Sunday, November 28, 2021

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - The Curtsey upon an Introduction

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

Formerly it was the habit for the ladies to curtsey on being introduced, but this has latterly been changed into the more easy and graceful custom of bowing.

The habit of saluting and shaking hands is now quite obsolete, except in some country towns where ladies at first introductions salute other ladies by kissing them on the cheek, and fervently shake the hands of the gentlemen.

At present, in the best society, all that a lady is called upon to do, upon a first introduction either to a lady or a gentleman, is to make a slight, but gracious inclination of the head.

Upon one lady meeting another for the second or subsequent times, the hand may be extended in supplement to the inclination of the head; but no lady should ever extend her hand to a gentleman, unless she is very intimate,—a bow at meeting, and one at parting, is all that is necessary.

Ladies should never bow hastily, but with slow and measured dignity.