Their habits of order are, in many things, carried to the extreme. The first bell for their meals rings for all to repair to their chambers, from which, at the ringing of the second bell, they descend to the eating-room. Here, all take their appropriate places at the tables, and after locking their hands on their breasts, they drop on their knees, close their eyes, and remain in this position about two minutes. Then they rise, seat themselves, and with all expedition swallow their food; then rise on their feet, again lock their hands, drop on their knees, close their eyes, and in about two minutes rise and retire. Their meals are taken in silence, conversation being prohibited. From "A Lowell Mill Worker Visits the Shakers"

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