The writer at home:

At Thanksgiving the family followed a regular ritual. First John and Fred lined the sloping lawn with tennis-court tapes, and then the crowd--as many as two dozen--arrived for the touch football game. Cheever himself was not much of a player. Next there were drinks for all and then the turkey that Mary had prepared and John carved, after reciting a grace he constructed out of the Cranmer Bible and Jowett's Plato.

The Cranmer is loud, resonant and liturgical and cuts into the small talk and the noise of silver. "Almighty God, maker of all things, judge of all men!" Then comes the Plato, even louder. "Let us consider that the soul of man is immortal, able to endure every sort of good and every sort of evil. Thus may we live happily with one another and with God." The close is incantatory, close to plainsong. "By Whom and with Whom in the Unity of the Holy Ghost all honor and glory be to Thee oh Father Almighty, world without end. Amen."

Scott Donaldson, John Cheever: A Biography, New York: Random House, 1988. 233-234.

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