Fifth book in the wheel of time fantasy series. Rand is still in Aiel Waste in the city of Rhuidin. He is trying to gathe**spoiler alert** My summary:
Fifth book in the wheel of time fantasy series. Rand is still in Aiel Waste in the city of Rhuidin. He is trying to gather the clans together before he leaves the Waste. Coulidin has also proclaimed himself as He Who Comes With the Dawn so part of the Aiel follow him, and part of the clans are still deciding who to follow. Asmodean begins teaching Rand everything he knows about using the Power and the other Forsaken. Rand is attacked by Darkfriends while he is there and destroys them with balefire. They soon learn that Coulidin has taken his clan out of the Waste in order to attack Cairhien. Rand follows him all of the way there and engages him in battle. During the time it takes to travel the waste, Min and Siuan travel to the place where all of the Blue Aes Sedai are meeting. On the way, they accidentally burn down a barn and are indebted to Gareth Byrne. They break their oath's of obedience and escape and he follows them to the Aes Sedai hideout. There Siuan continues to plan on how to help Rand and get rid of Elaida as Amyrlin. The Aes Sedai enlist the help of Gareth Byrne to help them retake the White Tower. Elayne, Nynaeve, Thom, and Julius travel towards the meeting place of the Aes Sedai after their victory in Tanchico. Nynaeve continues to talk to Brigitte in the dream world and asks her to help her find Moghedian. Moghedian finds her first though and plans to enslave Nynaeve when Brigitte shoots her with an arrow. She sends Brigitte out of the dream world and Nynaeve escapes. Nynaeve remains scared of Moghedian for the rest of the journey to the Aes Sedai hiding place. On their way they travel with a menagerie in order to hide from Moghedian and the Black Aes Sedai who follow her. They reach the Aes Sedai and quickly are treated like Accepted and are made to teach the Aes Sedai how to walk the dream world. While teaching Siuan, Nynaeve sees Moghedian and fights her again. She is defeated but she is saved by Bridgitte again and manages to put a silver collar on Moghedian so she can command her. They then travel to Camelyn to help Rand fight Rahvin. Before this, Rand fights Couladin and uses the force with Egwene and Aviandra's help. Mat tries to run away but instead helps lead a force into battle and kills Couladin himself. Rand then prepares to go to Camelyn to kill Rahvin because he believes he killed Queen Morgase, Elayne's mother. Before leaving, Morraine takes him down to the docks where he faces Lanfear (because she finds out he was with Aviandra). He matches her strength but is unable to kill her because she is a woman so Morraine attacks her and they both fall into the Power-filled doorway and disappear (and supposedly die). Lan leaves to go be a warder for the Aes Sedai Morraine left him with. Rand takes an army of Aiel and goes to Camelyn. He is ambushed by Rahvin and his friends die, but then he fights Rahvin with balefire and with Nynaeve's help, defeats him. His friends are alive again and the book ends with Asmodean going into a room and being killed by someone unknown....more
Fourth book in the wheel of time fantasy series. The story continues with Rand governing Tear because he was able to pul**spoiler alert** My summary:
Fourth book in the wheel of time fantasy series. The story continues with Rand governing Tear because he was able to pull Callandor from the Stone of Tear proving he is the Dragon Reborn. The whole group (except Min) spends a little bit of time in Tear deciding where to go next. Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve try and question the Black Aes Sedai they captured, but get very little information out of them before Tear is attacked and they are killed. Rand meets Lanfear and learns that she wants him to join her in her quest for ultimate power. Rumors of whitecloaks in Two Rivers lead Perrin and Faile to journey there to fight them. Upon arriving they find out that Perrin's family is dead and Trollocs keep attacking Two Rivers. The Whitecloaks are there looking for Rand, Perrin, and Mat and they are lead by Dain Bornhald who believes Perrin killed his father. Padan Fain is also there leading Whitecloaks under his new name, Ordeith. Perrin rallies the people of Two Rivers to fight the Trollocs and becomes their leader. After turning back a number of attacks, Perrin believes they will be overrun so he sends Faile away to safety. They get married before she leaves, but then in the middle of the final battle she returns with help from the neighboring villages. Rand, Mat, Morraine, Lan, and Egwene leave Tear and take a Portal Stone to the Aiel Waste. Rand, Mat, and Morraine must visit Rhuidea and Egwene wants to learn how to walk the dreamworld from one of the Aiel Wise Ones. Rand learns the history of the Aiel people (they originally followed the Way of the Leaf) and Mat is almost killed when he walks through