from ‘Madame Bovary’, by Gustave Flaubert
“Love, she believed, had to come, suddenly, with a great clap of thunder and a lightning flash, a tempest from heaven that falls upon your life, like a devastation, scatters your leaves and hurls your very soul into the abyss. Little did she know that up on the roof of the house, the rain will form a pool if the gutters are blocked, and there she would have stayed feeling safe inside, until one day she suddenly discovered the crack right down the wall.”
“And now, sure of being loved, he took fewer pains, and imperceptibly his manner changed. There were no more of those sweet words that made her weep, as in the early days, none of the fierce caresses that sent her wild; and now, their great love, in which she dwelt immersed, seemed to dwindle beneath her, like the waters that vanish into the bed of the river, and she could see the mud.”
I haven’t finished reading the book yet, and so far I’m a little disappointed in general (mainly because I can’t seem to like Emma), but some of the paragraphs taken on their own are breathtaking.