Manners

I’m reading an article on manners, published in 1902 in England. A story is told of a gentleman who had been sitting by Duchess A, and he left the conversation and went to talk to Duchess B. Later on he told a friend that he had to leave Duchess A because the fire was intolerably hot and he had to go cool off. His friend asked him if he told Duchess A why he was leaving her, and he said no, but he had told Duchess B. The article on manners used this as an exhibit of tactlessness and said the gentleman had put his foot in it twice, and had he had a happier childhood and a kind and clever mother, she would have laughed him out such blunders at a very young age.

It would never have occurred to me to call this bad manners, and I am not sure what the breach was. Any ideas to share?

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