insulting one another when Charles suddenly reappeared. A fascination
drew him. He was continually coming upstairs.
He stood opposite her, the better to see her, and he lost himself in a
contemplation so deep that it was no longer painful.
said to himself that by willing it with all his force he might perhaps
succeed in reviving her. Once he even bent towards he, and cried in a
low voice, "Emma! Emma!" His strong breathing made the flames of the
candles tremble against the wall.
At daybreak Madame Bovary senior arrived. Charles as he embraced her
burst into another flood of tears. She tried, as the chemist had done,
to make some remarks to him on the expenses of the funeral. He became so
angry that she was silent, and he even commissioned her to go to town at
once and buy what was necessary.
Charles remained alone the whole afternoon; they had taken Berthe
to Madame Homais'; Felicite was in the room upstairs with Madame
In the evening he had some visitors. He rose, pressed their hands,
unable to speak. Then they sat down near one another, and formed a large
semicircle in front of the fire. With lowered faces, and swinging one
leg crossed over the other knee, they uttered deep sighs at intervals;
each one was inordinately bored, and yet none would be the first to go.
Homais, when he returned at nine o'clock (for the last two days only
Homais seemed to have been on the Place), was laden with a stock of
camphor, of benzine, and aromatic herbs. He also carried a large jar
full of chlorine water, to keep off all miasmata. Just then the servant,
Madame Lefrancois, and Madame Bovary senior were busy about Emma,
finishing dressing her, and they were drawing down the long stiff veil
that covered her to her satin shoes.
Felicite was sobbing--"Ah! my poor mistress! my poor mistress!"
"Look at her," said the landlady, sighing; "how pretty she still is!
Now, couldn't you swear she was going to get up in a minute?"
a little, and a rush of black liquid issued, as if she were vomiting,
from her mouth.
"Oh, goodness! The dress; take care!" cried Madame Lefrancois. "Now,
just come and help," she said to the chemist. "Perhaps you're afraid?"
all sorts of things at the hospital when I was studying pharmacy. We
used to make punch in the dissecting room! Nothingness does not terrify
a philosopher; and, as I often say, I even intend to leave my body to
the hospitals, in order, later on, to serve science."
The cure on his arrival inquired how Monsieur Bovary was, and, on
the reply of the druggist, went on--"The blow, you see, is still too
Then Homais congratulated him on not being exposed, like other people,
to the loss of a beloved companion; whence there followed a discussion
on the celibacy of priests.
"For," said the chemist, "it is unnatural that a man should do without
women! There have been crimes--"
individual who is married to keep the secrets of the confessional, for
Homais fell foul of the confessional. Bournisien defended it; he
enlarged on the acts of restitution that it brought about. He cited
various anecdotes about thieves who had suddenly become honest. Military
men on approaching the tribunal of penitence had felt the scales fall
from their eyes. At Fribourg there was a minister--
His companion was asleep. Then he felt somewhat stifled by the
over-heavy atmosphere of the room; he opened the window; this awoke the
"Come, take a pinch of snuff," he said to him. "Take it; it'll relieve
A continual barking was heard in the distance. "Do you hear that dog
howling?" said the chemist.
"They smell the dead," replied the priest. "It's like bees; they leave
their hives on the decease of any person."
asleep. Monsieur Bournisien, stronger than he, went on moving his lips
gently for some time, then insensibly his chin sank down, he let fall
his big black boot, and began to snore.
faces, and frowning looks, after so much disagreement uniting at last in
the same human weakness, and they moved no more than the corpse by their
side, that seemed to be sleeping.
bid her farewell.
blended at the window-sash with the fog that was coming in. There were
few stars, and the night was warm. The wax of the candles fell in great
drops upon the sheets of the bed. Charles watched them burn, tiring his
eyes against the glare of their yellow flame.
