Saturday, October 21, 2017

Etiquette for Houses of Worship

“Are you a parent? Have you ever dressed up your little children and sent them forth alone to visit, when they were about ten or twelve years of age? Then you have known the anxieties of a mother or father as to their social behavior.”

Behavior During Worship
The Rev. Frank Dewitt Talmage Discourses Upon Manners

Rev. Frank Dewitt Talmage delivered a sermon yesterday upon “Church Manners,” taking his text from I Timothy 3:15, “That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God.” His discourse was a good-natured rebuke to the lack of decorum among worshipers and a plea for certain reasonable etiquette in the church. He said in part:

“Are you a parent? Have you ever dressed up your little children and sent them forth alone to visit, when they were about ten or twelve years of age? Then you have known the anxieties of a mother or father as to their social behavior.

“Before they go, you say: ‘Now, son, be careful about your manners. When you enter Mrs. So and So’s home, take off your hat and place it upon the hall rack. Be careful and don't handle the vases in the parlor, and don't squirm on your chair. When you are at dinner, be sure and keep your hands off the table, and don’t spill the food upon the table cloth, and don’t ask for a second helping of anything, or talk with your mouth full. When Mrs. So and So passes you a plate, say, ‘Thank you.’ Remember, my boy, that your mother’s home is to be judged by your table manners.

“When that child leaves the house, your mind follows him and stays with him all day long. And oh, the pride that sweeps into the parental heart when, next day, you meet your friend, at whose home your little children dined, and she congratulates you in these words: ‘We had such a lovely children's party yesterday. And Mrs. So and So, I want to tell you how well your children behaved. Your boy was a perfect little gentleman, and your daughter a little lady.’ Ah, such congratulation as that is as a sweet savor to the maternal heart.

“If refined social manners are essential in the home, they are equally important in the house of God. So essential are they to a consecrated Christian life that Paul wrote a long Epistle to his young lieutenant, Timothy, concerning them. In this letter, wherein are found the words of the text, the great apostle tells how bishops and their wives should act, and also how deacons and deacons’ wives.

“But I today, instead of my showing how our ministers and church officers should behave in the house of God, I would preach a sermon on church manners directly to the pew. I would try to inculcate the reverential spirit with which our congregations should assemble for worship.

“I would try to teach this reverence, because more and more in this irreverent age there is a tendency to look upon church buildings as places fitted for secular enjoyments rather than as sanctuaries consecrated to the presence of Jesus Christ.

“The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. No man ought to place foot in God's sanctuary unless he can do it with the solemn feeling of Habakkuk, who declared: ‘The Lord Is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before him.’” – Los Angeles Herald,1905


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia©Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Etiquette and English Barristers

Etiquette holds that a barrister may not “tout” for retainers nor “hug” for business.

The barrister, Mr. Willis, who took dinner at the Judge's lodgings on Tuesday, gave me some interesting information concerning the relations the attorneys and barristers have toward one another. A barrister may not “tout” for retainers nor “hug” for business. If, on the circuit, he must not eat at the same table with the attorneys. If, he chances to stop at the same inn, his meals must be served in his own apartments; he must not ride in the same coach with a solicitor or attorney, nor smoke in the same room, nor bestow, nor receive any hospitality from him. 

It would be a gross breach of professional decorum for a barrister to waltz or dance with any member of a solicitor's family, for this would be a gross example of “hugging” for business. The phrase “briefless barrister” came to me with a meaning and emphasis that were new to me. After several years of circuit riding without a retainer, the young barrister is apt to conclude that he has missed his vocation, and he betakes himself to the colonies, or does newspaper, or magazine, or other literary work in London or the provinces. It has been stated recently, on what seemed to be good authority, that only about 10 percent the young men who are called to the bar, succeed in making their way.—Indianapolis Journal, 1894


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette and the California Teacher

It will be necessary to instruct children upon the modesty which ought to appear on all occasions in their outward deportment—on the proper manner of sitting, of standing and of walking— on the proper positions for the hands and feet— on tbe proper uses of their exterior senses, especially on the use of the eyes, and the necessity of keeping them within due bounds—on the manner of speaking and pronouncing, of yawning and of spitting—and also to point out the more common faults of children in these respects.

On Teaching Manners in Schools 

The following is a portion of an essay from 
“The California Teacher,” 1865


The teacher's manner, for his own sake as well as for the good of his pupils, should be uniformly courteous. This courtesy does not consist in any studied conformity to certain forms and rules of expression and contact, but will naturally arise from a true appreciation of the relation of teacher and pupil. It must spring from real kindness, and will not at all detract from the dignity of the teacher, but, on the contrary, will serve to uphold it. 

