carving and waiting. This style gives an opportunity
for more profuse ornamentation of the table, which, as
the meal progresses, does not become encumbered with
partially empty dishes and platters.
DUTIES OF SERVANTS.
The servants commence, in passing the dishes, one
upon the right of the host and one upon the right of
the hostess. A master or mistress should never censure
the servants at dinner, however things may go wrong.
Servants should wear thin-soled shoes that their steps
DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT.
may be noiseless, and if they should use napkins in . j*v-
ing (as is the English custom) instead of gloves, Jieir
hands and nails should be faultlessly clean. A good
servant is never awkward. He avoids coughing, breath-
ing hard or treading on a lady's dress; never lets any
article drop, and deposits plates, glasses, knives, forks
and spoons noiselessly. It is considered good form for
a servant not to wear gloves in waiting at table, but to
use a damask napkin, with one corner wrapped around
the thumb, that he may not touch the plates and dishes
with the naked hand.
Soup is the first course. All should accept it even if
they let it remain untouched, because it is better to make
a pretense of eating until the next course is served, than
to sit waiting, or compel the servants to serve one before
the rest,. Soup should not be called for a second time.
A souy ! date should never be tilted for the last spoonf uL
Fish follows soup and must be eaten with a fork, un-
less fish knives are provided. If fish knives are not pro-
vided, a piece of bread in the left hand answers the pur-
pose as well, with the fork in the right hand. Fish may
be declined, but must not be called for a second time.
THE SIDE DISHES.
After soup and fish come the side dishes, which must
be eaten with the fork, though the knife is used in cut-
ting meats and anything too hard for a fork.
DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT. 115
GENERAL RULES REGARDING DINNER.
When the plate of each course is set before you, with
the knife and fork upon it, remove the knife and fork at
once. This matter should be carefully attended to, as
the serving of an entire course is delayed by neglecting
to remove them.
Greediness should not be indulged in. Indecision
must be avoided. Do not take up one piece and lay it
down in favor of another, or hesitate.
Never allow the servant, or the one who pours, to
fill your glass with wine that you do not wish to
drink. You can check him by touching the rim of your
Cheese is eaten with a fork and not with a knife.
If you have occasion to speak to a servant, wait until
you can catch his eye, and then ask in a low tone for
what you want.
The mouth should always be kept closed in eating,
and both eating and drinking should be noiseless.
Bread is broken at dinner. Vegetables are eaten with
Asparagus can be taken up with the fingers, if pre-
ferred. Olives and artichokes are always so eaten.
Fruit is eaten with silver knives and forks.
You are at liberty to refuse a dish that you do not
wish to eat. If any course is set down before you that
you do not wish, do not touch it. Never play with food,
nor mince your bread, nor handle the glass and silver
near you unnecessarily.
116 DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT.
Never reprove a waiter for negligence or improper
conduct; that is the business of the host.
When a dish is offered you, accept or refuse at once,
and allow the waiter to pass on. A gentleman will see
that the lady whom he has escorted to the table is
helped to all she wishes, but it is officiousnsss to offer to
help other ladies who have escorts.
If the guests pass the dishes to one another, instead
of being helped by a servant, you should always help
yourself from the dish, if you desire it at all, before
passing it on to the next.
A knife should never, on any account, be put into the
mouth. Many people, even well-bred in other respects,
seem to regard this as an unnecessary regulation; but
when we consider that it is a rule of etiquette, and that
its violation causes surprise and disgust to many people,
it is wisest to observe it.
Be careful to remove the bones from fish before eating.
If a bone inadvertently should get into the mouth, the
lips must be covered with the napkin in removing it.
Cherry stones and grape skins should be removed from
the mouth as unobtrusively as possible, and deposited on
the side of the plate.
Never use a napkin in place of a handkerchief for
wiping the forehead, face or nose.
Pastry should be eaten with a fork. Every thing
that can be cut without a knife should be eaten with the
fork alone. Pudding may be eaten with a fork or spoon.
