It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that I seemed seized with great musical fervour.

One evening when Charles was listening to me, I began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation. He, not noticing any difference, cried–

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty.”

The next day he begged me to play him again.

“Very well; to please you!”

This time Charles confessed I had gone off a little. I played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short–

“Ah! it is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” I bit my lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” said Charles, giggling stupidly. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” I demanded.

The next day when he came home he looked at me shyly, and at last could no longer keep back the words.

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

I shrugged my shoulders and did not open my piano again. But when I passed by it (if Bovary were there), I sighed–

“Ah! my poor piano!”

And when anyone came to see me, I did not fail to inform them I had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons. Then people commiserated me–

“What a pity! she had so much talent!”

They even spoke to Bovary about it. They put him to shame, and especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So Charles returned once more to this question of the piano. I replied bitterly that it would be better to sell it. This poor piano that had given my vanity so much satisfaction–Bovary could see its loss would be like death to me.

“If you liked,” he said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” I replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was I set about obtaining my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see my lover. At the end of a month he even considered that I had made considerable progress.

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that she seemed seized with great musical fervour.

One evening when I was listening to her, she began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation, but I encouraged her efforts.

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty.”

The next day I encouraged her to play me something again.

“Very well; to please you!”

And I confessed she had gone off a little. She played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short–

“Ah! it is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” She bit her lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” said I, chuckling to lighten the blow. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” she demanded.

The next day when I came home I looked at her slyly, and at last could no longer keep back the words.

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

She shrugged her shoulders and did not open her piano again. But when she passed by it she’d sigh–

“Ah! my poor piano!”

And when anyone came to see her, she did not fail to inform them she had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons. Then people commiserated her–

“What a pity! she had so much talent!”

They even spoke to me about it. They put me to shame, and especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So I returned once more to this question of the piano. Emma replied bitterly that it would be better to sell it. This poor piano that had given her vanity so much satisfaction–to see it go was to me like I was killing something in her.

“If you liked,” I said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” she replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was she set about obtaining my permission to go to town once a week. At the end of a month there was a notable improvement.

Instructor Response

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that I seemed seized with great musical fervour.

One evening when Charles was listening to me, I began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation. He, not noticing any difference, cried–

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty.”

The next day he begged me to play him again.

“Very well; to please you!”

This time Charles confessed I had gone off a little. I played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short–

“Ah! it is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” I bit my lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” said Charles, giggling stupidly. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” I demanded.

The next day when he came home he looked at me shyly, and at last could no longer keep back the words.

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

I shrugged my shoulders and did not open my piano again. But when I passed by it (if Bovary were there), I sighed–

“Ah! my poor piano!”

And when anyone came to see me, I did not fail to inform them I had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons. Then people commiserated me–

“What a pity! she had so much talent!”

They even spoke to Bovary about it. They put him to shame, and especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So Charles returned once more to this question of the piano. I replied bitterly that it would be better to sell it. This poor piano that had given my vanity so much satisfaction–Bovary could see its loss would be like death to me.

“If you liked,” he said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” I replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was I set about obtaining my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see my lover. At the end of a month he even considered that I had made considerable progress.

Well done!

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that she seemed seized with great musical fervour.

One evening when I was listening to her, she began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation, but I encouraged her efforts.

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty.”

The next day I encouraged her to play me something again.

“Very well; to please you!”

And I confessed she had gone off a little. She played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short–

“Ah! it is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” She bit her lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” said I, chuckling to lighten the blow. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” she demanded.

The next day when I came home I looked at her slyly, and at last could no longer keep back the words.

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

She shrugged her shoulders and did not open her piano again. But when she passed by it she’d sigh–

“Ah! my poor piano!”

And when anyone came to see her, she did not fail to inform them she had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons. Then people commiserated her–

“What a pity! she had so much talent!”

They even spoke to me about it. They put me to shame, and especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So I returned once more to this question of the piano. Emma replied bitterly that it would be better to sell it. This poor piano that had given her vanity so much satisfaction–to see it go was to me like I was killing something in her.

“If you liked,” I said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” she replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was she set about obtaining my permission to go to town once a week. At the end of a month there was a notable improvement.

Yes.

The purpose of this exercise you’ve achieved very well. And you have the ability to write in different points of view. For me, it’s always amazing how the ironies of this passage shift as the POV changes. And that is the point, I guess: that an author of fiction must choose the right POV for the right story.
Thanks for the submission and all the best. WHC

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