Manners and Social Usages
Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood

Part 7 out of 7

reserved rather than if she is the reverse.

At Newport it is now the fashion for young ladies to drive young men
out in their pony-phaetons with a groom behind, or even without a
groom; but a gentleman never takes out a lady in his own carriage
without a servant.

Gentlemen and ladies walk together in the daytime unattended, but if
they ride on horseback a groom is always in attendance on the lady.
In rural neighborhoods where there are no grooms, and where a young
lady and gentleman go off for a drive unattended, they have thrown
Old-World etiquette out of the window, and must make a new etiquette
of their own. Propriety, mutual respect, and American chivalry have
done for women what all the surveillance of Spanish duennas and of
French etiquette has done for the young girl of Europe. If a woman
is a worker, an artist, a student, or an author, she can walk the
Quartier Latin of Paris unharmed.

But she has in work an armor of proof. This is not etiquette when
she comes into the world of fashion. She must observe etiquette, as
she would do the laws of Prussia or of England, if she stands on
foreign shores.

Perhaps we can illustrate this. Given a pretty young girl who shall
arrive on the steamer _Germania_ after being several years at school
in Paris, another who comes in by rail from Kansas, another from
some quiet, remote part of Georgia, and leave them all at the New
York Hotel for a winter. Let us imagine them all introduced at a New
York ball to three gentlemen, who shall call on them the next day.
If the girl educated in Paris, sitting by her mamma, hears the
others talk to the young men she will be shocked. The girls who have
been brought up far from the centres of etiquette seem to her to
have no modesty, no propriety. They accept invitations from the
young men to go to the theatre alone, to take drives, and perhaps,
as we have said, to "go on an excursion."

To the French girl this seems to be a violation of propriety; but
later on she accepts an invitation to go out on a coach, with
perhaps ten or twelve others, and with a very young chaperon. The
party does not return until twelve at night, and as they walk
through the corridors to a late supper the young Western girl meets
them, and sees that the young men are already the worse for wine:
she is apt to say, "What a rowdy crowd!" and to think that, after
all, etiquette permits its own sins, in which she is right.

In a general statement it may be as well to say that a severe
etiquette would prevent a young lady from receiving gifts from a
young man, except _bonbonnieres_ and bouquets. It is not considered
proper for him to offer her clothing of any sort--as gowns, bonnets,
shawls, or shoes--even if he is engaged to her. She may use her
discretion about accepting a camel's-hair shawl from a man old
enough to be her father, but she should never receive jewellery from
any one but a relative or her _fianc,_ just before marriage. The
reason for this is obvious. It has been abused--the privilege which
all men desire, that of decking women with finery.

A young lady should not write letters to young men, or send them
presents, or take the initiative in any way. A friendly
correspondence is very proper if the mother approves, but even this
has its dangers. Let a young lady always remember that she is to the
young man an angel to reverence until she lessens the distance
between them and extinguishes respect.

Young women often write to us as to whether it is proper for them to
write letters of condolence or congratulation to ladies older than
themselves. We should say, Yes. The respect of young girls is always
felt gratefully by older ladies. The manners of the present are
vastly to be objected to on account of a lack of respect. The rather
bitter Mr. Carlyle wrote satirically of the manners of young ladies.
He even had his fling at their laugh: "Few are able to laugh what
can be called laughing, but only sniff and titter from the throat
outward, or at best produce some whiffling husky cachinnations as if
they were laughing through wool. Of none such comes good." A young
lady must not speak too loud or be too boisterous; she must even
tone down her wit, lest she be misunderstood. But she need not be
dull, or grumpy, or ill-tempered, or careless of her manners,
particularly to her mother's old friends. She must not talk slang,
or be in any way masculine; if she is, she loses the battle. A young
lady is sometimes called upon to be a hostess if her mother is dead.
Here her liberty becomes greater, but she should always have an aunt
or some elderly friend by her side to play chaperon.

A young lady may do any manual labor without losing caste. She may
be a good cook, a fine laundress, a carver of wood, a painter, a
sculptor, an embroideress, a writer, a physician, and she will be
eligible, if her manners are good, to the best society anywhere. But
if she outrage the laws of good-breeding in the place where she is,
she cannot expect to take her place in society. Should she be seen
at Newport driving two gentlemen in her pony-phaeton, or should she
and another young woman take a gentleman between them and drive down
Bellevue Avenue, she would be tabooed. It would not be a wicked act,
but it would not look well; it would not be _convenable_. If she
dresses "loudly," with peculiar hats and a suspicious complexion,
she must take the consequences. She must be careful (if she is
unknown) not to attempt to copy the follies of well-known
fashionable women. What will be forgiven to Mrs. Well Known Uptown
will never be forgiven to Miss Kansas. Society in this respect is
very unjust--the world is always unjust--but that is a part of the
truth of etiquette which is to be remembered; it is founded on the
accidental conditions of society, having for its background,
however, the eternal principles of kindness, politeness, and the
greatest good of society.

A young lady who is very prominent in society should not make
herself too common; she should not appear in too many charades,
private theatricals, tableaux, etc. She should think of the "violet
by the mossy stone." She must, also, at a watering-place remember
that every act of hers is being criticised by a set of lookers-on
who are not all friendly, and she must, ere she allow herself to be
too much of a belle, remember to silence envious tongues.


