Saturday, September 9, 2017

Gilded Age Etiquette Humor

Frontier humorist, Bill Nye, more formally known as Edgar Wilson Nye, was the first editor of the "Laramie Boomerang." He named the Wyoming paper for his mule, because of what he described as the “eccentricity of his orbit.”

Bill Nye’s Delicate Hints Upon Table Manners in Fashionable Society

There are a great many people who behave well otherwise, but at table they do things that if not absolutely outré and ensemble, are at least pianissimo and sine die. It is with a view to elevate the popular taste and etherealize, so to speak, the manners and customs of our readers, that we give below a few hints upon table etiquette. 

If, by writing an article of this kind, we can induce one man who wipes his hands on the table-cloth to come up and take higher ground and wipe on his pants, we shall feel amply repaid. If you cannot accept an invitation to dinner, do not write your regrets on the back of a pool check with a blue pencil. This is not regarded as ricochetA simple note to your host, informing him that your washwoman refuses to relent, is sufficient. 

On seating yourself at the table, draw off your gloves and put them in your lap, under your napkin. Do not put them into the gravy, as it would ruin the gloves and cast a gloom over the gravy. If yon have just cleaned your gloves with benzine, you will leave them out in the front yard. If you happen to drop gravy on your knife-blade, back near the handle, do not run the blade down your throat to remove the gravy as it might injure your epiglottis, and it is not embonpoint, any way. 

Oranges are held on a fork while being pulled, and the facetious style of squirting the juice into the eyes of the hostess is now au revoirStones in cherries or other fruit should not be placed upon the table-cloth, but slid quietly and unostentatiously into the pocket of your neighbor or noiselessly tossed under the table. If you strke a worm in your fruit do not call attention to it by mashing it with the nut cracker. This is not only uncouth, but it is regarded in the best society as blasé and exceedingly vice vena

After eating a considerable amount, do not rise and unbutton your vest strap in order to get more room, as it is not exactly aufait and deshabille– The Boomerang, 1881

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

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