Etiquette of the Table (1891) Rules to be Observed Sit upright, neither too close nor too far away from the table.
Open and spread upon your lap or breast a napkin, if one is provided—otherwise a handkerchief.
Do not be in haste; compose yourself; put your mind into a pleasant condition, and resolve to eat slowly.
Keep the hands from the table until your time comes to be served.
It is rude to take knife and fork in hand and commence drumming on the table while you are waiting.
Taking ample time in eating will give you better health, greater wealth, longer life and more happiness. These are what we may obtain by eating slowly in a pleasant frame of mind, thoroughly masticating the food.
Errors to be Avoided Never eat very fast.
Never fill the mouth very full.
Never open your mouth when chewing.
Never make noise with the mouth or throat.
Never attempt to talk with the mouth full.
Never attempt to leave the table with food in the mouth.
Never soil the table-cloth if it is possible to avoid it.
Never carry away fruits and confectionary from the table.
Never encourage a dog or cat to play with you at the table.
Never use anything but a fork or spoon in feeding yourself.
Never explain at the table why certain foods do not agree with you.
Never introduce disgusting or unpleasant topics for conversation.
Never pick your teeth or put your hand in your mouth while eating.
Never cut bread; always break it, spreading with butter each piece as you eat it.
Never use your own knife when cutting butter.
Always use a knife assigned to that purpose.
Never wipe your fingers on the table-cloth, nor clean them in your mouth. Use the napkin.
Never, when serving others, overload the plate nor force upon them delicacies which they decline.
Never allow the conversation at the table to drift into anything but chit-chat; the consideration of deep and abstruse principles will impair digestion.
Never permit yourself to engage in a heated argument at the table.
Neither should you use gestures, nor illustrations made with a knife or fork upon the table-cloth.
If you're reading a blog post about table etiquette it stands to reason you're interested in food, so it's worth mentioning that Love Will Find A Wheel, A Rapping At the Door and Delivery Delayed all contain appendixes with 19th-century recipes for the foods mentioned in the stories!