The Complete Bachelor by Walter Germain
CHAPTER I. THE
CHAPTER II. HOW
CHAPTER III. THE
CHAPTER IV. THE
CARE OF A
CHAPTER VII. THE
CHAPTER VIII. A
CODE OF TABLE
CHAPTER IX. THE
CITY BACHELOR AS
CHAPTER X. THE
CHAPTER XI. A
CHAPTER XII. THE
CHAPTER XIV. A
CHAPTER XV. THE
CHAPTER XVI. THE
CHAPTER XVII. A
TRAVELS AT HOME
CHAPTER XIX. THE
The Complete Bachelor
Manners for Men
By the Author of the As Seen by Him Papers
[Illustration: Publisher's logo]
New York D. Appleton and Company
COPYRIGHT, 1896, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
I suppose a book of this character needs some excuse. The world is
full of volumes written on etiquette, and, in adding another to the
number, my plea for filling the want long felt may seem ridiculous. But
I have an excellent reason, and that is, that in all treatises of this
character I have found the bachelor sadly neglected.
For many years, while conducting the query or agony department in
Vogue, I received letters from all parts of the United States asking
for information on certain details of etiquette which seem to have been
overlooked by the compilers or writers of etiquette manuals. My
correspondents always wanted these questions answered from the New York
standpoint. All this I have endeavored to do in this volume. I have
devoted a chapter to sports. In this I have made no attempt to give the
rules of the various pastimes therein enumerated. I have simply jotted
down some points which I hope may be of use to the outsider.
In the chapter on dancing I have taken the Patriarchs' Ball in New
York as my standard of subscription entertainments of this character. I
have also written about cotillons as they are conducted in New York. I
have endeavored to be plain and lucid. I only desired that this book
should be a help to my reader in any dilemma of social import, and if I
shall have proved of assistance, I shall feel that my mission has been
accomplished, and that I have reached the goal of my ambition.
THE COMPLETE BACHELOR.
CHAPTER I. THE BACHELOR IN PUBLIC.
The average man is judged by his appearance and his deportment in
public. His dress, his bearing, his conduct toward women and his
fellow-men, are telling characteristics.
In the street, when walking with a womanthe term lady being
objectionable, except in case of distinctionevery man should be on
his mettle. Common sense, which is the basis of all etiquette, teaches
him that he should be her protector. Therefore, under general
circumstances, his place is on the street or outer side. Should there
be a crowd on the inner side, should the walking be muddy or rough, or
should there be a building in process of repair, or one or the other of
the inconveniences of city life, then the man should take the side
which will enable him to shield his fair companion from all annoyance.
At night a man offers his arm to a woman. In the daytime etiquette
allows this only when the sidewalk is very rough, when there are steps
to climb, a crowd to be piloted through, or a street crossing to
effect. In any one of these emergencies suggest, I think you will find
it better to take my arm. A man never walks bodkinthat is,
sandwiched between two women.
It is the privilege of a woman to bow first. She may have reasons
why she should not wish to continue an acquaintance, and a man should
never take the initiative. Abroad, in many countries, the man bows
first. When old friends meet, however, the bowing is simultaneous.
A man lifts his hat in acknowledgment of any salutation made to the
woman with whom he is walking. It is his place, on such an occasion, to
bow to a man friend, whether the latter enjoys or does not have the
pleasure of the acquaintance of the woman. A man's failure to do this
signifies that the woman does not wish to know him, or that her
companion does not wish her to know the other man.
Hotel corridors and halls may be classed as semi-public places. A
man meeting a woman in one of these, where by custom he is permitted to
keep on his hat, must step aside and let her pass, raising his hat as
he does so. This does not apply to theater corridors, theater or hotel
lobbies, or offices. In such houses as the Waldorf in New York, where
the hall is utilized as a general sitting room by both sexes, it is not
good form for a man to keep on his hat. In London, however, the rule is
not as strict.
Men in this country do not lift their hats to one another, except
when they are introduced in the open or a public place. Civility is
never wasted, and it is proper, as well as an act of reverence, to thus
salute a clergyman or a venerable and distinguished gentleman.
A man always lifts his hat when offering a woman a service, such as
picking up or restoring to her a dropped pocket handkerchief or other
article, or when passing a fare in a public conveyance, or when
rendering any trifling assistance. Should she be with a male escort,
the latter should raise his hat and thank the person who has rendered
the service. This bit of politeness is under no circumstances the
prelude to an acquaintance with an unescorted woman, and no gentleman
would take advantage of it. A man always raises his hat and remains
uncovered when talking to a woman.
It is not good form to stop a woman on the street, even if the
exchange of a few commonplace remarks be the excuse. A man never joins
a woman on a thoroughfare unless she be one from whose friendship he is
sure that he can claim this privilege.
A gentleman always assists a woman in and out of a carriage or a
public conveyance. He opens the door of the vehicle for her, helps her
in by a deft motion of the right arm, and with his left protects her
skirts from any possible mud or dust on the wheel. As he leaves her he
closes the door, and, if it be a private conveyance, gives directions
to the driver. He lifts his hat in bidding her good-by. Even when there
is a footman, a second man, or an attendant, it should be esteemed a
favor to give this assistance.
In entering shops, theaters, or other buildings, where there are
swinging doors, the escort goes ahead and holds one of them ajar,
passing in last. A woman always precedes a man, except in one or two
special cases. A man precedes a woman walking down the aisle of a
theater, and it is better form that he should take the inside seat,
especially if there is a man occupying the place next to the vacant
one. A man precedes a woman up a narrow staircase in a public building,
but in a private house, in ascending or descending a stairway, he
should always allow the woman to precede him. In entering a theater box
a man follows the usher, preceding the woman down the theater corridor
to the door of the box. He then holds this open, and the women precede
him, he following them. In a church, in going down a narrow aisle, the
woman precedes the man.
The lift or elevator, as well as the corridors and lobbies of a
public building, the office of a hotel, and the vestibule of a theater,
are public highways. In these places a man keeps on his hat, his
deportment being the same as he would observe in the street. But when
the lift or elevator is fitted up as a drawing room, such as is used in
hotels and other semi-public buildings, a man removes his hat when the
other sex is of the number of its passengers.
When escorting a woman to a house where she is to make a visit,
always mount the stoop or steps with her, ring the bell, and remain
there until the servant comes to the door. Then, if you are not going
in, take off your hat and leave her. Restaurants, the dining rooms of
hotels, roof gardens, and places of amusement in the open air, where
refreshments are served, are semi-public.
A man always rises from the table at which he is sitting when a
woman bows to him and immediately returns the salutation. Should the
place be in the open, he doffs his hat, which under such circumstances
he is obliged to wear. When he is in a party and a lady and her escort
chance to stop at his table to exchange greetings with his friends, he
should rise and remain standing during the conversation. If a man is
introduced to him, unattended by a woman, and he is with a stag party,
politeness bids him also rise.
A gentleman will never be seen in public with characters whom he
could not introduce to his mother or his sister. A man when he is with
a lady should be very careful, especially at roof gardens and such
places in midsummer, about recognizing male acquaintances who seem to
be in rather doubtful company.
In walking, a man should carry either a stick or a well-rolled
umbrella. The stick should be grasped just below the crook or knob, but
the ferrule must be kept downward. In business hours or on business
thoroughfares to carry a stick is an affectation, but the man of
leisure is regarded leniently in these abodes as a privileged
The umbrella is an instrument of peace rather than a weapon of war,
and should not be carried as trailed arms, but like the stick it
should be grasped a short distance below the handle, and the latter
held almost upright on a very slight perpendicular.
In the presence of ladies, unless by special permission, a gentleman
never smokes, and under no circumstances does he indulge in a weed
while on the street or walking with them. If, while smoking, a man
should meet a woman and there should be any stopping to talk, he must
at once throw away his cigar or his cigarette. A pipe is never smoked
on fashionable promenades, and a man in a top hat and a frock coat with
a pipe in his mouth is an anomaly. The pipe accompanies tweeds and a
pot hat in the country or on business thoroughfares. A meerschaum or
a wooden pipe is then allowable, but never a clay or a dudeen. The
cuspidor is a banished instrument. The filthy custom of tobacco chewing
and consequent expectoration can not be tolerated in civilized society.
A gentleman is never hurried, nor does he loiter. The fashionable
gait is comparatively slow, with long steps. The exaggerated stride of
the Anglomaniac is as bad form as the swagger of the Bowery tough.
The correct demeanor is without gesture or apparent effort.
Staring at or ogling women, standing at the entrances of theaters,
churches, or other public buildings, stopping still and turning back to
look at some one or something in the street, can be classified as
offenses of which no gentleman can be guilty.
Free and easy attitudes are not tolerated in good society, and this
same rule should apply to public conveyances. As the man who crosses
his legs in the presence of ladies is absolutely impossible, so should
be the individual who commits the same crime in a public conveyance. He
not only proves a nuisance to those around him, but he is a source of
damage as well as danger to the comfort and safety of his
In a crowded car, ferryboat, or stage, it is yet a mooted question
as to whether or not a man should give up his seat to a woman. In
theory he should, but there are circumstances under which he may be
pardoned. To a refined or delicate lady, to an old or an enfeebled
woman, or one burdened with bundles or with a baby in the arms, the
answer to this should be a decided affirmative. In the South, this
gallant action is universally practiced, except when the woman is a
negress. In public conveyances a man should sit to the right of a
An escort should pay all fares in public conveyances, and should
look after the comfort and welfare of his companion, taking entire
charge of tickets, luggage, and luggage checks. Should a woman insist
upon paying her pro rata of the expenses the arrangement can be
made before starting, many sensible women handing their escorts their
purses for the purpose. Do not offer to pay the fare of any of your
women friends who might possibly enter your train or stage. This is
embarrassing and not necessary. A railway car or carriage being a
public conveyance, a man always keeps on his hat, as he also does in a
cab or any other vehicle in which he is driving, accompanied or not
accompanied by one of the opposite sex.
CHAPTER II. HOW A BACHELOR SHOULD
There are three rules of dress which, for the ordinary man in his
everyday life, might be resolved into two. These originally are
morning, afternoon, and evening. Morning and evening are absolutely
necessary; afternoon dress is donned on special occasions only.
Morning dress is that which is worn during business hours or
at any time in any place, where semiformal dress is not required until
candlelight or seven o'clock in the evening. It consists usually in
winter of a lounge or single-breasted sack suit made of many different
kinds of material, the favorites being Scotch tweeds or black and blue
cheviots, rough-faced and smooth. Fashions are liable to some variation
season after season, and the general rule can only be laid down in a
book of this kind.
With the morning or lounge dress in winter is worn the Derby or
soft-felt Alpine hat, called the Hombourg. The Derbies are black,
brown, or drab, and the felts are gray, brown, drab, or black. The
colored shirt with white standing or turned-down collar is the usual
accompaniment to the lounge suit. The fashion for colored shirts in
stripes has been that the patterns run up and down and not across the
bosom. The tie is a four-in-hand or an Ascot, or a simple bow, the
boots black leather or dark-brown russet, and the gloves of tan or gray
undressed kid or of dogskin. For ordinary business wear, suits of black
or gray mixed cheviot, vicuña or worsted, or fancy Scotch goods, the
coat of which is a cutaway, are also popular; but the black diagonal
cutaway has passed entirely out of fashion, and is utilized at
present in riding costume.
The lounge suit in summer is of blue flannel or very light cheviot
or tweed. Straw hats are worn in place of Derbies and felts. Fashion
sometimes dictates fancy waistcoats of linen to be worn with business
suits; otherwise the entire costumetrousers, coat, and waistcoatis
of the same material.
In the country, at the seaside, or in communities where golf,
wheeling, tennis, yachting or other sports and pastimes are the order
of the day, the costumes appropriate for these are in vogue for lounge
or morning suits. This is what the English call mufti. Such costumes
are, however, not in good form in the city.
Black leather, tan, or russet shoes are worn with morning dress.
White duck or flannel trousers, with black or blue cheviot coat and
waistcoat, make fashionable lounge suits for summer resorts.
Afternoon dress consists of a double-breasted frock coat of
soft cheviot, vicuña, or diagonal worsted with either waistcoat to
matchsingle-breasted or double-breastedof fancy cloth, Marseilles
duck or piqué; trousers of different material, usually cashmere, quiet
in tone, with a striped pattern on a dark gray, drab, or blue
background; boots of patent leather, buttoned, not tied; a white or
colored shirt with straight standing white collar; a four-in-hand,
puffed Ascot, or small club tie; silk hat and undressed gray, tan, or
brown kid gloves. The colored shirt is an innovation, and it should be
used sparingly, white linen on any semiformal function being in better
form. When spats are used they should be of brown, gray, or drab cloth
or canvas, to match the trousers as nearly as possible. Some ultra
faddists wear white kid gloves with afternoon dress, but the fashion is
Afternoon dress, is the attire for weddingsfor the bridegroom,
best man, ushers, and male guests; at afternoon teas, afternoon
receptions, afternoon calls, afternoon walks on the fashionable avenue,
garden parties (but not picnics), luncheons, and, in fact, at all
formal or semiformal functions taking place between midday and
candlelight, as well as at church on Sundays, at funerals, and in the
park in London after midday.
Gray frock-coat suits are recent introductions from London, and have
been worn at all the functions at which the black is required, but the
latter is more conservative and in better taste. The afternoon dress is
seldom worn in midsummer, morning suits being allowable at seaside and
mountain-resort day functions.
Evening dress is the proper attire, winter or summer, on all
occasions after candlelight. There are two kinds of evening dress,
formal and informal.
Formal or full evening dress, as it is sometimes vulgarly called,
consists of the evening or swallowtail coat of black dress worsted or
soft-faced vicuña, with or without silk or satin facing, with waistcoat
and trousers of the same material, the latter plain or with a braid
down the sides. The dress waistcoat can also be of white duck or
piqué, in which case it is double-breasted. The shape of the dress
waistcoat shows the shirt bosom in the form of a U.
The evening shirt is of plain white linen, with two shirt buttons
and link cuffs, straight standing collar, white lawn or linen tie. The
gloves are white with white stitching, the hose of black silk, and the
handkerchief, which must be present but not seen, of plain white linen.
The shoes are patent-leather pumps or low quarters, tied, not
The overcoat is an Inverness of black cheviot, lined with satin and
without sleeves, and the hat a crush opera. These two latter adjuncts
are not indispensable, but most convenient. An ordinary black overcoat
and top hat can be worn with evening dress. No visible jewelrynot
even a watch chainis allowed. The shirt buttons are either of white
enamel, dull-finished gold, or pearls, and the sleeve links
white-enameled or lozenge-shaped disks of gold, with a monogram thereon
Evening dress is de rigueur at balls, dances, evening
receptions, evening weddings, dinners, suppers, the opera, and the
theater, when calling after candlelight, and in fact at any formal
evening function and generally when ladies are present.
Informal evening dress differs from formal in the wearing of the
Tuxedo or dinner coat in place of the swallowtail, and the
substitution of a black silk for a white lawn tie.
The dinner coat is of black worsted or vicuña, satin-faced. It is
the badge of informality. Formerly it was only worn at the club, at
small stag dinners, and on occasions when ladies were not present. Now
it is in vogue during the summer at hotel hops and at small informal
parties to the play, at bowling parties, restaurant dinners, and, in
fact, on any occasion which is not formal. From June to October men
wear it in town every evening without overcoat.
As the dinner jacket is short, a top or silk hat can not be worn
with it. The proper headgear in winter is a black felt soft hat, in
summer a straw.
The dinner jacket is becoming a necessity. It is worn also by all
youths and boys from twelve years to seventeen, at which latter period
they can assume the toga virilis or swallowtail.
I here append a few cautionary hints which must be taken if you wish
to dress well.
All scarves and ties should be tied by one's self. Made-up neckwear
of any kind is not worn by well-groomed men.
White evening waistcoats and Tuxedo coats do not agree; black is
Jewelry is vulgar. The ring for a man is a seal of either green or
red stone, or of plain burnished gold with the seal or monogram
engraved upon it. It must be worn on the little finger.
Watch chains and watch fobs are not in vogue. Watches and latchkeys
are attached to a key chain and hidden in the trousers pocket. Diamonds
are only in good form when set in a scarf pin, and even then they are
in questionable taste. Diamond buttons and diamond rings are absolutely
The fashionable overcoat in winter is a Chesterfield or
single-breasted frock of kersey or like material in brown, blue, or
black, with velvet collar. For autumn and spring the tan covert coat is
CHAPTER III. THE BACHELOR'S TOILET.
The first care of a bachelor is his bath or tub. To-day,
housesespecially clubs and bachelor apartmentsare fitted up so
luxuriously that each tenant has his own individual tiled bathroom,
which he uses also as a dressing room. But where these are not, the tin
or the India-rubber bath tub serves as well the purpose of our first
ablution. A cold bath to many is a good refresher and awakener, but
there are others again whose constitutions can not stand the shock,
especially in winter, of icy-cold water. For cleansing purposes, tepid
water is best, or a mixture of hot and cold, so as to take the chill
A gentleman takes at least one tub a day, and that, as may be
inferred from the previous remarks, when he arises. If the tub is in
the bedroom, have a rubber cloth placed under, and fill it only half
full. The sponge is used for the bath, the wash rag for the washstand.
The body should have a thorough soaping. The soap should be either
Castile or a pure unscented glycerin. Sweet-scented soaps, perfumery,
and sweet waters of all kinds should be eschewed. The Turkish towel is
the best for drying, and it should be vigorously but not roughly
applied. A flesh brush may be also used with comfort. As soon as the
body is perfectly dry the bath robe or large Turkish towel, which some
prefer to wrap themselves in, like Indians, should be resumed and
Every man should learn to shave himself. Razors are very delicate
instruments and should be kept in thorough order. Safety razors with
little blades for each day in the week are excellent, but if you use
the ordinary razor add to your collection from time to time, until you
have at least half a dozen. Once a month send these to a barber to be
stropped, and strop them yourself both before and after using. Wipe
them dry with a piece of chamois cloth and put them back in their
cases. The best strop is of Russia leather or of canvas.
Warm water is not absolutely necessary for shaving, as some beards
are soft and resist heat.
If possible, arrange a shaving stand with a triplicate mirror and
places for your razors, shaving mug, brush, and soap. You can purchase
one of these, with the entire outfit, for a few dollars at any of the
large city shops. A ring or little silver or metal hook for shaving
paper can be placed on one side of the stand. A cleanly man shaves
every morning. After shaving, wash the face with a little warm water
and wipe it thoroughly dry. Add to the water a few drops of ammonia or
of Pond's extract, if the skin is liable to chap.
In the fashion of beards, the clean or smooth-shaven face, the
pointed beard, and the simple mustache are those generally in vogue.
Should you wear a beard, you should have for it a special comb and
A small tin basin, a package of sea salt, and a special wash rag are
the requisites for a morning eye bath. Sea salt and warm water are
recommended by oculists as the best tonic for the eyes.
The teeth next claim your attention. There is nothing more
disgusting than foul breath, which comes frequently from neglected
teeth. Use a soft toothbrush. Avoid patent tooth washes and lotions. An
excellent tooth powder is made of two thirds French chalk, one third
orris root, and a pinch of myrrh. Any chemist will put this up for
fifteen cents. Tepid and not cold water should be used. In rinsing the
mouth a drop or two of listerine added to the water is excellent. Teeth
should be brushed at least twice a daymorning and evening. Never use
soap on your toothbrush. Get a spool of dental silkit will cost you
eight centsand draw the thread between your teeth before you retire,
so as to remove any substance which might have got into a crevice. And,
above all, have your teeth examined carefully by a good dentist at
least twice a year.
See that your toothbrush is sweet and clean, and place it handle
down in the tooth mug.
The hands should be well washed and dried, tepid water, scentless
soap, and a smooth towel being used. The nails should have a vigorous
rubbing with a good nailbrush in the morning before your meals and
before you go to bed at night. The nail file and nail scissors must be
used as often as possible. Remember, dirty finger nails betray the
vulgar and the unkempt. A man with dirty hands is impossible.
The nails should not be pointed, but well rounded and kept free of
bits of callous skin around the base, called hangnails. Finger nails
should be kept short, just a bit beyond the fleshy tip of the finger.
The nails of the toes should be kept as carefully as those of the
hands. In summer a little talcum powder on the feet will prevent the
odor of perspiration.
The fashions for parting the hair change with the times. At present
it is the direct part in the middle which is most fashionable. Very
young men wear their hair unusually long, but this fad is uncleanly.
The hair should be cut at least once a month, and a glimpse of the skin
of the neck should always intervene between the roots and the collar.
Pomatums and greases and scents of all kinds are sticky and
injurious. If you suffer with dryness of the scalp rub a little
vaseline into it occasionally. Washings with tar soap or with a little
alcohol and rosemary are beneficial. The scalp should be well brushed
with moderately firm but not hard bristles. The best brushes are those
without handles, known as army and navy. Water is bad for the hair.
Constant combing with a fine-tooth comb is apt to irritate the scalp
and provoke dandruff, which can be allayed by brushing, shampooing, and
the use of borax and warm water.
Turkish or Russian baths are beneficial now and then, and the
vigorous massage after a thorough steaming is admirable for the skin. A
man should be scrupulously neat about his toilet articles and
appliances. In your bathroom you should have a rack for your coarse and
fine towels. Always place the towel you have used at the side of a
stationary or on the back of a movable tub to dry. See that the soap is
removed from your sponges, and once a fortnight clean them in one
quarter of an ounce of borax dissolved in tepid water. Let them soak
for an hour, and squeeze them out in clean water.
Hairbrushes are washed in a little soda put into a quart of hot
water. The brush must be dipped downward so as not to wet the back.
When they are cleansed they can be rinsed in cold water and stood on
their side, after the water is shaken out, until quite dry.
Nailbrushes must be turned on their sides, after using, so that the
water will not soak in and crack their backs.
A man's toilet articles, whether in silver or wood, should be of one
distinctive style and material. Tooth and nail brushes should never
have silver handles, but hair and clothes brushes with silver backs are
very smart. They should be kept polished with a chamois cloth, and
occasionally a little silver polish or whiting. Your bureau or dressing
table is the place for the hair and clothes brushes, the combs, the
toilet mirror, nail files, nail scissors, and such smaller articles.
Your nail and tooth brushes and soaps go on the wash-hand stand. Your
sponges are best put in a little wire basket at the side of the
wash-hand stand, or the immovable washstand if your room or bathroom
has the latter convenience.
Your bedroom should be ventilated and all the windows opened after
you leave it, and you should have at least one window up during your
sleeping hours. If you have a movable tub see that it is aired each
morning after using.
Always make a change of clothes and of shoes when you come in from a
busy day and from the street. Nothing ruins clothes so much as lounging
about your room in them. And last but not least, as it contains the
essential of all these rules and hints, be always immaculately clean.
CHAPTER IV. THE CARE OF A BACHELOR'S
There are comparatively few men who can afford the luxury of a good
valet, and that personage himself, when found thoroughly competent, is
indeed a treasure. But it is an absurd mistake for any one to think
that a valet is a necessity. If you take a quarter of an hour for the
care of your clothes every day, you can be just as well turned out as
if you hired an expensive servant. Even if you have indulged in the
luxury of a valet, you yourself should know all about looking after
Whenever you change your clothes you should first empty all your
pockets. Then, as soon as each garment is removed, it should be
vigorously shaken and brushed before it is folded and put away. Never
hang coats, trousers, or waistcoats; always fold them. Wire coat
hangers and trousers stretchers ruin clothes. Whisk brooms are useful
only when an extra-vigorous treatment is desired. Take a clothes brush
and give your coat, as soon as you take it off, a thorough brushing,
and hold it to the light, so that no particle of dust may escape your
eye. The coat is then folded exactly in half lengthwise, sleeve to
sleeve, the lining on the outside. With evening coats it is sometimes
necessary to fold the sleeves in half, owing to the shortness of the
waist. In packing a trunk the same method is used, only the sleeves are
stuffed with tissue paper to avoid possible wrinkles.
