LADIES may call in the aftornoon be- – tween half-past three and half-past five, but the later the hour the shorter the visit is the accepted rule.
Obligatory calls, that is to say, those made to offer thanks, congratulations, to inquire of auyone ill, to offer condolence, etc., should be regarded as card-leaving calls to be made at any time after 11 a.m. And up to 5 p.m., since it is not necessary to enter the house, though if requested to do so the visit must only be brief.
Calls before noon are the privilege of very intimate friends. No business call should be made before 10.30 a.m. Or after 12.30 p.m. If a call must be made after that hour, it must be before 3.30 p.m.
A call of condolence is only made by those who are frieDds of the bereaved but not friendly enough to feel that a letter would be more appreciated. It is more usual for those not on intimate ternl3 to leave cards, with an expression of sympathy written on one card. A widow may, without giving offence, refuse to be at home to anyone for some time after her bereavement except to close friends or relatives.
Calls to offer congratulations after a birth are only made by personal friends, with the words to inquire or to offer congratulations written on the ladys card only.
The first return call must be made promptly within a week, fortnight, or, for exceptional reasons that should be explained, within three weeks.
A bride should not permit more than a fortnight to elapse before returning calls made by her immediate neighbours, and those holding the most prominent positions should have preference.
Introductory calls should be returned promptly or a letter of explanation sent. Failure to do so would be an act of dis-courtesy to. The friend who introduced the caller.
SOME GENERAL RULES WHEN meeting new acquaintances do not say: I am pleased to meet 3ou, but smile and bow, or say: How do you do? Say I beg your pardon, or I am sorry, if an apology has to be made.
Do not use slang words, or make fun about other peoples mispronunciation of words. It is not good manners to repeat a word with a view to correcting a mistake. If it must be used in subsequent conversation, do not make the correction too obvious.
When greeting a hostess be brief, to avoid keeping other guests waiting.
When leaving it is usual to say Goodbye to the hostess, but not absolutely necessary if she is at the moment engaged in talking to other guests. If very intimate it is necessary to speak to the hostess before leaving.
It is an act of discourtesy to be un-punctual for any engagement. For a dinner-party arrival should be timed ten minutes before the appointed hour for dinner.
Married ladies must be invited with their husbands unless there is a reason for not doing so which is understood.
At a dance a lady wears her gloves, as gentlemen are required to do. At dinner on a lady who wears gloves removes them both entirely when she is seated at the table; the gloves should not be rolled back.
After dinner the table napkin (the term serviette should not be used) must not be folded but placed at the side of the plate or put on to the chair.
If finger-bowls are offered, remove the bowl to the left side, and place the doiyly on the plate beneath the bowl before taking dessert on the plate.
When accidents happen, such as letting a knife or fork or spoon fall to the ground, let it remain for the maid to pick up.
If water or wine is spilt on the cloth or table, let the maid attend to the matter; do not use the table napkin. Such incidents must be ignored by both guest and hostess. .
To refuse to take wine or a course at dinner is not considered ill-mannered, though if more than one must be refused, as in the case of a vegetarian, an apology might be offered to the hostess.
Second helpings are never eaten, if offered.
When a glass is accidentally knocked and rings, endeavour to stop it by placing a finger on the glass.
Do not smoke before offering cigarettes to guests, or attempt to do so in another persons house before being given permission.
It is neither polite nor wise to discuss food value, nor mention any kind of food that is not present. To request the recipe for making any dish is equally unwise. When cakes are offered at a tea party, the question Are these home-made? Denotes a curiosity that is not in good taste.
Unlese a guest has stayed the night at a private house, tips are not offered to any servant. The only exception is when a guest is driven to the station.
After staying at a house a guest should tip those who have rendered her person;. service. The amount given must be determined by herself. Tips should never be given when the hostess is present.
When greeting friends in the crowded street, avoid blocking the pathway. En-deavour to carry on the conversation while walking, even if it means turning in the opposite direction to that which was intended.
When a seat is offered to a lady in a public coneyance, it should be taken and due thanks offered.
A lady enters a conveyance first, but on leaving the gentleman escorting her gets out first to assist the lady to alight by offering his arm.
In these days of independence the question of paying expenses often arises. In the case of two women, the rule is for the elder to pay, unless by arrangement it is understood that each pays a share. When invited by a woman or man friend the guest docs not offer to pay. It is a breach of etiquette to force payment, as it is to add a tip to the amount left on the plate for a waiter.
When a man accompanies a lady and is not doing so by previous invitation, it is permissible for him to allow her to pay full, or part expenses, and her insistence indicates that she merely does not want to feel under an obligation. Such an offer is, however, never made unless there is good reason to regard it as necessary. When taking tickets for travelling or for any entertainment, it is the law of good conduct for a lady to hand them to a gentleman, or young boy if no one older is present. If there is no gentleman present, the elder lady must hold the tickets and buy the programme, and pay for any other thing required. She also pays the cloakroom fees and provides a tip for the door-keeper who calls her taxi or car.
To carry on.a conversation during the time a song is being sung, while a lecturer is talking, or a play being acted is impolite and unfair to other members of the audience and to the actors or artists.
Requests made to ladies to remove their hats at a matinee performance should be obeyed, since it is never the desire of anyone to spoil the enjoyment of another. The only exception is when a tight-fitting cap is worn that can make no difference to the view. In such a case one should offer to move to one side or exchange seats.