Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Victorian Picnic Etiquette

If a lady chooses to seat herself upon the ground, you are not at liberty to follow her example unless she invites you to be seated. She must not have occasion to think of the possibility of any impropriety on your part. You are her servant, protector, and guard of honor. You will of course give her your hand to assist her in rising.

and Etiquette for Other Outdoor Excursions



Picnic excursions into the country are not occasions of ceremony, but call for the exercise of all one's real good nature and good breeding. On leaving the carriage, cars, or steamboat, gentlemen should of course relieve the ladies they attend of the shawls, baskets, etc., with which they may have provided themselves, and give them all necessary assistance in reaching the spot selected for the festivities. It is also their duty and their happiness to accompany them in their rambles, when it is the pleasure of the fair ones to require their attendance, but not to be obtrusive. They may sometimes wish to be alone.

If a lady chooses to seat herself upon the ground, you are not at liberty to follow her example unless she invites you to be seated. She must not have occasion to think of the possibility of any impropriety on your part. You are her servant, protector, and guard of honor. You will, of course, give her your hand to assist her in rising. 


When the sylvan repast is served, you will see that the ladies whose cavalier you have the honor to be, lack nothing. The ladies, social queens though they be, should not forget that every favor or act of courtesy and deference, by whoever shown, demands some acknowledgment on their part—a word, a bow, a smile, or at least a kind look.  – From 1887's "How to Behave"

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