Before the dessert is served, all the plates, the small silver, the salt- and pepper-boxes, the hors d'oeuvres, and such glasses as will not be again used are removed; the crumbs are then taken off, a silver crumb knife and a plate being used for this purpose. The dessert and finger-bowl plates are then put on. Under the finger-bowl is placed a small fancy doily, and beside it on the same plate such small silver as will be needed. If peaches, or any fruit which will stain, are to be served, a fruit doily should also be given at this time and laid beside the place. The finger-bowl should be filled one third with water, and have a thin slice of lemon, a scented leaf, or a flower floating in it.
The service should be entirely noiseless, and the machinery of the household as invisible as possible. There should be no rattling of china or silver, no creaking boots, or heavy tread, or audible speech among the servants.
When entertaining one should not attempt more than one is sure of being able to attain, bearing in mind the capabilities of the cook and the range, and remembering that the quality of the dishes rather than the number of them is what pleases. Experiments should be made at times when failure is of less consequence. In arranging the menu, each course should be in pleasing contrast to the preceding one, and in the same course only such dishes should be served as go well together. Butter is not served at dinner.