This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
Then the hostess bows to the lady of most distinction present, and all the ladies rise and prepare to retire. The gentleman nearest the door opens it, and holds it open for them. The hostess is the last to go out. While they are going all the gentlemen rise, and remain standing until they are gone. It would not, however, be a violation of etiquette for the gentlemen to accompany the ladies to the drawing-room at once, and what is here said applies principally to formal dinners, and to families in which the gentlemen are accustomed to conclude the meal with cigars and wine.
Tea and coffee are dispensed by the lady of the house in the drawing-room. This is her special province. It should be accompanied by a few wafers; a plate of very thin rolled bread-and-butter and a few biscuits of the lightest description may be added. One cup of tea or coffee only should be taken; and certainly no one can need to be told that it must not be poured into the saucer to cool. It will be handed round the room by the servants.
In the drawing-room there should be a little music to give relief to the conversation.
At a plain family dinner, at which one or two guests are present, more devolves on the host and hostess, and less on the servants.