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*J 1 



-^ I \jC^ 



^ "" ■■"• ^- Hi 



THE 



COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



Vol. II. 



CRISTO 



ir, \!A.>. 



THE 



COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



BY 



ALEXANDRE DUMAS. 





Vol. II. 



-' V 



, ? ' « . ^ 



■5 1 



J > •, J 



BOSTON: 
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY. 

1889. 

4) 






Copyright, 1S89, 
Br Little, Bbowk, akd Company. 



218545 



i /tit**'*"*** 



• • •• 

• f * 



••• •• 









••• 






• • • 






UviVRRtlTY PrRM: 
j0ffN WlLNOM AND Son, CaMBRIDOK. 



CONTENTS. 



Chaptib Paqx 

I. Italy : Sikbad the Sailob 1 

11. The Waking 30 

III. Roman Bandits 38 

IV. An Apparition 73 

V. La Mazzolata ... 106 

VI. The Caenival ax Home . 124 

VII. The Catacombs op St. Sebastian .... 146 

VIII. The Rendezvous 167 

IX. The Guests 177 

X. The Bbeakpast 201 

XI. The Presentation 216 

XII. Monsieur Bertuccio 233 

XIII. The House at Auteuil 239 

XIV. The Vendetta .248 

XV. The Rain op Blood 275 

XVI. Unlimited Credit 292 

XVII. The Dappled Grays 310 

XVIII. Ideology 327 

XIX. Hayd^e 312 

XX. The Morrel Family 348 

XXI. Pyramus and Thisbe 360 

XXII. Toxicology 375 






THE 



COUNT 0F° Mi^NTE CRISTO. 






• •. 



CHAPTEE I. 

ITALY : 8INBAD THE SAILOR. 

Towards the beginning of the year 1838, two young men 
belonging to the first society of Paris, the Vicomte Albert 
de Morcerf and the Baron Franz d*Epinay, were at Flor- 
ence. They had agreed to see the Carnival at Rome that 
year, and that Franz, who for the last three or four years 
had inhabited Italy, should act as cicerone to Albert. As 
it is no slight affair to spend the Carnival at Rome, es- 
pecially when you have no great desire to sleep on the 
Place du Peuple, or the Campo Vaccino, they wrote to 
Maitre Pastrini, the proprietor of the Hotel de Londres, 
Place d'Espagne, to reserve comfortable apartments for 
them. Maitre Pastrini replied that he had only two 
rooms and a cabinet al secondo piano, which he offered 
at the low charge of a louis per diem. They accepted his 
offer ; but wishing to make the best use of the time that 
was left, Albert started for Naples. As for Franz, he 
remained at Florence. After having passed several days 
here, when he had walked in the Eden called the Casines, 
when he had passed two or three evenings at the houses of 
the nobles of Florence, he took a fancy into his head after 
having already visited Corsica, the cradle of Bonaparte, 
to visit Elba, the halting-place of Napoleon. 

One evening he loosened a boat from the iron ring that 
secured it to the port of Leghorn, laid himself down, 
wrapped in his cloak, at the bottom, and said to the crew, 

VOL. II. -^ 1 . 



2 THE COUNT OF MONXE C^ISTO. 

" To the Tale of Elba ! " The IJJni 'flhot. o\it of tlie harbor 
like a bird, and the nejrfr._Aiirtihig Frauz diaembarkeil at 
Porto Ferrnjo. I_I^ ■.Ifaverso'd the island after having fol- 
lowed the traocs'Vljitli the footsteps of the giant have 
left, and fe-eniT«^e<I for Marciana. Two hours after he 
lanite4\ft 'i'iauoaa, where he waa assured that red par- 
tpSgtsVbounded. The sport waa had ; Franz succeeded 
'•• jn -k'tlling only a few partridges, and like every unsuccess- 



I'ful epoitsn 
temper. 



might I: 



I, he returned to the boat very much out of 

f your Excellency chose," said the cnptai 

ve capital sport, " 

rel" 



' continued the captain, 
9 from the hlue Eea. 



" Do you Bee that island ? ' 
pointing' to a conical pile that 

" Well ; what is this island i " 

"The island of Monte Cristo." 

" But I havu no perniisaion to shoot over this island." 

" Your Excellency does not require a permission, for the 
island ia uninhabited," 

" Ail, indeed ! " said tlia young man. " A desert island 
in the midst of the Mediterranean must he a curiosity." 

" It is very natural ; this isle is a mass of rocia, and 
does not contain an acre of land cApable of cultivation." 

" To whom does this island belong ) " 

"To Tuscany." 
. " What game shall I find there ) " 

" Thousands of wild goats." 

"Who live by licking the stones, I suppose," said Franz, 
with an incredulous smile. 

"No ; hut by browsing the shrubs and trees that grow 
out of the crevices of the rocks." 

" Where can I sleep ] " 

" On shore, in the grottos, or on board in your cloak j 
besides, if your Excellency pleases, we can leave as soon 



I 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR, 3 

as the chase is finished. We can sail as well by uight aa 
hy day, and if the wind drops we can use our oare." 

As Franz liaJ aufficiont time before rejoining his com- 
panion, and hod no further oncasion to trouble iiimself 
about his apartment in Itome, be accepted the proposition. 
Upon his answer in the affirmative, the aailoi« exchanged 
a few words together in a low tone. " Well," he nsked ; 
" what t is there any difficulty to be sunnouuted 1 " 

" No," replied the captain, " but we must warn your 
Excellency that the island is contumacious." 

" What do yon mean 1 " 

" That Monte Cristo, although uninhabited, yet serves 
occasionally as a refuge for the smagglera and pirates who 
come from Coisica, Sanlinia, and Africa ; and that if any- 
thing betrays that we have been there, we shall have 
to perform quarantine for six days on our return to 
Leghorn." 

" Tile devil ! that is quite another thing I Six days ! 
just the time which God required to create tbe world. 
It is somewhat long, my children." 

" But who will say that your Excellency has been to 
Monte Cristo 1 " 

" Oh, I shall not," cried Franz. 

" Not I ! nor I ! " chorused the sailors. 

" Then steer for Monte Cristo." 

The captain gave his orders ; tJie bow was turned 
towards the island ; and the boat was soon snUing in that 
direction, Franz waited until all was finished ; and when 
the sail was filled and the four sailors had taken their 
places, three forward and one at the helm, he resumed 
the conversation. " Gaetano," said he to the captain, 
"yon tell me Monte Cristo serves as a refuge for pirates, 
who are, it seems to me, a very dijferent kind of game 
from the goats." 



TBE COUNT OF MOKTE CBTSTO. 

" Yos, your Escellency ; and it is trae." 

"I knew tliere were smugglers; but I thought that 
Binco the capture of Algiers aod the destrurtion of the 
regency, pirates existed only in the lomaiicea of Cooper 
and Captain Marryat." 

"Your ExceJlcncyis mistaken ; there are pirates, just as 
there are bandits, — who were believed to liave been 
ternunate<l hy Pope Leo XII., and who yet every day rob 
travellers at the gates of l{«ine. Has not your Excellency 
beard that the French charge <fa_fairei was robbed six 
months ago witbin five hundred paces of Velletril" 

" Ob, yes, I beArd that." 

"Well, then, if like us your Excellency lived at Leg- 
horn, you would hear from time to time that a little mer- 
chant vessel, or an Eiiglisli yacht that was expected at 
Bnstia, at Porto Femijo, or at Civita Veccbia, has not 
arrived ; th.it no one knows what has become of it, and 
that doubtless it has struck on a rock and foundered, 
^ow, this rock it has met is a long and narrow boat 
manned by six or eight men, who have surprised and 
plundered it soma dark and stormy night near some des- 
ert and gloomy isle, as bandits plunder a carriage at the 
corner of a wood." 

" But," asked Franz, who lay wrapped in hia cloak at 
the bottom of the bark, "why do not those who have 
been plundered complain to the French, Sardinian, c 
Tuscan governments 1 " 

" Why 1 " said Gaetono, with a smile. 

"Yes, why]" 

" Because in the first place they transfer from the vessel 
to their own boat whatever they tliink worth taking, then 
they bind the crew hand and foot ; they attach to every 
one's neok a four and twenty pound ball j a large bole is 
pierced in the vessel's bottom, and then they leave her. 



ITALY ; SINBAD THE SAILOR. 5 

At the end of ten minutea the vsbspI begins to Toit, labor, 
nnd then eink ; then one cf tlie sides plunges and then 
the other. It rises and sinks again ; suddenly a noise 
like the report of a, cannon is heard, — it is the air brick- 
ing the deck. Soon the water nialiea out of the suiip])er- 
holes like a whale spouting; the vessd gives a last groan, 
spina round and round and disappears, forming a vast 
whirlpool in the ocean, and tliea all is over. So that in 
five minutes nothing but tlie eye of God can see the voshk] 
where she lies at the bottom of the sea. Do you unilec- 
Btnnd now," said the captain, laughiog, "why uo com- 
plaints are made to t!ie Government, and why the veasel 
does not arrive at the pnrtl" 

It is probable that if Gactano had related this previously 
to proposing the expedition, Frana would have hesitated 
ore he accepted it ; but now that they bad started, he 
thought it would he cowardly to draw hack. He was one 
of those men who do not rashly court danger, but if dan- 
ger presents itself, encounter it with imperturbable cool- 
ness. He was one of those calm and resolute men who 
look npon a danger as an adversary in a duel; who cal- 
culate its movements and study its attacks ; who retreat 
sufficiently to take breath, but uot to appear cowardly; 
who, understanding all their advantages, kill at a single 
blow. " Bah ! " said lie, " I have travRlled through Sicily 
and Calabria, I have saded two months in the Archipel- 
ago ; and yet I never saw even the shadow of a bandit or 
a pirate," 

"I did not tell your Excellency this to deter you from 
your project," replied Gaetano ; " but you finoationed me, 
and I have answered, — that 's all." 

"Yes, my dear Gaetano, and yonr conversntion is most 
interesting; and as I wish to enjoy it as long as possible, 
steer for Monte Cristo." 



II THE COl'NT OF SIOSTE CRISTO, 

The nind blew strongly ; the boat Bailed six or Beven 
knots au hour; ami they were nipiiUy nearing the end of 
their voyage. As they approached, the island seemed to 
rise a huge luoss from the bosom of the sea ; and through 
the clear uliooaphere in the light of closing day, tbey 
could distinguish the rocks hearted on one auotUur like 
bullets in an arsenal, in whoso crevices tbey could see tbe 
green bushes and trees that were growing. As for the 
sailors, although they appeared perfectly tranquil, yet it 
wae evident that they wore on the alert, and that they 
very oorefidly watched the glassy surface over which tbey 
were sailing, and on which a few tishing-boats with their 
white sails were alone visible. Tbey were within fifteen 
miles of Monte Criato when tbe aun began to set behind 
Coraioa, whose mountains appeared against the sky, and 
showing their rugged peaks in bohl relief; this mass of 
•tones, like the giant Adaruastor, rose threateningly befora 
the boat, from which it bid the sun that gilded its bighei 
peaks. By degrees the shadow rose from the sea and 
Beenied to drive before it the last rays of the expiring 
day. At lost tbe refloGtion rested on tbe suniniit of tbe 
mountain, where it paused an instant, like the tiery crest 
of ft volcano ; then the shadow gradually covered the 
summit as it had covered the base, and the island now 
appeared to be a gray mountain that grew continually 
darker. Half an hour later, and the nigbt was quite dark. 

Fortuuntely the mariner? were used to these latitudes 
and knew every rock in the Tuscan archipelago, for in 
the midst of this obscurity Franz was not without uneasi- 
ness. Corsica bad long since disappeared, and Monte 
Cristo itself was invisible ; but tbe sailors seemed, like 
the lynx, to see in the dark, and the pilot who steered 
did not evince tho slightest hesitation. An honr had 
passed since tho sun had set, when Franz fancied he saw, 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 7 

at a. quarter of a mile to the left, a diirk muss ; but it was 
impussilile to make out what it was, and fearing to excite 
the Diirtli of the sailoi's by luiatakiii^; a floating clouil fur 
land, he remuiued eUent Suddenly a. great light appeared 
on the strand ; land might resemble a uloud, but the fire 
was not a meteor. " What is this Hgljl 1 " he asked. 

" Silence 1 " said the captain ; " it is a fire." 

" But you told me the island was ubiiiliabited I " 

" I said there were no fised habitations on it ; but 
I said also that it served sometimoa as a bnrbor for 
smugglers." 

"And for pirates)" 

" And for pirates," returned Onetaiio, repeating Franz's 
words. " It is for that reason I have given cirders to pass 
the isle, for, as you see, the fire is Luljiiid us." 

" But this fire," continued Frani, " seems to me a thing 
that should rather assure than alarm us ; men who did not 
wish to be seen would not light a fire," 

"Oh, that goes for nothing," said Gaetano. "If you 
cau guess the position of the island in the darkness, you 
will gee that the fire cannot be seen from the side, or from 
Piauoso, but only from the sea." 

"You think, then, that this fire aniiounces unwelcome 
neighbors 1 " 

"That is what we must ascertain," returned Gaetano, 
fixing his eyes on this terrestrial star. 

"How can you ascertiun)" 

"You shall see." 

Gaetano cuiistUted with Lis companions; and after liva 
minutes' discussion a roanteuvre was executed which caused 
the boat to tack about. They returued in the direction from 
^hey had come, and in a few minutes the fire disap- 
b bidden by a rise in the land. The pilot again 
\ the course of the little vessel, whicli rapidly ap- 



8 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRI3T0. 

pro&ched the ialaud, and was aoon tritbin fifty paces of it. 
Gaetano lowered the sail, and tlie boat itimained etation- 
ary. All tliia was done iu silence, and siuce tlieii' course 
hod been eliauged not a word was Bpoken. 

Gaetano, wIid hail proposed the expedition, Lad taken 
all the responsibility on himself; tlie four sailors fixed 
their eyes on him, while they prepared their oars oiiil held 
themselves in readiness to row away, which, thanks to tlie 
darkness, would not be dif&cult. As for Franz, he exam- 
ined his arms with the utmost coolness. He had two 
double-barrelled guns and a rifle ; ho loaded tliein, looked 
at the locks, and waited quietly. During this time the 
captain had thrown off his vest and shirt, and secured his 
trousers round his waist ; his feet were naked, so he had 
no shoes and stockings to take off. After these prepara- 
tions he placed bis linger on his lips, and loweiing him- 
self noiselessly into the sea, swam towards the shore with 
such precaution that it was impossible to hear the slightr 
est sound ; be could be traced only by the phosphorescent 
line in his wake. This trnok soon disappeared ; it was 
evident that ho had touched the shore, Kvery one on 
board remained motionless during half an hour, when the 
same luminous track was again observed, and in two 
strt>kea he had regained the boat. 

" Well ! " exclaimed Franz and the sailors all together. 

"They are Spanish amu^lers," said he; "they have 
with them two Corsioin bandits." 

"And what are those Corsican bandits doing here with 
Spanish smugglers 1" 

" Alas ! " returned the captain, with an accent of pro- 
found Cliristian ciiarity, " we ought always to help one 
another. Very often the bandits are hard pressed by 
gendarmes or carbineers; well, they see a boat, and 
good fellows like ua on board. They come and demand 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 9 

hospitality of us. How can you refuse help to a poor 
hunted devil 1 We receive them, and for greater security 
we stand out to sea. This costs us nothing, and saves 
the life, or at least the liberty, of a feUow-creature, who 
on the first occasion returns the service by pointing out 
some safe spot where we can land our goods without 
interruption." 

" Ah ! " said Franz, " then you are a smuggler occasion- 
ally, Gaetauol" 

" Your Excellency, one does a little of everything ; we 
must live somehow," returned the other, smiling in a way 
impossible to describe. 

"Then you know the men who are now on Monte 
Cristo 1 " 

" Oh, yes, we sailors are like freemasons, and recognize 
each other by certain signs." 

" And do you think we have nothing to fear if we land?" 