Even in the infliction of punishment, the teacher may and should preserve his dignity ; and, at the same time, by a certain mildness, yet firmness of manner, make the punishment doubly effective for the child's good. Every punishment given in passion becomes not only useless, but positively hurtful. The teacher who is unable to control his own temper, cannot exercise proper moral control over his pupils. There is one truth which should be kept steadily before our minds, and which will enlighten us in many of our duties. It is this: the schools are built and organized, not for tbe benefit of the teachers, but entirely for that of the pupils. 

The teacher is for the school; and not, as some would have it, the school for the teacher. Another matter, in which the example of the teacher must have a great effect, is that of punctuality. Tardiness on the part of pupils is admitted to be a great evil, wherever it exists. But with what consistency can a teacher rebuke her pupils for coming late, if she herself is habitually, or even occasionally, late in her classroom. Punctuality must also extend to the various duties of the day, doing everything at its proper time, and rendering prompt obedience to the various signals. Teachers as well as pupils have to obey—whether it be the common rules of the manual, the special regulations of their respective schools, or their own program. It is an axiom that, “He is unfit to command, who has not learned to obey.” 

I have stated that the first and best method to inculcate good manners is by example. I do not mean to say that it is unnecessary to teach also by precept. This, indeed, is very necessary, particularly now-a-days, that the manners of our youth are so neglected by many parents. Children need very positive instructions concerning their personal deportment, and these instructions will need to be more minute in the lower grades, and where there is reason to believe they have been neglected at home. These instructions must apply not only to their demeanor in school, but also in the various circumstances in which they may be placed on the street, at table, in company, during play, in public places, and in conversation.

It will be necessary to instruct children upon the modesty which ought to appear on all occasions in their outward deportment—on the proper manner of sitting, of standing and of walking— on the proper positions for the hands and feet— on the proper uses of their exterior senses, especially on the use of the eyes, and the necessity of keeping them within due bounds—on the manner of speaking and pronouncing, of yawning and of spitting—and also to point out the more common faults of children in these respects. Again, young people need to be taught the rules of propriety to be observed in the various ordinary actions that go to make up the daily life of each individual. First, on the advantages of early rising, and the proper time for retiring to rest. All should be impressed with the importance of daily offering themselves to the Author of their being, and of imploring as their first act in the morning gives guidance during the day. 

Dress is a matter which will next claim our attention. Here, all excess is to be avoided on the one hand and on the other, negligence and slovenliness. In this, as in other things, the golden mean is to be sought. Singularity of dress is to be shunned : oddity in this respect is generally a proof, or of least a strong indication, that the mind is more or less deranged. Children should not be allowed to frequent school with torn garments. Generally, a private admonition will obtain the mending required. It is important that admonitions of this kind be given privately: for it is not just that children should be publicly rebuked for the neglect of their parents. Love of dress is generally considered as a weakness of the female sex, and girls need, therefore, to be guarded against vanity, and an overwhelming love of display in this respect. St. Paul, in his first Epistle to Timothy, advises women to be clad only in decent apparel, by adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, and not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. 

In regard to eating and drinking, young persons should be taught to observe temperance and regularity, and also the rule of etiquette and decorum while at table. A person of good breeding will show it here more than anywhere else. Recreation being a necessity of our nature, for the refreshment of both mind and body, a portion of the day may very properly be set apart for innocent amusement. The more advanced girls in our schools need to be specially admonished as to their deportment on the street. They should know that many things which might be excused in the other sex, would be very reprehensible in them. Teachers should impress upon their pupils the importance of going directly home when dismissed from school. The practice of retaining pupils, especially girls, after the usual school-hours, is liable to many objections, and should, I think, be discouraged.

A word now about conversation, and I have done. In this matter it is not easy to assign rules : for it is very difficult for anyone, whether old or young, to avoid faults in speaking. We are told in Scripture that “if a man offend not with the tongue, the same is a perfect man.” It is impossible to talk very much without saying many things that had better remain unspoken. Conversation ought always to be marked by prudence and modesty : and above all, by candor and sincerity. I have thus far endeavored to give a brief sketch of some of the many things which may very properly be told for the benefit of those who look to us for instruction and advice. We must remember that many of those we instruct will receive little or no other information of this kind besides that given in the school-room.