The watering on the satin gown shimmered white as moonlight. Emma was
lost beneath it; and it seemed to him that, spreading beyond her own
self, she blended confusedly with everything around her--the silence,
the night, the passing wind, the damp odours rising from the ground.
thorn hedge, or else at Rouen in the streets, on the threshold of their
house, in the yard at Bertaux. He again heard the laughter of the happy
boys beneath the apple-trees: the room was filled with the perfume
of her hair; and her dress rustled in his arms with a noise like
electricity. The dress was still the same.
her movements, the sound of her voice. Upon one fit of despair followed
another, and even others, inexhaustible as the waves of an overflowing
A terrible curiosity seized him. Slowly, with the tips of his fingers,
palpitating, he lifted her veil. But he uttered a cry of horror that
awoke the other two.
say that he wanted some of her hair.
hand. He trembled so that he pierced the skin of the temple in several
places. At last, stiffening himself against emotion, Homais gave two
or three great cuts at random that left white patches amongst that
beautiful black hair.
The chemist and the cure plunged anew into their occupations, not
without sleeping from time to time, of which they accused each other
reciprocally at each fresh awakening. Then Monsieur Bournisien sprinkled
the room with holy water and Homais threw a little chlorine water on the
Felicite had taken care to put on the chest of drawers, for each
of them, a bottle of brandy, some cheese, and a large roll. And the
druggist, who could not hold out any longer, about four in the morning
"My word! I should like to take some sustenance."
came back, and then they ate and hobnobbed, giggling a little without
knowing why, stimulated by that vague gaiety that comes upon us after
times of sadness, and at the last glass the priest said to the druggist,
as he clapped him on the shoulder--
"We shall end by understanding one another."
In the passage downstairs they met the undertaker's men, who were coming
in. Then Charles for two hours had to suffer the torture of hearing the
hammer resound against the wood. Next day they lowered her into her
oak coffin, that was fitted into the other two; but as the bier was
too large, they had to fill up the gaps with the wool of a mattress. At
last, when the three lids had been planed down, nailed, soldered, it was
placed outside in front of the door; the house was thrown open, and the
people of Yonville began to flock round.
He had only received the chemist's letter thirty-six hours after the
event; and, from consideration for his feelings, Homais had so worded it
that it was impossible to make out what it was all about.
First, the old fellow had fallen as if struck by apoplexy. Next, he
understood that she was not dead, but she might be. At last, he had put
on his blouse, taken his hat, fastened his spurs to his boots, and set
out at full speed; and the whole of the way old Rouault, panting, was
torn by anguish. Once even he was obliged to dismount. He was dizzy; he
heard voices round about him; he felt himself going mad.
horrified at this omen. Then he promised the Holy Virgin three chasubles
for the church, and that he would go barefooted from the cemetery at
Bertaux to the chapel of Vassonville.
door with a thrust of his shoulder, made for a sack of oats, emptied a
bottle of sweet cider into the manger, and again mounted his nag, whose
feet struck fire as it dashed along.
discover some remedy surely. He remembered all the miraculous cures
he had been told about. Then she appeared to him dead. She was there;
before his eyes, lying on her back in the middle of the road. He reined
up, and the hallucination disappeared.
At Quincampoix, to give himself heart, he drank three cups of coffee
one after the other. He fancied they had made a mistake in the name in
writing. He looked for the letter in his pocket, felt it there, but did
not dare to open it.
of some wag; and besides, if she were dead, one would have known it. But
no! There was nothing extraordinary about the country; the sky was blue,
the trees swayed; a flock of sheep passed. He saw the village; he was
seen coming bending forward upon his horse, belabouring it with great
blows, the girths dripping with blood.
arms: "My girl! Emma! my child! tell me--"
tell this gentleman all about it. Here are the people coming. Dignity!
Come now! Philosophy!"
The poor fellow tried to show himself brave, and repeated several times.
to the end!"
a stall of the choir, side by side, they saw pass and repass in front of
them continually the three chanting choristers.
