Part III: In Public

  1. Don’t bring the school in disrespect in town by misbehaving. All eyes are watching you, when you are here and when you come out.
  2. Don’t neglect to keep to the right of the promenade except when you meet ladies. Otherwise there are likely to be collisions and much confusion.
  3. Don’t stare at people, or laugh at any peculiarity of manner or dress. Don’t point at persons or objects. Don’t turn and look after people that have passed. Don’t forget to be a gentleman. Don’t look around every time one comes into church.
  4. Don’t carry cane or umbrella in a crowd horizontally. This trick is a very annoying one to the victims of it.
  5. Don’t eat fruit or anything else in the public streets. A gentleman on the promenade engaged in munching an apple or a pear, presents a more amusing than edifying picture.
  6. Don’t neglect to raise your hat to a strange lady if you have occasion to address her. If she drops her handkerchief, and you pick it up for her, raise your hat. If in an omnibus you pass her fare for her to the conductor, raise your hat.Every little service of the kind should be accompanied by a distinct, respectful salutation.
  7. Don’t ask questions of strangers indiscriminately. Young women run risks in approaching unknown people with questions, and they should scrupulously avoid doing so. If traveling, inquire of the conductor or of some official; in the street, wait until a policeman can be found.
  8. Don’t be over-civil. Do not let your civility fall about, butover-civility is a mistake. Don’t rush to pick up a man’s hat; don’t pick up any article that a stranger or companion may drop, unless there are special reasons for doing so. Be prompt to pick up any thing that a lady lets fall, and extend this politeness to elderly or infirmed men. But haste to wait on equals is over-civility; it has a touch of servility, and is not sanctioned by the best usage.
  9. Don’t rush for a seat. In a car or at a public entertainment, in utter disregard of every one else, pushing rudely by women and children, hustling men who are older or less active, disregarding every law of politeness. If a gentleman, on an occasion of this kind, should lose his seat in consequence of a little polite consideration, he would have the consolation of standing much higher in his own esteem – which is something.
  10. Don’t talk at the theatre or concert when the performance is going on. To disturb others who wish to listen is gross ill-breeding; but unfortunately, it is common with the very class who pretend to an exclusive share of good breeding.
  11. Don’t, at any public entertainment, make a move to leave the auditorium before the performance is over. Men who recklessly and selfishly disturb public assemblies in this way have the instincts of savages, not gentlemen.
  12. Don’t wear out your welcome by too long a stay. On the other hand don’t break up the company by a premature departure. A little observation and good sense will enable you to detect the right time to say, “Good night.”

Ole Voices No. 2: Etiquette 101


St. Olaf College: A Selected Chronology

Section I: Etiquette 101
In General
In the Drawing Room
In Public
Dress and Personal Habits
Table Manners
Rules for Boys
Rules for Girls

Section II: Transgressions
Keeping the Rules