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From: The Every-Day Cook-Book and Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes, For Family Use - Miss E. Neill - nd (circa 1890)

     Dr. Hall, on this important subject, gives the following advice:

     1. Never sit down to table with an anxious or disturbed mind; better a hundred times intermit that meal, for there will then be that much more food in the world for hungrier stomachs than yours; and besides, eating under such circumstances can only, and will always, prolong and aggravate the condition of things.
     2. Never sit down to a meal after any intense mental effort, for physical and mental injury are inevitable, and no one has a right to deliberately injure body, mind, or estate.
     3. Never go to a full table during bodily exhaustion–designated by some as being worn out, tired to death, used up, over done, and the like. The wisest thing to be done under such circumstances is to take a cracker and a cup of warm tea, either black or green, and no more. In ten minutes you will feel a degree of refreshment and liveliness which will be pleasantly surprising to you; not of the transient kind which a glass of liquor affords, but permanent; but the tea gives present stimulus and a little strength, and before it subsides, nutriment begins to draw from the sugar, and cream, and bread, thus allowing the body gradually, and by safe degrees, to regain its usual vigor. Then, in a couple of hours, a full meal may be taken, provided that it does not bring it later than two hours before sundown; if later, then take nothing for that day in addition to the cracker and tea, and the next day you will feel a freshness and vigor not recently known.
     No lady will require to be advised a second time, who will conform to the above rules; while it is a fact of no unusual observation among intelligent physicians, that eating heartily and under bodily exhaustion, is not unfrequently the cause of alarming and painful illness, and sometimes sudden death. These things being so, let every family make it  point to assemble around the table with kindly feelings–with a cheerful humor, and a courteous spirit; and let that member of it be sent from it in disgrace who presumes to mar the reunion by sullen silence, or impatient look, or angry tone, or complaining tongue.. Eat ever in thankful gladness, or away with you to the kitchen, you "ill-tempered thing, that you are." There was good philosophy in the old-time custom of having a buffoon or music at the dinner-table.