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.
Some gentlemen, being very favorably impressed with a lady at first sight, and having no immediate opportunity for introduction, make bold, after learning her name, to write her at once, seeking an interview, the form of which letter will be found hereafter. A gentleman in doing so, however, runs considerable risk of receiving a rebuff from the lady, though not always. It is better to take a little more time, learn thoroughly who the lady is, and obtain an introduction through a mutual acquaintance. Much less embarrassment attends such a meeting; and, having learned the lady's antecedents, subjects are easily introduced in which she is interested, and thus the first interview can be made quite agreeable.
The way is now paved for the opening of a correspondence, which may be done by a note inviting her company to any entertainment supposed to be agreeable to her, or the further pleasure of her acquaintance by correspondence, as follows:
148-----St., July 2,18 - .
MISS Myra Bronson:
Having greatly enjoyed our brief meeting at the residence of Mrs. Powell last Thursday evening, I venture to write to request permission to call on you at your own residence. Though myself almost entirely a stranger in the city, your father remembers, he told me the other evening, Mr. Williams of Syracuse, who is my uncle. Trusting that you will pardon this liberty, and place me on your list of gentleman acquaintances, I am,
Yours, Very Respectfully,
944-----St., July 8,18-.
Mr. Harmon Williams.
Dear Sir :
It will give me much pleasure to see you at our residence next Wednesday evening. My father desires me to state that he retains a very favorable recollection of your uncle, in consequence of which he will be pleased to continue your acquaintance.
944-----St., July 2, 18 - .
Harmon Williams, Esq.
An Invitation to a Place of Public Amusement.
462-----St., April 4,18 - .
May I request the very great pleasure of escorting you to Barnum's Museum, at any time which may suit your convenience? To grant this favor will give me very much pleasure. No pains will be spared by myself to have you enjoy the occasion, and I will consult your wishes in every particular as to time of calling for you and returning. Waiting an early reply to this, I remain,
876-----St., April?, 18-.
Bear Sir: I thank you for your very kind invitation, which
I am happy to accept. I will appoint next Monday evening, at which time, if you will call for me at our house, I will accompany you.
876-----St., April 4,18 - .
Dear Sir: I am grateful to you for your very polite invitation, but, as I should go only with my own family were I to attend any place of amusement, I am unable to avail myself of your kindness. Thanking you, I remain,
876-----St., April 4,18 - .
Dear Sir: I shall be most happy to visit Barnum's Museum with you, but will prefer being one of a company in which yourself is included, such also being the wish of my mother, who sends her kind regards. A visit from you at our house, next Tuesday evening, will enable us to decide upon the time of going.
96-----St., June 1,18 - .
Dear Miss Hawley:
You will, I trust, forgive this abrupt and plainly spoken letter. Although I have been in your company but once, I cannot forbear writing to you in defiance of all rules of etiquette. Affection is sometimes of slow growth, but sometimes it springs up in a moment. I left you last night with my heart no longer my own. I cannot, of course, hope that I have created any interest in you, but will you do me the great favor to allow me to cultivate your acquaintance? Hoping that you may regard me favorably, I shall await with much anxiety your reply. I remain,
694-----St., June 1, 18 - .
Sir: Your note was a surprise to me, considering that we had never met until last evening, and that then our conversation had been only on commonplace subjects. Your conduct is indeed quite strange. You will please be so kind as to oblige me by not repeating the request, allowing this note to close our correspondence.
694-----St., June 1,18 - .
Dear Sir: Undoubtedly I ought to call you severely to account for your declaration of love at first sight, but I really cannot find it in my heart to do so, as I must confess that, after our brief interview last evening, I have thought much more of you than I should have been willing to have acknowledged had you not come to the confession first. Seriously speaking, we know but very little of each other yet, and we must be very careful not to exchange our hearts in the dark. I shall be happy to receive you here, as a friend, with a view to our further acquaintance. I remain, dear sir,
A Lover's Good-bye Before Starting on a Journey.
104-----St., May 10,18 - .
My Darling Minnie :
I go west, to-morrow, on business, leaving my heart in your gentle keeping. You need be at no expense in placing a guard around it, for I assure you that, as surely as the needle points towards the pole, so surely my love is all yours. I shall go, dearest, by the first train, hoping thereby to return just one train sooner, which means that not an hour, not a minute longer will I be absent from you, than is imperatively necessary. Like the angler, I shall " drop a line" frequently, and shall expect a very prompt response, letter for letter. No credit given in this case; business is business - I must have prompt returns.