The morning call should be very brief. This formal call is mainly one of ceremony, and from ten to twenty minutes is a sufficient length of time to prolong it. It should never exceed half an hour.

In making a formal call, a lady does not remove her bonnet or wraps.

Unless there be a certain evening set apart for receiving, the formal call should be made in the morning.

It is customary, according to the code of etiquette, to call all the hours of daylight morning, and after nightfall evening.

Calls may be made in the morning or in the evening. The call in the morning should not be made before 12 m., nor later than 5 p. m.

A gentleman, making a formal call in the morning, must retain his hat in his hand. He may leave umbrella and cane in the hall, but not his hat and gloves. The fact of retaining hat indicates a formal call.

When a gentleman accompanies a lady at a morning call (which is seldom), he assists her up the steps, rings the bell, and follows her into the reception-room. It is for the lady to determine when they should leave.

All uncouth and ungraceful positions are especially unbecoming among ladies and gentlemen in the parlor. Thus , standing with the arms akimbo, sitting astride a chair, wearing the hat, and smoking in the presence of ladies, leaning back in the chair, standing with legs crossed and feet on the chairs - all those acts evince lack of polished manners.

If possible, avoid calling at the lunch or dinner hour. Among society people the most fashionable hours for calling are from 12 m. to 3 p. m. At homes where dinner or lunch is taken at noon, calls may be made from 2 to 5 p. M.

Should other callers be announced, it is well, as soon as the bustle attending the new arrival is over, to arise quietly, take leave of the hostess, bow to the visitors, and retire, without apparently doing so because of the new arrivals. This saves the hostess the trouble of entertaining two sets of callers.

To say bright and witty things during the call of ceremony, and go so soon that the hostess will desire the caller to come again, is much the more pleasant. No topic of a political or religious character should be admitted to the conversation, nor any subject of absorbing interest likely to lead to discussion.

A lady engaged upon fancy sewing of any kind, or needlework, need not necessarily lay aside the same during the call of intimate acquaintances. Conversation can flow just as freely while the visit continues.

Be patient. The foreigner cannot, perhaps, recall the word he desires; the speaker may be slow of speech; you may have heard the story a dozen times; but even then you must evince interest and listen patiently through. By so doing you gain the esteem of the person with whom you are conversing.

During the visits of ceremony, however, strict attention should be given to entertaining the callers.

Gentlemen may make morning calls on the following occasions: To convey congratulations or sympathy and condolence, to meet a friend who has just returned from abroad, to inquire after the health of a lady who may have accepted his escort on the previous day. (He should not delay the latter more than a day.) He may call upon those to whom letters of introduction are given, to express thanks for any favor which may have been rendered him, or to return a call. A great variety of circumstances will also determine when at other times he should make calls.

Evening calls should never be made later than 9 P. m., and never prolonged later than 10 P. m.

In making a formal call in the evening, the gentleman must hold hat and gloves, unless invited to lay them aside and spend the evening.

In making an informal call in the evening, a gentleman may leave hat, cane, overshoes, etc., in the hall, provided he is invited to do so, and the lady may remove her wraps.

The evening call should not generally be prolonged over an hour. With very intimate friends, however, it may be made a little longer; but the caller should be very careful that the visit be not made tiresome.

General Suggestions

Calls from people living in the country are expected to be longer and less ceremonious than from those in the city.

When it has been impossible to attend a dinner or a social gathering, a call should be made soon afterwards, to express regret at the inability to be present.

A gentleman, though a stranger, may with propriety escort an unattended lady to the carriage, and afterwards return and make his farewell bow to the hostess.

Should a guest arrive to remain for some time with the friend, those who are intimate with the family should call as soon as possible, and these calls should be returned at the earliest opportunity.

Unless invited to do so, it is a violation of etiquette to draw near the fire for the purpose of warming one's self. Should you, while waiting the appearance of the hostess, have done so, you will arise upon her arrival, and then take the seat she may assign you.

When a lady has set apart a certain evening for receiving calls, it is not usual to call at other times, except the excuse be business reasons.

Ungraceful Positions


1. Stands with arms akimbo.
2. Sits with elbows on the knees.
3. Sits astride the chair, and wears his hat in the parlor.
4. Stains the wall paper by pressing against it with his hand;
5. Rests his foot upon the chair-cushion.
6. Tips back his chair, Boils the wall by resting his head against it,

The Use Of Cards When Calling

The gentleman's card should bear nothing but the name and address of the caller, in small script or card text. In addition, the lady's card may bear the "Mrs." or the "Miss

A card left, during your illness, should be answered by a call as soon as your health will permit.

When about leaving town, the card which is left will bear on the lower left-hand corner the letters "P. P. C."- " Presents parting compliments," from the French "Pour Prendre Conge" - to take leave. The card may also be sent by mail or private carrier, the latter mode of conveyance showing most respect.

