In England, visitors meeting in the same house are expected to enter into conversation, though no formal presentation has been made, and no previous acquaintance has existed. In the United States, however, the fashion of introducing people who meet as strangers still continues, though in certain highly fashionable circles the English fashion is affected. It, perhaps, has its advantages, in enabling visitors to converse freely without waiting for the formality of an introduction, and leaving them free not to know one another afterwards. But it has its disadvantages as well, especially in the case of shy and easily embarrassed people.

The American rule has long been to introduce generally, and in early society in this country it was deemed necessary to make everybody in company acquainted, from a somewhat forced idea of the requirements of hospitality. This wholesale custom is no longer observed, and common sense prevails in this as in social customs generally.

One should always show discretion in this observance, as in all the demands of society. It is not, for instance, advisable to interrupt a conversation for the purpose of making an introduction. The intention will wait, and even if it fails altogether no harm is usually done. Few persons will thank you for making them too conspicuous.

Of the places where an introduction is not in order we may particularly instance a church. Here it would be quite improper, not only within the building, but even at its entrance. Nor is it necessary to introduce two persons at an entirely casual meeting in a street car, for example, or if you happen to meet an acquaintance, whom your companion does not know, at some friend's door. Of course, if the chat should be extended, or if you think it desirable that they should know one another, an introduction is perfectly admissible; but it is in no sense incumbent upon you.

One further remark in this connection may be made, in reference to the frequent failure to catch the name of the person introduced. This often causes a feeling of embarrassment, and a somewhat awkward attempt to discover the missing name. " I didn't quite catch the name,' is the most ordinary way out of the difficulty, but something more original might well be attempted, as, "Pardon my inattention to Mr. C. I was so occupied with the honor offered me as to be deaf to the name"; or, less effusively, " Will you kindly tell me again whom I have the favor of meeting ?"

The trouble is worse when you immediately forget the name, and are lacking in this particular on your second meeting with the new acquaintance. It is a useful accomplishment which all do not possess, that of remembering names readily; and to be obliged to make the worn-out admission, "Your face is perfectly familiar, but I have forgotten your name," is an awkward way out of the difficulty. Better try and get through the interview in a way to escape the need of using the name, and endeavor to learn it before another meeting is likely to take place. By repeating the name in acknowledging the introduction and fastening your attention thereto, it will not be difficult to remember the name.