30 September 1905
Hospitality—The question of offering light refreshments to friends who come in for an hour or so in the evening is usually regulated by the customs of the family. After a late dinner there is not much inclination to eat again, unless the evening is prolonged to midnight. Those who dine as early as 6 pm generally appreciate a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa with thin bread-and-butter, light biscuits and cake, or a dainty sandwich before the usual hour for retiring. Where the old-fashioned custom of dining in the middle of the day is in force, with only ‘high tea’ at 6 pm, a substantial supper at 10 pm, would not be despised. Cold meats, with plain rolls, olives a salad, cheese, a sweet, and the favorite beverage, hot or cold, will be well received. The truly hospitable hostess hardly ever fails to offer some form of refreshment to a visitor. The simplest way is to have a try went to the drawing room just before the hour at which guests are expected to take their departure. Of the tea things, glasses, etc., may be placed on the dining room table the hostess leading the way in when all is in readiness. For men only, the refreshments may be sent to the library or smoking room. The older men rarely eat anything after dinner, but the younger ones are apt to be hungry at all times.
Inexeperienced Mother—A debutant who is chaperoned by her mother is in a much more enviable position than one who has to depend on the good offices of friends, however kind. Even if the mother does not feel equal to the role in every way, it is well to appear as often as possible with her girl, especially at large or semi-public entertainments. It involves expense and fatigue, of course; but is not the least important of a mother’s duties. There is more respect felt for a girl so chaperoned, and there is often greater need for vigilance than may be suspected. Men attach much importance to sympathetic relation between a girl and her mother, and draw favorable inferences from it. A young girl does not always appreciate the value of a dignified setting for herself in the social world, so it is for her parents to see that she is properly brought out and attended, especially during her first few years in society. It is a distinct advantage when a girl can introduce newly-made friends to her mother on the spot, the mother then being at liberty to ask them to call, and relieving the girl of a responsibility which she rarely likes, and which it is more dignified to evade as long as possible.
AGS—It is not necessary to wear a frock coat at a tea or afternoon reception. Tweeds are quite as often seen nowadays. Needless to say, they are of the smartest variety, as the slightest hint of wear-and-tear would make them unfit for the occasion.