Invitations to a ball should be issued at least ten days in advance, in order to give an opportunity to the men to clear away engagements; and to women, time to prepare the artillery of their toilet. Cards of invitation should be sent—not notes.
Upon the entrance of ladies, or persons entitled to deference, the master of the house precedes them across the room: he addresses compliments to them, and will lose his life to procure them seats.
While dancing with a lady whom you have never seen before, you should not talk to her much.
The master of the ceremonies must take care that every lady dances, and press into service for that purpose these young gentlemen who are hanging round the room like fossils. If desired by him to dance with a particular lady you should refuse on no account.
If you have no ear, that is, a false one, never dance.
To usurp the seat of a person who is dancing is the height of incivility.
Never go to a public ball.
This is taken from The Laws of Etiquette.
Copyright © D. J. McAdam· All Rights Reserved