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Modern Love XXV: You Like Not That French Novel

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Written by George Meredith

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 You like not that French novel? Tell me why.
You think it quite unnatural.
Let us see.
The actors are, it seems, the usual three: Husband, and wife, and lover.
She--but fie! In England we'll not hear of it.
Edmond, The lover, her devout chagrin doth share; Blanc-mange and absinthe are his penitent fare, Till his pale aspect makes her over-fond: So, to preclude fresh sin, he tries rosbif.
Meantime the husband is no more abused: Auguste forgives her ere the tear is used.
Then hangeth all on one tremendous IF:-- If she will choose between them.
She does choose; And takes her husband, like a proper wife.
Unnatural? My dear, these things are life: And life, some think, is worthy of the Muse.


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