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A Chair on the Boulevard by Leonard Merrick

A CHAIR ON THE BOULEVARD

By LEONARD MERRICK

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY A. NEIL LYONS

1921

CONTENTS

I THE TRAGEDY OF A COMIC SONG

II TRICOTRIN ENTERTAINS

III THE FATAL FLOROZONDE

IV THE OPPORTUNITY OF PETITPAS

V THE CAFE OF THE BROKEN HEART

VI THE DRESS CLOTHES OF MONSIEUR POMPONNET

VII THE SUICIDES IN THE RUE SOMBRE

VIII THE CONSPIRACY FOR CLAUDINE

IX THE DOLL IN THE PINK SILK DRESS

X THE LAST EFFECT

XI AN INVITATION TO DINNER

XII THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS

XIII THE FAIRY POODLE

XIV LITTLE-FLOWER-OF-THE-WOOD

XV A MIRACLE IN MONTMARTRE

XVI THE DANGER OF BEING A TWIN

XVII HERCULES AND APHRODITE

XVIII "PARDON, YOU ARE MADEMOISELLE GIRARD!"

XIX HOW TRICOTRIN SAW LONDON

XX THE INFIDELITY OF MONSIEUR NOULENS

INTRODUCTION

These disjointed thoughts about one of Leonard Merrick's most articulate books must begin with a personal confession.

For many years I walked about this earth avoiding the works of Leonard Merrick, as other men might have avoided an onion. This insane aversion was created in my mind chiefly by admirers of what is called the "cheerful" note in fiction. Such people are completely agreed in pronouncing Mr. Merrick to be a pessimistic writer. I hate pessimistic writers.

Years ago, when I was of an age when the mind responds acutely to exterior impressions, some well-meaning uncle, or other fool, gave me a pessimistic book to read. This was a work of fiction which the British Public had hailed as a masterpiece of humour. It represented, with an utter fury of pessimism, the spiritual inadequacies of--but why go into details.

Now, I have to confess that for a long time I did Mr. Merrick the extraordinary injustice of believing him to be the author of that popular masterpiece.

The mistake, though intellectually unpardonable, may perhaps be condoned on other grounds. By virtue of that process of thought which we call the "association of ideas," I naturally connected Mr. Merrick with this work of super-pessimism; my friends being so confirmed in their belief that he was a super-pessimist.


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