Large and bulky garments, such as overcoats and frock coats, should
be folded in triplicate. Lay the coat flat on a table and first fold on
both sides, the right and the left, so much of the lapel and collar
lengthwise as will cover the sleeve. This will make two folds from the
top of the collar to the bottom of the skirt. Then fold the coat again
in half lengthwise, using the back as a hinge. You will find the same
principle illustrated by a cook with a pancake. The waistcoat is folded
in half, with the lining on the outside. Always take off your shoes and
unbutton the braces before you remove your trousers, and fold them over
the back of a chair, which is to serve you as a clothes rack. Take the
trousers by the waist and place together the first two suspender
buttons, one on the left and the other on the right. This will make the
fold preserve the natural crease and dispose of the extra material,
button and buttonhole tab at the waist. Trousers carefully folded will
only need pressing about twice a year. Hose should be well shaken, and
unless perfectly clean, thrown in the soiled-linen basket. Evening silk
hose can be worn several times. The undervest, or undershirt, and the
drawers should be also subjected to a vigorous shaking, and hung on the
back of the same chair where you have already placed your hose. All
these intimate garments are to be aired, and the chair on which you
have hung them taken to the window.
Use a closet and a chest of drawers for your clothes. If you are in
very limited quarters, six drawers and a trunk should be sufficient for
all your belongings. The evening clothes occupy one drawer or shelf,
and the morning and afternoon suits the other or two others. The
remainder will be for linen, underclothing, ties, and handkerchiefs.
Between each suit of clothes there should be laid a newspaper; those
publications which use the blackest of printer's inkthe surest
antidote for mothsbeing the best for this purpose. Cover the top of
each pile of clothes, when the drawer or shelf is full, with a clean
In a chest with four drawers the bottom one should be used for
underclothes, the top for handkerchiefs, hose, and ties, and the two
intermediate for your linen. The closet will have to serve for your
suits of clothes, or, in lieu of that, your trunk. Otherwise the
last-mentioned receptacle is the place for clothes out of season,
carefully laid away with a full complement of newspaper and camphor.
When you remove your shirt at night, or when you change for dinner,
be careful to take out the buttons and sleeve links, unless you intend
to wear the garment again. In that case, hang it up in your closet.
The first gift which a bachelor usually receives from his sister or
his sweetheart is a handkerchief case, and I hardly need advise you to
purchase what is a standard Christmas offering. Keep your handkerchiefs
in this, your neatly folded ties in the second division of the drawer,
and your hose in the third. If you should have a silver and plush
pincushion with a movable top, your small articles of jewelry go in its
interior, or in a small box in the top drawer.
Silk hats, Derbies, and Alpines or soft-felt hats should never be
brushed with a whisk broom. A hatter will sell you for a small sum a
soft brush with a pliable plush back, which will do for smoothing your
silk hat, the bristles to be applied in removing the dust. A silk
handkerchief will also smooth a silk hat. Frequent ironing destroys the
nap. Straw hats can be cleaned by first rubbing them over with the half
of a lemon, then taking an old nail brush and some brown soap and water
and giving it a vigorous brushing. Then you should take heavy books and
lay them on the brim of the hat. An old pincushion or several towels
rolled into a firm ball, or a book which will fit exactly, should be
placed inside the crown. Allow the hat to dry, and do not remove the
weights until this is accomplished. You will find your straw as good as
new and the shape preserved. The writer has tried this with great
Boots and shoes when not in use should be put on wooden trees to
keep them in shape. As trees are rather expensive, one can use paper
and stuff it inside the boot or shoe. This will not prove a bad
substitute. With patent leathers, paper or cotton stuffed in the toes
prevents the leather from wrinkling, and in this instance the very
cheap material is better than the more expensive appliance. Patent
leathers must be creamed and rubbed with a chamois cloth or linen or
flannel rag after all mud and dust have first been removed. This
operation should be repeated daily. Some men maintain that patent
leathers should be varnished as soon as they come home from the
bootmaker, but I disagree with them. A varnished patent leather has
always a cheap look, and the coat of veneer is only applied as a last
resort, to hide the cracks. Russet boots and shoes are treated daily
with the special cream sold for them, which can be obtained at any
bootmaker's or shoe shop. The price is small, and the stuff will last a
long time. Russet boots, however, can be very well treated with a
little vaseline, but that product will not give them the deep-brown
color which is so fashionable. The soles of boots and shoes should be
painted black. When a man is obliged to kneel in any ceremony, the
sight of white or yellow gleaming soles is absurd.
In wet weather it is absolutely necessary to turn up the bottoms of
your trousers, to keep them from fraying.
I would suggest a general overhauling of clothes about once a month.
At the end of each season the heavy or light garments should receive a
final brushing and be stored away in a trunk, chest, or spare room
with, as I have already advised, newspapers between them, and some
camphor or moth destroyer as an extra precaution. Overcoats, which are
in such general use, may be hung during their season of service, but
should be frequently brushed and well shaken.
The economy of space thus observed in the arrangement of clothes in
a room will make it an easy matter when about to travel to pack one's
wardrobe in a trunk.
A shoe bag is a great convenience. A simple canvas arrangement can
be purchased very cheaply, or one of your fair friends can make you
one. Your shoes should be placed in this and put at the bottom of the
trunk in a corner. Otherwise you should wrap your shoes and boots in
paper. If you travel with two trunks, one should be reserved for your
outer garments and the other for your shirts and underclothes. With one
trunk, a shirt box is as much an article to be desired as a shoe bag,
but in lieu of this the shirts should be placed in the first or top
tray, the underclothes and hose in the second, and the outer garments
in the bottom. A small space in the top can be reserved for your ties
and handkerchiefs. Toilet articles are carried in a hand bag;
waterproofs, overcoats, and umbrellas and walking sticks in a shawl
strap. Your silk hat has but one place, and that is in a hatbox. You
can put a Derby in a corner of a trunk but a silk hat would be ruined.
When a long journey is taken, it is economy in the end to purchase
an extra steamer trunk for your underclothes and linen. Trunks are not
expensive, and you will find that by not crowding your clothes you will
save in the long run.
Always keep in your room a small bottle of a good grease-remover as
well as one of ammonia, some soft rags, and a chamois for general
cleaning purposes. An expenditure of a little over a quarter of a
dollar will provide you with these necessaries.
Never lounge around your room in your street or evening dress. If
you are to stay awhile, or if you come in for the night, take off your
clothes and put on a bath robe or your pyjamas if you do not possess a
dressing gown, which is not a necessity.
At your office you should always have an old coat to wear, and if it
be summer have one of linen. To sit around in one's shirt sleeves, even
at one's place of business, is not characteristic of the gentleman.
THE COST OF CLOTHES.
Every young man starting in life and wishing naturally to take a
part in social functions and to become a member of that body
indefinitely known as society, is confronted with the problem of
clothes. A few years ago the ordinary changes of morning, afternoon,
and evening were all that were requisite, but to-day, with special
costumes for various sports and pastimes, the outlook at first glance
to one of limited income is not encouraging. And yet a man with a
modest salary can dress very well on two to three hundred dollars a
year, and even less. It is only the first step which costs. One must
have a foundation or a slight capital with which to start. After that
with a little care expenses can be easily regulated.
The evening suit is the most expensive essential of a man's
wardrobe. This he is obliged to have. I would advise, in selecting a
suit of this kind, to have it of good material from a good tailor,
after a model not too pronounced, so that in case of any small
alteration in the fashions it can survive a season or two. With proper
care your evening suit should last at least five years. During the
first two or three it should be your costume for formal occasions.
During the third season you might possibly have another pair of
trousers made or renew the waistcoat or even the coat. When you find
yourself, thus by the principles of the doctrine of the survival of the
fittest, the possessor of two evening suits, use the old one for
theaters and small dinners, and the best for the formal functions.
White waistcoats are very smart for evening wear, and an investment in
one or two of these during the course of a season will save the
waistcoat of the evening suit. The prices of evening suits vary. The
most fashionable Fifth Avenue tailors charge as much as one hundred and
twenty-five dollars for them. Some men argue that this sum insures an
excellent investment. However, you can have an excellent one made by a
good tailor for an outlay of about forty dollars. The large retail
clothing shops have a custom department, and that is their figure for
an evening suit made to order. You can even have one for twenty-five
dollars, but I would not spend a less amount. Superintend the making of
it yourself. Some men have adjustable figures, and they can purchase
their clothes from the blockthat is, ready-made. The only fault to
find with these garments is their machinelike cut. The pockets, if any,
the lines, the binding, and the entire get-up look as if these affairs
had been turned out by the dozen.
White waistcoats for evening wear are, however, somewhat in the
nature of luxuries. They are difficult to have laundered, and some very
smart men object to having them sent to the wash, and would not wear
one after it has gone through that process. The Fifth Avenue tailor
will charge as much as twenty dollars for a white duck waistcoat made
to order. It may fit you perfectly, but yet again it may not look a
whit better than the ready-made which you can purchase at a
haberdasher's for from three to five dollars.
A Tuxedo or dinner coat, as explained in another chapter, is almost
a necessity. It is really a saving. If you can not afford to have an
entire suit of this kind made you may simply have the jacket, which
will cost from twenty-five to forty dollars, and wear it with the
trousers and waistcoat, and keep it to be part of your informal evening
I have known men to have their black sack coats or old black
diagonal cutaways or old evening coat changed into a Tuxedo by the
cutting off of tails, the substitution of a silk collar, or some other
alteration. A sack coat is easily arranged, and any little tailor
around the corner will make the metamorphosis for three dollars.
Suppose you have had one of your old coats transformed into a Tuxedo.
You can purchase, if you do not wish to have made, a pair of black
trousers of the same material for a very few dollars, and an old black
waistcoat, which went with the original coat, can also be altered.
Remember that a Tuxedo dinner coat has not to be of a certain material.
It must be black and have a silk collar. It is really negligé.
You should start with a capital of at least six evening shirts. If
you are a wealthy man these will cost possibly, made to order, as high
as fifty-six dollars, but you can also have excellent ones for nine
dollars. It is considered smart to have the collars attached, but not
necessary. The cuffs, however, should be always a part of the shirt.
White ties are twenty-five to thirty-five cents a piece. Always
state the number of collar you wear when purchasing evening ties, and
you will never have cause to complain of the length.
Black patent-leather pumps, made to order, are from eight to nine
dollars. You can get them much cheaper ready made, but the only trouble
with them is that they are not usually good fits, and that in future
years you will have cause to regret this economy. Of black silk
stockings, of which you will need two or three pair, you can have a
choice from a dollar and a half to six dollars a pair.
I would advise the purchase of two business or lounge suits a year
for the first three years. In making this estimate I can hardly suppose
that you are in the state of Adam, and I would advise you to wear your
old suit in winter especially, and on rainy and stormy days. Your
overcoat will conceal it in the street, and at the office the older the
clothes the better. The pivotal points of a man are his hat, boots, and
tie. Have these perfectly correct, and the rest will take care of
For winter buy a thick, useful cloth, such as Scotch homespun or
rough cheviot or tweed. Brown and gray mixtures are always fashionable
and wear well.
In summer a light-gray check or a blue cheviot or flannel are always
Thus making an old suit of the year before alternate with the new
one, you will find that eighty dollars will be sufficient to help you
be a well-groomed man.
A half dozen colored shirts for morning wear are necessary, with
attached cuffs but detached collars. Every now and then I would invest
a few dollars in shirts, and before you know it you will have a large
supply. As dress shirts grow old send them to be repaired at any of the
many places which you will find advertised, and use them for morning
Six changes of underwearmerino or wooland a dozen balbriggan or
woolen hose will be sufficient. Summer underwear is very cheap, and you
can get a light merino suit for one dollar. A four-dollar investment
will last several seasons. Good winter underwear is expensive, costing
four or five dollars a suit.
Pyjamas of Madras or pongee silk, very effective and pretty, can be
had for a dollar and a half to three dollars a suit. Four suits of
thesetwo for summer and two for winterwill last at least two years.
A man must have, besides his dancing pumps, a pair of patent-leather
walking boots and a pair of stout common boots for everyday wear. If
you can afford it, have two pair of boots made at the same time, or
even more. An investment of fifty dollars in boots, at say eight
dollars a pair, would be excellent. You can change daily, and they will
last you over a period of two or three or more years.
The afternoon suit is more or less a luxury. Unless you frequent
afternoon teas or make many afternoon calls, or act as an usher at
weddings in any city but New York, the frock coat is not, for the first
three or four years of your career, an absolute necessity. In New York,
however, where calls are only made in the afternoon, it must form a
part of your wardrobe.
A frock coat can be made for forty or fifty dollars; seventy-five to
one hundred dollars is charged by the most expensive tailors. When you
order it, see that it is not in the extreme of fashion. The
conservative garment will last a number of years. The material, as I
have already suggested in another chapter, must be of rough worsted,
vicuña, or material of that kind, and never of broadcloth.
With it you must have a pair of fancy or cashmere trousers. These
will cost from eight to fifteen dollars, and they will last you several
years. In fact, the purchasing of the afternoon suit in one way is
excellent: it does not have to be renewed as often as other parts of
your wardrobe. It stays practically in fashion, with little deviation,
for almost a decade.
The silk hat, which is necessary for the afternoon suit, is one of
the most expensive items of a man's wardrobe. A top hat must be of the
prevailing mode. Autumn is the best time for purchasing, as you can
dispense with it after May, except on very special occasions. Two
Derbiesone for autumn and the other for springat from two to four
dollars, or only one, for that matter, to last through the entire eight
months, and a straw hat, from two to four dollars, will be the entire
amount expended for headgear by the very best-dressed men. For a Derby
you can substitute an Alpine or Hombourg. The opera crush hat is a
luxury, and you can wear with your evening suit your top hat of the
year before, which you can christen your night hawk.
Shirt buttons and sleeve links are also an expensive item. However,
the purchase of these occurs but once in a lifetime, and fifteen
dollars would do beautifully for enamel or plain gold.
Ties vary in price, and it is difficult to limit a man on this
expenditure. Many invest in them as a fad, picking them up here and
there, and thus accumulating a large assortment. A little judgment in
purchasing will allow you to acquire quite a large wardrobe. If you
give your personal supervision to the making of your clothes you can
employ a cheap tailor who will turn out very good work. For fashion
plates, I do not know of any better than Du Maurier's pictures of smart
London men in the London Punch. Watch the sales in the autumn and the
late spring for bargains in haberdashery. Study well the advice given
in the chapter on the Care of Clothes in this book, and you will find
therein that which will certainly teach you economy.
CHAPTER V. INTRODUCTIONS,
INVITATIONS, AND CALLS.
Formal introductions are not in vogue in this country. The nearest
approach to it is when one is desirous of introducing a stranger or one
of his particular friends to another. When you desire to present a man
to a woman you must ask her if you may bring Mr. to her house. In
New York the customary time for such visits is in the afternoon,
between four and six. In introducing men to one another it is
unnecessary to make a formal appointment. In presenting a man to a
woman her permission must first be asked. The formula is, Mrs. C,
may I present Mr. D? Informal introductions may be made between
people visiting in the same house by simply saying, Mrs. D, may I
present Mr. B? or Mr. F, do you know Mr. C? These
informal introductions need not be recognized afterward unless mutually
Introductions are never made in the street or in public places of
any kind, or in public conveyances, unless under exceptional
circumstances. It is extremely bad form to introduce a guest on his
entrance into a room to more than one other. Wholesale introductions
are not the custom in New York. General introductions are not made at a
dinner or at any function. People are sufficiently well bred to engage
in general conversation when in the houses of their friends, even if
they do not know each other, and not to take advantage of the
At any function at which the guests are told off, the host or
hostess only presents the man to the woman whom he is to take down. A
man never shakes hands upon being presented to a woman, but always on
being introduced to a man. A man should never shake hands with a woman
while wearing his gloves unless she also is gloved. Your hostess will
give her hand to you when you make your obeisance. After being
presented, an invitation is apt to follow. It may be, Drop in to tea
any afternoon, or simply, I would be glad to have you call. This
invitation should always come from a married woman. Unmarried women do
not ask young men to call. A man may ask the privilege of calling, or
the mother of the young woman may say, We should be pleased to have
you call, Mr. Smith.
In New York and in many of the larger cities, as has already been
stated, the proper time for a man to call on a woman is between the
hours of four and six in the afternoon. Sometimes women have days in
the season, and you should pay your call on one of them. Otherwise any
afternoon may do, and you can use Sunday for this purpose after three
Afternoon dress is, of course, requisite. In those places where
evening calls are made a man must wear formal evening dress.
On the opening of the door by the servant, a man asks of him whether
the hostess or the ladies are at home. This will depend on the number
of the members of the family receiving. He gives to the domestic the
proper number of cards. The servant precedes him, opens the
drawing-room door for him, and in some ultra English houses he is
announced. His card or cards have been deposited on the silver tray
which the servant has presented to him in the hall and left there. A
visiting card is never brought into the drawing room. A man on a first
or a formal call carries his stick and hat into the drawing room with
him. To hang his hat in the hall shows great intimacyeven
relationshipin the house. He, however, should leave there his
overcoat and his rubbers and umbrella. His hostess will advance to meet
him, and will extend to him her right hand with a somewhat stiff
angular motion, and he should shake it with a quick nervous movement of
his right. He should neither grasp nor squeeze her hand, nor should he
attempt that absurd so-called British shake in the air, which is never
practiced except by player folk. A man removes his glove from his right
hand on entering the drawing room, and holds this with his stick and
hat in his left. The hat should be at an angle, the top about level
with his nose. At weddings, the opera, and dances, where a woman is
gloved, a man, if it is required to shake hands, does not remove his
gloves. On ordinary occasions a woman is seldom gloved in her own
drawing room, and if she is, handshaking is not usually expected.
Should the hostess be gloved, as at a large affair, such as a formal or
wedding reception, a man shakes hands with her with them on.
Tea is generally served in the afternoon on a tray with wafers,
little cakes, and sometimes sandwiches. If you take a sandwich or a cup
of tea, a doylie will be given you, which place upon your knee. When
another caller enters the room stand up, whether it is a woman or a
man. Ten minutes is all that is necessary for a formal call. It is less
awkward to leave when a new caller is announced. Shake hands with your
hostess and bow to the people present. Leave the room sideways, so as
not to turn your back upon the company, and bow to them as you reach
the door, thus bowing yourself out. Remember, do not be a lingerer or a
sitter. No men are more dreaded in society than these wretched bores.
The first arrivals leave first. Freezing out is not known in good
Calls should be made after every civility extended and every
invitation accepted or regretted; after weddings, wedding receptions,
deaths in families, etc., as fully explained in the chapter on
A letter of introduction is always sent, never left in person. Calls
at the theater or in opera boxes are mere social amenities, and are not
accepted as formal. A man enters an opera box, stands, and bows. His
hostess will turn around and greet him. He will then, if there is a
vacant chair, take one, and sit and talk a little while, leaving on the
arrival of another caller. These rules for afternoon calls can be
applied also to those made in the evening.
If no day is set for a first call, a man is expected to drop in any
afternoon within ten days after the invitation. The sooner a call is
made the greater the compliment. A second call may be made within two
or three months; after that once or twice a year, as intimacy permits.
A man is never asked to dinner or to any function at a house at which
he has not first called. The usual form of a dinner invitation, the
hostess being married, reads:
My dear Mr. Smith:
Will you dine with us, most informally, on Wednesday,
December the ninth, at eight o'clock? Hoping that you have no
engagement for that evening, believe me,
Yours very sincerely,
Alice de Tompkins.
An answer to an invitation like this, which should be sent within
twenty-four hours, reads:
My dear Mrs. de Tompkins:
It will give me great pleasure to dine with you on
evening, December the ninth, at eight o'clock. With many
your kind thought of me,
Yours very sincerely,
Or, in the case of a formal dinner consisting of more than ten or
Mr. and Mrs. de Tompkins
request the pleasure of
company at dinner on
Wednesday evening, December
the ninth, at eight o'clock.
The answer reads:
Mr. Algernon Smith, Jr.,
accepts with pleasure
Mr. and Mrs. de Tompkins's
kind invitation for
Wednesday evening, December the ninth,
at eight o'clock.
Answers to formal luncheon invitations are written in the same
manner, only changing the hours, etc.
Informal invitations to breakfasts and luncheons will be treated in
the chapter on that subject.
The form of an invitation to a private dance is:
Mr. and Mrs. de Tompkins request the pleasure of Mr.
Smith's company on Friday evening, January the ninth, at nine
R. S. V. P. Dancing.
The answer to this would be similarly worded as in case of the
formal dinner. As dance invitations are usually sent out three weeks in
advance, three days' grace is allowed for the answer.
When an invitation is received to a subscription ball, like the
assemblies in various cities, you should acknowledge it, by your
acceptance or regret, to the subscriber sending it; but when an
invitation is received from a ball committee, you should accept as
Mr. James de Courcy Peterson accepts with pleasure the
kind invitation for Thursday evening, February the fifteenth.
CHAPTER VI. CARDS.
There is only one visiting card in vogue for a man. It must be of
plain white bristol board, unglazed, about three or four inches in
length and about two inches in width. The name should be engraved, not
printed, in the middle of the card, in small copperplate type, without
ornamentation of any kind. The prefix Mr. is always used unless the
person is a physician, in which case he can place Dr. before his
name, or a clergyman, when he may use the Rev. Mr. or the Rev. Dr.,
according to his rank. Army and navy men, ranking as captain or above,
should put their rank on their cards. Mr. is the prefix for
subalterns. The address is placed underneath the name in smaller type
and in the right-hand corner. If an address, however, is that of a
man's club, it should be engraved on the left hand. A man's card should
also contain his Christian as well as his surname. If he possesses two
Christian names, or any distinctive family name, that should also be
given, so that his appellation is shown in full. For instance, Mr.
John William Jones, Mr. James Brown Smith, Mr. Hamilton
Hamilton-Stuyvesant. Visiting cards should be kept in a small case of
sealskin or black or Russia leather and carried in the inside pocket of
a frock coat, or if small enough more conveniently in the waistcoat
pocket. Card cases should be stamped with initials or have a silver
monogram. Visiting cards should never be carried loose in the pocket. A
card is left in person the day after a dinner, luncheon, or breakfast,
or within a week at latest after a ball. Civility must be returned by
civility, and cards must be left on every occasion on which a call is
necessary. Cards should not be sent by mail, unless when about to leave
the country, or under circumstances where it is impossible to make a
personal call. On leaving the country you should write the initials P.
P. C. (pour prendre congé) in the right-hand corner. In New York
many men send cards by mail, offering the excuse that the city is too
large to get about to make personal calls. This is only a flimsy
pretext, and should have no weight.
The question of how many cards to leave is one which seems to
bewilder most people. The general rule is a card to each person. This
will have to be explained. When you call on Mr. and Mrs. Smith you must
leave a card for eachtwo cards. When you call on Mr. and Mrs. Smith
and the Misses Smith, three cards, the young ladies counting as a unit.
For Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the Misses Smith, and their married daughter
Mrs. Jones staying with them, four cardsMrs. Jones being entitled to
the fourth. If Mr. Jones is also stopping at the Smiths leave an extra
card for him. For Mrs. Smith (widow) and the Misses Smith, two cards.
For Mr. Smith (widower) and the Misses Smith, two cards.
In mailing cards, address them on the envelope Mrs. Smith, the
Misses Smith, or Mr. and Mrs. John Brown-Smith; The Misses
Brown-Smith, the one under the other. Never write on your cards For
Mr. and Mrs. John Brown-Smith. It is bad form. Never leave cards for
people who have not asked you to call. When friends from another city,
who have entertained you or who have been polite to you, should arrive
in your own city, you should immediately call and leave cards for them.
In that case, should you even not be acquainted with their host and
hostess, it would be civil to leave cards also for them.
After a wedding, if invited to the reception, you must personally
leave cards at the house where the reception has been given for your
host and hostess, and also for the young couple when they return from
their bridal trip. Two cards at each place will be sufficient in this
case. When invited to the church only, leave or send cards to the
bride's parents and the young couple. As the card to the church only,
is rather an equivocal compliment, mailing cards in this case could be
excused. Leave personally cards for the patroness who has asked you to
a subscription ball, within a week after the invitation. In cases of
death, leave cards within a fortnight. In answer to letters of
condolence, it is best to send your cards with the words Thank you for
your kind sympathy written thereon. For mourning, use the same size or
style of card, but with a narrow or deep border as befits the nearness
of degree of relationship with the deceased. The deepest border
permissible is about a quarter of an inch.
