fingers, and that he watched as it gently rose in a ray of sunlight.
"How afraid you are of spoiling them!" said the servant, who wasn't so
particular when she cleaned them herself, because as soon as the stuff
of the boots was no longer fresh madame handed them over to her.
Emma had a number in her cupboard that she squandered one after the
other, without Charles allowing himself the slightest observation. So
also he disbursed three hundred francs for a wooden leg that she thought
proper to make a present of to Hippolyte. Its top was covered with cork,
and it had spring joints, a complicated mechanism, covered over by black
trousers ending in a patent-leather boot. But Hippolyte, not daring
to use such a handsome leg every day, begged Madame Bovary to get him
another more convenient one. The doctor, of course, had again to defray
the expense of this purchase.
So little by little the stable-man took up his work again. One saw him
running about the village as before, and when Charles heard from afar
the sharp noise of the wooden leg, he at once went in another direction.
It was Monsieur Lheureux, the shopkeeper, who had undertaken the order;
this provided him with an excuse for visiting Emma. He chatted with her
about the new goods from Paris, about a thousand feminine trifles, made
himself very obliging, and never asked for his money. Emma yielded to
this lazy mode of satisfying all her caprices. Thus she wanted to have
a very handsome ridding-whip that was at an umbrella-maker's at Rouen
to give to Rodolphe. The week after Monsieur Lheureux placed it on her
But the next day he called on her with a bill for two hundred and
seventy francs, not counting the centimes. Emma was much embarrassed;
all the drawers of the writing-table were empty; they owed over a
fortnight's wages to Lestiboudois, two quarters to the servant, for any
quantity of other things, and Bovary was impatiently expecting Monsieur
Derozeray's account, which he was in the habit of paying every year
She succeeded at first in putting off Lheureux. At last he lost
patience; he was being sued; his capital was out, and unless he got some
in he should be forced to take back all the goods she had received.
"Oh, very well, take them!" said Emma.
"I was only joking," he replied; "the only thing I regret is the whip.
My word! I'll ask monsieur to return it to me."
"No, no!" she said.
"Ah! I've got you!" thought Lheureux.
And, certain of his discovery, he went out repeating to himself in an
undertone, and with his usual low whistle--
"Good! we shall see! we shall see!"
She was thinking how to get out of this when the servant coming in
put on the mantelpiece a small roll of blue paper "from Monsieur
Derozeray's." Emma pounced upon and opened it. It contained fifteen
napoleons; it was the account. She heard Charles on the stairs; threw
the gold to the back of her drawer, and took out the key.
Three days after Lheureux reappeared.
"I have an arrangement to suggest to you," he said. "If, instead of the
sum agreed on, you would take--"
"Here it is," she said placing fourteen napoleons in his hand.
The tradesman was dumfounded. Then, to conceal his disappointment, he
was profuse in apologies and proffers of service, all of which Emma
declined; then she remained a few moments fingering in the pocket of
her apron the two five-franc pieces that he had given her in change.
She promised herself she would economise in order to pay back later on.
"Pshaw!" she thought, "he won't think about it again."
Besides the riding-whip with its silver-gilt handle, Rodolphe had
received a seal with the motto Amor nel cor* furthermore, a scarf for
a muffler, and, finally, a cigar-case exactly like the Viscount's, that
Charles had formerly picked up in the road, and that Emma had kept.
These presents, however, humiliated him; he refused several; she
insisted, and he ended by obeying, thinking her tyrannical and
*A loving heart.
Then she had strange ideas.
"When midnight strikes," she said, "you must think of me."
And if he confessed that he had not thought of her, there were floods of
reproaches that always ended with the eternal question--
"Do you love me?"
"Why, of course I love you," he answered.
"A great deal?"
"You haven't loved any others?"
"Did you think you'd got a virgin?" he exclaimed laughing.
Emma cried, and he tried to console her, adorning his protestations with
"Oh," she went on, "I love you! I love you so that I could not live
without you, do you see? There are times when I long to see you again,
when I am torn by all the anger of love. I ask myself, Where is
he? Perhaps he is talking to other women. They smile upon him; he
approaches. Oh no; no one else pleases you. There are some more
beautiful, but I love you best. I know how to love best. I am your
servant, your concubine! You are my king, my idol! You are good, you are
quarrels, especially one on account of Felicite.
Madame Bovary senior, the evening before, passing along the passage,
had surprised her in company of a man--a man with a brown collar, about
forty years old, who, at the sound of her step, had quickly escaped
through the kitchen. Then Emma began to laugh, but the good lady grew
angry, declaring that unless morals were to be laughed at one ought to
look after those of one's servants.
"Where were you brought up?" asked the daughter-in-law, with so
impertinent a look that Madame Bovary asked her if she were not perhaps
defending her own case.
"Leave the room!" said the young woman, springing up with a bound.
"Emma! Mamma!" cried Charles, trying to reconcile them.
But both had fled in their exasperation. Emma was stamping her feet as
"Oh! what manners! What a peasant!"
