Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town

By Gustave Flaubert; Gerard Hopkins | Go to book overview

what he should and should not say in public, made him fast on Fridays, dress as she thought fit, and dun those of his patients who were slow in settling their accounts. She opened his letters, spied on his movements, and listened through the wall whenever he had women in his consulting-room.

She had to have her chocolate brought to her every morning, and expected to be waited on hand and foot. She was for ever complaining of her nerves, of the state of her lungs, of her many and various ailments. The noise of people moving about made her feel ill, but no sooner was she left alone than she found her solitude unbearable. If anyone came to see her, it was, she felt sure, because they wanted to make certain that she was dying. When Charles came home of an evening, she would bring her long skinny arms from beneath the bedclothes, clasp them about his neck, make him sit on the edge of the bed, and then tell him of her woes. She accused him of neglect, of loving someone else, and always ended by asking for something to take for her health, and a little more love-making.


CHAPTER II

ONE night, about eleven o'clock, they were awakened by the sound of a horse stopping at their door. The maid-servant opened the attic window and spent some time in parley with a man in the street below. He had come for the doctor, and was the bearer of a letter. Nastasie shivered her way downstairs, turned the key and drew the bolts. The man left his horse where it was and entered the house in her wake. From the inside of his woollen cap with grey tassels he drew a letter wrapped in a scrap of linen, and presented it with scrupulous care to Charles, who propped himself on his elbow to read it. Nastasie stood by the bed, holding a light. Madame, from a sense of modesty, remained with her face to the wall, and presented only her back to the room.

The letter, which was fastened with a little blue wafer, begged Monsieur Bovary to go at once to Les Bertaux* farm to set a broken leg. Now, the distance from Tostes to Les Bertaux farm is a good six leagues by the road through Longueville and Saint-Victor. The night was extremely dark. Madame Bovary the younger feared lest some accident befall her husband. It was finally decided, therefore, that

-10-

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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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