It is bad form to bend cards or to turn down the corners thereof.
These signs mean nothing now in good society. In callingit may be
repeated hereyou ask, if there are more than one of the fair sex in
the house, for the ladies, and hand the servant the number of cards
necessary. He takes them on a silver salver and leaves them in the
hall, goes before you, and announces you. Your card is never taken to
the lady of the house, unless it is a business call.
CHAPTER VII. THE DINER-OUT.
When I speak of the diner-out, I include under this title the
bachelor guest not only at dinners, but also at luncheons and at
suppers. The formal breakfast is a festivity of the past, and the first
meal in a household is purely a family affair. However, luncheons on
Sunday at one or two o'clock are in New York frequently called
breakfasts, because I believe many fashionable people do not want the
impression to go abroad that even once a week they dine in the middle
of the day. The luncheon after a day wedding ceremony is also called a
breakfast, but this, like the Sunday meal, is simply a title by
Luncheons, where men are guests, are popular entertainments
at all the large summer resorts, such as Newport, Long Branch, Bar
Harbor, as well as at the more celebrated of the Western and Pacific
watering places and the winter cities of the South. In New York and
other great centers, where there exists a number of gentlemen of
leisure, these entertainments are greatly in vogue, and in Washington
they sometimes assume the color of diplomatic functions.
The hour for a luncheon is half past one o'clock, and sometimes it
is advanced to two. All guests are expected to be punctual to the
minute and to take advantage even of the quarter of an hour latitude is
bad form. Better a little too early than too late. However, do not make
yourself ridiculous by appearing on the scene too soon. Bear in mind
that the reputation of being the late Mr. Smith is not enviable. A
tardy guest only accentuates his own insignificance. This rule applies
to dinners and suppers and to all entertainments where you are a guest,
with only one exceptiondances, where you have an hour's grace.
Luncheons, as a rule, are informal affairs. Men have attended them
in lounge suits, but it is more courteous to your hostess to appear in
afternoon dress. Overcoats, hats, and sticks are left in the hall. Your
gloves are removed in the drawing room. When luncheon is announced,
unless it is a very formal affair, your hostess leads the way to the
dining room, and she is followed by her guests, women and men, not in
procession. The men, of course, must allow the fairer sex to pass
before them through the drawing-room door and into the dining room.
Luncheon menus consist of oysters, clams, or grape fruit with
crushed ice and saturated with maraschino for the first course. This is
followed by bouillon, an entrée, a roast or chops with peas, or
broiled chicken, salad with birds, ices and fruits, coffee and
liqueurs. Sherry and claret are the wines, and sometimes champagne
A luncheon lasts three hours at most, and the men are left to smoke
at dessert. However, sometimes this formality is waived.
Dinner invitations are sent out at least a fortnight in
advance. In the New York season sometimes they are issued a full month
before the event. They must, under all circumstances, be answered
within twenty-four hours, and cards left on your prospective host and
hostess within a week.
The fashionable hours for dining are between half past seven and
eight o'clock. Dinners being formal evening functions, formal evening
dress is essential.
Except at very small houses and apartments, two rooms are
reservedone for the men and the other for the ladiesas dressing
rooms. Your hat, coat, and outdoor attire are removed, and a servant
will assist you in arranging your toilet. A nefarious practice of
feeing these attendants, even at private houses, has been somewhat in
vogue in a very smart and wealthy set in New York. It is not good
form, and I would advise you against it.
The servant who announces you, hands you a small envelope on which
is written your name. This incloses a card on which is the name of the
lady whom you are to take in to dinner. After exchanging greetings with
your hostess and removing your gloves, you should endeavor to find your
partner and engage in some preliminary conversation. Should you not
have been presented to her, inform your hostess of this fact, and you
will be at once introduced. Dinner is announced by the butler entering
the drawing room and saying, Dinner is served. The host leads the way
with the woman guest of honor, and you are assigned your place in the
procession by the hostess, who comes last with the man guest of honor.
Each man offers his right arm to his fair partner. In the dining room,
cards are placed at each cover with the names of the guests inscribed
thereon. Even should there be a retinue of servants, pull back the
chair of your partner and assist her to seat herself. In some
old-fashioned houses grace is said, and it is always the rule when a
clergyman is one of the guests. This blessing is asked after the
company is seated.
During dinner you must devote yourself to the comfort and
entertainment of the woman whom you have taken in. She must be your
first care, although there may be some one on your other side, or
opposite, who is more congenial to you. Talking across the table is
very bad form. Let your conversation be pleasant and general, but avoid
politics, religion, and personal criticisms.
There is no form for refusing wine, if it is against your scruples
to drink it. Do not thus force your personal prejudices on your host by
making any demonstration, such as putting your finger over the glass or
shaking your head at the butler. Let him fill your glasses, but do not
drink the contents. The question of waste is not to be considered; and
if you are a man with firm principles regarding total abstinence, in
your heart you should rejoice that at least a quota of the fluid will
do no harm.
The hostess gives the signal at dessert for the ladies to retire to
the drawing room. Everybody rises, and the ladies leave the table in
solemn procession, the man nearest the door opening it for them. A
prettier custom, and one much in vogue in New York, is the escorting of
the ladies by the men to the drawing room, the host leading the way.
When the drawing-room door is reached the men bow and retire again to
the dining room, where coffee, liqueurs, and cigars are served.
At the end of a half hour they return to the drawing room. Another half
hour of conversation, during which sometimes there is dancing, and the
guests make their adieus to their hostess and host and leave. On
bidding good-night, always assure your hostess of the pleasant evening
which you have enjoyed.
Progressive dinners are sometimes given, although now almost
obsolete. Small tables are arranged for these with parties of four or
six at each table. The guests change places at each course, the signal
for this being given by the hostess ringing a bell. The ladies remain
in their seats. As there will not be a fresh napkin provided at each
course, a man brings his with him from his first table.
Public dinners, except when given by certain church, debating, or
literary societies, are stag affairs. The guests assemble at the
restaurant, hotel, or hall where the banquet is to be held, and deposit
their hats, coats, and walking paraphernalia in the cloakroom. A ticket
is given with the number of your rack upon it, and a small feeusually
twenty-five centsis expected. The guests assemble in one of the
smaller drawing rooms, and each one is handed a plan of the tables with
the location of his cover designated by his name upon it. A procession
is formed, the guests of honor and reception committee leading, to the
banquet hall. After dessert, speeches are in order.
Dinner dances are a form of entertainment where dinner is
followed by a dance, other guests coming in from other dinner parties
and meeting at one house which has been agreed upon as the place where
the dance is to take place. A short time after dinner, at each of the
other houses, the guests are conveyed therefrom in carriages, or,
better yet, in stages, to the general rendezvous. Calls are due within
the week at the house where you have dined as well as at the one at
which you have danced.
Supper etiquette differs but little from that observed at dinners.
The occasion is a bit more informal and the menu not so
elaborate. The etiquette of ball suppers is treated in the chapter on
The Dance, and suppers after the play, at restaurants and clubs, being
favorite bachelor entertainments, will be explained in that part of
this book reserved for the Bachelor as Host.
CHAPTER VIII. A CODE OF TABLE
Many of the cautions contained in this chapter will seem elementary
in their nature. But one expects in a book of this kind to see the old
familiar don'ts, and their absence would perhaps deter from the
usefulness of The Complete Bachelor. I would, however, suggest a
careful study of that clever brochure, entitled Don't, which
would refresh the memory on many points not within the scope of this
work. It is really quite surprising to see how few men have perfect
table manners. The American is unfortunately too often in a hurry. He
bolts his food. He is a victim of the quick-lunch system. Again, a
bachelor eating a solitary meal at a club or a restaurant is apt from
sheer loneliness to try and dispose of it as rapidly as possible. Drill
yourself into eating leisurely. Persons of refinement take only small
morsels at a time. One can not be too dainty at table. To attempt to
talk while your mouth is full is another vulgarity upon which it is
needless to dwell. The French have made us the reproach that we
frequently drink while our mouths are in this condition. I fear there
is some foundation for this accusation. Wipe your mouth carefully
before putting a glass to your lips. Grease stains around the edge of a
goblet or wineglass are silent but telltale witnesses of careless
The napkin is an embarrassing article to many men. Its place is on
the lap and not tucked into the shirt bosom or festooned around the
neck. When one arises from the table, the napkin is thrown carelessly
on it, unfolded. The days of napkin rings are over.
Nervous and bashful persons fidget, they do not sit squarely or
firmly at table, their chairs are crooked, they play or gesticulate
with their knives and forks, or they beat dismal tattoos with them
against their plates. These same timid minds find vent for inspiration
in the crumbs of the bread, of which they involuntarily make little
figures or small round balls. The economist, another person on the
list, plasters his food, taking a bit of potato, a little tomato, and a
good-sized square of meat as a foundation, and spreading these tidbits
one on the other, prepares of them a delectable poultice which he
swallows at a mouthful. I pass over the man who leaves traces of each
meal on his shirt or his clothes. Such a being, I have no doubt, would
convey food to his mouth with his knife, would blow on his soup, tea,
or coffee with the idea of cooling it, or would pour the two latter
cheering fluids into a saucer and drink them therefrom.
The caution to keep one's hands above the cloth and one's elbows out
of reach of others, also falls under the head of kindergarten
classification. The ridiculous idea prevailing that one must not eat
until others are served has passed away with many old-time fallacies.
One commences to eat as soon as served. You need not proceed very
actively, but you can take up your fork or spoon, as the case may be,
and make at least a feint at it.
Toasts have also fallen into desuetude at private dinners.
Sometimes you will find an old-fashioned host who will, on touching his
glass with his lips, bow to his guests, and they may wait for this
signal to sip their wine, but the custom is utterly obsolete in large
cities and at formal dinners.
When you have finished the course, lay your knife and fork side by
side on your plate, the prongs of the fork upward. Do not cross them.
No whistlike signals are needed to-day to signify that you have had
sufficient to eat.
Dinners are generally served à la Russethat is, from the
sideboard, and the dishes are passed around by the servants on silver
trays. Very large plats, such as roasts and fish, are sometimes
carried without the trays. On all occasions of ceremony the men
servants are gloved.
Carving at table is but little seen except at very informal dinners
and in the country, where sometimes the master of the house shows off
this old-fashioned accomplishment, especially if he has a dining room
in colonial style and wishes to have everything in keeping.
The question of second helpings is therefore not one of moment. The
servants pass the viands twice or more around. If a host or hostess
serves at table, he or she will ask the guests whether they would like
a second helping. It is never demanded. Except when absolutely
necessary the handkerchief should be kept out of sight. It can be used
in case there should be some sudden irritation of the skin, but to blow
one's nose at table is disgusting.
The American bachelor takes usually a very light first meal. It
consists of tea, coffee, or cocoa, toast, eggs, oatmeal, and fruit.
There are yet a few men who go in for the old-fashioned hearty
breakfast with beefsteak, buckwheat cakes, and trimmings, but in cities
the lighter meal is preferable. All this is, of course, more a matter
of environment and hygiene than etiquette. I have compiled a list of
certain viands, which society does require should be eaten at a special
meal and in only one manner. With this catalogue I will close this
BREAKFAST AND LUNCHEON DISHES.
Eggs.It is much better form to have egg cups than egg
glasses for boiled eggs. Cut the top of the egg off with a dexterous
blow of a sharp knife and eat it in the shell with a small egg spoon.
Sugar.Lump sugar if served is always taken with the sugar
Butter.Butter is only served at breakfast or luncheon. It
is passed around in a silver dish, with a little silver pick with which
to spear it. Butter platesi. e., the small round silver or china
affairshave given place to bread and butter plates, which are of
china and are somewhat larger than an ordinary saucer. The butter plate
of a few years ago was never seen outside of America, and is now
destined to vanish from our tables. It is needless to add that butter
is never served at dinner.
Radishes.Radishes appear at luncheon. Put them on your
bread and butter plate and eat them with a little salt.
Cantaloupes are served cut in half and filled with ice. They
are eaten as a first course, a fork being better to eat them with than
a spoon. Salt is the condiment to use with them, but sugar is
allowable. In southern climates they are sometimes served at dinner as
a separate course between the fish and roast. This is a Creole custom.
Grape fruit is served as a first course (vide chapter
Diner-Out) at a late breakfast or luncheon. It is eaten with a spoon.
The menu of to-day is simple. It consists of oysters or
clams, according to season, soup, fish, entrée, roast and
vegetables, game and salad, ices and dessert. Sorbets or frozen punches
are not served, except at public banquets and hotel table-d'hôtes.
Oysters or clams are placed on the table in plates for
the purpose before dinner is announced. They are imbedded in ice and
arranged around a half-sliced lemon, which is in the middle of the
plate. Oysters or clams are eaten with a fork only. Gourmets say that
they should not even be cut with it, and should be swallowed whole. I
would not advise any one to try this with large oysters. The oyster
fork is the first in the number of the implements placed beside your
plate. Condiments, such as pepper and salt, will be passed you.
Sauterne is served with oysters.
Oyster cocktails have been in vogue in place of oysters.
These are a mixture of the bivalve with Tabasco sauce and vinegar, and
they are said to be excellent appetizers. They are eaten with a small
fork from cocktail glasses. Bachelors frequently serve them in place of
Soup.At large and formal dinners a clear soup is in vogue.
Your soup spoon will be on the knife side of your plate. Soup is eaten
from the side and not from the end of the spoon. The motion of the hand
guiding the spoon is toward and not from you. Take soup in small
spoonfuls, and use your napkin in wiping your mouth and mustache after
each, especially if the soup is thick or a purée. This will
avoid the dripping of that liquid from your upper lip. Never after this
operation throw your napkin back into your lap with the greasy side
toward your clothes, but use the inside of it for this purpose.
Fish is eaten with a silver fish fork. Chasing morsels of
fish around your plate with bits of bread is obsolete. Silver fish
knives have been put in use, but they are not generally the vogue.
Cucumbers are served with fish on the same plate. Little
plates or saucers for cucumbers, vegetables, or salads are bad form.
Sherry is served with fish.
Celery, olives, and salted almonds are placed
on the table in small dishes. Sometimes the guests are asked to help
themselves, but at formal dinners they are passed around after the
fish. Celery is eaten with the fingers and dipped in a little salt
placed on the tablecloth or on the edge of your plate. It is also
served as an entrée raw, the stalks stuffed with Parmesan
cheese. It should then be eaten with a fork.
Entrées require a fork only. Among these are patties,
rissoles, croquettes, and sweetbreads.
Mushrooms are eaten with a fork, and served as a separate
course in lieu of an entrée.
Terrapin is served sometimes in little silver saucepans
either as an entrée or as fish, and again in a chafing dish, and
sometimes with salad. It is more of a supper than a dinner plat, and
should be eaten with a fork.
Asparagus is eaten, except in the intimate privacy of your
own family circle, with a fork. Cut the points off with the end of the
prongs. The stalk or white part is not eaten. It is allowable to eat it
with your fingers, as I have said, in private. It is served after the
roast as a special course. One can not drink champagne with
asparagus except at the risk of a severe headache.
Artichokes are served as a separate course after the roast.
They should be placed in the center of your plate and the inside tips
of the leaves alone eaten. The leaves are removed with the fingers and
dipped in salt, sauce vinaigrette, or melted butter. The center
of the artichoke is called the heart. The hairy part is removed with
the fork, and the heart itself, which is deliciously tender, is
conveyed to the mouth with the fork.
Champagne is served in small tumblers or claret glasses. The
champagne stem glasses are out of fashion. The dry may be served
from the fish to the close of dinner, but the old rule was to give it
with the roast, claret with the entrée, and Burgundy
with the game.
Salad is eaten with a fork only. In cutting game or
poultry, the bone of either wing or leg should not be touched with
the fingers, but the meat cut close off. It is better to sever the wing
at the joint.
Savories, a species of salt fish and cheese sandwich, is
served in England hot, about the end of dinner. They should be eaten
with a fork. Undressed salad is sometimes served with them, or
radishes, butter, and cheese. This is the only occasion when one sees
butter on a dinner table, and this at informal dinners. The salad
undressed can be eaten with the fingers. At bachelor dinners and at
luncheons cheese is served with salad. The French soft cheeses
are the favorites.
Pastry, ices, and desserts are eaten with a
Fruit, such as peaches, pears, and apples, are served
frequently already pared. When this is the case, finger bowls are
dispensed with, but as yet this is not a general rule. Usually at
dessert there is placed before you a finger glass and doily and a
dessert plate, with the dessert knife and fork on either side. Remove
the glass and doily; put it in front of your plate a little to the
right. Fruit must be pared or peeled with a silver knife.
Strawberries are now served with the stems on, and sugar and
cream are passed around and are taken on your dessert plate.
Pineapples are eaten with a fork. A cracker is used for nuts,
and silver picks are brought in with the dessert.
Corn on the cob is a favorite at small informal dinners as a
separate course. In polite society you must remove the grains of the
corn with your fork or your knife and fork, and never eat it off the
cob holding the end with your fingers. By holding one end with your
napkin, you can plow down the furrow of the grains with your fork, and
you will find that they will fall off easily. Corn is always
served, when given in this style, on a white napkin. You help yourself
to the ear with your fingers.
Macaroni and spaghetti should only be eaten with a
fork. In New Orleans boiled shrimps are often served at small
dinners. The skins and heads are on, and you remove these with your
fingers. After this course finger bowls with orange leaves are passed
around, and the perfume of the water will remove the odor of fish from
Black coffee is served after dinner. Milk or cream does not
accompany it, except in the country, where sometimes a little silver
pitcher of cream is placed on the tray. Coffee is drunk from small
cups. Coffee and milk are never served during dinner, nor again is iced
milk. These are barbarisms. Chartreuse, kümmel, curaçoa, and cognac are
the liqueurs usually served after dinner.
Claret, in many French families, especially those of the
middle class, is placed on the table in decanters. You are expected to
help yourself. There are also carafons or decanters of water to
mix with the wine. The claret decanters are called carafes.
Claret is drunk at the twelve o'clock dejeuner as well as at
Tea is passed around in old-fashioned English houses about an
hour after dinner. In some places buttered muffins accompany it, but
this extra refreshment is only seen now in very old-fashioned houses.
Scotch whisky and hot water or mineral waters are served in
country houses before bedtime.
CHAPTER IX. THE CITY BACHELOR AS
LUNCHEONS, DINNERS, THEATER PARTIES, CLUB AND RESTAURANT SUPPERS,
AND OTHER BACHELOR ENTERTAINMENTS.
The bachelor who entertains is a most popular member of society. It
does not cost a fortune to return in some manner the civilities once
received, and every man, even if his income be limited, can once in a
while entertain, even if it be on a very small scale and in a very
modest way. Bachelor functions are always enjoyable. For a host of
moderate income, I would suggest a luncheon, a dinner, or a party to
the play, followed by a little supper.
A bachelor luncheon can be given either at the host's apartments or
chambers, at a restaurant, or in the ladies' annex of his club, if that
organization possesses such an institution.
At all entertainments given under a bachelor's vine and fig tree,
extreme simplicity should be a characteristic. The table linen should
be of the finest damask, or the best material his income will allow;
the glass perfectly plain, clear crystal, the china of a rich but quiet
pattern, the silver good but absolutely without ornamental devices of
any kind. In fact, the silver can be limited to forks and spoons, and
the rest Sheffield or prince's plate. Silver is not expensive, but
plate is considered quite smart, and it has the advantage of being
utterly valueless from the burglar's point of view.
Individual salt and pepper affairs, cut or colored glass, or the
hundred and one knick-knacks which one sees advertised and which
eventually find their way to the boarding-house table, are vulgar.
Before your cloth is laid you should have a cover of felt placed
over the table, so as to form a shield between it and the damask or
linen. In the center goes a silver or plated fernery, filled with ferns
and asparagus vines, on a mirror tray, or an épergne with fruit.
Two heavy, old-fashioned decanters in Queen Anne coasters should be
placed, one at your right and the other at the right of your
vis-à-vis. These contain sherry and claret. Four plain silver,
plated, or china dishes are at the corners with salted almonds, olives,
bonbons, and fancy cakes. If you wish to be very effective and have
the money to spare, it is smart at a dinner to have silver candlesticks
with candles or tiny lamps gleaming behind red or pink shades at each
cover. Two or three forks are laid at the left of each plate. If more
are required, your servant will replace them. On the right of the plate
are the knives, including one for the roast, with the tablespoon for
the soup, if it is a dinner, and the oyster fork. The napkins should be
plain and flat, and contain a roll of bread. These hints for arranging
the table will do for either luncheon or dinner. Not one of the
articles is in itself expensive, and you may possess them all with the
accumulation of years. If not, a simpler arrangement could be effected,
or you could give the entertainment at a restaurant instead of your
rooms or house. The invitations can be either verbal or written, but at
best a luncheon or dinner in a bachelor's apartments is regarded as a
little frolic, and you must try to preserve the spirit and waive the
A chaperon, of course, is necessary. The party can be limited to
about eight. If you have a manservant he should be dressed in black
coat and trousers, white shirt, standing collar and tie, and liveried
waistcoat. His duties are to open the door and to serve the luncheon.
But a manservant is not necessary. Some of the smartest bachelors in
New York give delightful little dinners and luncheons at their
apartments, at which the maid who has cooked the meal, dressed in white
apron and black gown, also serves it.
The menu should be the usual one expected at luncheons, but
champagne is never offered by a man to women in his apartments, unless
at dinner or a theater supper. If a wealthy bachelor has a large house,
and instead of one there are a number of matrons chaperoning, the case
is different. Manhattan or Martini cocktails could be passed around
before luncheon, or some little peculiar dish be served to give a zest
to the occasion.
A bachelor's dinner at his house or apartments is a more
formal entertainment, but it differs in nowise from a regular function
of that character. The chaperon takes the place of the lady of the
house for that occasion. Dressing rooms are arranged for the men and
women, and the same ceremonies observed as at any formal dinner. If the
affair is given in apartments, of course the character must be more or
less informal, as the accommodations are limited. Should you have a man
serve at your dinner, he must be in evening dress. Both at dinner and
at luncheon he must have gloves, but this is not required of a maid.
A bachelor's supper in his own apartments is sometimes given after
the play. Of the menu, I will speak a little farther on. A
chafing-dish supper is, however, an unique and enjoyable entertainment.
Several chafing dishes should be ready, so that each course can follow
without delay. Terrapin, truffled eggs, curried oysters, and other
dainties of this kind comprise usually the menu. It would be
well to serve first oysters on the half shell, followed by lobster à
la Newburg, the latter being the first plat cooked with the
chafing dish. Champagne is a good wine, and allowable for a
chafing-dish supper; but if Welsh rarebits are the chef d'oeuvre, then beer or ale would be better.
A theater party should be confined to eight or ten. A
parti carréfour peopleis delightful. Unmarried women do not go
to theaters or restaurants with a man alone. They must be chaperoned,
even at a matinée or a luncheon party at a hotel or restaurantin
fact, an unmarried couple is seldom seen at public places in New York,
unless they are engaged, and married women are as much compromised as
unmarried ones by indifference to this absolute rule of etiquette.
The invitations can be either verbal or written. In the season it is
better to write them, to insure the acceptance of guests. Be careful in
the wording to give not only the evening, but the name of the play and
the theater. For a party, always secure end seats, and there will be no
disturbing of others in case you might be a little late. A box is
necessary at the circus or at a music hall, but orchestra seats or
stalls are the best selection for a bachelor's party. Many mothers
object to their daughters being seen at the theater in a proscenium
The rendezvous or meeting place should be at the chaperon's. The
vestibule of the theater is awkward, except for parties of four. A
stage is the best vehicle to convey your guests to the playhouse. At
the theater the host sees that his guests are provided with playbills.