Never lay your hand, or play with your fingers, upon
the table. Do not toy with your knife, fork or spoon,
DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT. 117
make crumbs of your bread, or draw imaginary lines
upon the table cloth.
Never bite fruit. An apple, peach or pear should be
peeled with a knife, and all fruit should be broken or cut.
WAITING ON OTHERS.
If a gentleman is seated by the side of a lady or
elderly person, politeness requires him to save them all
trouble of procuring for themselves anything to eat or
drink, and of obtaining whatever they are in want of at
the table, and he should be eager to offer them what he
thinks may be most to their taste.
A hostess should not express pride regarding what is
on her table, nor make apologies if everything she offers
you is not to her satisfaction. It is much better that
she should observe silence in this respect, and allow her
guests to eulogize her dinner or not, as they deem proper.
Neither is it in good taste to urge guests to eat, nor to
load their plates against their inclination.
For one or two persons to monopolize a conversation
which ought to be general, is exceedingly rude. If the
dinner party is a large one, you may converse with
those near you, raising the voice only loud enough to
be distinctly heard by the persons you are talking
118 DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT.
PICKING TEETH AT THE TABLE.
It is a mark of rudeness to pick your teeth at the
table, and it should always be avoided. To hold your
hand or napkin over your mouth does not avoid the
rudeness of the act, but if it becomes a matter of neces-
sity to remove some obstacle from between the teeth,
then your open mouth should be concealed by your hand
SELECTING A PARTICULAR DISH.
Never express a preference for any dish or any par-
ticular portion of a fowl or of meat, unless requested to
do so, and then answer promptly, that no time may be
wasted in serving you and others after you.
DUTIES OP HOSTESS AND HOST.
Tact and self-possession are demanded of the hostess,
in order that she may perform her duties agreeably,
which are not onerous. She should instruct her servants
not to remove her plate until her guests have finished.
If she speaks of any omission by which her servants
have inconvenienced her guests, she must do it with
dignity, not betraying any undue annoyance. She must
put all her guests at their ease, and pay every possible
attention to the requirements of each and all around her.
No accident must disturb her; no disappointment em-
barrags her. If her precious china and her rare glass
are broken before her eyes, she must seem to take but
litt^a or no notice of it.
The host must aid the hostess in her efforts. He should
DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT. 119
have ease and frankness of manner, a calmness of tem-
per that nothing can ruffle, and a kindness of disposition
that can never be exhausted. He must encourage the
timid, draw out the silent and direct conversation rather
than sustain it himself.
No matter what may go wrong, a hostess should never
seem to notice it to the annoyance of her guests. By
passing it over herself, it will very frequently escape the
attention of others. If her guests arrive late, she should
welcome them as cordially as if they had come early,
but she will commit a rudeness to those who have arrived
punctually, if she awaits dinner for tardy guests for
more than the fifteen minutes of grace prescribed by
RETIRING FROM THE TABLE.
"When the hostess sees that all h%ve finished, she looks
at the lady who is sitting at the right of the host, and
the company rise, and withdraw in the order they are
seated, without precedence. After retiring to the draw-
ing-room, the guests should intermingle in a social man-
ner. It is expected that the guests will remain from
one to three hours after dinner.
ACCEPTING HOSPITALITY A SIGN OF GOOD WILL.
As eating with another under his own roof is in all
conditions of society regarded as a sign of good-will,
those who partake of proffered hospitalities, only to
gossip about and abuse their host and hostess, should
remember, that in the opinion of all honorable persons,
they injure themselves by so doing.
120 DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT.
CALLS AFTER A DINNER PARTY.
Calls should be made shortly after a dinner party by
all who have been invited, whether the invitation be
accepted or not.
