How to Carve, and How to Serve a Dinner (Classic Reprint)

How to Carve, and How to Serve a Dinner (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from How to Carve, and How to Serve a Dinner

It has been said that to the French revolution of 1792 we are indebted for the introduction of the four ?at - pronged fork, now made of almost any kind of metal; for as the atrocities of that fearful convulsion drove men into exile, who up to its outbreak had lived in luxury and ease, many brought with them their little stock of silver plate, the last relic of all their property.

French cookery had necessitated a different instrument from our three-pronged fork. Ragouts and vegetable diet might be more readily eaten with a spoon, and probably a spoon split into four prongs was the first idea of a silver fork.

In former days the office of Grand Carver was one of dignity in all] households; but that was when animals were served up who e.

That office, however, no longer exists; for when the introduction of separate joints superseded the necessity of great bodily strength as well as dexterity in the carver, the host and hosts resumed the duty of assisting their guests at table. Then treatises were written on the art; and carving found its place amongst the accomplishments of polite life. Lord Chesterfield, the great teacher of the superficial polish necessitated by the artificial state of modern manners, makes the art of carving an object of para mount study to the finished man of the world. But in the middle ranks of life the modern science of carving is an accomplishment but too little studied before marriage, and consequently fre quently never properly understood; and yet how much of the comfort of a household depends upon the master and mistress's knowledge of this necessary art! Often a dinner is ruined - there is no other word to express the utter destruction of all comfort to the guests - by the ignorance of those who have to serve it out.

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