Madame Bovary HTML version

Chapter Nine
There is always after the death of anyone a kind of stupefaction; so difficult is it to
grasp this advent of nothingness and to resign ourselves to believe in it. But still,
when he saw that she did not move, Charles threw himself upon her, crying—
"Farewell! farewell!"
Homais and Canivet dragged him from the room.
"Restrain yourself!"
"Yes." said he, struggling, "I'll be quiet. I'll not do anything. But leave me alone. I
want to see her. She is my wife!"
And he wept.
"Cry," said the chemist; "let nature take her course; that will solace you."
Weaker than a child, Charles let himself be led downstairs into the sitting-room,
and Monsieur Homais soon went home. On the Place he was accosted by the
blind man, who, having dragged himself as far as Yonville, in the hope of getting
the antiphlogistic pomade, was asking every passer-by where the druggist lived.
"There now! as if I hadn't got other fish to fry. Well, so much the worse; you must
come later on."
And he entered the shop hurriedly.
He had to write two letters, to prepare a soothing potion for Bovary, to invent
some lie that would conceal the poisoning, and work it up into an article for the
"Fanal," without counting the people who were waiting to get the news from him;
and when the Yonvillers had all heard his story of the arsenic that she had
mistaken for sugar in making a vanilla cream. Homais once more returned to
He found him alone (Monsieur Canivet had left), sitting in an arm-chair near the
window, staring with an idiotic look at the flags of the floor.
"Now," said the chemist, "you ought yourself to fix the hour for the ceremony."
"Why? What ceremony?" Then, in a stammering, frightened voice, "Oh, no! not
that. No! I want to see her here."
Homais, to keep himself in countenance, took up a water-bottle on the whatnot to
water the geraniums.
"Ah! thanks," said Charles; "you are good."
But he did not finish, choking beneath the crowd of memories that this action of
the druggist recalled to him.
Then to distract him, Homais thought fit to talk a little horticulture: plants wanted
humidity. Charles bowed his head in sign of approbation.
"Besides, the fine days will soon be here again."
"Ah!" said Bovary.
The druggist, at his wit's end, began softly to draw aside the small window-
"Hallo! there's Monsieur Tuvache passing."