The serpent-player was blowing with all his might. Monsieur Bournisien,
in full vestments, was singing in a shrill voice. He bowed before the
tabernacle, raising his hands, stretched out his arms. Lestiboudois
went about the church with his whalebone stick. The bier stood near the
lectern, between four rows of candles. Charles felt inclined to get up
and put them out.
into the hope of a future life in which he should see her again. He
imagined to himself she had gone on a long journey, far away, for a long
time. But when he thought of her lying there, and that all was over,
that they would lay her in the earth, he was seized with a fierce,
gloomy, despairful rage. At times he thought he felt nothing more, and
he enjoyed this lull in his pain, whilst at the same time he reproached
himself for being a wretch.
striking them at irregular intervals. It came from the end of the
church, and stopped short at the lower aisles. A man in a coarse brown
jacket knelt down painfully. It was Hippolyte, the stable-boy at the
"Lion d'Or." He had put on his new leg.
One of the choristers went round the nave making a collection, and the
coppers chinked one after the other on the silver plate.
five-franc piece. The churchman thanked him with a deep bow.
once, in the early times, they had been to mass together, and they had
sat down on the other side, on the right, by the wall. The bell began
again. There was a great moving of chairs; the bearers slipped their
three staves under the coffin, and everyone left the church.
Then Justin appeared at the door of the shop. He suddenly went in again,
head walked erect. He affected a brave air, and saluted with a nod those
who, coming out from the lanes or from their doors, stood amidst the
The six men, three on either side, walked slowly, panting a little.
The priests, the choristers, and the two choirboys recited the De
profundis*, and their voices echoed over the fields, rising and falling
with their undulations. Sometimes they disappeared in the windings of
the path; but the great silver cross rose always before the trees.
The women followed in black cloaks with turned-down hoods; each of them
carried in her hands a large lighted candle, and Charles felt himself
growing weaker at this continual repetition of prayers and torches,
beneath this oppressive odour of wax and of cassocks. A fresh breeze was
blowing; the rye and colza were sprouting, little dewdrops trembled at
the roadsides and on the hawthorn hedges. All sorts of joyous sounds
filled the air; the jolting of a cart rolling afar off in the ruts, the
crowing of a cock, repeated again and again, or the gambling of a foal
running away under the apple-trees: The pure sky was fretted with rosy
clouds; a bluish haze rested upon the cots covered with iris. Charles as
he passed recognised each courtyard. He remembered mornings like this,
when, after visiting some patient, he came out from one and returned to
The black cloth bestrewn with white beads blew up from time to time,
laying bare the coffin. The tired bearers walked more slowly, and it
advanced with constant jerks, like a boat that pitches with every wave.
grass where a grave was dug. They ranged themselves all round; and while
the priest spoke, the red soil thrown up at the sides kept noiselessly
slipping down at the corners.
He watched it descend; it seemed descending for ever. At last a thud was
heard; the ropes creaked as they were drawn up. Then Bournisien took
the spade handed to him by Lestiboudois; with his left hand all the
time sprinkling water, with the right he vigorously threw in a large
spadeful; and the wood of the coffin, struck by the pebbles, gave forth
that dread sound that seems to us the reverberation of eternity.
The ecclesiastic passed the holy water sprinkler to his neighbour. This
was Homais. He swung it gravely, then handed it to Charles, who sank to
his knees in the earth and threw in handfuls of it, crying, "Adieu!" He
sent her kisses; he dragged himself towards the grave, to engulf himself
with her. They led him away, and he soon grew calmer, feeling perhaps,
like the others, a vague satisfaction that it was all over.
in his innermost conscience thought not quite the thing. He also noticed
that Monsieur Binet had not been present, and that Tuvache had "made
off" after mass, and that Theodore, the notary's servant wore a blue
coat, "as if one could not have got a black coat, since that is the
custom, by Jove!" And to share his observations with others he went from
group to group. They were deploring Emma's death, especially Lheureux,
who had not failed to come to the funeral.
committed some fatal attempt upon himself?"
"I haven't had leisure," said Homais, "to prepare a few words that I
would have cast upon her tomb."
