Manners and Social Usages

Manners and Social Usages

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Manners and Social Usages  by Mrs John M. E. W. Sherwood

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1887

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Manners and Social Usages

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There is no country where there are so many people asking what is "proper to do," or, indeed, where there are so many genuinely anxious to do the proper thing, as in the vast conglomerate which we call the United States of America. The newness of our country is perpetually renewed by the sudden making of fortunes, and by the absence of a hereditary, reigning set. There is no aristocracy here which has the right and title to set the fashions.

Book Excerpt

is does not, as might be supposed, expose society to the intrusion of unwelcome visitors. Tact, which is the only guide through the mazes of society, will enable a woman to avoid anything like an unwelcome intimacy or a doubtful acquaintance, even if such a person should "call first."

Now the question comes up, and here doctors disagree: When may a lady call by proxy, or when may she send her card, or when must she call in person?

After a dinner-party a guest must call in person and inquire if the hostess is at home. For other entertainments it is allowed, in New York, that the lady call by proxy, or that she simply send her card. In sending to inquire for a person's health, cards may be sent by a servant, with a kindly message.

No first visit should, however, be returned by card only; this would be considered a slight, unless followed by an invitation. The size of New York, the great distances, the busy life of a woman of charities, large family, and immense circle of acquaintances may render a pers

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