Victorian etiquette: 14 rules for men on etiquette in the parlor (1889)

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By Nathan B Medbery, author “Social Etiquette”

Etiquette topic: Which treats of etiquette in the parlor

14 simple suggestions on conduct for gentlemen

Victorian etiquette: 14 rules for men on etiquette in the parlorNumber 1 — Avoid self-consciousness. Be so thoughtful of the comfort and happiness of others that you have no time to think of yourself and your appearance.

Number 2 — In making an introduction, present gentlemen to ladies, young men to elderly men, and young women to elderly women.

Number 3 — Should you be asked to play or sing, do not refuse unless you do not wish to perform. Do not refuse simply for the purpose of being coaxed; it does not appear well.

Number 4 — Do not try to monopolize the conversation or talk in a loud tone.

Number 5 — It is not polite to whisper in company; reserve what you have to say for another occasion.

Number 6 — Avoid talking about yourself or about affairs which interest you only, do not talk about your ill health or your afflictions of any kind.

Number 7 — Don’t interrupt; it shows lack of respect, and is extremely rude.

Number 8 — Difference of opinion is one thing, contradiction is another. While the first is no cause of offense, the second is highly improper.

Number 9 — When you have a story to tell, tell it in a concise manner; do not go into every detail and branch off at every word — be direct, compact, clear, and get to the point as soon as you can.

Number 10 — While observing the above rule do not be so rude as to interrupt another in his story, however long or tiresome it may be.

Number 11 — Be pleasant and affable; do not respond in monosyllables, this usually puts a damper on the feelings of the one who is talking with you.

Number 12 — Do not be impatient or appear listless or indifferent when others are talking. Make it a point to have the appearance of being interested in the conversation.

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Number 13 — Show particular attention to elderly people. Nothing shows a better heart or is a better sign of good breeding than kindly attention to those advanced in years.

Number 14 — When you are in company do not open a book and begin reading to yourself. This is disrespectful to the company.

>> Also see: Victorian etiquette: 16 rules for men on dress and personal habits (1889)


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