The blue room

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eugène Courboin in 1902:
The Blue Room

The Blue Room (French: La Chambre bleue ) is a novella by the French writer Prosper Mérimée from 1866. The failed trip of a couple in love to a hotel on the outskirts of the big city ends happily.


In Paris, Leo takes the train to N *** with his girlfriend. There, near the Seine metropolis, the two lovers want to stay in an inexpensive hotel. “We're alone!” Cheers the young woman in the compartment. A gentleman gets up promptly. You switch from French to English in the love whispering. The fellow traveler immediately makes it clear that he is English. Then he immersed himself in his Greek reading - all the way to the N *** train station.

In the only hotel from N *** the lovers get the blue room. It is considered to be the best in the house and takes its name from two armchairs by the fireplace covered with Utrecht velvet . However, the Englishman stayed in the next room. Leo secures the double doors to the British. However, penetrating noise comes from the opposite direction and, according to the landlord, is caused by an evening of camaraderie between the officers of the third hussar regiment stationed in N ***.

The couple's blissful togetherness is severely disturbed by the loud personalities of the mounted hunters. Embarrassing - every word of the peppered Histörchen including laughter penetrates the wall.

The Englishman across the street orders the first bottle of port wine . The French hotel doesn't run it. The inventive host creates something like a substitute from fruit schnapps and cognac. Leo curses the hotel as a dive bar, but his lover thinks she is in paradise. Don't just bother the hussars. In the next room the Englishman yells: “Waiter, another bottle of the same port!” And later Leo hears a “strange noise from the Briton's room, followed by a choked scream”. After a while something trickles out from under the double doors of the Englishman's room on the parquet, which the terrified Leo takes for blood in the glow of a candle. Leo initially hides the "murder" from his lover; does not disturb your sweet night sleep. When the young woman finally wakes up in the morning, is in the picture and is puzzling over a suitable reaction, the only thing left for them to do is to flee. Leo pays the landlord and wants to take the morning train to Paris with his company. In conversation with the famous restaurateur, it turns out that the Englishman knocked over his second bottle of “port” that night.

The couple then stayed until after lunch.

Eugène Courboin anno 1902:
Illustration for The Blue Room


  • "In France the doors close badly."


Wikisource: La Chambre bleue  - 1871 edition (French)

Used edition

Individual evidence

  1. Edition used, p. 390, 5. Zvo