another Tangreal that he thinks will answer his questions. Rand comes out of Rhuidea with proof that he is "he who comes with the dawn" and is supposed to unite the Aiel people. He calls all of the tribes together to make his announcement. In the midst of announcing the news, he discovers Lanfear and she tells him that another of the forsaken, Asmodean, is trying to take a powerful Angreal from Rhuidea. Rand opens a gate using the power that allows him to travel across the vast distance back to Ruidea. There he fights with Asmodean for the angreal, finally winning by cutting the strings that tie Asmodean to the Dark One. After defeating him he takes him as a prisoner so he can teach Rand how to use the One Power. During all of this, Elayne and Nynaeve go to Tanchico to look for the Black Aes Sedai. Thom, Domon, and the thief catcher help them discover that they are in the Queen's palace. They sneak in and find the objects the Black Aes Sedai were going to use to control Rand along with a piece of heartstone. Nynaeve has to fight one of the forsaken who can force people to do things against their will. She wins and captures the forsaken, but she escapes while Nynaeve is fighting one of the Black Aes Sedai. Elayne releases the Queen by capturing one of the Black Aes Sedai. Min continues to work "undercover" at Tar Valon, but while she is there the Amyrlin is captured (alone with her First, Leane) and stilled. Min helps them escape with the help of Gawyne (who they find out helped kill the warders who tried to protect the Amyrlin). They leave Tar Valon with Logain, the gentled false dragon. Elaida was behind the coup because she convinces the Aes Sedai loyal to her that they had been deceived and assumes the position of the Amyrlin seat herself....more
Third book in the wheel of time fantasy series. The story progresses with all of the characters eventually making a jour**spoiler alert** My summary:
Third book in the wheel of time fantasy series. The story progresses with all of the characters eventually making a journey to Tear where Rand will take the sword Callandor because he is the Dragon Reborn. The book begins with Rand, Perrin, Morraine, Lan, and others at the camp of the Drgaon Reborn. Rand is still learning to channel the one power and is worried that he will hurt others. He decides to run and go to Tear so he can obtain further proof about whether he is really the Dragon (by taking Callandor). Perrin, Morraine, Lan, and Loial follow him through many towns on his way there. On their way they meet Faile, a girl from Illian hunting for the horn of Valere. Perrin is charged with looking after her while she is with them. Meanwhile, Mat is taken to Tar Valon by Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve. They heal him from the evil dagger and he figures out that he has really good luck in all games of chance. Egwene and the other two are told by the Amyrlin seat that they are to search out the Black Aes Sedai. They send Mat to Camelyn to deliver a letter to Elayne's mother, the queen; while there he meets Thom Merrylin again. They continue onto Tear to warn Elayne that her mother's advisor is trying to have her killed. Egwene, Elayne, and Naynaeve all go towards Tear. At one point they are caught and then freed by female Aiel warriors. Once they get to Tear they hire someone to find the Black Aes Sedai, but they are found first and captured. By this time everyone is in Tear, including Rand, who is trying to get to the heavily guarded sword. Rand and Mat both sneak into the fortress, but soon after entering the Aiel attack. During this time, Egwene manages to subdue the Black Aes Sedai through the dream world so they can escape. Mat comes and helps them escape at the same time. By this time Rand has made it to sword room, but is then attacked by one of the forsaken, Be'lal. Morraine comes in and uses balefire to destroy the forsaken but is then knocked unconscious by the Dark One. Rand manages to grab the sword in time and begins fighting the Dark One again. He chases him around for a while but finally "kills" him with the sword. The book ends with Rand being the new king of Tear and the Aiel claiming he is the "one who comes with the dawn" that they had been waiting for. All of the main characters are in Tear, except for Min who is on her way to Tar Valon to give the Amyrlin a message from Morraine....more
Second book in the wheel of time series. Continues the story of Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, and Nynaeve (all from Edmonds**spoiler alert** My summary:
