Madame Bovary HTML version

Chapter Nine
Six weeks passed. Rodolphe did not come again. At last one evening he
The day after the show he had said to himself—"We mustn't go back too soon;
that would be a mistake."
And at the end of a week he had gone off hunting. After the hunting he had
thought it was too late, and then he reasoned thus—
"If from the first day she loved me, she must from impatience to see me again
love me more. Let's go on with it!"
And he knew that his calculation had been right when, on entering the room, he
saw Emma turn pale.
She was alone. The day was drawing in. The small muslin curtain along the
windows deepened the twilight, and the gilding of the barometer, on which the
rays of the sun fell, shone in the looking-glass between the meshes of the coral.
Rodolphe remained standing, and Emma hardly answered his first conventional
"I," he said, "have been busy. I have been ill."
"Seriously?" she cried.
"Well," said Rodolphe, sitting down at her side on a footstool, "no; it was because
I did not want to come back."
"Can you not guess?"
He looked at her again, but so hard that she lowered her head, blushing. He went
"Sir," she said, drawing back a little.
"Ah! you see," replied he in a melancholy voice, "that I was right not to come
back; for this name, this name that fills my whole soul, and that escaped me, you
forbid me to use! Madame Bovary! why all the world calls you thus! Besides, it is
not your name; it is the name of another!"
He repeated, "of another!" And he hid his face in his hands.
"Yes, I think of you constantly. The memory of you drives me to despair. Ah!
forgive me! I will leave you! Farewell! I will go far away, so far that you will never
hear of me again; and yet—to-day—I know not what force impelled me towards
you. For one does not struggle against Heaven; one cannot resist the smile of
angels; one is carried away by that which is beautiful, charming, adorable."
It was the first time that Emma had heard such words spoken to herself, and her
pride, like one who reposes bathed in warmth, expanded softly and fully at this
glowing language.
"But if I did not come," he continued, "if I could not see you, at least I have gazed
long on all that surrounds you. At night-every night-I arose; I came hither; I
watched your house, its glimmering in the moon, the trees in the garden swaying
before your window, and the little lamp, a gleam shining through the window-