Le Sourire de la Mélancolie!
Brian E. Denton

Everyone, including the participants, can see that the melancholy is a put-on here. Otherwise their favourite game wouldn’t be bout-rimés. (Which I’m going to try in my English lessons at the next opportunity.)

I suppose it must happen quite often that people fall in love with their opponents’ ability to strike poses and play-act; but maybe Boris is too unimaginative for that.