Second book in the wheel of time series. Continues the story of Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, and Nynaeve (all from Edmonds Field). Rand and the others are all in Fal Dara after recovering the Horn of Valere. While they are there the Amyrlin seat and other Aes Sedai come to see Morraine. Rand tries to leave when they arrive because he discovers at the end of the first book that he can channel the one power. Aes Sedai usually "gentle" men who can do this because they will eventually go mad. Morraine and the Amyrlin seat, however, don't wish to do this to Rand because he is the Dragon reborn and is supposed to defeat the Dark One. While they are in Fal Dara, the Horn is stolen and the darkfriend, Padan Fain, escapes from the prison there. The warriors of Fal Dara quickly form a party to recover the horn, including Rand, Perrin, and Mat (who must recover the dagger that was stolen or he will die). Egwene and Nynaeve go with the Aes Sedai to Tar Valon in order to receive training. Nynaeve becomes one of the Accepted because she is older while Egwene becomes a Novice. In Tar Valon they meet Elayna and her 2 brothers. They are later convinced by a Black Aes Sedai to follow her through the Ways and into a trap laid by the Seanchan army (the lost army of Artur Hawkwing). Egwene is captured and enslaved through the use of a silver collar that forces her to use her powers as commanded. Nynaeve and Elayna escape and plot how to free Egwene in Falme. Meanwhile, Rand, the Ogier (Loial), and Hurrin (the sniffer) get separated from the rest of the party when they travel to a parallel world through a portal stone. There they meet Selene, a beautiful girl who tries to convince Rand to seize the horn for the glory it will gain him. They travel back to real world ahead of Fain and the Trollocs and manage to steal the horn from them. They go onto Cairhien (where Selene is from) and wait for Ingtar (the leader of the hunting party). While they are there they are enveloped in a world politics among the nobles of the city for status and power. Shortly before Ingtar catches up with them, the horn is stolen and they are forced to follow Fain again. They try to follow him through the Ways again, but the Black Wind guards the gate. They head for another waygate at a Stedding, but that one is also blocked. They then use a portal stone to get to Falme to meet Fain. Once there they send 5 people (Ingtar, Mat, Perrin, Rand, & Hurrin) into the city to try and recover the horn. After getting the horn, Rand must face the leader the Seanchan in a sword fight. After defeating him they try and escape right at the same time Egwene is being rescued by Nynaeve and Elayna. Rand spots Egwene and knows he can't leave, plus they run into Whitecloaks attacking the Seanchan right when they are trying to leave. Mat blows the Horn of Valere and the heroes from the age of Legends come back to fight the Seanchan and all else who oppose the dragon reborn (Rand). As they advance, Rand must fight the Dark One in a battle with the outcome of his friends on the line. He finally allows the Dark One of stab him so he will have a clear shot to kill the Dark One. He defeats him and later finds out that his battle took place in the sky above the city so everyone knows that the true Dragon has returned. The Seanchan retreat across the sea and the Rand begins to understand he is the Dragon reborn....more
First book in the wheel of time fantasy series (currently 9 books total). The book begins in a small village in a "middl**spoiler alert** My summary:
First book in the wheel of time fantasy series (currently 9 books total). The book begins in a small village in a "middle earth" time period full of myth and legend. The main characters from the village are Rand (overall main character), his father Tam, Mat (the practical joker from the village), Perrin (the blacksmith apprentice), Egwene (the wisdom's apprentice), and Nynaeve (the town wisdom). The village has had one of the hardest winters in history and are preparing for their spring celebration when Morraine (a Sedai, like a wizard that can channel the "one power") and Lan (a Warder, a protector and soldier) come to town. A gleeman (entertainer) named Thom also shows up. Soon after a horde of Trollocs (beastlike troll creatures) attacks the town along with a Fade (powerful phantom-like creatures). Morraine and Lan defend them, but let them know that the dark creatures were after 3 boys in the village. They decide to leave to go to the Sedai city of Tar Valon. They must initially run from the dark creatures and make it to the city of Baerlon. There the town wisdom catches up with them and remains with them for the rest of the adventure. They continue on and hide in an ancient city which contains evil that even the dark creatures are afraid of. There Mat takes a dagger from the evil city and becomes connected to its evil so he cannot be separated from it. They must split up and run in order to get away, with Thom, Rand, and Mat in one group, Nynaeve, Morraine, and Lan in another, and Perrin and Egwene in the last group. They all try and make their way to Caemlyn and all have their own adventures. Perrin and Egwene meet a man in the wilderness who can talk to wolves and Perrin finds out he has the ability to talk to Wolves also. They are later captured by the Children of the Light (a fundamentalist group that hunts