Victorian Etiquette for the New Millennium Important Rules of Conduct
Never point at another.
Never betray a confidence.
Never wantonly frighten others.
Never leave home with unkind words.
Never neglect to call upon your friends.
Never laugh at the misfortune of others.
Never give a promise that you do not fulfill.
speak much of your own performance.
Never fail to be punctual at the time appointe
Never make yourself the hero of your own story.
Never pick the teeth or clean the nails in public.
Never fail to to give a polite answer to a civil question.
Never question a servant or a child about family matters.
Never present a gift saying that it is of no use to you.
read letters which you may find addressed to
Never fail, if a gentleman, of being civil and polite to ladies.
Never call attention to the features or form of anyone present.
Never refer to a gift you have made, or favor you have rendered.
Never associate with bad company. Have good company or
Never look over the shoulder of another who is reading or
Never appear to notice a scar, deformity, or defect of anyone
fail to offer the easiest and best seat in the room
an invalid and elderly person, or a lady.
Never neglect to perform the commission which the friend
entrusted to you. You must not forget.
Never send your guest, who is accustomed to a warm room,
off into the cold, damp, spare bed, to sleep.
Never enter a room filled with people, without a slight bow
to the general company when first entering.
Never arrest the attention of an acquaintance by
Speak to him.
Never answer questions in general company that have been put
Never, when traveling abroad, be over boastful in praise of your
Never call a new acquaintance by the Christian name unless
requested to do so.
Never lend an article you have borrowed, unless you have
permission to do so.
Never attempt to draw the attention of the company constantly
|| Never fail to answer an invitation, either personally or by
within a week after the invitation is received.
Never accept of favors and hospitalities without rendering an
exchange of civilities when opportunity offers.
Never cross the leg and put out one foot in the street-car,
or places where it will trouble others when passing by.
Never exhibit anger, impatience or excitement, when an
when walking arm in arm with a lady, be
changing and going to the other side, because of change
of corners. It shows too much attention to form.
Never should the lady accept expensive gifts at the hands
of a gentleman not related or engaged to her.
Gifts of flowers,books, music or confectionery may be
fail to tell the truth. If truthful, you get your
You will get your punishment if you deceive.
Never borrow money and neglect to pay. If you do, you will soon
be known as a person of no business integrity.
Never write to another asking for information, or a favor of any
kind without inclosing a postage stamp for reply.
Never fail to say kind and encouraging words to those to those
whom you meet in distress. Your kindness may lift them out
of their despair.
Never refuse to receive an apology. You may not revive friendship,
but courtesy will require, when an apology is offered, that you
Never examine the cards in the card-basket. While they may be
exposed in the drawing room, you are not expected to turn
them over unless invited to do so.
attempt to convey the impression that you are a genius,
imitating the faults of distinguished men.
Because certain great men were poor penmen, wore long hair, or and
other peculiarities, it does not follow that you will be great by
imitating their eccentricities.
insult another by harsh words when applied to for a
Kind words do not cost much, and yet they may carry untold
happiness to the one to whom they are spoken.
Never fail to speak kindly. If a merchant, and you address your
clerk; if an overseer, and you address your workmen; if in
any position where you exercise authority, you show yourself
to be a gentleman by your pleasant mode of address.
give all you pleasant words and smiles to
The kindest words and the sweetest smiles should be
reserved for home.
should be our heaven.
"We have careful thought for the stranger,
and smiles for the sometime guest;
But oft for our own the bitter tone,
Though we love our own the best.
Ah: lips with the curl impatient ___
Ah! brow with the shade of scorn,
'T'were a cruel fate were the night too late
To undo the work of the morn."
Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms
by Thos. E. Hill.
Hill Standard Book Co., Chicago: 1881
Created in 1999 by Laura Lee Scott