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.
BEFORE making a visit, you should be perfectly certain that your visit will be agreeable.
It is common for some people to be very cordial, and even profuse in their offers of hospitality. They unquestionably mean what they say at the time, but when they tender you an invitation to come and tarry weeks, it may seriously incommode them if you should pay them a visit of even a few days.
As a rule, a visit should never be made upon a general invitation. Should you visit a city where a friend resides, it will be best to go first to the hotel, unless you have a special invitation from the friend. From the hotel you will make a polite call, and if then you are invited, you can accept of the hospitality.
In all cases when you contemplate a visit, even with relatives, it is courtesy to write and announce your coming, giving, as nearly as possible, the day and exact time of your arrival. An invitation to visit a friend should be answered as soon as may be; stating definitely when you will come, and how long you intend to stay. When near your destination, it is well to send a prepaid telegram, stating upon what train you will arrive. As a reward for this forethought, you will probably find your friends waiting for you at the depot, and the welcome will be very pleasant.