Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Table Manners of the Well Bred

 Too much care cannot be given in any family to the ethics of the dining-room. 


Table Manners the Surest Test of Good

Probably in no oneway does a woman better indicate her early home life than through her table. Its service and belongings, the manners of her children, and her own demeanor show quickly if she be to the manner born. If, as it is said, it takes a hundred years to make a perfect lawn, it may also be asserted that several generations are required to produce a perfect mistress of a gentleman's board, whether she be presiding at the ordinary family meal or with guests assembled about her.

The ease that can come only from a lifetime familiarity with a well-appointed table and the adjustment of herself with her surroundings, which is a part of having known no other environment, is a charm that not all hostesses possess. Too much care cannot be given in any family to the ethics of the dining-room. At its best, the eating process has in it the elements of coarseness, and the most "delicate feasting" partakes of the animal side of life. No- matter how simple the routine household may be, nor how moderate the domestic purse, it is possible, if the mistress be so educated, to have at all times a well-served, well-mannered and well-ordered table. From such are graduated children who will suffer no mortifications in afterlife on the score of table etiquette, but who will be ready "to sup with Princes and eat in the palaces of Kings " at any time.
 — From The New York Times, 1890

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia