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The candlesticks, or candelabra, as the case may be, should be so placed as not to obstruct the views across the table. This may be determined by two persons taking seats on opposite sides of the table, viewing each other from different places, and moving the candelabra until the right position is found, which usually will not be more than an inch or two either way. It is well to give attention to this matter, as comfort is much disturbed and conversation interrupted from shutting out by this kind of screen the different persons at the table. Before being placed on the table candles should be fitted firmly and straight in their sockets, be lighted for a few minutes, and then the wicks should be cut and the shades fitted squarely upon the holders. This will prevent smoking, dripping and other annoyances that may occur if it is not done. Shade-holders that fit the top of the candle are very objectionable and dangerous, but those that clasp the candle below the heated part give little trouble.

Salt- and pepper-boxes are placed at the corners of the table, or within easy reach of every two people if more than four are used. If carafes are used the same rule is observed. After the decoration of the table is completed as far as possible, the glasses are put on. There is danger of their being broken if put on before. They are placed in uniform groups at the right of the plates: the water glass nearest the plate, and the wine-glass to be first used nearest the edge of the table. Port and Madeira glasses are not put on until the time for serving those wines, which is at the end of the dinner.

The napkin, folded in triangular shape, the embroidered monogram on top, is laid on the plate, and a piece of bread cut two inches long and one and a half inches thick, or more generally a dinner roll, is laid in the fold, but left in full sight, so that it will not be shaken on to the floor when the napkin is lifted.


The Century Cook Book (1901).


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