Charles:

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

One evening I was listening to Emma. She began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation, while I, not noticing any difference, cried–

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

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

The next day I begged her to play again for me.

“Very well; to please you!”

I confess she had gone off a little. Played wrong notes and blundered.

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

“Yes, so it is–rather,” I said, giggling to hide my discomfiture. “But 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!” Emma said.

The next day I came home and looked at Emma shyly. At last I could no longer keep the words back.

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

Emma shrugged her shoulders and did not open the piano again. If I was in the room, however, she passed the instrument and sighed — “Ah! my poor piano!”

When anyone came to see her, she never failed to inform them she had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons. People commiserated with my wife-

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

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

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think 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, 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.

“Sell this poor piano that had given your vanity so much satisfaction?” I felt it would be like the indefinable suicide of a part of herself. “If you like,” I said, “a lesson from time to time, wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

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

Thus, my wife cunningly obtained my permission to go to town once a week to surreptitiously see her lover.

At the end of a month I considered she had made considerable progress.

Emma:

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that I was 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, while he, not noticing any difference, cried–

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

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

The next day my husband begged me to play him something again.

“Very well; to please you!”

Charles confessed I had gone off a little. Played wrong notes and blundered.

Then, stopping short, I said, “Ah! it is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” I bit my lip 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 said.

The next day Charles came home and 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 have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and from an excellent mistress!”

I shrugged my shoulders and did not open the piano again. But, if Charles was in the room when I passed by the instrument, 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 with me–

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

They even spoke to Charles about it. They put my husband 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, by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. I think 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 your vanity so much satisfaction. To see it go would be like the indefinable suicide of a part of you,” Charles said. “If you like, 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 obtained my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see my lover.

At the end of a month Charles even considered I had made considerable progress.

 

Instructor Response

Barbara: Good work! Here are some suggestions. (What you’ve done is fine!)  With Emma, I’ve changed the POV to first person for you to compare to third person. Charles goes well, I think, in third person.

Emma

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

One evening when Charles was listening to her, she I began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation, while he, not noticing any difference, cried–

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

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

The next day he begged her me to play him something again.

“Very well; to please you!” I said.

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

“Ah! it is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” She I bit her  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 said.

The next day when he came home he looked at her me shyly, and at last could no longer keep back the words.“How obstinate you are sometimes!” he said. “ 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 I did not open her piano again. But when she he passed by it (if Bovary were there), she  I sighed, “Ah! my poor piano!”

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

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

They even spoke to Bovary about me. 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. Emma I replied bitterly that it would be better to sell it. This poor piano that had given her my vanity so much satisfaction–to see it go was to Bovary like the indefinable suicide of a part of herself it would press me to suicide.

“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 she that I set about obtaining her my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see her lover. At the end of a month she I was even considered to have made considerable progress.

Charles:

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

    One evening I was listening to Emma her. She began play the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation, while I, not noticing any difference, cried–

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

   “Oh, no; it is execrable!” She lowered my her lashes. “My fingers are quite rusty.”

    The next day I begged her to play again for me.

   “Very well; to please you!”

    I confessed she had gone off a little. Played wrong notes and blundered.

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

  “Yes, so it is–rather,” I said, giggling to hide my discomfiture. “But 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!” Emma she said.

   The next day I came home; and looked at Emma shyly. At last I could no longer keep the words back. “How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

    Emma She shrugged her shoulders and did not open the piano again. If I was in the room, however, she passed the instrument and sighed — “Ah! my poor piano!”

    When anyone came to see her, she never failed to inform them she had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons.      People commiserated with my wife-

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

    They even spoke to me about it. They put me to shame–especially the chemist: “You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think 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, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

    So, I returned once more to this question of the piano.

    Emma She replied bitterly that it would be better to sell it.

    “Sell this poor piano that had given your vanity so much satisfaction?” I felt it would be like the indefinable suicide of a part of herself. “If you like,” I said, “a lesson from time to time, wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

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

    Thus, my wife cunningly obtained my permission to go to town once a week to surreptitiously see her lover.

    At the end of a month, I considered she had made considerable progress.

  1. Thank you for your response. I see that writing Emma in 1st POV makes the narrative more intimate and personal. I appreciate your insights.
    Cathryn

    • Thank you for submission.

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© 2020 Literary Fiction Workshop