attend, call afterwards. The hostess receives her guests
standing, aided by other members of the family or inti-
mate friends. For a kettle-drum there is usually a
crowd, and yet but few remain over half an hour the
conventional time alloted unless they are detained by
music or some entertaining conversation. A table set
in the dining-room is supplied with tea, coffee, choco-
late, sandwiches, buns and cakes, which constitute all
that is offered to the guests.
There is less formality at a kettle-drum than at a
larger day reception. The time is spent in desultory
conversation with friends, in listening to music, or such
entertainment as has been provided.
Gentlemen wear the usual morning dress. Ladies
wear the demi-toilet, with or without bonnets.
RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS. 133
At five o'clock tea (or coffee), the equipage is on a
side table, together with plates of thin sandwiches, and
of cake. The pouring of the tea and paesiiig of refresh-
ments are usually done by some members of the family
or friends, without the assistance of servants, where the
number assembled is small; for, as a rule, the people who
frequent these social gatherings, care more for social
intercourse than for eating and drinking.
MORE FORMAL ENTERTAINMENTS.
Evening parties and balls are of a much more formal
character than the entertainments that have been men-
tioned. They require evening dress. Of late years,
however, evening dress is almost as much worn at grand
dinners as at balls and evening parties, only the material
is not of so diaphanous a character. Lace and muslin
are out of place. Invitations to evening parties should
be sent from a week to two weeks in advance, and in all
cases they should be answered immediately.
The requisites for a successful ball are good music and
plenty of people to dance. An English writer says,
" The advantage of the ball is, that it brings young peo-
ple together for a sensible and innocent recreation, and
takes them away from silly, if not from bad ones; that
it gives them exercise, and that the general effect of the
beauty, elegance and brilliancy of a ball is to elevate
rather than to deprave the mind." It may be that the
round dance is monopolizing the ball room to a too great
134 RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS.
extent, and it is possible that these may be so frequent
as to mar the pleasure of some persons who do not care
to participate in them, to the exclusion of " square " and
other dances. America should not be the only nation
that confines ball room dancing to waltzes, as is done in
some of our cities. There should be an eqiial number
of waltzes and quadrilles, with one or two contra dances,
which would give an opportunity to those who object
(or whose parents object) to round dances to appear on
PREPARATIONS FOR A BALL.
There should be dressing-rooms for ladies and gentle-
men, with a servant or servants to each. There should
be cards with the names of the invited guests upon them,
or checks with duplicates to be given to the guests ready
to pin upon the wraps of each one. Each dressing-
room should be supplied with a complete set of toilet
articles. It is customary to decorate the house elabor-
ately with flowers. Although this is an expensive lux-
ury, it adds much to beautifying the rooms.
Four musicians are enough for a " dance." When the
dancing room is small, the flageolet is preferable to the
horn, as it is less noisy and marks the time as well. The
piano and violin form the mainstay of the band; but
when the rooms are large enough, a larger band may be
RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS. 135
The dances should be arranged beforehand, and for
large balls programmes are printed with a list of the
dances. Usually a ball opens with a waltz, followed by
a quadrille, and these are succeeded by galops, lancers,
polkas, quadrilles and waltzes in turn.
INTRODUCTIONS AT A BALL.
Gentlemen who are introduced to ladies at a ball,
solely for the purpose of dancing, wait to be recognized
before speaking with ladies upon meeting afterwards,
but they are at liberty to recall themselves by lifting
their hats in passing. In England a ball-room acquaint-
ance rarely goes any farther, until they have met at more
balls than one; so, also, a gentleman cannot, after being
introduced to a young lady, ask her for more than two
dances during the same evening. In England an intro-
duction given for dancing purposes does not constitute
acquaintanceship. With us, as in Continental Europe,
it does. It is for this reason that, in England, ladies are
expected to bow first, while on the Continent it is the
gentlemen who give the first marks of recognition, as it
should be here, or better still, simultaneously, when the
recognition is simultaneous. It is as much the gentle-
man's place to bow (with our mode of life) as it is the
lady's. The one who recognizes first should be the first
to show that recognition. Introductions take place in a
ball room in order to provide ladies with partners, or
between persons residing in different cities. In all
136 RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS.
other cases permission is asked before giving introduc-
tions. But where a hostess is sufficiently discriminating
in the selection of her guests, those assembled under her
roof should remember that they are, in a certain sense,
made known to one another, and ought, therefore, to be
able to converse freely without introductions.