" Nothing at all ! smugglers are not thieves." 

" But these two Corsican bandits 1 " said Franz, calcu- 
lating the chances of peril. 

"Eh 1 " said Gaetano, " it is not their fault that they 
are bandits; it is that of the authorities." 

"How sol" 

" Because they are pursued for having made a peau, as 
if it was not in a Corsican's nature to revenge himself." 

" What do you mean by having made a pean, — 
having assassinated a man?" said Franz, continuing his 
investigation. 

" I mean that they have killed an enemy, which is a 
very different thing," returned the captain. 

"Well," said the young man, "let us demand hospi- 
tality of these smugglers and bandits. Do you think 
they will grant it]" 

"Without doubt." 



10 



THE COUNT or MONTE CRISTO. 



"How manj are tlieyt" 

"Four, and the two bandits make six." 

" Ju^t our number, so that if tljey prove troubleaomi 
we shall be able to check them ; so for the last time 
Bteer to Mocte Criato." 

" Yea; but your Excellency will permit us to take aoma 
precautions." 

" By all means ; be as wise aa S'estor and as prudent as 
Ulysses, I do more than permit, I exhort you." 

" Sileuce, then I " eaid (Jaetano. 

Every one obeyed. For a man who, like Franz, viewed 
Ilia poeition in its true light, it was a grave one. He was 
alone in tlie darkness with sailors whom he Uiil not know 
and who had no taaaon to be devoted to 1dm ; who knew 
that he bad in his belt several thousand livres; and who 
had often e.Kaniiued hia arms, whicJi were very beautiful, 
if not with envy, at least with curiosity. Ou the otlier 
hand, he was about to land witliout any other escort than 
these men, on an island which bore a very religions name, 
but which did not Kenra to offer Franz any other hospi- 
tality than that of Calvary to Christ, thanks to the amug- 
glera and bandits. The iiiatory of the scuttled vessels, 
which had appeared improbable during the day, seemed 
very probable at night. Placed as he was between two 
imaginary dangers, iie did not quit the crew with liis eyes, 
or his gun witii hia hand. 

However, the sailors had again hoisted the sail, and the 
vessel was once more cleaving the waves. Through the 
darkness Franz, whoso eyea were now more accustomed to 
it, distinguished the granite giant by whicli the boat was 
sailing ; and tlien, turning an angle of the rock, he saw the 
fire more brilliant than ever, round which five or six per- 
sona were seated. The blaze illumined the sea for a hun- 
dred paoea round. Gaetano skirted the light, carefully 



1 
I 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 



rkeepiug tliQ l>oat out of its rays ; tliaii, when they vera 
ojtpiaiCe the fire, he entered into the centra of the circle, 
unging a fiahing-^oug, of which Lla cooipuniutis aanj; the 
chorns. At the first words of tlie song, tho men suated 
round the fira rose and approacbeil the land iii^-[ dace, their 
eyes fixed on the boat, of which they evidently euught to 
judge the foroe and divine the intention. They aoou ap- 
peared satisfied and roturaod (with the exception of one, 
who remained at the shore) to their fire, at which a whole 
goat was roasting. When the boat yma within twenty 
paces of the shore, the nian on the beach made with Ub 
oatbiue the movement of a sentinel who sues a patrol, and 
ciied, "Who goes there!" in Sarditiian, Franz coolly 
cocked both barrels. Gaetano then exchanged a few 
words with this man, which the traveller did not un- 
derstand, bat which evidently concerned him. 

" Will your Excellency give your name, or remain incog- 
nito i " asked the captain. 

"My name must rest unknown; merely say I am a 
Frenchman travelling for pleasure." 

Ab soon aa Gaetano had transmitted tiiis answer, the 
sentinel gave an order to one of the men seated round the 
firPj who rose and disapjwared among the rocks. Not a 
word was spoken ; every one seemed ocou])ied, — Franz 
with hia diBembarkmout:, the auilota with their sails, the 
smugglers with their goat, — but in the midst of all this 
carelessness it was evident that thoy mutually observed 
each other. Tbe man who had disappeared returned sud- 
denly on the opposite side to that by which lie had left ; 
be made a sign with his bead to the sentinel, who, turn- 
ing to the boat uttered these words, " S'aixoTnmodi," The 
Italian g'ac«)mffW(/i is untranslatable; it means at once: 
" Come ; enter ; you are welcome ; make yourself at 
home; yon are the master," It is like that Turkish 



!2 THE COCST OF HoytS CSEIO, . 

pluiM of Uolifrre'a Uwt so Ktamiafaed Ir hmayeou yaOU- 
h am m t bj tbe nsinlier ot Uungs it eootaiinw^ Ibe sutois 
(M not wait foe a aeeund iuviUtMBi fenr strakM of the 
Ott bias^ tiicm to tbe had. Gactaao apnuig tn diore, 
^ujfauig^ k feir votda with tbo Mntind ; tben hia cora- 
■ ■*■— "H'*"^. umI lutlj cutt* Ftuu^ torn. One of 
il eima W3* swiu^ ovec his shooUer, Gaeteao hod tlie 
i a sailor beM faia rifle ; hk dxess, hilf artist, 
r dandj, exeiteal do snspicion, and eoaseqaartlf no 
dtaqmetaile. The boat was mooml to tbe sfaorr, and 
they advanced a few paces to find a CMtdbrtable birotiac ; 
but doabtless the spot tbey cfacee did not snit ttie smug- 
gW who filled the po^ of sentinel, for be cried out, " Sai I 
that way, if you please." I 

Gaetano falter^ an excuse^ and advanced to the op- 1 
ponito side, while two sailors kindled torches at the fiie to 
light them on their way. They advanced about thirty 
pw.es, and then Etop{>eU at a small esplanade surrounded 
with rocks, in which seats had been cot, not unlike sentry- 
boxes. Around in the creyices of the rocks grew a few 
dwarf oaks and thick buslies of myrtles. Franz lowered 
a torch and saw by the light of a mass of rinders lliat ha . 
was not tbe first to discover this retreat, which was doiibt> 4 
Ipm one of the halting- places of the wandering visitors i^ | 
Monte Cristo, As for his anticipation of events, once 
terra firma, once that he had seen the iudiffcreut if not I 
friendly appearance of bis hosts, his preoccnpation had I 
disappeared, or rather at sight of the goat had turned to I 
appetite. He mentioned this to Oaetano, who replieil that ( 
nothing C(>uld he more easy thsii to pregiarB a supper, since I 
they had in their boat bread, wine, half a dozen partridges, J 
and a good fire to roast them by. " Besides," added he, 
" if the smell of their roast meat tempts you, I will go and I 
offer them two of our birds for a slice." 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 13 

** You seem bom for negotiation/' returned Franz ; 
"go and try." 

During this time the sailors had collected dried sticks 
and branches, with which they made a lire. Franz 
waited impatiently, smelling the odor of the goat, when 
the captain returned with a mysterious air. 

" Well," inquired Franz, " anything new 1 Do they 
refuse ] " 

" On the contrary," returned Gaetano, " the chief, who 
was told you were a young Frenchman, invites you to sup 
with him." 

" Well/' observed Franz, " this chief is very polite ; and 
I see no objection, — especially as I bring my share of the 
supper." 

" Oh, it is not that, — he has plenty and to spare for 
supper; but he attaches a singular condition to your 
presentation at his house." 

" His house ! has he built one here, then 1 * 

" NOf but he has a very comfortable one all the same, 
so they say." 

" You know this chief, then ] " 

" I have heard him spoken of." 

" 111 or well ] " 

" Both." 

" The devil ! and what is this condition 1 " 

" That you are blindfolded, and do not take off the 
bandage until he himself bids you." Franz looked at 
Gaetano, to see, if possible, what he thought of this 
proposal. " Ah," replied he, guessing Franz's thought, 
" I know this merits reflection." 

"What should you do in my place 1 " 

"I, who have nothing to lose, — I should go." 

" You would accept ] " 

" Yes, were it only out of curiosity." 



14 THE COUNT OF MONTE CP.ISTO. 

"There is aoiuetliing Tery curious about thU chie^ ] 

theu ) " 

" Listen," said Gaetano, lowering his voice ; " I do not I 
know if what tliey Bay U true — " lie stopped to eee if I 
any one was near. 

"What do they sayt" 

" That this chief inhabits a cavern to which tlie Pitti j 
Palace is nothing." 

" What DODsense I " said Franz, reseating himself. 

" It ia no nonsense; it is quite true. Cama, the pilot I 
of the ' St. Ferdinand,* went in once, and he caine hack ■ 
amazed, vowing that snch treaaures were only to he heard | 
of in fairy tales." 

" Do you know," obseryed Franz, " tliat with such I 
stories you would make me enter the enchanteO cavern ' 
of All Baba t " 

" I tell you what I hove been told." 

"Then you advise me to accept?" 

" Oh, I don't say that ; your Excellency will do as you 
please. I should be sorry to advise you in the matter." 

Franz reflected a few moments, felt that a man bo rich, 
could not have any intention of plundering him of what 
little he had ; and seeing only the prospect of a good 
supper, he accepted, Gaetano departed with the reply. 
Franz was prudent, and wished to leam all he possibly 
could concerning his host. He turned towanis the sailor 
who during this dialogue had sat gravely plucking the 
partridges with the air of a man proud of his office, and 
asked him how those men had landed, as no vessel of any 
kind was visible. 

" Niiver mind that," returned the sailor ; " I know their 
vessel." 

" la it a very heautiful vessel ? " 

*' I would not wish for a better to sail round the world." 



ITALY : SINBAD THE BAILOR. 15 

" Of what burden is she 1 " 

'' About a hundred tons ; but she is built to stand any 
weather. She is what the English call a yacht." 

" Where was she built 1 " 

** I do not know ; but my own opinion is she is a 
Genoese." 

" And how did a leader of smugglers," continued Franz, 
*' venture to build a vessel designed for such a purpose at 
Genoa 1 " 

'' I did not say that the owner was a smuggler,'' replied 
the sailor. 

" No ; but Gaetano did, I thought." 

'* Gaetano had only seen the vessel from a distance ; he 
had not then spoken to any one." 

" And if this person be not a smuggler, who is he 1 " 

" A wealthy signor, who travels for his pleasure." 

" Come," thought Franz, " he is still more mysterious, 
since the two accounts do not agree. What is his name ] " 

" If you ask him he says Sinbad the Sailor ; but I doubt 
its being his real name." 

« Sinbad the Sailor 1 7 

" Yes." 

" And where does he reside 1 " 

" On the sea." 

" What country does he come from 1 " 

" I do not know." 

" Have you ever seen him 1 " 

" Sometimes." 

•* What sort of a man is he 1 " 

" Your Excellency will judge for yourself." 

" Where will he receive me ] " 

" No doubt in the subterranean palace Gaetano told 
you of." 

*' Have you never had the curiosity, when you have 



16 



THE CODNT OF MOKTE CRISTO. 



landed and found tliia Lslttnd deserted, to seek for tLid 
chanted palace 1" 

" Oh, yea, mnre than onoe, but always in vain ; we 
amiiied the grotto all over, but we never could find the 
slightest trace of any opening. They soy that the door 
is nut opened by a key, hut by a magic word." 

" Decidedly," muttered Ftana, " this ia an adventure of 
the ' Arabian Nights.' " 

" His Excellency waits for you," said a voice which 
Fran/, recognized as that of the sentinel. He was a 
panied by two of the yacht's crew. Franz drew hia hand- 
kerchief from his pocket and presented it to tbe mui 
had spoken to hiiu. "Without uttering a word they ban- 
died hia eyes with a care that showed their apprehension 
of his committing some indiscretion. Afterwards he was 
made to promise that he would not make any attempt to 
raise the bandage. Then his two guides took his arms, 
anil he advanced, guided by them and preceded by tha 
sentineL After advancing about thirty paces he perceived 
the appetizing odor of the kid that was roaating, and knew 
thus that he was passing the bivouac ; they then led him 
on about fifty paces farther, evidently advancing in the 
direction forbidden to Gaetano, — a prohibition which he 
could now comprebead. Presently, by a change in the 
atmosphere he perceived that they wore entering a cave ; 
after going on for a few seconds more he heard a crack- 
ling, and it seemed to him as though the atmosphere 
again changed, and became balmy and perfumed. At 
length his feet touched on a thick and soft carpet, and 
his guides let go their hold of him. 

There was a moment's silence, and then a voice, in 
excellent French, although with a foreign accent, said, 
" Welcome, Monsieur ! I beg you will remove your ban- 
dage," Aa may be easily imagined, Franz did not wait 



I 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 1 7 

for a repetition of tliis permission, but took o£f the hand- 
kerchief and found himself in the presence of a man from 
thirty-eight to forty years of age, dressed in a Tunisian 
costume, — that is to say, a red cap with a long blue silk 
tassel, a vest of black cloth embroidered with gold, panta- 
loons of deep red, large and full gaiters of the same color, 
embroidered with gold like the vest, and yellow slippers ; 
he had a splendid cashmere round his waist, and a small 
cimeter, sharp and curved, was passed through his girdle. 
Although of a paleness that was almost livid, this man 
had a remarkably handsome face ; his eyes were penetra- 
ting and sparkling ; his nose, straight and almost in line 
with his brow, exhibited the Greek type in all its purity, 
while his teeth, as white as pearls, were well set off by 
the black mustache that covered them. 

But that paleness was striking ; it might be imagined 
that he had been imprisoned for a long time in a tomb, 
and was unable to recover the healthy glow and hue of 
the living. He was not particularly tall, but extremely 
well made, and like the men of the South, had small 
bands and feet. But what astonished Franz, who had 
treated Graetano's description as a fable, was the splendor 
of the apartment in which he found himself. The entire 
chamber was lined with crimson brocade worked with 
flowers of gold. In a recess was a kind of divan, sur- 
mounted by a stand of Arabian swords in silver scabbards, 
the handles resplendent with gems ; from the ceiling hung 
a lamp of Venetian glass, of beautiful shape and color, 
while the feet rested on a Turkey carpet, in which they 
sunk to the instep ; tapestry was suspended before the 
door by which Franz had entered, and also in front of 
another door, leading into a second apartment, which 
seemed to be brilliantly lighted up. 

The host left Franz for a moment absorbed in his sur- 

VOL. II. — 2 



18 THE COUNT OF MOKTE CRISTO. 

priBa, and mori'over rendered him look for louk, not tak- 
ing his eyes oSl liim. "Moosieur," he said at length, "ft 
thoasaud excuses for the precaution taken in jour intro- 
daction hither; but as during the greater portion of the 
year this island is deserted, if the secret of this ahodo 
were discovered, I should doubtless on my return hither 
find mj temporary retirement in a state of great disorder, 
which would he exceedingly annoyiug, not for the loss it 
might occasion, hut becanae I should not have the cer- 
tainty I now possess of heiDg ahle to eeparate myself at 
pleasure from all the rest of mankind. Let me now en- 
deavor to make you forget this temporary anpleasantnesa, 
and offer you what no doubt you did not expect to find 
here, — that is to say, a tolerable supper and pretty com- 
fortable beds." 

"Jfa /vi! my dear host," replied Franz, "make no 
apologies. I have always observed that they bandage the 
eyes of those who penetrate enchanted palaces, — for in- 
■tunce, those of Raoul in ' The Huguenots ; ' and really I 
have nothing to complain of, for what I see is a sequel to 
llie wondera of the ' Aiabiau Nights.' " 

" Ala* ! I way say vtith Lucullus, ' If I could have an- 
tiui])ated the honor of your visit, I would have prepared 
for it.' but such as is my hermitage, It is at your dis- 
jK«ttl ; luch 08 is my supper, it is youi-s to share if you 
will. AH, in the supper ready]" 

At this moment the tapestry was moved aside, and a 
NiibitiTi, black as ebony, and dressed in a plain white 
tuiiio, mtulo 0. flign to liis master that all vas prepated in 
the dining-hiill. 