In no respect can American and English etiquette be contrasted more
fully than in the matter of the every-day dinner, which in America
finds a lady in a plain silk dress, high-necked and long-sleeved,
but at which the English lady always appears in a semi-grand
toilette, with open Pompadour corsage and elbow sleeves, if not in
low-necked, full-dress attire; while her daughters are uniformly
sleeveless, and generally in white dresses, often low-necked in
depth of winter. At dinner all the men are in evening dress, even if
there is no one present at the time but the family.

The dinner is not so good as the ordinary American dinner, except in
the matter of fish, which is universally very fine. The vegetables
are few and poor, and the "sweets," as they call dessert, are very
bad. A gooseberry tart is all that is offered to one at an ordinary
dinner, although fine strawberries and a pine are often brought in
afterwards. The dinner is always served with much state, and
afterwards the ladies all combine to amuse the guests by their
talents. There is no false shame in England about singing and
playing the piano. Even poor performers do their best, and
contribute very much to the pleasure of the company. At the table
people do not talk much, nor do they gesticulate as Americans do.
They eat very quietly, and speak in low tones. No matters of family
history or religion or political differences are discussed before
the servants. Talking with the mouth full is considered an
unpardonable vulgarity. All small preferences for any particular
dish are kept in the background. No hostess ever apologizes, or
appears to hear or see anything disagreeable. If the _omelette
souffle_ is a failure, she does not observe it; the servant offers
and withdraws it, nor is any one disturbed thereby. As soon as one
is helped he must begin to eat, not waiting for any one else. If the
viand is too hot or too cold, or is not what the visitor likes, he
pretends to eat it, playing with knife and fork.

No guest ever passes a plate or helps to anything; the servant does
all that. Soup is taken from the side of the spoon noiselessly. Soup
and fish are not partaken of a second time. If there is a joint, and
the master carves, it is proper, however, to ask for a second cut.
Bread is passed by the servants, and must be broken, not cut,
afterwards. It is considered _gauche_ to be undecided as to whether
you will take clear soup or thick soup; decide quickly. In refusing
wine, simply say, "Thanks;" the servant knows then that you do not
take any.

The servants retire after handing the dessert, and a few minutes'
free conversation is allowed. Then the lady of the house gives the
signal for rising. Toasts and taking wine with people are entirely
out of fashion; nor do the gentlemen remain long in the dining-room.

At the English dinner-table, from the plainest to the highest, there
is etiquette, manner, fine service, and everything that Englishmen
enjoy. The wit, the courtier, the beauty, and the poet aim at
appearing well at dinner. The pleasures of the table, says Savarin,
bring neither enchantment, ecstasy, nor transports, but they gain in
duration what they lose in intensity; they incline us favorably
towards all other pleasures--at least help to console us for the
loss of them.

At very few houses, even that of a duke, does one see so elegant a
table and such a profusion of flowers as at every millionaire's
table in New York; but one does see superb old family silver and the
most beautiful table-linen even at a very plain abode. The table is
almost uniformly lighted with wax candles. Hot coffee is served
immediately after dinner in the drawing-room. Plum-pudding, a sweet
omelet, or a very rich plum-tart is often served in the middle of
dinner, before the game. The salad always comes last, with the
cheese. This is utterly unlike our American etiquette.

Tea is served in English country-houses four or five times a day. It
is always brought to your bedside before rising; it is poured at
breakfast and at lunch; it is a necessary of life at five o'clock;
it is drunk just before going to bed. Probably the cold, damp
climate has much to do with this; and the tea is never very strong,
but is excellent, being always freshly drawn, not steeped, and is
most refreshing.

Servants make the round of the table in pairs, offering the
condiments, the sauces, the vegetables, and the wines. The common-
sense of the English nation breaks out in their dinners. Nothing is
offered out of season. To make too great a display of wealth is
considered _bourgeois_ and vulgar to a degree. A choice but not
oversumptuous dinner meets you in the best houses. But to sit down
to the plainest dinners, as we do, _in plain clothes_, would never
be permitted. Even ladies in deep mourning are expected to make some
slight change at dinner.

Iced drinks are never offered in England, nor in truth are they

In England no one speaks of "sherry wine," "port wine;" "champagne
wine," he always says "sherry," "port," "claret," etc. But in France
one always says "vin de Champagne," "vin de Bordeaux," etc. It goes
to show that what is proper in one country is vulgar in another.

It is still considered proper for the man of the house to know how
to carve, and at breakfast and lunch the gentlemen present always
cut the cold beef, the fowl, the pressed veal and the tongue. At a
country-house dinner the lady often helps the soup herself. Even at
very quiet dinners a _menu_ is written out by the hostess and placed
at each plate. The ceremony of the "first lady" being taken in first
and allowed to go out first is always observed at even a family
dinner. No one apologizes for any accident, such as overturning a
glass of claret, or dropping a spoon, or even breaking a glass. It
is passed over in silence.

No English lady ever reproves her servants at table, nor even before
her husband and children. Her duty at table is to appear serene and
unruffled. She puts her guests at their ease by appearing at ease
herself. In this respect English hostesses are far ahead of American

In the matter of public holidays and of their amusements the English
people behave very unlike American people. If there is a week of
holidays, as at Whitsuntide, all the laboring classes go out of town
and spend the day in the parks, the woods, or the country. By this
we mean shop-girls, clerks in banks, lawyer's clerks, young artists,
and physicians, all, in fact, who make their bread by the sweat of
their brows. As for the privileged classes, they go from London to
their estates, put on plain clothes, and fish or bunt, or the ladies
go into the woods to pick wild-flowers. The real love of nature,
which is so honorable a part of the English character, breaks out in
great and small. In America a holiday is a day when people dress in
their best, and either walk the streets of a great city, or else
take drives, or go to museums or theatres, or do something which
smacks of civilization. How few put on their plain clothes and stout
shoes and go into the woods! How much better it would be for them if
they did!

