Searchlights on Health/Practical Rules on Table Manners

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Searchlights on Health
B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols
Practical Rules on Table Manners

PRACTICAL RULES ON TABLE MANNERS.

1. Help ladies with a due appreciation; do not overload the plate of any person you serve. Never pour gravy on a plate without permission. It spoils the meat for some persons.

2. Never put anything by force upon any one's plate. It is extremely ill-bred, though extremely common, to press one to eat of anything.

3. If at dinner you are requested to help any one to sauce or gravy, do not pour it over the meat or vegetables, but on one side of them. Never load down a person's plate with anything.

4. As soon as you are helped, begin to eat, or at least begin to occupy yourself with what you have before you. Do not wait till your neighbors are served—a custom that was long ago abandoned.

5. Should you, however, find yourself at a table where they have the old-fashioned steel forks, eat with your knife, as the others do, and do not let it be seen that you have any objection to doing so.

6. Bread should be broken. To butter a large piece of bread and then bite it, as children do, is something the knowing never do.

7. In eating game or poultry do not touch the bones with your fingers. To take a bone in the fingers for the purpose of picking it, is looked upon as being very inelegant.

8. Never use your own knife or fork to help another. Use rather the knife or fork of the person you help.

9. Never send your knife or fork, or either of them, on your plate when you send for second supply.

10. Never turn your elbows out when you use your knife and fork. Keep them close to your sides.

11. Whenever you use your fingers to convey anything to your mouth or to remove anything from the mouth, let it be the fingers of the left hand.

12. Tea, coffee, chocolate and the like are drank from the cup and never from the saucer.

13. In masticating your food, keep your mouth shut; otherwise you will make a noise that will be very offensive to those around you.

14. Don't attempt to talk with a full mouth. One thing at a time is as much as any man can do well.

15. Should you find a worm or insect in your food, say nothing about it.

16. If a dish is distasteful to you, decline it, and without comment.

17. Never put bones or bits of fruit on the table cloth. Put them on the side of your plate.

18. Do not hesitate to take the last piece on the dish, simply because it is the last. To do so is to directly express the fear that you would exhaust the supply.

19. If you would be what you would like to be—abroad, take care that you are what you would like to be—at home.

20. Avoid picking your teeth at the table if possible; but if you must, do it, it you can, where you are not observed.

21. If an accident of any kind soever should occur during dinner, the cause being who or what it may, you should not seem to note it.

22. Should you be so unfortunate as to overturn or to break anything, you should make no apology. You might let your regret appear in your face, but it would not be proper to put it in words.