Let us begin with introductions. This seems to be an important subject among the various authors, as it appears that this is a very serious responsibility, and one must be careful not to impose oneself or one's acquaintances upon the sensibilities of respectable society if one is not of equally high birth and good breeding.
- Consider the respectability of each and the likelihood of agreeability of each to the other.
- Never introduce a male to a female without permission from the lady
- Always introduce the gentleman to the lady
- When introducing two people of the same sex, present the inferior to the superior.
- Never introduce morning visitors who happen to encounter each other in your drawing room.
- While walking with a friend, if you encounter another person, do not introduce them. You have less right to do so than if they encountered each other at your home during a morning call.
- A person may not introduce a sibling, parent or other family member if they are inferior to the 3rd party. (that's cold!)
- Leave it to the mistress of the house to make introductions in her home. Such an introduction carries more authority
- The hostess may not introduce a gentleman to a lady without first ascertaining the lady wishes to dance. (No man likes to be refused the hand of a lady, though it be only for a quadrille)
While being introduced:
- Ladies never offer their hand to a gentleman.
- Limit recognition to each other to a bow
- Ladies on the Continent, never shake hands with a gentleman
After introductions or not:
- People who have not been introduced are not acquainted
- Persons who have met without being introduced should not bow if they afterwards meet elsewhere. A bow implies acquaintance.
- An introduction given at a ball for the mere purpose of conducting a lady through a dance does not give the gentleman any right to bow to her on a future occasion, If he commits this error, she may remember she is not bound to see or return his salutation.
In addition, if when you enter a drawing room and your name has wrongly been announced, i.e. Moose-Swings, or has passed unheard in the buzz of conversation, make your way at once to the mistress of the house, if you are a stranger, and introduce yourself by name. This should be done with the greatest simplicity and your rank made as little of as possible.
So, that said, if you are taking a friend along to an affair and you feel their stature is such that they should not be introduced, just let them know ahead of time that they are too ill bred for introductions and they are to sit quietly in the parlor with the chaperons and may not partake of any refreshments other than perhaps tea and a biscuit. But just one biscuit - without frosting or sprinkles on it. They are not to make crumbs or otherwise make a spectacle of themselves. Let them hold your coat and hat if no provisions for such have been made by the hostess. Tell them they are responsible for flagging down a hansom cab just prior to the end of the soiree so you don't have to stand out in the cold night air in your new velvet wrap. Tell them you'll be back in just a few hours, after you have dined and danced all of the quadrilles on your dance card.