At Whitsuntide the shop-girls of London--a hard worked class--go
down to Epping Forest, or to Hampton Court, or to Windsor, with
their basket of lunch, and everywhere one sees the sign "Hot Water
for Tea," which means that they go into the humble inn and pay a
penny for the use of the teapot and cup and the hot water, bringing
their own tea and sugar. The economy which is a part of every
Englishman's religion could well be copied in America. Even a
duchess tries to save money, saying wisely that it is better to give
it away in charity than to waste it.

An unpleasant feature of English life is, however, the open palm,
every one being willing to take a fee, from a penny up to a
shilling, for the smallest service. The etiquette of giving has to
be learned. A shilling is, however, as good as a guinea for ordinary
use; no one but an American gives more.

The carriage etiquette differs from ours, as the gentleman of the
family rides beside his wife, allowing his daughters to ride
backwards. He also smokes in the Park in the company of ladies,
which looks boorish. However, no gentleman sits beside a lady in
driving unless he is her husband, father, son, or brother. Not even
an affianced lover is permitted this seat.

It must be confessed that the groups in Hyde Park and in Rotten Row
and about the Serpentine have a solemn look, the people in the
carriages rarely chatting, but sitting up in state to be looked at,
the people in chairs gravely staring at the others. None but the
people on horseback seem at their ease; they chat as they ride, and,
all faultlessly caparisoned as they are, with well-groomed horses,
and servants behind, they seem gay and jolly. In America it is the
equestrian who always looks preoccupied and solemn, and as if the
horse were quite enough to manage. The footmen are generally
powdered and very neatly dressed in livery, in the swell carriages,
but the coachmen are not so highly gotten up as formerly.
Occasionally one sees a very grand fat old coachman in wig and knee-
breeches, but Jeames Yellowplush is growing a thing of the past even
in London.

A lady does not walk alone in the Park. She may walk alone to
church, or to do her shopping, but even this is not common. She had
better take a hansom, it now being proper for ladies to go out to
dinner alone in full dress in one of these singularly open and
exposed-looking carriages. It is not an uncommon sight to see a lady
in a diamond tiara in a London hansom by the blazing light of a
summer sun. Thus what we should shun as a very public thing the
reserved English woman does in crowded London, and regards it as
proper, while she smiles if she sees an American lady alone in a
victoria in Hyde Park, and would consider her a very improper person
if she asked a gentleman to drive out with her--as we do in our Park
every day of our lives--in an open carriage. Truly etiquette is a
curious and arbitrary thing, and differs in every country.

In France, where they consider English people frightfully _gauche_,
all this etiquette is reversed, and is very much more like ours in
America. A Frenchman always takes off his hat on entering or leaving
a railway carriage if ladies are in it. An Englishman never takes
his hat off unless the Princess of Wales is passing, or he meets an
acquaintance. He sits with it on in the House of Commons, in the
reading-room of a hotel, at his club, where it is his privilege to
sulk; but in his own house he is the most charming of hosts. The
rudest and almost the most unkind persons in the world, if you meet
them without a letter or an introduction in a public place, the
English become in their own houses the most gentle, lovely, and
polite of all people. If the ladies meet in a friend's parlor, there
is none of that snobbish rudeness which is the fashion in America,
where one lady treats another as if she were afraid of
contamination, and will not speak to her. The lady-in-waiting to
Queen Victoria, the duchess, is not afraid of her nobility; her
friend's roof is an introduction; she speaks.

There is a great sense of the value of a note. If a lady writes a
pretty note expressing thanks for civilities offered to her, all the
family call on her and thank her for her politeness. It is to be
feared that in this latter piece of good-breeding we are behind our
English cousins. The English call immediately after a party, an
invitation, or a letter of introduction. An elegant and easy
epistolary style is of great use in England; and indeed a lady is
expected even to write to an artist asking permission to call and
see his pictures--a thing rarely thought of in America.


No sooner does the American traveller land in England than are
forced upon his consideration the striking differences in the
etiquette of the two countries, the language for common things, the
different system of intercourse between the employee and the
employer, the intense respectfulness of the guard on the railway,
the waiter at the hotel, and the porter who shoulders a trunk, and
the Stately "manageress" of the hotel, who greets a traveller as "my
lady," and holds out her hand for a shilling. This _respect_ strikes
him forcibly. The American in a similar position would not show the
politeness, but she would disdain the shilling. No American woman
likes to take a "fee," least of all an American landlady. In England
there is no such sensitiveness. Everybody can be feed who does even
the most elevated service. The stately gentlemen who show Windsor
Castle expect a shilling. Now as to the language for common things.
No American must ask for an apothecary's shop; he would not be
understood. He must inquire for the "chemist's" if he wants a dose
of medicine. Apothecaries existed in Shakespeare's time, as we learn
from "Romeo and Juliet," but they are "gone out" since. The chemist
has been born, and very good chemicals he keeps. As soon as an
American can divest himself of his habit of saying "baggage," and
remark that he desires his "luggage sent up by the four train," the
better for him. And it is the better for him if he learns the
language of the country quickly. Language in England, in all
classes, is a much more elaborate and finished science than with us.
Every one, from the cad to the cabinet minister, speaks his
sentences with what seems to us at first a stilted effort. There is
none of the easy drawl, the oblivion of consonants, which mark our
daily talk, It is very beautiful in the speech of women in England,
this clear enunciation and the proper use of words. Even the maid
who lights your fire asks your permission to do so in a studied
manner, giving each letter its place. The slang of England is the
affectation of the few. The "general public," as we should say,
speak our common language most correctly. At first it sounds
affected and strained, but soon the American ear grows to appreciate
it, and finds the pure well of English undefiled.

