This 1880 book, entitled “Hill;s Manual of Social and Business Forms” is absolutely one of the most sought-after and comprehensive books on Personal and Business Etiquette. It is an immense volume, highly illustrated, and just incredibly filled with any and everything you would want to know in the 1880’s. This book was a sort of “bible” for all things governing Victorian life. Often it was the only source of information for miles around, as many people lived in rural areas. Access to these rules and social norms was essential so that a Victorian man or woman could navigate the ladder of society with success.
There is so much in this book that it’s hard to capture all the topics, so a sampling is shown. Below the following paragraphs, you will find the Table of Contents.
Please keep in mind these excerpts were taken with an optical reader, so there may be some typographical errors. We tried to demonstrate the essence of this book with much of the text to enable you to see just how wonderful this old book is. (The text below is from the 1889 book. It differs just a bit from the 1880 book, most of the text is the same in both books.)
Some outstanding text excerpts on HYGIENE, BATHING, etc.:
Upon rising, take a complete bath. A simple washing out of the eyes is not sufficient. The complete bathing of the body once each day is of the utmost importance to health and beauty. Not more than a quart of water is necessary. Use the hands the same as you do upon the face. No sponge is required, and water is more agreeable to the skin when applied with the bare hand. Use rainwater; and, for a healthy person, the temperature of that which has been in the room during the night is about right. Use plenty of soap, and wash quickly. Follow by wiping the skin perfectly dry with a soft towel, and afterward give the body and limbs a thorough rubbing. The glow that is diffused throughout the face and body by this exercise is worth more in giving a ruddy, beautiful complexion than all the rouge and powder in the world.
The arrangements for this bath are very simple. There is nothing required but a small amount of soft water, a piece of soap, and a towel. No elaborately-fitted-up bathroom is necessary. We have detailed all the appliances that are essential, and they are so simple that the laboring classes and the poor can have them, and be clean, as well as the rich. Occasionally, warm water, with a sponge, may be necessary to remove completely all the oily exudations from the body, but for the ordinary bath this is not essential.
The sun and air bath is very excellent for health; therefore to leave the body exposed in the sun for a short time previous to dressing is very invigorating.
Before the breakfast hour the lungs should be completely inflated with fresh air. The meals should be partaken of with regularity, while more or less of fruit, oatmeal, rice, cracked wheat, graham bread, etc., will be found necessary as a diet, in order to keep the skin clear.
The breath should be watched, lest it become offensive. Unfortunately, it is one of the troubles which we may not be aware of, as our friends may not feel at liberty to inform us of the difficulty. Offensive breath may arise from the stomach, the teeth, the lungs, or catarrhal affection of the throat and nose.
Unquestionably the best remedy for bad breath is a system of diet and treatment that shall remove the cause. As a temporary expedient, when offensiveness arises from a peculiar food or drink which has been partaken of, a few grains of coffee, or cassia buds, cloves, cardamom seeds or allspice, may be used; although if the breath is very strong these will not always prove effective. It is better to remove the cause.
The following remedies for offensive breath are commended by those who have had experience in testing the matter:
Powdered sugar, % ounce; vanilla, % ounce; powdered charcoal, % ounce; powdered coffee, IK ounces; gum arable, grains each, and take six a day.
Disagreeable breath arising from decay or secretions about the teeth may be removed by the following:
Rose-water, ] ounce, and permanganate of potash, 1 grain. Rinse the mouth every three hours.
To remove catarrh, the following is highly commended:
In pint of water put two tablespoonfuls of common fine table salt. Heat the water in a tin cup. With the aid of a nasal douche, obtained at the drugstore, or even without that, snuff about a teaspoonful of the brine up each nostril, requiring it to pass into, the mouth. Use twice a day morning and night.
For offensive breath arising from foul stomach, the following is recommended:
To a wine-glass of water add 3 grains of chloride of lime. Take a tablespoonful three times a day, before the meal, and eat of simple food which is easily digested.
Another remedy for foul breath is powdered charcoal, half a teaspoonful, spread on a piece of bread, and eaten once a day for two or three days. Another is a drink of pure water, taken twice a day, containing each time 20 grains of bisulphate of soda. The taste is made pleasant by a few drops of peppermint essence.
The following is recommended as beneficial for the teeth, and effective in removing the acidity of the stomach :
Take of gum arabic 5 drachms; vanilla sugar, 3 drachms; chlorate of lime, 7 drachms, and mix with water to a stiff paste. Roll and cut into the ordinary sized lozenge, and eat six each day.
Beware of exterior application of cosmetics for the purpose of beautifying the skin. The greatest beautifiers in existence are plenty of exercise in the fresh air, the keeping of the pores of the skin completely open by bathing, the feeding of the body with a sufficiency of simple, healthy food, and the obtaining of the requisite amount of sleep.
