Madame Bovary HTML version

Chapter Two
Emma got out first, then Felicite, Monsieur Lheureux, and a nurse, and they had
to wake up Charles in his corner, where he had slept soundly since night set in.
Homais introduced himself; he offered his homages to madame and his respects
to monsieur; said he was charmed to have been able to render them some slight
service, and added with a cordial air that he had ventured to invite himself, his
wife being away.
When Madame Bovary was in the kitchen she went up to the chimney.
With the tips of her fingers she caught her dress at the knee, and having thus
pulled it up to her ankle, held out her foot in its black boot to the fire above the
revolving leg of mutton. The flame lit up the whole of her, penetrating with a
crude light the woof of her gowns, the fine pores of her fair skin, and even her
eyelids, which she blinked now and again. A great red glow passed over her with
the blowing of the wind through the half-open door.
On the other side of the chimney a young man with fair hair watched her silently.
As he was a good deal bored at Yonville, where he was a clerk at the notary's,
Monsieur Guillaumin, Monsieur Leon Dupuis (it was he who was the second
habitue of the "Lion d'Or") frequently put back his dinner-hour in hope that some
traveler might come to the inn, with whom he could chat in the evening. On the
days when his work was done early, he had, for want of something else to do, to
come punctually, and endure from soup to cheese a tete-a-tete with Binet. It was
therefore with delight that he accepted the landlady's suggestion that he should
dine in company with the newcomers, and they passed into the large parlour
where Madame Lefrancois, for the purpose of showing off, had had the table laid
for four.
Homais asked to be allowed to keep on his skull-cap, for fear of coryza; then,
turning to his neighbour—
"Madame is no doubt a little fatigued; one gets jolted so abominably in our
"That is true," replied Emma; "but moving about always amuses me. I like change
of place."
"It is so tedious," sighed the clerk, "to be always riveted to the same places."
"If you were like me," said Charles, "constantly obliged to be in the saddle"—
"But," Leon went on, addressing himself to Madame Bovary, "nothing, it seems to
me, is more pleasant—when one can," he added.
"Moreover," said the druggist, "the practice of medicine is not very hard work in
our part of the world, for the state of our roads allows us the use of gigs, and
generally, as the farmers are prosperous, they pay pretty well. We have,
medically speaking, besides the ordinary cases of enteritis, bronchitis, bilious
affections, etc., now and then a few intermittent fevers at harvest-time; but on the
whole, little of a serious nature, nothing special to note, unless it be a great deal
of scrofula, due, no doubt, to the deplorable hygienic conditions of our peasant