Thursday, December 1, 2016

An Edwardian Etiquette Poem

At home ’tis very different, though,
Our elbows on the table rest;
If hot, our tea we always blow,
And eat the way that pleases best. 

Etiquette When at Home, and Abroad

Abroad we always try to be Polite;
We study etiquette;
The tricks of high society,
We never have forgotten yet.

We stand upon our dignity,
At least, as far as we are able;
While waiting, you will never see
Our hands above the dining table.

Our soup we never, never blow,
We never start right in on cake;
We modulate our voices low,
We seldom ever make a break.

We never josh the maid who serves,
Nor look to see if she is pretty;
In fact, we’re on to all the curves
Of high life in a modern city.

To think of asking for dessert,
Before the solid course is through,
Is something, I may here assert,
That we would never, never do.

All proper customs we obey.
On celery we never munch.
We dine in quite the proper way,
And then go out and buy a lunch.

At home ’tis very different, though,
Our elbows on the table rest;
If hot, our tea we always blow,
And eat the way that pleases best.

We josh the maid and roast the cook,
We call for things we do not see;
And sometimes father reads a book,
Which may not be propriety.

We even in our shirt sleeves dine.
While mother wears a dressing gown.
The customs, gladly we resign
Of all best families In town.

Abroad our etiquette’s displayed,
Our manners perfect, I repeat;
At home behavior’s not our trade.
But here we get enough to eat. – Red Bluff Daily News, 1908

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