It is true that sometimes a slight touch of art may improve the personal appearance. The very sallow complexion may be improved by a small amount of color applied; the hair, if naturally dry and stiff, may be kept in place by a simple hair preparation, and a white eye- brow may be brought into harmonious color with the hair of the head by a dye; all this being done so adroitly that the external application cannot be detected. But, as a rule, greatest beauty is obtained by a strict observance of the laws of health.
The following preparations, culled from De la Bantu's "Advice to Ladies," are recommended for improving the complexion:
Take a teaspoonful of powdered charcoal (kept by druggists) mixed with sweetened water or milk, for three nights successively. This should be followed by a gentle purge afterward, to remove it from the system. Taken once in two or three months, this remedy will prove efficacious in making the complexion clear and transparent.
Tincture of balsam of Peru, 2 drachms ; tincture of tolu, 2 drachms; tincture of benzoin, 2 drachms. Mix with one gill of distilled water, and take of melted white wax, 1 ounce; spermaceti, J ounce; sweet almond oil, 8 drachms, and rose-water, 1 ounce. Mix all the ingredients together, and beat thoroughly, applying to the skin with a sponge.
This may be used with benefit where the skin presents a greasy appearance :
To 1 pint of rose-water add chlorate of potash. 18 grains; glycerine, 1 ounce. Mix carefully, and use in a pure state. Apply with a sponge or linen cloth. Should it irritate the skin dilute with) more water. These lotions should be applied with care, and are best used at night.
The greasy skin, inclined to pimples, is benefited by the following preparation :
Bicarbonate of soda, 18 grains; essence of Portugal. 6 drops; distilled water, y, pint. Mix and bathe the face.
The shiny, polished skin, which is caused by fatty secretions beneath it, may have the difficulty removed by this preparation:
Take 1 quart of camphor water, pure glycerine, 1 ounce, and % ounce of powdered borax. Mix and bathe the face. Let it dry and remain a few minutes after applying it, then wash the face thoroughly with soft water.
If the skin is very pallid it is improved by a bath in lukewarm water, followed by brisk rubbing with a coarse towel and exercise in the air and sun. The pale skin is improved also by the sunshine. The rough skin is made smooth by the application of glycerine at night, followed by its removal with water and fine soap in the morning.
The skin may be whitened by the following prescription:
To one pint of water add 1 wineglass of fresh lemon juice and 10 drops of attar of roses. Mix, and keep in a well-corked bottle. Use once a day.
The sallow and muddy skin is improved by this preparation:
To one pint of water add 2 drachms of iodide of potassium and 1 ounce of glycerine. Mix and apply with a sponge once a day.
To keep the skin clear, beware of pork, cheese and other substances containing much grease. Also avoid alcoholic drinks. Keep the bowels loose by fruit and a sufficiency of coarse food. Take exercise sufficient, if possible, to produce a gentle perspiration each day; bathe daily, and get into the sunshine and open air.
Various are the recipes for keeping the hand beautiful. If not engaged in hard manual labor, and it is very desirable to make the hands present as handsome an appearance as possible, there are a few directions necessary to keep them well-preserved. Among these is perfect cleanliness, which is produced by a thorough washing, using an abundance of good toilet soap, and frequently a nail-brush.
Should the hands be inclined to chap, they will be relieved of the difficulty by washing them in glycerine before going to bed. In the winter season, to wash them in snow and soap will leave them smooth and soft.
To make the hands very white and delicate, the person is assisted by washing them several times for two or three days in milk and water, and, upon retiring to rest, bathing in palm oil and encasing them in a pair of woolen gloves, cleaning with warm water and soap the next morning. They should be thoroughly rubbed to promote circulation, and a pair of soft leather gloves should be worn during the day.
Should the hands become sunburned, the tan may be removed by using lime-water and lemon-juice.
Should warts make their appearance, they may be removed by paring them on the top and applying a small amount of acetic acid on the summit of the wart with a camel's hair brush, care being taken that none of the acid gets upon the surrounding skin. To prevent this, wax may be placed upon the finger or hand during the operation, or an old kid glove may be used, the wart being allowed to protrude through.
The nails should be cut about once a week, directly after a bath, and should never be bitten. In rough, hard labor, if it is desired to protect the hands, gloves should be worn.
But however beautiful it may be, the hand should do its full share of work. The hand that is beautiful from idleness is to be despised.
Much care should be taken to keep the feet in good condition. The first important consideration in their management is perfect cleanliness. Some people find it necessary to wash the feet morning and evening. Many find it indispensably necessary to wash them once a day, and no one should fail of washing them at least three times a week, and the stockings should be changed as frequently if much walking be done.
Without washing, the feet are liable to become very offensive to others in a short time. The feet of some persons will become dis- agreeably so sometimes within a week if they are not washed, more especially if they perspire freely.