" Now," said the unknown to Franz, " I do not know 
if you are of my opinion, but I think nothing is more 
annoying tlmn for two persons to remain two or three 
hours &ce to face without knowing by what name or title 



4 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 



l<3 



I 



to address one anoiher. Fray obser?^ that I too much 
respect the laws of hospitahty to ask your name or title. 
1 onJy request you to give me one by which I may have 
the pleasure of addre^iug you. As for uysell^ that I 
may put you at yuur ease, I tell you that I am generally 
colled ' Sinbad the Sailor.' " 

" Aud I," replied t'raiw, " will tell you, ua I only re- 
quire Ilia wonderful lamp to make me precisely like Alad- 
din, that I see no i%isuu why at this moment I should 
not be called Aladdin. That will keep us from going 
away from the East, whither I am tempted to think I 
have b«en conveyed by some good geniua." 

" Well, then, Siguor Aladdin," replied the singular 
amphitryon, " you heard our repast announced ; will you 
now take the trouble to enter the dining-hall, your humble 
servant going first to show the way 1 " At thexe words, 
moving aside the tapestry, Sinbad preceded Ills guest. 
Franz proceeded from one enchantment to another ; the 
table was splendidly covered, and once convinced of thU 
important poiut, lie cast his eyes around him. The din- 
ing-hall was scarcely less striking tlian the boudoir he had 
just left ; it was entirely of marble, with antique bas- 
reliefs of priceless value, and at the two ends of the hall, 
which was oblong, were two niagniBcent statues having 
baskets iu their hands. These baskets contained four 
pyramids of magnificent fruit ; there were the pine-apples 
of Sicily, pomegranates from Malaga, oranges from the 
Balearic Isles, peaches from France, and dates from Tunis. 
The supper consisted of a roast pheasant garnished with 
Corsican blackbirds [ a boar's bam, a lu gelee, a quarter of 
B kid, a la tartars, a glorious turbot, and a gigantic lobster. 
Between those lai^e dishes were smaller ones cantaiuing 
various dainties. Tlie dishes were of silver aud thu plates 
of Japanese porcelain. 



TBB cocTt or mSXE CBBia 



Fniu rabbed Ua ej» I 




B ^TiT * hmtrlf that iktt 
npnacal to mtat at 
aequined fatnaelf aa aJniaUj tfaat Um gocst cniiijdi- 
nanted kia boat Umevpaa. 

■'Tea," be leplMd. vUk be dkl tk bunaa of tbs sap- 
per vhh iDOcbemeaBil gae^ — "7"% be u a poor deril 
wbo U mucli derOUd to me, and do» all be can to prore 
it. He muemben that I saved hi* life, and k be luu « 
regard for bb bead, be feds sotat gntltude towards ai« 
for bating kept U on bis sboulders." ; 

Ati appiraoicbed his mast^ took bis hand, sod kissed ik 

" WuuM it be iujpeitineat, ^gnor Siiibad." Raid Ftaiut, 
"to aflk jon nuder wliat cireumstances jrou perfunned tint 
excellent deed i " 

" Oh ! it id a siropJe matter," replied tlie boet " It 
•eeois the fellon bad beeo caagbt tranderiug neater to the 
Itareiu of the ISey of Tunis tlian eliijaette pemiits to oiw 
of bis colur : aud be was condeiuiied by llie bey to have 
bis tongue cut out, and bis band and bend cut oS, — the 
tongue the fiist day, tbe Land the second, and the head 
the third. I always liad a desire to have a mute in my 
eerrice. I waited luitil bis tongue I>iul been cut out, and 
then proposed to the bey that he should sell me All ftir 
a splendid double-barrelled gun which I knew he was 
very eager to possess. He hesitated a moment, so intent 
was he on finishing up with the poor devil. Bat when ! 
added to the gun an English cutlasa wilh which I had 
shivered his Highriess's yataghan, the bey yielded, and 
flKi^ed to forgive the hand and head, but on condition that 
ho would never again set foot in Tunis. This was a useless 
clause in the bargain, for whenever the coward sees the 
first glimpse of the shores of Africa, he runs down 
and can be induced to appear again only when we 
of Bight (if tbe third part of the globe." 



I 
I 



ITALY: SINBAD THE SAILOR. 21 

Franz remained a moment mute and pensive, hardly 
knowing what to think of the cruel bonhomie with which 
his host had related this incident. *' And like the cele- 
brated sailor whose name you have assumed," he said, by 
way of changing the conversation, " you pass your life in 
travelling % " 

" Yes. It is in fulfilment of a vow which I made at a 
time when I little thought I should ever be able to accom- 
plish it," said the unknown, with a singular smile. " I 
made some others also, which I hope I may fulfil in due 
season." 

Although Sinbad pronounced these words with much 
calmness, his eyes darted gleams of singular ferocity. 

"You have suflfered a great deal, Monsieur]" said Franz, 
inquiringly. 

Sinbad started and looked fixedly at him, as he replied, 
" What makes you suppose so 1 " 

"Everything!" answered Franz, "your voice, your look, 
your pallid complexion, and even the life you lead." 

"Ill live the happiest life I know, — the real life of 
a pacha. I am king of all creation. I am pleased with 
one place, and stay there ; I get tired of it, and leave it. 
I am free as a bird, and have wings like one. My attend- 
ants obey me at a signal. Sometimes I amuse myself by 
carrying off from human justice some bandit it is in quest 
of, some criminal whom it pursues. Then I have my 
mode of dispensing justice, silent and sure, without respite 
or appeal, which condemns or pardons, and which no one 
sees. Ah ! if you had tasted my life, you would not de- 
sire any other, and would never return to the world unless 
you had some great project to accomplish there." 

" A vengeance, for instance ! " observed Franz. 

The unknown fixed on the young man one of those 
looks which penetrate into the depth of the heart 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



"Ami why a vengeacce ! " 



and of tbe thoughts. 

" Because," replied Franz, " yon seem to me like 
who, persecuted by society, has a fearful account to settle 
with it." 

"Ah!" rcspouded Sinbad, laughing with his singular 
laugh, whiuh displayed his white and sharp teeth. •' You 
have not guessed rightly. Snch as you see me, I am a 
sort of philosopher ; and one day perhaps I shall go to 
Paris to rival M. Appert and tlio man iu the Little Elua 
Cloak." 

" And will that be the firat time you will ha?e mads 
that journey 1 " 

"Yes, it will. I must seem to you by no means curious, 
but I assure you that it is not my fault 1 have delayed it 
BO long ; I shall got around to it some day." 

" And do you propose to make this journey soon 1 " 

" I do not know ; it d<jpend8 on circumstanees which 
are subject to uncertain contingencies," 

" I should like to be there at the time you come, and I 
will endeavor to repay yoii as far aa lies in my power foe 
your Hberal hospitality at Monte Cristo." 

" I should avail myself of your offer with pleasure," 
replied the host ; "hut unfortunately, if I go there, I shall 
perhaps prefer to remain unknown." 

Meantime they were proceedinjj with the supper, which 
however appeared to have been supplied solely for Frana, 
for the unknown scarcely toTiched one or two disbea of the 
splendid banquet to which bis unexpected guest did ample 
justice. Then Ali brought on the dessert, or rather took 
the baskets from the hands of the statues and placed thoia 
on the table. Between the two haskets he planed a small 
silver cup, closed with a lid of the same metal. The care 
with which Ali placed this cup on the table roused Franji's 



1 

ir ^^ 



ITALY : SISBAD THE SAILOR. 

ouriosity. He raised tbe lid and saw a kind of g 
pnste, something like preserved angelica, but wliioh woa 
entirely unkuown to him. He replaced the lid, as iguonmt 
of what tbe cup contained aa he was l»efore he had looked 
at it, and then casting his eyes towards his boat he saw 
him smile at his disappointment. 

" You cannot divine what sort of confection is containod 
in that little vase ; and it perplexes you, does it not 1 " 



"Ic 



s it." 



" Well, then, that green confection is nothing less than 
the ambrosia which Hebe served at the table of Jupiter." 

" But," replied Fninz, " this ambrosia, no doubt, in 
passing through mortal hands has lost its heavenly appel' 
lation and asanmed a human name ; in vulgar phrase, 
what may you term this composition! — for which, to 
eay the truth, I do not feel any particular desire." 

" Ah ! thus it is that our material origin ia revealed," 
cried Sinbad : " we frequently pass so near to happiness 
without seeing, without regarding it ; or if we do see and 
regard it, yet without reoogniiing it. Are you a man for 
the substantial^, and is gold your god 1 taste this, and the 
mines of PeiTi, Guzonit, and Golconda are opened to you. 
Are you a man of imagination, — a poet 1 taste this, and 
the boundaries of possibility disappear ; the fields of in- 
finite space open to yon ; you advance free in heart, free 
in mind, into the boundless realms of unfettered revelry. 
Are you ambitious, and do you seek to reach the high 
places of the earth 1 taste this, and in an hour you will 
be a king, — not a king of a petty kingdom liidden in 
some corner of Europe, like France, Spain, or England, 
but king of the world, king of the universe, king of crea- 
tion ; your throne will be established on the mountain 
to which Jesus was taken by Satan, and without being 
obliged to do homage to Satan, without being compelled 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

to kisB bia claw, you will be sovereign lord of all the king- 
doms of tbe eatth. Is it not tempting t And is it not an 
easy thing, since it is only to do thus 1 look ! " At these 
words be nncovered tbe small cup wbich contained the 
substance ao lauilej, took a teasponnful of the magic sweet- 
meat, raised it to his lips, and swallowed it slowly, with his 
eyes half ahtit and liia head bent backward, Franz did 
not disturb him wiiile he absorbed his favorite bonne boueht, 
but when he had finished, he inquired, — 

" What, then, is this precious stuff! " 

" Did you ever bear," asked tbe host, "of tbe Old Man 
of the Mountain, who attem^ited to assassinate Philippe 
Augustus 1 " 

" Of course I have." 

" Well, you know he reigned over a rich valley which 
was overhung by tbe mountain whence be derived bia 
picturesque name. In this valley were maguiRtent gar- 
dens planted by Hassen-ben-Sabah, and in these gardens 
isolated pavilions. Into these pavilions he admitted the 
elect; and there, says Marco Polo, he gave them a certain 
herb to eat, which transported them to Paradise to tbe 
midst of ever blooming shrubs, ever ripe fruit, and ever 
lovely virgins. Now, what tlieaa happy persons took for 
reality was but a dream, but it was a dream so soft, ao 
voluptuous, 80 enthralling, that they sold themselves body 
and soul to him who gave it to them. They were as obedient 
to his orders as to those of God ; they went to the enila 
of the earth to strike down the victim indicated to them ; 
and they died in torture without a murmur, ■ — believing 
that death was but a quick transition to that life of delights 
of which the boly herb now before you bad given them 
a slight foretaste." 

" Then," ciied Franz, " it is hashish ! I know that — by 
name at least." 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 25 

" That is it precisely, Signer Aladdin ; it is hashish, 
— the best and purest hashish of Alexandria ; the hashish 
of Abou-Gor, the celebrated maker, the unique man, the 
man to whom there should be built a palace inscribed with 
these words, * A grateful world to the dealer in happiness/ " ^ 

" Do you know,** said Franz, " I have a very great in- 
clination to judge for myself of the truth or exaggeration 
of your eulogies." 

" Judge for yourself. Signer Aladdin ; judge, but do not 
confine yourself to one trial. As in everything else, we 
must habituate the senses to any new impression, gentle 
or violent, sad or joyous. There is a struggle in nature 
against this divine substance, — in nature, which is not 
made for joy, and clings to pain. Nature, subdued, must 
yield in the combat ; reality must succeed to the dream ; 
and then the dream reigns supreme. Then the dream be- 
comes life, and life becomes the dream. But what a change 
is wrought by that transfiguration, on comparing the pains 
of actual being with the joys of the fictitious existence ! 
you desire to live no longer, but to dream thus forever. 
When you return to this mundane sphere from your vis- 
ionary world, you seem to leave a Neapolitan spring for a 
Lapland winter, — to quit paradise for earth, heaven for 
hell ! Taste the hashish, guest of mine, — taste the 
hashish ! " 

Franz's only reply was to take a teaspoonful of the mar- 
vellous preparation, about as much in quantity as his host 
had eaten, and lift it to his mouth. " The devil ! '* he 
said after having swallowed the divine confection, " I do 
not know if the result will be as agreeable as you describe, 
but the thing does not appear to me as succulent as you 
say.'' 

*' Because your palate has not yet attained the sublimity 
of the substance it tastes. Tell me, the first time you 



2G TEIE CODNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 

tneted oyatera, tea, porter, truffles, and sundry other 
dainties which you now adore, did you like tbem T 
yoa comprehend how the Romans stuffed their pheasants 
with assafcetida, and the Chinese eat swallows' nesta I Eh, 
no I Well, it is the same with' hashish ; only eat for 
week, and uothing in the world will seem to you to 
the delicacy of its flavor, which now appears to yon taste- 
less and nauseating. Let us now go into the side-chamber, 
— that is, into your chamher, — and Ali will bring us coffee 
and pipes." 

They both arose, and while he who called himself Sin- 
bad — and whom we have occasionally so named, that wo 
might like his guest have some title by which to dis- 
tinguish him — gaFe some orders to the servant, Fraiia 
entered the adjoining chamber, It was simply yet richly 
furnished. It was round, and a large divan completely 
encircled it. Divan, walls, ceiling, floor, were all covered 
with magnificent skins, aa soft and downy as the richest 
carpets ; there were skins of the lions of AtLia, with thciv: 
larj^ maues ; skins of the Bengal tigers, with their striped 
hides ; skins of the panthers of the Cape, spotted beauti- 
fully like those that appeared to Dante ; skins of tha 
bears of Siberia, and of the foxes of N^orway ; and all thcao 
skins were strewn in profusion one on the other, so that it 
seemed like walking over the most mossy turf, or reclining 
on the most luxurious bed. Both laid themselves down 
on the divan ; chibouques with jasmine tubes and amber 
mouthpieces were within roach, and all prepared so that 
there was no need to smoke the same pipe twice. Each 
of thera took one, which Alt lighted ; Ali then retired to 
prepare the coffee. There was a moment's silence, during i 
which Sinbad gave himself up to thoughts that seemed to. 
occupy him incessantly, even in the midst of his conversa- 
tion ; and Franz abandoned himself to that mute levery 



her ^1 

.nts ^^M 

Eh, ^H 

ual ^M 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 27 

into which we always sink when smoking excellent tobacco, 
which seems to remove with its smoke all the troubles 
of the mind, and to give the smoker in exchange all the 
visions of the soul. 

Ali brought in the coflfee. 

'^ How do you take it ] " inquired the unknown ; "dila 
francaise or d la turque, strong or weak, with sugar or 
without, cool or boiling 1 As you please ; it is ready in 
all ways.'* 

" I will take it d la turque/^ replied Franz. 

" And you are right," said his host ; " it shows you 
have a taste for Oriental life. Ah ! those Orientals, — they 
are the only men who know how to live. As for me," 
he added with one of those singular smiles which did not 
escape the young man, " when I have completed my af- 
&irs in Paris, I shall go and die in the East ; and should 
yt>u wish to see me again, you must seek me at Cairo, 
Bagdad, or Ispahan." 

" Ma foi/'^ said Franz, " it would be the easiest thing 
in the world, — for I feel eagle's wings springing out at my 
shoulders, and with these wings T could make a tour of the 
world in four and twenty hours." 

" Ah, ah ! it is the hashish that is operating. Well, 
unfurl your wings, and fly into superhuman regions. Fear 
nothing, — there is a watch over you ; and if your wings, 
Kke those of Icarus, melt before the sun, we are here to 
receive you." 