Those who are in the habit of giving dinner parties,
should return the invitation before another is extended
to them. Society is very severe upon those who do not
return debts of hospitality, if they have the means to do
so. If they never entertain anyone because of limited
means, or for other good reasons, it is so understood, and
it is not expected that they should make exceptions ; or
if they are in the habit of giving other entertainments
and not dinners, their debts of hospitality can be
returned by invitations to whatever the entertainment
might be. Some are deterred from accepting invita-
tions by the feeling that they cannot return the hospi-
tality in so magnificent a form. It is not the costly
preparations, nor the expensive repast offered which are
the most agreeable features of any entertainment, but it
is the kind and friendly feeling shown. Those who are
not deterred from accepting such invitations for this
reason, and who enjoy the fruits of friendliness thus
shown them, must possess narrow views of their duty,
and very little self-respect, if, when an opportunity pre-
sents itself in any way to reciprocate the kind feeling
manifested, they fail to avail themselves of it. True
hospitality, however, neither expects nor desires any
DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT. 121
EXPENSIVE DINNERS NOT THE MOST ENJOYABLE.
It is a mistake to think that in giving a dinner, it is
indispensable to have certain dishes and a variety of
wines, because others serve them. Those who entertain
frequently often use their own discretion, and never
feel obliged to do as others do, if they wish to do differ-
ently. Some of the most enjoyable dinners given are
those which are least expensive. It is this mistaken
feeling that people cannot entertain without committing
all sorts of extravagances, which causes many persons,
in every way well qualified to do incalculable good
socially, to exclude themselves from all general society.
WINES AT DINNERS.
The menu of a dinner party is by some not regarded
as complete, unless it includes one or more varieties
of wine. When used it is first served after soup, but
any guest may, with propriety, decline being served.
This, however, must not be done ostentatiously. Simply
say to the waiter, or whoever pours it, "not any; thank
you." Wine, offered at a dinner party, should never be
criticized, however poor it may be. A person who has
partaken of wine, may also decline to have the glass
If the guests should include one or more people of
well-known temperance principles, in deference to the
scruples of these guests, wines or liquors should not be
brought to the table. People who entertain should
also be cautious as to serving wines at alL It is impos-
122 DINNER GIVING AND DINING OUT.
sible to tell what harm you may do to some of your
highly esteemed guests. It may be that your palatable
wines may create an appetite for the habitual use of
wines or stronger alcoholic liquors; or you may renew
a passion long controlled and entombed; or you may
turn a wavering will from a seemingly steadfast resolu-
tion to forever abstain. This is an age of reforms, the
temperance reform being by no means the least power-
ful of these, and no ladies or gentlemen will be censured
or misunderstood if they neglect to supply their din-
ner table with any kind of intoxicating liquor. Mrs.
ex-President Hayes banished wines and liquors from her
table, and an example set by the " first lady of the land n
can be safely followed in every American household,
whatever may have been former prevailing customs. It
is safe to say that no " mistress of the White House "
will ever set aside the temperance principles established
by Mrs. Hayes.
T is of the highest importance that all
persons should conduct themselves
with the strictest regard to good
breeding, even in the privacy of their
own homes, when at table, a neglect
of such observances will render one
stiff and awkward in society. There
are so many little points to be observed,
that unless a person is habitually accus-
tomed to observe them, he unconsciously
commits some error, or will appear awk-
ward and constrained upon occasions when it
is important to be fully at ease. To be thor-
oughly at ease at such times is only acquired
by the habitual practice of good manners at the table,
and is the result of proper home training. It is the
duty of parents to accustom their children, by example
as well as by precept, to be attentive and polite to each
other at every meal, as well as to observe proper rules of
etiquette, and if they do so, they need never fear that
they will be rude or awkward when they go abroad.
Even when persons habitually eat alone, they should pay
124 TABLE MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE.
due regard to the rules of etiquette, for by so doing they
form habits of ease and gracefulness which are requisite
in refined circles; otherwise they speedily acquire rude
and awkward habits which they cannot shake off with-
out great difficulty, and which are at times embarrassing
to themselves and their friends. In private families it
should be observed as a rule to meet together at all
meals of the day around one common table, where the
same rules of etiquette should be rigidly enforced, as
though each member of the family were sitting at a
stranger's table. It is only by this constant practice of
the rules of good behaviour at home, that good manners
become easy when any of them go abroad.