A foot-bath, using warm water, followed by wiping the feet completely dry, and afterward putting on clean stockings, is very invigorating after a long walk, or when the feet are damp and cold.
To escape chilblains avoid getting the feet wet. Should they become damp, change shoes and stockings at once. Wear woolen stockings, and do not toast the feet before the fire. The approach of the chilblain is frequently prevented by bathing the feet in a strong solution of alum.
With the first indication of chilblains, as revealed by the itching sensation, it is well to rub them with warm spirits of rosemary, adding to the same a little turpentine. Lint, soaked in camphorated spirits, opodeldoc, or camphor liniment, may be applied and retained when the part is affected.
It is claimed also that chilblains may be cured by bathing the feet in water in which potatoes have been boiled.
Wear boots and shoes amply large for the feet, but not too large, and thus escape corns. A broad heel, half an inch in height, is all that comfort will allow to be worn.
The head should be washed occasionally with soap and water. Follow by wiping perfectly dry, and afterward brush the hair and scalp with a hair-brush of moderate hardness. When the hair is inclined to be harsh and dry, a moderate supply of olive oil, bear's grease or other dressing may be used. With many heads no oil is necessary, and with any overabundance is to be avoided. Frequent brushing with a perfectly clean brush is of great service in giving a glossy, beautiful appearance to the hair. The brush may be kept clean by washing every day or two in warm water and soda, or in diluted ammonia.
For removing dandruff, glycerine diluted with a little rose-water is recommended. Rosemary in almost any preparation is a very cleansing wash.
The yolk of an egg beaten up in warm water makes an excellent application for cleansing the scalp.
To clip the ends of the hair occasionally is an excellent plan for ladies, as it prevents the hair from splitting.
It is doubtful if a hair-dye is ever advisable, though an eyebrow is sometimes improved by a light application, to bring it into harmonious color with the hair, as is also hair which grows white in patches. There is no objection to the hair growing gray. Indeed the gray is often fully as beautiful as the former color.
Baldness is usually avoided by keeping the head cool. Women seldom have bald heads, but men often do, the baldness commencing upon the head at a point which is covered by the hat. In order to preserve the hair, gentlemen must avoid warm hats and caps, and whatever is worn must be thoroughly ventilated by apertures sufficient in quantity and size to allow all the heated air to escape. The silk hat should have at least twenty holes punched in the top to afford sufficient ventilation.
The beard is nature's badge to indicate manhood. It was an unwise fashion that ordained that the face should be shaved. Gradually men begin to learn that health, comfort and improved appearance come with the full beard, and in later years the beard is acquiring the prestige it held in olden times. Care should be taken to keep the beard and hair so cut and trimmed that they may present a handsome appearance.
The teeth should be thoroughly cleaned with a toothbrush each morning after breakfast. Some persons clean the teeth after every meal, which is a most excellent habit. By cleaning the teeth regularly, no washes are necessary, though occasionally castile soap will be beneficial. Should tartar collect in such quantity as to be difficult to remove the dentist should be consulted. Should the teeth begin to decay they should be immediately cared for by the dentist. Powdered charcoal easily removes stains and makes the teeth white.
The following also is an excellent wash for the teeth:
Tincture of myrrh, 1 ounce; compound tincture of cinchona, 1 ounce; water, 1 ounce. Put five drops on the toothbrush, dip the brush then in water, and wash the teeth.
Keep the teeth clean, clean. They look badly if not perfectly white.
Ears, Eyes and Nose.
In the daily bath all the crevices of the ear should be thoroughly cleaned, and the earwax carefully removed whenever it shows itself.
Special pains should be taken to keep the eyes clean. It shows filthy habits to see matter gathering in the corners. If dirt accumulates between washings, the eyes should be carefully wiped with a soft handkerchief.
On FASHION AND COLORS TO WEAR:
Investigation has proven that the light-haired and rosy-cheeked, with red or golden hair and ruddy complexion, require certain colors in headdress and drapery to harmonize; and the same is true of the dark complexion, with dark hair and eyebrows.
The Shades that Blondes May Wear.
Dark violet, intermixed with lilac and blue, give additional charms to the fair-haired, ruddy blonde. Green, also, with lighter or darker tints, is favorable. With the very ruddy, the blue and green should be darker rather than lighter. An intermixture of white may likewise go with these colors.
The neutral colors are also suitable to the ruddy blondes. Of these are the russet, slate, maroon, and all the hues of brown. Light neutral tints are also pleasing, such as gray, drab, fawn and stone colors.
Transparent and delicate complexions, with light, chestnut or brown hair, should have the same set off by contrast. Thus blue, pale yellow, azure, lilac and black, trimmed with rose or pink, are suitable, as are also the various shades of gray.
Colors that Become the Brunette.