darkfriends and persecute many innocents in the process). Morraine and Lan rescue them and they all make their way to the city. Meanwhile, Thom is believed to be killed when he sacrifices himself to stop a fade so the two boys can escape. They have to scrounge their way along the road to the city, half-starving most of the way. They are attacked at least two more times by darkfriends before they reach the city. There Rand has a run-in with the queen's daughter and son at the palace while he is trying to catch a glimpse of the recently caught false-dragon. He is finally released and makes his way back to the Inn (owned by a friend of Thom's). There he meets Morraine and the others and they continue on their journey. An Ogier (tall ancient creature that builds things) Rand met also goes with them. They are forced to take a shortcut through "the ways" (ancient "worm-tunnels" that link distant places) even though they are very dangerous. They make their way through and meet a king on the edge of the "blight" (the place where the dark one taints the world). He and his soldiers protect the border of the world from dark creatures. Morraine takes the others to see "the eye of the world" (a tree-like green man) in order to stop the dark one who is breaking free from his bonds. Once they meet him two powerful dark friends break free of the dark one's bonds and attack the group. The green man kills one, and Rand kills the other one by calling upon the "one power" (which men aren't supposed to use because they go insane, which is what caused the "breaking of the world" many years before). He then confronts the dark one and defeats him by calling upon the one power. The book ends with Rand wanting to go into isolation in order to keep his loved ones safe from him. Egwene and Nynaeve and Perrin and Matt plan to go to Tar Valon with Morraine. ...more
"Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men; the leMy favorite quotes from the book:
"Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government (80)."
"Son, there are times a man has to do things he doesn't like to, in order to protect his family (120)."
"There are only two kinds of men in this world: Honest men and dishonest men. ...Any man who says the world owes him a living is dishonest. The same God that made you and me made this earth. And He planned it so that it would yield every single thing that the people on it need. But He was careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its wealth in exchange for the labor of man. Any man who tries to share in that wealth without contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest (177)."
"A man's character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin. If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn't do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth."...more
**spoiler alert** MY FAVORITE QUOTES: ***Alexandra seemed actually cheered. There is often a good deal of the child left in people who have had to gro**spoiler alert** MY FAVORITE QUOTES: ***Alexandra seemed actually cheered. There is often a good deal of the child left in people who have had to grow up too soon. p.17
*** In his daughter, John Bergson recognized the strength of will, and the simple direct way of thinking things out, that had characterized his father in his better days. He would much rather, of course, have seen this likeness in one of his sons, but it was not a question of choice. As he lay there day after day he had to accept the situation as it was, and to be thankful that there was one among his children to whom he could entrust the future of his family and the possibilities of his hard-won land. p.24
*** "DOTTER," he called feebly, "DOTTER!" He heard her quick step and saw her tall figure appear in the doorway, with the light of the lamp behind her. He felt her youth and strength, how easily she moved and stooped and lifted. But he would not have had it again if he could, not he! He knew the end too well to wish to begin again. He knew where it all went to, what it all became. p.25
*** Carl shook his head mournfully. "Freedom so often means that one isn't needed anywhere. Here you are an individual, you have a background of your own, you would be missed. But off there in the cities there are thousands of rolling stones like me. We are all alike; we have no ties, we know nobody, we own nothing. When one of us dies, they scarcely know where to bury him. Our landlady and the delicatessen man are our mourners, and we leave nothing behind us but a frock-coat and a fiddle, or an easel, or a typewriter, or whatever tool we got our living by. All we have ever managed to do is to pay our rent, the exorbitant rent that one has to pay for a few square feet of space near the heart of things. We have no house, no place, no people of our own. We live in the streets, in the parks, in the theatres. We sit in restaurants and concert halls and look about at the hundreds of our own kind and shudder." p122-123.
