|photo by ana traina|
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Very Important Hints on Etiquette, to Aid in the Fine Art of Wooing!
Hints for Etiquette; Or, Dining Out Made Easy
The Unknown Lewis Carroll
I recommend this book to all diners-out who are perfectly unacquainted with the usages of fine society. However, I regret that our author, Carroll Lewis, has confined himself to warning rather than sound advice, and I am also bound to say that nothing here will contradict the habits of the finer circles. The following examples exhibit a deep depth of penetration and a fullness of experience rarely met with:
In proceeding to the dining-room, the gentleman gives one arm to the lady he escorts -- it is unusual to offer both.
The practice of taking soup with the next gentleman but one is now wisely discontinued; but the custom of asking your host his opinion of the weather immediately on the removal of the first course still prevails.
To use a fork with your soup, intimating at the same time to your hostess that you are reserving the spoon for beefsteaks, is a practice wholly exploded.
On meat being placed before you, there is no possible objection to your eating it, if so disposed; still in all such delicate cases, be guided entirely by the conduct of those around you.
It is always allowable to ask for artichoke jelly with your boiled venison; however there are houses where this is not supplied.
The method of helping roast turkey with two carving-forks is praticable, but deficient in grace.
We do not recommend the practice of eating cheese with a knife and fork in one hand, and a spoon and wine-glass in the other; there is a kind of awkwardness in the action which no amount of practice can entirely dispel.
As a general rule, do not kick the shins of the opposite gentleman under the table, if personally unacquainted with him; your pleasantry is liable to be misunderstood -- a circumstance at all times unpleasant.
Proposing the health of the boy in buttons immediately on the removal of the cloth is custom springing from regard to his tender years, rather than from a strict adherence to the rules of etiquette.
Lewis Carroll, 1849
“Hints for Etiquette” is a blueprint by Carroll for behavior at the dinner table and was first published in 1855 (10 years before Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). In it, he lists 9 “rules” of etiquette.