The custom of the host and hostess receiving together,
is not now prevalent. ' The receiving devolves upon the
hostess, but it is the duty of the host to remain within
sight until after the arrivals are principally over, that
he may be easily found by any one seeking him. The
same duty devolves upon the sons, who, that evening,
must share their attentions with all. The daughters, as
well as the sons, will look after partners for the young
ladies who desire to dance, and they will try to see that
no one is neglected before they join the dancers them-
After a ball, an after-call is due the lady of the house
at which you were entertained, and should be made as
soon as convenient within two weeks at the farthest.
The call loses its significance entirely, and passes into
remissness, when a longer time is permitted to elapse.
If it is not possible to make a call, send your card or
leave it at the door. It has become customary of late
for a lady who has no weekly reception day, in sending
invitations to a ball, to inclose her card in each invita-
RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS. 137
tion for one or more receptions, in order that the after-
calls due her may be made on that day.
The supper-room at a ball is thrown open generally at
twelve o'clock. The table is made as elegant as beauti-
ful china, cut-glass and an abundance of flowers can
make it. The hot dishes are oysters, stewed, fried,
broiled and scalloped, chicken, game, etc., and the cold
dishes are such as boned turkey, bceuf'd la mode, chicken
salad, lobster salad and raw oysters. When supper is
announced, the host leads the way with the lady to
whom he wishes to show especial attention, who may be
an elderly lady, or a stranger or a bride. The hostess
remains until the last, with the gentleman who takes her
to supper, unless some distinguished guest is present,
with whom she leads the way. No gentleman should
ever go into the supper-room alone, unless he has seen
every lady enter before him. When ladies are left
unattended, gentlemen, although strangers, are at liberty
to offer their services in waiting upon them, for the host
and hostess are sufficient guarantees for the respecta-
bility of their guests.
THE NUMBER TO INVITE.
Persons giving balls or dancing parties should be
careful not to invite more than their rooms will accom-
modate, so as to avoid a crush. Invitations to crowded
balls are not hospitalities, but inflictions. A hostess is
usually safe, however, in inviting one-fourth more than
138 BECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS.
her rooms will hold, as that proportion of regrets are apt
to be' received. People who do not dance will not, as a
rule, expect to be invited to a ball or dancing party.
DUTIES OF GUESTS.
Some persons may be astonished to learn that any
duties devolve upon the guests. In fact there are circles
where all such duties are ignored.
It is the duty of every person who has at first accepted
the invitation, and subsequently finds that it will be
impossible to attend, to send a regret, even at the last
moment, and as it is rude to send an acceptance with ne
intention of going, those who so accept will do well to
remember this duty. It is the duty of every lady who
attends a ball, to make her toilet as fresh as possible.
It need not be expensive, but it should at least be clean;
it may be simple, but it should be neither soiled nor
tumbled. The gentlemen should wear evening dress.
It is the duty of every person to arrive as early as
possible after the hour named, when it is mentioned in
Another duty of guests is that each one should do all
in his or her power to contribute to the enjoyment of
the evening, and neither hesitate nor decline to be
introduced to such guests as the hostess requests. It is
not binding upon any gentleman to remain one moment
longer than he desires with any lady. By constantly
moving from one to another, when he feels so inclined,
he gives an opportunity to others to circulate as freely;
and this custom, generally introduced in our society,
RECEPTIONS, PAKTIES AND BALLS. 139
would go a long way toward contributing to the enjoy-
ment of all. The false notion generally entertainetl that
a gentleman is expected to remain standing by the side
of a lady, like a sentinel on duty, until relieved by some
other person, is absurd, and deters many who would
gladly give a few passing moments to lady acquaint-
ances, could they but know that they would be free to
leave at any instant that conversation flagged, or that
they desired to join another. In a society where it is
not considered a rudeness to leave after a few sentences
with one, to exchange some words with another, there
is a constant interchange of civilities, and the men circu-
late through the room with that charming freedom
which insures the enjoyment of alL
While the hostess is receiving, no person should
remain beside her except members of her family who
receive with her, or such friends as she has designated
to assist her. All persons entering should pass on to
make room for others.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOB GENTLEMEN.
