Summary “Venus Ilskaya” Merimee

The narrator, at the request of M. de P., goes to the Catalan town of Ill. He must examine all the ancient monuments in the area, which will indicate the local lover of antiquity, M. de Peyrorad. On the way the narrator learns from his guide that a copper idol of the pagan goddess has been dug in the garden of M. de Peyorad. The locals have already nicknamed the “evil” statue: when it was raised, it collapsed and broke the leg to Jean Kohl.

De Peyoradah cordially greets the guest. Their son Alphonse is taciturn, he came to him only as a Parisian, a metropolitan person. Alphonse looks ridiculously dressed in the latest fashion, he has the hands of a peasant in the sleeves of a dandy. He soon marries a rich girl who lives next door in Puigarig. Monsieur de Peyorad begins to praise his “Venus Tour”, meeting the condemnation of his wife: “She made a good masterpiece herself! Break a man’s leg!” De Peyorad answers: “Who was not wounded

by Venus?” The narrator is going to sleep. From the window of his room he sees a statue standing in the garden. Two local people pass by and start scolding her. One of them takes a stone and launches into Venus, but immediately grabs his head: “She threw the stone back at me!”

In the morning, a Parisian with M. de Peyrorade is sent to inspect Venus. The owner asks the narrator to help him with the translation of the inscriptions on the statue. It is impossible to imagine anything more perfect than the body of this Venus, but on her beautiful face read contempt and cruelty. The inscription on the socle reads: “CAVE AMANTEM” (“Beware of the Lover”). The second inscription is cut out on the forearm:


Monsieur de Peyorad believes that Venus comes from the once-Phoenician village of Bulterner (warped “Turbulnera”) nearby and talks about the possible etymology of the word associated with the god Baal. He suggests translation: “Venus Boulterner’s Miron devotes, at her order, this statue made by

him.” Men notice on the chest and fingers of Venus white specks of stones. The guest says that he saw last night. After breakfast, he remains in the stables with Alfonso, who is occupied only by the dowry of his bride, Mademoiselle de Puigarig. He wants to give her a ring with diamonds in the form of two woven hands and engraved “sempr’ab ti” (“forever with you”). “To wear one thousand two hundred francs on a finger is flattering!”

De Peyorad and their guest dine at the bride. The Parisian finds that the rough Alphonse is not worthy of the charming Mademoiselle de Puigarig, so similar to the goddess of love. Wedding tomorrow, on Friday – the day of Venus. Alphonse starts playing ball with the Spaniards in the morning. The ring prevents him. Alphonse leaves the decoration on the finger of Venus and wins. The defeated Spaniard threatens to pay him. The heroes leave for Puigarig, the groom remembers that he forgot the ring. But there is no one to send for him, and the young woman receives the ring of the milliner, with whom Alphonse was entertained in Paris. The wedding for dinner returns to Ill. The newlywed, somewhere disappeared for a minute before sitting down at the table, is pale and strangely serious. The garter of the bride is traditionally cut, Mr. de Peyorad sings the newly composed poems about the two Venus in front of him: Roman and Catalan. After dinner, Alphonse in horror tells the Parisian: Venus bent her finger, the ring did not return. He asks the guest to look, but he does not want to go under the rain and rises to himself. In the corridor, steps are heard – the bride is led to the marriage bed. The narrator again pities the poor girl and tries to sleep.

Early in the morning, a cry rises in the house. Alphonse lies dead in a broken bed, and on the sofa in cramps his wife is beating. The face of the young expresses terrible suffering. On his body bruises as if squeezed him with a hoop. Near him lies his ring with diamonds. The royal prosecutor manages to interrogate the widow of Alphonse. At night she lay under the blanket, as someone else and cold sat down on the bed. Alfons came into the bedroom with the words: “Hello, little wife,” and immediately there was his cry. De Puigarig still turned her head and saw Venus showering in her husband’s arms. The Spaniard, who played with the ball to Alfons, is not involved, and the servant, who last saw the newlyweds live, claims that there was no ring on him.

The Parisian leaves Ill. He is in tears escorting M. de Peyorad. He will die a few months after his son. Venus Ilskaya, by the order of Madame de Peyrorad, is melted down to the church bell, but in this form she continues to harm people: since the new bell rings in Ille, the vineyards have already suffered from frost two times.

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Summary “Venus Ilskaya” Merimee