Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Babees' Book

Frederick James Furnivall - The Babees' Book: Medieval Manners for the Young (1869)

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Collection of medieval etiquette guides for young people, compiled by the busy editor and scholar Furnival.  (This is a 1923 reprint.)  Some points have remained the same, others greatly changed.  "When thou shalt speak, roll not too fast thine eye; / Gaze not to and fro, as one that were void of courtesy"  You can find the duties of a panter (I'd never heard of this either - it's the person in charge of the pantry) and what exactly a meat caver should do ("Touch no manner of meat with thy right hand, but with thy left, as is proper").