|The idea is that it is more courteous to allow a comrade the greater length of time. If he is handed the match first he naturally hurries in order to hand it back again.|
There is a fashion even in so small a thing as the lighting of a cigarette. In Cuba it is customary among gentlemen for one to place the cigarette between his lips, light it, take a few puffs and then hand it to his friend. In Spain the same fashion prevails. An Austrian is very punctilious about the etiquette of cigar lighting. He lights his cigarette first and then hands the lighted match to his companion. The idea is that it is more courteous to allow a comrade the greater length of time. If he is handed the match first he naturally hurries in order to hand it back again.
A Frenchman always hands his companion the match first. An Englishman proffers the cigarette to his friend, lights a match, hands it to him, and then helps himself to another cigarette and match. An American usually hands his friend a lighted match and takes a light from his cigarette afterward. The small boy gets a light wherever he can, generally from some passer-by on the street. The habit of stopping men on the street to ask for a light is looked upon as ill-bred in all countries. In no country is it tolerated to such an extent as in the United States. — The New York Mail and Express, 1887
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