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    PRETENSE

    Cleveland Amory tells this story about Judge John Lowell of Boston. One morning the judge was at breakfast, his face hidden behind the morning paper. A frightened maid tiptoed into the room and whispered something to Mrs. Lowell's ear. The lady paled slightly, then squared her shoulders resolutely and said, "John, the cook has burned the oatmeal, and there is no more in the house. I am afraid that this morning, for the first time in seventeen years, you will have to go without your oatmeal."

    The judge, without putting down his paper, answered, "It's all right, my dear. Frankly, I never cared much for it anyhow." 

    Bits & Pieces, March 4, 1993, p. 23.