Charles on getting home undressed, and old Rouault put on his blue
blouse. It was a new one, and as he had often during the journey wiped
his eyes on the sleeves, the dye had stained his face, and the traces of
tears made lines in the layer of dust that covered it.
old fellow sighed--
just lost your first deceased? I consoled you at that time. I thought of
something to say then, but now--" Then, with a loud groan that shook his
whole chest, "Ah! this is the end for me, do you see! I saw my wife go,
then my son, and now to-day it's my daughter."
He wanted to go back at once to Bertaux, saying that he could not sleep
in this house. He even refused to see his granddaughter.
for me. Good-bye! you're a good fellow! And then I shall never forget
that," he said, slapping his thigh. "Never fear, you shall always have
once before on the road of Saint-Victor when he had parted from her. The
windows of the village were all on fire beneath the slanting rays of the
sun sinking behind the field. He put his hand over his eyes, and saw
in the horizon an enclosure of walls, where trees here and there formed
black clusters between white stones; then he went on his way at a gentle
trot, for his nag had gone lame.
Despite their fatigue, Charles and his mother stayed very long that
evening talking together. They spoke of the days of the past and of the
future. She would come to live at Yonville; she would keep house for
him; they would never part again. She was ingenious and caressing,
rejoicing in her heart at gaining once more an affection that had
wandered from her for so many years. Midnight struck. The village as
usual was silent, and Charles, awake, thought always of her.
Rodolphe, who, to distract himself, had been rambling about the wood all
day, was sleeping quietly in his chateau, and Leon, down yonder, always
There was another who at that hour was not asleep.
On the grave between the pine-trees a child was on his knees weeping,
and his heart, rent by sobs, was beating in the shadow beneath the load
of an immense regret, sweeter than the moon and fathomless as the night.
The gate suddenly grated. It was Lestiboudois; he came to fetch his
spade, that he had forgotten. He recognised Justin climbing over the
wall, and at last knew who was the culprit who stole his potatoes.
mamma. They told her she was away; that she would bring her back some
playthings. Berthe spoke of her again several times, then at last
thought no more of her. The child's gaiety broke Bovary's heart, and he
had to bear besides the intolerable consolations of the chemist.
Money troubles soon began again, Monsieur Lheureux urging on anew his
friend Vincart, and Charles pledged himself for exorbitant sums; for he
would never consent to let the smallest of the things that had belonged
to HER be sold. His mother was exasperated with him; he grew even more
angry than she did. He had altogether changed. She left the house.
Then everyone began "taking advantage" of him. Mademoiselle Lempereur
presented a bill for six months' teaching, although Emma had never taken
a lesson (despite the receipted bill she had shown Bovary); it was an
arrangement between the two women. The man at the circulating library
demanded three years' subscriptions; Mere Rollet claimed the postage due
for some twenty letters, and when Charles asked for an explanation, she
had the delicacy to reply--
"Oh, I don't know. It was for her business affairs."
With every debt he paid Charles thought he had come to the end of them.
But others followed ceaselessly. He sent in accounts for professional
attendance. He was shown the letters his wife had written. Then he had
of them, and he went to look at them in her dressing-room, locking
himself up there; she was about her height, and often Charles, seeing
her from behind, was seized with an illusion, and cried out--
stealing all that was left of the wardrobe.
him of the "marriage of Monsieur Leon Dupuis her son, notary at Yvetot,
to Mademoiselle Leocadie Leboeuf of Bondeville." Charles, among the
other congratulations he sent him, wrote this sentence--
attic, he felt a pellet of fine paper under his slipper. He opened it
and read: "Courage, Emma, courage. I would not bring misery into your
life." It was Rodolphe's letter, fallen to the ground between the boxes,
where it had remained, and that the wind from the dormer window had just
blown towards the door. And Charles stood, motionless and staring, in
the very same place where, long ago, Emma, in despair, and paler even
than he, had thought of dying. At last he discovered a small R at the
bottom of the second page. What did this mean? He remembered Rodolphe's
attentions, his sudden, disappearance, his constrained air when they
had met two or three times since. But the respectful tone of the letter
shrank from the proofs, and his vague jealousy was lost in the immensity