A gentleman should never attempt to step across a
lady's train. He should walk around it. If by any acci-
dent he should tread upon any portion of her dress, he
must instantly beg her pardon, and if by greater care-
lessness he should tear it, he must pause in his course and
offer to escort her to the dressing-room so that she may
have it repaired.
If a lady asks any favor of a gentleman, such as to
send a servant to her with a glass of water, to take her
14:0 .RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS.
into the ball-room when she is without an escort, to
inquire whether her carriage is in waiting, or any of
the numerous services which ladies often require, no
gentleman will, under any circumstances, refuse her
A really well-bred man - will remember to ask the
daughters of a house to dance, as it is his imperative
duty to do so; and if the ball has been given for a lady
who dances, he should include her in his attentions. If
he wishes to be considered a thorough-bred gentleman,
he will sacrifice himself occasionally to those who are
unsought and neglected in the dance. The conscious-
ness of having performed a kind and courteous action
will be his reward.
When gentlemen, invited to a house on the occasion
of an entertainment, are not acquainted with all the
members of the family, their first duty, after speaking
to their host and hostess, is to ask some common friend
to introduce them to those members whom they do not
know. The host and hostess are often too much occu-
pied in receiving to be able to do this.
DUTIES OF AN ESCORT.
A lady's escort should call for her and accompany her
to the place of entertainment; go with her as far as the
dressing-room, return to meet her there when she is pre-
pared to go to the ball-room; enter the latter room with
her and lead her to the hostess; dance the first dance
with her; conduct her to the supper-room, and be ready
to accompany her home whenever she wishes to go. He
RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS. 14:1
should watch during the evening to see that she is sup-
plied with dancing partners. "When he escorts her home
she should not invite him to enter the house, and even
if she does so, he should by all means decline the invi-
tation. He should call upon her within the next two
GENERAL RULES FOR BALLS.
A young man who can dance, and will not dance,
should stay away from a ball.
The lady with whom a gentleman dances last is the
one he takes to supper. Therefore he can make no en-
gagement to take out any other, unless his partner is
Public balls are most enjoyable when you have your
own party. The great charm of a ball is its perfect
accord and harmony. All altercations, loud talking and
noisy laughter are doubly ill-mannered in a ball-room.
Very little suffices to disturb the whole party.
In leaving a ball, it is not deemed necessary to wish
the lady of the house a good night. In leaving a small
dance or party, it is civil to do so.
The difference between a ball and an evening party
is, that at a ball there must be dancing, and at an even-
ing party there may or may not be. A London authority
defines a ball to be " an assemblage for dancing, of not
less than seventy-five persons."
Common civility requires that those who have not
been present, but who were among the guests invited,
should, when meeting the hostess the first time after an
entertainment, make it a point to express some acknowl-
142 RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS.
edgment of their appreciation of the invitation, by
regretting their inability to be present.
When dancing a round dance, a gentleman should
never hold a lady's hand behind him, or on his hip, or
high in the air, moving her arm as though it were a
pump handle, as seen in some of our western cities, but
should hold it gracefully by his side.
Never forget ball-room engagements, nor confuse
them, nor promise two dances to one person. If a lady
has forgotten an engagement, the gentleman she has
thus slighted must pleasantly accept her apology.
Good-breeding and the appearance of good temper are
It is not necessary for a gentleman to bow to his part-
ner after a quadrille; it is enough that he offers his arm
and walks at least half way round the room with her<.
