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'Madame Bovary' Quotes

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  • "Never had Madame Bovary looked so beautiful as now. She went clothed in that indefinable loveliness which comes of joy, enthusiasm, success, and is but the perfect harmony of temperament and outward circumstance. Her yearnings, her sorrows, her joys, her still youthful illusions, had gradually developed her, even as flowers are developed by soil and rain, by sun and wind, and now, at length, she blossomed forth in all the fullness of her nature."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 21

  • "She did not confess that she had loved another man; he did not say he had forgotten her."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 24

  • "Why, it was the romances she had read in her youth! It was Walter Scott back again! She seemed to catch, through the mist, the sound of the Scottish bagpipes skirling among the heather. And the memory of the book helping her to understand the libretto, she followed each successive stage in the plot, while all the time a host of vague, indefinable thoughts came thronging in upon her, only to take flight at every 'crescendo' of the music."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 24

  • "Emma too would have liked to flee from life, to be borne away in the ecstasy of love's embrace."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 24

  • "She recognized the passion and the pain whereof she had all but died. The voice of the heroine seemed but the echo of her own heart, and the lovely illusion before her, part and parcel of her life. But no one on earth had ever loved 'her' with such a love as that."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 24

  • "She did not confess that she had loved another man; he did not say he had forgotten her."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 25

  • "He had scarcely known what to do when he thought of the happiness that might have been theirs if fortune had been kind to them, if they had met each other earlier and had been joined together in an indissoluble bond."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 25

  • "She did not confess that she had loved another man; he did not say he had forgotten her."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 25

  • "Never had life seemed so good. A little while and she would come, delicious, trembling, glancing behind her to see who might be looking, with her flowered dress, her gold lorgnon, her dainty shoes, and all the manifold refinements so new to his experience, the ineffable charm of virtue on the brink of surrender. The fane encompassed her about like some stately bower, the vaulted roof leaned down to catch, amid the shadows, the whispered avowal of her love, the painted windows shone with glory to shed a light upon her countenance, and the censers would burn that she might float like an angel amid the perfumed cloud."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 25

  • "Was she serious when she spoke thus? Doubtless Emma herself could not have told, deeply conscious as she was of the alluring danger and of the need to repel it, and, gazing at him with compassion in her eyes, she gently repelled the shy caresses which his tremulous hands essayed."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 29

  • "Her love seemed to wax greater as she drank in the spacious scene before her, and her bosom surged with tumult as the vague murmur of the city smote upon her ears. She poured it out again- this love, this tumult- on the squares and the promenades and the streets, and the old Norman city lay outspread beneath her gaze like some mighty metropolis, some vast Babylon, within whose shadowy immensity she was about to pass."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 29

  • "His voice, at first weak and quavery, would grow shrill and plaintive. It trailed out in the darkness of the night like a wind-dispersed lament, voicing a nameless sorrow; and as it rose above the tinkling of the bells, the sound of the wind in the trees and the rumble of the empty old caravan, there was a far-off sound about it that knocked at Emma's heart. It went sheer down into the depths of her soul like a whirlwind in a chasm, and bore her away among the spaces of an illimitable melancholy."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 29

  • "She was standing bolt upright. With big flaming eyes she looked down on him with a severe, almost terrible expression. Then tears came and made a mist in them, her shell-like eyelids drooped, she surrendered her hands..."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 30

  • "A wicked, reckless look shone in her blazing eyes, and, half-shutting her eyelids, she gave him a lascivious glance and tried to egg him on. And the young man felt himself weakening beneath the silent will-power of this woman who was prompting him to crime."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 31

  • "All the sensations of the old affection had come back to her again, and her poor, overladen heart began lovingly to unfold itself. A warm breeze fanned her face; the snow was melting, and fell drop by drop from the budding shoots on to the grass."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 32

  • "DEATH always brings with it a kind of stupefaction, so difficult is it for the human mind to realize and resign itself to the blank and utter nothingness."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 33

  • "He endeavoured, however, to bring himself into a devotional frame of mind, to buoy himself up with the hope of a future life, in which he would see her again."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 34

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