He gives the tickets to the usher, and precedes the party down the
aisle. He indicates the order of sitting. A man should go in first,
followed by the woman with whom he is to sit, and then, thus
sandwiched, the rest of the party file in, the host taking the aisle or
end seat. The host sits next to the chaperon. Gentlemen do not go out
between the acts at the theater, but sometimes, when there is a party
to the opera, they can leave their seats if other men come to visit the
ladies. A man going in or out a theater aisle should do so with his
face toward the stage and his back to the seat. A host never leaves his
guests. After the play go a little ahead and give your carriage check
to the porter as soon as possible, so that there may not be a long
wait. The porter expects a small fee. All theater parties are followed
by a supper given either at a restaurant, at the club, in the ladies'
annex, or at your bachelor apartments.
All luncheons, dinners, or suppers at a restaurant, unless organized
on the spur of the moment, are ordered beforehand, and everything,
including the waiter's tip, arranged and settled for. If you have not
an account at the restaurant, pay the bill at the time you order the
menu and reserve the table. Flowers should be included, and a
centerpiece of roses, which are so arranged as to come apart and be
distributed in bunches to each of your fair guests, is one of the
favorite devices. Small boutonnières are provided for the men.
The public restaurant or dining room is the place for a bachelor supper
when ladies are guests. A private room is not proper, and your guests
want to see and be seen. The chaperon is seated at the right hand of
the host, unless the party is given in honor of a particular woman, in
which case she has that place. The chaperon is then at your left. Wraps
and coats are taken off in the hall of the restaurant and checked.
There is no order of entry, except that the host should precede and the
The usual menu for a theater supper is:
I. Clams or oysters on the half shell.
II. Bouillon in cups.
III. Chicken croquettes or sweetbreads with peas, or lobster
à la Newburg.
IV. Terrapin or birds with salad.
V. Ices, cakes, café noir, bonbons.
With the oysters or clams white wine is served. Champagne follows
the bouillon until the end of the supper.
After supper the party usually returns to the residence of the
chaperon, where the unmarried women have their maids and family escorts
awaiting them. The host accompanies them to the chaperon's house, but
the other men take leave at the restaurant. The chaperon may have it
arranged to have dancing at her house, in which case the party return
with her after supper.
A supper in the ladies' annex in nowise differs from this,
except that you do not tip the waiter or pay the bill, but have it
charged in your monthly account.
The menu for a supper at your own apartments follows the same
lines as those already given.
Theater clubs are associations of women and men, all
subscribing, meeting at the houses of different members, one of whom
gives the supper.
Bachelors' dances or balls are given at a large hall
by a number of unmarried men, who subscribe a certain amount each. A
number of well-known matrons are asked to receive the guests, and a
cotillon usually follows the supper.
Impromptu lunches, dinners, or suppers at
restaurants sometimes require the immediate settlement of the account.
Be careful to draw from your pocketbook a bill of large denomination,
and not a handful of change. Do not con over or dispute the items. If
you have an account, simply sign the check. If not, it is best to give
the waiter his tip and go to the desk and pay while the members of your
party are getting their wraps.
Dinners at restaurants are frequently given by bachelors, and
are followed by a visit to the theater. The rendezvous is either at the
house of the chaperon or at the restaurant itself, should the party be
limited in number.
The menu varies according to the season. Six courses,
including raw oysters or clams, soup, fish, entrée, roast and
vegetables, birds and salad, ices and dessert, are sufficient. The form
and manner of entertaining at a dinner of this kind are similar to
those observed at suppers.
To a man who frequently entertains, and at a particular restaurant,
an occasional tip to the head waiter would be of service. This is a
word to the wise.
Card parties for the playing of whist, domino, or poker are
often given by bachelors at their apartments or residences. In
apartments this class of entertainment is only for men. Women should
not go to bachelors' apartments except for luncheon, dinner, or supper.
In a bachelor's house, however, any entertainment can be given. Small
stakes are played for and the usual supper follows. The farewell
bachelor dinner will have its proper place in the chapter on
CHAPTER X. THE COUNTRY HOUSE.
THE BACHELOR AS HOST.THE BACHELOR AS GUEST.
Bachelors, whose incomes are of all sizes and conditions, can have
some kind of a country house. It may be a fishing lodge, a hunting box,
maintained by three or four men clubbing together; a small cottage
plainly and simply furnished at the seashore, near golf links, or in a
good neighborhood; or again a large establishment, a villa at Newport
or in a fashionable colony with a retinue of servants and a stable
filled with horses. Whichever it might be, open hospitality, as much as
it is in your power, should prevail. However, never attempt anything
more than you can accomplish, and by all means do not run into debt. To
a fishing or hunting lodge men only should be invited. It should be
furnished with the mere necessaries, and hung with fishing and hunting
prints and trophies of the chase. The hall serves as sitting and even
mess room. A man of all work or an old married couple are the best
servants. Ample supplies are sent from town, but the leading idea is
roughing it, and the table is partially supplied by the game and fish
brought back by you and your friends. When the term of the visit of
your guests expires, each should be able to bring home a basket of fish
or some game. From time to time send to any of your hostesses of the
winter something from your preserves. These attentions are much
A truck farm or a small country place near town, which may have
either fallen to you by inheritance or which you may have purchased, or
which you have for kennels or for your horses, can also be used for
entertaining. Even in the largest of these houses the plan of
furnishing is substantially the same. There should be a masculine note
throughout the entire scheme. The furniture should be old-fashioned,
and the pictures sporting and hunting prints and steel engravings.
There should be an air of homeliness and open hospitality about the
place. It should look as if it were verily Liberty Hall.
A tract of unprofitable land could be converted into golf links and
a tennis court laid out. A picnic is the popular form in which
bachelors who have such a possession may entertain. Some fifty to one
hundred people can be invited, and a special train or boat, if the
place is too far from the city for a drive, chartered for their
accommodation. The invitations should state the hour at which this
train or boat would leave the city. Stages await the guests at the
country station and bring them up to the house. Cocktails, drinkables,
claret cup, tea, and sandwiches are served on their arrival. There
should be no fixed programme of amusement. Luncheon, or luncheon and
dinner both, according to the length of stay, could be served, and the
menu should embrace a few courses of country fare. Dancing in the
barn during the afternoon will be another form of entertainment, or if
you wish to give an elaborate entertainment, vaudeville performers
might be hired for the hour after luncheon.
In a large establishment the bachelor who entertains usually has
residing with him a sister or female relative who acts as hostess. One
of the delights of a wealthy bachelor is to have a large and
well-appointed stable with a number of traps which are at the
disposition of his guests.
A bachelor host always drives to the station or boat to meet his
guests. A drag, three-seated surrey, or a station van would be the
smart vehicle. I am now writing of a man of large means. The method of
entertaining should be the English one, without any fixed programme for
the days of the guests' stay. Only when there is shooting, the party is
expected to assemble in the morning. If there is a local club, your men
guests should be put up at it, and the entire party made visiting
members of the neighboring casino. The rest is conveyed in the advice
to have always plenty of good cheer and to entertain the visitors as
much as possible. In these houses there is much drinking, possibly, and
perhaps cards, but a young man who is a guest should be firm enough to
resist temptation, and to stand by his convictions.
One word more, and this applies to many country houses, if not all
of them. See that your guests' bedrooms are provided with soap, hair
and clothes' brushes, and toilet articles. The desk should be filled
with letter paper and envelopes, and if you want to appear very
fashionable, the stationery should have the name of your place in blue
or red letters at the top or in the right-hand corner of the first
sheet. Many convivial souls place on a side table in each room mineral
water, cigarettes, cigars, and the inevitable decanter.
When you are a guest you are met at the station by one of your
host's traps. Do not be surprised, however, if you do not find this
accommodation. It is considered very English, I know not why, to allow
bachelors to reach a country house by the best means they can find at
the station or landing. You are received by your host, and after
refreshment are shown to your room. If you arrive late in the afternoon
you do not see your hostess, but dress for dinner and find her in the
drawing room when you go downstairs. You are expected to conform to the
rules of the house as to the hours for meals, and to place yourself at
the service of your hostess. You must certainly appear at any function
which has been arranged for you, and it is very impolite to accept,
during your stay, any outside invitation to any affair to which your
host and hostess have not also been asked. If you have a valet you may
bring him with you, but you must certainly notify your host of this
intention. Few houses in this country have the accommodations necessary
for outside servants.
Tipping is demoralizing, but it is an accepted custom. On your
departure after a short stay, at Newport or a very fashionable resort,
the servant who attends you should have five dollars, the butler five
dollars, the coachman five dollars, and the chambermaid two dollars. At
smaller places five dollars altogether, judiciously distributed, is
ample, or a dollar each to three of the servants.
The first-mentioned amounts can be placed in envelopes and given to
the servant attending you for the others. All this is a question of
resources, and there are many men who avoid invitations to the large
country houses in the East and North because they can not afford the
tips. In England, when one is invited to the shooting, one tips the
gamekeeper one to five pounds, according to the extent of the bag and
duration of visit.
The usual method of inviting men in this country for a short stay is
from Friday or Saturday until Monday. It has often been a puzzle to
them as to what they should take in their bag or how much luggage they
should carry. At most not more than a good-sized bag or valise and
perhaps a hatbox. For an evening's stay a dress-suit case is
sufficient. In your valise must be placed your evening clothes, and if
the party is to be somewhat of an informal one, I would also take my
dinner jacket. If you are going to a very fashionable resort, a black
frock coat, waistcoat, and fancy trousers would not be amiss, but in
that case you would have also to take a hatbox for your top hat. Of
recent years men in the country have been consulting their comfort more
than absolute accuracy in the details of dress. Even at garden parties,
at church, and at afternoon teas during the month of August at Newport,
which is, after all, only the fashionable metropolis transported to
another locality for the summer, you seldom see a frock coat or a top
hat. Unless you are sure that there will be an occasion where these
would be positively required, I would not take them, especially on so
short a visit. The linen to be brought should consist of a dress shirt
for each evening and a colored shirt for each morning, half a dozen
handkerchiefs, two complete changes of underclothes, three pairs of
ordinary and two pairs of black silk hose, and a pair of pyjamas. Take
three of your ties for day wear and four white lawn for evening, and
one black in case you are to use your dinner jacket. Slippers for the
bedroom and pumps for evening wear should complete the clothing
carried, unless you take your frock coat, when you would have to bring
patent leather boots to wear with afternoon dress. I have given rather
a liberal allowance of articles for a short stay, but one must be
prepared for accidents or emergencies. It is better to take an extra
shirt, or a change of underclothes, or a few more ties than one could
ordinarily use, so that some contretemps would not cause great
annoyance and inconvenience. In the absence of a dressing case, care
must be taken of the articles for the toilet. The tooth, nail, and
shaving brushes, the sponges and washrags, should be packed in little
waterproof silk bags, which can be obtained at a small price at any
chemist's. Your host or hostess should provide you with soap, but I
would not take the risk. I should bring my own in a little metal
soapbox or well wrapped in thick paper. Your shaving articles, a
shoehorn, button hook, nail file, small pair of nail scissors, tooth
powder, or listerine should not be forgotten. The large articles, your
combs and your brushes, can all be wrapped separately in tissue paper.
It would be gallant of you to bring a box of sweets for your hostess.
If you are asked to play golf, it might be more convenient to travel
in your golf togs, which would serve as a lounge suit. But in that case
a pair of long trousers to match your coat and waistcoat, or an entire
lounge suit should be carried, as on Sunday you would be very
uncomfortable in golf dress, and somewhat out of place. Or you might
put your knickers in the bag, and wear the coat and waistcoat with
CHAPTER XI. A BACHELOR'S SERVANTS.
As soon as a bachelor begins to branch out a little and to have an
apartment or a house or a country establishment, though the latter be
only a fishing or a hunting box, he must hire servants. The general
servant is perhaps the one most universally employed. Many bachelors
hire some middle-aged woman who not only does the cooking, but takes
care of the apartment, valets him, and waits at table when he has
guests to dinner. Others employ a man to look after them, who is valet
and general factotum, and others again, with larger
establishments, a man and wife. The former does the valeting, the
waiting, and is steward and butler, while the woman attends to the
cooking and laundry. There are quite a number of bachelor households of
this description in our large cities, the occupants being several in
number and clubbing together. One is appointed treasurer, and the
butler and cook are hired at a stated price and receive a certain sum
for catering. When good servants of this kind are found they are
All menservants should be clean shaven. A short bit of side
whiskersà la mutton chopis allowed; but under no
circumstances should they have bearded faces or wear a mustache. Their
linen and attire should be faultless. In the treatment of servants a
man must exercise an iron will. He can be kind and considerate, but he
must never descend to dispute with one, and certainly not swear at him.
To be on familiar terms with one's servants shows the cloven foot of
vulgarity. Discharge a servant at once when he is disrespectful or when
he is careless in his duties or in his conduct. When asking for
anything there is no necessity of forgetting the elements of true
politeness, nor is it a blot on your deportment to utter a civil thank
you for a service performed. All servants should address you as Sir,
and when called should reply Yes, sir, and certainly not All right.
Your menservants touch their hats to you on receiving orders in the
open, on being addressed, and upon your appearance. Encourage your
servants now and then by a kind word, and see that they have good and
wholesome food, clean and comfortable quarters. Once in a while give
them a holiday, or an evening off, a cash remembrance at Christmas, and
from time to time some part of your wardrobe or cast-off clothing. They
are just like children, and must be treated with the rigor and mild
discipline which a schoolmaster uses toward his pupils. In all their
movements they should be noiseless and as automatic as possible in
And now for particular servants hired by a bachelor:
The groom is, with the exception of the general servant, the
first domestic likely to be in the employ of an unmarried man of
moderate means. When a bachelor becomes a horse owner he can never be
too particular about his turnouts and his liveries. The groom in the
city or at a fashionable watering place should have two liveriesone
for dress occasions and the other for what is known as a stable suit.
The latter, which is a simple English tweed or whipcord, made with a
cutaway coat of the same material, will answer perfectly well for the
country, where it is ridiculous to have elaborate liveries. A square
brown Derby is worn with this suit, brown English driving gloves, and a
white plastron or coachman's scarf. This flat scarf is the badge of
distinction between the house and stable servant. No tie pin nor
trinkets of any description should be allowed servants. The best dress
livery is a frock coat, single-breasted, of kersey, the color of your
livery; white buckskin riding breeches, top boots, top hat, white
plastron, standing collar, and brown driving gloves. One distinctive
color should be used, not only for your liveries but also for your
traps, as well as one kind of harness. The cockade on the hat is the
privilege abroad of ambassadors; it is bad form. Besides the care of
your horse or horses, your groom must be a species of outside general
servant, ready to go on errands or attend to the numerous duties of a
manservant about a country place. By no means can he be substituted for
a valet, a butler, or an indoor servant. When he brings your trap to
the door he holds the animals' heads until you are seated, when he
touches his hat and lets go the reins. If he is to sit behind in the
trap he must hold himself upright with folded arms. He alights
immediately the trap is stopped, running all errands, and holding the
horses until the drive is resumed. He sometimes accompanies his master
when the latter rides. He brings his horse to the door and holds it
until the mount. He follows, occasionally, on another horse at a
respectful distance. Should you be wealthy enough to have also a
coachman, your groom can act as second man on the box. A coachman's
dress livery consists of a double-breasted long coachman's coat, top
boots, and buckskin breeches, white flat plastron, high collar and top
hat, and brown driving gloves. When both servants are employed the
groom is under the orders of the coachman as regards the stable work.
The Valet.Of course a valet is a luxury. A man can valet
himself very easily, and if the instructions given in the chapters on
the Care of Clothes and The Toilet are followed carefully, I hardly
think that you would need such a personage. A woman can be perfectly
trained to valet a man. Your general servant can also, and is required
to fill this position. If you live at a club the club valet will attend
to your clothes, and perform the duties of a private servant. There are
valeting companies organized in many large cities, which take entire
charge of your wardrobe, and again there are valets who are hired by
several men clubbing together, and who are very capable servants. The
individual valet, however, is a very valuable aid to a young bachelor
of wealth, especially if he is a man of leisure, or if he goes out a
great deal in society. A valet's duties are first and principally the
entire charge of his master's wardrobe and toilet, the details of which
have been given in previous chapters. They begin an hour or so before
the master rises, when clothes are to be pressed and put in order,
boots and shoes to be polished and placed on their trees, and the
costume of the day to be made ready. If possible, a small room is
provided for him as his workshop.
At the hour for rising, the valet enters his master's room very
quietly, and, if he is awake, pulls up the shades and lets in the
daylight. The bath is then prepared, and while that is being taken the
newspapers, mail, and breakfast tray are brought in, and the valet
waits for orders. Some men require their valets to shave them, but the
majority simply intrust the care of their razors to them, preferring to
perform that operation themselves. The valet assists his master in
dressing, and, when the toilet is finished, ties or buttons the boots,
arranges the spats, and gives a final brush to the clothes. He then
fetches the stick, gloves, and hat. During the day he may be employed
on errands, in answering tradespeople, in paying bills, or in any minor
occupations of that kind. A first-class servant of this character
should not only be steward but secretary. When writing letters for his
master he should write them in the third person, and also sign them
Respectfully yours, JOHN SMITH, valet.
A valet is told of the engagements of the day, and has the clothes
arranged accordingly, and he must be at his post. In the evening the
dress suit is laid out, with choice of ties and two coats, the formal
and informal, or Tuxedo. A valet must be at the rooms when his master
retires. In traveling he takes care of the luggage, tickets, and all
the little annoying details. He travels second class abroad, and in
this country he should never be allowed to be a passenger in a
drawing-room car with his master. The valet wears no livery. He dresses
quietly in a plain sack suit of dark material, and wears a Derby hat.
Should he be required to wait on table, he dresses in semi-livery if
the affair is a luncheon, and in evening dress if it is a dinner.
The butler is a very rare functionary in a bachelor's
establishment, only the wealthiest being able to afford him. The valet
or general servant acts as butler, and when in this position he should
always have a black coat on when answering the bell.
I have used the terms throughout this chapter of master and
servant. Employer and employee are correct only when the relations
between the two persons are not of a domestic character.
The most fashionable and efficient menservants are of English,
Scotch, or Irish birth or descent. Japanese make excellent valets.
Colored coachmen and grooms are not the vogue in New York or vicinity,
but they are seen in the South. Very wealthy bachelors have introduced
a fad for East Indian servants, but at present only a few of these have
been employed, and those at Newport.
CHAPTER XII. THE DANCE.
This is certainly a most important subject, and one which can not be
lightly treated. I have thought it better to use exclusively the New
York forms, which differ somewhat from the English, the French, and
continental, as well as from a certain code of etiquette prevailing in
other American cities.
I shall therefore, as we have no State balls or ceremonials of that
character, consider public assemblages, a few of which are patronized
by society in New York and elsewhere.
Of absolutely public balls the only one which society attends is the
Charity. In New York this has fallen somewhat in fashionable
popularity, although efforts are being made to revive it. In Chicago
and in other cities it is still a very fashionable function. It is
there well patronized and is considered smart. Tickets to the Charity
are sold by a number of lady patronesses, and you are apt to receive
one or several from some of them, if you are a rich young man, with a
request to purchase. If the note states that you are expected to be a
guest you are simply to answer it, as you would any other invitation,
and certainly not to inclose any money. Patronesses frequently are
named because it is expected that they will purchase quite a number of
tickets. And here let me give a useful hint. In sending money to this
and for charitable entertainments in general, always do it by check;
never inclose bills. If you must use cash, keep it for your small
Everything may be said to have its price at a Charity Ball. Supper
is sometimes included with the ticket. The repast is usually rather
poor, but then you must remember it is for charity. Perhaps you will be
asked some time in advance by the patronesses to be one in the grand
march. The grand march proper is a form of exhibition long since
relegated to balls of the Tough Boys' Coterie and other assemblages
of the same class. But it has survived, in place of a lancers or
quadrille of honor, at the Charity Ball, and we have either to go
through with it or watch it from the boxes with Christian patience. If
you are to take part, I would advise you to present yourself at the
hall or opera house about nine o'clock. The floor manager will do the
rest. You are to offer your left arm to the lady you are taking out,
and you march around the place in regular line, sometimes once,
sometimes twice, and the agony is over. The company assembled does not
join in this ceremony, and the formation of figures and countermarches
is an affair in vogue at balls of a different class, which I should
imagine none of my readers would patronize or even hear tell of,
except through the newspapers.
The Inauguration Ball in Washington, as well as the New Years'
receptions at the different embassies' and secretaries' houses, are
public functions to which the populace get admittance. They are crushes
of the worst description, and at many of them refreshments are served.
Except to make an obeisance to your distinguished host and hostessif
to the President, shaking hands with himno other ceremony is needed.
At Newport and at other watering places there are during the season
semipublic dances at the Casino. Any one who subscribes to that place
of amusement is entitled to all the social privileges. The tickets can
be obtained from the secretary or his agent.
In every city there is an assembly or dancing organization on the
lines of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in New York. This is in itself
not original with the Four Hundredvulgar term!but was copied from
the St. Cecilia, the most exclusive affair of the kind in aristocratic
Charleston, where it has existed since the days of the Revolution. The
assemblies proper in New York are called the Matriarchs. The
arrangements are in the hands of a number of fashionable women instead
of men. The plan of all these organizations is practically the same. In
order to make matters easy and to pilot my reader through the
intricacies of a fashionable ball, I will suppose that he is a stranger
in New York, with some smart friends, and that he is going either to
the Patriarchs' or to the Assembly. The rules laid down will hold good
for other cities. Your first intimation may be while visiting at the
house of one of the patrons or patronesses, when your hostess or host
may ask you if you would like to go to the Assembly or the Patriarchs'.
If you have no other engagement for that eveningand I think it would
be policy for you to make others subservient to thisyou should reply
that you would be delighted to do so. Your host or hostess will then
say that he or she will send you a ticket. This may be one way, or you
may receive a note asking if you are free for that particular date,
whether would you like to go to the Assembly? etc., or again, you
might simply receive a note with a ticket. In any one of these cases,
just as soon as you receive the ticket you must answer your
correspondent immediately, accepting, or, if you can not go, regretting
and returning it. You must remember that all tickets are personal and
each Patriarch or each patroness has only a certain number.
I would, if there were time between the date for the ball and the
reception of your ticket, call or leave cards personally on your
hostess or host for the evening, according to rules in a former
chapter. I do not believe this is considered necessary in New York, and
perhaps some people would think you were straining a point, but New
York society manners to-day are not all that could be desired.
The evening arrives. Balls and dances are theoretically supposed to
begin at ten o'clock. You can safely go a little after eleven. You will
be early enough. Your ticket is received, your hat and coat removed,
your hat check given, and you proceed to the ballroom.
It is almost needless for me to tell you how to dress for this
occasion. At dances of any kind, formal evening dress is required.
On entering the room, if it is at the Assembly, you will encounter a
line of patronesses. You should make a low, sweeping bow to them and,
if convenient, speak to your hostess, be it only a few words of
greeting. If not at that time, select a later hour in the evening. No
one shakes hands.
You look around to find your friends and acquaintances. At the
Patriarchs' the chaperons sit upon a raised platform, or dais, I might
call it, all together. Their charges, once away from them, are around
the rooms. In nearly all the cities, except New York, every guest is
provided with a dancing card, which makes the keeping of dancing
engagements a part of the festivity. New York is too large for such
things, and dancing cards have been relegated to the realms of
innocuous desuetude. However, if you are at a ball or a dance in
another city where they are used, your first duty would be to have your
engagements filled. You should remain with your partner after each
dance until her next cavalier appears.
New Yorkers are sensible, if only for this reason, for having
banished the dance card. It is hard for a man to tell a woman he must
leave her, but I think it is better by far to do so than to appear rude
to your succeeding partner. A woman who has so little regard for you
and such selfish consideration for herself does not deserve to be
handled with gloves. And yet it needs a heroic soul to abandon her in a
crowded ballroom, even if it is to lead her back to her chaperon.
In New York everything is simplified. There exist no such social
complications. Everybody is more or less grouped together, and you
generally know in which part of the room you are to find your friends.
