17 January 2009

Etiquette Wednesday

Today's Etiquette tips come from none other than Catherine the Great.

Not only was she an accomplished equestrian, but she threw a great party. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. All ranks shall be left behind at the doors, as well as swords and hats.

2. Parochialism and ambitions shall also be left behind at the doors.

3. Be merry, but neither spoil nor break anything, nor indeed gnaw at anything.

4. Be seated, stand or walk as it best pleases you, regardless of others.

5. Speak with moderation and not too loudly, so that others present do not get an earache or headache.

6. One shall not argue angrily or passionately.

7. Do not sigh or yawn, neither bore nor fatigue others.

8. Agree to partake of any innocent entertainment suggested by others.

9. Eat well of good things, but drink with moderation so that each should be able always to find his legs on leaving these doors.

10. All disputes must stay behind closed doors; and what goes in one ear should go out the other before departing through the doors.

If any infringe the above, on the evidence of two witnesses for any crime each guilty party shall drink a glass of cold water, ladies not excepted, and read a page from the Telemachida out loud.
Who infringes three points on one evening, shall be sentenced to learn three lines from the Telemachida by heart. If any shall infringe the tenth point, he shall no longer be permitted entry.

Seriously, nothing can be worse than a rowdy Vicomte brandishing a sword after the soup course! Unless it is the Marquis gnawing on a table leg! Alas I can find no English translation of Vasily Trediakovsky's Telemachida for you to foist upon your guests. The closest penalty for your rude party animals -- memorize Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Ulysses.

Since I know most of Ulysses by heart, and since it is one of my favorite poems, I dare say I can be quite the rowdy guest and take my punishment like a Lady.

There lies the port... and a rather good Merlot..so, behave, please.

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful timeless advice from C the Great. I am gradually working my way through your Etiquette Wednesdays. What an inspired project.


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