We should subdue our gloomy moods before we enter society. To look pleasantly and to speak kindly is a duty we owe to others. Neither should we afflict them with any dismal account of our health, state of mind or outward circumstances. Nevertheless, if another makes us the confidant of his woes, we should strive to appear sympathetic, and if possible help him to be stronger under them. A lady who shows by act, or expresses in plain, curt words, that the visit of another is unwelcome, may perhaps pride herself upon being no hypocrite. But she is, in reality, worse. She is grossly selfish. Courtesy requires her, for the time being, to forget her own feelings, and remember those of her visitor, and thus it is her duty to make that visitor happy while she remains.
A LADY DRIVING WITH A GENTLEMAN.
When a lady offers to drive a gentleman in her phaeton, he should walk to her house, if he accepts the invitation, unless, the distance being great, she should propose to call for him. In that case he will be on the watch, so as not to keep her waiting, and, if possible, meet her on the way.
AN INVITATION CANNOT BE RECALLED.
An invitation, once given, cannot be recalled, even from the best motives, without subjecting the one who recalls it to the charge of being either ignorant or regardless of all conventional rules of politeness. There is but one exception to this rule, and that is when the invitation has been delivered to the wrong person.
AVOID TALKING OF PERSONALITIES.
Avoid speaking of your birth, your travels and of all personal matters, to those who may misunderstand you, and consider it boasting. When induced to speak of them, do not dwell too long upon them, and do not speak boastfully.
ABOUT PERSONS’ NAMES.
Do not speak of absent persons, who are not relatives or intimate friends, by their Christian names or surnames, but always as Mr. ——, or Mrs. ——, or Miss ——. Never name anyone by the first letter of his name, as “Mr. C.” Give a foreigner his name in full when speaking of him.
SHUN GOSSIP AND TALE-BEARING.
Gossip and tale-bearing are always a personal confession either of malice or imbecility. The young of both sexes should not only shun these things, but, by the most thorough culture, relieve themselves from all temptation in that direction.
REMOVING THE HAT.
A gentleman never sits in the house with his hat on in the presence of ladies. Indeed, a gentleman instinctively removes his hat as soon as he enters a room, the habitual resort of ladies. A gentleman never retains his hat in a theatre or other place of public entertainment.