Glossy black becomes the brunette; so do white, scarlet, orange and yellow. The scarlet blossom in the hair, gold-colored ribbon and poppy colors, deftly but not too conspicuously woven about the neck and breast, will display the face to fine advantage. Green also befits the dark complexion.
The sallow complexion is improved by the different shades of dark- green and red. A yellow complexion is made handsomer by the reflection of yellow about it ; especially if relieved by poppy colors or black.
The red and yellow face is benefited by coming in contact with blue or orange. The red face is improved by red around it, red and blue tints being developed thereby. Red and blue are relieved by purple, and the blue and yellow by green. White and black become the pale face, but red and blue become it better. Light colors harmonize with and befit the pale skin, while the dark skin is improved by the darker tints.
Colors in Bonnets.
Black Bonnets, with white, pink or red flowers and white feather, become the fair complexion. They also become the black-haired type when trimmed with white, red, orange or yellow.
White Bonnets, made of lace, muslin or crape, suit all complexions, though not so becoming to the rosy complexion as other colors. A white bonnet may be trimmed with white or pink, but with the blonde is handsomest when trimmed with blue flowers. For the brunette, preference should be given to trimmings of red, pink, orange and yellow never blue.
Blue Bonnets are suitable only for fair or light, rosy complexions. They should never be worn by the brunette.
Yellow and Orange Bonnets suit the brunette, their appropriate trimming being poppy colors, scarlet, white and black, black and scarlet, black, scarlet and yellow.
Light Blue Bonnets are very suitable for those having light hair. They may be trimmed with white flowers, and in many cases with orange and yellow.
Green Bonnets best become the fair and rosy complexion. White flowers will harmonize in the trimming, but pink is preferable.
Colors for Different Seasons.
Bed, in its various tints, being a warm color, when worn in dress, has a pleasing effect in winter.
Purple is appropriate in winter, spring and autumn.
Green is becoming in late summer and in autumn, by contrast with the general somber appearance of dead foliage at that season of the year.
White and light tints in clothing give an appearance of coolness and comfort in summer.
Black and dark colors are appropriate at all seasons.
Colors We See First.
Of a variety or color to be seen, the white or light-colored will usually attract attention first and farthest, from the fact that, most objects being of dark shades of color, it is strongest by contrast. Next to white comes the scarlet red, which, close by, is one of the most brilliant and attractive colors. Yellow is one of the most noticeable, succeeded by the orange, crimson, blue and purple.
Colors in Dress Most Beautiful at Night.
A dress of a color that may be beautiful during the day may be lacking in beauty at night, owing to the effect of gaslight; and another, most charming in the evening, may possess little beauty in the daytime. Thus, crimson, which is handsome in the evening, loses its effect upon the complexion in the daytime. So white and yellow, that add beauty at night, are unbecoming by day.
Ill-Fitting and Unbecoming Dress.
Though the dress and costume shown above may be rich, costly and fashionable, it shows the form of the persons on whom it is worn to bad advantage.
The scarlet, orange and the light brown are also most charming at night.
Colors Most Beautiful by Daylight.
Pale yellow, which is handsome by day, is muddy in appearance by gaslight. So purple and orange, that harmonize and are beautiful by daylight, lose their charm at night.
The beauty of rose-color disappears under the gaslight; and all the shades of purple and lilac, the dark-blues and green, lose their brilliancy in artificial light. Ordinarily, the complexion will bear the strongest color at night.
Apparent Size Affected by Color.
The apparent size is affected by colors. As white upon the building will make it appear larger, so a light-colored dress will have the same effect upon the person. Thus the large figure will appear best in close-fitting black, and next best in the sober hues. The smaller figure will show to advantage in the light colors. Black, however, for a person of any size, is the most suitable color for nearly all
occasions; and, handsomely made, well-fitted, artistically trimmed, and suitably relieved at throat and bodice with ribbons, lace and flowers corresponding with the complexion, makes always a most beautiful costume.
Persons whose resources are limited and who cannot afford a varied wardrobe should by this fact be guided to a constant preference for black.
Colors that Harmonize.
The object of two or more different tints in dress is to obtain relief by variety, and yet the two shades brought thus in contrast should harmonize, else the beauty of each will be lessened. Thus, a lady with a blue dress would greatly injure its effect by wearing a crimson shawl ; as she would also a lilac- colored dress by trimming it with a dark-brown material, no matter how rich.
That the reader may understand the colors that will contrast and yet blend, the following list of harmonizing colors is given:
Blue and gold; blue and orange; blue and salmon-color; blue and drab; blue and stone-color; blue and white; blue and gray; blue and straw-color; blue and maize; blue and chestnut; blue and brown; blue and black; blue and white; blue, brown, crimson and gold.
Black and white; black and orange ; black and maize ; black and scarlet; black and lilac ; black and pink; black and slate-color; black and buff; black, white, yellow and crimson; black, orange, blue and yellow.
