Society sometimes more important than personal.
But if you should find an agreeable person in private society, who seems desirous of making your acquaintance, there cannot be any objection to your meeting his advances half way, although the ceremony of an “introduction” may not have taken place; his presence in your friend’s house being a sufficient guarantee for his respectability, as, of course, if he were an improper person, he would not be there.
Should you, whilst walking with your friend, meet an acquaintance, never introduce them.
If you meet a male acquaintance giving his arm to a lady, take off your hat to him, instead of nodding — as this last familiar mode of recognition looks disrespectful towards her.
In making a introductions,” take care to present the person of the lower rank to him of the higher; that is, the commoner should be presented to the peer, not the peer to the commoner; Dr. A. to Lord B., not Lord B. to Dr. A. Observe the same rule with ladies — the lady (as a female) claiming the highest rank, it is to her the gentleman must be presented, not the lady to the gentleman.
Be cautious how you take an intimate friend uninvited even to the house of those with whom you may be equally intimate, as there is always a feeling of jealousy that another should share your thoughts and feelings to the same extent as themselves, although good breeding will induce them to behave civilly to your friend on your account.
Friendship springs up from sources so subtle. And undefinable, that it cannot be forced into particular channels; and whenever the attempt has been made, it has usually been unsuccessful.
Never make acquaintances in coffee-houses or other public places. As no person who respects himself does so, you may reasonably suspect any advances made to you. — In America, this must be taken with some allowance; boarding in hotels, and living much in public, being the custom of the country, but which is contrary to English prejudices. Besides, in the United States, there is at least a profession of equality, however chimerical may be a reality, which is never even affected in Europe.
An adherence to etiquette is a mark of respect. If a man be worth knowing, he is surely worth the trouble to approach properly. It will likewise relieve you from the awkwardness of being acquainted with people of whom you might at times be ashamed, or be obliged, under many circumstances, to “cut”
The act of “cutting” can only be justified by some strong instance of bad conduct in the person to be cut. A cold bow, which discourages familiarity without offering insult, is the best mode to adopt towards those with whom an acquaintance is not deemed desirable. An in-creased observance of ceremony is, however, the most delicate way of withdrawing from an acquaintance; and the person so treated must be obtuse, indeed, who does not take the hint.