In some instances the parents stand in need of instruction full as much, and perhaps more, than their children ; and when given in a proper spirit, and so as to interest the little ones, they will carry home the lesson received, and thus become little missionaries of truth and good in their houses and families. The teacher's lesson will live and not be lost. It will be remembered with gratitude in after years. Our reward will be in the consciousness that we are thus fulfilling our high mission, which is to improve—to elevate—to refine. —A. E. Mc Glynn, in California Teacher, in the California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, 1865


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 


Presidential Etiquette and Politics


Some men do not seem to consider that the President's Cabinet is his family, just as a general officer's staff is his military family – Oregon’s Cape Kiwanda... A gorgeously stunning beach, where “Pacific Slopers” can contemplate Washington D.C.’s Presidential etiquette. Or not.



Senator Williams, of Oregon, may well exclaim " Save me from my friends!" Well meaning friends they were, to be sure; but when they went in procession and asked President Grant to put the Senator into his Cabinet, they unintentionally committed a breach of etiquette, incurred the Preidential displeasure and thereby jeoparded whatever chances the distinguished Oregonian had for a seat in the Executive councils. 

Some men do not seem to consider that the President's Cabinet is his family, just as a general officer's staff is his military family; so, when the luckless Pacific-Slopers bolted into the private family sitting-room (so to speak), of the President, and asked that their friend be adopted into the domesticity thereof, they were guilty of an enormous breach of decorum, and unwittingly invited the severe snubbing they received. The President ought, however, to consider that the breezy manners of "the Pacific Slope" are not specially refining, and that the backwoods and the sage-brush may turn out very skillful politicians, but not men who are au fait in all the "social amenities." – Daily Alta, 1871


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Divorce Court Dress Etiquette

In Hollywood’s Golden Age, quickie divorces in Nevada were almost de rigeur. To fill the need of stars, starlets and socialites, luxury “Divorce Ranches” sprung up in the state, so that one could fulfill a six-week residency there, before getting a divorce granted. From the 1930s to the early 1960s, Nevada (Reno, in particular) earned the distinction of being the divorce capital of the United States, and those presiding over the courts were alarmed at the frequent lapses in the dignity and etiquette of their courtrooms.


Decorum to Reign in Nevada Divorce Courts

LAS VEGAS, Nev., Sept. 18 – Movie stars and socialites who stream to this desert resort to shed their husbands were warned today to conduct themselves like ladies in divorce court. Judges A. S. Henderson and Frank McNamee, alarmed at frequent lapses in dignity of their courtrooms, placed an especial taboo on dark glasses, the traditional Hollywood disguise. 

“The light in the courtroom is not of sufficient strength to bring discomfort to the eyes,” they ruled. They also banned bare midriffs,slacks and shorts. “No epidermis, except that ordinarily exposed to public view by discreet citizens, will be allowed to be displayed in the courtroom,” they said. The bailiff was instructed to “dispense with leniency in enforcing fundamental rules of etiquette and good behavior.” – San Bernardino Sun, 1946


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Applauding Royal Court Etiquette

An Italian coloratura soprano of great international fame, Madame Tetrazzini's voice was remarkable for its phenomenal flexibility, thrust, steadiness and thrilling tone. She enjoyed a highly successful operatic and concert career in the U.S and Europe, from the late Victorian Era to the 1920s.


In her last year of residence in America, Madame Tetrazzini, has added much to her English speaking attainments and she now acquits herself delightfully in general conversations. She is persistent in using English words and when these fail her, her dramatic art is brought into use and she acts out the word. As we pulled into the station on the way to Los Angeles the bell on the engine clanged monotonously and she was reminded that in Italy the bells hang in church towers, "We have no bells on our trains there,” she said, "but only" and then the word "whistle," not coming readily to her tongue, she puckered up her lips and emitted a low, melodious imitation of a train whistle. 