A card sent to a person who is ill or in affliction, from the loss of a relative, should be accompanied by verbal inquiries regarding the person's health.

Cards may be left immediately where a death is known, but a call of sympathy and condolence is not usually made within a week after the bereavement.

The lady in mourning who may not desire to make calls, will send mourning cards instead of making calls for such period of time as she may not desire to mingle in general society.

Should the servant reply to a gentleman that the lady of the house, to whom the call is made, is not at home, but the daughter is, he should send in his card, as it is not usual for young ladies to receive calls from gentlemen unless they are quite intimate friends.

It is well to have cards in readiness at every call. If a servant meets you at the door, to send up a card will save mispronouncing your name, and if the lady is not at home it will show that you have called. Should there be two or more ladies in the household, to turn down one corner of the card will signify that the call was designed for all the family.

The handsomest style of card is that which is engraved; next is that which is prettily written. Succeeding, comes the printed card, which, with some of the modern script or text types, makes a most beautiful card if neatly printed. Extra ornament is out of place.

When desirous of seeing anyone at a hotel or parlor, send up your card by the waiter, while you wait in the reception-room or office.

The hostess should, if not desiring to see anyone, send word that she is "engaged" when the servant first goes to the door, and not after the card has been sent up. Should she desire certain persons only to be admitted, let the servant understand the names definitely.

Gentility in the Parlor


The figures in the illustration represent graceful postures to be assumed by both ladies and gentlemen in the parlor. As will be seen, whether holding hat or fan, either sitting or standing, the positions are all easy and graceful.

To assume an easy. genteel attitude, the individual must be self-possessed. To be so, attention must be given to easy flow of language, happy expression of thought, study of cultured society and the general laws of etiquette.

What Should Be Avoided When Calling

Do not stare around the room.

Do not take a dog or small child.

Do not linger at the dinner-hour.

Do not lay aside the bonnet at a formal call.

Do not fidget with your cane, hat or parasol.

Do not make a call of ceremony on a wet day.

Do not turn your back to one seated near you.

Do not touch the piano, unless invited to do so.

Do not handle ornaments or furniture in the room.

Do not make a display of consulting your watch.

Do not go to the room of an invalid, unless invited.

Do not remove the gloves when making a formal call.

Do not continue the call longer when conversation begins to lag.

Do not remain when you find the lady upon the point of going out.

Do not make the first call if you are a new-comer in the neighborhood.

Do not open or shut doors or windows or alter the arrangement of the room.

Do not enter a room without first knocking and receiving an invitation to come in.

Do not resume your seat after having risen to go, unless for important reasons.

Do not walk around the room, examining pictures, while waiting for the hostess.

Do not introduce politics, religion or weighty topics for conversation when making calls.

Do not prolong the call if the room is crowded. It is better to call a day or two afterwards.

Do not call upon a person in reduced circumstances with a display of wealth, dress and equipage.

Do not tattle. Do not speak ill of your neighbors. Do not carry gossip from one family to another.

Do not, if a gentleman, seat yourself upon the sofa beside the hostess, or in near proximity, unless invited to do so.

Do not, if a lady, call upon a gentleman, except officially or professionally, unless he may be a confirmed invalid.

Do not take a strange gentleman with you, unless positively certain that his introduction will be received with favor.

Do not, if a gentleman, leave the hat in the hall when making merely a formal call. If the call is extended into a visit, it may then be set aside. Whether sitting or standing, the hat may be gracefully held in the hand.

Duty Of The Hostess

She should greet each guest with quiet, easy grace.
She should avoid leaving the room while guests are present
She should furnish refreshments to those callers who come a long distance to see her.
She should be aided, upon important occasions, by a gentleman, in the reception of guests.
She should avoid speaking disrespectfully of those who have previously called upon her; she should equally divide her attentions among the several callers, that none may feel slighted.
P. P. C. cards are no longer left when leaving home to be absent a few months.

Ready to Go, Yet Waiting.
Ready to Go, Yet Waiting


OME evening callers make themselves odious by continuing their visit too long, and even when they have risen to depart they lack decision of purpose to go, but will frequently stand several minutes before taking final leave, and then when wraps are on and they are nearly gone, they will stand in the doorway to tell one more story while the hostess protects herself as best she can from the incoming gusts of wind and storm, sometimes thus taking a cold that ends in death. When the guest is ready to go - go.

The Inquisitive, Disagreeable Caller.
The Inquisitive, Disagreeable Caller.

MONG the disagreeable callers are the husband and wife who come with a child and a small dog; the husband making himself familiar with the hostess, the dog barking at the cat, the child taking the free run of the house, while the wife, in the meantime, passes around the room, handling and examining the ornaments.

Other unpleasant callers are the man with the muddy boots, and the individual just in out of the rain, from whose overcoat and umbrella the water drips on the carpet.