Crimson and gold; crimson and orange; crimson and maize; crimson and purple ; crimson and black ; crimson and drab.
Green and gold ; green and yellow ; green and orange ; green and crimson; green, crimson and yellow; green, scarlet and yellow.
Lilac and gold; lilac and maize; lilac and cherry; lilac and scarlet; lilac and crimson; lilac, scarlet, white and black; lilac, gold and chestnut; lilac, yellow, scarlet and white.
Orange and chestnut ; orange and brown ; orange, lilac and crimson ; orange, red and green ; orange, blue and crimson ; orange, purple and scarlet; orange, blue, scarlet, green and white.
Purple and gold ; purple and orange; purple and maize; purple, scarlet and gold-color; purple, white and scarlet; purple, orange, blue and scarlet; purple, scarlet, blue, yellow and black.
Red and gold; red, white or gray; red, green and orange; red, black and yellow ; red, yellow, black and white.
Scarlet and purple; scarlet and orange; scarlet and blue; scarlet and slate- color; scarlet, black and white; scarlet, white and blue: scarlet, gray and blue; scarlet, yellow and blue; scarlet, blue, yellow and black.
Yellow and red; yellow and brown; yellow and chestnut; yellow and violet; yellow and blue; yellow and crimson; yellow and purple; yellow and black; yellow, purple and crimson; yellow and scarlet.
On MEN’S FASHION:
As with the gentleman, quiet colors are usually in best taste. Heavy, rich, dark materials best suit the woman of tall figure; while light, full draperies should be worn only by those of slender proportions. Short persons should beware of wearing flounces, or horizontal trimmings that will break the perpendicular lines as the effect is to make them appear shorter. The pictorial illustrations herewith show how differently people appear with different dress, our opinions of their intellectual capacity, their standing and respectability being largely influenced at first sight by this appearance.
Care should be taken to dress according to the age, the season, the employment and the occasion. As a rule, a woman appears her loveliest when, in a dress of dark color, we see her with the rosy complexion of health, her hair dressed neatly, her throat and neck tastefully cared for, her dress in neither extreme of fashion, while the whole is relieved by a moderate amount of carefully selected jewelry.
On STREET ETIQUETTE:
When crossing the pavement, the lady should raise her dress with the right hand, a little above the ankle. To raise the dress with both hands, is vulgar, and can be excused only when the mud is very deep.
No gentleman will smoke when walking with, or standing in the presence of, a lady on the street He should remove the cigar from her presence entirely, even though permission be granted to continue the smoking.
A gentleman should give his seat to any lady who may be standing in a public conveyance. For this favor she should thank him, which courtesy he should acknowledge by a slight bow. In an omnibus he will pass up the la- dies' fares.
A true lady will go quietly and unobtrusively about her business when on the street, never seeking to attract the attention of the opposite sex, at the same time recognizing acquaintances with a courteous bow, and friends with pleasant words of greeting.
Swinging the arms when walking, eating upon the street, sucking the parasol handles, pushing violently through a crowd, very loud and boisterous talking and laughing on the streets, and whispering in public conveyances, are all evidences of ill -breeding in ladies.
A lady should have the escort of a gentleman in the evening. A gentleman at the house where she may call may return with her
if she goes unattended ; gossip and scandal are best avoided, however, if she have someone from her home call for her at an appointed hour. On the narrow street-crossing the gentleman will allow the lady to precede him, that he may see that no injury befalls her.
The “NEVER” Rules:
Never point at another.
Never betray a confidence.
Never wantonly frighten others.
Never leave home with unkind words.
Never neglect to call upon your friends.
Never laugh at the misfortunes of other.
Never give a promise that yon do not fulfill.
Never speak much of your own performances.
Never fail to be punctual at the appointed time.
Never make yourself the hero of your own story.
Never send a present hoping for one in return.
Never pick the teeth or clean the nails in company.
Never fail to give a polite answer to a civil question.
Never question a servant or a child about family matters.
Never present a gift saying that it is of no use to yourself.
Never read letters which you may find addressed to others.
Never fail, if a gentleman, of being civil and polite to ladies.
Never call attention to the features or form of any one present.
Never refer to a gift you have made or favor you have rendered.
Never associate with bad company. Have good company or none.
Never look over the shoulder of another who is reading or writing.
Never seem to notice a scar, deformity or defect of any one present.
Never arrest, the attention of an acquaintance by a touch. Speak to him.
Never punish your child for a fault to which you are addicted yourself.
Never answer questions in general company that have been put to others.
Never, when traveling abroad, be over-boastful in praise of your own country.
Never call a new acquaintance by the Christian name unless requested to do so.
Never lend an article you have borrowed unless you have permission to do so.
Never attempt to draw the attention of the company constantly upon yourself.
Never exhibit anger, impatience or excitement when an accident happens.
Never pass between two persons who are talking together, without an apology.