He ran to his mother; she was beside herself. She stammered
"She is an insolent, giddy-headed thing, or perhaps worse!"
And she was for leaving at once if the other did not apologise. So
Charles went back again to his wife and implored her to give way; he
knelt to her; she ended by saying--
"Very well! I'll go to her."
And in fact she held out her hand to her mother-in-law with the dignity
of a marchioness as she said--
"Excuse me, madame."
Then, having gone up again to her room, she threw herself flat on her
bed and cried there like a child, her face buried in the pillow.
She and Rodolphe had agreed that in the event of anything extraordinary
occurring, she should fasten a small piece of white paper to the blind,
so that if by chance he happened to be in Yonville, he could hurry to
the lane behind the house. Emma made the signal; she had been waiting
three-quarters of an hour when she suddenly caught sight of Rodolphe at
the corner of the market. She felt tempted to open the window and call
him, but he had already disappeared. She fell back in despair.
Soon, however, it seemed to her that someone was walking on the
pavement. It was he, no doubt. She went downstairs, crossed the yard. He
was there outside. She threw herself into his arms.
"Do take care!" he said.
"Ah! if you knew!" she replied.
And she began telling him everything, hurriedly, disjointedly,
that he understood nothing of it.
"Come, my poor angel, courage! Be comforted! be patient!"
"But I have been patient; I have suffered for four years. A love like
ours ought to show itself in the face of heaven. They torture me! I can
bear it no longer! Save me!"
She clung to Rodolphe. Her eyes, full of tears, flashed like flames
beneath a wave; her breast heaved; he had never loved her so much, so
that he lost his head and said "What is, it? What do you wish?"
"Take me away," she cried, "carry me off! Oh, I pray you!"
And she threw herself upon his mouth, as if to seize there the
unexpected consent if breathed forth in a kiss.
"But--" Rodolphe resumed.
"Your little girl!"
She reflected a few moments, then replied--
"We will take her! It can't be helped!"
"What a woman!" he said to himself, watching her as she went. For she
had run into the garden. Someone was calling her.
On the following days Madame Bovary senior was much surprised at the
change in her daughter-in-law. Emma, in fact, was showing herself more
docile, and even carried her deference so far as to ask for a recipe for
Was it the better to deceive them both? Or did she wish by a sort of
voluptuous stoicism to feel the more profoundly the bitterness of the
things she was about to leave?
But she paid no heed to them; on the contrary, she lived as lost in the
anticipated delight of her coming happiness.
It was an eternal subject for conversation with Rodolphe. She leant on
his shoulder murmuring--
"Ah! when we are in the mail-coach! Do you think about it? Can it be? It
seems to me that the moment I feel the carriage start, it will be as if
we were rising in a balloon, as if we were setting out for the clouds.
Do you know that I count the hours? And you?"
Never had Madame Bovary been so beautiful as at this period; she had
that indefinable beauty that results from joy, from enthusiasm, from
success, and that is only the harmony of temperament with circumstances.
Her desires, her sorrows, the experience of pleasure, and her ever-young
illusions, that had, as soil and rain and winds and the sun make flowers
grow, gradually developed her, and she at length blossomed forth in all
the plenitude of her nature. Her eyelids seemed chiselled expressly for
her long amorous looks in which the pupil disappeared, while a strong
inspiration expanded her delicate nostrils and raised the fleshy corner
of her lips, shaded in the light by a little black down. One would have
it swayed in the horizon, infinite, harmonised, azure, and bathed in
sunshine. But the child began to cough in her cot or Bovary snored
more loudly, and Emma did not fall asleep till morning, when the dawn
whitened the windows, and when little Justin was already in the square
taking down the shutters of the chemist's shop.
She had sent for Monsieur Lheureux, and had said to him--
"I want a cloak--a large lined cloak with a deep collar."
"You are going on a journey?" he asked.
"No; but--never mind. I may count on you, may I not, and quickly?"
"Besides, I shall want," she went on, "a trunk--not too heavy--handy."
"Yes, yes, I understand. About three feet by a foot and a half, as they
are being made just now."
"And a travelling bag."
"Decidedly," thought Lheureux, "there's a row on here."
"And," said Madame Bovary, taking her watch from her belt, "take this;
you can pay yourself out of it."
But the tradesman cried out that she was wrong; they knew one another;
did he doubt her? What childishness!
She insisted, however, on his taking at least the chain, and Lheureux
had already put it in his pocket and was going, when she called him
"You will leave everything at your place. As to the cloak"--she seemed
to be reflecting--"do not bring it either; you can give me the maker's
address, and tell him to have it ready for me."
It was the next month that they were to run away. She was to leave
Yonville as if she was going on some business to Rouen. Rodolphe would
have booked the seats, procured the passports, and even have written to
Paris in order to have the whole mail-coach reserved for them as far as
Marseilles, where they would buy a carriage, and go on thence without
stopping to Genoa. She would take care to send her luggage to Lheureux
whence it would be taken direct to the "Hirondelle," so that no one