The American lady will be sure to be charmed with the manners of the
very respectable person who lets lodgings, and she will be equally
sure to be shocked at the extortions of even the most honest and
best-meaning of them. Ice, lights, an extra egg for breakfast, all
these common luxuries, which are given away in America, and
considered as necessaries of existence, are charged for in England,
and if a bath is required in the morning in the tub which always
stands near the wash-stand, an extra sixpence is required for that
commonplace adjunct of the toilette. If ladies carry their own wine
from the steamer to a lodging-house, and drink it there, or offer it
to their friends, they are charged "corkage." On asking the meaning
of this now almost obsolete relic of barbarism, they are informed
that the lodging-house keeper pays a tax of twenty pounds a year for
the privilege of using wine or spirits on the premises, and seven
shillings--equal to nearly two dollars of our money--was charged an
invalid lady who opened one bottle of port and two little bottles of
champagne of her own in a lodging-house in Half-moon Street. As it
was left on the sideboard and nearly all drunk up by the waiter, the
lady demurred, but she had no redress. A friend told her afterwards
that she should have uncorked her bottles in her bedroom, and called
it medicine.

These abuses, practised principally on Americans, are leading to the
far wiser and more generous plan of hotel living, where, as with us,
a man may know how much he is paying a day, and may lose this
disagreeable sense of being perpetually plucked. No doubt to English
people, who know how to cope with the landlady, who are accustomed
to dole out their stores very carefully, who know how to save a
sixpence, and will go without a lump of sugar in their tea rather
than pay for it, the lodging-house living has its conveniences. It
certainly is quieter and in some respects more comfortable than a
hotel, but it goes against the grain for any one accustomed to the
good breakfasts, the hearty lunch, and the excellent dinners of an
American hotel of the better class, to have to pay for a drink of
ice-water, and to be told that the landlady cannot give him soup and
fish on the same day unless her pay is raised. Indeed, it is
difficult to make any positive terms; the "extras" will come in.
This has led to the building of gigantic hotels in London on the
American plan, which arise rapidly on all sides. The Grand Hotel,
the Bristol, the First Avenue Hotel, the Midland, the Northwestern,
the Langham, and the Royal are all better places for an American
than the lodging-house, and they are very little if any more
expensive. In a lodging-house a lady must have a parlor, but in a
hotel she can sit in the reading-room, or write her letters at one
of the half-dozen little tables which she will find in each of the
many waiting-rooms.

London is a very convenient city for the writing and posting of
letters. Foreigners send out their letters of introduction and
cards, expecting a reply in a few days, when, lo! the visitor is
announced as being outside. Here, again, London has the advantage of
New York. The immediate attention paid to a letter of introduction
might shame our more tardy hospitality. Never in the course of the
history of England has self-respecting Londoner neglected a letter
of introduction. If he is well-to-do, he asks the person who brings
the letter to dinner; if he is poor, he does what he can. He is not
ashamed to offer merely the hospitality of a cup of tea if he can do
no more. But he calls, and he sends you tickets for the "Zoo," or he
does something to show his appreciation of the friend who has given
the letter. Now in America we are very tardy about all this, and
often, to our shame, take no notice of letters of introduction.

In the matter of dress the American lady finds a complete
_bouleversement_ of her own ideas. Who would not stare, on alighting
at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in the hot sunshine of a June evening, to
find ladies trooping in at the public entrance dressed in red and
blue and gold, with short sleeves or no sleeves, and very low
corsage, no cloak, no head-covering? And yet at the Grand Hotel in
London this is the nightly custom. These ladies are dressed for
theatre or opera, and they go to dine at a hotel first. No bonnet is
allowed at any theatre, so the full dress (which we should deem very
improper at Wallack's) is demanded at every theatre in London. Of
course elderly and quiet ladies can go in high dresses, but they
must not wear bonnets. The laws of the Medes and Persians were not
more strictly enforced than is this law by the custodians of the
theatre, who are neatly dressed women ushers with becoming caps.
Here, again, is a difference of custom, as we have no women ushers
in America, and in this respect the English fashion is the prettier.
It would be well, if we could introduce the habit of going to the
theatre bonnetless, for our high hats are universally denounced by
those who sit behind us.

The appearance of English women now to the stranger in London
partakes of a character of loudness, excepting when on the top of a
coach. There they are most modestly and plainly dressed. While our
American women wear coaching dresses of bright orange silks and
white satins, pink trimmed with lace, and so on, the English woman
wears a plain colored dress, with a black mantilla or wrap, and
carries a dark parasol. No brighter dress than a fawn-colored
foulard appears on a coach in the great London parade of the Four-

Here the London woman is more sensible than her American cousin. The
Americans who now visit London are apt to be so plain and
undemonstrative in dress that they are called shabby. Perhaps
alarmed at the comments once made on their loudness of dress, the
American woman has toned down, and finds herself less gay than she
sees is fashionable at the theatre and opera. But she may be sure of
one thing--she should be plainly dressed rather than overdressed.

