فصل 16

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فصل 16

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Endings

Death always comes as a shock, however much it has been expected. So when, at last, Charles saw her lying there so still, he threw himself on her, weeping.

‘That’s right,’ said the pharmacist. ‘Let nature have her way. You’ll feel much better!’

Later, funeral arrangements had to be made. Charles thought carefully about these and wrote:

I want her to be buried in her wedding dress, with white shoes and white flowers, and her hair loose over her shoulders. She should be covered with a large piece of green silk. These are my wishes. Make sure that they are carried out.

The gentlemen were surprised at Charles’s ideas, and Monsieur Homais spoke to him.

‘It seems to us,’ he said, ‘that silk is a little expensive…’

‘That’s none of your business!’ shouted Charles. ‘Leave me alone! You didn’t love her, so just get out of my sight!’

That night, Charles, Homais and the priest sat beside Emma’s body. She was lying with her head leaning over her right shoulder. The corner of her mouth, which was open, looked like a black hole at the bottom of her face; her two thumbs were held tightly in her hands. The sheet that covered her lay quite flat from her breasts down to her knees, rising up again at the tips of her toes, and it seemed to Charles as if an enormous weight was pressing down on her.

Early in the morning, Madame Bovary senior arrived. Charles, as he kissed her, again broke down and cried. Like the pharmacist, she criticized him about the funeral expenses, but he became so angry that she grew quiet.

Charles stayed by himself all afternoon. Berthe had been taken over to Madame Homais. In the evening, various people came in to see him and to express their regrets. He stood up and shook hands, but he could not say anything, and each newcomer sat down with the rest of the group, in a big circle round the fireplace. They all looked at the floor with serious expressions on their faces, and although everyone was bored, no one got up to go.

Upstairs Felicite, Madame Lefrancois and Madame Bovary senior were standing around Emma, busily finishing their task of dressing her.

‘Oh, my poor mistress!’ wept Felicite. ‘My poor, poor mistress!’

‘Just look at her!’ said the landlady of the Lion d’Or. ‘How pretty she looks even now!’

Then they all bent over to put the flowers on her hair. They had to lift her head a little, and as they did so, a stream of black liquid poured from her mouth.

‘Oh, my God! The dress! Take care!’ cried Madame Lefrancois.

Charles had to listen to the sound of hammers on wood as she was put into her last little home. Four men carried her to the door, the house was thrown open, and all the people of Yonville crowded near. Emma’s father, Farmer Rouault, arrived as they were bringing her out, and fell unconscious in the market place when he saw the funeral carriage.

At the church Charles tried to think about the few times when they had been happy together - or when, at least, he had been happy with her. But remembering that she was there, underneath that green cloth, his heart was filled with black anger against God and against the world.

They sang, they went down on their knees, they got up again; there seemed to be no end to it all. He remembered how once, in the early days, they had gone to church together. They had sat on the other side, on the right, against the wall.

Outside the church Charles walked in front, holding himself very upright. Six men carried Emma’s body, and the priest followed saying the prayers for the dead. His voice was carried over the fields, rising and falling on the wind. Sometimes a sudden turn in the path hid them from sight, but always the great silver cross rose high among the trees. The women followed, dressed in black, and each in her hand carried a tall lighted candle. Charles recognized every garden as he passed, and remembered how often, on mornings like this one, he had come away from one of them and set out for home and Emma.

Now they had arrived at the place where her grave had been dug. The people stood around, and all the time the priest was speaking, the red earth that had been piled beside the grave ran noiselessly down the slope into the dark hole. Then, when the four ropes were in position, they lowered her into the grave. Charles watched the wooden box go down until, at last, it arrived at the bottom and the ropes were pulled up again. The priest took the spade held out to him by his assistant and pushed the earth into the grave, then Charles sank down on his knees, throwing in handfuls of earth as he cried, ‘Goodbye!’ He sent her kisses, and dragged himself to the edge of the grave, wanting to lie with her.

They led him away, and he soon grew calm again, perhaps feeling, like all the others, a sense of relief that it was now all over. As the crowd walked back to the village, they talked about her death and what a terrible thing it was - especially Lheureux, who had made an effort to be there.

‘Poor little lady! What a terrible thing for her husband!’

Emma’s father insisted on going straight back to Les Bertaux, saying that he could not sleep in that house. He would not even see his little grandchild.

