the top of the hill, on the edge of the forest. Sometimes, on Sundays, I
go and stay there with a book, watching the sunset."
"I think there is nothing so admirable as sunsets," she resumed; "but
especially by the side of the sea."
"Oh, I adore the sea!" said Monsieur Leon.
"And then, does it not seem to you," continued Madame Bovary, "that the
mind travels more freely on this limitless expanse, the contemplation of
which elevates the soul, gives ideas of the infinite, the ideal?"
"It is the same with mountainous landscapes," continued Leon. "A cousin
of mine who travelled in Switzerland last year told me that one could
not picture to oneself the poetry of the lakes, the charm of the
waterfalls, the gigantic effect of the glaciers. One sees pines of
incredible size across torrents, cottages suspended over precipices,
and, a thousand feet below one, whole valleys when the clouds open. Such
spectacles must stir to enthusiasm, incline to prayer, to ecstasy; and I
no longer marvel at that celebrated musician who, the better to inspire
his imagination, was in the habit of playing the piano before some
"You play?" she asked.
"No, but I am very fond of music," he replied.
"Ah! don't you listen to him, Madame Bovary," interrupted Homais,
bending over his plate. "That's sheer modesty. Why, my dear fellow, the
other day in your room you were singing 'L'Ange Gardien' ravishingly. I
heard you from the laboratory. You gave it like an actor."
Leon, in fact, lodged at the chemist's where he had a small room on the
second floor, overlooking the Place. He blushed at the compliment of his
landlord, who had already turned to the doctor, and was enumerating to
him, one after the other, all the principal inhabitants of Yonville. He
was telling anecdotes, giving information; the fortune of the notary
was not known exactly, and "there was the Tuvache household," who made a
good deal of show.
Emma continued, "And what music do you prefer?"
"Oh, German music; that which makes you dream."
"Have you been to the opera?"
"Not yet; but I shall go next year, when I am living at Paris to finish
reading for the bar."
"As I had the honour of putting it to your husband," said the chemist,
"with regard to this poor Yanoda who has run away, you will find