TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING POST.
SIR - Having a real and somewhat sensitive regard for the credit of the Morning Post, I cannot but feel a proportionate mortification and regret that you should have fallen so short of the mark in your rather oracular answer returned to a consulting question of so much social importance as that of "Juvenis," in your paper of Wednesday. May I respectfully beg of you accordingly to re-consider it, and give us something more generally philosophical and satisfactory.
"There is but one rule," you say, "in such cases, the gentleman gives the wall to the lady." Is it possible to be content with this solution? I will not open at large the more delicate bearings of the question, nor drag prominently forward the suspicions of a want of due gallantry to which you may have rendered yourself here liable, considering what sort of persons are proverbially said "to go to the wall." Any covert insinuation of that nature, I am well persuaded, was most remote from your intention. But your response is plainly contracted and partial, and not at all fitted to meet the comprehensiveness of the question proposed. You seem in the first place, to assume, as matter of course, a handing down stairs, into the dining-room.
This may be more commonly the case in London; but in how many houses in the provinces, where the entire drama is performed on the ground floor, does the line of march being between two walls (I do not like to describe more minutely anything so humble as a mere "passage"), or only across an open space, without any wall close on either hand? (to say nothing of the highest cases of all, even in London or elsewhere, where the descent is by a central stair, with a baluster on both sides), I am sure you will see at once, without my encountering the risk of over-tediousness, that your late verdict is inadequate as regards the principle of the case. My own belief, if I may advance it respectfully, is, that there is no determinate rule; but that (to express the fact familiarly) in a majority of cases gentlemen snatch up their fair charges "pretty much as it may happen." Of course, JUVENIS will hardly think this an entirely satisfactory answer; but if it be the true one, and there be no better to be had, how can one help it? - I am, Sir, yours very respectfully,
April 29, AMBIDEXTER
Source: The Morning Post, Friday May 07 1841, Page 6, Issue 21936