No matter how cultivated in mind and spirit one may be, if there is an absence of refinement of manners, the higher qualities are likely to be overlooked. No one can afford to slight the study of good manners. The basis of all good manners is tact, i.e. a kindly consideration of others. This consideration may be shown at the dining table quite as well as at a social gathering. Graceful and easy table manners and a knowledge of how to serve and be served add to the comfort as well as to the pleasure of one's associates in the dining room.
Most of the rules of table conduct have been adopted because they lend ease and grace or because they are sensible; others have been established by custom and long usage.