*** Alexandra paused. After a moment's thought she said, "But you would never ask me to go away for good, would you?"
"Of course not, my dearest. I think I know how you feel about this country as well as you do yourself." Carl took her hand in both his own and pressed it tenderly.
"Yes, I still feel that way, though Emil is gone. When I was on the train this morning, and we got near Hanover, I felt something like I did when I drove back with Emil from the river that time, in the dry year. I was glad to come back to it. I've lived here a long time. There is great peace here, Carl, and freedom. . . . I thought when I came out of that prison, where poor Frank is, that I should never feel free again. But I do, here." Alexandra took a deep breath and looked off into the red west.
"You belong to the land," Carl murmured, "as you have always said. Now more than ever."
"Yes, now more than ever. You remember what you once said about the graveyard, and the old story writing itself over? Only it is we who write it, with the best we have."
They paused on the last ridge of the pasture, overlooking the house and the windmill and the stables that marked the site of John Bergson's homestead. On every side the brown waves of the earth rolled away to meet the sky.
"Lou and Oscar can't see those things," said Alexandra suddenly. "Suppose I do will my land to their children, what difference will that make? The land belongs to the future, Carl; that's the way it seems to me. How many of the names on the county clerk's plat will be there in fifty years? I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother's children. We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it--for a little while."
Carl looked at her wonderingly. She was still gazing into the west, and in her face there was that exalted serenity that sometimes came to her at moments of deep feeling. The level rays of the sinking sun shone in her clear eyes.
"Why are you thinking of such things now, Alexandra?"
"I had a dream before I went to Lincoln-- But I will tell you about that afterward, after we are married. It will never come true, now, in the way I thought it might." She took Carl's arm and they walked toward the gate. "How many times we have walked this path together, Carl. How many times we will walk it again! Does it seem to you like coming back to your own place? Do you feel at peace with the world here? I think we shall be very happy. I haven't any fears. I think when friends marry, they are safe. We don't suffer like--those young ones." Alexandra ended with a sigh.
They had reached the gate. Before Carl opened it, he drew Alexandra to him and kissed her softly, on her lips and on her eyes.
She leaned heavily on his shoulder. "I am tired," she murmured. "I have been very lonely, Carl."
They went into the house together, leaving the Divide behind them, under the evening star. Fortunate country, that is one day to receive hearts like Alexandra's into its bosom, to give them out again in the yellow wheat, in the rustling corn, in the shining eyes of youth! p.306-308. ...more
My favorite quotes: "He warned Mother not to flout God's Will by expecting too much for us. "Sending a girl to college is like puring water your shoesMy favorite quotes: "He warned Mother not to flout God's Will by expecting too much for us. "Sending a girl to college is like puring water your shoes," he still loves to say, as often as possible. "It's hard to say which is worse, seeing it run out and waste the water, or seeing it hold in and wreck the shoes." p.56.
