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In the Presence of Ladies

"Chesterfield says, 'Civility is particularly due to all women; and, remember, that no provocation whatsoever can justify any man in not being civil to every woman; and the greatest man would justly be reckoned a brute if he were not civil to the meanest woman. It is due to their sex, and is the only protection they have against the superior strength of ours; nay, even a little is allowable with women; and a man may, without weakness, tell a woman she is either handsomer or wiser than she is'"
Martine's Handbook, 1866

"When entering a crowded streetcar, a lady should leave the door open. It is quite permissible for her to appropriate the seat of the man who gets up to close it"
The Cynic's Rules of Conduct, 1905

"A gentleman will assist a lady over a bad crossing, or from an omnibus or carriage, without waiting for the formality of an introduction. When the service is performed, he will raise his hat, bow and pass on."
Hill's Forms, 1873

Image"In passing through a door, the gentleman holds it open for the lady, even though he never saw her before. he also precedes the lady in ascending stairs, and allows her to precede him in descending."
Polite Society at Home and Abroad, 1891

"Do not press before a lady at a theater or a concert. Always yield to her, if practicable, your seat and place. Do no sit when she is standing, without offering her your place. Consult not only your own ease, but also the comfort of those around you."
Martine's Handbook, 1866

"It is not deemed polite and respectful to smoke in the presence of ladies, even though they are amiable enough to permit it."
Martine's Handbook, 1866

"If you meet a lady of your acquaintance in the street, it is her part to notice you first, unless, indeed you are very intimate. The reason is, if you bow to a lady first, she may not choose to acknowledge you, and there is no remedy; but if she bow to you--you as a gentleman cannot cut her."
Hints on Etiquette, 1836

"A gentleman removes his hat when entering a room where there are ladies. When he meets a lady friend, he should raise his hat gracefully..."
Polite Society at Home and Abroad, 1891

Should one demand the surrender of a seat to a lady in a crowded theater?
"To this, we would answer that, if the gallantry of the gentlemen thus situated does not prompt them to proffer the seats in question, it is rudeness to request it. A lady is a lady, it is true; but if she could not come early enough to get a good seat, she cannot expect that spectators who did should inconvenience themselves for her sake"
Gody's Ladies Book, Jan 1850

"...remember also that really well bred women will not thank you for making them conspicuous by over officiousness in their defense, unless, indeed, there be any serious or glaring violation of decorum. In small matters, ladies are both able and willing to take care of themselves, and would prefer being allowed to overwhelm the unlucky offender in their own way"