He had recently read a eulogy on a new method for curing club-foot, and as he was a partisan of progress, he conceived the patriotic idea that Yonville, in order to keep to the fore, ought to have some operations for strephopody or club-foot.
For, said he to Emma, what risk is there? See (and he enumerated on his fingers the advantages of the attempt), success, almost certain relief and beautifying of the patient, celebrity acquired by the operator. Why, for example, should not your husband relieve poor Hippolyte of the Lion dOr? Note that he would not fail to tell about his cure to all the travellers, and then (Homais lowered his voice and looked round him) who is to prevent me from sending a short paragraph on the subject to the paper? Eh! goodness me! an article gets about; it is talked of; it ends by making a snowball! And who knows? who knows?
In fact, Bovary might succeed. Nothing proved to Emma that he was not clever; and what a satisfaction for her to have urged him to a step by which his reputation and fortune would be increased! She only wished to lean on something more solid than love.
Charles, urged by the druggist and by her, allowed himself to be persuaded. He sent to Rouen for Dr. Duvals volume, and every evening, holding his head between both hands, plunged into the reading of it.
While he was studying equinus, varus, and valgus, that is to say, katastrephopody, endostrephopody, and exostrephopody (or better, the various turnings of the foot downwards, inwards, and outwards, with the hypostrephopody and anastrephopody, otherwise torsion downwards and upwards, Monsier Homais, with all sorts of arguments, was exhorting the lad at the inn to submit to the operation.
You will scarcely feel, probably, a slight pain; it is a simple prick, like a little blood-letting, less than the extraction of certain corns.
Hippolyte, reflecting, rolled his stupid eyes.
However, continued the chemist, it doesnt concern me. Its for your sake, for pure humanity! I should like to see you, my friend, rid of your hideous caudication, together with that waddling of the lumbar regions which, whatever you say, must considerably interfere with you in the exercise of your calling.
Then Homais represented to him how much jollier and brisker he would feel afterwards, and even gave him to understand that he would be more likely to please the women; and the stable-boy began to smile heavily. Then he attacked him through his vanity:
Arent you a man? Hang it! what would you have done if you had had to go into the army, to go and fight beneath the standard? Ah! Hippolyte!
And Homais retired, declaring that he could not understand this obstinacy, this blindness in refusing the benefactions of science.
The poor fellow gave way, for it was like a conspiracy. Binet, who never interfered with other peoples business, Madame Lefrançois, Artémise, the neighbours, even the mayor, Monsieur Tuvacheeveryone persuaded him, lectured him, shamed him; but what finally decided him was that it would cost him nothing. Bovary even undertook to provide the machine for the operation. This generosity was an idea of Emmas, and Charles consented to it, thinking in his heart of hearts that his wife was an angel.
So by the advice of the chemist, and after three fresh starts, he had a kind of box made by the carpenter, with the aid of the locksmith, that weighed about eight pounds, and in which iron, wood, sheer-iron, leather, screws, and nuts had not been spared.
But to know which of Hippolytes tendons to cut, it was necessary first of all to find out what kind of club-foot he had.
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