You exchange greetings with the women you know, and if you wish to ask
one of them to dance, you say, May I have the pleasure of this turn
with you? or Can I have a turn with you? It is absolutely impossible
to keep dance engagements, and you are obliged, perhaps, to snatch a
dance whenever you can get it. After your turn you must always manage
to stop at about the point where you began. You will be sure to find
your partner's chaperon just at that place. There are two reasons for
thisone is that the man with whom your partner has engaged weeks, if
not months, before (one has to do this in New York) to dance the
cotillon has reserved his chairs there, and she has told many of her
friends just about in which part of the ballroom she may be found; and
another is that New York women, under all circumstances, keep a
distinctive place in a ballroom.
A gentleman never dances without gloves. He always puts them on
before entering the ballroom. A man should dance easily and gracefully,
and look as if he were enjoying himself. He should be careful about
guiding and not running into people. Swinging the hands is vulgar and
unsightly. The waltz seems to survive all other forms of dancing, but
there is every now and then a revival of the polka. Two steps and fancy
dances are the vogue at summer hotels, but not at smart functions.
The quadrille of to-day is the simple lancers, and some years ago it
was a silly fad to pretend not to remember the figures. A little life
and spirit are sometimes introduced in the lancers when the gathering
is small, and among intimate friends there is more or less occasion for
it. The barn dance has gone out of fashion entirely in America, but our
English cousins, especially those living in the country and in
Suburbia, are very fond of it. Balls frequently end with Sir Roger de
Coverley, the English form of the Virginia reel.
About two o'clock supper is announced, and this is done all over the
world, I believe, by the strains of the Priests' March in Norma. So it
was in my grandfather's day, and so it is to-day and was at the very
last Patriarchs', the very last Assembly, and the very last large ball
at Newport. Engagements for supper are made in New York weeks or even
months beforehand. You should settle this with your partner, and as
supper is served at tables of parties of four or six, an agreeable
quartette or sextette can be secured. Parties are never less than four,
and a girl who sups alone with a man, even at the Patriarchs', is
considered very fast, and by such impudent behavior would lose caste.
You should arrange with your partner, therefore, to be as near the
supper-room door as possible about the supper hour. There is always a
rush and a crush, and no tables are reserved except those for the
patronesses or the Patriarchs. Two of the party should get in early and
reserve the table and wait until the rest arrive. Ball suppers are
nearly all alike. Four or five courses, which commence with oysters,
are followed by bouillon, and then terrapin and birds, and salad and
ices, fruit and coffee. Three kinds of wine are served, and champagne
forms the chief. Many matrons even will not allow their daughters to go
to supper without being chaperoned, and so when you ask your partner
she will sometimes have her parents obtain the table. Should you be
asked to the table of one of the patronesses, you will have a partner
provided for you. Remember the first engagement should always be kept,
and if a patroness should honor you with such an invitation, and you
have made prior arrangements, you should at once explain by note your
position, which will be a sufficient excuse to your would-be hostess.
After supper the cotillon, or German, as it is sometimes called, is
CHAPTER XIII. THE COTILLON.
At large balls, like the Patriarchs', there is hardly time for more
than two or three figures and one favor figure. It is almost useless
for me to go into the history of the cotillon, and I do not believe
that it would be of any service to my readers. We imported it from
France about the same time as the English, and it owes its origin, I
believe, to Germany. For the past thirty years it has been a favorite
form of dance. It is picturesque and amusing, and, besides, gives the
opportunity for the exchange among the dancers of pretty trifles
provided by the generosity of the host. At large semipublic balls like
the Patriarchs' (I use semipublic simply because given by a number
and not in a private house) the favors are very simple, but at special
cotillons or at those danced at private houses they are extremely
elaborate and costly.
Cotillon seats are generally secured in the early part of the
evening by tying handkerchiefs to the backs of the chairs. At the
Patriarchs' and other large balls they can be secured by arrangement
with one of the stewards, as each Patriarch has so many reserved for
him, and the man invited by one of them can obtain permission and ask
for two of his host's seats. But this is not usual, and is known as a
little trick of the trade.
To be a successful leader of cotillons it requires the skill and the
tact of a generalI might almost say of a Napoleon Bonaparte. One's
talents should not be altogether in one's heels and one's toes. The
leader must be an excellent dancer and a firm disciplinarian. He must
see that the wall flowers have an occasional turn, and that every one
gets at least one favor. As he has to marshal a large force of people
he is bound to find among themof course in the orthodox society
mannera few turbulent spirits, a few who would mutiny, and who must
be taught their places in a conciliatory but positive manner.
The cotillon in New York is generally danced after supper. It lasts
about two hours. At large balls two figures are all that can be danced,
owing to the number of guests. Sometimes it is led by two couples. A
leader frequently dances stagthat is, without a partner. All men
dancing without partners are called stags. These usually have their
place by the door and are given their turn last. The leader must
announce after supper the time for the cotillon to begin. He must see
that the partners are all in their places. The favor table is generally
placed at the end of the room opposite the doors, but this depends on
the shape and the style of the apartment.
Formerly a cotillon leader used a whistle for the different figures;
to-day, however, he simply claps his hands to denote the changes.
It is almost unnecessary here to illustrate the form of the
cotillon. It consists in waltzes and sometimes polkas, danced by eight,
ten, or twelve couples at a time. The couples are seated in chairs
around the room, the men without partners known as the stags being near
the door. The leader begins the first figure, which is usually the
simplest one, by taking out or choosing a partner and motioning the
first four, six, or eight couples with places nearest him on one or
both sides of the room to rise. All waltz. After a turn around the room
the leader stops and claps his hands. The partners all separate, and
each of them goes and chooses a new onethe man a new woman, the woman
who was his partner a new man. The figure is then arranged and danced.
After the evolution required by the figure is finished there is another
short waltz, and the dancers return to their places. The leader then
calls out the next party, and this is repeated until every one in the
room has had a turn. The stags are called out last. Having no partners
to dance with, each has the privilege of taking out two ladiesthe
first before the figure is formed, and the second when the change of
partners is signalled by the leader. The leader directs the figures and
dances all the time.
Every second figure is one for the distribution of favors. The same
procedure occurs, and when the leader claps his hands the dancers
separate, waiting for the favors to be distributed. The latest custom
is for the leader and his partner to carry around the favors, to the
couples whose turn comes next. He gives to the ladies, she to the men.
The scramble at the favor table has been abolished. The men present
their favors to the new partners whom they select, and the women do
likewise. It is very embarrassing and not good form to give your favor
to the partner with whom you are dancing the cotillon. Favors must be
sufficient in quantity not only to go once all around, but there should
be some left over, as the advent of the stags gives the ladies a double
chance to bestow favors upon men. The most graceful way of offering a
favor is to present it with a little bow. Try and locate the places
where your friends are sitting. It is certainly rude, if not
tantalizing, to search through a long row of girls dangling a favor. It
is not difficult in the figures to become well acquainted with the
local geography. Matrons are asked frequently to preside at the favor
tables, but recently some of the floral trifles are brought in arranged
in a sedan chair of flowers, at which two powdered lackeys are
stationed, like the linkboys of old. Originality, however, has not been
rampant in cotillons. Favor figures are the most popular. The woman who
brings the greatest number of favors from a cotillon scores an
undoubted triumph. She comes from the ballroom flushed and delighted,
carrying with her the trophies of her victory, which she is pleased to
call her scalps. Social obligations are often paid off by men in this
Of the few cotillon figures danced in New York society, the grand
chain is the most popular and the simplest. The number of couples
called by the leader form themselves in a ring around the room. At his
signal they face each other and dance the right and left grand chain,
the men to the right and the women to the left, until the original
parties are brought together, when all waltz.
The Sir Roger de Coverley figure is formed in lines of four
abreast, the men standing together on the inside, and the women next to
their partners on the outside of the line. When the leader signals, the
women advance quickly, one after the other, to the head of the line.
The men then join hands, forming an arch, as in Sir Roger de Coverley;
the women, passing under two by two, meeting their partners, waltz with
In the snake figureone which is very seldom dancedquite a large
number of couples are called, who form a ring around the room. The
leader, taking the hand of one of the men, breaks the chain, and the
couples are wound around until they come together in a knot, when the
signal is given to them to waltz. The wheel figure is somewhat similar,
and is quite a romp.
In the ring figure another evolution is borrowed from the lancers.
Rings of four couples form through the room. The men raise their arms
and the women pass through, dancing with the men in the next ring, and
so on, until they get to the top of the room, the men remaining
stationary. Then a grand march, men to the left, ladies to the right,
is formed, and the partners meet and dance.
The Maypole and all complicated figures which require the use of
toys or papier-maché articles are not in vogue in New York. In
Paris these trifles, such as vegetables and heads of animals and other
gewgaws, pass for favors, as well as to lend a variety to the cotillon.
In New York very handsome souvenirs have superseded these.
Frequently in large cotillons in New York the blank or nonfavor
figures are danced only once without change of partners, as in the
snake or grand chain; otherwise the cotillon would be interminable. The
leader calls out a number of couples and goes through the figure at
once, the original partners dancing all the time with each other. I
have given both forms, and although the first explanation may seem to
those who go out every year antiquated, it is still the vogue for small
and consequently enjoyable cotillons.
CHAPTER XIV. A BACHELOR'S LETTERS.
Letter writing is an art, and there is no pleasure equal to that of
receiving and reading a chatty and well-worded epistle from some dear
friend. I have some packets of letters preserved to-day that I read and
reread. They are always fresh and interesting to me. They are a
complete index to the character of the writer, and they serve, after
long years have passed, to bring up again delightful pictures of days
and scenes which were brighter. However, there is one rule a man must
observe: never keep a compromising letterif you should receive
oneespecially from a woman. Sometimes women are foolish and careless,
and they allow their pens to run away with them. They bitterly regret
their folly, and the very idea that there exists somewhere a packet of
letters which would bring serious trouble, if not ruin, upon them and
those they love, is a cause of constant grief and worry. I know that
there are letters written by one once dear, but now perhaps turned
fickle or false, or separated from us forever, from which we feel loath
to part; but we must be men and reduce to ashes what would hurt in the
very least degree or cast a reflection upon an innocent if silly woman.
Suppose you were to die suddenly, and among your papers these letters
were found, with you alone, dumb in death, perhaps, only able to
vindicate the unfortunate writer. We must think of those things. They
belong to the personnel not only of a true gentleman, but they
appeal to our common sense.
Character is frequently judged by handwriting. Write a good, clear,
legible hand, without any flourishes, and always use the best and the
blackest of ink. The typewriter is employed only for business
For social correspondence use only Irish-linen white note paper,
unruled, with square envelopes to match. Fancy or tinted note paper of
any kind is vulgar. If you have a permanent residence your address can
be legibly engraved in one color, usually blue or scarlet, at the head
of the first sheet. If you are a member of a club, the club note paper
is proper for all social correspondence. If you want to, use your crest
in lieu of address, but this practice is somewhat strained in this
country. Always add the date in writing. In letters, the day, the
month, and the year should be written. In notes you only put the
dayfor instance, Saturday the twenty-second. The best signature is
Sincerely yours, and not Yours sincerely. In England the quaint
Faithfully yours is used for business correspondence. Tradespeople
and servants only sign Respectfully yours.
In America we esquire all men who are our equals. A butcher, a
baker, a tailor or other person, when we order supplies, we address as
Mr. The abbreviation Esq. is the usual form. In England you would
write to a duke and address the letter The Duke of Buckingham; to a
knight, Sir Thomas Appleby; to an earl or a marquis, Lord
Dufferinthat is, supposing the letter would be a social one.
In writing to a friend or in answer to an invitation or a note, you
would begin, My dear Mrs. Brown, My dear Mr. Brown, or even My
dear Brown, but never Dear Miss Brown, Dear Mrs. Brown, or Dear
Brown, unless you were on terms of great intimacy with them. But if
the letter is a strictly business one, and the term Sir or Sirs is
used, then you would be obliged to drop the possessive pronoun. A very
formal or a business letter would begin thus:
John Smith, Esq.,
# 22 Pacific Avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y.
and not My dear Sir.
A business letter to a woman demands, however, the possessive My,
thus: My dear Madam.
To a firm, one writes:
Messrs. John Smith &Co.,
and never Gentlemena most ridiculous form of address.
The clergy are addressed Reverend and dear Sir. A bishop is Right
Reverend and dear Sir, and an archbishop Most Reverend and dear Sir.
In this republican country all other dignitaries can be addressed as
Formal invitations are written in the third person, also letters
addressed to tradespeople.
The address on a letter should be written about the middle of the
envelope, the street and number a little to the right, and the name of
the city and State in the corner. All notes or letters to people in the
same city should be directed simply with the post-office name without
the State, unless it is a very small town, or it bears a name such as
Augusta or Columbus, of which there are more than one in the United
Mrs. John Brown,
# 227 Euclid Avenue,
The stamp should be placed neatly in the right-hand corner. The mail
to-day is almost the quickest means of delivery, and a special ten-cent
stamp will insure, in a large city, a more prompt reception of your
epistle than if you intrusted it to the tender mercies of a messenger
Your paper should fold once in the middle. There is nothing so
awkward or so apt to give a bad impression as a letter improperly
folded. It is bulky and unsightly. Private letters should always be
sealed with wax, in color dark green or red. Black is used for
mourning. In sealing a letter be careful to make a neat effect, and not
to smear the wax all over the envelope. The seal is then stamped with
your monogram, or, if you insist upon it, with your crest, but never
with your coat of arms. For the purpose of sealing letters men use
their seal rings or a little stamp which can be obtained at any
silversmith's. When writing from the club you can use the club stamp.
Business letters are moistened and gummed, a little damp sponge being
used for this purpose. To moisten envelopes with the tongue is nasty.
Letters written on hotel or business paper should be confined to the
commercial world. Your friends and acquaintances should not receive
them. Sometimes, when writing from a very interesting place to a very
intimate friend or to relatives, hotel paper may be used, as you would
like your correspondent to see a picture of the house at which you are
Every gentleman should, however, carry in his portmanteau a flat
portfolio with writing materials and a traveling inkstand.
Your personal correspondence should be a reflection of yourself. Be
pithy, bright, and witty. Give the news and innocent gossip, but beware
of making statements in letters which you can not substantiate. Above
all, think twice before you pen a harsh or an unkind word, even if a
reproof be merited.
In business letters be brief and to the point.
There are two kinds of letters which sometimes puzzle the
writerletters of condolence and letters of congratulation. A letter
of condolenceas will be explained in the chapter on Funeralsis due
from you at the death of a near or dear friend to the relative or
relativesif you feel that you know them all well enough to address
more than one epistle of sympathynearest and dearest to the deceased.
Usually one letter is sufficient, but sometimes it may occur that you
feel that you should also write to others. Make it as natural as
possible. Avoid all stilted phrases and studied efforts at consolation.
A few words is all that is necessary. If you have been on intimate
terms with the family wire them your sympathy, and write a week or so
Letters of congratulation are much easier to compose. On the
occasion of the announcement of an engagement of a friend, or in answer
to his letter announcing the happy event, or on the arrival of any good
fortune to those of whom you are fond or for whom you have a high
regard, a letter of congratulation is necessary or acceptable. All
letters announcing sad or joyous news should receive an immediate
CHAPTER XV. THE BACHELOR'S CLUB.
Club life in America is a growth of recent years. It is now so
firmly established, and it is so popular that there is not a village or
even a settlement in the United States which has not at least its
casino, or its little coterie organized for golf, tennis, athletic, or
merely social enjoyment. All of these, from the great metropolitan
clubs of the cities down to the very humblest in the wilds, are
governed by club laws and are regulated by club etiquette. In New York,
now a city of clubs, this etiquette differs much from that observed in
London, Paris, or any of the large continental centers. In London, a
man is identified with his club. He rarely belongs to more than one,
and his membership there denotes his social standing, his pursuits in
life, and, above all, his politics. English clubs are also very jealous
of admittance of strangers, and are not in the least hospitable to the
foreigner. There are exceptions to this among the literary, theatrical,
and Bohemian organizations, but the Pall Mall clubs are closed. In
New York, Boston, Chicago, and other American cities there are
organizations which insist upon certain qualifications, such as being a
university man, a lawyer, an author, a physician, or a member of a
college fraternity, for admittance; but then the members also belong to
other clubs, where their social standing, or perhaps the extent of
their bank account, is their passport.
If a man wishes to get on socially, he should belong to at least one
good club. It gives him his standing in the community, and places him.
He is no longer on the list of the unidentified.
When a choice is made of a club which you desire to join, the next
step would be to have two members in good standing to act as your
sponsorsone proposes your name and the other seconds. A good sponsor
is necessary, and you should choose one who has many friends in the
organization of which you desire to become a member. The president,
officers, and the governing committee are debarred from either
proposing or seconding a name for membership. The term of a man's
novitiate depends upon the state of the waiting list. Your proposer
will notify you when your name will be reached, as he himself will be
notified in writing by the committee on membership. The rules of
candidacy differ in various clubs. In some, the name of the candidate
with those of the two members proposing him is exposed in a conspicuous
place where the entire club can see it. There is also a book in which
other members sign the application, and the number of signatures, of
course, has weight with the governors.
Again, the name is inscribed in a book kept for the purpose in the
steward's office, and it is not necessary that any other indorsement
except that of your sponsors be made.
Any member objecting to the name of a candidate has two methods by
which he can make known his objection. One is to write directly to the
governors, or to the committee on admissions and membership, whichever,
according to the laws of the club, has the matter in hand. Usually it
is the governing committee or board of governors. This communication is
treated, as are all club matters, with the secrecy of the confessional.
Your sponsors are written to and the objections stated, but the name of
the person objecting is withheld. The other method is, if any one has
an objection to your admission, that he should go at once in a manly
way to one of your sponsors and state it. It is a rare occurrence in a
New York club that any candidate is black-balled. The warning from the
governing committee, or from another member to the sponsors, is a word
to the wise, and the men who propose you should immediately withdraw
your name to avoid a disaster. Otherwise a very great risk is run, as
objections which have any foundation have great weight with the
In the clubs where the names of the candidates are kept only in a
small book, while on the waiting list they are posted ten days before
the election in a conspicuous part of the clubhouse. No candidate can
be elected to a club who is not personally known to two or more members
of the governing committee. A short time before election, if the
candidate has not this acquaintance, it is the duty of his sponsors to
take him around and introduce him, or to arrange that he will meet
these gentlemen in some way; otherwise his name will go over; and after
two setbacks of this kind, it will be rejected.
On the election of a candidatethe balloting being done by the
governing committeethe sponsors are notified, sometimes by posting
and otherwise simply by letter. The secretary of the club will let the
new member know immediately of his election, and the letter, which is
usually a form, will also notify him that his admission fee and yearly
dues are payable. The admission or entrance fee to a club is from one
hundred to two hundred dollars in the well-known New York
organizations, and the yearly dues are from seventy-five to one hundred
dollars. These must be paid at once by check. The rules of most clubs
allow a thirty-day limit. If you are so fortunate as to be admitted
after the date of the yearly meeting, you will only be liable for one
half the current yearly dues; otherwise you pay the entire amount.
It is now the duty of the sponsors to introduce their newly elected
candidate to the club. This is an easy matter. One of them will go with
you, sit in the general smoking or lounging room, and make you
acquainted with one or two of his friends. The responsibility is then
Club etiquette is very simple. It is only the application of the
usual rules of courtesy observed in private life. The club is your
home. You should behave there as you would in your own house as host,
and consequently your conduct toward your fellow-members should be
characterized by the utmost consideration.
The average clubhouse has a large room on the ground or first floor
which is used for smoking, reading, the newspapers, and living
generally. On the floors above there are the dining rooms, the library,
and reading and card rooms. The billiard room occupies a special
quarter, according to the plan of the house.
A clever man said that there was but one rule of clubhouse etiquette
different from the general laws of manners, and that was to keep your
hat on. This is true, but then there are many others. Men do not take
off their hats on entering a club, and do not remove them in any room
except that in which they dine. All social clubs are more or less
closed. Visitors are only allowed under certain restrictions. The
general rule is that a member may invite to the use of the club for a
period of ten consecutive days any one not a resident of the city, but
can have no more than one guest at a time. No stranger shall be
introduced a second time unless he shall have been absent from the city
three months. In some clubs a member may introduce as a visitor a
resident of the city, but he can have no more than one such guest at a
time. No person shall be introduced more than once in twelve months.
Other clubs are open to the admission of visitors at certain periods,
and others again have ladies' days, at which a reception to the fair
friends of the members is given. All this depends on the rules of the
club. As soon as you are made a member you are given a little book in
which these are contained, and you should study them carefully. The
name of a guest should be entered on the visitors' book with that of
his host. If the visitor is put up for a certain period a card to the
club is sent him, and during his stay he has all the privileges of a
member. He can run up an account, but he should certainly settle it
before his term expires, otherwise his host will be held responsible.
A clubman never pays an attendant for refreshment or food served.
Gratuities of any kind to servants are forbidden. When refreshment is
required, you press the electric bell, of which there are a number in
all the rooms, and the attendant comes to you for your order. When he
brings it he has with it a check which you sign. These checks are, of
course, debited to you, and you receive your bill once a month, or you
can make arrangements to pay at the steward's or cashier's desk daily.
You order your meals in the same manner, and when they are ready,
the servant will notify you.
At most of the clubs smoking is not permitted in the dining rooms
until after nine, nor are refreshments allowed to be served in the
visitors' room or library at any time. Books and magazines are not to
be removed from the reading room or library, nor any publication
belonging to the club from the clubhouse.
There is still a prejudice against pipe smoking in many of the
clubs, and you must consult the rules before you attempt this practice.
A man does not remove his coat or sit in his shirtsleeves in any of the
public rooms. An allowance, however, is made in the billiard room.
The loud-voiced man is one of the nuisances of a club. Loud talking
may be endured in the smoking or general room, but certainly not in the
library or the reading rooms.
The kicker is another objectionable person. He should remember
that the best way of rectifying abuses is to send to the house
committee all complaints of any deficiency in the service of the club,
of overcharges, mistakes, or defects. The club is not a place to
conduct one's commercial interests. Invitations and special
correspondence can be conducted on club paper, but certainly it is a
breach of club etiquette to use it for business purposes.
The man who bows to a woman from a club window is not a gentleman.
By this action he fastens upon her the most disgraceful odium one of
her sex can bear.
The name of a woman should never be whispered in a club unless it is
to say something complimentary of her. Even this is not in good taste.
It is not club etiquette to treat. You can do so if you desire,
but you are not obliged to follow this inane custom, which is born of
All the affairs of a club must be regarded in strict confidence.
Under no consideration should that which has occurred within these
sacred portals be divulged to outsiders.
Once a yearusually at Christmasa subscription is taken up for
the employees and servants. From five to ten dollars is the proper
amount to give.
A few clubs have a ladies' restaurant attached, where members may
take their families or give dinners, or where the wives of members have
the privilege of giving luncheons or other entertainments. Otherwise
ladies are not admitted to the privileges of the clubhouse, except on
ladies' days, and where there is an annex they can only avail
themselves of that part set aside for their convenience upon the
authority of a member.
These rules pertaining to the general government of clubs have been
compiled from the constitution and by-laws of the Union, Metropolitan,
Knickerbocker, Calumet, and Manhattan Clubs of New York. The
constitutions of the Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, Chicago, San
Francisco, and other clubs are almost identical.
CHAPTER XVI. THE SPORTING BACHELOR.
Driving.Driving really comprises coaching as well as the
A man who has any pretensions whatever to keeping his own horses or
driving should be judged by the appearance of his traps. He submits
himself to what one, to-day, might call the X-ray of criticism. He
enters a field, and he must be weighed in the balance and his position
defined by the standard of his associates. I know of no other city in
the world where there are better groomed horses and better turned out
equipages than in New York. The American in Hyde Park is shocked at the
appearance of the traps in that famous driveway of fashion, and his
national pride is gratified by observing that the smartest are of
American makes. As to Paris, it is simply beyond the pale of criticism,
the private turnouts, such as they are, being almost lost in a sea of
dirty, disgraceful fiacres.
In the first place, your horses must be well groomed, their hoofs
blackened, and their tails properly banged. I do not intend here to
enter a discussion concerning the cruelty of docking horses' tails. The
social law is without exception. Horses with long tails are impossible.