At the first meal of the day, even in the most orderly
households, an amount of freedom is allowed, which
would be unjustifiable at any other meal. The head of
the house may look over his morning paper, and the
various other members may glance over correspondence
or such books or studies as they are interested in. Each
may rise and leave the table when business or pleasure
dictates, without awaiting for the others or for a gen-
The breakfast table should be simply decorated, yet
it may be made very attractive with its snowy cloth and
napkins, its array of glass, and its ornamentation of
fruits and flowers. Bread should be placed upon the
table, cut in slices. In eating, it must always be
broken, never cut, and certainly not bitten. Fruit should
TABLE MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE. 125
be served in abundance at breakfast whenever practi-
cable. There is an old adage which declares that " fruit
is gold in the morning, silver at noon, and lead at night."
In many of our large cities, where business prevents
the head of the family from returning to dinner until a
late hour, luncheon is served about midday and serves
as an early dinner for children and servants. There is
much less formality in the serving of lunch than of din-
ner. It is all placed upon the table at once, whether it
consists of one or more courses. Where only one or
two are at luncheon, the repast is ordinarily served on a
The private family dinner should be the social hour of
the day. Then parents and children should meet
together, and the meal should be of such length as to
admit of the greatest sociality. It is an old saying that
chatted food is half digested. The utmost good feeling
should prevail among all. Business and domestic cares
and troubles should be, for the time, forgotten, and the
pleasures of home most heartily enjoyed. In another
chapter we have spoken at length upon fashionable din-
THE KNIFE AND B'OKK.
The knife and fork were not made for playthings, and
should not be used as such when people are waiting at
the table for the food to be served. Do not hold them
erect in your hands at each side of your plate, nor cross
126 TABLE MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE.
them on your plate when you have finished, no^ make a
noise with them. The knife should only be used for
cutting meats and hard substances, while the fork, held
in the left hand, is used in carrying food into the mouth.
A knife must never, on any account, be put into the
mouth. When you send your plate to be refilled, do
not send your knife and fork, but put them upon a piece
of bread, or hold them in your hand.
To put large pieces of food into your mouth appears
greedy, and if you are addressed when your mouth is
so filled, you are obliged to pause, before answering,
until the vast mouthful is masticated, or run the risk of
choking, by swallowing it too hastily. To eat very fast
is also a mark of greediness, and should be avoided.
The same may be said of soaking up gravy with bread,
scraping up sauce with a spoon, scraping your plate and
gormandizing upon one or two articles of food only.
GENERAL RULES ON TABLE ETIQUETTE.
Refrain from making a noise when eating, or supping
from a spoon, and from smacking the lips or breathing
heavily while masticating food, as they are marks of ill-
breeding. The lips should be kept closed in eating as
much as possible.
It is rude and awkward to elevate your elbows and
move your arms at the table, so as to incommode those
on either side of you.
Whenever one or both hands are unoccupied, they
TABLE MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE. 127
should be kept below the table, and not pushed upon the
table and into prominence.
Do not leave the table before the rest of the family
or guests, without asking the head, or host, to excuse
you, except at a hotel or boarding house.
Tea or coffee should never be poured into a saucer to
cool, but sipped from the cup.
If a person wishes to be served with more tea or cof-
fee, he should place his spoon in his saucer. If he has
had sufficient, let it remain in the cup.
If by chance anything unpleasant is found in the
food, such as a hair in the bread or a fly in the coffee,
remove it without remark. Even though your own
appetite be spoiled, it is well not to prejudice others.
Always make use of the butter-knife, sugar-spoon and
salt-spoon, instead of using your knife, spoon or fingers.
Never, if possible, cough or sneeze at the table.
At home fold your napkin when you are done with it
and place it in your ring. If you are visiting, leave
your napkin unfolded beside your plate.
Eat neither too fast nor too slow.
Never lean back in your chair, nor sit too near or too
far from the table.
Keep your elbows at your side, so that you may not
inconvenience your neighbors.
Do not find fault with the food.
The old-fashioned habit of abstaining from taking the
last piece upon the plate is no longer observed. It is to
be supposed that the vacancy can be supplied, if nec-
TABLE MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE.
