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Stendhal's Scarlet and Black has a curious passage where the main character observes that even the eating of a boiled egg "reveals the progress one has made in the godly life"

To support this it refers to what is presumably a real historical event:

The reader, who is perhaps smiling, will please to remember all the mistakes made, in eating an egg, by the abbè Delille when invited to luncheon by a great lady of the Court of Louis XVI. (p208 of Everyman Library edition)

I assume Delille here is Jacques Delille, who lived about this time and was at one time an abbot.

Anyone able to dig up reference to this egg-eating encounter and scandal?

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Potential Clue in a manual of etiquette ""Ah! my dear Abbé, nobody ever eats an egg without breaking the shell afterwards," exclaimed Abbé Delille." –  Mark C. Wallace Dec 9 '13 at 15:14
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@MarkC.Wallace interesting; the novel excerpt suggests that Delille committed the mistakes, whereas the manual suggests he was the one pointing those mistakes out. –  congusbongus Dec 10 '13 at 5:26
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I wonder if we're not examining satire as though it were serious. –  Mark C. Wallace Dec 10 '13 at 11:38
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That could well be. I was motivated to ask since this reminds me of the egg debate in Swift's writing too - which led me to wonder if there is a general 18-19th century running element of egg-eating culture as metaphor for the frivolousness of courtly society (which is why I tagged this cultural history) –  kmlawson Dec 10 '13 at 21:23
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