come to you tortures me, Emma. Forget me! Why did I ever know you? Why were you so beautiful? Is it my fault? O my God! No, no! Accuse only fate.
Thats a word that always tells, he said to himself.
Ah, if you had been one of those frivolous women that one sees, certainly I might, through egotism, have tried an experiment, in that case without danger for you. But that delicious exaltation, at once your charm and your torment, has prevented you from understanding, adorable woman that you are, the falseness of our future position. Nor had I reflected upon this at first, and I rested in the shade of that ideal happiness as beneath that of the manchineel tree, without foreseeing the consequences.
Perhaps shell think Im giving it up from avarice. Ah, well! so much the worse; it must be stopped!
The world is cruel, Emma. Wherever we might have gone, it would have persecuted us. You would have had to put up with indiscreet questions, calumny, contempt, insult perhaps. Insult to you! Oh! And I, who would place you on a throne! I who bear with me your memory as a talisman! For I am going to punish myself by exile for all the ill I have done you. I am going away. Whither I know not. I am mad. Adieu! Be good always. Preserve the memory of the unfortunate who has lost you. Teach my name to your child; let her repeat it in her prayers.
The wicks of the candles flickered. Rodolphe got up to, shut the window, and when he had sat down again
I think its all right. Ah! and this for fear she should come and hunt me up.
I shall be far away when you read these sad lines, for I have wished to flee as quickly as possible to shun the temptation of seeing you again. No weakness! I shall return, and perhaps later on we shall talk together very coldly of our old love. Adieu!
And there was a last adieu divided into two words! A Dieu! which he thought in very excellent taste.
Now how am I to sign? he said to himself. Yours devotedly? No! Your friend? Yes, thats it.
He re-read his letter. He considered it very good.
Poor little woman! he thought with emotion. Shell think me harder than a rock. There ought to have been some tears on this; but I cant cry; it isnt my fault. Then, having emptied some water into a glass, Rodolphe dipped his finger into it, and let a big drop fall on the paper, that made a pale stain on the ink. Then looking for a seal, he came upon the one Amor nel cor.
That doesnt at all fit in with the circumstances. Pshaw! never mind!
After which he smoked three pipes and went to bed.
The next day when he was up (at about two oclockhe had slept late), Rodolphe had a basket of apricots picked. He put his letter at the bottom under some vine leaves, and at once ordered Girard, his ploughman, to take it with care to Madame Bovary. He made use of this means for corresponding with her, sending according to the season fruits or game.
If she asks after me, he said, you will tell her that I have gone on a journey. You must give the basket to her herself, into her own hands. Get along and take care!
Girard put on his new blouse, knotted his handkerchief round the apricots, and walking with great heavy steps in his thick iron-bound galoshes, made his way to Yonville.
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