Describing her Continental experience last summer the diva mentioned her singing at the opera during the coronation ceremonies in London, She described the wonderful floral decorations of the theater itself and then the astounding display of jewels as they appeared upon English royalty and the men and women representing the foreign courts during that remarkable pageant. The jewelled headresses of the Indian princes, Maharajas and other notables received vivid description from the singer and then she alluded laughingly to the incident of her own appearance when despite Court decorum and in defiance of rules of etiquette, the King and Queen clapped their hands enthusiastically and brought forth a demonstration of applause otherwise unheard of in that performance. Madame Tetrazzini explained that applause on such grand occasions is not customary and occurs only when led by the members of the royal family, so that her ovation earned an extra fame for her. “They said I had a wonderful claque,” said she, "with the King of England to lead it.” – Los Angeles Herald, 1912


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia 

White House Etiquette and Tone

Hamilton Jordan, President Carter’s “right hand man.” – “The White House yesterday issued a 33-page white paper contradicting a published account of a Jan. 27 barroom occurrence in which presidential aide Hamilton Jordan was slapped by a young woman. The account in Sunday's Washington Post Magazine asserted that Jordan was struck after spitting his drink down the woman's blouse. "I did not say or do anything that night to any woman that was improper, and I categorically deny that I spat my drink on anyone. I did have an unpleasant encounter with a woman at the bar, but it was not precipitated by me of anything that I had done," Jordan said in a statement released by the White House...” – Portion of a Washington Post article, February 21,1978

A Timely Historical Etiquette Post:

“Didn’t You Know, My Dears?” 


WASHINGTON - “You won't find it listed in the U.S. Constitution or in the transition team’s notebook, but one of the highest duties of a new President apparently is to uphold, enhance and adorn the social life of Washington. I am quite sure Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and all the President’s men scarcely gave that a thought before moving into the White House. Now they are having to give it more time and attention than they would like. Believe me, it is a no-win proposition. I say that because of the latest federal flap over the tavern tribulations of Hamilton Jordan, the President's prominent non-chief of staff and man about town. But Jordan is only a recurring cross the Carters have to bear. 


There have been others and there will be more. For reasons rooted in local tradition, members of the First Family and the White House staff are supposed to be models of decorum and Emily Post etiquette. They are expected to be versed in the social graces and protocol; to remember what to do with a fork and what not to do with a finger bowl; to know when it is all right to go tieless and shoeless; that it is never alright to get pickled in public. This city is as stuffy as any other in America. It has its own ‘standards’ of acceptable conduct, born of a peculiar mixture of politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats, lobbyists and the press, all of whom coexist in a useful but fragile social relationship that is subject to shattering every four years. It does not react warmly to those who buck the system or offend its practitioners. 

Politically speaking, the Carter crowd already has discovered that Washington does not adjust easily to those who come in as ‘outsiders’ and want to stay that way. As even Jordan admits, the Carter administration wasted a lot of valuable momentum its first year because it thought it was unnecessary to first learn how the rest of political Washington works. Socially speaking, the same is true. In its own way, Washington is as provincial as Plains, Ga., although I doubt any of its social lions or lionesses would admit it. Lusting in one’s heart or in private is fine, even for a ranking White House official, but heavens, not in a public place like Sarsfield’s singles’ bar or at a posh Barbara Walters dinner party. The trouble is that Washington expects, even wants, those who live and work in the White House to be like the preacher’s family in a small town: above reproach. The White House is the sun of the local solar system. Everything here revolves around it, socially as well as governmentally. It sets the climate in which Washington lives. But expecting local folk to be always happy with the social tone set by the White House, is as futile as expecting people to be happy about the weather. 

During the Eisenhower years, when I first came here, nobody accused administration officials of risqué behavior. But, my, how they grumbled about the stodginess of the White House social scene. Dullsville was replaced by Camelot when the Kennedys came in. Washington was entranced, intrigued and enlivened by the social style of the young President and his Jacqueline. The Johnsons set a more down-home and boisterous pace, but it was still judged to be within the Washington tradition. The Nixons tried hard but it came off as too much pretension, while the Fords’ social example was rated as sort of a Grand Rapids version of the LBJ era. The social tone being set by the Carters is more permissive, more do-your-own-thing, than Washington society would like. And that goes equally for Amy reading a book at a State Dinner or boozy bar-hopping by Jordan, Jody Powell and top presidential assistants. 

Mr. Carter came to town determined to govern more openly than any president before him. His Cabinet members and high appointees were to have no conflicts of interest, no hidden motives, no cozy deals out of public view. His style of governing was going to be like living in Macy’s window. But Washington, and perhaps a good part of the country, would prefer it if the Carter people would behave in public as though they were living in Macy’s window. Perhaps Mr. Carter is of a mind to insist on that, if only to protect himself from the political embarrassment of social misbehavior. It is not terribly uplifting for the country when the President’s White House legal counsel has to be sent out, on government time, to take a sworn statement from a bartender that the President’s highest assistant did ‘no spitting, no touching’ during an altercation with a young woman at the bar.” – Editorial in The Desert Sun, 1978


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia