Our Deportment eBook

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

A CROWDED STREET.

When a gentleman and lady are walking in the street, if at any place, by reason of the crowd, or from other cause, they are compelled to proceed singly, the gentleman should always precede his companion.

INTRUSIVE INQUIRIES.

If you meet or join or are visited by a person who has any article whatever, under his arm or in his hand, and he does not offer to show it to you, you should not, even if it be your most intimate friend, take it from him and look at it.  That intrusive curiosity is very inconsistent with the delicacy of a well-bred man, and always offends in some degree.

THE FIRST TO BOW.

In England strict etiquette requires that a lady, meeting upon the street a gentleman with whom she has acquaintance, shall give the first bow of recognition.  In this country, however, good sense does not insist upon an imperative following of this rule.  A well-bred man bows and raises his hat to every lady of his acquaintance whom he meets, without waiting for her to take the initiative.  If she is well-bred, she will certainly respond to his salutation.  As politeness requires that each salute the other, their salutations will thus be simultaneous.

ALWAYS RECOGNIZE ACQUAINTANCES.

One should always recognize lady acquaintances in the street, either by bowing or words of greeting, a gentleman lifting his hat.  If they stop to speak, it is not obligatory to shake hands.  Shaking hands is not forbidden, but in most cases it is to be avoided in public.

 [Illustration:  GENTLEMAN MEETING A LADY.]

BOWING TO STRANGERS WITH FRIENDS.

If a gentleman meets a friend, and the latter has a stranger with him, all three should bow.  If the gentleman stops his friend to speak to him, he should apologize to the stranger for detaining him.  If the stranger is a lady, the same deference should be shown as if she were an acquaintance.

DO NOT LACK POLITENESS.

Never hesitate in acts of politeness for fear they will not be recognized or returned.  One cannot be too polite so long as he conforms to rules, while it is easy to lack politeness by neglect of them.  Besides, if courtesy is met by neglect or rebuff, it is not for the courteous person to feel mortification, but the boorish one; and so all lookers-on will regard the matter.

TALKING WITH A LADY IN THE STREET.

In meeting a lady it is optional with her whether she shall pause to speak.  If the gentleman has anything to say to her, he should not stop her, but turn around and walk in her company until he has said what he has to say, when he may leave her with a bow and a lift of the hat.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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