*** "The dreaded Verse is our household punishment. Other lucky children might merely be thrashed for their sins, but we Price girls are castigated with the Holy Bible. The Reverend will level his gaze and declare, "You have The Verse." then slowly, as we squirm on his hook, he writes on a piece of paper, for example: Jeremiah 48:18. Then say ye good-bye to sunshine or the Hardy Boys for an afternoon as ye, poor sinner, must labor with a pencil in your good left hand to copy out Jeremiah 48:18, "Come down from your throne of glory and sit in the mire, O daughter that dwells in Dibon," and additionally, the ninety-nine verse that follow it. One hundred full verses exactly copied out in longhand, because it is the final one that reveals your crime. In the case of Jeremiah 48:18, the end is Jeremiah 50:31, "Lo! I am against you, O Insolence! saith the oracle of the Lord, the God of hosts; For your day has come, your time of reckoning." Only upon reaching that one-hundredth verse do you finally understand you are being punished for the sin of insolence. Although you might well have predicted it. p.59
*** Bongo Bango Bingo. That is the story of Congo they are telling now in America: a tale of cannibals. I know about this kind of story - the lonely look down upon the hungry; the hungry look down upon the starving. The guilty blame the damaged. Those of doubtful righteousness speak of cannibals, the unquestionably vile, the sinners and the damned. It makes everyone feel much better. p.174
*** A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. - But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after - oh, that's love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She's the one you can't put down. p.381-382. ...more
**spoiler alert** Favorite Quotes: "You can spot the vinyl addicts because after a while they get fed up with the rack they are flicking through, marc**spoiler alert** Favorite Quotes: "You can spot the vinyl addicts because after a while they get fed up with the rack they are flicking through, march over to a completely different section of the shop, pull a sleeve out from the middle somewhere, and come over to the counter; this is because they have been making a list of possible purchases in their head ("If I don't find anything in the next five minutes, that blues compilation I saw half an hour ago will have to do"), and suddenly sicken themselves with the amount of time they have wasted looking for something they don't really want. I know that feeling well (these are my people, and I understand them better than I understand anybody in the world): it is a prickly, clammy panicky sensation, and you go out of the shop reeling. You walk much more quic,ly afterward, trying to recapture the part o the day that has escaped, and quite often you have the urge to read the international section of a newspaper, or go to see a Peter Greeaway film, to consume something solid and meaty which will lie on top of teh cotton-candy worthlessness clogging up your head." p.96
*** "Everything that's ever gone wrong for me could have been rescued by the wave of a bank manager's wand, or by a girlfriend's sudden change of mind, or by some quality - determination, self-awareness, resilience - that I might have found within myself, if I'd looked hard enough. I don't want to cope with the sort of unhappiness Laura's feeling, not ever. If people have to die, I don't want them dying near me. My mum and dad won't die near me, I've made bloody sure of that. When they go, I'll hardly feel a thing." p.232...more
In the evening, before prayers, there was some religious reading in the study. On week-nights it was some abstract of sacred history of the Lectures oIn the evening, before prayers, there was some religious reading in the study. On week-nights it was some abstract of sacred history of the Lectures of the Abbe Frayssinous, and on Sundays passages from the "Genie due Christianisme," as a recreation. How she listened at first to the sonorous lamentations of its romantic melancholies re-echoing through the world and eternity! If her childhood had been spent in the shop-parlour of some business quarter, she might perhaps have opened her heart to those lyrical invasions of Nature, which usually come to us only through translation in books. But she knew the country too well: she knew the lowing of cattle, the milking, the ploughs. Accustomed to calm aspects of life, she turned, on the contrary, to those of excitement. She loved the sea only for the sake of its storms, and the green fields only when broken up by ruins. She wanted to get some personal profit out of things, and she rejected as useless all that did not contribute to the immediate desires of her heart, being of a temperament more sentimental than artistic, looking for emotions, not landscapes. (p.38).
At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning , as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow. p.65-66
She hoped for a son; he would be strong and dark; she would call him George; and this idea of having a male child was like an expected revenge for all her impotence in the past. A man, at least, is free; he may travel over passions and over countries, overcome obstacles, taste of the most far-away pleasures. But a woman is always hampered. At once inert and flexible, she has against her the weakness of the flesh and legal dependence. Her will, like the veil of her bonnet, held by a string, flutters in every wind; there is always some desire that draws her, some conventionality that restrains. p.95
