- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
128

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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troubled with them. Here it is different. Here
there is an incessant asking and inviting, selecting
and answering, so that there is really no time for
enjoyment of the meal, much less of conversation.
Neither is it proper to help one’s self; the host or
hostess, aunt or uncle, some other polite person, or
possibly the servants, which here in the South are
always negroes, must help you, and you seldom
get just what you wish for, or as much or as little
as you want, and not on the part of the plate where
you wish to have it. You are asked, for example,
“Will you have some butter?”

“Yes, thank you!”

And with that comes a piece of butter on the edge
of the plate, at which the annoying thought always
suggests itself that it lies exactly where the servant
put his thumb. Then it goes on:

“Will you take fish or meat? Chicken or turkey?”

“Chicken, if you please.”

“Have you any choice? The breast or a wing?”

Then comes, “Will you have pickles?”

“No, I thank you!”

A pause and calm ensues for two minutes. But then
somebody on your left discovers that you have no
pickles, and hastens to offer you the bottle. “Will
you not take pickles?”

"No, I thank you."

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