F LATE years it has become fashionable for ladies in many cities and villages to announce in the newspapers the fact of their intention to receive calls upon New Year's day, which practice is very excellent, as it enables gentlemen to know positively who will be prepared to receive them on that occasion; besides, changes of residence are so frequent in large cities as to make the publication of names and places of calling a great convenience.

The practice of issuing personal notes of invitation, which is sometimes done, to a list of gentlemen acquaintances, stating that certain ladies will receive on New Year's day, is not to be commended. It looks very much like begging the gentlemen to come and see them; moreover, should the practice generally prevail, it would, in a brief time, abolish New Year's calls altogether, as gentlemen would not feel at liberty to make calls unless personally invited; and thus the custom would soon go into disuse.

Upon calling, the gentlemen are invited to remove overcoat and hat, which invitation is accepted unless it is the design to make the call very brief. If refreshments are provided, the ladies will desire to have the gentlemen partake of them, which cannot conveniently be done in overcoat, with hat in hand. Gloves are sometimes retained upon the hand during the call, but this is optional. Cards are sent up, and the gentlemen are ushered into the reception-room. The call should not exceed ten or fifteen minutes, unless the callers are few and it should be mutually agreeable to prolong the stay.

Best taste will suggest that a lady having the conveniences shall receive her guests at her own home, but it is admissible and common for several ladies to meet at the residence of one and receive calls together. Whether ladies make announcement or not, however, it will be usually safe for gentlemen to call on their lady friends on New Year's, as the visit will generally be received with pleasure.

It is customary for the ladies who announce that they will receive to make their parlors attractive on that day, and present themselves in full dress. They should have a bright, cheerful fire, if the weather be cold, and a table, conveniently located in the room, with refreshments, consisting of fruits, cakes, bread and other food, such as may be deemed desirable, with tea and coffee. No intoxicating drinks should be allowed. Refreshments are in no case absolutely essential. They can be dispensed with if not convenient.

waiting for New Year's Calls

Gentlemen Making New Year's CallsLadies expecting calls on New Year's should be in readiness to receive from 10 a. m. to 9 p. m. It is pleasant for two or more ladies to receive calls together on that occasion, as several ladies can the more easily entertain a party of several gentlemen who may be present at one time. While gentlemen may go alone, they also frequently go in pairs, threes, fours or more. They call upon all the ladies of the party, and where they are not acquainted introductions take place, care being taken that persons do not intrude themselves where they would not be welcome. Each gentleman should be provided with a large number of cards, with his own name upon each, one of which he will present to every lady of the company where he calls.

The ladies keep these cards for future reference, it being often pleasant to revive the incidents of the day by subsequent examination of the cards received upon that occasion.

An usher should be present wherever many calls are expected, to receive guests and care for hats and coats. The calls are necessarily very brief, and are made delightfully pleasant by continual change of face and conversation. But, however genial and free may be the interchange of compliments upon this occasion, no young man who is a stranger to the family should feel at liberty to call again without a subsequent invitation.

The two or three days succeeding New Year's are the ladies' days for calling, upon which occasion they pass the compliments of the season, comment upon the incidents connected with the festivities of the holiday, the number of calls made, and the new faces that made their appearance among the visitors. It is customary upon this occasion of ladies' meeting to offer refreshments and to enjoy the intimacy of a friendly visit.

In the matter of making calls it is the correct thing:

-- For the caller who arrived first to leave first.
-- To return a first call within a week and in person.
- To call promptly and in person after receiving an invitation.
-- For the mother or chaperone to invite a gentleman to call.
-- To call within a week after any entertainment to which one has been invited.
-- You should call upon an acquaintance who has recently returned after a prolonged absence.
-- It is important to make the first call upon a person of higher social position, if one is asked to do so.
-- It is proper to call after an engagement has been announced, or a marriage has taken place, in the family.
-- For the older residents in a city or street to call upon the newcomers in a neighborhood, is a long recognized custom.
-- It is proper, after removal from one area of the city to another, to send out cards with one's new address upon them.
-- To ascertain what are the ascribed hours for calling in the place where one is living, or making a visit, and adhere to those hours is a duty which must not be overlooked.
-- A gentleman should ask for the lady of the house as well as the young ladies, and leave cards for her as well as the head of the household.

More About Calling Cards

References: ETIQUETTE

Etiquette Politeness Parties In General
The Visiting Guest   Calling Etiquette
Conversation Etiquette   Public Amusement
Attending Balls Dinner Parties Formal Dinners

Dance Influence of Dance Guests
Music French Terms Order of Dances
Programme Gentlemen Guide Deportment
Ladies Toilette Refreshments Sociables
La Tempete       Quadrille
Round Dances Spanish Dance Square Dances
Virginia Reel Polka Waltz