He then said some Arabian words to Ali, who made a 
sign of obedience and withdrew, but remained near. As 
to Franz, a strange transformation had taken place in him. 
All the bodily fatigue of the day, all the preoccupation of 
mind which the events of the evening had brought on, 
disappeared, as they do in the early moments of repose, 
wlien we are still sufficiently conscious to be aware of the 



28 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

looming of slumber. His body seemed to acquire an airy I 
lilj'htnBss ; liis perception brightened iu a remarkable man- 
ner; hia senaea seemed to redouble their power. The hori- . 
zou coutiuue4 to expami ; it was not that gloomy horizon 
over which hovers a vague terror, and which he bad s 
before he slept, but a blue, trauspatent, nnbounded hori- 
zon, with all the blue of the ocean, all the Bpnnglea of the 
suD, all the perfumes of the summer breeze. Then, in the 
midst of the aonga of hia sailoi's, — aonga 60 clear and 
sounding that they would have made a divine harmony 
Lad their notes been taken down, — he saw the island of 
Monte Criato, no longer as a threatening rock in tbe midst 
of the waves, but as an oasis lost in the desert. Then, as 
the boat approached, the songs became louder, — for an en- i 
chanting and mysterious harmony rose to heaven from this I 
island, as if some fay-like Loreley or some enchanter lika i 
Amphion had wished to atti-act thither a soul or bnild ) 
there a city. 

At lengtb the boat touched the shore, but without ef- 
fort, without shock, as lips touch lips ; and he enterea the 
grotto amid continued strains of most delicious melody. 
He descended, or rather seemed to descend, several steps, 
inhaling the freah and balmy air, like that which may be 
supposed to reign around the grotto of Circe, formed from 
such perfumes as set the mind a-dreaming, and such fires 
OS bum the very senseB ; and he saw again all he had seen 
before his sleep, from Sinbai!, his singular host, to Ali, 
the mute attendant. Then all seemed to fade away and 
become confused before his eyes, like the last shadows of 
the magic lantern before it is extinguished ; and he was 
again in the chamber of statues, lighted only by one of 
those pale and antique lamps wlitcb watch in the dead of 
the night over sleep or pleasure. They were the same 
statues, rich in form, in attraction, and poesy, with eyes 



ITALY : SINBAD THE SAILOR. 29 

of fascination, smiles of love, and flowing hair. They 
were Phryne, Cleopatra, Messalina, those three celebrated 
courtesans. Then among them glided like a pure ray, 
like a Christian angel in the midst of Olympus, a chaste 
figure, a calm shadow, a soft vision, which seemed to veil 
its virgin brow before these marble wantons. Then these 
three statues advanced towards him with looks of love, 
and approached the couch on which he was reposing, — 
their feet hidden in their long tunics, their throats bare, 
hair flowing like waves, and assuming attitudes which the 
gods could not resist, but which saints withstood, and looks 
inflexible and ardent like the serpent's on the bird ; and 
then he gave way before these looks, as painful as a power- 
ful grasp and as delightful as a kiss. It seemed to Franz 
that he closed his eyes, and that in his last look around he 
saw the modest statue completely veiled ; and then his eyes 
being closed to all reality, his senses were opened to re- 
ceive strange impressions. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



CHAPTER II. 



Whes Franz returned to himself exterior otjecta aeemed 
El second portion of his dream. Ho tbouglit himnelf in a 
Bepulclire into which scarcely penetrated, like a look of 
jiity, a ray of the sun. He stretched fortli hia band and 
touched stone; he rose to a sitting posture, and found 
himself on his burnoose in a. bed of dry heather, very soft 
and odoriferous. The vision bad eutirely fled ; and as if 
the statues had been but shadows coming fwm their tomb 
during his dream, they had vanished at his waking. He 
advanced several paces towards the point wlience the light 
carne, and to alt the excitement of his dream succeeded 
the calmness of reality. He found that he was in a grotto, 
went towards the opu'uing, and tiirough an arched door- 
way saw a hlue sea and an azure sky. The air and water 
were shining iti the beams of the morning sun ; on the shore 
the sailors were Bitting, chatting and laughing; and at ten 
yards from them the boat was gracefully riding at anchor. 
There for some time he enjoyed the fresh breeze which 
played on hia brow, and listened to the gentle noise of the 
waves, which came up on the beach and left on the rocks 
a lace of foam as white as silver. He ahandoneii himself 
for some time without reflection or thought to the divine 
charm whiuli is in the things of Nature, especially after a 
fantastic dream; then gradually this outward life, so calm, 
eo pure, so grand, showed him the unreality of his dream, 
and reraenibrances began to return to him. He recalled 



THE WAKINQ. 



31 



his nmval on the island, his presentation to a Bmiiggler 
chief, a sublemnean palace full of splendor, itu cKCullent 
eupper, and a epooiiful of hashish. It seemed however, 
even in the face of open day, that at least a year had 
elapsed since all these things had happened, an deep was 
the impression made in his mind by the dream, and so 
strong a hold had it taken of his imagination. Thus 
every now and then his fancy plaood amid the eailors, 
seated on a rook, or saw on the boat, moving with its 
motion, one of those shadows which had shared his 
dreams with their looks and their kisses. Otherwise, his 
head was perfectly clear and hia body completely rested. 
There was no dulness in his brain ; on the contrary, he 
felt a certain degree of lightness, a faculty of absorbing 
the pure air and enjoying tba bright sunshine more viv- 
idly than ever. 

He went gayly up to the sailors, who rose as soon as 
they perceived him ; and the captain, accosting him, said, 
*' The Signer Siubad has left his complinionts for your 
Excellency, and desires us to express the regret he feels 
at not being able to take hia leave in person ; bnt he 
trusts you will excuse him, as very important business 
calls him to Malaga." 

"So then, Gaetano," said Franx, "this is, then, all 
reality ; there exists a man who has received me on this 
island, entertained ine right royally, and has departed 
while I was aalaepl" 

"He exists so really that yon may see his little yacht 
witli all her sails spread ; and if you will nse your glass, 
you will in all probabihtj recogime your host in the 
midst of hia crew." 

So saying, Gaetano pointed in a direction in which a 
small vessel was making sail towards the soutbern point 
of Coraica. Franz adjusted his telescope and directed it 



32 



THE COrST OF MONTE CRISTO. 



towards the place indicated. Gaetano was not mistaken. 
At the steru the myatcrious stmoger v/aa stamiing up, 
looking towards the aliore, aiid liolding a apy-glaas in hia 
band. He was attired as ho had been on the pfevious 
evening, and waved hia pocket-liandkercliief to hia guest 
in token of adieu. Franz returned the salute by shaking 
hia haiidkercliief in like manner. After a second a siiglit 
cloud of smoke was seen at the stem of the vessel, which 
rose gracefully as it expanded in tlie air, and then Franz 
heard a light report. " Tliere, do yon heari" observed 
Gaetano; "he is bidding you adieu." The young man 
took Lis carbine and fired it in the air, but without any 
idea that the noise 'lould be heard at the distance which 
separated the yacht from the slioto. 

" What are your Excellency's orders 1 " inquired 



" In the first place, light me a torcli." 

"Ah, yes, I understand," replied the captain; "to find 
the entrance to the enchanted apartment. With much 
pleasure, your Excellency, if it would amnse you j and 1 
will get you tiie torch you ask for. I too have had 
the idea you have, and two or three times tlie same fancy 
has come over me j but I have always given it up. Gio- 
vanni, light a torch," he added, "and give it to Jiis 
Excellency." 

Giovanni obeyed. Franz took the lamp and entered 
the subterranean grotto, followed by Gaetano. He recog- 
nized the place where he had slept by the bed of heather 
that was tliere; hut it was in vain that he carried his 
torch all over tlie exterior surface of the grotto. He saw 
nothing except, by traces of smoke, that others bad before 
him attempted the same tliing, and like him, in vain. 
Yet he did not leave a foot of this granite wall, aa impen- 
etrable as futurity, without strict scrutiny ; he did not sea 



1 

I 



THE WAKING. 33 

a fissure without introducing the blade of his huuting- 
sword into it, nor a projecting point on which he did not 
lean and press, in the hope that it would give way. All 
was vain ; and he lost two hours in that examination 
without results. At the end of this time he gave up his 
research ; Gaetano was triumphant. 

When Franz appeared again on the shore, the yacht 
seemed like a small white speck on the horizon. He 
looked again through his glass, but even then he could 
not distinguish anything. Gaetano reminded him that he 
had come for the purpose of shooting goats, — which he 
had utterly forgotten. He took his fowling-piece and 
began to hunt over the island with the air of a man who 
is fulfilling a duty rather than enjoying a pleasure ; and 
at the end of a quarter of an hour he had killed a goat and 
two kids. These animals, though wild and agile as cha- 
mois, were too much like domestic goats, and Franz could 
not consider them as game. Moreover, other ideas, much 
more powerful, occupied his mind. Since the evening be- 
fore, he had really been the hero of one of the tales of the 
" Thousand and One Nights," and he was irresistibly at- 
tracted towards the grotto. Then, in spite of the failure 
of his first search, he began a second, after having told 
Gaetano to roast one of the two kids. The second visit was 
a long one, and when he returned the kid was roasted and 
the repast ready. Franz was sitting on the spot where he 
was on the previous evening when his mysterious host had 
invited him to supper ; and he saw the little yacht, now 
like a sea-gull on the wave, continuing her flight towards 
Corsica. " Why," he remarked to Gaetano, ** you told me 
that Signor Sinbad was going to Malaga ; but it seems to 
me that he is going straight to Porto Vecchio," 

" Don't you remember," said the captain, " I told you 
that among the crew there were two Corsican brigands ] " 

VOL. II. — 8 



34 THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 

" True 1 and he is going to land them 1 " added Franz. 

"Preciaely so," replied Gaetano, "Ah ! he is a nma 1 
who fears neither God nor Devil, they say, and would at J 
any time run fifty leagues out of hia course to do a poor 1 
devil a aervice." 

"But such BerviceB as tlieao might involve him with ] 
th» authorities of the country in which he practises this ] 
kind of philanthropy," said Franz. 

"Ah, well," replied Gaetano, with a laugh, "what does ] 
he care for the authorities } Ho smiles at them. Let J 
them try to pursue him ! why, in the firat place, hia yacht 1 
is not a ship hut a bird, and he would beat any frigate I 
three knots in every twelve ; and if ho were to throw | 
■himself on the coast, why, isn't he certain of finding j 
friends everywhere 1" 

It was evident from all this that the Signor Siubad, 
Franz's host, had the honor of heing on excellent terms 
with the smugglers and bandits along the whole coast of 
the Mediterranean, — which placed him in a position sin- 
gular enough. As to Franz, he had no longer any induce* | 
ment to I'omain at Monte Criato. He had lost all hope | 
of detecting the secret of the grotto. He consequently 
despatched his breakfast, and his boat being ready, ha 
hastened on board, and they were soon under way. At 
the moment the boat began her course they lost sight of 
the yacht, as it disappeared in the gidf of Porto Vecchio. 
With it was eSaced the last trace of the preceding night ; 
supper, Sinbad, hashish, statues,^ all became buried in the 
same dream. The boat went on all day and all night, 
and next morning when the sun rose, they had lost sight 
of Monte Cristo. When Franz had once again set foot 
on shore, he furgot, for the moment at least, the events 
which had just passed, while he finished hJs affairs of i 
pleasure at Florence, and then thought of nothing bat I 



THE WAKING. 



3J 



I 



liow he should rejoin hia companion, who was awaiting 
him at Home. He set out therefore, and on the Saturday 
evening readied the Place de la Doiiane hy the malle- 
potte. Apartnients, as we have aaid, had been retained 
beforehand, and thus he had but to go to the liotel of 
Maitre Pastrini. But this was )iot so easy a matter, for 
the streets were thronged with people, and Rome was 
already n prey to that low and feverish murmur which 
precedes all great events. At Rome there arc four great 
events in every year, — the Carnival, the Holy Week, the 
Fete Dieu, and the St. Peter. All the rest of the year 
the city is in tiiat state of dull apathy, between life and 
death, which renders it similar to a kind of station between 
this world and the next, — a sublime spot, a resting-place 
full of poetry and character, at which Franz had already 
halted five or six timea, and at each time found it more 
maireUona and striking. At last he made his way through 
this mob, which was continually increasiug and becoming 
more agitated, and reached the hotel On his first inquiry 
he was told, with the impertinence peculiar to coachmen 
who have plenty of employment, and innkeepers whose 
houses are filled, that there was no room for him at ttie 
Hdtel do Londres. Then he sent his card to Maitre Pas- 
trini, and demandeil Albert de MorcerC Tiiis plan suc- 
ceeded; and MaStre Pastrini himself ran to him, excusing 
himself for having made his Excellency wait, scolding tlie 
waiters, taking the candlestick in his hand from the cicerone, 
who was ready to pounce on the traveller, and was about 
to lead him to Albert, when Morcerf himself appeared. 

The apartments consisted of two small rooms and a 
closet. The two rooms looked on to the street, — a fact 
which Maitre Pastrini commented upon as an inappreciable 
advantage. The remainder of the story was hired hy a 
very rich gentleman, who was supposed to be a Sicilian or 



36 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



MalteEe ; but tlte host was iinable to decide to whicli iif 
the two nations the traveller beionged. 

" Very good, MaJtre Pastrini," said Franz ; " but 
must have eorae supper instantly, anil a carnage for 
to-morrow anil the following days." 

"As to Bupper," replied the landlord, "you shall bo 
served iniraeiliately ; but oa for the carriage — " 

"Wliat as to the carrit^el" esclaiiued Albert, "Come, 
come, Mattre Paatrini, no joking; we must have a carriage," 

" Monsieur," replied" the host, " we will do all in 
power to procure you one ; that is all I can say." 

" And when shall we know J " inquired Franz. 

" To-morrow morning," answered the innkeeper. 

" Oh, the devil ! " said Albert, " then we shall pay the 
more, that 'a all ; I see plainly enough. At Drake and 
Aaron's one pays twenty-live livrea for common days, and 
tliirty or thirty-five livres for Sundays and fStea ; add five 
livres for extras, — that will make forty, — and there 's an 
end of it." 

" I fear," said the landlord, " that those gentleraeD, 
even if you ofier them twice that amount, will not be able 
to procure you a uarriage." 

" Then they must put horses to mine," said Albert 
" It is a little worse for the journey, but that 's no matter." 

" There are no horses." 

Albert looked at Franz like a man who hears a reply he 
does not understand. " Do you understand that, my dear 
FkiuzI — no horses ! " he said; "but can't we Lave post- 
horses 1" 

" They have been all hired this fortnight, and there are 
none left but those absolutely necessary to the service." 

" What do you say to that t " asked Fi-anz. 

" I say that when a thing completely surpasses my 
comprehension, I am accustomed not to dwell on thiit 



THE WAKING. 37 

thing, but to pass to another. Is supper ready, Mattre 
Pastrini 1 " 

"Yes, your Excellency." 

" Well, then, let us sup." 

" But the carriage and horses 1 " said Franz. 

" Be easy, my dear boy ; they will come in due season. 
It is only a question of how much shall be charged for 
them." 

Morcerf then, with that admirable philosophy which 
believes that nothing is impossible to a full purse or a 
well-lined pocket-book, supped, went to bed, slept soundly, 
and dreamed that he rode through the Carnival in a coach 
with six horses. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



CHAPTER III. 

ROMAN BANDITB. 

The next moining Franz woke first, and iustautly rang 
the belL The sound had not jet dietl away when Maitre 
Pastrini himself entered. 

" Well, Excellency," said the landlord, triumphantly, 
and without waiting for Franz to question him, " I feared 
yesterday, when I would not promise you anything, that 
you were too late ; there is not a sin)jle carriage to be had 
— that is, for Ihe last three days." 

"Yes," returned Franz; "that ia, for those on which it 
is absolutely necessary." 

" What ia tlie matter 1 " said Albert, entering ; " no car- 
riage to be bad 1 " 

"Precisely, my dear fellow," said Franz j "you have 
Lit it tlie first time." 

" Well ! your Eternal City ia a deviliah nice city." 
"That is to say, Excellency," replied Paatriiii, who was 
desirous to keep up the dignity of the capital of the Chris- 
tian world in the eyes of his gueet, " tJiere are no carriages 
to be had from Sunday to Tuesday evening, but from now 
till Sunday you can have fifty if you please." 

