The History of Etiquette
Etiquette is a form of fashion more important than style in dress, for the reason that the varying codes of manners have influenced morals, something changing the cut of a coat cannot be said to have done. When etiquette demanded that a gentleman accept a challenge or acknowledge himself a coward in the minds of his fellow citizens, it encroached sharply upon ethics. Now that it has gone out of fashion to kill, gentlemen find small difficulty in keeping the sixth commandment. The less formal etiquette becomes, the less wanton taking of life there is among those who consider good breeding of consequence.
As the civilized race now stands, either man or woman can be refined, regardless of shape of hat he or she wears. This was true in any century, but 200 years ago and back of that period, a gentleman and lady could, according to approved etiquette, gobble food with their hands from a common dish set in the center of the dining table and filled with the entire fashionable bill of fare prepared for the occasion. Gratefully we now acknowledge such proceedings to he “bad form” and in so doing pronounce ourselves two centuries removed from the table manners of swine and one point away from that brute, no matter how similar to him our turn of mind may remain in some other respects. –National Magazine, 1901
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia