Fish chowder, which is served in soup plates, is said to be an exception which proves this rule, and when eating of that it is correct to take a second plateful if desired.
Another generally neglected obligation is that of spreading butter on one's bread as it lies in one's plate, or but slightly lifted at one end of the plate ; it is very frequently buttered in the air, bitten in gouges, and still held in the face and eyes of the table with the marks of the teeth on it. This is certainly not altogether pleasant, and it is better to cut it, a bit at a time, after buttering it, and put piece by piece in the mouth with one's finger and thumb. Never help yourself to butter, or any other food with your own knife or fork. It is not considered good taste to mix food on the same plate. Salt must be left on the side of the plate and never on the tablecloth.
Let us mention a few things concerning the eating of which there is sometimes doubt. A cream-cake and anything of similar nature should be eaten with knife and fork, never bitten. Asparagus- which should be always served on bread or toast so as to absorb super- fluous moisture may be taken from the finger and thumb ; if it is fit to be set before you the whole of it may be eaten. Pastry should be broken and eaten with a fork, never cut with a knife. Eaw oysters should be eaten with a fork, also fish. Peas and beans, as we all know, require the fork only ; however food that cannot be held with a fork should be eaten with a spoon. Potatoes, if mashed, should be mashed with the fork. Green corn should be eaten from the cob ; but it must be held with a single hand.
Celery, cresses, olives, radishes, and relishes of that kind are, of course, to be eaten with the fingers ; the salt should be laid upon one's plate, not upon the cloth. Fish is to be eaten with the fork, without the assistance of the knife ; a bit of bread in the left hand sometimes helps one to master a refactory morsel. Fresh fruit should be eaten with a silver-bladed knife, especially pears, apples, etc.
Berries, of course, are to be eaten with a spoon. In England they are served with their hulls on, and three or four are considered an ample quantity. But then in England they are many times the size of ours ; there they take ihe big berry by the stem, dip into powdered sugar, and eat it as we do the turnip radish. It is not proper to drink with a spoon in the cup ; nor should one, by-the-way, ever quite drain a cup or glass.