As for dinner parties, one is asked at eight or half-past eight; no
one is introduced, but every one talks. The conversation is apt to
be low-voiced, but very bright and cordial--all English people
unbending at dinner. It is etiquette to leave a card next day after
a ball, and to call on a lady's reception day. For the out-of-door
_f^tes_ at Hurlington and Sandhurst and the race days very brilliant
toilettes of short dresses, gay bonnets, and so on, are proper, and
as no one can go to the first two without a special invitation, the
people present are apt to be "swells," and well worth seeing. The
coaches which come out to these festivities have well-dressed women
on top, but they usually conceal their gay dresses with a wrap of
some sombre color while driving through London. No one makes the
slightest advance towards an acquaintance or an intimacy in London.
All is begun very formally by the presentation of letters, and after
that the invitation must be immediately accepted or declined, and no
person can, without offending his host, withdraw from a lunch or
dinner without making a most reasonable excuse. An American
gentleman long resident in London complains of his country-people in
this respect.

He says they accept his invitations to dinner, he gets together a
most distinguished company to meet them, and at the last moment they
send him word: "So sorry, but have come in tired from Richmond.
Think we won't come. Thank you."

Now where is his dinner party? Three or four angry Londoners, who
might have gone to a dozen different dinners, are sulkily sitting
about waiting for these Americans who take a dinner invitation so

The London luncheon, which is a very plain meal compared with ours--
indeed, only a family dinner--is a favorite hospitality as extended
to Americans by busy men. Thus Sir John Millais, whose hours are
worth twenty pounds apiece, receives his friends at a plain lunch in
his magnificent house, at a table at which his handsome wife and
rosy daughters assist. So with Alma Tadema, and the literary people
whose time is money. Many of the noble people, whose time is not
worth so much, also invite one to lunch, and always the meal is an
informal one.

English ladies are very accomplished as a rule, and sometimes come
into the drawing-room with their painting aprons over their gowns.
They never look so well as on horseback, where they have a
perfection of outfit and such horses and grooms as our American
ladies as yet cannot approach. The scene at the corner of Rotten Row
of a bright afternoon in the Derby week is unapproachable in any
country in the world.

Many American ladies, not knowing the customs of the country, have,
with their gentlemen friends, mounted a coach at the Langham Hotel,
and have driven to the Derby, coming home very much shocked because
they were rudely accosted.

Now ladies should never go to the Derby. It is not a "lady" race. It
is five hundred thousand people out on a spree, and no lady is safe
there. Ascot, on the contrary, _is_ a lady's race. But then she
should have a box, or else sit on the top of a coach. Such is the

It would be better for all Americans, before entering London
society, to learn the etiquette of these things from some resident.

In driving about, the most aristocratic lady can use the most
plebeian conveyance. The "four-wheeler" is the favorite carriage. A
servant calls them from the door-step with a whistle. They are very
cheap--one-and-sixpence for two miles, including a call not to
exceed fifteen minutes (the call). The hansom cab with one horse is
equally cheap, but not so easy to get in and out of. Both these
vehicles, with trunks on top of them, and a lady within, drive
through the Park side by side with the stately carriages. In this
respect London is more democratic than New York.


The highest lady in the realm, Queen Victoria, is always addressed
by the ladies and gentlemen of her household, and by all members of
the aristocracy and gentry, as "Ma'am," not "Madam," or "Your
Majesty," but simply, "Yes, ma'am," "No, ma'am." All classes not
coming within the category of gentry, such as the lower professional
classes, the middle classes, the lower middle classes, the lower
classes (servants), would address her as "Your Majesty," and not as
"Ma'am." The Prince of Wales is addressed as "Sir" by the
aristocracy and gentry, and never as "Your Royal Highness" by either
of these classes, but by all other people he is addressed as "Your
Royal Highness."

The other sons of Queen Victoria are addressed as "Sir" by the upper
classes, but as "Your Royal Highness" by the middle and lower
classes, and by all persons not coming within the category of
gentry; and by gentry, English people mean not only the landed
gentry, but all persons belonging to the army and navy, the clergy,
the bar, the medical and other professions, the aristocracy of art
(Sir Frederick Leighton, the President of the Royal Academy, can
always claim a private audience with the sovereign), the aristocracy
of wealth, merchant princes, and the leading City merchants and
bankers. The Princess of Wales and all the princesses of the blood
royal are addressed as "Ma'am" by the aristocracy and gentry, but as
"Your Royal Highness" by all other classes.

A foreign prince is addressed as "Prince" and "Sir" by the
aristocracy and gentry, and as "Your Serene Highness" by all other
classes; and a foreign princess would be addressed as "Princess" by
the aristocracy, or "Your Serene Highness" by the lower grades, but
never as "Ma'am."

An English duke is addressed as "Duke" by the aristocracy and
gentry, and never as "Your Grace" by the members of either of these
classes; but all other classes address him as "Your Grace." A
marquis is sometimes conversationally addressed by the upper classes
as "Markis," but generally as "Lord A--," and a marchioness as "Lady
B--;" all other classes would address them as "Marquis" or
"Marchioness." The same remark holds good as to earls, countesses,
barons, baronnesses--all are "Lord B--" or "Lady B--."

