DUTIES OF HOSTESS AND HOST.
Tact and self-possession are demanded of the hostess, in order that she may perform her duties agreeably, which are not onerous. She should instruct her servants not to remove her plate until her guests have finished. If she speaks of any omission by which her servants have inconvenienced her guests, she must do it with dignity, not betraying any undue annoyance. She must put all her guests at their ease, and pay every possible attention to the requirements of each and all around her. No accident must disturb her; no disappointment embarrass her. If her precious china and her rare glass are broken before her eyes, she must seem to take but little or no notice of it.
The host must aid the hostess in her efforts. He should have ease and frankness of manner, a calmness of temper that nothing can ruffle, and a kindness of disposition that can never be exhausted. He must encourage the timid, draw out the silent and direct conversation rather than sustain it himself.
No matter what may go wrong, a hostess should never seem to notice it to the annoyance of her guests. By passing it over herself, it will very frequently escape the attention of others. If her guests arrive late, she should welcome them as cordially as if they had come early, but she will commit a rudeness to those who have arrived punctually, if she awaits dinner for tardy guests for more than the fifteen minutes of grace prescribed by custom.
RETIRING FROM THE TABLE.
When the hostess sees that all have finished, she looks at the lady who is sitting at the right of the host, and the company rise, and withdraw in the order they are seated, without precedence. After retiring to the drawing-room, the guests should intermingle in a social manner. It is expected that the guests will remain from one to three hours after dinner.
ACCEPTING HOSPITALITY A SIGN OF GOOD-WILL.
As eating with another under his own roof is in all conditions of society regarded as a sign of good-will, those who partake of proffered hospitalities, only to gossip about and abuse their host and hostess, should remember, that in the opinion of all honorable persons, they injure themselves by so doing.
CALLS AFTER A DINNER PARTY.
Calls should be made shortly after a dinner party by all who have been invited, whether the invitation be accepted or not.