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introductions— bestowing of titles

In introducing a person be sure to give him his appropriate title, as some persons are jealous of their dignity. If he is a clergyman, say “The Rev. Mr. Forsyth.” If a doctor of divinity, say “The Rev. Dr. Forsyth.” If he is a member of Congress, call him “Honorable,” and specify to which branch of Congress he belongs. If he be governor of a State, mention what State. If he is a man of any celebrity in the world of art or letters, it is well to mention the fact something after this manner “Mr. Ellis, the artist, whose pictures you have frequently seen,” or “Mr. Smith, author of ‘The World after the Deluge,’ which you so greatly admired.”

Decorum, published 1883, p. 33-34

introductions— causual

When two men unacquainted meet one another where it is obviously necessary that they should be made known to each other, perform the operation with mathematical simplicity and precision, — “Mr. A., Mr. A.`; Mr. A.`, Mr. A.”

Decorum, published 1883, p. 34

irritaiting noises, making

Is nothing more annoying to other people who may be present than the noise which a person will sometimes make by snapping a toothpick, jingling a watch-chain, creaking a chair, opening and shutting a pencil or knife, tapping the boot with a cane, or making any kind of noise or movement which irresistibly and disagreeably attracts the general attention.

the bazar book of decorum, 1870, p. 144

introductions— first and subsequent meetings

At present, in the best society, all that a lady is called upon to do, upon a first introduction either to a lady or a gentleman, is to make a slight, but gracious inclination of the head.

Upon one lady meeting another for the second or subsequent times, the hand may be extended in supplement to the inclination of the head; but no lady should ever extend her hand to a gentleman, unless she is very intimate,—a bow at meeting and one at parting, is all that is necessary.

Decorum, published 1883, p. 30

introduction— lady to gentleman

When you are presented to a gentleman, do not give your hand, but merely bow, with politeness: and, if you have requested the presentment, or know the person by reputation, you may make a speech,— indeed, in all cases it is courteous to add, “I am happy to make your acquaintance,” or, “I am happy to have the honor of your acquaintance.” I am aware that high authority might be found in this country to sanction the custom of giving the hand upon a first meeting, but it is undoubtedly a solecism in manners. The habit has been adopted by us, with some improvement for the worse, from France.

Decorum, published 1883, p. 35

introductions and shaking hands

The habit of saluting and shaking hands is now quite obsolete, except in some country towns where ladies at first introductions salute other ladies by kissing them on the cheek, and fervently shake the hands of the gentlemen.

Decorum, published 1883, p. 30

introductions— proper forms

The proper form of introduction is to present the gentleman to the lady, the younger to the older. the inferior to the superior; Thus you will say : “Mrs. Cary, allow me to present to you Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Rhodes, Mrs. Cary;” “Mrs. Wood, let me present to you my friend Miss. Ewing;” “General Graves, permit me to introduce to you Mr. Hughes.” The exact words used in introductions are immaterial, so that the proper order is preserved.

It is better, among perfect equals, to employ the phrase, “Permit me to present you to * *,” than “Permit me to present to you * *;” there are men in this world, and men, too, who are gentlemen, who are so sensitive that they would be offended if the latter of these forms was employed in presenting them to another.

Decorum, published 1883, p. 34

intrusive inquiries

If you meet or join or are visited by a person who has any article whatever, under his arm or in his hand, and he does not offer to show it to you, you should not, even if he be your most intimate friend, take it from him and look at it. That intrusive curiosity is very inconsistent with the delicacy of a well-bred man, and always offends in some degree.

our deportment, published 1882, p. 147