He is not obliged to reman beside her unless he wishes
to do so, but may leave her with any lady whom she
Never be seen without gloves in a ball-room, or with
those of any other color than white, unless they are of
the most delicate hue.
Though not customary for a married couple to dance
together in society, those men who wish to show their
wives the compliment of such unusual attention, if they
possess any independence, will not be deterred from
doing so by their fear of any comments from Mrs.
The sooner that we recover from the effects of the
Puritanical idea that clergymen should never be seen at
RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS. 143
Iballs, the better for all who attend them. Where it is
wrong for a clergyman to go, it is wrong for any mem-
ber of his church to be seen.
In leaving a ball room before the music has ceased, if
no members of the family are in sight, it is not necessary
to find them before taking your departure. If, how-
ever, the invitation is a first one, endeavor not to make
your exit until you have thanked your hostess for the
entertainment. You can speak of the pleasure it has
afforded you, but it is not necessary that you should
say "it has been a grand success."
Young ladies must be careful how they refuse to
dance, for unless a good reason is given, a gentleman is
apt to take it as evidence of personal dislike. After a
lady refuses, the gentleman should not urge her to dance,
nor should the lady accept another invitation for the
same dance. The members of the household should see
that those guests who wish to dance are provided with
Ladies leaving a ball or party should not allow gentle-
men to see them to their carriages, unless overcoats and
hats are on for departure.
When balls are given, if the weather is bad, an awning
should be provided for the protection of those passing
from their carriages to the house. In all cases, a broad
piece of carpet should be spread from the door to the
Gentlemen should engage their partners for the
approaching dance, before the music strikes up.
In a private dance, a lady cannot well refuse to dance
RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS.
with any gentleman who invites her, unless she has a
previous engagement. If she declines from weariness,
the gentleman will sJbow her a compliment by abstaining
from dancing himself, and remaining with her while the
TTE manners of a person are clearly
shown by his treatment of the peo-
ple he meets in the public streets of
a city or village, in public convey-
ances and in traveling generally.
The true gentleman, at all times, in
all places, and under all circumstan-
ces, is kind and courteous to all he meets,
regards not only the rights, but the wishes
and feelings of others, is deferential to
women and to elderly men, and is ever
ready to extend his aid to those who need it.
THE STREET MANNERS OF A LADY.
The true lady walks the street, wrapped in a mantle
of proper reserve, so impenetrable that insult and coarse
familiarity shrink from her, while she, at the same time,
carries with her a congenial atmosphere which attracts
all, and puts all at their ease.
A lady walks quietly through the streets, seeing and
hearing nothing that she ought not to see and hear, recog-
146 ETIQUETTE OF THE STREET.
nizing acquaintances with a courteous bow, and friends
with words of greeting. She is always unobtrusive,
never talks loudly, or laughs boisterously, or does any-
thing to attract the attention of the passers-by. She
walks along in her own quiet, lady-like way, and by her
pre-occupation is secure from any annoyance to which a
person of less perfect breeding might be subjected.
A lady never demands attention and favors from a
gentleman, but, when voluntarily offered, accepts them
gratefully, graciously, and with an expression of hearty
FORMING STREET ACQUAINTANCES.
A lady never forms an acquaintance upon the street,
or seeks to attract the attention or admiration of persons
of the other sex. To do so would render false her claims
to ladyhood, if it did not make her liable to far graver
RECOGNIZING FRIENDS IN THE STREET.
No one, while walking the streets, should fail, through
pre-occupation, or absent-mindedness, to recognize friends
or acquaintances, either by a bow or some form of salu-
tation. If two gentlemen stop to talk, they should retire
to one side of the walk. If a stranger should be in com-
pany with one of the gentlemen, an introduction is not
necessary. If a gentleman meets another gentleman in
company with a lady whom he does not know, he lifts
his hat to salute them both. If he knows the lady, he
should salute her first. The gentleman who accompanies
a lady, always returns a salutation made to her.
ETIQUETTE OF THE STREET. 147
A CROWDED STREET.
"When a gentleman and lady are walking in the street,
if at any place, by reason of the crowd, or from other
cause, they are compelled to proceed singly, the gentle-
man should always precede his companion.
