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 gentleman's card should bear nothing but the name and address of the caller, in small script or card text. In addition, the lady's card may bear the "Mrs." or the "Miss, "thus:
CHARLES BELDEN Cambridge, Mass.
MRS. H. B. KING,
17 Belmont Place.
At Home Thursday Evenings.
The eldest daughter and unmarried sisters often adopt the following:
MISS CLARA D. WELLS, No. 44 Birch Street.
THE MISSES HAMMOND, No. 1 Day Street.
The physician may have his professional title, as
DR. ROBERT HOLLAND, No. 70 Henderson St.
ROBERT HOLLAND, M. D.
No. 70 Henderson St.
The officers of the army and navy may have their titles thus: LIEUT. HENRY H. WEBSTER, U. S. A. LIEUT. HARVEY B. SNOW, U. S. N.
The honorary titles of Prof., Hon., Esq., etc., are not allowable upon the calling card in the United States.
When about leaving town, the card which is left will bear on the lower left-hand corner the letters " P. P. C. "- " Presents parting compliments," from the French "Pour Prendre Conge " - to take leave. The card may also be sent by mail or private carrier, the latter mode of conveyance showing most respect.*
A card sent to a person who is ill or in affliction, from the loss of a relative, should be accompanied by verbal inquiries regarding the person's health.
Should the servant reply to a gentleman that the lady of the house, to whom the call is made, is not at home, but the daughter is, he should send in his card, as it is not usual for young ladies to receive calls from gentlemen unless they are quite intimate friends.
It is well to have cards in readiness at every call. If a servant meets you at the door, to send up a card will save mispronouncing your name, and if the lady is not at home it will show that you have called. Should there be two or more ladies in the household, to turn down one corner of the card will signify that the call was designed for all the family.
The handsomest style of card is that which is engraved; next is that which is prettily written. Succeeding, comes the printed card, which, with some of the modern script or text types, makes a most beautiful card if neatly printed. Extra ornament is out of place.
When desirous of seeing anyone at a hotel or parlor, send up your card by the waiter, while you wait in the reception-room or office.
The hostess should, if not desiring to see anyone, send word that she is "engaged" when the servant first goes to the door, and not after the card has been sent up. Should she desire certain persons only to be admitted, let the servant understand the names definitely.
Fig. 7. GENTILITY IN THE PARLOR.
The figures in the above illustration represent graceful postures to be assumed by both ladies and gentlemen in the parlor. As will be seen, whether holding hat or fan, either sitting or standing, the positions are all easy and graceful.
To assume an easy. genteel attitude, the individual must be self-possessed. To be so, attention must be given to easy flow of language, happy expression of thought, study of cultured society and the general laws of etiquette.