" Ah ! that ia something," said Albert ; " to-day is 
Thursday, and who knows ivhat may arrive between 
this and Sunday 7" 

" Ten or twelve thousand travellers will arrive," replied 
Franz, " which will make it still more difBoult." 

" My friend," said Morcerf, " let ua enjoy the present 
without gloomy forebodings." 



ROMAN BANDITS. 39 

"At least," asked Franz, " we can have a window ] " 

" Where ] " 

" Looking on the Rue du Cours, to be sure." 

" Ah, a window ! " exclaimed Maitre Pastrini, — " utterly 
impossible ; there was only one left on the fifth floor of the 
Doria Palace, and that has been let to a Russian prince for 
twenty sequins a day." 

The two young men looked at each other with an air 
of stupefaction. 

'* Well," said Franz to Albert, " do you know what is 
the best thing we can do ? It is to pass the Carnival at 
Venice; there we are sure of obtaining gondolas if we 
cannot have carriages." 

" Ah, the devil ! no," cried Albert ; " I came to Eome 
to see the Carnival, and I will, though I see it on stilts." 

" Bravo ! an excellent idea ! We will disguise ourselves 
as monster Punchinellos or shepherds of the Landes, and 
we shall have complete success." 

"Do your Excellencies still wish for a carriage from 
now to Sunday morning?" 

" Parbleti ! " said Albert, " do you think we are going 
to run about on foot in the streets of Eome like law- 
yers' clerks 1" 

" I hasten to comply with your Excellencies* wishes ; 
only I tell you beforehand the carriage will cost you six 
piastres a day." 

"And as I am not a millionnaire like our neighbor," 
said Franz, " I warn you that as I have been four times 
before at Rome, I know the prices of all the carriages. 
We will give you twelve piastres for to-day, to-morrow, 
and the day after, and then you will make a good profit." 

" But, Excellency — " said Pastrini, still striving to gain 
his point. 

" Now go," returned Franz, " or I shall go myself and 



40 THE CODNT OF MOXTE CRISTO. 

bargain with jour nfettatore, wlio is mine also. He ia an 
old friend of mine, wlio iiaa pliindered iiie pretty weU 
abeady ; and iu the hope of making move out of me he 
will fix upon a price smaller than I am now offering 
you. You will then lose the difference, and that will 
be your fault." 

"Do not give yourself the trouble, Eseellency," re- 
turned MiJtre Paatrini, with that smile of the Italian 
speculator who avows himself defeated j " I will do all 
I can, and I hope you will be satisfied." 
"And now we understand each other." 
"When do you wish the carriage to be herel" 

"In an hour it will be at the door," 

An hour later, the carriage was in fact awnitliig the 
two young men. It was a modeat fiacre, which was 
TateJ to the rank of o private carriage in honor of the 
Dccaaion; but in spite of its humble exterior, the young 
laen would have thought themseivea happy had they been 
able to procure such a carriage for the last thi'ee days of 
the Carnival. 

"Excellency," cried the dcerone, seeing Franz ap- 
proach the window, "shall I bring the carriage nt 
to the palace 1 " 

Accustomed as Franz was to the Italian phraseol 
his first impulse was to look round him, but these words 
were addressed to him. Franz was the "Excellency," 
the vehicle was the "carriage," and the Hotel do Londres 
was the " palace." The laudatory habit of the people ■ 
well exhibited iu that single sentence, 

Franz and Albert descended ; the carriage approached 
the palace ; their Excellencies stretched their legs along the 
seats J the cicerone sprang into the seat behind. " Where 
do your Kxcellencies wish to go i " asked he. 



ROMAN BANDITS. 41 

"To St. Peter's first, and then to the Colosseum," re- 
turned Albert. 

But Albert did not know that it takes a day to see 
St Peter's, and a month to study it. The day was passed 
at St. Peter's alone. Suddenly the daylight began to 
fade away. Franz took out his watch ; it was half-past 
four. They returned to the hotel ; at the door Franz or- 
dered the coachman to be ready at eight. He wished to 
show Albert the Colosseum by moonlight, as he had shown 
him St. Peter's by daylight. When we show to a friend 
a city we have already visited, we feel the same pride as 
when we point out a woman whose lover we have been. 
He was to leave the city by the Porta del Popolo, skirt 
the outer wall, and re-enter by the Porta San Giovanni ; 
thus they would behold the Colosseum without being in 
some measure prepared by the sight of the Capitol, the 
Forum, the Arch of Septimius Sevenis, the Temple of 
Antoninus and Faustina, and the Via Sacra. 

They sat down to dinner. Maltre Pastrini had prom- 
ised them a banquet; he gave them a tolerable repast. 
At the end of the dinner he entered in person. Franz 
concluded he came to hear his dinner praised, and began 
accordingly; but at the first words the landlord inter- 
rupted him. " Excellency," said he, " I am delighted to 
have your approbation ; but it was not for that I came." 

" Did you come to tell us you have procured a carriage ] " 
asked Albert, lighting his cigar. 

" No ; and your Excellencies will do well not to think 
of that any longer. At Rome things can or cannot be 
done ; when you are told anything cannot be done, there 
is an end of it." 

" It is much more convenient at Paris, — when anything 
cannot be done, you pay double and it is done di^ectl3^" 

"That is what all the French say," returned Maitre 



42 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CItlSTO. 



Pastrmi, somewhat piqued ; " for that reaaou I do not un- 
derstand why they travel." 

"But," said Albert, emitting a, volume of smoke and 
balancing )iis uhair on its hind legs, " only madmen, or 
blockheoda such as we are, travel. Men in their senses 
do not quit their hotel in the Rne da Kelder, their walk 
on the Boulevard de Gand, and the Cafe de Paris." 

It is of course understood that Albert resided ia the 
street mentioned, appeared every day on the fasliiouable 
walk, and dined frequently at the only ea/e where you 
can I'eally dine, — that is, if you are on good terms with 
the waiters. Maltre Pastrini remained silent a short time ; 
it was evident that he was musing over this answer, which 
did not seem very clear, 

"But," said Franz, in his turn interrupting his host's 
meditations, "you had some motive for conung here; may 
I beg to know whnt it wasl " 

"Ah, yesj you have ordered your carriage for eight 
o'clock I" 

"You intend visiting il Colosseo." 

"That is to say, le ColieitV 

" It is the same tiling. You have told your coachn 
to leave the city by the Porta del Popolo, to drive round 
the walls, and re-enter hy the Porta Sau Giovanni ? " 

" These are my words exactly," 

" Well, this route is impossible." 



" Very dangerous, to say the least." 

" Dangerous 1 and why ! " 

" On account of the famous Luigi Vampa," 

"Pray who may this famous Luigi Vampa he!" in- 
quired Albert; "ho may be very famous at Rome, but I 
can assure you he is quite unknown at Paris." 



ROMAN BANDITS. ^^3 

" What ! do you not know him ] " 

" I have not that honor." 

" You have never heard his name ] " 

"Never." 

"Well, then, he is a bandit compared to whom the 
Decesaris and the Gasparones were mere children." 

"Now, then, Albert," cried Franz, "here is a bandit 
for you at last ! " 

" I forewarn you, Maitre Pastrini, that I shall not be- 
lieve one word of what you are going to tell us. That 
point being settled between us, you may say all you wish ; 
I will listen. Once upon a time, — well, go ahead I " 

Maitre Pastrini turned round to Franz, who seemed to 
him the more reasonable of the two. We must do him 
' justice ; he had had a great many Frenchmen in his house, 
but had never been able to comprehend them. " Excel- 
lency," said he, gravely, addressing Franz, "if you look 
upon me as a liar, it is useless for me to say anything ; it 
was for your interest I — " 

" Albert does not say you are a liar, Maitre Pastrini," 
said Franz ; " he says he will not believe you, — that *s all. 
But I will believe all you say ; so proceed." 

" But your Excellency well understands that if any one 
doubts my veracity — " 

" Maitre Pastrini," returned Franz, " you are more sus- 
ceptible than Cassandra, who was a prophetess, and yet 
no one believed her, while you at least are sure of the 
credence of half your auditory. Come, make an effort, 
and tell us who this M. Vampa is." 

" I have told your Excellency ; he is the most famous 
bandit we have had since the days of Mastrilla." 

"Well, what has this bandit to do with the order I 
have given the coachman to leave the city by the Porta 
del Popolo, and to re-enter by the Porta San Giovanni 1 " 



44 TBK COCST 0? MOSTK CEISTO. 

" This," rqilied >Uiti« Putrini. — " that yoo will go out 
by one, but I very much doabt your Rtuming by Uw other." 

" Why I " asked Fwnt 

" Because after nightfall you are cot safe fifty yards 
from llie gates." 

'• On yonr lionor, is that true ) " eripJ Albert 

" Monsieur the Viscount," returned Miuire Pastrini, 
hurt at Albert's repeated doubts of the truth of his asaer- 
tioDs, " I do not say tbis to you, bat to your coin|Huiion, 
who knows Konie, and kuows too that these tbings are 
not to be laughed at." 

" My dear fellow," said Albert, turning to Fran^ "here 
is an adiuintble adventure ; we will fill our carriage with 
pistols, blunderbusses, and doukie-banelted guns. Luigi 
Vampa com^ to take us, and we take him ; we bring him 
bark to Rome and present him to bis Holiness the Pope, 
who a^ks how he can recompense so great a service ; then 
we merely ask for a carriage and a pair of horees, and we 
see the Carnival in a carriage, and doubtless the Roman 
people will crown us at the Capitol, and proclaim us, 
like Curtius and Horatius Codes, the preservers of the 
country." 

While Albert proposed this scheme, Maitre Pastrini'a 
face isaumed an espreaaion impossible to describe. 

" And pray," asked Franz, " where are these pistols^ 
blunderbusses, and other deadly weapons with which you 
intend tilling tlie carriage 1" 

" Not in my armory, for at Terracina I was plundered 
even of my hunting-knife." 

" I shared the same fate at Aqua pendente." 

" Do you know, Haitre Pastrini," said Albert, lighting 
a second cigar at the first, " that this practice is very con- 
venient for robbers, and that it has the appearance of a 
plan for sharing with them 1 " 



ROMAN BANDITS. 45 

Doubtless Mattre Pastrini found this pleasantry com- 
promising, for he answered only half the question, ad- 
dressing himself to Franz, as the only one likely to listen 
with attention : " Your Excellency knows that it is not ' 
customary to offer defence when attacked by bandits." 

" What ! " cried Albert, whose courage revolted at the idea 
of being plundered tamely, " not make any resistance !" 

" No, for it would be useless. What can you do against 
a dozen bandits who spring out of some pit, ruin, or aque- 
duct, and attack you all at once ] " 

" Eh, parbleu / I will make them kill me." 

The innkeeper turned to Franz with an air that seemed 
to say, " Your friend is decidedly mad." 

"My dear Albert," returned Franz, **your answer is 
sublime, and worthy the * Let him die,* of Corneille. But 
when Horace made that answer the safety of Rome was 
concerned, while here there is only the question of grati- 
fying a caprice ; and it would be ridiculous to risk our 
lives for a caprice." 

" Ah, per Bacco ! " cried Maltre Pastrini, " that is good ! 
that is speaking to some purpose ! " 

Albert poured himself out a glass of lacryma Christi, 
which he sipped at intervals, muttering some unintel- 
ligible words. 

"Well, Maitre Pastrini," said Franz, "now that my 
companion is quieted, and you have seen how peaceful my 
intentions are, tell me who is this Luigi Vampa. Is he a 
shepherd or a nobleman ; young or old ; tall or short ? 
Describe him, in order that if we meet him by chance, 
like Jean Sbogar or Lara, we may recognize him." 

"You could not apply to any one better able to inform 
you on all these points ; for I knew him when he was a 
child, and one day when I fell into his hands going from 
Ferentino to Alatri, he, fortunately for me, recollected me. 



■16 THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO. 

and not only set me free without ransom, but made me 
a present of a. very splendid watch, and related his history 
to me," 

"Let Its see the watch," said Albert. 

Maltra Pastrini drew from liis fob a magnifineDt Bre- 
guet, bearing the name of its maker, the Parisian stanip> 
and a count's coronet. 

" Here it is," said he. 

"Pesle/" returned Albert, "I compliment you on it; 
I have ita fellow," — he took his watch from his waist- 
coat pocket, — " and it cost me three thousand livrea." 

" Let us hear the liistory," said Franz, drawing up au I 
ensy-choir and making a sign to Maitre Pastrini to seat . 



"Tour Excellencies permit ill" asked the host. 

"Pardieit/" cried Albert, " j'ou are not a preacher, to | 
speak standing I " 

The host sat down, after having made each of them a 
respectful bow, which meant to say he was ready to tell 
them all they wished to know concerning Luigi Vampa. 
"You tell roe," said Franz, at the moment Maitre Pastrini 
was about to open his mouth, "that you knew Luigi I 
Yampa when he was a child ; he is still a young m 
then ? " 

" A young man ! he is hardly two and twenty. Oh, he is | 
ii ratthng blade, who will have a career, you may be sure." 

" What do you think of that, Albert, — at two and | 
twenty to be thus famous ! " 

" Tea, at his age Alexander, CffiSHr, and Napoleon, who ■ 
have nil made some noise in the world, were not so 
advanced." 

" So," continued Franz, " the hero of this history is 
only two and twenty T' 

" Scarcely so much, as I have had the honor to tell you." 



ROMAN BANDITS, 



47 



" Is Be tall or abort 1 " 

" Of the middle heigbt, — about the same statiire aa 
his Excellency," returned the host, pointing to Albert. 
"Tlianks for the comparison," said Albort, with a 

" Go on, Mtdtre Pastrini," continued FtanK, aroiltng at 
his friend's susceptibility, " To what class of society does 
lie belong 1" 

" He was a shepberd-boy attached to the farm of the 
Comte de San Felice, situated between Palestrina and the 
Lake of Gabri. He was bora at Fampiniira, and entered the 
count's service when ho was fire years old ; his father was 
also a shepherd, who owned a small Hock and lived by the 
wool and the millc which he sold at Rome. When quite a 
child, the little Vanipa was of a moat extraordinary disposi- 
tion. One day, when he was seven years old, he cnmo to 
the cun? of Palestritia, and prayed him to teach him to 
read. It was somewhat difficult, for he could not quit his 
flooit ; but the good cur6 went every day to say mass at a 
little hamlet too poor to pay a priest, and which having 
no other name was called Borgo, He told Luigi that he 
- might meet him on his return, and that then he would 
I give bim a lesson, warning him that it would be short, and 
f that he must profit aa much as possible by it. The child 
I accepted joyfully. Every day Luigi led his flock to graze 
1 the road that leads from Palestrina to Borgo ; every 
day, at nine o'clock in the morning, the prie.it and the boy 
sat down on a hank by the wayside, and the little shep- 
herd took his lesson out of the priest's breviary. At the 
I end of three months he had learned to read. This was 
not enough, — he must now learn to write. The priest 
f procured from a teacher of writing at Rome three alphabets, 
I — one in lai^'e letters, one in letters of medium size, and 
in small letters, — and showed him how by the help 



48 TOE COUNT OF MONTE CEI9T0. 

of a sharp instrument lie could trace the letters on a slate, 1 
and thus learn to write. Tlie snme evenmg, when the I 
flock was safo at the farm, the little Luigi liaateneil to thel 
emith at Pale&ttiua, took a large nail, forced it, sharpened J 
it, and formed a sort of antique stylus. The next morning, f 
having collected a quantity of slates, he began his leRsona. 
At the end of three months he had learned to write. The -I 
cur^, astonished at hia quicknesa and intelligenee, mads | 
him a present of pons, paper, and a penknife. This ii 
voIveJ new study, but nothing compared to the first; at I 
the end of a week he wrote as well with the j 
with the stylus. The cure related this anecdote to thu I 
CoRite de San Felice, wlio sent for t)ie little shepherd, made I 
him read and write before him, ordered his attendant ti 
let him eat with the domestics, and to give him two I 
piastres a month, Witli this Luigi purchased books and I 
pencils. He applied to everything hia imitative powers, .1 
and like Giotto, when young, he drew on hia slate si 
houses, and trees. Then, with his knife, he began toM 
carve all sorts of objects in wood ; it was thus that I'inelli, I 
the famous sculptor, had commenced. 

