RODOLPHE Monologue by Gustave Flaubert


“Monsieur!” she said, drawing back a little.

RODOLPHE:  “Ah, you see: I was right not to want to come back!” he said in a melancholy tone. “I spoke of your name without meaning to, because my heart’s filled with it, and you forbade me to say it! Madame Bovary! Everyone calls you that! And it’s not even your name–it’s someone else’s…someone else’s! The thought of you drives me mad…Oh, forgive me! I’ll leave…Good-by…I’ll go away, so far away that you’ll never hear of me again!… And yet…today…I don’t know what force it was that drove me to you. We can’t struggle against fate! We can’t resist the smile of an angel! When something beautiful, charming and adorable comes our way, we give in to its power!”

It was the first time Emma had ever heard such things said to her, and her pride, like someone relaxing in a steam bath, stretched languidly and thoroughly in the warmth of his words.

“I didn’t come here, I didn’t see you,” he went on, “but I often looked at the things around you. At night, every night, I got up and came to look at your house, at its roof shining in the moonlight, the trees in the garden swaying outside your window, and a little lamp, just a glimmer, shining through the windowpanes in the dark. Oh, you didn’t know a poor, unhappy man was standing there, so near to you and yet so far!”

She turned to hi with a sob and said, “Oh you’re so good!”

“No, I love you, that’s all! You don’t doubt it, do you? Tell me you know it! A word, just one word!”

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