SECLUSION OF THE BEREAVED FAMILY.
No member of the immediate family of the deceased will leave the house between the time of the death and the funeral. A lady friend will be commissioned to make all necessary purchases, engage seamstresses, etc. It is not desirable to enshroud ourselves in gloom after a bereavement, however great it may be, and consequently no prescribed period of seclusion can be given. Real grief needs no appointed time for seclusion. It is the duty of every one to interest himself or herself in accustomed objects of care as soon as it is possible to make the exertion; for, in fulfilling our duties to the living, we best show the strength of our affection for the dead, as well as our submission to the will of Him who knows what is better for our dear ones than we can know or dream.
Certain local rules have been recognized in society at Washington, from the fact that a gentleman’s social position is acquired by virtue of certain offices which he holds, and the social status of woman is also determined by the official rank of her husband.
As the President of the United States holds the highest official rank in political life, so is he also by virtue of that office, awarded precedence in social life. There is no necessity of special formalities to form his acquaintance, and he receives calls without being under any obligation to return them. He may be addressed either as “Mr. President,” or “Your Excellency.” Sometimes he gives up the morning hours to receiving calls, and at such times precedence is given to such people as have business with him, over parties who go to make a formal call. In either case, the caller is shown to the room occupied by the President’s secretaries, presents his card and waits his turn to be admitted. If the caller has no business, but goes out of curiosity, he pays his respects and withdraws to make room for others. It is better in making a private call, to secure the company of some official or some friend of the President to introduce you.
RECEPTIONS AT THE WHITE HOUSE.
Stated receptions are given at the White House by the President during sessions of congress, and all are at liberty to attend them. Sometimes these are morning, and sometimes evening, receptions. Upon entering the reception room, the caller gives his name to the usher, who announces it, and upon approaching the President is introduced, by some official to whom the duty is assigned, both to the President and to the members of his family who receive with him. The callers pass on, after being introduced, mingle in social intercourse and view the various rooms until ready to depart. If a caller wishes he may leave his card.