I believe banging is not accompanied by any physical pain.
The harness, the trap itself, the coachman, and groom or grooms
should be as immaculate as the horses. There should not be a single
item out of gear. Every detail must be perfect. Choose some individual
color for your traps, and never change the colors of your stable any
more than you would your liveries. I have discussed fully in the
chapter on Servants the duties of coachmen and grooms, and I refer the
reader to that section of this book for information concerning liveries
and the human personnel of your trap.
As to the color of your horses you should consult the fashion of the
moment. To-day grays and bays are matched, and a person in half
mourning recently appeared on a leading thoroughfare with a black trap
and harness and white horses.
A bachelor, however, should court simplicity, and I do not even
approve of an equipage with two men on the box for an unmarried man. In
fact I do not know of a single bachelor who has such a turnout.
A coach, a tandem, a drag, or any of the array of fashionable carts,
or a private hansom should limit the list.
Coolness and absolute confidence are the requisite virtues of good
The driver salutes always with the whip; those on the coach with him
or in the trap bow.
Dress for driving in the city is usually that of afternoon, and a
high hat is indispensable. Sometimes the huge gray coats with large
buttons and a gray topper are worn. Dogskin driving gloves and driving
boots complete the costume. In the country one wears tweed or Scotch
cheviot and a Derby hat. The man who drives mounts last, his horses'
heads being held by the groom. His whip should be in its socket; the
reins loosely thrown over the horses' backs. He should spring into his
seat and start immediately.
There is a certain smartness in driving, in the way you manage your
whip, your horses, and the many other details, which it is the province
of a good master of the sport to teach you.
The fashionable hour for driving in New York is from three to five,
and the drive the Park. At Newport one drives both in the morning and
Remember, however, that the secret of your mastery over your stables
should be your perfect knowledge of every detail. If you are a novice
you should begin by learning the name and use of each part of your
harness. You should be able to tell at a glance if everything is right,
and you can not be too severe if anything is out of gear or the animals
are not properly groomed. The best position on the box is a firm seat
with your feet close together. Drive with one hand and keep the whip
hand free, except for its legitimate use in touching your horses now
and then, and in saluting.
A man always sits with his back to the horses in a Victoria, or any
other four-seated vehicle, when there are two ladies with him. When
there is only one he sits by her side. He alights first with a view to
assisting the ladies. He gets in last.
It is not good form in New York for unmarried couples to drive
together, unaccompanied by a chaperon. It is permitted at Newport and
the country and seaside resorts, but a groom always sits on the back
seat. In this case the woman is frequently the whip.
A man and a woman may drive together in the city in a hansom,
although this is considered unconventional. Buggy driving is not in
vogue in New York.
Riding, since the advent of the wheel, is not as fashionable
an amusement in cities as formerly.
Riding classes, which meet two evenings during the week, usually in
the Lenten season, are still very popular. These gatherings take place
at a riding academy, and a competent riding master is in charge.
When riding with a woman, a man should always be at her right. A
woman's riding habit falls to the left and she is mounted from the
left. In assisting her to mount, which, even when a groom is present,
is the gallant thing to do, a man should grasp the bridle with the left
hand and hold his right so that she can step into it. The woman puts
her left foot, therefore, in a man's right hand, and holds to the
pommel with her right hand. The escort gives his arm a slight spring,
and with a corresponding action on the part of the fair equestrienne,
she is lifted into the saddle. The man faces the near side of the
horse, or the left. He takes the reins in his right hand and with it
grasps the pommel of the saddle, shortening the reins until he feels
the mouth of the horse. He inserts the left foot in the stirrup and
springs into the saddle.
In speaking of a pommel, I wish it understood that the English
saddle is used, which has no visible pommel, but that part of it is
still called by the name in lieu of another term.
A good rider should never mount from a horse block or a fence. The
English mode of riding is fashionable. The smart pace is a short
canter. In trotting, a man may rise to the trot. Squaring the elbows is
a trifle vulgar and obsolete. In meeting acquaintances, a man should
bow. A man accompanying a lady should always keep pace with her, and
never either go ahead or let his horse fall behind. A man riding alone
should never pass or catch up with a woman unattended.
When one rides in New York it is only in the morning. Afternoon
riding in the Park is not the vogue it was. The New Yorker dislikes to
dress up in any special costume, so that for years the fashionable
afternoon riding costume was a black cutaway or morning coat, ordinary
trousers strapped under the ordinary walking boot, top hat, and gloves,
but the present riding costume for the morning in New York and the
country consists of whipcord or corduroy riding breeches and jacket,
brown leather waistcoat, brown Derby hat, boots or leggings, and dark
gloves. You can wear this in the afternoon, but the ordinary costume is
considered smarter and more convenient. Men in New York only ride in
the Park, and many of them do not belong to riding academies or have
lockers. A complete change of costume is not convenient, and you never
see a New York clubman on the streets in riding togs. The evening
classes always end with a supper and a dance. The woman's habit is
easily changed, but to appear at night in riding costume or with boots
in a drawing room is certainly absurd. To wear evening dress on
horseback, even a Tuxedo coat, is also outlandish, and thus the
compromise has been effected, and the old black diagonal cutaway
brought into use.
Riding to hounds requires special knowledge as to the rules
and the etiquette of the different hunts. These vary. The meet is
generally at some farm or country house, and you are expected to appear
in the regulation hunt colors. The orthodox costume is morning coat,
white or fancy waistcoat, riding breeches, top boots, crop, top hat,
and hunting scarf. The master of the hounds should wear a red or
scarlet frock coat and hunting cap. After the hunt there is a
breakfast, and several times during the year a ball. At the latter
festivity, members of the club should wear their scarlet evening coats.
Coaching is yet another of the intricate arts. I will give a
few points to the novice. The place of honor is the box seat and should
be given to a lady, when ladies are of the party.
If a bachelor is a good whip, a coaching party is an excellent way
for him to entertain. The start should be from some fashionable
locality in town, and eight or ten is a large party. It is needless for
me to call the attention of a whip to the importance of his drag and
horses and appointments being perfect. During the progress of the coach
the guard who sits in the rear blows his horn at regular intervals. A
bugle or cornet is not good form, although I have heard it in small
It may seem elementary, but for the requirements of those who have
never coached I might as well state that the guests sit on the top and
not inside the coach. A neat and serviceable team may be made with two
browns as leaders and a brown and a bay as wheelers. To the novice the
names of these will indicate their position.
A coaching route should be about ten to fifteen miles. A halt is
made at a country club, of which the host is a member, or a hotel,
where luncheon is served. The menu consists of the usual
comestibles with plenty of champagne. Two hours altogether are allowed
for rest, and then the start homeward is made. The whip should wear
driving costume, with gray or black high hat. The men guests can be
dressed in morning costume, tweeds, and Derby hats, unless the occasion
is one of formality, such as a coaching parade, when one should don
afternoon dress. The general etiquette of driving applies to coaching.
Wheeling is the popular and fashionable amusement at present
writing, and it bids fair to continue so until quite late in the
twentieth century. As yet there are no special rules of etiquette for
this new sport, except that which would govern its dress. Otherwise
there are the rules of the roadkeeping and turning to the rightand
the extending by gentlemen of those civilities which they should never
forget to the fair sex, and consideration for their fellow-men. A man
should always wait for a lady to mount, holding the bicycle. He should
ride at her left, keeping pace with her, and sufficiently near to be of
assistance in case of an accident. He should dismount first and help
her to do so if necessary. The present fashionable costume for cycling
consists of tweed knickers and short lounge jacket of same material,
brown leather or linen waistcoat, colored shirt, with white turn-down
collar and club tie, golf stockings, and low-quartered tan wheeling
shoes. A cap of tweed to match the suit completes the rig. At cycling
clubs black small clothes with dinner jacket may be worn, but as yet it
is not the prevailing fashion.
In summer very natty wheeling costumes are made of linen or crash.
One word more as to wheeling. Owing to its popularity, many have
sought to make it vulgar and common. An idea that a man has the
privilege of addressing any woman on a bicycle is most erroneous. You
would not offer such an impertinence to an equestrienne, and you must
remember that a wheel is only a metal horse. To catch up with or pass
unchaperoned or unescorted women wheelers is as much a breach of
etiquette as to be guilty of the same vulgarity toward an unaccompanied
Shooting deserves a few words, although shooting parties in
the acceptance of the foreign and British entertainments have as yet
but few counterparts in this country. Men chase the aniseed bag or an
imported fox when riding to hounds, and when they take gun in hand it
is for the purpose of hunting big game, such as one would obtain in the
Adirondacks, in the Rockies, in the Southern swamp lands, and in the
wilderness of Canada. In England you may be invited for the shooting.
The start is in the morning, in a party accompanied by the gamekeepers.
The birds are flurried, the guns are loaded by your special attendant,
and you only pause in your work of destruction for luncheon, which is
served somewhere in the woods or on the moors. You are expected to be
at the house about four, where, after changing your clothes, you appear
in the drawing room for tea. You are cautioned in these parties, in
order to avoid accident, before crossing a hedge, gate, or any other
obstacle, to remove your cartridges. You are to be unusually careful in
the manner of holding your gun, and should certainly not flourish it
around or point it at any living thing, save that which it is intended
to kill. Guns used as walking sticks or props to take flying leaps or
other extraordinary purposes are the assinine diversions of some
idiots. In England a position is assigned to you. It is etiquette to
remain in it, shooting in a liberal and sportsmanlike spirit, accepting
shots as they come. The gamekeepers expect a tip at the end of the
visit. The correct dress is loose jacket, knicker corduroy breeches,
stout ribbed stockings, and box-cloth leggings. Heavy russet boots and
a cloth shooting cap are also worn.
Bowls is a favorite game in the country, and during the
Lenten season in New York, where there are a number of clubs formed for
Although the sessions are in the evening, the men dress at clubs in
mufti or negligé, the golf or cycling suits being the
favorites. When you are asked to play bowls at a private house, and
when there is a dance to follow, or when you are asked to a bowling
party, it is perhaps better form to wear your dinner jacket or Tuxedo,
as there will be supper and dancing afterward. The presence of ladies
will not deter you from wearing on an occasion like this demitoilet or
dinner jacket, as there is a certain informality about all athletic
sports. The same may be said of badminton, another favorite
Lenten game, played somewhat after the manner of tennis. The difference
is that instead of racquet and ball, battledore and shuttlecock are
For skating, even at a rink on artificial ice, golf costume
or mufti is good form.
Polo has likewise no code of etiquette not connected with the
rules of the game. The dress for polo includes buckskin knee breeches,
flannel or madras shirt with low turn-down collar, top riding boots,
and polo cap.
YACHTING, BOATING, BATHING, TENNIS, AND RACING.
A yacht in commission is the most expensive and luxurious toy a man
can have. No one but a millionaire can afford it. True, as in other
possessions, there are degrees, and consequently there are yachts and
yachts. Only large schooner or steam yachts, however, are adaptable for
entertaining. A man's yacht is indeed his castle, and the host has only
to follow the rules which govern social functions to be perfect in this
delightful method of entertaining. Yet there are a few little details
of which it would be prudent to speak. The proper entertainments for a
yacht in harbor are luncheons, dinners, dances, and short cruises. None
of these should be elaborate, the yacht itselfa thing of joy and
beautybeing alone a great attraction.
Your sailors should meet the people invited at the dock in the
cutter, and row them to the place where your yacht rides at anchor. You
should be at the gangway ready to receive them. The same order should
be observed on their leaving.
During a club cruise there are several formalities to be observed.
You are then as if under military or naval orders. The commodore should
be treated with the same consideration as an admiral. You should not
appear before him except in the uniform of the club, and you should
always salute him on passing, and he should have precedence at all
Yachting dress for men consists in either blue flannel or serge
suit, or weather pilot or pea-jacket of rough cloth or witney, or
blue serge or flannel coat with naval white duck trousers. The cap,
blue or white cloth or duck. White flannels are also worn, but they are
not so appropriate. In the evening, usual formal landsman's costume.
There are a few rules of practical yachting which are so intimately
connected with etiquette that, although it is not exactly in my
province, I propose to give a summary of them here; they may be useful,
and may serve my reader a good turn. I take the regulations of the New
York Yacht Club for my guide. It is without doubt the leading yachting
organization of this country.
When on a cruise, all yachts belonging to a club should hoist their
colors at eight o'clock A. M. and haul them down at sunset, taking time
from the senior officer present in port, if there should be one.
Between sunset and colors they should carry a night pennant. Guns
should only be fired on setting or hauling down the colors, except by
the yacht giving the time, nor between sunset and colors, nor on
Sunday, and the rules of many yacht clubs insist on these formalities
being observed whether a yacht is on a cruise or not.
The senior officer in port should be in command, and should make
colors and sunset and return salutes and visits, etc. His yacht should
remain the station vessel until a senior to him in rank arrives, when
such senior should assume the duties of the anchorage.
Flag officers should display their pennants while in commission,
except when absent for more than forty-eight hours. In this case their
private signal should be hoisted. A blue rectangular flag at the
starboard spreader should be displayed when the owner is not on board.
All salutes should be returned in kind. Yachts of all clubs should
always salute vessels of the United States Navy. Yachts passing at sea
should salute each other, juniors saluting first. This is done by
dipping the ensign three times or by firing a gun, followed by dipping
the ensign. Arriving in harbor after sunset or on Sunday the salute
should be made the first thing next morning.
When a squadron or a cruising expedition enters a port or anchorage
and finds there a foreign yacht, the senior officer of the squadron or
cruise should send its owner a tender of the civilities of the club.
All vessels are considered foreign not belonging to the interstate
squadron, or to a club not included in the association of yachts to
which your vessel and you belong.
Of course I have only skimmed through the sailing and saluting
regulations. You are supposed to have a book of your club, which will
give them to you, and you are bound to follow the rules laid down
As a rule, the commodore of a yacht club wears on his cap an anchor
one inch and a half in diameter, placed horizontally, embroidered in
gold, with a silver star of half an inch diameter at each end of and
above the anchor. A vice commodore wears only a single star; captains
two crossed foul anchors. The dress uniform of most yacht clubs is a
plain blue or black dress coat, a white dress waistcoat, each with the
club button in gilt; blue or white trousers with cravat black or white.
The undress consists of a double-breasted sack coat of blue cloth,
serge, or flannel, blue or white waistcoat, each with the black club
button; trousers of same material, or of white drill. The commodore has
five black silk stripes on his cuff, the vice commodore four, the rear
commodore three, the captain and other officers two, and the members
Your crew should wear shirts of blue flannel or white linen with
wide blue cuffs and collars, stitched with blue or white thread.
Handkerchiefs should be of black silk, caps of blue cloth without
visor; straw hats with black ribbon can be used for summer. The name of
the yacht must be worked on the breast of the shirt, or printed upon
the band of the cap or the ribbon of the hat. The trousers should be of
blue flannel or white linen duck. No braces are worn.
The etiquette of golf is incorporated, more or less, with the
technicalities of the rules governing the game. I do not intend to go
into these, but to give a few hints to the novice, to prevent him, if
possible, committing solecisms.
Golf has a vocabulary of its own. The grounds on which the game is
played is a stretch of rather rough country, abounding in hills,
hillocks, and sandy downs, and is known by no other name but the
The game is usually played by two persons, but it can be by more. It
consists in driving a ball, small and black, or painted red for the
winter snows, along a route laid out by a series of holes to a goal,
with a selection of clubs with metal ends. A small boy carries these
clubs around for the players. He is called the caddie.
The clubs have various names and various uses. They are for
propelling or driving the ball, according to the rules of the game.
They are the driver, long spoon, short spoon, putter, iron putter,
cleek, iron, niblick, brassey, lofting iron, and mashie.
A tee is a small mound of sand or earth upon which the ball rests.
As before explained, the ball is propelled or driven from the tee into
one of the holes. The term putting is applied to the locality in
which this operation of driving the ball into the hole takes place.
The etiquette of the spectator is embraced in the common-sense
essential of being an onlooker and nothing more. Silence is golden.
Advice and comment, should you profess to know anything about the game,
are brazen. Be considerate; do not interfere with the comfort of the
players. As at billiards, the stroke should be made in utter silence.
The golf links is not a place for criticism, and if you are allowed
to follow the players around, you must control your feelings alike when
enthusiastic or when contemptuous. Besides being a breach of good
manners, remember that golf is more or less an outdoor game of whist.
Golf is the easiest game at which to cheat, but as it is a sport in
the repertoire of a gentleman, it would seem almost an insult to
hint at such a contingency. However, apart from the moral effect of
cheating at any game, if a man is dead to all sense of honor, he should
be alive to the fear of being found out. Such discovery means social
The proper golf costume is based on common sense. The man who rigs
himself up for this or any other sport in what he considers the most
approved style is either a very bad player or a novice. The
championships have been won by men wearing their ordinary street
costumes or business lounge suits. The English and Scotch golf dress,
however, is sack coat, knickers without leather extensions, and a plain
tweed shooting cap. The shirt is white madras, soft, unstarched bosom,
with a golf stock or Ascot. Golf shoes or boots are of heavy russet or
black leather. The hose has a long ribbed top, which is turned over,
forming a sort of heavy band on the calf of the leg. It is made of
heavy worsted, plain or ribbed. This costume will do for winter in the
English climate, when you can not employ too heavy tweeds in the north
and west. The American costume, however, is made of lighter tweeds for
the spring and autumn, and of brown linen or holland for the summer. As
yet, except in one or two localities, golf is not generally played in
winter, except by enthusiasts.
At a match, golfers wear their club uniform coats, which are made of
hunting pink with brass buttons. The club dress uniform is full and
proper dress for all golf functions, such as dinners and dances and
receptions. For golf club evening functions, black silk or lisle thread
stockings and pumps and black knickers would be appropriate dress. This
will be regulated by the rules of the club.
BOATING AND BATHING, TENNIS AND RACING.
But a word, and this on costume. The proper dress in England, where
boating is a social amusement, is the blazer madras shirt with white
linen all-around collars and madras cuffs, same material as shirt,
white duck trousers, and straw hat with colored ribbons.
For bathing, the present ocean costume is all plain, one dark-color
two-piece suits, short trousers coming to the knees, and jersey with
very short sleeves.
For tennis, which I have omitted in the category of sports, as there
is no peculiar etiquette attached, you should wear white duck trousers,
a white madras shirt, white flannel coat, plain or finely striped, and
straw hat or flannel cap to match coat. The straw hat was in vogue last
In England many men wear gray vicuña frock coats to the races. About
this costume, however, in America, where races are but seldom social
functions, you must be guided by the season, circumstances, and place.
Of course, a top hat must be worn with any species of frock coat, but
the gray top hat has gone out of fashion.
Gymkhana races are burlesque affairs imported from India. The
participants are dressed in grotesque fancy costumes, and are obliged
to race holding umbrellas, toy balloons, or some other absurdity. They
are in great favor at summer watering places.
The etiquette of this popular pastime is possibly embraced in the
general maxim of the extending of the utmost consideration for
Billiards constitutes quite an important factor in club life, and
should have been included in the chapter on that subject but for the
fact that so many private houses have billiard rooms, and the game is
better classified with the different sports of a bachelor.
At the club it is allowable to play the game sans one's coat,
or in shirt sleeves. The billiard room is a place where one can be
unconventional. Order, however, in a match game especially, should be
strictly maintained. The severe English rule at clubs, under such
circumstances, requires the man who has played his stroke to retire to
a reasonable distance, and keep out of the line of sight (vide
the Badminton treatise on the game). Orders for drinks to the waiter,
loud talking, criticism of the play, lighting pipes and cigarsthe
latter being only generally allowed in New York club billiard
roomsare all offenses against etiquette.
In private houses it is certainly a breach of good manners to bolt
into a billiard room while a game is in progress, except between the
strokes, and this period can be easily ascertained by listening at the
door. The ideal game is conducted with strict observance of the
etiquette of the room. It is, according to the same Badminton
authority, a game during the progress of which neither player smokes
nor interrupts the other, and spectators are generally courteous,
silent, and impartial. In a private house where ladies are apt to be
present and to be players, shirt sleeves are certainly not tolerated.
The dinner coat is useful on these occasions. Smoking is permissible if
the hostess consents.
The etiquette of cards calls for but a word. Whist means silence. No
gentleman quarrels with a billiard marker or a golf caddie; still less
should he dispute a point at cards. Better lose, especially when women
are present, than enter a controversy.
CHAPTER XVII. A BACHELOR'S TRAVELS
AT HOME AND ABROAD.
To seem entirely at one's ease is the best maxim I can give for
traveling. You can not actually pretend to experience that which may be
totally lacking, but by making yourself comfortable you will increase
the pleasure of others. There is, in these days of luxurious traveling,
but little occasion to be flurried, and no excuse whatever for not
being as well dressed as you are calm and self-possessed. Dress means a
great deal, and if you have not a servant with you it will simply
require a little care at the commencement to insure your entire freedom
from all annoyance.
As I have already observed in a previous chapter, in a long journey
it would be better to take more than one trunk, but even if you have
but the one you should carry also a bag with your toilet articles. A
dressing bag is most requisite, and if you can not afford this you
could have an ordinary bag, or even a dress suit case, fitted up with
the necessary appliances of the toilet. These, it is almost absurd to
state, consist of your razors, tooth and nail brushes, combs and
hairbrushes, individual soap, and a few small vials of very useful
physic, such as Jamaica ginger, Pond's extract, liver pills, cologne,
and, if you do not carry it in your pocket, a brandy flask. There are
times when this is absolutely necessary. In my dressing bag, if
possible, I would take my pyjamas, so as to be perfectly equipped for
the night, in case, at the end of my journey, I could not get at my
trunk. Overcoats, waterproof coat, umbrellas, walking sticks, etc.,
should be carried in a shawl strap, where you could also have a novel
or so, or a budget of interesting newspapers or magazines. For short
railway or steamer journeys, the best dress is the ordinary lounge or
morning sack suit, with a soft felt or Hombourg hat. Gloves are
necessary. Tan or gray suede is the most correct. In winter an ulster
should be worn. Select for sea or for ocean voyages the warmest lounge
suit you have, or, if you feel more disposed, a warm tweed
knickerbocker suit, such as you wear for golf. I think it is a good
principle to put on your old clothes at sea. Only very vulgar people
dress for this occasion. For late dinner on the ship I would have a
black cutaway coat and a light tie. I believe men must change their
clothes before dinner at all places and under all circumstances. Russet
shoes are worn.
Do not hurry. Have your tickets purchased in time, and arrive at a
train so that you will have fully five minutes in which to check your
On an ocean voyage, if the ship is going to leave at an early hour
in the morning, go on board the night before. Farewell suppers are like
greetings in tugboats and other vulgar celebrations, the meed of the
second-class politician. Arrange with your banker for letters of
credit, and take with you just sufficient small change to carry you
comfortably and pay your little expenses, with one note of a larger
denomination in case of accident. Do not get your money changed on the
ship. It is effected at a very high rate of discount. Thus on English
shipsthe Cunard, White Star, Anchor, and Allan linesEnglish
currency is used. The Hamburg and the North German Lloyd employ German,
and the Transatlantique, French. Your steamer trunk and your bag and
shawl strap should be placed in the cabin with you. Steamer chairs, in
these days, can be hired. Do not carry one around with you. It is a
nuisance. On the ocean steamers the steward will attend to your little
wants, and prepare your bath for you in the morning, for which there is
a fee, I think, of twenty-five cents a day. It is customary on leaving
a ship to give gratuities to servants. To the cabin steward on English
ships, ten shillings, the head steward ten shillings, and your waiter
ten shillings. On others, for a six days' voyage, a fee equal to two
dollars should be given to your waiter and your cabin steward and to
the head steward. Servants abroad are feed on a regular tariff, which
you will find in the guidebooks. In this country the drawing-car fiend
expects twenty-five cents for a day's journey; fifty cents to a dollar
for longer and more extended service. At American hotels the waiters
are tipped when you leave, and a small gratuity given to chambermaids.
