Our Deportment eBook

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


If a guest wishes to make a present to any member of the family she is visiting, it should be to the hostess, or if to any of the children, to the youngest in preference, though it is usually better to give it to the mother.  Upon returning home, when the guest writes to the hostess, she expresses her thanks for the hospitality, and requests to be remembered to the family.


If you are a guest, you must be very cautious as to the treatment of the friends of your host or hostess.  If you do not care to be intimate with them, you must be careful not to show a dislike for them, or that you wish to avoid them.  You must be exceedingly polite and agreeable to them, avoiding any special familiarity, and keep them at a distance without hurting their feelings.  Do not say to your host or hostess that you do not like any of their friends.


Upon taking leave, express the pleasure you have experienced in your visit.  Upon returning home it is an act of courtesy to write and inform your friends of your safe arrival, at the same time repeating your thanks.

A host and hostess should do all they can to make the visit of a friend agreeable; they should urge him to stay as long as it is consistent with his own plans, and at the same time convenient to themselves.  But when the time for departure has been fully fixed upon, no obstacle should be placed in the way of leave-taking.  Help him in every possible way to depart, at the same time giving him a cordial invitation to renew the visit at some future period.

          “Welcome the coming, speed the parting, guest,”

expresses the true spirit of hospitality.



Visiting and Calling Cards.

An authentic writer upon visiting cards says:  “To the unrefined or underbred, the visiting card is but a trifling and insignificant bit of paper; but to the cultured disciple of social law, it conveys a subtle and unmistakable intelligence.  Its texture, style of engraving, and even the hour of leaving it combine to place the stranger, whose name it bears, in a pleasant or a disagreeable attitude, even before his manners, conversation and face have been able to explain his social position.  The higher the civilization of a community, the more careful it is to preserve the elegance of its social forms.  It is quite as easy to express a perfect breeding in the fashionable formalities of cards, as by any other method, and perhaps, indeed, it is the safest herald of an introduction for a stranger.  Its texture should be fine, its engraving a plain script, its size neither too small, so that its recipients shall say to themselves, ‘A whimsical person,’ nor too large to suggest ostentation.  Refinement seldom touches extremes in anything.”

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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