[Home] [The Bethel Memorial, Incorporated] [Pictures of the meeting house and grounds]

Eighteenth Century Guides for Children's Behaviour

Here are two framed pamphlets located behind the pulpit giving advice on how children are supposed to behave at meeting and at the dinner table.

Children's Behaviour at the Meeting House
Located on the right side of the pulpit
The inscription reads:


DECENTLY walk to thy Seat or Pew; run not, nor go wantonly.

Shift not Seats, but continue in the Place where your Superiours order you.

Lend thy Place for the easing of any one that stands near thee.

Fix thine Eye on the Minister, let it not wildly wander to gaze on any Person or

Attend diligently to the Words of the Minister: pray with him when he prayeth,
at least in thy Heart; and while he preacheth, listen, that thou mayest remember.

Be not hasty to run out of the Meeting House when the Worship is ended, as if
thou wert weary of being there.

Walk decently and soberly Home, without Haste or Wantonness; thinking upon
what you have been hearing

Children's Behaviour at the Table
Located on the left side of the pulpit
The inscription reads:


COME NOT to the Table without having your
Hands and Face washed, and your Head combed.

Ask not for any Thing, but tarry until it be offered

Find no fault with any Thing that is given thee.

If thou wantest any Thing from the Servants, call
to them softly.

Make not a Noise with thy Tongue, Mouth, Lips
or Breath, in eating or drinking.

Take not Salt with a greasy Knife.

Spit not, cough not, nor blow thy Nose at the Table,
if it may be avoided; but if there be necessity, do it
aside, and without much noise.

Stuff not thy Mouth so full as to fill thy Cheeks, be
content with smaller Mouthfuls.

Blow not thy Meat, but with Patience wait until it
be cool.

Smell not of thy Meat, nor put it to thy Nose;
turn it not to the other Side upward to view it upon
thy Plate.

Throw not any Thing under the Table.

Spit not forth any Thing tht is not convenient to
be swallowed, as the Stones of Plumbs, Cherries, or
such like; but with thy left Hand, neatly move
them to the Side of thy Plate.

Foul not the Napkin all over, but at one corner

Stare not in the Face of any one, especially thy
Superiours, at the Table.

Pick not thy Teeth at the Table, unless holding up
thy Napkin before thy Mouth with thine other

Drink not nor speak with any Thing in thy Mouth.

When thou risest from the Table, having made a
Bow at the Side of the Table where thou sattest,

From A Little Pretty Pocket-Book first printed by John Newbery, London, 1744; first American edition issued by Isaiah
Thomas, Worcester, Mass., 1789. Reprinted at the press of the Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, copyright D. Adair, 1949.

[Previous page] [Next page]

© 1997 steer_family@hotmail.com