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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 342 pages of information about Madame Bovary.

Yet she had loathing of this hypocrisy.  She was seized with the temptation to flee somewhere with Leon to try a new life; but at once a vague chasm full of darkness opened within her soul.

“Besides, he no longer loves me,” she thought.  “What is to become of me?  What help is to be hoped for, what consolation, what solace?”

She was left broken, breathless, inert, sobbing in a low voice, with flowing tears.

“Why don’t you tell master?” the servant asked her when she came in during these crises.

“It is the nerves,” said Emma.  “Do not speak to him of it; it would worry him.”

“Ah! yes,” Felicite went on, “you are just like La Guerine, Pere Guerin’s daughter, the fisherman at Pollet, that I used to know at Dieppe before I came to you.  She was so sad, so sad, to see her standing upright on the threshold of her house, she seemed to you like a winding-sheet spread out before the door.  Her illness, it appears, was a kind of fog that she had in her head, and the doctors could not do anything, nor the priest either.  When she was taken too bad she went off quite alone to the sea-shore, so that the customs officer, going his rounds, often found her lying flat on her face, crying on the shingle.  Then, after her marriage, it went off, they say.”

“But with me,” replied Emma, “it was after marriage that it began.”

Chapter Six

One evening when the window was open, and she, sitting by it, had been watching Lestiboudois, the beadle, trimming the box, she suddenly heard the Angelus ringing.

It was the beginning of April, when the primroses are in bloom, and a warm wind blows over the flower-beds newly turned, and the gardens, like women, seem to be getting ready for the summer fetes.  Through the bars of the arbour and away beyond, the river seen in the fields, meandering through the grass in wandering curves.  The evening vapours rose between the leafless poplars, touching their outlines with a violet tint, paler and more transparent than a subtle gauze caught athwart their branches.  In the distance cattle moved about; neither their steps nor their lowing could be heard; and the bell, still ringing through the air, kept up its peaceful lamentation.

With this repeated tinkling the thoughts of the young woman lost themselves in old memories of her youth and school-days.  She remembered the great candlesticks that rose above the vases full of flowers on the altar, and the tabernacle with its small columns.  She would have liked to be once more lost in the long line of white veils, marked off here and there by the stuff black hoods of the good sisters bending over their prie-Dieu.  At mass on Sundays, when she looked up, she saw the gentle face of the Virgin amid the blue smoke of the rising incense.  Then she was moved; she felt herself weak and quite deserted, like the down of a bird whirled by the tempest, and it was unconsciously that she went towards the church, included to no matter what devotions, so that her soul was absorbed and all existence lost in it.

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