In conclusion a few rules of importance in table manners, familiar to most, but too often carelessly ignored, may be given. The napkin should be spread over the knees, not fastened at the neck or tucked into a button hole. It should be folded after using, if the hostess folds hers.

The fork should be held in the palm of the left hand. If in the right, it should be used with the prongs upward, and held between fingers and thumb.

Avoid bending over the plate, drooping the head too low, thrusting the elbows out, or sitting with the back turned toward the person in the next chair.

Be careful not to take large mouthfuls nor to eat too hastily or heartily.

Never hesitate to take the last piece of bread that may be offered. A refusal to do so would be a reflection upon the hostess, suggesting that she had not provided fully for her guests.

In regard to rarer dishes, however, it is wise to show no inclination for more, if the supply on the table seems small.

Never play with napkin ring, fork, or other article, and keep the hands off the table when not employed. Never leave the table till the meal is over, and avoid reading newspapers, books, etc., at table unless alone.

Never use a spoon to eat vegetables. A fork is the proper thing. Never take butter from the dish with your own knife, or use it except on your own plate. It is scarcely necessary again to give warning against putting the knife in the mouth. Yet this unpardonable breach of table etiquette is often committed by persons whose training should have taught them better.

The table should be a centre of cheerful and enlivening conversation, and too close attention to the duty of eating should be avoided, alike from reasons having to do with healthy digestion, and the desirability of every one striving to bear a part in the entertainment of the family circle. The table is the one place where all the family meet at leisure, and where they should seek to make themselves agreeable.