Never enter a room noisily; never fail to close the door after you, and never slam it.
Never forget that if yon are faithful in a few things, you may be ruler over many.
Never exhibit too great familiarity with the new acquaintance; you may give offense.
Never will a gentleman allude to conquests which he may have made with ladies.
Never fail to offer the easiest and best seat in the room to an invalid, an elderly person, or a lady.
Never neglect to perform the commission which the friend intrusted to you. Yon must not forget.
Never send your guest, who is accustomed to a warm room, off into a cold, damp, spare bed to sleep.
Never enter a room filled with people without a slight bow to the general company when first entering.
Never fail to answer an invitation, either personally or by letter, within a week after the invitation is received.
Never accept of favors and hospitalities without rendering an exchange of civilities when opportunity offers.
Never cross the legs and put out one foot in the street-car or places where it will trouble others when passing by.
Never fail to tell the truth. If truthful you get your reward. You will get your punishment if you deceive.
Never borrow money and neglect to pay. If you do you will noon be known as a person of no business integrity.
Never write to another asking for information, or a favor of any kind, without enclosing a postage stamp for the reply.
Never compel a woman with an infant in arms to stand. While you retain your seat.
Never fail to say kind and encouraging words to those whom you meet in distress. Your kindness may lift them out of their despair.
Never refuse to receive an apology. You may not revive friendship, but courtesy will require, when an apology is offered, that you accept it.
Never examine the cards in the card-basket. While they may be exposed in the drawing-room, you are not expected to turn them over unless invited to do so.
Never, when walking arm in arm with a lady, be continually changing and going to the other side, because of change of corners. It shows too much attention to form.
Never should the lady accept of expensive gifts at the hands of a gentleman not related or engaged to her. Gifts of flowers, books, music or confectionery may be accepted.
Never insult another by harsh words when applied to for a favor. Kind words do not cost much, and yet they may carry untold happiness to the one to whom they are spoken.
Never fail to speak kindly. If a merchant, and you address your clerk; if an overseer, and you address your workmen; if in any position where you exercise authority, you show yourself to be a gentleman by your pleasant mode of address.
Never attempt to convey the impression that yon are a genius by imitating the faults of distinguished men. Because certain great men were poor penmen, wore long hair, or had other peculiarities, it does not follow that you will be great by imitating their eccentricities.
Never give all your pleasant words and smiles to strangers. The kindest words and the sweetest smiles should be reserved for home. Home should be our heaven.
On HORSEBACK RIDING:
A gentleman who may act as escort for a lady when riding should be very careful that the horse selected for her is entirely reliable and gentle. If he has no horse of his own, and she has none to which she is accustomed, he must understand that there is considerable danger in allowing her to use a horse that has not been tried, no matter what may be the representations of the liverymen or servant.
A trustworthy horse having been secured for the lady, it is the gentleman's duty before mounting to give a very thorough examination of the saddle and bridle, to see that all are secure. It will not do to leave this matter to the stablemen. They are accustomed to such continuous handling of harness that they become careless, and are liable to overlook defects in buckles, girths, etc., that might cause a severe accident.
When all is in readiness, it is the gentleman's province to assist the lady in mounting. To do this, it is well to have some one hold the horse, otherwise he holds the bridle with his left hand. The lady, then, with her skirt in her left hand, will take hold of the pommel of the saddle with her right, her face turned towards the horse's head. The gentleman will stand at the horse's shoulder, facing the lady, and stoop, allowing her to place her left foot in his right hand. She will then spring, while he lifts her gently and steadily into her seat, following which he will place her left foot in the stirrup and arrange her riding habit
After the lady is in position, the gentleman will still remain with her until she has whip and reins properly in hand and is securely in her seat, when he will mount his horse and take his place upon her right, as shown in the accompanying illustration.
Should there be two ladies on horseback, the gentleman should ride to the right of both of them, unless they may need his assistance, in which case he will ride between them.
In dismounting, the gentleman should take the lady's left hand in his right, remove the stirrup and take her foot in his left hand, lowering her gently to the ground.
On THE EVILS OF A BALL:
For the company to assemble at a late hour and engage in unusual, exciting and severe exercise throughout the entire night is often too great a tax upon the physical system. To dress too thinly, and in a state of perspiration to be exposed, as ladies at the ball frequently are, to drafts of cold, is oftentimes to plant the seeds of a disease from which they never recover. Again, to come in contact, as ladies are liable to do, more especially at the public ball, with disreputable men, is sometimes to form alliances that will cause a lifetime of sorrow.
Well may the watchful parent look with anxiety and suspicion upon the ball, because its associations are so frequently dangerous. If in this chapter we may give admonitions and suggestions that shall tend to correct some, of the evils of the dance, our labors will not be in vain.