Courtesy, especially to women, is the one thing expected from every
gentleman who travels, and if you can assist any one in distress by
advice or by help of any kind do so, particularly if it is an
unprotected woman. But be very guarded in making new acquaintances.
Such as are picked up on the steamer, for instance, can be dropped as
soon as you land. Beware of the cardroom and the poker sharps who
travel on the great liners. Make it a rule, if you will play for money,
never to do so with strangers.
When traveling with a lady, always carry her bag and assist her in
and out of the trains. Your behavior is on its mettle under these
circumstances, and traveling is very apt to be like a mustard plaster,
bringing out both the good and evil attributes of a man.
The subject of foreign travel also needs a few words as well as a
bit of general advice. English customs and our own are so much alike
that it would be strange, indeed, if an American could not get along in
the land where his own tongue is spoken. One of the first difficulties
which once beset traveling Americans in London was the regulation in
theaters that the audience, or that part of it occupying the best
stalls, should be in evening dress. As evening dress is now also the
rule in New York, this quandary is a thing of the past. Programmes at
many of the English theaters are now free, where some years ago it was
customary to sell bills of the play for sixpence.
The feeing of servants at hotels, however, continues, and we yet
have the charge on hotel bills for service. You are expected to give
something to the hall porter, to your waiter, to the boots, and to the
chambermaid. The amount of these fees differs according to the length
of your stay. I should say a half crown to the porter and less sums to
In London a shilling a mile is the accepted price for cabs within a
certain metropolitan radius called the circle. Thrupence or
sixpence extra is the tip to drink your health.
Afternoon dress is the correct attire for the park after midday, and
cabs and hansoms are not seen on the Row during riding and driving
In Paris you may wear a blue blouse and make the turn of the Bois in
a fiacre. The tariff there is two francs an hour, or two francs
fifty per course, from one place to another. The pourboire is
In France the pourboire is a veritable tax, as it is in Italy
and in the Latin countries. In Germany the mark is equal to about
twenty-five cents of our money, and it will go a long way. Ten marks
will fee a houseful of servants.
At the station in Paris fifty centimes is given to the porter. The
commissionnaire at the hotel expects fifty centimes. Waiters'
pourboires are eighty-five centimes at breakfast, and at dinner a
franc. In a café they are twenty-five centimes.
The woman at the theater who puts a footstool under your feet
expects one franc, and at many of the playhouses she must be feed for a
In Paris the orchestra stalls are occupied only by men. At the opera
during the season evening dress in the boxes and stalls is, of course,
de rigueur. At the Comédie Française on Tuesdays and at the Odéon
on Thursdays you must be in evening dress in order to gain admittance.
Chairs are sold in Paris at the Catholic churches, and in both the
London and Paris parks seats can be hired for a few pennies or sous.
In Paris omnibuses only the seating capacity is allowed. When the
omnibus is full, a sign, Complet, is fastened on the outside.
At the gates of each small town in France the octroi, or
impost, levies on articles of food brought in, and the customhouse in
England seizes all American reprints of English books. There, as well
as in France, spirits and tobacco are dutiable.
It is only civil to bow when passing the Prince of Wales or members
of the royal family. In Paris every hat is removed when a hearse
passes, as also in Italy. In Germany the hat is removed when the
Passports are necessary for Russian and Eastern travel.
All large functions on the Continent, no matter what time of the day
they occur, demand evening dress. In Paris the bridegroom at a wedding
in the afternoon wears evening dress, as well as the chief male mourner
at a funeral, but the others present do not. This does not apply to
groomsmen and honorary pallbearers, who are in evening dress. In
Germany, Austria, and Italy, wherever royalty appears, evening dress is
necessary. At the audiences granted by the Pope all men must be in
evening dress, and the women in dark gowns and veils.
The Queen of England, the Princess of Wales, and all other female
members of the royal family are addressed as Ma'am; the Prince of
Wales and the male members as Sir, and never, except by tradesmen, as
Your Royal Highness.
The English dukes are addressed simply as Duke and not as Your
Grace; a marquis is Lord and a marchioness Lady. Younger sons of
dukes should be spoken of as lord. A French duke and duchess are
addressed as Monsieur and Madame. In Germany one drops the Von when
addressing a nobleman who has that title, but when you write to him you
must give him his full credentials.
A foreign bishop is always addressed as My Lord and a cardinal as
The etiquette at a house where the Prince of Wales or a member of
the royal family in England visits is rigorous, and on the Continent,
when royalty is present, it is even more severe. The prince is never
addressed unless he speaks to you. He alone has the privilege of
changing the subject of conversation, and all plans for the day's
recreation are submitted to him.
These observations are, of course, very general, but the average
American to-day is at home in Europe. He should only remember the old
adage to do in Rome as the Romans do, and he will not be much
embarrassed by foreign customs and habits.
CHAPTER XVIII. THE ENGAGED BACHELOR.
The etiquette of engagements is simple. There are no rules as to how
a man should ask a woman to be his wife.
A man is not at liberty to announce his engagement until his
fiancée gives him permission to do so. It is her family who have
the right to know first of the existence of an engagement. Very few
engagements are entered into so hurriedly as not to be anticipated in a
way by the members of the young woman's household. However, the first
step to be taken is the announcement by the fiancée to her
mother, her father, or her proper guardian of the existing
circumstances. Sometimes this is done in a most informal way by both
parties. The day after the engagement has thus been announced it is
good form for the man to have a private talk with the young woman's
parents or guardian. In America we are supposed to be above the
discussion of marriage settlements. A man should never ask a woman to
marry him unless he has the wherewithal to support her in the manner in
which she has been accustomed to live. An inquiry into the state of the
proposed son-in-law's finances is perfectly proper and should not be
taken amiss. Engagements are announced to other members of the family
than those of the household by informal notes when it is decided it
should be made public. Relatives and intimate friends should be
apprised of it before one's general acquaintances. In these days of
society news the general announcement is frequently made through the
medium of the newspapers. It can also be made verbally.
During the engagement it is expected that a man's relatives and
friends should pay the prospective bride as much attention as possible.
They should call on her and felicitate her as soon as they have been
informed of the affair. A pretty compliment for a male member of the
man's family or one of his intimates is to send flowers to the new
fiancée. Engagements should never be announced unless the wedding
day is fixed approximately. Avoid long engagements.
The engagement ring is a solitaire diamond, but one with two smaller
diamonds is appropriate. This will depend upon the income of the swain.
Rings with colored stones, however, are not in vogue for engagements.
During the engagement the betrothed couple should be seen as much as
possible in each other's society. Neither should appear at large
entertainments to which the other has not been asked. Little attentions
are expected. A man should send from time to time, according to the
state of his finances, flowers, sweets, or other tokens. A sensible
girl will not approve of costly gifts if you can not afford them. A
very acceptable token would be a bunch of violets or American beauty
roses sent from a fashionable florist.
CHAPTER XIX. THE BACHELOR'S WEDDING.
When a bachelor marries the arrangement of the details of the
ceremony and reception are left to the bride's family, and there is
really very little about which to instruct him. Many men wish to know
how these matters should be conducted, and a short review is here given
under the penalty of its being not within the scope of the Complete
Weddings in society are celebrated either at church or at the home
of the bride. The church wedding is the most popular, and in large
cities the most fashionable, as it admits of the presence of a large
number of people and lends much solemnity to the occasion.
The fashionable hour for a wedding is from high noonmiddayuntil
five o'clock. Evening weddings have within the past five years not been
as much in vogue as formerly.
The invitations are issued within a fortnight of the ceremony. The
formula is an announcement engraved on a sheet of heavy cream paper
folded in two. It is issued in the name of the bride's parents or
guardian, and it requests the pleasure of the guest's presence at the
marriage of their daughter or ward at such a church or such a number,
at such an hour of the day, month, and year. A separate card, inclosed,
with the announcement and invitation to the church, states the hours of
the reception. The invitations are very simple, engraved in plain
English script, and the paper and cards are of a standard quality known
to stationers for this purpose. The inner one is addressed only with
the name of the person invited, the outer one has this and the street,
the street number, and full directions for mailing. Gilt-edged or fancy
stationery is vulgar.
I herewith append some examples. The English invariably insist on
the R. S. V. P., or answer if you please, on even church invitations.
This is not the regular New York custom.
The reason for this is that in England those asked to the church are
always expected also at the reception. Only the bridal party sit down
to an elaborate breakfast, the other guests being given the very
lightest of refreshments.
Mr. and Mrs.
request your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Thursday, February the twenty-eighth,
at twelve o'clock.
Broadway and Tenth Street.
Mr. and Mrs.
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Mr. and Mrs.
request your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Thursday, February the twenty-eighth,
at twelve o'clock.
Broadway and Tenth Street.
Mr. and Mrs.
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
on Tuesday morning, November twenty-seventh,
at half past eleven o'clock.
St. Leo's Church,
East Twenty-eighth Street.
Please present this card at
St. Leo's Church,
Mr. and Mrs.
request the pleasure of
Lord and Lady 's
St. Peter's, Eaton Square,
on Saturday, November 4th, at two o'clock,
on the occasion of the marriage of their daughter
Margaret and ,
and afterward at 1 Grosvenor Square.
R. S. V. P.
St. Peter's Church, Eaton Square,
on November 4th, 1895, at two o'clock.
If the bride whom a bachelor is marrying is a widow and lives in her
own house, the invitations to the church and the reception, or to
either or both, would read simply, The pleasure of your company is
requested at the wedding, etc., with a separate card bearing the word
reception and stating the hour and address.
Should there be no guests at the wedding, and should it be conducted
very quietly or privately, it is necessary that announcement cards be
sent out after the event has taken place. These are issued in the name
of the bride's parent, parents, or guardian, who simply announce the
marriage of their daughter [or ward] Elizabeth to Mr. Henry Smith
Walcott, Thursday, June the twentieth, eighteen hundred and
ninety-six. In the left-hand corner is placed the address of those
sending out the cards. A card is also inclosed with the names of the
newly married couple, their address, and their reception day. Should
there be neither parents nor guardians, the parties to the contract can
announce it themselves with one card thus: Mr. William Benham Thorne
and Miss Eleanore Taylor, married on Thursday, November the seventh,
eighteen hundred and , New York. Another card can also be
inclosed, on which is the new address of the married couple, as well as
their day at home. If it is a church wedding, and there are neither
guardians nor parents, you can use the form, You are invited to be
present at the wedding of , etc.
A too rigid economy should not be observed in the sending of wedding
invitations, and the prospective bridegroom should see that this is
carried out. In case there are several members of a family, it is good
form to inclose an invitation to each; thus, Mr. and Mrs. Algernon
Smith, the Misses Smith, and Messrs. Smith making three smaller
envelopes inclosed in the larger one addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Algernon
As I have advised in the chapter on Cards, your pasteboard should be
left at the house of those in whose name the invitations are issued,
even if you are asked only to the church. If to the reception, you owe
two visits of digestionone to the bride's parents and one to the
All the expenses pertaining to a wedding are borne by the bride's
parents. The bridegroom, however, pays the clergyman's fee and provides
his own carriage, cab, or hansom from his rooms to the church. This
vehicle is also sent to the house of the best man.
All expenses after the marriage are, of course, defrayed by the
bridegroom. It has been strict etiquette for the bride and bridegroom
not to use the family carriage, which usually takes them from the
church, to fetch them to the railroad station, but one provided by the
bridegroom. It is frequently a matter of courtesy for the bride's
parents to offer this for the occasion.
The bridegroom should, as soon as the wedding day is
appointed, choose his best man and his ushers. The vogue is to ask his
nearest unmarried male relative or his most intimate bachelor friend to
serve in the capacity of best man. More recently a number of very
fashionable New Yorkers have had married men take that position, and
thus the innovation has sanction through the action of the smart set.
A married best man is said to be an English fad, but I find that it
could be more correctly termed an Anglo-Indian mode, as this new idea
is much more popular in Calcutta and Bombay than in London.
In the selection of ushers, a man asks usually some few of his
intimates or club friends, and through courtesy to his prospective
bride a male member of her family, frequently her brother. Six ushers
are the usual number, although four are quite sufficient. Some few men
have been known to dispense with the services of the best man and have
only ushers, but this is not exactly correct at a fashionable church
wedding. The ushers can be very easily omitted if the ceremony is to
take place at the house.
The bridegroom presents his best man and his ushers with
their ties, their gloves, and tie pin, which is a souvenir of the
occasion, as well as their boutonnières, or buttonholes, to
accept the last English expression, to be worn at the ceremony.
The tie, gloves, and tie pin are given to the best man and the
ushers at the farewell bachelor dinner; the boutonnières are
ordered at the florist's and sent to them on the morning of the
wedding. Lilies of the valley are the favorite wedding flowers, but the
floral arrangements are regulated by the bride's family, who possibly
have a certain color or flower scheme for the church decorations, and
the buttonholes must be in keeping.
The bridegroom generally provides hansoms or coupés to
drive his ushers to the church from their respective residences. As the
bride's family provides the carriages for the cortège, these
other vehicles may be dismissed at the church.
The bridegroom himself drives to the church in a hansom with
his best man.
If it is a house wedding these carriages need not be provided. In
this country the bridegroom does not give the bridesmaids any
token or present. In England he presents them with brooches or
bracelets. In New York the bride presents her maid of honor and
bridesmaids with souvenirs in the shape of lace pins, brooches, or
The bridegroom always gives to his bride a handsome wedding
present, which is to be worn or carried on the happy day. It may be a
diamond tiara, it may be a diamond star, it may be jewels of any kind
which he can ascertain would be acceptable to her, or it may be a
prayer book. The bridegroom does not provide any part of the
If the bride should carry flowers instead of a prayer book, this
special bouquet is the gift of the bridegroom, but the flowers for the
bridesmaids are provided by the bride.
The expenses of the wedding notices in the newspapers and the fee to
the clergyman are paid by the bridegroom through the agency of the best
The wedding ring is of bright burnished gold, perfectly plain. The
date of the wedding and the initials of the happy pair should be
engraved on the inside. The ring is confided to the best man, who
produces it at the proper time during the ceremony.
It is customary for a prospective bridegroom to purchase or, rather,
to have a wedding outfit made. Very elaborate affairs of this kind are
not in good taste, and anything which suggests the occasion is
certainly vulgar. Beyond the clothes for the ceremony, there should be
a general overhauling of the wardrobe and shirts, undervests,
underclothes, handkerchiefs, and such articles must, if any of them are
needed or have fallen into decay, be supplied or renewed. All this is a
matter of taste.
The bachelor farewell dinner is now a recognized institution.
Perhaps next to the ceremony itself, it is regarded as the most
important social function of the wedding week.
If you are a member of a club, your farewell dinner should be given
there in one of the private dining rooms. Otherwise it is perfectly
correct to have it at a well-known restaurant or hotel, in, of course,
a private dining room. You may have it at your own house, and, should
your parents be living and you reside with them, it can be given at
home. The club, however, is really first choice. Sometimes the strictly
bachelor dinner is dispensed with, and in its stead a dinner is given
to the entire bridal party by the family of the bride. This does away
with the presumed selfishness of the stag dinner, and the possible
excuse for some one or more of the guests to become exhilarateda
finale, I am grieved to say, that has happened on more than one
At the stag dinner you should have your best man, your ushers, and
several of your friends. You can invite a married man or so, especially
if he is a very jolly fellow, and it is expected that some one or more
of your bride's relatives will be included. Twelve is a good number,
but, of course, never thirteen, because women are generally
superstitious, and should this become known to your future one it might
cause her great mental anxiety.
The gloves, ties, and tie or scarf pins to be given to the best man
and ushers are placed in white boxes tied with white satin ribbon and
put in the outer room to be handed to each man as he bids adieu.
Perhaps it might be more prudent to place them at the covers, but it
would hardly be good form, as there would be in that case several of
the guests without favors. And, besides, a dinner with favors is not
permissible in these days.
Boutonnières of lilies of the valley should be also placed at
each cover. The menu cards should be simple but tasteful.
Elaborate menus are not now in the best form. In fact, with a
bachelor dinner, as with all functions of this kind, elegant simplicity
should be the predominating characteristic; cut glass and silver are
all that is required. In the center of the table a basket, or, better,
a silver jardinière of roses, is the only floral decoration.
During the course of the dinner these flowers are removed and are sent
to the bride-elect. It is sometimes the customand a very pretty
onefor each guest to note a sentiment on a menu card or simply
his own name, and have that sent also with the flowers.
The dinner itself can, but need not be very elaborate. I do not like
a dinner of many courses. It is usual to serve sherry and whisky and
caviare sandwiches in the anteroom before dinner, and also to have
cigars and cigarettes galore there as well as at table, although it is
not permissible to smoke before the cheese is served. I would recommend
raw oysters, a clear soup, a bit of fish with sliced cucumberan
attractive entrée; a fillet with vegetables, canvas-back
duck, cheese and salad, coffee, and fruit.
On the morning of the wedding the bridegroom is called for in the
hansom or cab which has been ordered for himself and the best man. The
best man calls for him and takes him to the church. They should time
their movements so as to arrive at least five minutes before the hour
appointed for the ceremony. The same precaution should be observed if
it is a house wedding.
At day weddings afternoon dress is de rigueur for bridegroom,
best man, ushers, and all male guests. The bridegroom, best man, and
ushers should be dressed alike in frock coats and waistcoats to match,
trousers of dark gray striped, patent-leather shoes, gray suede gloves,
white or pearl-colored scarfs, and top hats.
The English have allowed some latitude, and wear gray frock coats
and even colored shirts, but this fashion is not generally in vogue in
America. Evening weddings require formal evening dress. A wedding at
dusk in winter, where the bride wears traveling costume, calls for
afternoon dress on the part of the bridegroom.
The bridegroom and best man alight at the vestry. They remain in the
back of the chancel until the first notes of the wedding march notify
them of the presence of the bride. The best man must see before the
ceremony that the bridegroom's top hat, as well as his own, is sent to
the entrance of the church to be handed to the respective owners on
When the bride, on the arm of her father or guardian, approaches the
altar, the bridegroom and best man walk out from the vestry, either
together or the best man in advance. In the latter case the best man
steps back at the chancel rail, and allows the bridegroom to pass
before him. The bridegroom stands on the right-hand side of the altar
or reading desk and the best man on his right. The bride is on the
bridegroom's left, and her father or guardian a little behind her on
To avoid confusion, the ceremony is generally rehearsed an evening
or two before. Much depends on the liturgy of the communion to which
the couple belong. The best man has charge of the ring, and must
produce it and hand it to the clergyman at the time it is demanded.
At the conclusion of the ceremony the best man precedes the bride
and bridegroom in the procession, escorting the maid of honor, unless
the cortège has been differently arranged. In that case, he
makes his way either through the vestry or down one of the aisles to
the church door, where he superintends the filing away of the bridal
carriages and party. At the reception he goes in to breakfast with the
maid of honor, or with a near relative of the bride's family. He may
use the bridegroom's hansom from the church to the house, or he may go
with one of the family. There is no rule for this. The bride and
bridegroom use the bride's carriage.
The best man is intrusted also with the paying of the clergyman. The
bridegroom will give him a check for this purpose. As already stated,
he also inserts the marriage notices in the newspapers, the funds for
which are also provided by the bridegroom. He pays his own personal
The ushers meet in the church about an hour before the ceremony. The
bridegroom generally puts carriages at their disposal, but that is not
in the least obligatory. They can take hansoms or cabs, or for that
matter go to the rendezvous in the car or stage. The ushers stand at
the foot of the nave or aisle and busy themselves escorting guests to
seats. An usher offers his right arm to the lady he escorts up the
aisle. Even if a lady should be accompanied by her husband or escort,
the usher should offer her his arm, and the other man walks up behind
them. If an usher should not have had the formality of an introduction
to the lady he is showing to a seat, a bow and a smile when leaving her
is all that is necessary. An usher, being a friend of the family, knows
those who ought to go beyond the ribbon and those who are not relatives
or family connections. The bride's brothers, if they are ushers, take
care of the members of their family, and the intimate friends of the
bridegroom or his relations. The relatives of the bride are placed in
the front pews beyond the ribbon on the right-hand side of the altar,
and the bridegroom's on the left-hand side. At the arrival of the
bridal party the ushers get together and form in the back of the church
for the procession up the aisle or nave. Their meeting thus is the cue
for the sexton, who signals the organist, and the march is started. The
ushers advance up the aisle, two by two, until they reach the chancel,
where they divide on the right and on the left, allowing the
bridesmaids to pass before them, standing in a semicircle around the
altar rails. If it is a Roman Catholic wedding they genuflect as they
reach the chancel. They file down the aisle in the same order, heading
the bridal procession. At the carriage way they assist the bridesmaids
in their carriages, and by previous arrangement they are allotted to
certain carriages escorting the bridesmaids.
At the reception the bride and bridegroom take their places
under a wedding bell of flowers or in the front drawing room between
the two front windows, or, again, in the back drawing room. The house
is decorated with palms, potted plants, flowers, and other foliage.
Pink and white orchids, ferns, and chrysanthemums make very effective
decorations. The mother of the bride, or nearest female relative,
stands at the door of the drawing room and greets the guests. The
ushers and bridesmaids are scattered about the room. If there is only a
reception, then the guests, after exchanging greetings with the lady of
the house, pass on and shake hands with and congratulate the bridegroom
and wish the bride joy. Unless you are an intimate friend, do not
attempt any set speech. The bride will say, if she has not seen you for
a short time before the wedding, I must thank you, Mr. Smith, for your
beautiful present, or something of that kind. If you do not know the
bridegroom she will present you to him. If you are a friend of the
bridegroom he will present you to the bride, and should say, if such is
the case, Evangeline, or May, or Margaret, or otherwise; or My
dear, let me present to you Mr. Algernon Smith, who, you remember, is
one of my best friends. And if Mrs. has any tact, she will at once
reply, I am so pleased to meet any of my husband's old friends, and I
must thank you, Mr. Smith, for the beautiful bonbon dishes. They
were just what I wanted, or words to that effect. Then pass on.
Refreshments are served at a wedding reception from a buffet in the
dining room. If you enter with a lady, ask her what she would like, and
get it for her. Then take your own choice of refreshment, and stand or
sit by her as the accommodations of the room will permit. A half hour
at a wedding reception is sufficient. It is not good form to bid
good-by to the bride and bridegroom, but only to the lady of the house.
If there is no chaperonfor instance, if the bride be a widow or
divorcee and is in her own homethen you must bid her good-by, but in
such cases large receptions are not given.
There is always a breakfast or luncheon set for the bridal party, at
which the bride, escorted by the bridegroom, leads the way. The bride's
father, escorting the bridegroom's mother, the ushers and bridesmaids
and relatives follow. In this country we have no special law of
precedence, and these bridal luncheons are more or less informal. There
are no toasts.
After breakfast the valet, should there be one, must be ready with
the bridegroom's valise, when his master retires to put on a tweed suit
for traveling; otherwise it can be laid out by one of the servants.
With the coachman on the box and amid the usual shower of rice and
slippers, as also the fusillade of a battery of eyes from neighbors'
windows, and perhaps a crowd of street urchins and admiring servants,
the happy couple start out on their wedding journey. I think it is
better taste to wait until dark, almost, so as to avoid all this
unseemly publicity, and I am averse to having the coachman and horses
decked with white ribbons; but, of course, one does not marry every day
in the year, and these little eccentricities are pardonable on
suchshall I say?an auspicious occasion.
At a home wedding, as has been said above, ushers are not necessary.
The same ceremonial is observed as at church, but due allowance must be
made for crowded quarters. Usually very few are asked to the ceremony,
but many to the reception afterward. As soon as the ceremony is over
congratulations are in order, the newly married couple standing under
the bell of flowers where they were married, and receiving the good
wishes of their friends.
If a man marries abroad there are many annoying bits of red tape to
be considered. In London you are obliged to have a legal residence in
the parish where the ceremony is to be performed. In Paris a civil
marriage before the mayor of the district is necessary. Certificates of
baptism must be filed with him, and you must give proof of the legal
consent of both your parents as well as those of the bride. The
religious ceremony takes place twenty-four hours after the civil. It is
strict etiquette that the contracting parties do not see each other
during this interim.