" A girl of sis or seven — that is, a little younger than g 
Vampa — tended sheep on a farm near Palestrina ; 
was an orphan, horn at Valinontono, and was uamerl 1 
Teresa. The two children met, sat down near each other, J 
let their fiocks mingle together, played, lauglied, and con- I 
versed together ; in the evening they separated the flock I 
of the Comte de San Felice from those of the Barou de I 
Cervetri, and the children returned to their respective I 
farms, promising to meet the next morning, and the nest I 
day they kept their word. Thus they grew, side by side, I 
until Vainpa was twelve and Teresa eleven. Meantime, 
their natural dispositions revealed themselves. While he 
Btill followed his inclination for the fine arts, which Luigi 



ROMAN BANDITS. 49 

had carried as far as he could in his solitude, he was sad 
by fits, ardent by starts, angry by caprice, and always sar- 
castic. None of the lads of Pampinara, of Palestrina, or of 
Valmontone had been able to gain any influence over him, 
or even to become his companion. His disposition (al- 
ways inclined to exact concessions rather than to make 
them) kept him aloof from all friendships. Teresa alone 
ruled by a look, a word, a gesture, this impetuous character, 
which was pliant under the hand of a woman, but under 
the hand of any man whatever would have resisted until 
it broke. 

" Teresa was, on the contrary, lively and gay, but coquet- 
tish to excess. The two piastres that Luigi received every 
month from the Comte de San Felice's steward, and the 
price of all the little carvings in wood he sold at Rome, 
were expended in ear-rings, necklaces, and gold hair-pins ; 
so that thanks to her friend's generosity, Teresa was 
the most beautiful and the best attired peasant near 
Rome. 

" The two children continued to grow up together, pass- 
ing all their time with each other, and giving themselves 
up to the wild ideas of their different characters. Thus 
in all their dreams, their wishes, and their conversations, 
Vampa saw himself the captain of a vessel, general of an 
army, or governor of a province. Teresa saw herself rich, 
superbly attired, and attended by a train of liveried 
domestics. Then, when they had thus passed the day in 
building castles in the air, they separated their flocks and 
descended from the elevation of their dreams to the reality 
of their humble position. 

" One day the young shepherd told the count's stew- 
ard that he had seen a wolf come out of the Sabine Moun- 
tains and prowl around his flock. The steward gave him 
a gun ; this was what Vampa longed for. This gun had 

VOL. 11. — 4 



50 



THE COUKT OF MONTE CKISTO. 



an excellent barrel, mnde at Brescliia, and ctirrying a lall 
with t!ie precision of nn Englisli rifle ; but one day the 
count broke the Block, und had tlieu cast tlie guu aside, 
This, however, was nothing to n acnlptor like Vampa. He 
examined the ancient etock, calculated what change it would 
require to adapt the gun to his shoulder, and made a fresh 
stock, BO beautifully carved thai it would have brought 
fifteen or twenty piastres, had he chosen to sell it ; but 
nothing could be farther from hia thoughts. For a long 
time ft gun had been the young man's greatest ambition. 
In every country where independence has taken the place 
of liberty, the first desire of a mauly heart ia to possess a 
weapon, which at once renders him capable of defence or 
attack, and by rendering its owner terrible often makes 
him feared. From this moment Vampa devoted all his 
leisure time to perfecting himself in the use of this pre- 
cious weapon ; he purchased powder and ball, and every- 
thing served him for a mark, — the trunk of seme old and 
moss-grown olive-tree that grew on the Sabine Mountains ; 
the fox, as he quitted his earth on some marauding excur- 
sion ; the eagle tliat soared above their heads. And thus 
be soon became so expert that Ter^a overcame the terror | 
she at first felt at the report, and amused herself by watch- 
ing him while be directed the ball wherever he pleased, 
with as much accuracy as if placed by tlic hand. 

" One evening a wolf emerged from a pine wood near 
which they were usually stationed, but had scarcely ad- 
vanced ten yards ere he was dead. Proud of this exploit, 
Vampa took the dead animal on his sbiralders, and carried 
him to the farm. All these circumstances had gained 
Luigi conaidenible reputation, 
ties always finds admirers, go 
spoken of as the most adroit, the strongest, and the most 
courageous cotUadino for tea leagues round ; and although 



a of superior abili- 
ie will. He was 



I 



BOIUir EiNDnS. 

Teresa waa universally allowed to lie the moat beautiful 
g^rl of the Sabines, uo one had enr spoken to her of love, 
because it was known tliut she was beloved by Vampa. 
Aud yet these two hod never confessed their love to one 
another ; they had grown up side by side, like two treea 
which intertwine their roots in the ground and their 
brancboB in the air, and whose perfume rises together to 
the heavens. Only their wish to Bee each other had be- 
come a necessity, and they would have preferred death to 
a day's Heparation. Teresa was sixteen aud Vampa eigh- 
teen. About this time a band of brigands tliat bad estab- 
lished itself in the Ijepini Mountains began to be much 
spoken of. The brigands had never been really extirpated 
from the neighburliood of R^jme. Sometimes a chief is 
wanted, but when a chief presents himself he rarely 
wants a band. 

" The celebrated Cuenmetto, pursued in the Abruzzo, 
driven out of the kingdom of Naples, wjiere he bad carried 
on a regular war, had crossed the Garigliano, like Maufi'ed, 
aud had come between Sonnino and Juperno to take refuge 
on the banks of the Amasine. Ue strove to reorganize a 
band, and followed in the footsteps of Decesaris and Gas- 
peroue, whom he hoped to surpass. Many young men of 
Paleatrina, Frascati, and Pampinara disappeared. Their 
disappearance at first caused much inquietude j but it was 
soon known that they had joined the band of Cucumetto. 
After eome time Cucumetto became the object of universal 
attention ; the most extraordinary traits of ferocious daring 
and brutality were related of him. One day he carried 
off a young girl, the daughter of a surveyor of Froainone. 
The bandits' laws are positive ; a young girl belongs first 
to him who carriea her off; then the rest draw lota for her, 
and she is abandoned to their brutality until death relieves 
her sufferings. When her parents are sufficiently rich to 



52 



THE COUNT OF MOKTE CRISTO. 



pay a ransom, a messenger is sent to treat concerning it. 
Tlie priaouer is hostage for the security of the messen- 
ger; should the Tousom be refused, the prisoni 
vocably bst. The yunng girl's lover was in Cucumetto'a 
troop ; his name ii'as Carlini. When she recognized her 
lover, the poor girl extended her arms to him and believed 
herself safe ; hut Carlini felt his heart sink, fur he but 
too well knew the fate that awaited lier. However, as 
he was a favorite with Cucumetto ; as he had for three 
years faitlifully served liim ; and as he had saved his Hfe 
by shooting a dragoon who was about to cut him down, — 
he hoped he would have pity on him. He took him apart, 
while the young girl, seated at the foot of a huge pine 
that stood in the centre of the forest, formed with her 
picturesque head-dress a veil to hide her face from the 
lascivious gaze of the bandits. There he told him all, — 
his affection for the prisoner, their promises of mutual 
fidelity, and how every night since he had been near 
they had met in a ruin. 

" It ao happened that niglit that Cucumetto had sent 
Carlini to a neighboring village, so that he had been 
unable to go to the place of meeting. Cucumetto had 
been there, however, — by accident, as he said, — and 
had carried the maiden off. Carlini hesougbt his chief to 
make an exception in Rita's favor, as her father was rich, 
and could pay a large rausom. Cucumetto seemed to 
yield to his friend's entreaties, and bado him find a shep- 
herd to send to Eita'a father at Froaijione. Carlini flew 
joyfully to Rita, telling her she was saved, and bidding 
her write to her father to inform him what had occurred, 
and that her ransom was fixed at three hundred piastres. 
Twelve hours' delay was all that was granted, — that is, 
until nine the next morning. The instant the letter waa 
written Carlini seized it, and hastened to the plain to find 



1 



ROMAN BANDITS. 53 

a messenger. He found a young shepherd watching his 
flock. The natural messengers of the handits are the 
shepherds, who live between the city and the mountains, 
between civilized and savage life. The boy undertook 
the commission, promising to be in Frosiuone in less than 
an hour. Carlini returned, eager to see his mistress, and 
announce the joyful intelligence. He found the troop in 
the glade, supping off the provisions exacted as contribu- 
tions from the peasants ; but his eye vainly sought Eita 
and Cucumetto among them. He inquired where they 
were, and was answered by a burst of laughter, A cold 
perspiration burst from every pore, and his hair stood on 
end. He repeated his question. One of the bandits rose 
and offered him a glass filled with wine of Orvietto, saying, 
*To the health of the brave Cucumetto and the fair Rita !' 
At this moment Carlini heard the cry of a woman ; he 
divined the truth, seized the glass, broke it across the face 
of him who presented it, and rushed towards the spot 
whence the cry came. After going a hundred yards he 
turned the corner of the thicket ; he found Rita senseless 
in the arms of Cucumetto, At the sight of Carlini, Cucu- 
metto rose, a pistol in each hand. The two brigands 
looked at each other for a moment, — the one with a smile 
of lasciviousness on his lips, the other with the pallor of 
death on his brow. It seemed that something terrible 
was about to pass between these two men ; but by degrees 
Carlini's features relaxed. His hand, which had grasped 
one of the pistols in his belt, fell to his side. Rita lay 
between them. The moon lighted the group. 

" * Well,' said Cucumetto, * have you executed your com- 
mission ] ' * Yes, Captain,* returned Carlini. ' At nine 
o'clock to-morrow, Rita's father will be here with the 
money.' * It is well ; in the mean time, we will have a 
merry night. This young girl is charming, and does credit 



THE CODNT OF MONTE CF.ISTO. 

to your taste. Now, as I am not selfish, we will return 
to our conirftdes and draw lots for her.' ' You have deter- 
mined, then, to abandon her to the common law 1 ' said 
Carlbii. ' Why should an exception be made in 
favor ! ' 'I thought that my entreaties — ' ' What 
light have you, any more tlian the I'est, to ask for e 
exception 1 ' ' It is true.' ' But never mind,' continued 
Cucumetto, laiighing, 'sooner or later your turn will c< 
Carlini's teeth clinched convulsively. ' Now, then,' 
Cucnmetto, advancing towards the other bandits, 'are 
coming!' ' I follow you.' Oueumetto departed without 
losing sight of Carlini, for doubtless he feared lest he 
should strike bim unawares j but nothing betrayed a hos- 
tile design on Carlini's part. He was standing, bis arms 
folded, near Rita, who was still insensible, Cucumetto 
feucied for a moment the young man was about to take 
hei in his arms and fly ; but this mattered little to him 
now Rita had heeu bis, and as for the money, three hun- 
dred piastres distributed among the band was so small a 
sum tliat he eared little about it. He continued to follow 
the path to the glade ; but to liis great surprise, Carlini 
arrived almost as soon as himself ' Let us draw lots 1 
let us draw lots I ' cried all the brigands, when they saw 
the chief. 

" Their demand was fair ; and the chief inclined his 
head in sign of acquiescence. The eyes of alt shone 
fiercely as they made their demand, and the red light of 
the tire made them look like demons. The names of all, 
including Carlini, were placeil in a hat, aud the youngest 
of the hand drew forth a ticket ; the ticket bore the name 
of Diavolaccio. He was the man who had proposed to 
Carlini the health of their chief, and to whom Carlini had 
rephed by breaking the glass across his face. A largo 
wound, extending from the temple to the mouth, was 



ROMAN BANDITS. 65 

bleeding profusely. Diavolaccio, seeing himself thus fa- 
vored by fortune, burst into a loud laugh. ' Captain/ said 
he, * just now Carlini would not drink your health when 
I proposed it to him ; propose mine to him, and let us see 
if he will be more condescending to you than to me.* 
Every one expected an explosion on Carlini's part ; but 
to their great surprise, he took a glass in one hand and a 
flask in the other, and tilling it, * Your health, Diavo- 
laccio,' said he, calmly, and he drank it off without his 
hand trembling in the least. Then sitting down by the 
fire, * My supper,' said he ; ' my expedition has given me 
an appetite.' * Well done, Carlini ! * cried the brigands ; 
' that is acting like a good fellow ; ' and they all formed a 
circle round the fire, while Diavolaccio disappeared. Car- 
lini ate and drank as if nothing had happened. The 
bandits looked at him with astonishment, not understand- 
ing his strange impassiveness, when upon the ground 
behind them they heard a heavy footstep. They turned 
round and saw Diavolaccio bearing the young girl in his 
arms. Her head hung back, and her long hair swept the 
ground. As they entered the circle, the bandits could per- 
ceive by the firelight the unearthly pallor of the young 
girl and of Diavolaccio. This apparition was so strange 
and so solemn that every one rose with the exception of 
Carlini, Vho remained seated, and ate and drank calmly. 
Diavolaccio advanced amid the most profound silence and 
laid Rita at the captain's feet. Then every one could 
understand the cause of that pallor of the young girl and 
of the bandit. A knife was plunged up to the hilt in 
Rita's left breast. Every one looked at Carlini; the sheath 
at his belt was empty. * Ah, ah ! ' said the chief, * I 
now understand why Carlini stayed behind.' 

" All savage natures appreciate a desperate deed, No 
other of the bandits would perhaps have done the same ; 



56 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRlaTO. 

Lut they all understood what Carlini had done, 'Now, 
then,' crieil Carlini, nsing in his turn und approaching 
the corpse, liis hand on the butt of one of his piatols, 
' does any one dispute the pusseasioii of this woman with 
me ) ' ' No,' returjied tiie chief, ' she is thine.' Carlini 
raised hei in his arms and carried her out of the circle of 
lij;ht around the Ure. Cucumetto placdd hiB sentinels for 
the night, and the bandits wrapped theroselToa in their 
cloaks and lay down before the fire. At midnight the 
seutinel gave the alarm, UJid iu an instant all were ou the 
alert. It was Hita's father, who brought his dauyhter*a 
ransom iu person. ' Here,' aaid ho to Cucuraetto, — ' here 
are three hundred piastres; give me hack my chdd,' But 
the chief, without taking the money, made a sign to 
him to follow him. The old man obeyed. They both 
advanced beneath the trees, through whose branches 
streamed the moonlight, Cucumetto stopped at last and 
pointed to two persona grouped at the foot of a tree. 
■ There,' said he, ' demand thy child of Carlini ; he will 
tell thee what has become of her ; ' and he returned to his 
companions. 

" The old man renminod motionless ; he felt thiit some 
great and unforeseen misfortune hung over hia head. At 
length he advanced towards the group, which he could 
not comprehend. As he approached, Carlini raised his 
head, and the forms of two persons became visible to the 
old man's eyes. A female lay on the ground, her head 
resting on the knees of a man who was seated by her; as 
he raised his head the female's face became visible. The 
old maD recognised his child, and Carlini recognized the 
old man. ' I expected thee,' said the bandit to Rita's 
father. ' Wretch 1 ' returned the old man, ' what hast thou 
done 1 ' and he gazed with terror oii Rita, pale and bloody, 
a knife burieil in her bosom, A ray of moonlight poured 



ROMAN BANDITS. Oi 

through the trees and lighted up the face of the dead. 
* Cucumetto had violated thy daughter,* said the bandit ; 
' I loved her, therefore I slew her, — for she would have 
served as the sport of the whole band/ The old man 
spoke not, and grew pale as death. *Now,' continued 
Carlini, ' if I have done wrongly, avenge her ; * and with- 
drawing the knife from the wound in Rita's bosom, he 
held it out to the old man with one hand, while with the 
other he tore open his vest. * Thou hast done well I * re- 
turned the old man, in a hoarse voice ; ' embrace me, my 
son.' Carlini threw himself, sobbing like a child, into 
the arms of his mistress's father. These were the first 
tears the man of blood had ever wept. ' Now,' said the 
old man, * aid me to bury my child.' Carlini fetched two 
pickaxes, and the father and the lover began to dig at the 
foot of a huge oak, beneath which the young girl was to 
repose. When the grave was formed, the father embraced 
her first, and then the lover ; afterwards, one taking the 
head, the other the feet, they placed her in the grave. 
Then they knelt on each side of the grave and said the 
prayers of the dead. Then, When they had finished, they 
cast the earth over the corpse until the grave was filled. 
Then, extending his hand, the old man said, *I thank you, 
my son; and now leave me alone.' *Yet — ' replied 
Carlini. 'Leave me, I command you.' Carlini obeyed, 
rejoined his comrades, folded himself in his cloak, and 
soon appeared as deep asleep as the rest. 

