Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - On Departing Guests


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

When visitors show any intention of leaving you, you ought affectionately to endeavour to detain them ; nevertheless, if their resolution seems immoveable, renew your invitations for another visit, and your regret at not having been able to succeed better in retaining them.

To do the honours of one's own house, it is necessary to have tact, address, and knowledge of the world, a great evenness of temper, and much affability. It is necessary to forget one's self, in order to be occupied with others, but without hurry or affectation; to encourage timid persons, and put them at their ease; and to enter into conversation, directing it with address rather than sustaining it ourselves.

The mistress of a house ought to be obliging, of an equal temper, and attentive in accommodating herself to the particular tastes of every one, especially to appear delighted that guests are with her, and make themselves perfectly at home.

They, on their part, should show themselves contented and grateful for the reception that is given; and should immediately on arriving at home, write to the persons who have entertained them, a letter of cordial thanks.
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