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.
Ladies being introduced should never bow hastily, but with slow and measured dignity.
The inferior is to be introduced to the superior; the younger to the older; the gentleman to the lady.
It is the lady's privilege to recognize the gentleman after an introduction, and his duty to return the bow.
Introductions on the streets or in public places should be made so quietly as not to attract public attention.
Perfect ease and self-posses6ion are the essentials to the making and receiving of graceful and happy introductions.
Etiquette requires that a gentleman always raise his hat when introduced to either a lady or gentleman on the street.
Introduce to each other only those who may find acquaintance agreeable. If any doubt exists on the subject, inquire beforehand.
When introducing parties pronounce the names distinctly. If you fail to understand the name when introduced, feel at liberty to inquire.
One of the duties of the host and hostess of a private party is to make the guests acquainted with each other. Guests may, however, make introductions.
Introductions are often dispensed with at a private ball, it being taken for granted that only those are invited who ought to be acquainted. Thus acquaintance may begin without formal introduction. If upon any occasion you are introduced at a friend's house to even your bitterest enemy, courtesy requires that you salute him, or her, and give no sign of ill-feeling while you are the guest of your friend.
If casually introduced to a stranger, when making a call at the house of a friend, etiquette does not require a subsequent recognition. It is optional with the parties whether the acquaintance be continued or not after such accidental meeting and introduction.
Always pronounce the surname when giving the introduction. To be introduced to "my cousin Carrie " leaves the stranger at a loss how to address the lady. In introducing a relative, it is well to say, " My brother, Mr. Wells;" " My mother, Mrs. Briggs," etc.
To shake hands when introduced is optional; between gentlemen it is common, and oftentimes between an elderly and a young person. It is not common between an unmarried lady and a gentleman, a slight bow between them when introduced being all that etiquette requires.
The married lady will use her discretion when introduced to gentlemen. Two persons meeting on the street, accompanied by friends, may stop and speak to each other without the necessity of introducing their friends, though, when parting, it is courtesy for each to give a friendly salutation as though acquaintance had been formed.
Parties who may meet by chance at your house, when making calls, need not necessarily be introduced to each other. If, however, they continue their calls together, it may be agreeable to make them acquainted in order to more pleasantly carry forward conversation.
If you are a gentleman, do not let the lack of an introduction prevent you from rendering services to any unattended lady who may need them. Politely offer your protection, escort or assistance, and, when the service has been accomplished, graciously bow and retire.
A visitor at your house should be introduced to the various callers, and the acquaintance should continue while the friend remains your guest. All callers should aim to make the visit of the friend as pleasant as possible, treating the guest as they would wish their friends to be treated under similar circumstances.
If thrown into the company of strangers, without the formality of an introduction, as (a often the case when traveling and at other times, acquaintance may be formed between gentlemen and ladies, with proper reserve, but duty requires that the slightest approach toward undue familiarity should be checked by dignified silence.
Persons who have been properly introduced have claims upon the acquaintance of each other which should call for at least a slight recognition thereafter, unless there be very decided reasons for cutting the acquaintance entirely. To completely ignore another to whom you have been rightly introduced, by meeting the person with a vacant stare, is a mark of ill-breeding.