If there is a stranger visiting at the house of a friend, the acquaintances of the family should be punctilious to call at an early date.
Never offer to go to the room of an invalid upon whom you have called, but wait for an invitation to do so.
In receiving morning calls, it is unnecessary for a lady to lay aside any employment, not of an absorbing nature upon which she may happen to be engaged. Embroidery, crocheting or light needle-work are perfectly in harmony with the requirements of the hour, and the lady looks much better employed than in absolute idleness.
A lady should pay equal attention to all her guests. The display of unusual deference is alone allowable when distinguished rank or reputation or advanced age justifies it.
A guest should take the seat indicated by the hostess. A gentleman should never seat himself on a sofa beside her, nor in a chair in immediate proximity, unless she specially invites him to do so.
A lady need not lay aside her bonnet during a formal call, even though urged to do so. If the call be a friendly and unceremonious one, she may do so if she thinks proper, but not without an invitation.
A gentleman caller must not look at his watch during a call, unless, in doing so, he pleads some engagement and asks to be excused.
Formal calls are generally made twice a year; but only once a year is binding, when no invitations have been received that require calls in return.
In calling upon a person living at a hotel or boarding-house, it is customary to stop in the parlor and send your card to the room of the person called upon.
When a person has once risen to take leave, he should not be persuaded to prolong his stay.
Callers should take special pains to make their visits opportune. On the other hand, a lady should always receive her callers, at whatever hour or day they come, if it is possible to do so.
When a gentleman has called and not found the lady at home, it is civility on the part of the lady, upon the occasion of their next meeting, to express her regret at not seeing him. He should reciprocate the regret, and not reply unthinkingly or awkwardly: “Oh, it made no particular difference,” “it was of no great consequence,” or words to that effect.
After you have visited a friend at her country seat, or after receiving an invitation to visit her, a call is due her upon her return to her town residence. This is one of the occasions when a call should be made promptly and in person, unless you have a reason for wishing to discontinue the acquaintance; even then it would be more civil to take another opportunity for dropping a friend who wished to show a civility, unless her character has been irretrievably lost in the meantime.