The dancing-master should be in the highest sense of the term a gentleman; he should be thoroughly schooled in the laws of etiquette; he should be a man of good moral character; he should be a physiologist; he should be a reformer. Such a man at the head of a dancing- school would be of infinite assistance to the young men and women coming upon the stage of action. In his class he would teach his pupils the laws of good behavior; he would warn them concerning the evils of bad association; he would instruct them in the importance of regularity of habit and of keeping proper hours; with which instruction he would reform many abuses that now exist at public entertainments.
Fortunately we have some instructors who appreciate the importance of their work, and are thus instrumental in doing a great amount of good to those who are so favored as to attend their classes.
On WHOM TO MARRY:
There are exceptions to all rules. Undoubtedly parties have married on brief acquaintance, and have lived happily afterwards. It is sometimes the case that the wife is much older than the husband, is much wiser, and much his superior in social position, and yet happiness in the union may follow. But, as a rule, there are a few fundamental requisites, which, carefully observed, are much more likely to bring happiness than does marriage where the conditions are naturally unfavorable".
Of these requisites, are the following:
Marry a person whom you have known long enough to be sure of his or her worth if not personally, at least by reputation.
Marry a person who is your equal in social position. If there be a difference either way, let the husband be superior to the wife. It is difficult for a wife to love and honor a person whom she is compelled to look down upon.
Marry a person of similar religious convictions, tastes, likes and dislikes to your own. It is not congenial to have one companion deeply religious, while the other only ridicules the forms of religion. It is not pleasant for one to have mind and heart absorbed in a certain kind of work which the other abhors; and it is equally disagreeable to the gentle, mild and sweet disposition to be united with a cold, heartless, grasping, avaricious, quarrelsome person.
Peculiarities Suitable for Each Other.
Those who are neither very tall nor very short, whose eyes are neither very black nor very blue, whose hair is neither very black nor very reel, the mixed types may marry those who are quite similar in form, complexion and temperament to themselves.
Bright red hair and a florid complexion indicate an excitable temperament Such should marry the jet-black hair and the brunette type.
The gray, blue, black or hazel eyes should not marry those of the same color. Where the color is very pronounced, the union should be with those of a decidedly different color.
The very corpulent should unite with the thin and spare, and the short, thick-set should choose a different constitution.
The thin, bony, wiry, prominent-featured, Roman-nosed, cold-blooded individual, should marry the round -featured, warm-hearted and emotional. Thus the cool should unite with warmth and susceptibility.
The extremely irritable and nervous should unite with the lymphatic, the slow and the quiet Thus the stolid will be prompted by the nervous companion, while the excitable will be quieted by the gentleness of the less nervous.
The quick-motioned, rapid-speaking person should marry the calm and deliberate. The warmly impulsive should unite with the stoical.
The very fine-haired, soft and delicate-skinned should not marry those like themselves; and the curly should unite with the straight and smooth hair.
The thin, long-face should marry the round -favored ; and the flat nose should marry the full Roman. The woman who inherits the features and peculiarities of her father should marry a man who partakes of the characteristics of his mother; but in all these cases where the type is not pronounced, but is, on the contrary, an average or medium, those forms, features and temperaments may marry either.
Etiquette of Courtship.
But however suitable may be the physical characteristics, there are many other matters to be considered before a man and woman may take upon themselves the obligation to love and serve each other through life, and these can only be learned by acquaintance and courtship, concerning which the following suggestions may be appropriate:
Any gentleman who may continuously give special, undivided attention to a certain lady, is presumed to do so because he prefers her to others. It is reasonable to suppose that others will observe his action. It is also to be expected that the lady will herself appreciate the fact, and her feelings are likely to become engaged. Should she allow an intimacy thus to ripen upon the part of the gentleman, and to continue, it is to be expected that he will be encouraged to hope for her hand; and hence it is the duty of both lady and gentleman, if neither intends marriage, to discourage an undue intimacy which may ripen into love, as it is in the highest degree dishonorable to trifle with the affections of another. If, however, neither has objections to the other, the courtship may continue.
The Decisive Question.
At length the time arrives for the gentleman to make a proposal. If he is a good judge of human nature, he will have discovered long ere this whether his favors have been acceptably received or not, and yet he may not know positively how the lady will receive an offer of marriage. It becomes him, therefore, to propose.
What shall he say? There are many ways whereby he may introduce the subject. Among these are the following:
He may write to the lady, making an offer, and request her to reply. He may, if he dare not trust to words, even in her presence write the question on a slip of paper, and request her laughingly to give a plain " no " or "yes." He may ask her if in case a gentleman very much like himself was to make a proposal of marriage to her, what she would say. She will probably laughingly reply that it will be time enough to tell what she would say when the proposal is made. And so the ice would be broken. He may jokingly remark that he intends one of these days to ask a certain lady not a thousand miles away if she will marry him, and asks her what answer she supposes the lady will give him ; she will quite likely reply that it will depend upon what lady he asks. And thus he may approach the subject, by agreeable and easy stages, in a hundred ways, depending upon circumstances.