But Americans, who are always, if presented at court, entitled to be
considered as aristocracy and gentry, and as such are always
received, must observe that English people do not use titles often
even in speaking to a duke. It is only an ignorant person who
garnishes his conversation with these titles. Let the conversation
with Lord B flow on without saying "My lord" or "Lord B--" more
frequently than is absolutely necessary. One very ignorant American
in London was laughed at for saying, "That isn't so, lord," to a
nobleman. He should have said, "That isn't so, I think," or, "That
isn't so, Lord B--," or "my lord."

The daughters of dukes, marquises, and earls are addressed as "Lady
Mary," "Lady Gwendoline," etc. This must never be forgotten, and the
younger sons of dukes and marquises are called "Lord John B--,"
"Lord Randolph Churchill," etc. The wife of the younger son should
always be addressed by both the Christian and surname of her husband
by those slightly acquainted with her, and by her husband's
Christian name only by her intimate friends. Thus those who know
Lady Randolph Churchill well address her as "Lady Randolph." The
younger sons of earls, viscounts, and barons bear the courtesy title
of "Honorable," as do the female members of the family; but this is
never used colloquially under any circumstances, although always in
addressing a letter to them.

Baronets are addressed by their full title and surname, as "Sir
Stafford Northcote," etc., by persons of the upper classes, and by
their titles and Christian names by all lower classes. Baronets'
wives are addressed as "Lady B--"or "Lady C--." They should not be
addressed as "Lady Thomas B--'" that would be to give them the rank
of the wife of a younger son of a duke or marquis, instead of that
of a baronet's wife only.

In addressing foreigners of rank colloquially the received rule is
to address them by their individual titles without the addition of
the surname to their titles. In case of a prince being a younger son
he is addressed as "Prince Henry," as in the case of Prince Henry of
Battenberg. The sons of the reigning monarchs are addressed as "Your
Imperial Highness." A foreign nobleman is addressed as "Monsieur le
Duc," "Monsieur le Comte," "Monsieur le Baron," etc.; but if there is
no prefix of "de," the individual is addressed as "Baron
Rothschild," "Count Hohenthal," etc.

While it is proper on the Continent to address an unmarried woman as
mademoiselle, without the surname, in England it would be considered
very vulgar. "Miss" must be followed by the surname. The wives of
archbishops, bishops, and deans are simply Mrs. A--, Mrs. B--, etc.,
while the archbishop and bishop are always addressed as "Your Grace"
and as "My lord," their wives deriving no precedency and no title
from their husbands' ecclesiastical rank. It is the same with
military personages.

Peeresses invariably address their husbands by their title; thus the
Duchess of Sutherland calls her husband "Sutherland," etc. Baronets'
wives call their husbands "Sir John" or "Sir George," etc.

The order of precedency in England is strictly adhered to, and
English matrons declare that it is the greatest convenience, as it
saves them all the trouble of choosing who shall go in first, etc.
For this reason, among others, the "Book of the Peerage" has been
called the Englishman's Bible, it is so often consulted.

But the question of how to treat English people has many another
phase than that of mere title, as we look at it from an American
point of view.

When we visit England we take rank with the highest, and can well
afford to address the queen as "Ma'am." In fact, we are expected to
do so. A well-bred, well-educated, well-introduced American has the
highest position in the social scale. He may not go in to dinner
with a duchess, but he is generally very well placed. As for a well-
bred, handsome woman, there is no end to the privileges of her
position in England, if she observes two or three rules. She should
not effuse too much, nor be too generous of titles, nor should she
fail of the necessary courtesy due always from guest to hostess. She
should have herself presented at court by her Minister or by some
distinguished friend, if She wishes to enter fashionable society.
Then she has the privilege of attending any subsequent Drawing-room,
and is eligible to invitations to the court bails and royal
concerts, etc.

American women have succeeded wonderfully of late years in all
foreign society from their beauty, their wit, and their originality.
From the somewhat perilous admiration of the Prince of Wales and
other Royal Highnesses for American beauties, there has grown up,
however, a rather presumptuous boldness in some women, which has
rather speedily brought them into trouble, and therefore it may be
advisable that even a witty and very pretty woman should hold
herself in check in England.

English people are very kind in illness, grief, or in anything which
is inevitable, but they are speedily chilled by any step towards a
too sudden intimacy. They resent anything like "pushing" more than
any other people in the world. In no country has intellect, reading,
cultivation, and knowledge such "success" as in England. If a lady,
especially, can talk well, she is invited everywhere. If she can do
anything to amuse the company--as to sing well, tell fortunes by the
hand, recite, or play in charades or private theatricals--she is
almost sure of the highest social recognition. She is expected to
dress well, and Americans are sure to do this. The excess of
dressing too much is to be discouraged. It is far better to be too
plain than too fine in England, as, indeed, it is everywhere; an
overdressed woman is undeniably vulgar in any country.

If we could learn to treat English people as they treat us in the
matter of _introductions_, it would be a great advance. The English
regard a letter of introduction as a sacred institution and an
obligation which cannot be disregarded. If a lady takes a letter to
Sir John Bowring, and he has illness in his family and cannot ask
her to dinner, he comes to call on her, he sends her tickets for
every sort of flower show, the museums, the Botanical Garden, and
all the fine things; he sends her his carriage--he evidently has her
on his mind. Sir Frederick Leighton, the most courted, the busiest
man in London, is really so kind, so attentive, so assiduous in his
response to letters of introduction that one hesitates to present a
letter for fear of intruding on his industrious and valuable life.

