Droll Tales 28

The Folio Society’s “The Unwise Chatter of Three Pilgrims” seems the title that best matches this story of Balzac’s. The Bibliophilist Society gives “Odd Sayings…..”

The sayings’ oddness stems from the fact that on their way to Rome to pay in kind for their sinful lives they “let their tongues wag freely” in the hearing of a serving girl in the inn where they stopped for rest and refreshment, thus each revealing their hidden treasures about their person with which they hoped to redeem their mortal misbehaviours. In revealing the inevitable outcome the author employs a wealth of double entendres exemplified by his last sentence: “This goes to show that in public inns we should keep our tongues between our cheeks.”

Here is the illustration of Mervyn Peake for Folio;

and those of Gustave Doré, who must have been running out of inspiration, for Bibliophilist.

Further details of the publications are given in https://derrickjknight.com/2023/01/06/droll-tales-1/except that there are no pictures here by Jean de Bosschère as I do not have any of the third Decade by him.


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