The order of the wedding procession in France and on the Continent
differs vastly from that in England and America. There are neither
ushers nor a best man. If there are bridesmaids the groomsmen accompany
them. The bride enters on the arm of her father preceded by the
attendants, and the bridegroom follows, escorting his future
mother-in-law. A long procession of relatives brings up the rear. The
men, no matter at what time of the day the ceremony might take
placeand evening weddings are unknownare in formal evening dress.
Under the French law also no widow or divorcee can remarry until ten
months have elapsed since the dissolution of the previous contract.
This should not be forgotten by bachelors contemplating matrimony with
either one of these classes of eligibles. In Germany there are further
complications, and I would advise all citizens of the United States
contemplating matrimony there to consult the consul or minister at the
CHAPTER XX. FUNERALS.
When a death occurs in the house all matters should at once be
placed in charge of a relative or a friend of the family. The family
itself should be kept away from every one as much as possible, and none
of the sad details left to them. They should not be seen until the day
of the funeral. Front windows should be shut, blinds and shades pulled
down, and the outer or storm door of the house closed. A servant is
stationed in the hall near the door, as on reception days, to receive
the cards of persons calling. All acquaintances who have been
entertained at the house leave cards in person, others may mail them.
Only intimate friends of the family are admitted to the house.
Should you send flowers, do not purchase or order any set designs.
They are hideousremind one of the tenement funerals, and are
strikingly inappropriate. A bunch of white roses or of violets is a
beautiful offering for a young woman, or two palms crossed, with
violets or lilies of the valley attached, for a man or an elderly
person. These should be accompanied by your card. If you have been an
intimate friend, a few words writtena short note of condolencewould
not be amiss. To all of these notes, and in acknowledgment of these
offerings, one of the family nearest the deceased in relationship
should respond by sending their card with the words, Thank you for
your kind sympathy, or something of that sort, written upon it.
As a rule, when the deceased is a young man who belongs to several
clubs or who has a numerous acquaintance, it is better to have the
funeral from a church. Pallbearers are chosen from among his intimate
friends; a relative never acts as pallbearer. It is not customary for
any except the nearest relatives to go to the cemetery. Ladies of the
family do not accompany the remains to the cemetery, and they
frequently do not attend the funeral services at the church if the
deceased is a man.
If the funeral services are held at the house the relatives and
intimate friends are invited into the back parlor, dining room, or
upstairs, and make their appearance only when the services begin. The
undertaker attends to seating people, arranging the rooms, etc.
There is only one proper dress for a man to wear at a funeral. It
should consist of black frock coat, dark trousers, dark scarf and
gloves (gray or dark tan, but not black, unless you are a relative),
and top hat. Should you be a relative or a pallbearer, wear a black
weed on your hat.
As to periods of mourning, there seems to be some little difference
of opinion in New York. Ward McAllister treated the subject in quite an
exhaustive manner, advocating short mourning terms even for the nearest
relatives. For a wife eighteen months is considered the proper thing;
for a parent, twelve to eighteen months, sometimes two years; for a
brother or a sister, one year; and for a grandparent, six months. A
maternal or paternal uncle or aunt is entitled to about two months or
less, according to the intimacy which has existed between the families.
Seclusion from society is generally consonant with mourning for near
relatives. However, people now go to the theater and small dinners and
teas after nine months of mourning for the very nearest relatives.
It is not necessary for a man to shroud himself in black. A silk hat
with a crape band nearly to the top should be worn by widowers during
the first year of their widowerhood; but black shirt studs, black
sleeve buttons, handkerchiefs bordered with black, and the other
abominations in which the grief-stricken Frenchman arrays himself are
not tolerated in this country. In deep mourning one can wear black ties
and black gloves, but a white linen tie in summer is permissible. I do
not advocate the use of black scarf pins. A black band on the sleeve of
a gray suit is also another affectation which should be avoided. Cards
should be left after a funeral.
There is no code of etiquette established as yet for divorce. Second
marriages should be as quiet as possible. This advice is given to
bachelors who are contemplating matrimony with divorcées.
GENERAL ADVICE FOR UNCLASSIFIED OCCASIONS.
If you are chosen godfather, you are expected to send a silver mug
to your godchild. Christening parties are held about four in the
afternoon. Afternoon dress is required.
When giving a dinner or any entertainment at a certain well-known
New York restaurant do not refer to it as Del's. This is an earmark
When speaking of the city of New York do not refer to it as
Gotham. This shows the worst kind of provincialism and a vulgar
Even should your friends be among the most exclusive and fashionable
in any place, they are never swells, nor do they belong to the Four
Hundred. The latter term was once used by a gentleman to designate the
probable list of people who were to entertain in New York that season,
and has no bearing whatever upon the question of social limit.
If you send flowers never have them arranged in set designs. Fair
voyagers will thank you much more if you send fruit, sweets, or books,
as flowers on shipboard or railroad trains are nuisances. Books,
sweets, and flowers are the only gifts which a bachelor can offer or a
woman accept from him.
The terms lady and gentleman are distinctive. Your friends and
acquaintances are all supposed to be ladies and gentlemen. To
distinguish them as such implies a doubt. Should you call at a house
you ask if the ladies are in, so as to distinguish them from the
other females in the household. You also toast the ladies. In
referring to the gentler sex, it is more complimentary to speak of them
as women. You would say, She is a clever woman, not a clever
lady. The person who speaks of a lady or a gentleman friend has a
defined social positionon the Bowery.
Avoid slang, especially that of the music halls or the comic (?)
newspapers. You can well afford not to be up to date.
In greeting a person say Good morning, Good afternoon, or Good
evening, but refrain from such inane phrases as Delighted, I'm sure.
On introduction or presentation, it is sufficient to say I am
delighted to meet you. Avoid also the How d'y do? How are you?
Very well, I thank you. All this is idiotic.
Whistle all you like in your bedroom, but not in public.
Gentlefolk have friends stopping with them, never company.
Servants have and keep company.
When you refer to wine it means any kind of vintage, and not
necessarily champagne. Therefore beware of the gentleman who opens
wine, or the one who gives a wine party, whatever that may mean. We
speak of a dinner, but not of a dinner party. A party to the play, no
matter where the location of the places may be, is never a box party.
Do not be a professed jester nor yet a punster. The clowns of
society are not enviable beings.
When speaking of a fashionable woman do not refer to her as a
society woman. That would imply that she belongs to various societies
or guilds, which is not probably the impression you desire to convey.
When a person has a predilection for the use of the word elegant,
and especially when it is employed in the sense of beautiful, good,
charming, or delightful, you are quite just in your estimation of his
or her vulgarity.
Answers to questions should be given in the direct affirmative or
the direct negative. All right is not, to say the least, civil, and
Never exhibit your accomplishments, unless by special request, in
the public parlors of hotels, or saloons of ships, or other places of
general gathering. The persons who sing and play the piano and make
themselves bores are as reprehensible as the window opening and
shutting fiends, the fidgety travelers, the loud-voiced and constant
complaining, all of whom are most obnoxious.
Under great provocation the expletive damn is tolerated by
society, but it should be whispered and not pronounced aloud. The man
who swears is certainly beyond the pale, and the one who uses silly and
senseless exclamations is not far away from him. One of the marks of a
gentleman is his complete mastery of himself under the most trying and
These are but few of the many don'ts which it seems necessary to
repeat in works of this kind. For a more extended catalogue of social
and grammatical sins, the reader is referred to that excellent book The
Verbalist, by Alfred Ayres, and the clever little brochure
Don't. A careful study of these will assist him much in reviewing
elementary questions, the knowledge of which was taken for granted by
the author of the Complete Bachelor.
ACCEPTANCE, invitations, 46-48. Admission to clubs, rules for,
127-129. Admission, visitors to clubs, 131, 132. Advice, general, for
unclassified occasions, 195, 196. Afternoon calls, etiquette of, 43-45.
Afternoon dress, when worn, 12, 13. Afternoon tea, 45. Afternoon
wedding, 184, 185. Aisle, church and theater, going up, 5. Almonds,
salted, 69. Alpine hats, 28. Amateur accomplishments, 199. Announcement
cards, 176. Announcement, engagement, method of, 169. Answers, Assembly
and Patriarchs, 48. Answers, ball invitations, 48. Answers, committee
invitations, 48. Answers, dinner invitations, 48. Answers, form of,
46-48. Answers, general, 48. Artichokes, method of eating, 70.
Asparagus, method of eating, 70. Assembly balls, etiquette of, 48,
BACHELOR.For all functions with this title, see various heads of
chapters. Bachelor's farewell dinner, 181-184. Badminton, 148.
Bag, shoe, 30. Bag, traveling, what to take on a visit from Friday to
Monday, 91-93. Bag, traveling, voyage long, 160, 161. Ball, Assembly,
105-110. Ball, Charity, 103. Ball, general etiquette of, 48, 102-110.
Ball, Inauguration, 104. Ball, public, 48, 103, 104. Ball, supper at,
110, 111. Bath, bachelor's, 17, 18. Bathing, 156. Bath, Turkish, 22.
Beard, care of, 19. Best man, dress for, 184. Best man, etiquette for,
180-182, 184-187. Bicycling, 144, 145. Billiards, 157, 158. Boating,
156. Bolting food, 62. Boots, 12, 13, 28-30, 37. Boots, care of, 28-30.
Boots, riding, 142. Boots, russet, 13, 42, 147, 155. Bowing, etiquette
of, 2-6, 9. Bowling, 147. Bridegroom, 178-180. Bridegroom, dress of,
184. Bridegroom, expenses of, 177, 178. Bridegroom, presents to bride
and wedding party, 179, 180. Brushes, 19-26, 28-31. Brushes, clothes,
25, 26, 28-31. Brushes, hair, 19, 22. Brushes, hat, 28. Brushes, nail,
22. Brushes, tooth, 20. Butler, duties of, 100. Butter, when served,
CABS, London and Paris, 164, 165. Cabs, ushers and best men, 184,
186. Calls, afternoon, 43-46. Calls, balls and dances, 45. Calls,
condolence, 45, 193. Calls, dinner, 45. Calls, evening, 43, 46. Calls,
general etiquette of, 43-46, 106, 193. Calls, opera and theater, 45,
46. Calls, period in which to be made, 45. Card cases, 50. Card
parties, 55. Cards, announcement, 176, 177. Cards, condolence, 50, 195.
Cards, etiquette of leaving, 52, 53. Cards, etiquette of playing, 159.
Cards, etiquette of visiting, 49-53, 106, 193. Cards, how many to
leave, 51. Cards, leaving in person, 50, 51. Cards, mailing, 50. Cards,
wedding, 174-176. Carriage, etiquette of, 4, 139. Cars, etiquette in
street, 4, 8, 9. Carving, 65. Ceremony, wedding, 184, 185. Chafed
faces, how to prevent, 19. Chafing-dish suppers, 78. Chains, watch, 16.
Champagne, 71, 77, 78, 81. Changing clothes, 23, 24. Chaperones, 76,
79, 82, 87, 109. Cheating at games, 154. Christening, etiquette of,
196. Church, aisles, going up, 5. Church, ceremony at weddings, 184,
185. Churches, foreign, 166. Claret, 71. Cleaning clothes, 31. Clergy,
addressing, manner of, 122, 168. Closets, clothes put in, 26. Clothes,
care of, 24-31. Clothes, cost of, 32-42. Clothes, folding and brushing,
24-31. Clothes, overhauling, 30. Clothes, packing and putting away, 30,
31, 91-93. Clothes, removing and changing, 23-27. Clothes, removing
grease stains from, 31. Clowns of society, 199. Club, admission of
visitors, 131, 132. Club, admission to, 128-130. Club, bowing from,
window, 134. Club, elections to membership, 128-130. Clubs, etiquette
of, 126-136. Club, pipe smoking at, 133. Club servants, 134. Club,
treating at, 134. Club, wearing hat at, 133. Club, where ladies are
admitted, 135. Coaching, 143, 144. Coaching, dress for, 144. Coachman,
dress or and livery, 98. Coachman, duties of, 98. Coat of arms, 121.
Coats, care, folding, and keeping of, 24-26. Coats, cost of, 33-36, 38.
Coats, dinner or Tuxedo, 15, 35. Coats, dinner or Tuxedo, cost of, 35.
Coats, dress or evening, when to wear, 13, 56, 164-167, 186. Coats,
frock, cost of, 38. Coats, frock, when to wear, 12, 13, 186, 187, 195.
Coats, frock, colored, 13. Coats, lounge or sack, 10-12. Coffee, black,
when served, 73. Company, 198. Condolence, letters of, 125.
Congratulation, letters of, 125. Corn, eating on cob, 72.
Correspondence, etiquette of business, 120-123. Correspondence,
etiquette of friendly, 119-121, 124. Cotillon, etiquette of, 112-118.
Cotillon, figures of, 116-118. Cotillon, form of, 112-115. Cotillon,
leading a, 113-115. Country house, entertaining by bachelor, 86-89.
Country house, etiquette at, 85-93. Country house, furnishing of, 88.
Country house, tipping servants at, 90. Country house, visits at,
88-90. Crests, use of, 121. Crossing legs in public, 8. Crossing
streets, 1, 2. Cucumbers, how served and eaten, 69. Customhouse, French
and English, 166, 167.
Damn, when it may be excused, 200. Dance card, not used in New
York, 108. Dance, etiquette of, 102-118. Dance, forms of, 109, 114-118.
Dance, manner of asking to, 108. Dances, bachelor, 82. Dances, dinner,
60. Dances, invitations to, 48. Del's, 197. Diamonds, 16. Dinner,
bachelor farewell, 161, 162. Dinner, bachelor host at home, 77, 78.
Dinner, bachelor host at restaurant, 83. Dinner coat, when worn, 15.
Dinner dance, 60. Dinner, general etiquette of, 46, 47, 54-74, 77, 78,
82, 83, 161, 162. Dinner, serving at, 78, 100. Don'ts of table
etiquette, 62-65. Dress, afternoon, 13. Dress, afternoon wedding, 179,
185, 187. Dress, bachelor's, for all times, 13-16. Dress, badminton,
148. Dress, bathing, 156. Dress, boating, 156. Dress, bowling, 157.
Dress, butler, 101. Dress, coaching, 138. Dress, coachman, 98. Dress,
driving and coaching, 138. Dress, evening, 13-15, 32-35, 56, 156, 164,
166, 167. Dress, evening, formal, 13, 14. Dress, evening, informal, 15.
Dress, evening wedding, 187. Dress, foreign, morning and evening
functions, 164, 166, 167. Dress, funeral, 195. Dress, golf, 154. Dress,
groom, 96, 97. Dress, morning or lounge, 11, 12. Dress, polo, 148.
Dress, riding, 142. Dress, riding to hounds, 142. Dress, shipboard,
161, 162. Dress, shooting, 146. Dress, skating, 148. Dress, tennis,
156. Dress, theaters, London and Paris, 166. Dress, traveling, 160.
Dress, valet, 99, 100. Dress, wheeling, 145. Dress, yachting, 149, 152.
Drinking with mouth full, 63.
Eggs, eaten from shell, 66. Elevator, etiquette of, 5. Engagements,
announcement, 169, 170. Engagements, etiquette of, 169, 171.
Engagements, presents during, 171. Engagement ring, 170. Entrées,
manner of serving, 69. Envelopes and stationery, proper form of, 120,
122, 123. Envelopes, sealing, 122, 123. Escorts, 5, 9. Esquire, when
used, 121. Expenses, wedding, who pays, 177. Eye, bath for, 19.
Fares, paying, 9. Fees, foreign countries, 163-165. Feet, care of,
21. Fish, manner of eating, 69. Flask, brandy, 161. Flowers, sending,
171, 194, 198. Foreign etiquette, 162, 164. Foreign marriages, 191,
192. Four hundred, 197. French titles, 168. Frock coats, 12, 13, 38,
184, 195. Fruit, manner of eating, 71, 72.
Gifts, when engaged, 171. Golf, dress for, 155. Golf, etiquette of,
153, 154. Gotham, 197. Grace at meals, 58. Grape fruit, 67. Grease,
removal of, 31. Greetings, 198. Groom, dress of, 96, 97. Groom, duties
Hairbrushes, 22. Hair, care of, 21. Handkerchiefs, pocket, 14, 27.
Hands, care of, 20. Hands on table, 64. Hat, care of, 28. Hat, Derby,
when worn, 11. Hat, Hombourg or Alpine, when worn, 11. Hat, opera or
crush, 13. Hat, straw, 15. Hat, top or silk, 13, 14. Hoisting colors,
150, 151. Hounds, riding to, 142.
Introducing men to women, 41. Introduction, letters of, 45.
Introductions, etiquette of, 41, 42. Introductions, formal, 41.
Introductions, general, 41. Introductions in street not good form, 42.
Introductions, when and when not made, 41, 42. Invitation, ball, 48,
103. Invitation, dance, 48. Invitation, dinner, 46, 47. Invitation,
luncheon, 54, 76. Invitation, wedding, 172-176. Invitations, various
forms of, 46-48, 54, 76, 172-176. Inauguration Ball, 104.
Jacket, dinner or Tuxedo coat, 15, 34, 35. Jewelry, use of, 16.
Ladies annex to clubs, 135. Lady and gentleman, when used, 198.
Lancers, 109. Legs, crossing, 8. Letters, a bachelor's, 119-126.
Letters, addressing, 121-123. Letters, business, 122, 124. Letters,
condolence, 125. Letters, congratulation, 125. Letters, club, paper
written on, 124. Letters, destroying old, 120. Letters, friendly, 122.
Letters, hotel or business paper, written on, 124. Letters of
introduction, 45. Letters, sealing, 123. Letters, stamping, 123.
Lifting hat, occasions for, 2-7. Lift or elevators, etiquette of, 5.
Liqueurs, 73. London, cab and hotel fees, 165, 166. London, general
traveling etiquette, 165, 166. Luncheon dishes, 66. Luncheons, 54-56,
66, 74, 76, 77. Luncheons, bachelor, 76, 77. Lunch, quick, 64.
Macaroni, 72. Mailing cards, 51. Manners, code of table, 64-73.
Marriage announcements, 176. Marriage ceremony, 178. Marriages,
formalities at foreign, 192. Men servants, 94-101. Menus, 67, 77, 78,
81, 111, 183. Ministers fees, by whom paid, 186. Morning bath, 17.
Morning or lounge suit, 11, 12. Mr. and Esq., when to use, 121.
Mushrooms, how to eat, 70.
Nailbrushes, 20. Nails, 20. Napkin, proper use of, 63. Nervous
people at table, 63. Nobility, addressing, 167, 168.
Omnibus, Paris and London, 166. Olives, how to eat, 69. Opera or
crush hat, 14, 39. Opera or theater calls, 45. Opera, visits between
the acts, 80. Overcoats, 14-16, 25. Overcoats, Chesterfield and covert,
14-16. Overhauling clothes, 30. Oysters, 68. Oyster cocktails, 68.
Paper, note, correct kind, 120. Paris cabs, 165. Paris, etiquette
for strangers, 164-166. Paris theaters, 166. Park suits, 13.
Patriarchs' Ball, 105-111. Picnics, 85-87. Pipe smoking, 7, 133. Pope,
audience with, 166. Pourboires, 165. Programme at London theaters, 164.
Queen, how to address, 166. Quick lunch, 62.
Radishes, when served, 67. Reception, wedding, 188. Removing grease,
31. Restaurant, bachelor dinner and luncheon at, 80-83. Restaurants,
etiquette of, 5, 6. Riding, 140, 141. Riding to hounds, 142. Ring,
engagement, 169, 170.
Sack suits, 12. Salad, 71. Salt and pepper, individual, 75.
Savories, 71. Scarves, 16. Scotch whisky, 73. Sea, costume at, 161,
162. Sealing letters, 123. Seat, giving one's, in car or ferry, 8, 9.
Second helping, 65. Servants, a bachelor's, 94-101. Servants, club,
132, 134. Servants, general duties of, 94, 95. Shaven, clean, servants,
94, 95. Shaving, 18, 19. Shawl straps, 161. Sherry, 69. Ship, etiquette
on board, 160-162. Ship, sending flowers to, 198. Shirts, 11-14, 24,
32, 35, 37. Shirts, colored, 12, 37. Shoe bag, 30. Shoes and boots,
care of, 28, 29. Shoes, black leather, 12. Shoes, cost of, 36. Shoes,
general information about, 12, 14, 28, 29, 37, 38. Shoes, patent
leather, 12, 14, 28, 29. Shoes, russet, 12, 29, 145, 155, 162.
Shooting, 146. Shops, etiquette of, 4. Signatures to letters, 121.
Smoking, 7, 133. Smoking in street, 7. Smoking, pipe, 7, 133. Slang,
use of, 198. Society lady, 199. Soup, 68. Sporting bachelor, 136-160.
Stages, etiquette of, 4, 8. Stairways, etiquette of, 6, 7. Stamping
letters, 123. Stamp, use of club, 123. Standing, in presence of women,
6, 8. Staring at women, 8. Stationery, business and hotel, 124.
Stationery, club, 124, 134. Stationery, proper to use, 120, 124.
Stopping acquaintances in street, 4. Strawberries, 72. Street,
crossing, with lady, 1. Street, etiquette of, 1-9. Street,
introductions on, 42. Street, smoking in, 7. Stick, proper method of
holding, 7. Style of walking, proper, 7. Supper, ball and dance, 110,
111. Supper, chafing-dish, 78. Supper, given by a bachelor, 78, 81, 83,
84. Supper, restaurant, 78, 81, 82. Supper, suggestions for menu, 78,
81, 82. Swearing, caution against, 198.
Table, carving at, 65. Table manners, 62-74. Table, setting and
arrangement of, 75, 76. Tea, afternoon, etiquette of, 45. Teeth, care
of, 19, 20. Tennis, etiquette of, 148. Terrapin, how to eat and serve,
70. Theater aisle, walking down, 5. Theater and opera, calls at, 45,
46. Theater clubs, 82. Theater, etiquette at, 3-5, 8, 45, 46, 78-80,
82. Theater parties, 78-82. Theaters, etiquette at foreign, 162, 163.
Third person, addressing people in, 122. Ties and scarfs, 11, 12, 14,
16, 35, 179, 184. Ties, men's, cost of, 35. Ties, presentation of, to
best man and ushers, 179. Tips and tipping, 90, 132, 165, 166. Titles,
foreign, 167, 168. Toasts at dinner, 64. Toothbrushes, care of, 20.
Tooth washes, 19, 20. Toilet articles, care of, 22. Toilet, bachelor's,
17-24. Tonic for hair, 21. Towels for bath, 18. Traveling, etiquette
of, abroad, 161-163. Traveling, etiquette of, in America, 160-162.
Trousers, care of, 26, 27. Trousers, folding, 26. Trousers, white duck
and flannel, 12. Trunk, or bag, packed for Friday to Monday visit, 89.
Trunks, how to pack, 160. Trunks, traveling with, 161. Turkish baths,
22. Tuxedo coat, when to wear, 15.
Umbrella, how to carry, 7. Usher, dress of, 184. Ushers, duties of,
at wedding, 186, 187.
Valet, dress of, 99, 100. Valet, duties of, 98-100. Visiting cards,
49-53. Visiting cards, leaving, mailing, sending, 51-53. Visiting
cards, style of, 49, 50. Visiting, country house, 85-93. Visiting,
fashionable time for, in New York, 43. Visitors at clubs, 131, 132.
Von, use of title, 168.
Walking, etiquette of, 1-8. Walking, proper style of, 7. Waltzing,
109. Wedding, announcement, cards, 176. Wedding, church, 184-186.
Wedding etiquette, 172-193. Wedding expenses, 177. Wedding, house, 188.
Wedding, hour fashionable for, 172. Wedding receptions, 188, 189.
Weddings, divorcee's and widow's, 176, 192. Weddings, English and
French, 144, 145. Wheeling, etiquette of, 144, 145. Wheeling, proper
dress for, 145. Whisky, Scotch, 73.
Yachting, club rules for, cruise, 149-151. Yachting, etiquette of,
148-152. Yachting, proper dress for, 149. Yachting, proper uniform for
officers and crew, 152.