Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Supper Etiquette at Balls

Courtesy toward his hostess and consideration for his friends demands that a man who can dance should do so. To accept an invitation to a ball and then refuse to dance shows that a man is lacking in good breeding. A man finding few friends at a ball should ask some friend, or the hostess, to introduce him to some women whom he can invite to dance. It is an act of discourtesy for a man not to request a dance of a woman to whom he has been introduced. A man escorting a woman to a ball should agree where to meet her after they have each left their wraps at the dressing-rooms.

SUPPER: The senior patroness leads the way to supper, escorted by the man honored for the occasion.

If one large table is provided, the men, assisted by the waiters, serve the women. When small tables are used, the patronesses generally sit by themselves, and the guests group themselves to their own satisfaction.

If a patroness asks a man to sit at her table, she should provide a partner for him, and in case of a previous engagement, he should notify her by mail.

A woman should always keep any engagement made, if possible. If, for a good reason, it is desired to break one, she should do so in ample time to enable the man to secure a partner.
— The Book of Good Manners

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