Our Deportment eBook

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

Whispering in a store is rude.  Loud and showy behaviour is exceedingly vulgar.


In street cars, omnibuses and other public street conveyances, it should be the endeavor of each passenger to make room for all persons entering, and no gentleman will retain his seat when there are ladies standing.  When a lady accepts a seat from a gentleman, she expresses her thanks in a kind and pleasant manner.

A lady may, with perfect propriety, accept the offer of services from a stranger in alighting from, or entering an omnibus or other public conveyance, and should always acknowledge the courtesy with a pleasant “Thank you, sir,” or a bow.

Never talk politics or religion in a public conveyance.

Gentlemen should not cross their legs, nor stretch their feet out into the passage-way of a public conveyance.


No gentleman will refuse to recognize a lady after she has recognized him, under any circumstances.  A young lady should, under no provocation, “cut” a married lady.  It is the privilege of age to first recognize those who are younger in years.  No young man will fail to recognize an aged one after he has met with recognition.  “Cutting” is to be avoided if possible.  There are other ways of convincing a man that you do not know him, yet, to young ladies, it is sometimes the only means available to rid them of troublesome acquaintances.  “Cutting” consists in returning a bow or recognition with a stare, and is publicly ignoring the acquaintance of the person so treated.  It is sometimes done by words in saying, “Really I have not the pleasure of your acquaintance.”


For a lady to run across the street to avoid an approaching carriage is inelegant and also dangerous.  To attempt to cross the street between the carriages of a funeral procession, is rude and disrespectful.  The foreign custom of removing the hat and standing in a respectful attitude until the melancholy train has passed, is a commendable one to be followed in this country.


On meeting and passing people in the street, keep to your right hand, except when a gentleman is walking alone; then he must always turn aside to give the preferred side of the walk to a lady, to anyone carrying a heavy load, to a clergyman or to an old gentleman.


If a gentleman is walking with two ladies in a rain storm, and there is but one umbrella, he should give it to his companions and walk outside.  Nothing can be more absurd than to see a gentleman walking between two ladies holding an umbrella which perfectly protects himself, but half deluges his companions with its dripping streams.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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