This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
The following will serve as a correct form for a note of invitation to a private party :
Mrs. William H. Johnson
requests the pleasure of
Mr. and Mrs. James Browns' company
On Thursday evening, April eighth,
from nine to twelve o'clock.
As an example of a suitable reply we give the following:
Mr. and Mrs. James Brown have much pleasure in accepting Mrs. William H. fohnson's kind invitation for Thursday evening, April eighth.
Or, if circumstances render it necessary to decline, the cause of declination should be courteously stated, as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. James Brown regret that a previous engagement to dine with Mrs. Rowland deprives than of the pleasure of accenting Mrs. William fohnson's kind invitation for Thursday evening, April eighth.
The reasons for declining may be very varied, but should be distinctly stated. " A previous engagement" has often to do duty in this case.
A prompt reply must invariably be made by all who recognize the obligations of courtesy, and it may be well to give one or two examples of an uncivil manner of replying, into which well-meaning persons sometimes fall through ignorance or carelessness :
Mr. and Mrs. Brown regret that they cannot accept Mrs. William H. fohnson's invitation for Friday evening.
A still ruder form is : Mr. and Mrs. Brown decline Mrs. fohnson's invitation for Friday evening.
It needs little knowledge of the laws of etiquette, however, to teach people not to commit such glaring incivilities as the latter.
A simple form of invitation to an evening party is the following:
Thursday, May seventh.
Mrs. ------- requests the pleasure of Mr. -------'s
company at an Evening Party, Thursday, May twenty-eighth.
The answer, which should be returned within a day or two, may be similarly brief:
Mr.-------has much pleasure in accepting
Mrs. -------'s polite invitation for Thursday
evening, the twenty-eighth.
Saturday, May nirith.
Short or verbal invitations should never be given, even among relations and intimate friends. These are discourteous, as implying that the persons invited are of no importance.