Of course there are disagreeable English people, and there is an
animal known as the English snob, than which there is no Tasmanian
devil more disagreeable. Travellers everywhere have met this
variety, and one would think that formerly it must have been more
common than it is now. There are also English families who have a
Continental, one might say a cosmopolitan, reputation for
disagreeability, as we have some American families, well known to
history, who have an almost patrician and hereditary claim to the
worst manners in the universe. Well-born bears are known all over
the world, but they are in the minority. It is almost a sure sign of
base and ignoble blood to be badly mannered. And if the American
visitor treats his English host half as well as the host treats him,
he may feel assured that the _entente cordiale_ will soon be

One need not treat the average Englishman either with a too effusive
cordiality or with that half-contemptuous fear of being snubbed
which is of all things the most disagreeable. A sort of "chip on the
shoulder" spread-eagleism formerly made a class of Americans
unpopular; now Americans are in favor in England, and are treated
most cordially.


Life at a French watering-place differs so essentially from that at
our own Saratoga, Sharon, Richfield, Newport, and Long Branch, that
a few items of observation may be indulged in to show us what an
immense improvement we could introduce into our study of amusement
by following the foreign fashions of simplicity in eating and

The Continental people never eat that heavy early meal which we call
breakfast. They take in their rooms at eight o'clock a cup of coffee
and a roll, what they call _caf, complet_, or they may prefer tea
and oatmeal, the whole thing very simple. Then at Aix-les Rains or
Vichy the people under treatment go to the bath, taking a rest
afterwards. All this occupies an hour. They then rise and dress for
the eleven o'clock _d,jeuner ... la fourchette_, which is a formal
meal served in courses, with red wine instead of coffee or tea. This
is all that one has to do in the eating line until dinner. Imagine
what a fine clear day that gives one. How much uninterrupted time!
How much better for the housekeeper in a small boarding-house! And
at a hotel where the long, heavy breakfast, from seven to eleven,
keeps the dining-room greasy and badly ventilated until the tables
must be cleared for a one or two o'clock dinner, it is to contrast
order with disorder, and neatness with its reverse.

The foreign breakfast at eleven is a delicious meal, as will be seen
by the following bills of fare: _oeufs au beurre noir_; _saut,
printanier_ (a sort of stew of meat and fresh vegetables); _viande
froide panach,e_; _salade de saison_; _compote de fruit et
pftisserie_; _fromage_, _fruit_, _caf,_.

Another breakfast is: _oeufs au plat_; _poulet ... la Godard_;
_c'telettes de mouton grillees_; _reviere pommes de terre_; _flans
d'apricot_; and so on, with every variety of stewed pigeon, trout
from the lake, delicious preparations of spinach, and always a
variety of the cheeses which are so fresh and so healthful, just
brought from the Alpine valleys. The highly flavored Alpine
strawberries are added to this meal. Then all eating is done for the
day until the six or seven o'clock dinner. This gives the visitor a
long and desirable day for excursions, which in the neighborhood of
Aix are especially charming, particularly the drive to Chambery, one
of the most quaintly interesting of towns, through the magnificent
break in the Alps at whose southern portal stands La Grande
Chartreuse. All this truly healthy disposition of time and of eating
is one reason why a person comes home from a foreign watering-place
in so much better trim, morally, mentally, and physically, than from
the unhealthy gorging of our American summer resorts.

At twelve or one begins the music at the Casino, usually a pretty
building in a garden. In this shady park the mammas with their
children sit and listen to the strains of the best bands in Europe.
Paris sends her artists from the Chftelet, and the morning finds
itself gone and well into the afternoon before the outside pleasures
of the Casino are exhausted. Here, of course, trip up and down on
the light fantastic toe, and in the prettiest costumes of the day,
all the daughters of the earth, with their attendant cavaliers.
There are certain aspects of a foreign watering-place with which we
have nothing to do here, such as the gambling and the overdressing
of a certain class, but all is externally most respectable. At four
or earlier every one goes to drive in the _voiture de place_ or the
_voiture de remise_, the latter being a handsome hired carriage of a
superior class. But the _voiture de place_, with a Savoyard driver,
is good enough. He knows the road; his sturdy horse is accustomed to
the hills; he takes one for three francs an hour--about half what is
charged at Saratoga or Sharon or Richfield; he expects a few cents
as pourboire, that is all. The vehicle is a humble sort of victoria,
very easy and safe, and the drive is generally through scenery of
the most magnificent description.

Ladies at a foreign watering-place have generally much to amuse them
at the shops. Antiquities of all sorts, especially old china
(particularly old Saxe), also old carved furniture from the well-
known chateaux of Savoy, are found at Aix. The prices are so small
compared with what such curiosities would bring in New York that the
buyer is tempted to buy what she does not want, forgetting how much
it will cost to get it home. Old lace and bits of embroidery and
stuffs are brought to the door. There is nothing too rococo for the
peripatetic vender in these foreign watering-places.

The dinner is a very good one. Cooked by Italian or French cooks, it
may be something of this sort: _potage de riz_; _lavarets St.
Houlade_; filets de boeuf Beaumaire_ (a delicious sauce with basil
mixed in it, a slight taste of aniseed); _bouchers ... la reine_;
_chapon roti au cresson_; _asperge au branches_; _glace au
chocolat_; _caf,_; or: _potage au Cr,cy_; _turbot aux cfpres_;
_langue de boeuf_; _petits pois, lies au beurre_; _bombe vanille_;
with fruits, cheese, and cakes, and always the wine of the country,
for which no extra charge is made. These delicious meals cost--the
breakfast four francs (wine included), the dinner ten francs. It
would be difficult in our country to find such cooking anywhere, and
for that price simply impossible.

