Our Deportment eBook

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

It shows a great lack of proper manners to see two ladies, or a lady and gentleman turn over the seat in front of them and fill it with their wraps and bundles, retaining it in spite of the entreating or remonstrating looks of fellow-passengers.  In such a case any person who desires a seat is justified in reversing the back, removing the baggage and taking possession of the unused seat.

RETAINING POSSESSION OF A SEAT.

A gentleman in traveling may take possession of a seat and then go to purchase tickets or look after baggage or procure a lunch, leaving the seat in charge of a companion, or depositing traveling-bag or overcoat upon it to show that it is engaged.  When a seat is thus occupied, the right of possession must be respected, and no one should presume to take a seat thus previously engaged, even though it may be wanted for a lady.  A gentleman cannot, however, in justice, vacate his seat to take another in the smoking-car, and at the same time reserve his rights to the first seat.  He pays for but one seat, and by taking another he forfeits the first.

It is not required of a gentleman in a railway car to relinquish his seat in favor of a lady, though a gentleman of genuine breeding will do so rather than allow the lady to stand or suffer inconvenience from poor accommodations.

In the street cars the case is different.  No woman should be allowed to stand while there is a seat occupied by a man.  The inconvenience to the man will be temporary and trifling at the most, and he can well afford to suffer it rather than to do an uncourteous act.

DISCRETION IN FORMING ACQUAINTANCES.

While an acquaintance formed in a railway car or on a steamboat, continues only during the trip, discretion should be used in making acquaintances.  Ladies may, as has been stated, accept small courtesies and favors from strangers, but must check at once any attempt at familiarity.  On the other hand, no man who pretends to be a gentleman will attempt any familiarity.  The practice of some young girls just entering into womanhood, of flirting with any young man they may chance to meet, either in a railway car or on a steamboat, indicates low-breeding in the extreme.  If, however, the journey is long, and especially if it be on a steamboat, a certain sociability may be allowed, and a married lady or a lady of middle age may use her privileges to make the journey an enjoyable one, for fellow-passengers should always be sociable to one another.

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CHAPTER XV.

RIDING AND DRIVING.

One of the most exhilarating and enjoyable amusements that can be indulged in by either ladies or gentlemen is that of riding on horseback, and it is a matter of regret that it is not participated in to a greater extent than it is.  The etiquette of riding, though meagre, is exact and important.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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