A present of a ring to the lady, appropriately signalizes the engagement of marriage. This is usually worn on the fore-finger of the left hand. If the parties are wealthy, this may be set with diamonds; but if in humble circumstances, the gift should be more plain. Other presents by the gentleman to the lady, of jewelry, on birthdays, Christmas or New Year's, will be very appropriate; while she, in turn, may reciprocate by gifts of articles of fancy-work made with her own hands.
Aside from the engagement-ring, a gentleman should not, at this period of acquaintance, make expensive presents to his intended bride. Articles of small value, indicative of respect and esteem, are all that should pass between them. Should the marriage take place, and coming years of labor crown their efforts with success, then valuable gifts will be much more appropriate than in the earlier years of their acquaintance.
Conduct During the Engagement.
An engagement having been made, it is desirable that it be carried to a successful termination by marriage. To do this, considerable depends upon both parties.
The gentleman should be upon pleasant terms with the lady's family, making himself agreeable to her parents, her sisters and her brothers. Especially to the younger members of her family should the gentleman render his presence agreeable, by occasional rides and little favors, presents of sweetmeats, etc.
He should also take pains to comply with the general regulations of the family during his visits, being punctual at meals, and early in retiring; kind and courteous to servants, and agreeable to all.
He should still be gallant to the ladies, but never so officiously attentive to anyone as to arouse uneasiness upon the part of his affianced. Neither should he expect her to eschew the society of gentlemen entirely from the time of her engagement.
The lady he has chosen for his future companion is supposed to have good sense, and while she may be courteous to all, receiving visits and calls, she will allow no flirtations, nor do anything calculated to excite jealousy on the part of her fiance.
The conduct of both after the engagement should be such as to inspire in each implicit trust and confidence.
Visits should not be unduly protracted. If the gentleman makes them in the evening, they should be made early, and should not be over two hours in length. The custom of remaining until a late hour has passed away in genteel society. Such conduct at the present time, among the acquaintance of the lady, is certain to endanger her reputation.
For the gentleman and lady who are engaged to isolate themselves from others when in company, or do anything that shall attract the attention of the company to themselves, is in bad taste. Such conduct will always call forth unfavorable comments. The young ladies will sneer at it from jealousy, the young men will pronounce it foolish, and the old will consider it out of place.
And yet, by virtue of engagement, the gentleman should be considered the rightful escort, and upon all occasions the lady will give him preference; and he will especially see, however thoughtful he may be of others, that her wants are carefully attended to.
Should a misunderstanding or quarrel happen, it should be removed by the lady making the first advances towards a reconciliation. She thus shows a magnanimity which can but win admiration from her lover. Let both in their conduct towards the other be confiding, noble and generous.
Although this volume covers many topics of Victorian social life (or forms), there is also quite a comprehensive section on Business situations (forms) that provides instructive content for outside the home. The title is just ever-so-correct, describing Social and Business "Forms".
Book I: Penmanship and Pen Flourishing.
Book II: Rhetoric, Oratory, and Composition.
Book III: Dictionary of Synonyms.
Book IV: Letters of Correspondence.
Book V: Social Forms.
Book VI: Laws of Etiquette.
Book VII: Commerical Forms.
Book VIII: Legal Business Forms.
Book IX: Tables of Reference.
Book X: Parliamentary Rules.
Book XI: Writing for the Press.
Book XII: Lettering and Inscriptions.
Book XIII: Rules of Versifications.
Book XIV: Selections from the Poets.
Goodness, this book has so much in it! As aforementioned, it is an IMMENSE volume, measuring 8.5 x 11 inches, and is 2 inches thick. The hardbound, brownish red cloth-covered beveled boards have recessed black imprinting, as well as gilt scenes and the title in gilt. The spine also has embellishments. The aprox 350 pages are red tipped. The pages are in VG condition with minimal wear, just a few smudges here and there, but no writing in them, other than the previous owners' names. The first few and last pages have some wear and have a little bit of give, but not detached. Outside boards have wear typical for a book of its heavy weight and age, with some scuffs/fraying at the spine ends. The cover is still bright, corners are rubbed through.
This was most likely a cabinet book, with commensurate wear from being shelved repeatedly, but very seldom read. Best of all, the voluminous illustrations are wonderful and superbly executed. This book does not come up too often for sale, and it is most definitely a MUST for the serious etiquette book collector. We are a purveyor of fine old antique books, and do welcome all layaways, which can help one acquire fine books over time, so have a peek in our shop for more books, where you can often combine purchases to save postage. Just type the word “book” into the Search box for our shop to see ALL our books. We now accept all online bank cards via Paypal and Amazon Payments (which is much like Paypal), and we do take checks and money orders.
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