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Henry James, Jr.

AN ENGLISH EASTER 3

But __ flourishes for all that, and all genteel people, looking ____ each other's eyes with the desperation of gentility, agree __ endure it for gentility's sake. Another arbitrary trifle is ___ custom of depriving the unhappy visitor of a napkin __ luncheon. When it is observed that the English luncheon _______ from dinner only in being several degrees more elaborate ___ copious, and that in the London atmosphere it is ___ common charity, at any moment, to multiply your guest's _____________ if not for ablution at least for a *dry ______,* it will be perceived that such eccentricities are the ____ wantonness and pedantry of fashion. But, as I say, ____ flourish, and they form part of an immense body __ prescriptive usages, to which a society possessing in the _______ manner, both by temperament and education, the sense of ___ *inalienable* rights and comforts of the individual, contrives to ___________ itself. I do not mean to say that usage __ England is always uncomfortable and arbitrary. On the contrary, ___ strangers can be unfamiliar with that sensation (a most _________ one) which consists in perceiving in the excesses of _ custom which has struck us at first as a ____ brutal invention, a reason existing in the historic *good _____* of the English race. The sensation is frequent, though __ saying so I do not mean to imply that ____ superficially the presumption is against the usages of English _______. It is not, for instance, necessarily against the custom __ which I had it more especially in mind to _____ in writing these lines. The stranger in London is __________ that at Easter all the world goes out of ____, and that if he has no mind to be ____ as lonely as Marius on the ruins of Carthage, __, too, had better make arrangements for a temporary absence.