities to publish
in one or more newspapers, a day or two before New
Years, a list of the ladies who will receive calls on that
day, and from this list gentlemen arrange their calls.
For convenience and to add to the pleasure of the day,
several ladies frequently unite in receiving calls at the
residence of one of their number, but this is usually done
when only one or two members of a family can receive.
Where there are several members of a family, who can
do so, they usually receive at their own home.
Gentlemen call either singly, in couples, by threes or
fours and sometimes even more, in carriages or on foot,
as they choose. Calls commence about ten o'clock in
the morning, and continue until about nine in the even-
ing. When the gentlemen go in parties, they call upon
the lady friends of each, and if all are not acquainted,
those who are, introduce the others. The length of a
call is usually from five to fifteen minutes, but it is ofteo
ETIQUETTE OF CALLS. 67
governed by circumstances, and may be prolonged to
even an hour.
Refreshments are usually provided for the callers, and
should always be offered, but it is not necessary that
they should be accepted. If not accepted, an apology
should be tendered, with thanks for the offer. Tlv
refreshments may consist of oysters, raw or scallop*
cold meats, salads, fruits, cakes, sandwiches, etc., u
hot tea and coffee.
When callers are ushered into the reception-room,
they are met by the ladies, when introductions are given,
and the callers are invited to remove their overcoats, but
it is optional with them whether they do so or not. It
is also optional with them whether they remove their
gloves. When gentlemen are introduced to ladies in
making New- Year's calls, they are not thereby warranted
in calling again upon any of these ladies, unless especially
invited to do so. It is the lady's pleasure whether the
acquaintance shall be maintained.
In making Xew- Year's calls, a gentleman leaves one
card, whatever may be the number of ladies receiving
with the hostess. If there is a basket at the door, LJ
leaves a card for each of the ladies at the house, including
lady guests of the family, provided there are any. The
Xew- Year's card should not differ from an ordinary
calling card. It should be plain, with the name engraved,
or printed in neat script. It is not now considered in
good taste to have " Happy New Year " or other words
upon it, unless it may be the residence of the gentleman,
ETIQUETTE OF CALLS.
which may be printed or written in the right hand cor-
ner, if deemed desirable. A gentleman does not make
calls the first New- Year's after his marriage, but receives
at home with his wife.
OME of the social observances per-
taining to visiting away from one's
own home, and accepting the hospi-
talities of friends, are here given,
and are applicable to ladies and
No one should accept a general invita-
tion for a prolonged visit. "Do come
and spend some time with me " may be
said with all earnestness and cordiality, but to
give the invitation real meaning the date
should be definitely fixed and the length of
A person who pays a visit upon a general invitation
need not be surprised if he finds himself as unwelcome
as he is unexpected. His friends may be absent from
home, or their house may be already full, or they may
not have made arrangements for visitors. From these
and other causes they may be greatly inconvenienced by
an unexpected arrival.
TU ETIQUETTE OF VISITING.
It would be well if people would abstain altogether
from this custom of giving general invitations, which
really mean nothing, and be scrupulous to invite their
desired guests at a stated time and for a given period.
LIMIT OF A PROLONGED VISIT.
If no exact length of time is specified, it is well for
visitors to limit a visit to three days or a week, accord-
ing to the degree of intimacy they may have with the
family, or the distance they have come to pay the visit,
announcing this limitation soon after arrival, so that the
host and the hostess may invite a prolongation of the
stay if they desire it, or so that they can make their
arrangements in accordance. One never likes to ask of
a guest, " How long do you intend to remain ?" yet it is
often most desirable to know.
Offer your guests the best that you have in the way
of food and rooms, and express no regrets, and make no
excuses that you have nothing better to give them.
Try to make your guests feel at home; and do this,
not by urging them in empty words to do so, but by
making their stay as pleasant as possible, at the same
time being careful to put out of sight any trifling trouble
or inconvenience they may cause you.
Devote as much time as is consistent with other
engagements to the amusement and entertainment of
ETIQUETTE OF VISITING. 71
DUTIES OP THE VISITOR. -
On the other hand, the visitor should try to conform
as much as possible to the habits of the house which
temporarily shelters him. He should never object to the
hours at which meals are served, nor should he ever
allow the family to be kept waiting on his account.
It is a good rule for a visitor to retire to his own
apartment in the morning, or at least seek out some
occupation or amusement of his own, without seeming
to need the assistance or attention of host or hostess ;
for it is undeniable that these have certain duties which
must be attended to at this portion of the day, in order
to leave the balance of the time free for the entertain-
ment of their guests.
If any family matters of a private or unpleasant nature
come to the knowledge of the guest during his stay, he
must seem both blind and deaf, and never refer to them
unless the parties interested speak of them first.
The rule on which a host and hostess should act is to
make their guests as much at ease as possible; that on
which a visitor should act is to interfere as little as pos-
sible with the ordinary routine of the house. .
It is not required that a hostess should spend her
whole time in the entertainment of her guests. The
latter may prefer to be left to their own devices for a
portion of the day. On the other hand, it shows the
worst of breeding for a visitor to seclude himself from
the family and seek his own amusements and occupations
regardless of their desire to join in them or entertain him.
72 . ETIQUETTE OF VISITING.
You should try to hold yourself at the disposal of
those whom you are visiting. If they propose to you
to ride, to drive or walk, you should acquiesce as far as
your strength will permit, and do your best to seem
pleased at the efforts made to entertain you.
You should not accept invitations without consulting
your host. You should not call upon the servants to do
errands for you, or to wait upon you too much, nor keep
the family up after hours of retiring.
If you have observed anything to the disadvantage of
your friends, while partaking of their hospitality, it
should never be mentioned, either while you are under
their roof or afterwards. Speak only of what redounds
to their praise and credit. This feeling ought to be
mutual between host and guest. Whatever good is
observed in either may be commented upon, but the
curtain of silence must be drawn over their faults.
Give as little trouble as possible when a guest, but at
the same time never think of apologizing for any little
additional trouble which your visit may occasion. It
would imply that you thought your friends incapable of
entertaining you without some inconvenience to them-
Keep your room as neat as possible, and leave no arti-
cles of dress or toilet around to give trouble to servants.
A lady guest will not hesitate to make her own bed,
if few or no servants are kept ; and in the latter case
she will do whatever else she can to lighten the labors of
her hostess as a return for the additional exertion her
ETIQUETTE OF VISITING. 73
INVITATIONS TO GUESTS.
Any invitation given to a lady guest should also
mclude the hostess, and the guest is justified in declin-
ing to accept any invitation unless the hostess is also
invited. Invitations received by the hostess should
include the guest. Thus, at all places of amusement and
entertainment, guest and host may be together.
FORBEARANCE WITH CHILDREN.
A guest should not notice nor find fault with the bad
behavior of the children in the household where visit-
ing, and should put up with any of their faults, and
overlook any ill-bred or disagreeable actions on their
GUESTS MAKING PRESENTS.
If a guest wishes to make a present to any member of