Dining Room— M-P

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mourning— end of

When persons who have been in mourning wish to re-enter society, they should leave cards on all their friends and acquaintances, as an intimation that they are equal to the paying and receiving of calls. Until this intimation is given, society will not venture to intrude upon the mourner’s privacy. In cases where cards of inquiry have been left, with the words “To inquire” written on the top of the card, these cards should be replied to by cards with “Thanks for kind inquiries” written upon them; but if cards for inquiry had not been left, this form can be omitted.

manners and social usages, published 1887, p. 200

mourning, periods of

Mourning should be worn, as we are told by a professed authority,

The servants are ordinarily put in mourning by those who can afford it on the death of an important member of the family. The nurse only in the case of the death of young children.

the bazar book of decorum, 1870, p. 270

mourning— periods and clothing

A widow’s mourning should last eighteen months.

For the first six months the dress should be of crape cloth, or Henrietta cloth covered entirely with crape, collar and cuffs of white crape, a crape bonnet with a long crape veil, and a widow’s cap of white crape if preferred. In America, however, widows’ caps are not as universally worn as in England. Dull black kid gloves are worn in first mourning; after that pants de Suede or silk gloves are proper, particularly in summer. After six months’ mourning the crape can be removed, and grenadine, copeau fringe, and dead trimmings used, if the smell of crape is offensive, as it is to some people. After twelve months the widow’s cap is left off, and the heavy veil is exchanged for a lighter one, and the dress can be of silk grenadine, plain black gros-grain, or crape-trimmed cashmere with jet trimmings, and crepe lisse about the neck and sleeves.

All kinds of black fur and seal-skin are worn in deep mourning.

Mourning for a father or mother should last one year.

During half a year should be worn Henrietta cloth or serge trimmed with crape, at first with black tulle at the wrists and neck. A deep veil is worn at the back of the bonnet, but not over the head or face like the widow’s veil, which covers the entire person when down.

Jet ornaments alone should be worn for eighteen months, unless diamonds set as mementoes are used. For half-mourning, a bonnet of silk or chip, trimmed with crape and ribbon. Mourning flowers, and crêpe lisle at the hands and wrists, lead the way to gray, mauve, and white-and-black toilettes after the second year.

Mourning for a brother or sister may be the same; for a stepfather or stepmother the same; for grandparents the same; but the duration may be shorter.

Mourning for children should last nine months.

The first three the dress should be crape - trimmed, the mourning less deep than that for a husband. No one is ever ready to take off mourning; therefore these rules have this advantage— they enable the friends around a grief-stricken mother to tell her when is the time to make her dress more cheerful, which she is bound to do for the sake of the survivors, many of whom are perhaps affected for life by seeing a mother always in black. It is well for mothers to remember this when sorrow for a lost child makes all the earth seem barren to them.

Wives wear mourning for the relatives of their husbands precisely as they would for their own, as would husbands for the relatives of their wives.

Widowers wear mourning for their wives one year. Widowers go into society at a much earlier date than widows, it being a received rule that all gentlemen in mourning for relatives go into society very much sooner than ladies.

Ladies of the family attend the funeral of a relative if they are able to do so, and wear their deepest mourning.

Servants are usually put in mourning for the head of the family—sometimes for any member of it. They should wear a plain black livery and weeds on their hats; the inside lining of the family carriage should also be of black.

The period of mourning for an aunt or uncle or cousin is of three months’ duration, and that time at least should elapse before the family go out or into gay company, or are seen at theatres’ or operas, etc.

manners and social usages, published 1887, p. 200-207


name-giving of children

In well-regulated families the simple rule is followed of giving the children the names of their grandparents, parents, and other relatives. In Scotland the first son is named after the father’s father, the first daughter after the mother’s mother, the second son after the father, and the second daughter after the mother. This is a good general rule to follow, which, however, admits of exceptions. No one, for example, should perpetuate an ancestral name which has graced the Newgate Calendar, been affixed to the village stocks, or swung from the gallows-tree. If the appellation, moreover, should be positively ugly, it ought to have the go-by. There is nothing gained by reviving the Hezekiah Hogsflesh, for example, of some near relative, however rep-utable and dearly beloved. Parents can do no better than strengthen the family bond of union by a repetition to the farthest generation of the family names from which the ugly and disreputable have been weeded out.

the bazar book of decorum, 1870, p. 257-258

nose and its treatment

The nose is the most prominent and noticeable feature of the face, and, as its functions are not all of the noblest kind, it especially behooves people who desire to be nice to avoid drawing attention to them. Consequently, all its requirements should be attended to in the quietest and most private manner possible. It should never be fondled before company, or, in fact, touched at any time, unless absolutely necessary. The nose, like all other organs, augments in size by frequent handling, so we recommend every person to keep his own fingers, as well as those of his friends or enemies, away from it.

the bazar book of decorum, 1870, p. 112-113


opening the door for a lady

A gentleman should always hold open the door for a lady to enter first. This is obligatory, not only in the case of the lady who is with him, but also in that of any strange lady who chances to be about to enter at the same time.

our deportment, published 1882, p. 148