Droll Tales 2

Wild, wet, and windy weather persisted, producing dispiriting gloom throughout the day.

I therefore continued the sequence begun with https://derrickjknight.com/2023/01/06/droll-tales-1/ wherein more details of the three publications featured here is given.

The second of the first Decade of stories is entitled “Venial Sin” by the Folio Society, and “The Venial Sin” by the other two. It deals with the nature of degrees of sin as believed by the Catholic Church, which was the dominant religion of the times. The determiner therefore becomes quite significant if we are considering the importance of a particular Venial Sin or the general nature of such an offence. Venial signifies a crime of a lesser nature and therefore not condemning the offender to the loss of divine grace and an eternity in Hell.

Fornication and adultery were definitely seen as Mortal Sins. Especially when they were themselves guilty the clergy in particular went to great lengths in apologetics to find a way of permitting such misdeeds as venial and therefore excusable after the service of a suitable penance. Not knowing what was happening, or occurring by accident were helpful vindications.

In 1968 The Dubliners dealt with the predicament in which this Balzac story’s young lady found herself. I couldn’t find an available video of that version of the 19th century ballad that Jackie remembers singing in the Girl Guides, although she professes not to have understood it at the time.

Balzac describes the genuine love between his protagonists and accompanying wishes each to please the other considering their differing needs with fluid prose and vivid descriptions of people, country, and location. A certain amount of subterfuge was inevitably employed. I will not go into the detail save to say that a debatable resolution is sought over a period of years.

This is Mervyn Peake’s of 1961

followed by Gustave Doré’s of 1874

and the more risqué offerings of Jean de Bosschère from 1926.

This evening we all dined on three prawn preparations – spicy, tempura, and breaded – on a bed of Jackie’s tasty egg fried rice topped by a thick omelette; with Becky’s tuna pasta salad. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, our daughter drank Diet Pepsi, and I started another bottle of the Côtes du Rhône.