If you meet or join or are visited by a person who has
any article whatever, under his arm or in his hand, and
he does not offer to show it to you, you should not, even
if it be your most intimate friend, take it from him and
look at it. That intrusive curiosity is very inconsistent
with the delicacy of a well-bred man, and always offends
in some degree.
THE FIRST TO BOW.
In England strict etiquette requires that a lady, meet-
ing upon the street a gentleman with whom she has
acquaintance, shall give the first bow of recognition.
In this country, however, good sense does not insist upon
an imperative following of this rule. A well-bred man
bows and raises his hat to every lady of his acquaintance
whom he meets, without waiting for her to take the in-
itiative. If she is well-bred, she will certainly respond
to his salutation. As politeness requires that each salute
the other, their salutations will thus be simultaneous.
ALWAYS RECOGKIZE ACQUAINTANCES.
One should always recognize lady acquaintances in
the street, either by bowing or words of greeting, a gen-
ETIQUETTE OF THE STREET.
tleraan lifting his hat. If they stop to speak, it is not
obligatory to shake hands. Shaking hands is not for-
bidden, but in most cases it is to be avoided in public.
GENTLEMAN MEETING A LADY.
BOWING TO STRANGERS WITH FRIENDS.
If a gentleman meets a friend, and the latter has a
stranger with him, all three should bow. If the gentle-
man stops his friend to speak to him, he should apolo-
gize to the stranger for detaining him. If the stranger
is a lady, the same deference should be shown as if she
were an acquaintance.
ETIQUETTE OF THE STREET. 14:9
DO NOT LACK POLITENESS.
Never hesitate in acts of politeness for fear they will
not be recognized or returned. One cannot be too
polite so long as he conforms to rules, while it is easy
to lack politeness by neglect of them. Besides, if cour-
tesy is met by neglect or rebuff, it is not for the cour-
teous person to feel mortification, but the booris-h one;
and so all lookers-on will regard the matter.
TALKING WITH A LADY IN THE STREET.
In meeting a lady it is optional with her whether
she shall pause to speak. If the gentleman has any-
thing to say to her, he should not stop her, but turn
around and walk in her company until he has said what
he has to say, when he may leave her with a bow and
a lift of the hat.
LADT AND GENTLEMAN WALKING TOGETHER.
A gentleman walking with a lady should treat her
with the most scrupulous politeness, and may take either
side of the walk. It is customary for the gentleman to
have the lady on his right hand side, and he offers her his
right arm, when walking arm in arm. If, however, the
street is crowded, the gentleman must keep the lady on
that side of him where she will be the least exposed to
OFFERING THE ARM TO A LADY.
A gentleman should, in the evening, or whenever her
safety, comfort or convenience seems to require it, offer
150 ETIQUETTE OF THE STREET.
a lady companion his arm. At other times it is not cus-
tomary to do so unless the parties be husband and wife
or engaged. In the latter case, it is not always advis-
able to do so, as they may be made the subject of unjust
In walking together, especially when arm in arm, it is
desirable that the two keep step. Ladies should be par-
ticular to adapt their pace as far as practicable, to that
of their escort. It is easily done.
OPENING THE DOOE FOB A LADY.
A gentleman should always hold open the door for a
lady to enter first. This is obligatory, not only in the
case of the lady who accompanies him, but also in that
of any strange lady who chances to be about to enter at
the same time.
A gentleman will answer courteously any questions
which a lady may address to him upon the street, at the
same time lifting his hat, or at least touching it re-
SMOKING UPON THE STREETS.
In England a well-bred man never smokes upon the
streets. While this rule does not hold good in this
country, yet no gentleman will ever insult a lady by
smoking in the streets in her company, and in meeting
and saluting a lady he will always remove his cigar from
ETIQUETTE OF THE STREET. 151
No gentleman is ever guilty of the offense of standing
on street corners and the steps of hotels or other public
places and boldly scrutinizing every lady who passes.
A gentleman will never permit a lady with whom he