" It had been resolved the night before to change 
their encampment. An hour before daybreak Cucumetto 
aroused his men and gave the word to march. But Car- 
lini would not quit the forest without knowing what had 
become of Rita's father. He went towards the place where 
he had left him. He found the old man suspended from 
one of the branches of the oak which shaded his daugh- 



58 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKI8T0. 



ter'e grave. He then took an oatli of bitter vengeance 
over the dead body of the one and the tomb of the other. 
But he was unable to complete this oath, for two days 
afterwards, in a rencontre with the Etmjan carbineers, 
Carliui was killed. There was some surprbp, however, 
that as be was with bis face to the enemy he should have 
received a ball between hia shoulders. That astonishment 
ceased when one of the brigands remarked to his comrades 
that Cucumetto was stationed ten paces in Carlini's rear 
when he fell. On the morning of the departure from the 
forest of Frosinoue he had followed Carlini in the dark- 
ness, had beard hia oath of vengeance, and like a wise 
man had prevented its fulhlment. 

" They told ten other stories of tliia bandit chief not 
less strange than this. Thus, from Fondi to I'eroase, 
every one trembled at the name of Cucumetto. These i 
nairatives were frequently the themes of conversation i 
between Luigi and Teresa. The young girl trembled very i 
much at all these tales. But Vaiupa reassured her with a 
smile, tapping the butt of his good fowling-piece, which i 
threw its ball so well ; and if that did not restore hei 
courage, he pointed to a crow perched on some dead I 
branch, took an aim, touched the tri{,^r, and the bird fell I 
dead at the foot of the tree. Time passed on ; and the 
two youDg persons had agreed to be married when Yampa 
should be twenty and Teresa nineteen years of age. They i 
were both orphans, and had only their employer's leave to | 
ask, which had been already sought and obtained. One ' 
day when they were talking over their plans for the , 
future, they heard two or three reports of fire-arms, and i 
then suddenly a man came out of the wood neai' which I 
the two young persons nsed to graze their flocks, and 
hurried towards them. When he came within hearing, 
he exclaimed, 'I am pursued; can yon conceal taeV 



ROMAN BANDITS. 59 

They knew full well that this fugitive must be a bandit ; 
bat there is a natural sympathy between the Eoman bri- 
gand and the Roman peasant, and the latter is always 
ready to aid the former. Yampa, without saying a word, 
hastened to the stone that closed up the entrance to their 
grotto^ drew it away, made a sign to the fugitive to take 
refuge there in a retreat unknown to every one, closed 
the stone upon him, and then went and resumed his seat 
by Teresa. Instantly afterwards four carbineers on horse- 
back appeared on the edge of the wood ; three of them 
appeared to be looking for the fugitive, while the fourth 
dragged a brigand prisoner by the neck. The three car- 
bineers looked around them on all sides, saw the young 
peasants,^ and galloping up, interrogated them. They liad 
seen no one. * That is very annoying,* said the brigadier ; 
*for the man we are looking for is the chief.* *Cucu- 
metto?* cried Luigi and Teresa at the same moment. 
* Yes,* replied the brigadier ; ' and as his head is valued 
at a thousand Roman crowns, there would have been five 
hundred for you if you had helped us to catch him.* The 
two young persons exchanged looks. The brigadier had a 
moment*s hope. Five hundred Roman crowns are three 
thousand livres, and three thousand livres are a fortune 
for two poor orphans who are going to be married. * Yes, 
it is very annoying,* said Vampa ; * but we have not 
seen him.' 

" Then the carbineers scoured the country in different 
directions, but in vain ; then after a time they disap- 
peared. Vampa then removed the stone, and Cucumetto 
came out. He had seen, through the crevices in the 
granite, the two young peasants talking with the carbi- 
neers, and guessed the subject of their parley. He had 
read in the countenances of Luigi and Teresa their stead- 
fast resolution not to surrender him, and he drew from 



60 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRI8T0. 



Ilis pocket B. purse full of gold, which he offered to them, 
But Vampa raised hia head prouiilj j aa to Teresa, her ejea j 
sparkled when she thought of all the fine gowns and gay I 
jewelry ahe could buy with this purse of gold. 

" Cucumotto was a cunning fiend who liaU assumed the j 
form of a brigand instead of a aerp«nt; and this look of I 
Teresa revejiled to him that she woa a worthy daughter of f 
Eve. Ho returned to the forest, pausing several times o 
his way under the pretext of saluting hia protectors. Sev- 
eral days elapsed, and they neither saw nor heard of Cucu- 
metto. The time of the Carnival was at hand. The Comte j 
de San Felice announced a grand masked ball, to which all { 
that were distinguished in Rome were invited. Teres) 
a great deaire to see tliis ball. Luigi asked permission of | 
his protector, the steward, that ahe and he might be i 
ent among the servants of the house. This was granted. 
The ball was given by the count fur the particular pleas- 
ure of Lis daughter Carniela, whom he adored. Carmela 
was precisely the age and flgure of Teresa, and Teresa was 
aa handsome aa Carmela, On the evening of the ball i 
Tereaa was attired in her heat, — her moat brilliant hait I 
ornaments and gayest glass beads j she waa in the 
tume of the women of Fraacati. Luigi wore the very I 
picturesque garh of the Eoman peasant at holiday time. 
They both mingled, as they had leave to do, with the 1 



" The ffite was magnificent, — not only was the villa 
hrilliantly illuminated, but thousands of colored lanterns | 
were suspended from the treea in the garden ; and very 
soon the palace overflowed to the terraces, and the terraces ' 
to the garden-walks. At each crosa-path were an orchestra, 
and tables spread with refreshments ; the guests stopped, 
formed quadrilles, and danced in every part of the grounds 
they pleased. Carmela waa attired liie a woman of Son- 



ROMAN BANDITS. 61 

nino. Her cap was embroidered with pearls, the pins in 
her hair were of gold and diamonds, her girdle was of 
Turkey silk with large embroidered flowers, her bodice 
and skirt were of cashmere, her apron of Indian muslin, 
and the buttons of her corset were of jewels. Two of her 
companions were dressed, the one as a woman of Nettuno, 
and the other as a woman of La Riccia. Four young men 
of the richest and noblest families of Eome accompanied 
them with Italian freedom, which has not its parallel in 
any other country of the world. They were attired as 
peasants of Albano, Velletri, Civita Castellana, and Sora. 
I need not tell you that these peasant costumes, like those 
of the women, were brilliant with gold and jewels. 

'* Carmela wished to make a uniform quadrille, but there 
was one woman wanting. She looked all around her, but 
not one of the guests had a costume similar to her own or 
those of her companions. The Comte de San Felice pointed 
out to her, in the group of peasants, Teresa, who was hang- 
ing on Luigi's arm. * Will you allow me. Father ] * said 
Carmela. * Certainly,' replied the count ; * are we not in 
Carnival time 1 ' Carmela turned towards the young man 
who was talking with her, and saying a few words to him, 
pointed with her finger to Teresa. The young man fol- 
lowed with his eyes the lovely hand which made this in- 
dication, bowed in obedience, and then went to Teresa 
and invited her to dance in a quadrille directed by the 
count's daughter. Teresa felt something like a flame pass 
over her face ; she looked at Luigi, who could not refuse 
his assent. Luigi slowly relinquished Teresa's arm, which 
he had held beneath his own, and Teresa, accompanied by 
her elegant cavalier, took her appointed place with much 
agitation in the aristocratic quadrille. Certainly, in the 
eyes of an artist the exact and severe costume of Teresa 
had a very difierent character from that of Carmela and 



63 THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 

her companions ; tut Teresa was frivolous and coquettish, 
and thus the embroidery and muslins, the cnelimere waiet- 
girdles, all dazzled her, and the reflection of sapphires 
diftmonds almost turned her giddy brain. 

"•Liiigi felt a setisatioii hitherto unknown arising io 
mind. It was like an acute pain which gnawed at hia 
heart, and then passed thrillingl; throughout his frame, 
chasing through his veins, and pervading his entire hody. 
He followed witii his eyes each movement of Teresa and 
her cavalier. When their hands touched, he felt as though 
he should swoon ; every pulse heat with violence, and it 
seemed as though a bell were ringing in his ears. When 
they spoke, although Teresa listened timidly and with 
downcast eyes to the conversation of her cavalier, as Lnigi 
could read in the ardent looks of the good-looking young 
man that his language was that of praise, it seemed as if 
the whole world was turning rouni! with him, and all tho 
voices of hell were whispering in his ears ideas of mur- 
der and assassination. Then fearing that his paroxysm 
might get the better of him, he chitched with one hand 
the branch of a tree against which he was leaning, and 
with the other convulsively grasped the dagger with a 
carved haudje which was in his belt, and which, unwit- 
tingly, he drew from the soabbani from time to time. 
Luigi was jealous ! He felt that influenced by her ambi- 
tion and coquettish disposition, Teresa might escape him. 

"Tlio young peasant girl, at first timid and almost 
firightened, soon lecovei'ed herself, I have said that 
Teresa was handsome, hut this is not all; Teresa 
the fascination of those wild graces which are so much 
more potent than our affected and stndied elegancies- 
She had almost all the honors of the quadrille, and if she 
was envious of the Comte de San Felice's daughter, I will 
not undertake to say that Carmela was not jealous of her 



I 




ROMAN BAKDITS. 



63 



and with overpowering complimenta her handsome cava- 
lier led her kick to the place whence he had taken her 
and where Luigi awaited her. Twice or thrice diiritig the 
dance the young girl had gUinced nt Luigi, and each time 
Bhe saw that he waa pale and that his features were agi- 
tated ; iince even the hlade of his knife, half dniwn from 
ita sheath, had dazKled her eyes with ite sinister gleam. 
Thna she waa almost tremhling when she resumed her 
lover's arm. The quadrille had been very successful; and 
it was evident there was a great demand for a repetition of 
it. Carmela alone objected to it ; but the Comto de San 
Felice begged his daughter bo earnestly that she acceded. 
One of the cavaliers then hastened to invite Teresa, with- 
out whom it waa impossible to form the quadrille, but the 
yoaag girl had disappeared. In fact, Lnigi had not the 
atrength to support another such trial, and half by persua- 
sion and half by force, he had removed Teresa to another 
part of the garden. Teresa had yielded in spite of lle^ 
aelf ; but when she looked at the agitated countenance of 
the young man, she understood by his silence and trem- 
bling voice that something strange was passing within 
him. She herself was not free from interna! emotion, 
and without having done anything wrong, yet fully com- 
prehended that Luigi would he in the right if he should 
reproach her. Why, she did not know, but she did not 
the less feel that she had somehow deserved to be blamed. 
However, to Teresa's great astonishment Luigi remained 
nmte, and not a word escaped his lips the rest of the even- 
ing. But when the chill of the night had driven away 
the guests from the gardens, and the gates of the villa 
were closed for the fSte indoors, he took Teresa away ; and 
as he left her at her home, be said, 'Teresa, what were 
you thinking of as you danced opposite the young Com- 
tease da San Felice t' 'I thought," replied the young girl, 



CI THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

with all the franliiieas of hot nature, 'that I would give 1 
half my life for ft costume such aa she wore.' 'And what -I 
aaiii your cavalier to youT 'He aaid it ouly depended I 
on myself to have it, and I had only one word to b 
' He was right,' said Luigi ; ' do you desire it aa ardently I 
as you eayJ' 'Yes.' 'Well, then, you shall have it!' 

" The young girl, much astonished, raised her head to 1 
look at him ; but his face was so gloomy and terrihla that I 
her words froze to her lips. As Luigi spoke thus, he left I 
her. Teresa followed him with her eyes into the d 
03 long as she could, and when lie had quite c 
she entered her apartment with a sigh, 

"That night a great accident happened, no douht from 1 
the imprudence of some servant who had neglected to ex- I 
tbgnisli the lights. The Villa de San Felica took lire in 1 
the rooms adjoining the very apartment of tlie lovely Car- 1 
niela. Wakened in the night by the light of the flames, she 1 
had sprung out of bed, wrapped herself in a dressing-gowny 1 
and attempted to escape by the door j but the conidor by ' 
which she hoped to fly was already a prey to the flames. 
She had then returned to her room, calling for help as 
loudly as she could, when suddenly her window, which was 
twenty feet from the ground, was opened ; a young peasant J 
jumped into the chamber, seized her in his arms, and with I 
superhuman skill and strength conveyed her to the turf of ^ 
the grass-plot, where she faiated. When she recovered, 
her father was by her aide. All the servants surrounded 
her, offering her assistance. An entire wing of the villa 
was humed down; but what was that, since Carmela waj 
safe and uninjured 1 Her preserver was everywhere soughl 
for, but did not appear; he was inquired for everywhere, I 
but no one had seen him, Carmela was greatly troubled J 
that aho had not recognized him. As the count ws 
immensely rich, setting aside the peril to Carmela, - 



ROMAN BANDITS. 65 

which in view of her miraculous escape seemed to him 
rather a new favor of Providence than an actual misfor- 
tune, — the loss occasioned by the conflagration was to 
him but a trifle. 

" The next day at the usual hour the two young peas- 
ants were on the borders of the forest. Luigi arrived 
first. He came towards Teresa in high spirits, and seemed 
to have completely forgotten the events of the previous 
evening. The young girl was visibly thoughtful ; but see- 
ing Luigi so cheerful, she on her part assumed a smiling 
air, which was natural to her when no excitement of pas- 
sion came to disturb her. Luigi took her arm beneath 
his own, and led her to the door of the grotto. There he 
paused. The young girl, perceiving that there was some- 
thing extraordinary, looked at him steadfastly. 'Teresa,* 
said Luigi, 'yesterday evening you told me you would 
give all the world to have a costume similar to that of the 
count's daughter.' *Yes,* replied Teresa, with astonish- 
ment ; * but I was mad to utter such a wish.' * And I re- 
plied, " Very well, you shall have it." ' * Yes,* replied the 
young girl, whose astonishment increased at every word 
uttered by Luigi, * but of course your reply was only to 
please me.* * I have promised no more than I have given 
you, Teresa,* said Luigi, proudly. * Go into the grotto and 
dress yourself.' At these words he drew away the stone 
and showed Teresa the grotto, lighted up by two wax 
lights, which burned on each side of a splendid mirror ; 
on a nistic table, made by Luigi, were spread out the pearl 
necklace and the diamond pins, and on a chair at the side 
was laid the rest of the costume. 

"Teresa uttered a cry of joy, and without inquiring 
whence this attire came, or oven thanking Luigi, darted 
into the grotto, transformed into a dressing-room. Luigi 
pushed the stone behind her, for he saw on the crest of a 

VOL. II. — 5 



G6 THE CODNT OF MOKTE CRISTO. 

