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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Table manners book up for auction
Illustration depicting married life from "The honours of the table"
The book aimed to improve the manners of young men and women
A book dating back to the 18th Century about table manners is expected to fetch up to 700 when it goes under the hammer in Derby.

"The honours of the table" or "rules for during meals for the use of young people" was written in 1791 by the Reverend John Trusler.

A member of the public brought the book into Hansons auctioneers' Derby office last Friday for evaluation.

The 76-page publication will be auctioned at the end of November.

Be cautious of unbosoming yourself at table
From the manners book by Reverend John Trusler

In it, young diners are advised to "pass no joke without a sting (punch-line)", "never pride yourself on being a wag, take no snuff, chew no tobacco", and "be not dark or mysterious".

Some of the references are more obscure - women are advised: "Be cautious of unbosoming yourself at table, particularly to a married woman."

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: "There's all sorts of quirky lines in there, for example 'eating soup with nose in plate is vulgar, eating quick is a sign of poverty, eating too slow suggests you don't enjoy the entertainment', which is peculiar isn't it?"

He added: "It's socially so interesting, it's socially going to appeal to a wide audience and importantly, there are a lot of collectors of such social etiquette and we can see it making between five and seven hundred pounds. It's a rare book."

Excerpts from the book

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