From research compiled by Cathy Stephens, and descriptions attributed to Professor Frank H. Norman.*

[personal profile] trouble  and [personal profile] commodorified—this is especially for you.

A certain Miss Ella Watson, on being asked many times to find out the rules for doing certain things at Rideau Hall asked an Aide. She was given the following list, and asked not to let anyone know who had written it.
  1. On entering Government House it is customary to ring the bell once then open the front door and walk right in. The habit of pushing the door ajar and creeping in on all fours cannot be recommended, as it is calculated to give the orderly on duty the impression that you have designs upon the umbrella stand, and that your intentions towards the hat rack are not strictly honourable.
  2. On registering in the visitor's book, you are expected to write your name distinctly, and, if possible, spell it correctly.
  3. It has so often been asked how much guests at Government House are expected to eat. We assure our readers that all guests at Rideau Hall will be bitterly disappointing their hosts if they do not consume more food than is good for them. It is not, however, usual to take anything away from the supper table in one's pockets, except of course an occasional bun or an orange, to assuage the pangs of hunger on the way home.
  4. When entering a private room, it is considered correct to knock first with the second joint of the first finger of the right hand, but in the case of a reception or sitting room, it is generally sufficient to cough outside the door and shuffle one's feet upon the mat before intruding, though the custom of having a little difficulty with the door handle is not to be condemned.
  5. On receiving an invitation to attend a social function at Government House, it is considered good for to send a reply within the month, and the practice of telephoning at the last moment to say that you are not coming is one that cannot be too strongly discouraged.

I expect you all to practise proper etiquette on your next visit to Government House. Remember to wear something with pockets large enough to accommodate a bun or an orange for the trip home.

* Professor Norman apparently instructed the family of the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen in dancing and etiquette while the family lived at Rideau Hall in the 1890s. Cathy's notes say that he attempted to compile lists of rules for visitors to the GG, but couldn't get the Aides-de-Camp to give him enough clear rules.


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