Soup is the first course. All should accept it even if they let it remain untouched, because it is better to make a pretense of eating until the next course is served, than to sit waiting, or compel the servants to serve one before the rest. Soup should not be called for a second time. A soup-plate should never be tilted for the last spoonful.
Fish follows soup and must be eaten with a fork, unless fish knives are provided. If fish knives are not provided, a piece of bread in the left hand answers the purpose as well, with the fork in the right hand. Fish may be declined, but must not be called for a second time.
THE SIDE DISHES.
After soup and fish come the side dishes, which must be eaten with the fork, though the knife is used in cutting meats and anything too hard for a fork.
GENERAL RULES REGARDING DINNER.
When the plate of each course is set before you, with the knife and fork upon it, remove the knife and fork at once. This matter should be carefully attended to, as the serving of an entire course is delayed by neglecting to remove them.
Greediness should not be indulged in. Indecision must be avoided. Do not take up one piece and lay it down in favor of another, or hesitate.
Never allow the servant, or the one who pours, to fill your glass with wine that you do not wish to drink. You can check him by touching the rim of your glass.
Cheese is eaten with a fork and not with a knife.
If you have occasion to speak to a servant, wait until you can catch his eye, and then ask in a low tone for what you want.
The mouth should always be kept closed in eating, and both eating and drinking should be noiseless.
Bread is broken at dinner. Vegetables are eaten with a fork.
Asparagus can be taken up with the fingers, if preferred. Olives and artichokes are always so eaten.
Fruit is eaten with silver knives and forks.
You are at liberty to refuse a dish that you do not wish to eat. If any course is set down before you that you do not wish, do not touch it. Never play with food, nor mince your bread, nor handle the glass and silver near you unnecessarily.
Never reprove a waiter for negligence or improper conduct; that is the business of the host.
When a dish is offered you, accept or refuse at once, and allow the waiter to pass on. A gentleman will see that the lady whom he has escorted to the table is helped to all she wishes, but it is officiousness to offer to help other ladies who have escorts.
If the guests pass the dishes to one another, instead of being helped by a servant, you should always help yourself from the dish, if you desire it at all, before passing it on to the next.