If a plate is handed you at the table, keep it yourself
instead of passing it to a neighbor. If a dish is passed
to you, serve yourself first, and then pass it on.
The host or hostess should not insist upon guests par-
taking of particular dishes; nor ask persons more than
once, nor put anything on their plates which they have
declined. It is ill-bred to urge a person to eat of any-
thing after he has declined.
When sweet corn is served on the ear, the grain should
be pared from it upon the plate, instead of being eaten
from the cob.
Strive to keep the cloth as clean as possible, and use
the edge of the plate or a side dish for potato skins and
, parties and galls.
ORNING RECEPTIONS, as they are
called, but more correctly speaking,
afternoon parties, are generally held
from four to seven o'clock in the
afternoon. Sometimes a sufficient
number for a quadrille arrange to
remain after the assemblage has for
the most part dispersed.
The dress for receptions is, for men,
morning dress; for ladies, demi-toilet, with
or without bonnet. No low-necked dress nor
0c^o* short sleeves should be seen at day recep-
tions, nor white neck-ties and dress coats.
The material of a lady's costume may be of velvet,
silk, muslin, gauze or grenadine, according to the season
of the year, and taste of the wearer, but her more elegant
jewelry and laces should be reserved for evening parties.
The refreshments for " morning receptions " are gen-
erally light, consisting of tea, coffee, frozen punch,
130 BECEPTIONS, PASTIES AND BALLS.
claret punch, ices, fruit and cakes. Often a cold colla-
tion is spread after the lighter refreshments have been
served, and sometimes the table is set with all the vari-
eties, and renewed from time to time.
Invitations to a reception are simple, and are usually
very informal. Frequently the lady's card is sent with
the simple inscription, " At Home Thursday, from four
to seven." No answers are expected to these invitations,
unless "R. S. V. P." is on one corner. One visiting
card is left by each person who is present, to serve for
the after call. No calls are expected from those who
attend. Those who are not able to be present, call soon
A matinee musicale partakes of the nature of a recep-
tion, and is one of the most difficult entertainments
attempted. For this it is necessary to secure those per-
sons possessing sufficient vocal and instrumental talent
to insure the success of the entertainment, and to arrange
with them a programme, assigning to each, in order, his
or her part. It is customary to commence with a piece
of instrumental music, followed by solos, duets, quar-
tettes, etc., with instrumental music interspersed, in not
too great proportions. Some competent person is needed
as accompanist. It is the duty of the hostess to main-
tain silence among her guests during the performance
of instrumental as well as vocal music. If any are un-
aware of the breach of good manners they commit in
RECEPTIONS, PAJRTIES AND BALLS. 131
Balking or whispering at such times, she should by a
gesture endeavor to acquaint them of the fact. It is the
duty of the hostess to see that the ladies are accom-
panied to the piano; that the leaves of the music are
turned for them, and that they are conducted to their
seats again. When not intimately acquainted with them,
the hostess should join in expressing gratification.
The dress at a musical matinee is the same as at a
reception, only bonnets are more generally dispensed
with. Those who have taken part, often remain for a
PARTIES IN THE COUNTRY.
Morning and afternoon parties in the country, or at
watering places, are of a less formal character than in
cities. The hostess introduces such of her guests as she
thinks most likely to be mutually agreeable. Music or
some amusement is essential to the success of such
In this country it is not expected that persons will
call after informal hospitalities extended on Sunday.
All gatherings on that day ought to be informal. No
dinner parties are given on Sunday, or, at least, they are
not considered as good form in good society.
FIVE O'CLOCK TEA, COFFEE AND KETTLE-DBUMS.
Five o'clock tea, coffee and kettle-drums have recently
introduced into this country from England. For
132 RECEPTIONS, PARTIES AND BALLS.
these invitations are usually issued on the lady's visiting
card, with the words written in the left hand corner.
Or, if for a kettle-drum:
No answers are expected to these invitations, unless
there is an R. S. V. P. on the card. It is optional with
those who attend, to leave cards. Those who do not