Then the lusts of the flesh, the longing for money, and the melancholy of passion all blended themselves into one suffering, and instead of turning her thoughts from it, she clave to it the more, urging herself to pain, and seeking everywhere occasion for it. She was irritated by an ill-served dish or by a half-open door; bewailed the velvets she had not, the happiness she had missed, her too exalted dreams, her narrow home. What exasperated her was that Charles did not seem to notice her anguish. His conviction that he was making her happy seemed to her an imbecile insult, and his sureness on this point ingratitude. For whose sake, then was she virtuous? Was it not for him, the obstacle to all felicity, the cause of all misery, and, as it were, the sharp clasp of that complex strap that bucked her in on all sides. On him alone, then, she concentrated all the various hatreds that resulted from her boredom, and every effort to diminish only augmented it; for this useless trouble was added to the other reasons for despair, and contributed still more to the separation between them. Her own gentleness to herself made her rebel against him. Domestic mediocrity drove her to lewd fancies, marriage tenderness to adulterous desires. She would have liked Charles to beat her, that she might have a better right to hate him, to revenge herself upon him. She was surprised sometimes at the atrocious conjectures that came into her thoughts, and she had to go on smiling, to hear repeated to her at all hours that she was happy, to pretend to be happy, to let it be believed. Yet she had loathing of this hypocrisy. She was seized with the temptation to flee somewhere with Leon to try a new life; but at once a vague chasm full of darkness opened within her soul. p.115-116
Monsieur Rodolphe Boulanger was thirty-four; he was of brutal temperament and intelligent perspicacity, having, moreover, had much to do with women, and knowing them well. This one had seemed pretty to him; so he was thinking about her and her husband. "I think he is very stupid. She is tired of him, no doubt. He has dirty nails, and hasn't shaved for three days. While he is trotting after his patients, she sits there botching socks. And she gets bored! She would like to live in town and dance polkas every evening. Poor little woman! She is gaping after love like a carp after water on a kitchen-table. With three words of gallantry she'd adore one, I'm sure of it. She'd be tender, charming. Yes; but how to get rid of her afterwards?" p.138
"Oh," she went on, "I love you! I love you so that I could not live without you, do you see? There are times when I long to see you again, when I am torn by all the anger of love. I ask myself, Where is he? Perhaps he is talking to other women. They smile upon him; he approaches. Oh no; no one else pleases you. There are some more beautiful, but I love you best. I know how to love best. I am your servant, your concubine! You are my king, my idol! You are good, you are beautiful, you are clever, you are strong!" He had so often heard these things said that they did not strike him as original. Emma was like all his mistresses; and the charm of novelty, gradually falling away like a garment, laid bare the eternal monotony of passion, that has always the same forms and the same language. He did not distinguish, this man of so much experience, the difference of sentiment beneath the sameness of expression. Because lips libertine and venal had murmured such words to him, he believed but little in the candour of hers; exaggerated speeches hiding mediocre affections must be discounted; as if the fullness of the soul did not sometimes overflow in the emptiest metaphors, since no one can ever give the exact measure of his needs, nor of his conceptions, nor of his sorrows; and since human speech is like a cracked tin kettle, on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars. p.202
Lucie advanced, half supported by her women, a wreath of orange blossoms in her hair, and paler than the white satin of her gown. Emma dreamed of her marriage day; she saw herself at home again amid the corn in the little path as they walked to the church. Oh, why had not she, like this woman, resisted, implored? She, on the contrary, had been joyous, without seeing the abyss into which she was throwing herself. Ah! if in the freshness of her beauty, before the soiling of marriage and the disillusions of adultery, she could have anchored her life upon some great, strong heart, then virtue, tenderness, voluptuousness, and duty blending, she would never have fallen from so high a happiness. But that happiness, no doubt, was a lie invented for the despair of all desire. She now knew the smallness of the passions that art exaggerated. So, striving to divert her thoughts, Emma determined now to see in this reproduction of her sorrows only a plastic fantasy, well enough to please the eye, and she even smiled internally with disdainful pity when at the back of the stage under the velvet hangings a man appeared in a black cloak. p.237-238
No matter! She was not happy--she never had been. Whence came this insufficiency in life--this instantaneous turning to decay of everything on which she leant? But if there were somewhere a being strong and beautiful, a valiant nature, full at once of exaltation and refinement, a poet's heart in an angel's form, a lyre with sounding chords ringing out elegiac epithalamia to heaven, why, perchance, should she not find him? Ah! how impossible! Besides, nothing was worth the trouble of seeking it; everything was a lie. Every smile hid a yawn of boredom, every joy a curse, all pleasure satiety, and the sweetest kisses left upon your lips only the unattainable desire for a greater delight. p.301-302
They knew one another too well for any of those surprises of possession that increase its joys a hundred-fold. She was as sick of him as he was weary of her. Emma found again in adultery all the platitudes of marriage. p.308...more