This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
THE mode of entering a carriage will depend somewhat upon circumstances. Should the team be very restive, and the gentleman remain in the carriage the better to control his horses, the lady will enter upon the left side, the gentleman assisting her by the hand. While circumstances may sometimes prevent, it is always etiquette for the gentleman to see that the lady enters the carriage first. To aid in entering and alighting from a carriage easily and safely, every residence should be provided with an elevated platform near the walk, beside which the vehicle may be driven, as represented in the illustration.
Of two seats in the carriage facing each other, that in the rear, and facing the horses, is the most desirable; the place of honor being the right side of this seat, which should be given to any elderly person, an honored guest or ladies, during the carriage ride.
The ladies being in place, the gentlemen will take the seat with their backs to the horses, care being ob-served that dresses and shawls are not shut in the doorwhen it is closed. The gentleman last in will sit on the right, and upon him should devolve the giving of orders to the driver, and any other directions which the company may determine upon.
At the close of the ride, the gentlemen will dismount first, and afterwards help the ladies carefully from the carriage, taking care to keep their dresses from being soiled upon the wheels.
The single carriage should be driven as near the curbstone as possible, on the right side. The driver, having the top of the carriage down, should then turn the horses to the left, spreading the wheels on the right side, giving an opportunity for the lady to get into the carriage without soiling her dress upon the wheels. The lady should have both of her hands free to assist herself, while the gentleman (Fig. 19) should aid her, as shown in the illustration. The lady being in her place, her escort will take his seat upon the right side, will spread a lap-robe in front of the lady and himself to ward off dust and mud, and all is in readiness for the ride.
In getting from the carriage, the gentleman should alight first He should quiet the team, and turn them, that the wheels may spread apart, retaining the reins in his hand, that he may hold the horses in case of
Fig. 19. Assisting the lady into the carriage.
Fig. 20. Assisting the lad; when alighting from the carriage.
fright. The lady should then place her hands upon the gentleman's shoulders (Fig. 20), while her escort, taking her by the elbows, will assist her carefully to the ground. Being aided thus in safely alighting, a lady will, oftentimes, be saved from severe injury.
The gentleman on the pleasure ride should not drive so fast as to throw mud upon the occupants of the carriage. He should avoid fast driving if the lady is timid, and at the close of the ride he should take the friend to his or her residence.
Horses should not have their heads checked painfully high. They will be less shy if trained and driven without blinds. They should be driven with tight rein, and care should be observed to avoid accidents.