This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
Formerly it was the fashion to pour tea into the saucer; not so now. Tea should be gently sipped from the spoon or cup, taking cup and spoon in hand (Fig. 15) when drinking, as shown in the accompanying diagram.
The spoon should never be removed from the cup when the guest is satisfied with its contents. Should the cup be empty, and more be desired, to take the spoon out and place it beside the cup in the saucer is an intimation to the waiter to have it refilled. If not empty, and the spoon is placed thus beside the cup, it is an intimation to the waiter that you want the tea or coffee changed. Do not call for "milk;" call for and speak only of
"cream." Never set your teacup upon the table-cloth. In taking sugar, use only the sugar-spoon.
As in all the affairs of life, common sense must always rise superior to fashion or forms of etiquette. In this chapter on "The Table" we have aimed to give the leading outlines which should govern conduct in the dining-room. Much judgment will be required to always understand where these rules should be applied. Certainly to meet a company of people at the table, appear to advantage, carry forward an intelligent conversation, be agreeable and finish the meal, having eaten, in kind and quantity, sufficient to preserve health and vigor, requires much wisdom and experience.
Fig. 15. Position for Holding Cup and Spoon. *.
• The cup with handle, or of unusual size, may be held differently.
Fig. 14. Correct Position for Holding Knife and Fork.