‘No, no! I couldn’t bear the pain of it. Goodbye, then. You’re a good man,’ and, pointing at his thigh, ‘I shan’t forget that leg, not as long as I live. You’ll always get a bird from me at Christmas, don’t you worry.’

When he reached the top of the hill he turned again, just as, years ago, he had turned and looked back along the Saint-Victor road when she had left him to go with her husband. The windows in the village were all on fire in the light of the evening sun. He put up his hand to shade his eyes and far away, on the horizon, he saw the place where she lay, with the trees, here and there, dark among the white stones. Then he went on his way.

Next day, Charles had Berthe brought home from the nurse. She asked for her mummy and they told her that she had gone away, that she would bring her back some toys. Berthe spoke of her again many times, but as the days went by she stopped thinking about her and Charles could not bear the child’s happy laugh.

Life continued around Charles, but it had lost its meaning. When Madame Dupuis wrote to him to tell him of the ‘marriage of her son, Monsieur Leon Dupuis, a lawyer in Yvetot, to Mademoiselle Leocadie Leboeuf, of Bondeville’, Charles wrote: ‘How delighted my poor wife would have been!’, but he did not really care.

Besides, before long, his money troubles began again. Monsieur Lheureux’s Vincart returned once again with his demands. Now everyone tried to profit from Charles’s loss. A music teacher in Rouen sent in a bill for six lessons, although Emma had never been to her once; a Madame Rollet demanded payment for delivering letters to Rouen. And day by day Charles had to sell the silver, piece by piece; then he got rid of the best furniture. All the rooms were robbed of their contents - except for one. Her room, her bedroom, was left as it had always been. When he had had his dinner, Charles went up there. He pulled the round table in front of the fire, moved her chair nearer, and then sat down facing it. A candle would be burning, and Berthe would be sitting near him, busy with her painting book.

Despite these efforts to keep Emma’s memory alive, Bovary realized with sorrow that her face was fading from his memory. But every night he dreamed of her and it was always the same dream. He moved close to touch her, but just as he was taking her in his arms, she fell to dust.

And he was still in debt. Lheureux refused to wait any longer and Charles did not know what to do. At last, he decided he had to look in Emma’s desk. There, instead of an answer to his problems, he found Leon’s letters. He read them all, to the last line, then searched through every other piece of furniture, opening every drawer, emptying every box. In this way he also discovered a picture of Rodolphe - staring at him from a mountain of love letters.

Now people were shocked to see him so depressed. He never went out or had visitors; he even refused to go and see his patients. The only times he went out now were when he took his little girl by the hand, and they went together to the cemetery.

One day, when he had gone to the market at Argueil to sell his horse - his last possession - he met Rodolphe. They both turned pale. Rodolphe, who, when Emma died, had only sent his card, tried to give a few apologies. Then he grew braver, and invited Charles to have a bottle of beer with him at the inn. As they walked on, he talked about farming, the price of land, trying to avoid any uncomfortable subjects. Charles was not listening, Rodolphe noticed, and he anxiously watched his companion’s face.

At last Charles said, ‘I’m not angry with you.’

Rodolphe remained silent and Charles, with his head in his hands, repeated in a flat voice, a voice full of endless sorrow, ‘No, I’m not angry with you now.’ Then he said a great thing, the only great thing he had ever said: ‘Fate is to blame!’

Rodolphe, who had controlled the direction of this particular fate for some time, thought this was rather a weak, even ridiculous response from a man in Bovary’s position.

Next day, Charles went out and sat down on the seat in the garden. The sunlight came through the leaves, making shadows on the path, the perfume of the roses filled the air, the sky was blue, and bees flew from one open flower to the next. Charles felt disturbed, like a young man with an aching heart.

At seven o’clock little Berthe, who had not seen him that afternoon, came to fetch him in to dinner. His head was leaning back against the wall, his eyes were shut, his mouth was open, and his right hand was holding some long dark hair.

‘Come on, daddy!’ she said.

And, thinking he was only playing, she gave him a little push. He fell to the ground. He was dead.

When everything had been sold, just twelve francs remained, enough to pay for Mademoiselle Bovary’s journey to her grandmother’s house. That lady died the same year. As Farmer Rouault was by then too unwell to look after Berthe, she was taken in by an aunt. She is there still, but the aunt is poor and sends the little girl to earn her living in a cotton mill.

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