In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a creamy sauce. Whisk in lemon juice and garlic. Taste, and season with salt, white pepper and cayenne.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes for fresh, 8 to 10 minutes for dried. Drain well. Return to the warm pot.
Add the warm sauce, chopped basil and chives. Toss well. Taste the sauce to check for an authoritative tang. Season with more lemon juice, salt, white pepper and cayenne as needed.
Using a carving fork with two long, straight tines, spear a serving of pasta onto the bottom tine. Place the pasta-entwined fork over a plate, and invert the fork, letting the pasta slide off into a neat stack.
Repeat with the remaining pasta. Garnish with the whole basil leaves and serve immediately. NOTE: For a variation on the basil, use 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon and garnish with whole tarragon sprigs.Servings: