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first to bow on the street

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.

our deportment, published 1882, p. 147


good behavior on the street

Good behavior upon the street, or public promenade, marks the gentleman most effectually; rudeness, incivility, disregard of “what the world says,” marks the person of low breeding. We always know, in walking a square with a man, if he is a gentleman or not. A real gentility never does the following things on the street, in presence of observers:—

It is proper that the lady should first recognize the gentleman. There has been some dispute on this point of etiquette, but we think there can be no question of the propriety of the first recognition coming from the lady. A gentleman will never fail to bow in return to a lady, even if he may feel coldly disposed toward her; but a lady may not feel at liberty to return a gentleman’s bow, which places him in a rather unpleasant position. A lady should give the first smile or bow, is the rule now recognized.

Beadle’s Dime Book of Practical Etiquette, 1859, p. 43-44


hair, touching and combing

The hair of the young, according to our taste, should indicate as little as possible the artificial touch of the coiffeur. At any rate, any marked evidence of his fanciful, oily, and odorous fingers is always disgusting. When once the head has been properly arranged, it is well to avoid all farther interference with it. The practice, so common with men, of passing the hands through the locks, and of women of titivating them with their gentle touches, is filthy, and not becoming before company. The use of a comb, or even its habitual carriage in the pocket, is irreconcilable with all nicety of manners. Some otherwise very decent people, however, have this vile practice, and it is not uncommon to find them deliberately combing themselves at the table common to many guests. the bazar book of decorum, 1870, p. 112