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Madame Bovary

Chapter Eleven
The next day Charles had the child brought back. She asked for her 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 to apologise.
Felicite now wore Madame Bovary's gowns; not all, for he had kept some 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—
"Oh, stay, stay!"
But at Whitsuntide she ran away from Yonville, carried off by Theodore, stealing
all that was left of the wardrobe.
It was about this time that the widow Dupuis had the honour to inform 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—
"How glad my poor wife would have been!"
One day when, wandering aimlessly about the house, he had gone up to the
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
 
 
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