In how to serve and eat a dinner, a writer in the “Congregationalist” says of the first course at dinner; Never refuse soup, and never ask for a second helping. “He was such a fellow, now, as would ask for more soup at dinner,” was the condensed criticism passed upon some one by a famous English exquisite; and really it is more comprehensive than would appear on the surface, since one person at the table may keep all others waiting if he asked for a second dish of soup.
If you wish for more salt, and have an individual cellar and no spoon, do not take the salt in your thumb and fingers; and do not after taking it on the end of your knife, perform upon the knife with your fork or spoon a tattoo. Shake the salt from your knife silently at all times; but do not take the trouble to shake it all over your plate of soup, as if it were solid, when one stir-about is all sufficient to season it to its remotest corner. At all times be sure to keep your fork out of your salt-cellar.
Never crumble bread into your soup, and do not butter the bread you eat with it. Do not perform a circle all round the plate at every spoonful. Dip from the middle of the plate, and do not tip it to get the last drop. Be careful not to make the least sound with your lips in eating soup, or anything else; the clatter of knives and forks and dishes, and the sound of scraping, are not to be tolerated among refined people.
Hold your spoon on, or in, your hand, not under it. Do not grasp spoon or knife or fork as if you feared they might escape from you. Hold your spoon and fork in eating something, as you ought to hold your pen in writing. Do not put the spoon into your mouth, but drink from the side near the point. — The Morning Union, 1888
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