Montreal Daily Star, 23 September 1880, page 2
(All enquiries should be addressed “Editor Etiquette Department, The Star, Montreal” Our respondents are requested to keep their questions brief and to the point.)
Fred enquires: “If I meet a lady and gentleman on the street and turn to walk with them, should I walk next to the lady or next the gentleman?”
Should you have good reason to join the lady and gentleman under the circumstances suggested, of which you must be the judge, the correct way would be to walk next the lady, so that she may be placed between the gentlemen, otherwise it might be awkward for her to address her remarks to one of them across the other, obliging her to raise her voice unusually loud. Having said what you decided to say, then withdraw in the customary way. To continue your walk might be an intrusion.
Pedestrian enquires: “If a gentleman is walking with two ladies, one an intimate friend, the other a mere acquaintance, which should he walk beside?”
To walk unhidden with two ladies under any circumstances might be an inconvenience, and ought to be generally avoided. Should the necessity arise, the rule to observe is to walk next to the lady to whom your observations are addressed. This may occasion a change of position, but the change would obviate the awkwardness that arises from talking across one person to another.
A Constant Reader enquires:- “Which side ought a gentleman walk on when walking with a lady, the right side or the left?”
A gentleman should always take the outside and allow the lady to have the inside of the street or pathway, and this rule must determine the answer to his question. The wall is supposed to be her screen on the side, and his escort her protection on the other.