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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1888

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1694
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

and season, should be given to those children who have a long interval between tea time and bed time, and will not be found in any way injurious.

HOW TO WAIT AT TABLE

The servants who wait at table are usually a butler and several footmen, or one man-servant and a parlour-maid, but in many cases parlour-maid and housemaid only. If hired waiters are employed, they must be very neatly attired in a black dress suit and a white necktie.

The women-servants should wear muslin aprons (white) and collar, cap and cuffs. They should be quick-sighted, deft-handed, and soft of foot. There should be at least one servant or waiter on each side of the table, at a moderately large dinner party. The waiting commences from the head of the table, and there must be assistants, outside the door, to bring the dishes and remove them entirely from the room. When the dinner is served on the table the waiter must stand at the left-hand side of the carver, and remove the covers. As the soup comes first, a plateful is carried to each person, unless they signify they do not wish for any, and commences from the one on the right of the host. The sherry and claret then are handed round. The moment a person's plate is empty, or finished with, it must be quietly taken away, spoon and all. These soiled plates are all carried to their proper receptacle, a zinc-lined basket for the purpose, standing in a convenient corner near the sideboard. The soup-tureen is removed last. All forks, spoons, and cutlery, when dirty, are placed in boxes or baskets similar to the plate bucket or basket, with a cloth at the bottom; the cloth is for two good purposes that there may be no unnecessary noise, and that the articles therein shall not be scratched or otherwise damaged. The fish is carried round in the same manner as the soup, the attendant having in the left hand the sauce-tureen, or being followed by another servant carrying it. All plates are placed and removed by the waiter at the left-hand of the carver, or of the person being served. Sauces are next taken round, and then the wine. Entrees are almost invariably handed, even when the joints are carved upon the table. When the joint comes on, and the meat has been taken to the guests as before, the vegetables (which are usually placed upon the sideboard, and not on the table) are handed about, together with a tureen of gravy for fowls or birds. The same process is gone through with respect to the soiled plates. Dinner over, the crumb-brushes are brought into requisition; the dessert-plates arranged upon the table; and after everything is in proper order, a few dishes are handed round by the attendants, who then leave the room. In handing beer, which is not now much drunk at dinners that come at all under the head of "party dinners," or the aerated waters now always given, the attendants take the small tray or salver in the left hand, and, standing at the left side of the guest who places his or her glass upon it to be filled, pours out the liquid with the right hand.