Our Deportment eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about Our Deportment.

If any family matters of a private or unpleasant nature come to the knowledge of the guest during his stay, he must seem both blind and deaf, and never refer to them unless the parties interested speak of them first.

The rule on which a host and hostess should act is to make their guests as much at ease as possible; that on which a visitor should act is to interfere as little as possible with the ordinary routine of the house.

It is not required that a hostess should spend her whole time in the entertainment of her guests.  The latter may prefer to be left to their own devices for a portion of the day.  On the other hand, it shows the worst of breeding for a visitor to seclude himself from the family and seek his own amusements and occupations regardless of their desire to join in them or entertain him.

You should try to hold yourself at the disposal of those whom you are visiting.  If they propose to you to ride, to drive or walk, you should acquiesce as far as your strength will permit, and do your best to seem pleased at the efforts made to entertain you.

You should not accept invitations without consulting your host.  You should not call upon the servants to do errands for you, or to wait upon you too much, nor keep the family up after hours of retiring.

If you have observed anything to the disadvantage of your friends, while partaking of their hospitality, it should never be mentioned, either while you are under their roof or afterwards.  Speak only of what redounds to their praise and credit.  This feeling ought to be mutual between host and guest.  Whatever good is observed in either may be commented upon, but the curtain of silence must be drawn over their faults.

Give as little trouble as possible when a guest, but at the same time never think of apologizing for any little additional trouble which your visit may occasion.  It would imply that you thought your friends incapable of entertaining you without some inconvenience to themselves.

Keep your room as neat as possible, and leave no articles of dress or toilet around to give trouble to servants.

A lady guest will not hesitate to make her own bed, if few or no servants are kept; and in the latter case she will do whatever else she can to lighten the labors of her hostess as a return for the additional exertion her visit occasions.


Any invitation given to a lady guest should also include the hostess, and the guest is justified in declining to accept any invitation unless the hostess is also invited.  Invitations received by the hostess should include the guest.  Thus, at all places of amusement and entertainment, guest and host may be together.


A guest should not notice nor find fault with the bad behavior of the children in the household where visiting, and should put up with any of their faults, and overlook any ill-bred or disagreeable actions on their part.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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