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Old 04-13-2013, 01:43 PM   #1
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Leslie, Eliza: The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness. V1. 13-Apr-2013

Eliza Leslie [frequently referred to as Miss Leslie] (November 15, 1787 – January 1, 1858) was an American author of popular cookbooks during the nineteenth century. She gained popularity for her books on etiquette as well.

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An amusing writer of the last century, justly complains of the want of definite words to express, distinctly and unmistakably, the different degrees of visits, with reference to their length. Whether the stay of the guest comprises ten minutes, an hour, an evening, a day, a week, or a month, still it goes under the vague and general term of a visit.

We propose, humourously, that if the stay of the guest exceeds a week, it should be called “a visitation.” If it includes a dining, or a tea-drinking, or evening-spending, it may be termed “a visit;” while a mere call can be mentioned as “a vis.”

The idea is a very convenient one, and we should like to see it carried out by general adoption. Meanwhile, we must, for the present, be contented with the old uncertain practice of saying only “visit” and “visiter.” We think it our duty to explain that this chapter is designed for the benefit of such inexperienced females as may be about to engage in what we should like to call “a visitation.”

To begin at the beginning:—

Do not volunteer a visit to a friend in the country, or in another town, unless you have had what is called “a standing invitation,” with every reason to believe that it was sincerely and cordially given. Many invitations are mere “words of course,” without meaning or motive, designed only to make a show of politeness, and not intended to be taken literally, or ever acted upon. Even when convinced that your friend is really your friend, that she truly loves you, has invited you in all sincerity, and will be happy in your society, still, it is best to apprize her, duly, of the exact day and hour when she may expect you; always with the proviso that it is convenient to herself to receive you at that time, and desiring her to let you know, candidly, if it is not.
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