Oliver Bell Bunce


Don’t: A Manual of Mistakes & Improprieties more of less prevalent in Conduct and Speech, by “Censor,” real name Oliver Bell Bunce (1st ed. D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1884) is a little known book full of hilarious advice, offered in earnest, for both ladies and gentlemen of refined sensibilities. Here Oliver beseeches us regarding spitting.

Don’t expectorate. Men in good health do not need to expectorate; with them continual expectoration is simply the result of habit. Men with bronchial or lung diseases are compelled to expectorate, but no one should discharge matter of the kind in public places except into vessels provided to receive it. Spitting upon the floor anywhere is inexcusable. One should not even spit upon the sidewalk, but go to the gutter for the purpose. One must not spit into the fire-place nor upon the carpet, and hence the English rule is for him to spit in his handkerchief — but this is not a pleasant alternative. On some occasions no other may offer.


July 26th, 2010 / 12:00 pm