Music in the Casino grounds follows the dinner. The pretty women, by
this time in the short, gay foulards and in the dressy hats in which
they will appear later at the Casino ball, are tripping up and down
in the gas-lighted grounds. The scene is often illuminated by
fireworks. At eight and a half the whole motley crew has entered the
Casino, and there the most amusing dancing--valse, galop, and polka
--is in vogue. The Pole is known by his violent dancing; "he strikes
and flutters like a cock, he capers in the air, he kicks his heels
up to the stars." There is heartiness in the dancing of the Swedes
and Danes, there is mettle in their heels, but no people caper like
the Poles. The Russians and the Americans dance the best. They are
the elegant dancers of the world. French women dance beautifully:

"A fine, sweet earthquake, gently moved By the soft wind of their
dispersing silks."

No lady appears at the Casino bareheaded; it is always with hat or
bonnet, and she lives in her bonnet more or less even at the balls.

If a concert or a play is going on in the little theatre, the same
people take their places in boxes or seats, until every face becomes
familiar, as one knows one's shipmates. Sometimes pleasant
acquaintances are thus formed. A very free-and-easy system of
etiquette permits dancing between parties who have not been
introduced, and the same privilege extends to the asking of a party
of ladies to take an ice. All acquaintance ceases on leaving the
Casino, however, unless the lady chooses to bow to her cavalier.

Sometimes the steward of the Casino gets up a fancy-dress ball under
the patronage of some lady, and then the motley crew appear as
historical characters. It is a unique and gay spectacle. Here in the
land of the old masters some very fine representations of the best
pictures are hastily improvised, and almost without any apparent
effort the whole ball is gotten up with spirit and ingenuity. This,
too, among people who never met the day before yesterday. There is a
wide range of costume allowed for those who take part in these

The parquet floor of a foreign Casino is the most perfect thing for
good dancing. They understand laying these floors there better than
we do, and the climate does not alter them, as with us. They are the
pleasantest and easiest of all floors to dance upon.

Not the least striking episode to an American eye is the sight of
many priests and men in ecclesiastical garments at these Casinos.
The number of priestly robes everywhere strikes the visitor to a
French watering-place most emphatically. The schoolmasters are young
priests, and walk about with their boys, and the old priests are
everywhere. A solemn procession crosses the gay scene occasionally.
Three or four acolytes bearing censers, a group of mourners, a tall
and stately nun in gray robes and veil walking magnificently, and
moving her lips in prayer; then a group of people; then a priest
with book in hand saying aloud the prayers for the dead; then the
black box, the coffin, carried on a bier by men, the motley crowd
uncovering as the majesty passes; and the boys follow, chanting,

"The glories of our birth and state Are shadows, not substantial
things; There is no armor against fate; Death lays his icy hand on

Yes, and on the gay visitor at the Casino. These simple and
unostentatious funerals are very impressive. The priests always walk
bareheaded through the streets on these occasions, and on many
others. Indeed, the priestly head seems impatient of a hat.

The f^tes of the peasants are things to go and see, and the
unalterable differences of rank are deeply impressed on the American
mind. An old peasant woman has brought cheese and milk into Aix for
forty years, and now, in her sixties, she still brings them, and
walks eight miles a day. There is no hope that her daughter will
ever join in the gayeties of the Casino, as in America she might
certainly aspire to do. The daughter will be a peasant, as her
mother was, and far happier and more respectable for it, and
certainly more picturesque. How many of the peasant dresses have
given an idea to the modiste! And one sees in the fields of Savoy
the high hat with conical crown, with brim either wide or flat,
which has now become so fashionable; also the flat mushroom hat of
straw with the natural bunch of corn and red poppy, which has gone
from Fanchon up to the duchess. They both come from the fields.

Of course horse-races, formed after the plan of Longchamps, are
inseparable from the amusements of a French watering-place; and in
proportion to the number of guests to be amused; the horses come
down from the various stables. Pigeon-shooting goes on all the time.

It is said that the French have a greater hatred of ennui than any
other people in the world. They do not know what it means. They
amuse themselves all the time, and are never at a loss. The well-
bred French women have as much energy and industry as any New
England woman, but they take their amusement more resolutely, never
losing music, gayety, and "distraction." Perhaps what amuses them
might not amuse the more sober Saxon, but the delicate embroidery of
their lives, with all that comes thus cheaply to them, certainly
makes them a very delightful set. Their manners are most
fascinating, never selfish, never ponderous, never self-conscious,
but always most agreeable. The French woman is _sui generis_. She
may no longer be very young; she never was very handsome. Every
sensation that the human mind can experience she has experienced;
every caprice, whim, and fancy that human imagination can conceive
she has gratified. She is very intelligent; she was born with a
perfect taste in dress; and she is--all the novelists to the
contrary notwithstanding--a very good wife, an excellent mother, a
charming companion, a most useful and sensible helpmeet, with a
perfect idea of doing her half of the business of life, and of
getting out of her hours of leisure all the amusement she can. At a
French watering-place the French women of the better class are most
entirely at home and intensely agreeable.


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