Friday, February 6, 2009

Mrs Beeton would like to introduce...

well, anyone really, so long as they are of good character and reliable.

Further to 50's gal's post about visiting the new neighbours...here's what Mrs B has to say.

"IN A NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD.

When taking a house in a new locality, it is etiquette to wait for the residents of longer standing to call, thus evincing a desire, on their part, to become acquainted. It may be that the mistress will desire intimacy with but a few of her neighbours; but it is to be borne in mind that all visits, whether of ceremony, friendship , or condolence, should be punctiliously returned, though some time may be allowed to elapse in the case of undesirable acquaintances.

Letters of Introduction. - You may perhaps have been favoured with letters of introduction to persons living in the neighbourhood. In this case, enclose the letter of introduction in an envelope, with your card, and leave it at the house. Do not, however, wait to be received on this occasion. If the person to whom the letter is addressed call in the course of a few days, the visit should be returned by you within a week, if possible. It is more usual to write by the post and introduce a friend, instead of leaving everything to be said by the letter that is give. Men, especially in business circles, frequently introduce by scribbling across a visiting card "To introduce Mr._______."

In the event of your being invited to dinner, after calls have been made as above, nothing but necessity should prevent you from accepting. If you really cannot accept, state the reason frankly. Opportunity should also be taken to call in the course of a day or two, to express regret that circumstances made it impossible.

Giving a Letter Of Introduction. - Always pass a letter of introduction to your friend unsealed. Courtesy dictates this, on the assumption that the person you are introducing is naturally interested in knowing the manner in which he or she is referred to. Should you receive a letter from a friend, introducing a person known to and esteemed by the writer, the letter should be immediately acknowledged, and willingness expressed to do all in your power to carry out his or her wishes."

Have you ever received a letter of introduction? Or been asked to write one? The closest thing to this nowadays that I can think of is the "Friend of a Friend" section of facebook... you may know this person..do you?
And wouldn't it make it easier to get to know people if you were introduced by someone already in the know...

8 comments:

Public Artist said...

I also think that letters of references can serve this purpose in some instances (but they do other things as well). Although generally done when applying to something, they attest to your character and personality in a particular setting and are intended to smooth your way into it. It is interesting that letters of introduction were meant to be unsealed, however!

When I was younger I was ever so curious about letters of introduction!

weenie_elise said...

yep, unsealed so you know what they're saying about you.

Nowadays you only need references for jobs it seems...

50sgal said...

This is interesting. Back in the day, cards were not only for business men, but people of both middle and upper classes had cards that would preceed them on their visits. I think they would merely state their name, and sometimes address.
I know, too, that ladies had 'at home' days that they recieved their visitors. Everything was run like clockwork back then. It all seems so formal now, but you did know what to expect and who was coming and going. Just as you never really entered your own door, you rang at it, unless you were a gentleman returning late from his club. I think a young lady didn't recieve her own key to her own house until she was 'of age'. Funny, yet convienant, to have to ring at your own house, but nice to have someone open the door, take your coat and hat and groceries, don't worry about it, those were brought by the various grocers (green grocer, baker, meat man) to the servants entrance of the kitchens (back doors in country and downstairs in the 'area' in city/town houses.) Are those Rhett and Scarlet dolls yours?
Interesting post.

weenie_elise said...

yes, traditionally you didn't get a key to the door until you were 21...hence the song "21 today" which goes "I've got the key to the door, 'cause I'm 21 today"

50sgal said...

Oh, yes the song.

Trixie said...

I hope you're okay and that the fires aren't near you.

weenie_elise said...

thank you trixie... I'm okay... just a bit emotionally shell shocked

Trixie said...

I'm glad to hear you're away from the fires and okay.