EARLY MODERN ETIQUETTE. Bathroom and table manners.
When invited to dinner
- Try to please others, but not too much, or you will appear more like a buffoon or a jester or perhaps a flatterer rather than a well-mannered gentleman.
- Dirty, foul, repulsive or disgusting things are not to be done in the presence of others.
- Therefore relieve your needs in private, and when you return, don’t rearrange your clothing. Don’t even wash your hands in decent company, because it implies something disgusting to their imagination.
- Don’t grind your teeth or shriek, and avoid singing -- especially solo-- if your voice is out of tune.
- Don’t yawn, cough, sneeze loudly, or bray like an ass.
- When you have blown your nose, you should not open your handkerchief and look inside, as if pearls or rubies might have descended from your brain.
- Don’t offer anyone your glass of wine after you have tasted it, or offer fruit into which you have bitten.
- Don’t smell anyone’s food or even your own, for fear that some things that men find disgusting may drop from your nose.
- Don’t act like a pig with its snout in the swill, never raising your eyes from the food in front of you.
- Don’t use your napkin to wipe off sweat or blow your nose.
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