Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town

By Gustave Flaubert; Gerard Hopkins | Go to book overview

and a house in the rue Saint-François. But out of the fortune which had been the subject of so much talk, the Bovary household had seen little more than a few odds and ends of furniture and some clothes. It was essential that they know precisely how they stood. The house in Dieppe turned out to be eaten up with mortgages. God alone knew how much had been deposited with the solicitor, and the share in the ship was found to amount to no more than three thousand francs. She had lied to them. So furious was old Monsieur Bovary that he broke a chair on the floor. He accused his wife of ruining their son by tying him up to an old broken-winded jade whose trappings were worth as little as her carcass! They travelled to Tostes. Explanations followed--and scenes. Héloise flung herself weeping into her husband's arms, calling on him to protect her against his parents. Charles took her part, and the old people left in a fury.

But the blow had struck home. A week later, while she was hanging out some washing in the yard, Madame Bovary the younger began to spit blood, and the next day, while Charles was drawing the curtains with his back to her, she cried out 'Oh, God!' uttered a sigh and lost consciousness. She was dead! What a surprise!

When the funeral was over, Charles went home. He met no one on the ground floor. Upstairs, he saw her dress hanging at the foot of the alcove in their bedroom. Leaning against the bureau, he remained until evening in a state of painful reverie. After all, she had loved him.


CHAPTER III

ONE morning, old Rouault came over to pay Charles for the setting of his leg--seventy-five francs in two-franc pieces, and a turkey. He had heard about the doctor's trouble, and said what he could to comfort him.

'I know what it's like,' he said, giving him a hearty slap on the back: 'been through it myself! When I lost my late-lamented, I went out into the fields to be alone, threw myself down under a tree, and cried. I called on the good God and said all sorts of stupid things to him. I wanted to be like the moles I saw strung up on the branches with worms crawling in their bellies--in other words, dead as a door-nail. When I thought of all the other chaps lying snug in bed

-17-

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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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