Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Etiquette in Driving.

As regards the small courtesies of life, a hint is sometimes needful, even to the ordinary well informed. Thus about carriage law. It is considered improper to take your umbrella or your pet dog, or, indeed, any parcel, into a friend's carriage, for you are not only not to overload it, and on no account to injure it, but are to do your best to ornament it. And here, by the way, let us say that you will never under any circumstance usurp your friend's place in her own carriage, which is on the seat facing the horses. Of course the most honoured guest will always be invited to sit beside her; but it would be as absurd a discourtesy to oblige her to leave that seat herself, by assuming it, as to turn her out of her own parlour. She will, however, always follow, and never precede, her guest into the carriage.

It needs little practice to enter a carriage gracefully; it should be done with an easy slowness - a quick person's movements are seldom as graceful as a slow one's - the left foot on the step if you are going to face the horses, keeping the right to enter the carriage, which will let you dispose of yourself without a toddling little third step when in; the right foot will be put on the step first if you are to set with your back to the horses; this supposes but one step; should there be two, the process must be reversed. It is best then to lean back in your carriage and take your ease, as that is what you are riding for.

Source: The Lancaster Gazette and General Advertiser for Lancashire, Westmorland and Yorkshire, Wednesday October 3, 1877, Issue 4762

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