Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town

By Gustave Flaubert; Gerard Hopkins | Go to book overview

turned to his mistress, a Rouen actress whom he was keeping. The idea of her, the memory of her, brought with it a sense of satiety, and--

Madame Bovary, he reflected, is a great deal prettier, and quite unspoiled. Virginie is beginning to put on fat, and she's so fussy about her pleasures. Besides, she's got a perfect mania for shrimps!

There was no one about in the meadows, and Rodolphe could hear nothing but the swish of his feet in the grass and the scraping of the distant crickets in the oats. He conjured up a picture of Emma dressed as he had seen her in the parlour, and he began mentally to undress her.

'I'll have her yet!' he exclaimed, and crushed a clod of earth with a blow of his stick.

At once, he started to consider the tactical possibilities of the situation.

Where can I manage to meet her--and how? She's always got that kid hanging to her apron-strings, to say nothing of the servant, the husband and the neighbours--all sorts of tiresome obstacles. Bah! It's too much like work!

But he could not get his mind off the subject: she's got eyes that go through you like a drill: and that wonderful pallor of hers--I adore pale women!

By the time he had reached the top of the hill at Argueil, he had made up his mind.

It's only a question of finding an opportunity. I'll call on them once or twice, send them some game and a few chickens. If need be, I'll have myself bled. We'll strike up a friendship: I'll invite them to my place. By Jove--the agricultural show'll be coming off shortly, she'll be there and I shall see her. That's where I'll make a beginning, and I'll go straight to the point--it's always the best way!


CHAPTER VIII

THE day of the famous show* arrived. From early in the morning of the great occasion the inhabitants stood about on their doorsteps discussing the preparations. The front of the town hall had been festooned with ivy. A tent had been set up in one of the meadows for the banquet, and in the middle of the square, opposite the church, a

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Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Select Bibliography xxi
  • A Chronology of Gustave Flaubert xxiii
  • Part One - Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 10
  • Chapter II 17
  • Chapter II 22
  • Chapter II 27
  • Chapter VI 31
  • Chapter VII 35
  • Chapter VII 41
  • Chapter VII 50
  • Part Two - Chapter I 61
  • Chapter II 69
  • Chapter II 75
  • Chapter II 85
  • Chapter II 89
  • Chapter VI 98
  • Chapter VII 110
  • Chapter VIII 117
  • Chapter VIII 138
  • Chapter VIII 148
  • Chapter VIII 156
  • Chapter XII 169
  • Chapter XIII 182
  • Chapter XIV 191
  • Chapter XIV 201
  • Part Three - Chapter I 211
  • Chapter I 211
  • Chapter II 225
  • Chapter II 234
  • Chapter II 236
  • Chapter II 239
  • Chapter II 255
  • Chapter II 271
  • Chapter II 284
  • Chapter II 301
  • Chapter X 309
  • Chapter XI 314
  • Explanatory Notes 325
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