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"It is a habit which exhibits, perhaps, the unconscious inherent cynicism of the human mind, for people who consider that they have reached the acme of mundane felicity, to distribute this token of esteem to their friends, with the object probably" (he took the knife from a waiter and went to the table to slice the cake) "of enabling those friends (these edifices require very delicate incision--each particular currant and subtle condiment hangs to its neighbour--a wedding-cake is evidently the most highly civilized of cakes, and partakes of the evils as well as the advantages of civilization!)--I was saying, they send us these love-tokens, no doubt (we shall have to weigh out the crumbs, if each is to have his fair share) that we may the better estimate their state of bliss by passing some hours in purgatory."

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Source Notes: The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (chapter 32, "Procession of the Cake") (1859). Adrian carefully portions out a piece of cake and extravagantly analyzes its meaning for Hippias.

A bit about George Meredith ...

George Meredith (February 12, 1828 - May 18, 1909) was an English novelist and poet.

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