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How to be the Life of a Party

Words by Weldon’s Etiquette for Gentlemen

Be great at parties and charm the pants off everyone this season by following these ever-relevant rules from Weldon’s Etiquette for Gentlemen.

No one wants feel like a pariah at a party. Especially you: the aspiring modern gentleman. So here’s some sage advice that will get you swinging through parties with the sort of urbane elegance that Jay Gatsby himself would be proud of.


To break an appointment once made is an infraction of good manners.

Do not speak in a loud tone but modulate your voice so that your speech may be agreeable in the manner as well as the matter.

Don’t Laugh at Your Own Jokes

Never indulge in loud laughter, and never laugh at your own remarks. Leave that appreciation of their amusing quality to others. As a rule, avoid puns, double entendres and quaintness of phrase.

Slang terms are always vulgar. They offend good taste and are destitute of harmony and insulting if used in the presence of females of refinement.

Do not whisper in company, nor converse with another in a foreign language. If what you say is unfit to be spoken aloud, leave it unsaid.

Avoid religion as a topic. You may offend.

“Do not force conversation but express yourself briefly”

Where you know your party, you may talk over the political issues of the day but formal arguments are quite out of place at social gatherings.

Do not feel that you are impressed or awed by the grandeur of the company or social position but remember that a gentleman is always courteous and respectful and you will feel at ease.

Do not force conversation but express yourself briefly and as agreeably as you can. Should the talk flag, a man of experience and position may start a subject.

If stairs have to be descended, give the lady to the wall.

Having taken your seat at dinner, take up your table napkin and spread it on your knees. Some gourmands and elderly gentlemen fix it over their chests but this is unseemly and suggests gluttony.

“Move from place to place, do not stay in one spot or make yourself a nucleus of loungers.”

The fork is the implement to carry food to the mouth, the knife never. Dine slowly, deliberately and with the air of a man who is sure that all good things will come in their turn, never eyeing any favourite dish eagerly.

At the evening party move from place to place, do not stay in one spot or make yourself a nucleus of loungers or listeners.

Dance always as if you understand the rhythm of the music. An inferior dancer with a god ear and appreciation of time will do far better in a dance than a mere mechanical practiser of steps.

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