While it is not necessary to introduce people who chance to meet in your house during a morning call; yet, if there is no reason for supposing that such an introduction will be objectionable to either party, it seems better to give it, as it sets both parties at ease in conversation. Acquaintanceship may or may not follow such an introduction, at the option of the parties. People who meet at the house of a mutual friend need not recognize each other as acquaintances if they meet again elsewhere, unless they choose to do so.
In introducing members of your own family, be careful not only to specify the degree of relationship, but to give the name also. It is awkward to a stranger to be introduced to “My brother Tom,” or “My sister Carrie.” When either the introducer or the introduced is a married lady, the name of the party introduced can only be guessed at.
BESTOWING OF TITLES.
In introducing a person give him his appropriate title. If he is a clergyman, say “The Rev. Mr. Clark.” If a doctor of divinity, say “The Rev. Dr. Clark.” If he is a member of Congress, call him “Honorable,” and specify to which branch of Congress he belongs. If he is governor of a State, mention what State. If he is a man of any celebrity in the world of art or letters, it is well to mention the fact something after this manner: “Mr. Fish, the artist, whose pictures you have frequently seen,” or “Mr. Hart, author of ‘Our Future State,’ which you so greatly admired.”
A friend visiting at your house must be introduced to all callers, and courtesy requires the latter to cultivate the acquaintance while your visitor remains with you. If you are the caller introduced, you must show the same attention to the friend of your friend that you wish shown your own friends under the same circumstances. Persons meeting at public places need not introduce each other to the strangers who may chance to be with them; and, even if the introduction does take place, the acquaintance need not be continued unless desired.
THE OBLIGATION OF AN INTRODUCTION.
Two persons who have been properly introduced have in future certain claims upon one another’s acquaintance which should be recognized, unless there are sufficient reasons for overlooking them. Even in that case good manners require the formal bow of recognition upon meeting, which, of itself, encourages no familiarity. Only a very ill-bred person will meet another with a stare.