Much has changed in the world we live in since 1926. Just image how men and women back then would react if they saw people casually exchanging besos when they see a familiar face on the street, let alone the cropped tops and sheer clothing that girls today can’t seem to live without. What a nightmare that must be. Surely, change is inevitable, and today’s customs have become less rigid and more casual than those of the olden days. But after stumbling upon an old book published in the ‘20s, we’ve come to realize that there are a few things we ought to keep. As Colin Firth’s character said in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, "Manners maketh man.” Here are a few excerpts from Lady Troubridge’s The Book of Etiquette to help keep you in check.
When traveling: Dress well, but quietly.
“Anything startling should be avoided. Every woman wishes to arrive at the end of a long journey looking neat and tidy.”
When declining invitation: A reason should always be given for the refusal of an invitation.
“It is more courteous than an unqualified refusal, which suggests that the people invited have no wish to accept the proffered hospitality.”
At shows, concerts, or at the theater: Stamping of feet, whistling, or noisy acclamation of any kind is bad form.
“Ill-timed or continual applause is disturbing to performers and audience alike. Indiscriminate hand-clapping is not only annoying but it is a sign that the offender had poor judgment.”
When taking public transportation: Composed of manner and calm distinguish the well-bred traveler.
“He who is restless, excitable, fidgety, who talks in a loud voice, arranges and rearranges his belongings and ‘fusses’ generally, is merely advertising to the other travelers that he does not know how to behave himself.”
When tipping: Tips should be given in accordance with one’s own means.
“Some people have an entirely wrong idea about tipping, and think that they must give an amount proportionate to the style of the establishment they are visiting.”
Source: Troubridge, L. (1926). The Book of Etiquette, London, UK: Associated Bookbuyers' Co.
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