and all night in the light of the moon along country roads there were
runaway carts at full gallop plunging into the ditches, jumping over
yard after yard of stones, clambering up the hills, with women leaning
out from the tilt to catch hold of the reins.
Those who stayed at the Bertaux spent the night drinking in the kitchen.
The children had fallen asleep under the seats.
The bride had begged her father to be spared the usual marriage
pleasantries. However, a fishmonger, one of their cousins (who had even
brought a pair of soles for his wedding present), began to squirt water
from his mouth through the keyhole, when old Rouault came up just in
time to stop him, and explain to him that the distinguished position
of his son-in-law would not allow of such liberties. The cousin all the
same did not give in to these reasons readily. In his heart he accused
old Rouault of being proud, and he joined four or five other guests in
a corner, who having, through mere chance, been several times running
served with the worst helps of meat, also were of opinion they had been
badly used, and were whispering about their host, and with covered hints
hoping he would ruin himself.
Madame Bovary, senior, had not opened her mouth all day. She had been
consulted neither as to the dress of her daughter-in-law nor as to the
arrangement of the feast; she went to bed early. Her husband, instead
of following her, sent to Saint-Victor for some cigars, and smoked till
daybreak, drinking kirsch-punch, a mixture unknown to the company. This
added greatly to the consideration in which he was held.
Charles, who was not of a facetious turn, did not shine at the wedding.
He answered feebly to the puns, doubles entendres*, compliments, and
chaff that it was felt a duty to let off at him as soon as the soup
The next day, on the other hand, he seemed another man. It was he who
might rather have been taken for the virgin of the evening before,
whilst the bride gave no sign that revealed anything. The shrewdest did
not know what to make of it, and they looked at her when she passed
near them with an unbounded concentration of mind. But Charles concealed
nothing. He called her "my wife", tutoyed* her, asked for her of
everyone, looked for her everywhere, and often he dragged her into the
yards, where he could be seen from far between the trees, putting his
arm around her waist, and walking half-bending over her, ruffling the
chemisette of her bodice with his head.
*Used the familiar form of address.
Two days after the wedding the married pair left. Charles, on account of
his patients, could not be away longer. Old Rouault had them driven back
in his cart, and himself accompanied them as far as Vassonville. Here
he embraced his daughter for the last time, got down, and went his way.
When he had gone about a hundred paces he stopped, and as he saw the
cart disappearing, its wheels turning in the dust, he gave a deep sigh.
Then he remembered his wedding, the old times, the first pregnancy of
his wife; he, too, had been very happy the day when he had taken her
from her father to his home, and had carried her off on a pillion,
trotting through the snow, for it was near Christmas-time, and the
country was all white. She held him by one arm, her basket hanging from
the other; the wind blew the long lace of her Cauchois headdress so that
it sometimes flapped across his mouth, and when he turned his head he
saw near him, on his shoulder, her little rosy face, smiling silently
under the gold bands of her cap. To warm her hands she put them from
time to time in his breast. How long ago it all was! Their son would
have been thirty by now. Then he looked back and saw nothing on the
road. He felt dreary as an empty house; and tender memories mingling
with the sad thoughts in his brain, addled by the fumes of the feast, he
felt inclined for a moment to take a turn towards the church. As he was
afraid, however, that this sight would make him yet more sad, he went
right away home.
Monsieur and Madame Charles arrived at Tostes about six o'clock.
The neighbors came to the windows to see their doctor's new wife.
The old servant presented herself, curtsied to her, apologised for not
having dinner ready, and suggested that madame, in the meantime, should
look over her house.
The brick front was just in a line with the street, or rather the road.
Behind the door hung a cloak with a small collar, a bridle, and a black
leather cap, and on the floor, in a corner, were a pair of leggings,
still covered with dry mud. On the right was the one apartment, that was
both dining and sitting room. A canary yellow paper, relieved at the
top by a garland of pale flowers, was puckered everywhere over the badly
stretched canvas; white calico curtains with a red border hung crossways
at the length of the window; and on the narrow mantelpiece a clock with
a head of Hippocrates shone resplendent between two plate candlesticks
under oval shades. On the other side of the passage was Charles's
consulting room, a little room about six paces wide, with a table,
three chairs, and an office chair. Volumes of the "Dictionary of Medical
Science," uncut, but the binding rather the worse for the successive
sales through which they had gone, occupied almost along the six shelves
of a deal bookcase.
The smell of melted butter penetrated through the walls when he saw
patients, just as in the kitchen one could hear the people coughing in
the consulting room and recounting their histories.
Then, opening on the yard, where the stable was, came a large
dilapidated room with a stove, now used as a wood-house, cellar, and
pantry, full of old rubbish, of empty casks, agricultural implements
past service, and a mass of dusty things whose use it was impossible to
The garden, longer than wide, ran between two mud walls with espaliered
apricots, to a hawthorn hedge that separated it from the field. In the
middle was a slate sundial on a brick pedestal; four flower beds with
eglantines surrounded symmetrically the more useful kitchen garden bed.
Right at the bottom, under the spruce bushes, was a cure in plaster
reading his breviary.
Emma went upstairs. The first room was not furnished, but in the second,
which was their bedroom, was a mahogany bedstead in an alcove with red
drapery. A shell box adorned the chest of drawers, and on the secretary
near the window a bouquet of orange blossoms tied with white satin
ribbons stood in a bottle. It was a bride's bouquet; it was the other
one's. She looked at it. Charles noticed it; he took it and carried it
up to the attic, while Emma seated in an arm-chair (they were putting
her things down around her) thought of her bridal flowers packed up in
a bandbox, and wondered, dreaming, what would be done with them if she