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See also: Etiquette
“I prefer the Chinese method of eating....You can do anything at the table except arm wrestle.”
Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet)
"Be not angry or sour at table; whatever may happen put on the cheerful mien, for good humor makes one dish a feast."
'Gentle Manners' a Shaker book on manners.
TABLE MANNERS FOR CHILDREN
"Children should come to the table clean and in a merry mood; they should not rest their hands on their trenchers, nor drink more than two or three times during the meal (most drank wine diluted with water or thin beer); and they should wipe their lips with a napkin after each drink, especially if a common drinking-cup is used."
Erasmus (16th Century)
(Table manners in 1530, before the widespread use of forks).
"Be careful not to be the first to put your hands in the dish. What you cannot hold in your hands you must put on your plate. Also it is a great breach of etiquette when your fingers are dirty and greasy, to bring them to your mouth in order to lick them, or to clean them on your jacket. It would be more decent to use the tablecloth."
Treatise on Manners published in 1530
“Being set at the table, scratch not thyself, and take thou heed as much as thou canst not to spit, cough and blow at thy nose; but if it be needful, do it dexterously, without much noise, turning thy face sidelong.”
Francis Hawkins, ‘Youth's Behaviour’ (1663)
“Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants, men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding.”
John Erskine, 'The Complete Life'
Quotes about food and.....
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