“But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea”

‘Sir Thomas resolutely declined all dinner: he would take nothing, nothing till tea came — he would rather wait for tea. Still Mrs. Norris was at intervals urging something different; and in the most interesting moment of his passage to England, when the alarm of a French privateer was at the height, she burst through his recital with the proposal of soup. “Sure, my dear Sir Thomas, a basin of soup would be a much better thing for you than tea. Do have a basin of soup.”

‘Sir Thomas could not be provoked. “Still the same anxiety for everybody’s comfort, my dear Mrs. Norris,” was his answer. “But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.”’ (Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, Ch. XIX)

‘Fanny could hardly have kept her seat any longer, or have refrained from at least trying to get away in spite of all the too public opposition she foresaw to it, had it not been for the sound of approaching relief, the very sound which she had been long watching for, and long thinking strangely delayed.

‘The solemn procession, headed by Baddeley, of tea-board, urn, and cake-bearers, made its appearance, and delivered her from a grievous imprisonment of body and mind.’ (Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, Ch. XXXIV)

Pictures: If you’d like to know more about the pictured tea-party, visit my other blog: The East Room.