Passage from Jane Austen's Northhanger Abbey
|In this passage from Northhanger Abbey, a dreadful bore on the prowl has monopolized the heroine's attentions while her dance partner smoldered with frustration:|
This was the last sentence by which he could weary Catherine's attention, for he was just then borne off by the resistless pressure of a long string of passing ladies. Her partner now drew near, and said, "That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and compliance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbors."
"But they are such very different things!"
"--That you think they cannot be compared together."
"To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour."
"And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?"
"Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them."
"In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison."
"No, indeed, I never thought of that."
"Then I am quite at a loss. One thing, however, I must observe. This disposition on your side is rather alarming. You totally disallow any similarity in the obligations; and may I not thence infer that your notions of the duties of the dancing state are not so strict as your partner might wish? Have I not reason to fear that if the gentleman who spoke to you just now were to return, or if any other gentleman were to address you, there would be nothing to restrain you from conversing with him as long as you chose?"
Further Reading on Etiquette in General
- Etiquette by Emily Post: This is an online republication of the 1922 edition of Emily Post's 627-page first edition Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home (The 1922 edition is the most highly recommended book for High Procotol.)
- U. S. Flag Protocol (Title 4)
- George Washington's "Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation"
- Cardinal Newman On Being a Gentleman
Further Reading on Etiquette and Protocol in a BDSM and Leather Context
- The Manners and Traditions Section of "Ambrosio's BDSM Site" at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/manners.cfm
- "Play Nice: Some Notes on Scene Etiquette and Leather Protocol" by Ambrosio at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/protocol.cfm
- Part 1: General Principles
- Part 2: More Specific Guidelines
- Part 3: Cruising With Class
- Part 4: Play Parties
- Part 5: Flagging, Symbols, and Rituals
- Part 6: A Few Notes on High Protocol
- Part 7: In Closing
- The Entire Article on a Single Page
- "Etiquette for the Scene" by Rose at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/etiquette.cfm
- "Civility and Incivility in the Scene" by
Chris M[Black Rose of Washington DC] at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/chrism01.cfm
- "A Proposed 'Pansexual Protocol'" by Ambrosio at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/ppp.cfm
- "To Share or Not to Share?" by Rowan Ste. Julian at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/share.cfm
- "Commandments: Ten Rules for Dominants / Ten Rules for Submissives" (from the SOJ) at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/t10c.cfm
- A Leather Bar Hanky Code at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/hankcode.cfm
- For further reading, there is an etiquette guide for alternative sexuality and lifestyle situtations including but not limited to BDSM: Campbell, Drew, The Bride Wore Black Leather ... and he looked fabulous! Greenery Press: Emeryville, 2000.
- Additional links in the "Manners and Traditions" section at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/manners.cfm