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147791.  Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:08 am Reply with quote

I would have thought we should cover Erasmus in this series.

He was every child's worst nightmare, insisting kids should be strictly taught table manners from an early age.

His book De Civilitate morum puerilium or On Civility in Children (1530) was a standard schoolbook for boys throught Europe.

It was so popular that it went through 30 editions in Erasmus's lifetime and was arguably the bestselling book of the sixteenth century.

His advice includes the following gems:

"If you cannot swallow a piece of food, turn round discreetly and throw it somewhere.

“Do not be afraid of vomiting if you must; it is not vomiting but holding the vomit in your throat that is foul.”

“Do not move back and forth on your chair. Doing so gives the impression of constantly breaking, or trying to break, wind.”

“Retain the wind by compressing the belly.”

"Turn away when spitting lest your saliva fall on someone. If anything purulent falls on the ground, it should be trodden upon, lest it nauseate someone."

"To lick greasy fingers or to wipe them on your coat is impolite. It is better to use the table cloth or the serviette."

"Some people put their hands in the dishes the moment they have sat down. Wolves do that."

"You should not offer your handkerchief to anyone unless it has been freshly washed. Nor is it seemly, after wiping your nose, to spread out your handkerchief and peer into it as if pearl and rubies might have fallen out of your head."

Last edited by Bunter on Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:27 am; edited 1 time in total

147793.  Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:10 am Reply with quote

Lovely stuff! Especially the wolves ...


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