Binall aUjacent hill tetwefin him and Palestrina, a. traveller 
oik horseback, whn stopped a moment as if uncertain of h 
road, and waa thus visible against the azure sky with that 
distinctness of outline peculiar to the perspective of south- 
ern countries. When lie saw Luigi, he put his horse into 
a gallop and advanced towards him. Luigi was not 
taken. Tlie traveller, who was going from Palestrina to 
Tivoli, had mistaken his way. The young man directed 
him ; but as nt the distance of a quarter of a mile the road 
again divided into three ways, and on reaching these the 
traveller might again stray from his route, he begged Luigi 
to ha his guide. Luigi threw hia cloak on the ground, 
placed his carbine on Ids shoulder, and freed from his 
heavy covering, preceded the traveller with the rapid step ' 
of a mountaineer, wliich a horse can scarcely keep up j 
with. In ten minutes Luigi and the traveller reached the | 
croas-roada alluded to by the young shepherd. Oi 
riving there, with an air as majestic as that of an em- 
peror he stretched his hand towards that one of the roads 
which the traveller was to follow. ' That is your read, 
Excellency ; and now you cannot again mistake.' ' And 
here is your recompense,' said the traveller, offering the 
young herdsman some pieces of small money. ' Thank 
you,' said Luigi, drawing back Ids hand ; ' I render a 
vice, I do not seU it.' * Well,' replied the traveller, who 
seemed used to this ditference between the servility of a 
man of tlie cities and the pride of the mountaineer, ' if you I 
refuse pay, you will perhaps accept of a present,' ' Ah, ] 
yes, that is another thing.' 'Then,' said the traveller, | 
' take these two Venetian sequins and give them to your I 
bride, to make herself a pair of enr-rings." ' And then do | 
you take this poniard,' said the young herdsman ; ' you I 
will not find one better carved between Albana and Civita 
Castellana.' 'I accept it,' answered the traveUer ; 
then the obligation will be on my side, for this poniard is '■ 



ROMAN BANDITS. 67 

worth more than two sequins.* ' For a dealer, perhaps ; 
but for me, who engraved it myself, it is hardly worth a 
piastre.' * What is your name t ' inquired the traveller. 
* Luigi Vampa,' replied the shepherd, in the same manner 
in which he would have said, * Alexander, King of Mace- 
don ; ' * and yours V * I,' said the traveller, * am called Sin- 
bad 'the Sailor.' " 

Franz d'Epinay started with surprise. " Sinbad the 
Sailor ] " he said. 

"Yes," replied the narrator; "that was the name which 
the traveller gave to Vampa as his own." 

" Well, and what may you have to say against this 
name 1 " inquired Albert. " It is a very pretty name ; and 
the adventures of the gentleman of that name amused me 
very much in my youth, I must confess." 

Franz said no more. The name of Sinbad the Sailor, as 
may well be supposed, awakened in him a world of recol- 
lections. " Proceed ! " said he to the host. 

" Vampa put the two sequins haughtily into his pocket, 
and slowly returned by the way he had gone. As he 
came within two or three hundred paces of the grotto, he 
thought he heard a cry. He listened to know whence 
this sound could proceed. A moment afterwards and he 
heard his own name pronounced distinctly. The cry pro- 
ceeded from the grotto. He bounded like a chamois, 
cocking his carbine as he went, and in a moment reached 
the summit of a hill opposite to that on which he had 
perceived the traveller. There the cries for help came to 
him more distinctly. He cast his eyes around him, and 
saw a man carrying off Teresa, as the Centaur Nessus car- 
ried Dejanira. This man, who was hastening towards the 
wood, was already three-quarters of the way on the road 
from the grotto to the forest. Vampa measured the dis- 
tance ; the man was at least two hundred paces in advance 
of him, and there was not a chance of overtaking him. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

The young shepherd stopped as if his feet had been rot 
to the ground ; then he put the butt of his carbine to hts 
shoulder, took aijn at tlie raviaher, followed him for t 
second in hia track, and then fired. The ravieher stopped 
suddenly, liis kiicea bent under hira, and he fell with 
Teresa in hia arms. Tlio young girt rose instantly ; but 
Ihs man lay on the earth struggling in the agonies <: 
death. Vampa then rushed towanis Teresa, — for at ten 
paces from the djing man her legs had failed her and she 
had dropped on her knees ; so that the young niau feared 
that the ball that had brought down his enemy had also 
wounded hia betrotlied. Fortunately, she was unscathed ; 
and it was fright alone that had overcome Teresa. When 
Luigi had assured himself that she was safe aud unharmed, 
he turned towards the wounded man. He had just ex- 
pired, with chnched handR, his mouth in a spasm 
agony, and his hair on end in the sweat of death. , 
eyes remained open and menacing. Vampa approached 
the body and recognized Cucumetto. 

" From the day on which the bandit had been saved hy 
the two young peasants, he had been enamoured of Teresa, 
and had sworn she should he his. From that time he I 
watched tbem, and profiting by the moment when her 
lover had left her alone while he guided the traveller c 
his way, had carried her off, and believed he at length had 
lier in his power, when the ball, directed by the unerring 
skill of the young herdsman, had pierced his heart. Vampa 
guzed on him for a moment without betraying the sligh 
emotion ; while on the contrary Teresa, shuddering in 
every limb, dared not approach the slain ruffian but hy 
degrees, and threw a hesitating glance at the dead body 
over the shoulder of her lover. Suddenly Vampa turned 
towards his mistress ; ' Ah, ah ! ' said he, ' good, good ! 
you are attired ; it is now my turn to dress myself.' 

" Teresa was clothed from head to foot in the garb of 



liOJlAX BANDITS. 69 

the Comte da San Felice's daughter. Vanipa took Cucu- 
metto's body in his anna and conveyed it to tlie grotto, 
while in her turn Teresa remained outside. If a second 
traveller had passed he would have seen a strange thing, 
— a shepherdess watohiug hei' flock, clad in a caalimere 
gown, with earrings and necklace of pearia, diamond pins, 
and buttons of sapphire.s, emeralds, and rubies. He 
would no doubt have believed that he had returned to the 
times of Florinn, and would have declared on reaching Paris 
that he had met a shepherdess of the Alps seated at tlie 
foot of the Sabine HUJ, At the end of a quarter of an 
hour Vampa quitted the grotto ; his costume was no less 
elegant than that of Teresa. He wore a vest of garnet- 
colored velvet, with hutt n f t Id a silk waistcoat 
covered with embroidery a R nan ca f tied round his , 
neck ; a cartouche-box wo k d with g Id id red and green 
silk ; sky-blue velvet hr la fasten d above the knee 
with diamond biiekles ; ^ t rs f d kin worked wilh 
a thousand arabesques ; a d a hat wh re n hung ribbons 
of all colors. Two watch h n f n h s girdle, and a 
splendid poniard was in 1 b It 1 uttered a cry of 

admiration. Vampa in th att mbl d a painting by 

Leopold Robert or by Schnetz. He had assumed the 
entire costume of Cucumetto. The young roan saw the 
effect produced on his betrothed, and a smile of pride 
passed over his lips. ' Now,' he said to Teresa, 'are you 
ready to share my fortune, whatever it may heV ' Oh, 
yea!" exclaimed the young girl, enthusiastically. 'And 
follow me wherever I go?' 'To the world's end.' 'Then 
take my arm and let us go on ; we have no time to lose.' 
The young girl took her lover's arm without asking him 
whither he was conducting her, — for he appeared to her at 
this moment as handsome, proud, and powerful as a god. 
They went towards the forest ami soon entered it. All the 
paths of the mountain were of course well known to Vam- 



70 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CKISTO. 



pa. He therefore went forward without a moment's Lea- 
itatioD, although there was no beaten track ; but he knew 
his path by looking at the trees and bushes, and thus they 
kept on advancing for nearly an hour and a half. At the 
end of thia time they had reached the thickest of the for- 
est. A torrent, whose bed was dry, led iiito a deep gorge. 
Vampa touk this wild road, which, enclosed hetween two 
ridges and shadowed by the tufted umbrage of the pioes, 
seemed, but for the ditliculties of its descent, that path to 
Avemua of which Virgil speaks. Teresa had become 
alarmed at the wild and deserted look of the plain around 
her, and pressed closely against her guide, not uttering a 
syllable ; but as she saw him advance with even step and 
composed countenance, she endeavored to repress her emo- 
tion. Suddenly, about ten paces from tliem, a man ad- 
vanced from behind a tree and aimed at Vampa. ' Not 
another step,' he eaid, ' or you are a dead man ! ' ' What, 
then 1 ' said Vampa, raising his hand with a gesture of 
disdain, while Teresa, no longer able to restrain her alarm, 
clung closely to him; 'do wolves rend each otherl' 
'Who are youl' inquired the sentinel. 'I am Luigi 
Vampa, shepherd of the farm of Sau Felice.' ' What do 
you want V ' 1 would speak with your companions 
who are in the recess at Rocca Bianco.' 'Follow me, 
then,' said the sentinel ; ' or as you know your way, go 
first,' Vampa smiled disdainfully at this precaution of 
the bandit, wont before Teresa, and continued to advance 
with the same firm and easy step as before. At the end 
of ten minutes the bandit made them a sign to atop. The 
two young persona obeyed. Then the handit thrice imi- 
tated the cry of a crow ; a croak answered this signal, 
' Good ! ' said the sentry ; ' you may now advance.' Luigi 
and Teresa again set forward ; as they advanced, Teresa 
clung tremblingly to her lover as she saw through the 
IS arms appear and the barrels of carbines shine. The 



ROMAN BANDITS. 71 

retreat of Rocca Biauca was at the top of a small moun- 
tain, which no doubt in former days had been a volcano, 
— a volcano extinct before the days when Remus and 
Romulus had deserted Alba to come and found the city 
of Rome, Teresa and Luigi reached the summit, and all 
at once found themselves in the presence of twenty ban- 
dits. * Here is a young man who seeks and wishes to 
speak to you,' said the sentinel. * What has he to say ? * 
inquired the young man who was in command in the 
chiefs absence. * I wish to say that I am tired of a shep- 
herd's life,' was Vampa's reply. * Ah, I understand,' said 
the lieutenant ; * and you seek admittance into our ranks ] * 

* Welcome ! ' cried several bandits of Ferrusino, Pampi- 
nara, and Anagni, who had recognized Luigi Vampa. 'Yes, 
but I come to ask something more than to be your com- 
panion.' * And what may that be ] * inquired the bandits, 
with astonishment. * I come to ask to be your captain,' 
said the young man. The bandits shouted with laughter. 

* And what have you done to aspire to this honor ] ' de- 
manded the lieutenant. * I have killed your chief, Cucu- 
metto, whose dress I now wear; and I set fire to the 
Villa de San Felice to procure a wedding-dress for my 
betrothed.' An hour afterwards Luigi Vampa was chosen 
captain, vice Cucumetto deceased." 

" Well, my dear Albert," said Franz, turning towards 
his friends, " what think you of citizen Luigi Vampa ? " 

** I say he is a myth," replied Albert, " and never had 
an existence." 

"And what may a myth be 1 " inquired Pastrini. 

" The explanation would be too long, my dear landlord," 
replied Franz. " And you say that Maitre Vampa exer- 
cises his profession at this moment in the environs of 
Rome ] " 

" Yes, with a boldness of which no bandit before him 
ever gave an example." 



72 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

"Then the police have vainly tried to lay hands on 
him 1 " 

" Why, you see, he Las & good uuderstaniling with tiie 
BhepIiBrds in the plains, the fishermen of the Tiber, and 
the smugglers of the coast. They aeck for him in the 
TQonutaina, and lie is an the watera ; they follow him on 
the waters, and be ia on the open sea. Then they pnrsue 
him, and he has suddenly taken refuge in the Isle of Giglio, 
of Guanouti, or Monte Cristo ; and when they hunt for 
him there, he reappeacs suddenly at Albano, Tivoli, or 
I*tt Riccia." 

" And how does bo behave towards travellera 1 " 

" Alaa ! his plan is very simple. It depends on the 
distance he may be from the city whether he gives eight 
hours, twelve hours, or a day wherein to pay their ransom ; 
and when that time has elapsed he allows another hour's 
grace. - At the sixtieth minQto of this hour, if the money 
is not forthcoming he blows out the prisoner's hraiua with 
a pistol-shot, or plants his dagger in his heart, and that 
settles the account." 

"Well, Albert," inquired Franz of his companion, "aw 
you still disposed to go to the Colosseum by the outer 
boulevards 1 " 

" Certainly," said Albert, "if the way be picturesque." i 

The clock struck uine as the door opened, and a coach- 
man appeared. " Excellencies," said he, " the coach is 
ready." 

" Well, then," said Franz, " let us to the Colosseum." 

" By the Porta del Popolo, or by the streets, your 
Excellencies 1 " 

" By the streets, morbleu ! by the streets ! " cried Frana. 

" Ah, my dear fellow," said Albert, rising and lighting 
his third cigar, " really, I thought you had more courage." 
So saying, the two yonng men went down the staircase, 
and got into the carriage. 



AN APPARITION. 73 



CHAPTEK IV. 

AN APPARITION. 

Franz had so appointed his route that during the ride to 
the Colosseum they passed not a single ancient ruin ; so 
that no gradual preparation was made on the mind for the 
colossal proportions of the gigantic building they came to 
admire. The road selected was a continuation of the Via 
Sistina ; then, by cutting ofif the right angle of the street 
in which stands Santa Maria Maggiore, and proceeding by 
the Via Urbana and San Pietro in Vincoli, the travelleiB 
would find themselves directly opposite the Colosseum. 
This itinerary possessed another great advantage, — that 
of leaving Franz at full liberty to indulge his deep revery 
upon the subject of the story recounted by Maitre Pastrini, 
in which his mysterious host of the Isle of Monte Cristo 
was so strangely mixed up. Seated with folded arms in 
a corner of the carriage, he continued to ponder over the 
singular history he had so lately listened to, and to ask 
himself an interminable number of questions touching its 
various circumstances, without, however, arriving at a 
satisfactory reply to any of them. One fact more than 
the rest brought his friend " Sinbad the Sailor " back to 
his recollection, and that was the mysterious sort of inti- 



Ti 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 



macy that seemed to exist betireen the brigaudB and the 
saiiurs ; and Pastriui's account of Vaiai>a's liaving fouud 
refuge on board the vessels of smugglers and fishermei 
reminded Fianz of the two Coraican bandits he had found 
supping eo amicably with the crew of tbe little jQclil, which 
had even deviated from its coui'se and touched at Porto 
Vecchio for the sole purpose of landing them. Tlie 
name assumed by his host of Monte Cristo, and rep 
by the landlord of the H6tel de LoiiUres, proved to him 
tbat hia island friend was playing the same philantliropio 
part on the aborea of Piuinbino, Civita Vecchia, Ostia, and 
Gatta, as on those of Corsica, Tuscany, and Spain ; and fur- 
ther, Franz remembered that he had spoken of Tunis and 
Palermo, whiuh showed how lar hia circle of acquaintances 
extended. 

But however the mind of the young man might be ab- I 
Gorbed in these reflections, they were at once dispersed at 
the sight of the dark frowning ruins of the stupendona 
Colosseum, tiirough the various openings of which the 
pale moonlight played and fl.ickeTed like the unearthly 
gleam from the eyes of the wandering dead. The carriage 
stopped near the Mesa Sudans; the door was openedj and 
the young men, eagerly alighting, found themselves oppo- 
site a cicerone, who appeared to have sprung up from the 
ground. 

The usual guide fi'om the hotel having followed them, 
tliey had two of them ; nor la it possible at Rome to avoid 
this superfluity of guides, Besides the ordinary cicerane 
who seizes upon jou when you set foot in your hotel and 
never quits you while you remain in the city, there is also 
a special cicerone belonging to each monument, — nay, 
almost to each part of a monument. It may tliereforo 
be easily imagined that there is no acarcity of guides at 
the Colosseum, — that wonder of all ages, which Martial 



I 



AN APPAEI'nON. 75 

thus eulogizes : " Let Mempliia ceaae to boaat the barbar- 
ous miracles of bar pyramids, and let the wonders of 
Babylon be talked of no more among us ; all otlier works 
must give place to the iuinienso amphitheatre of the 
Cieaare, and all voices of Fame should unite to celebrate 
tliat monument." 

Ab for Albert and Fi-anz, they eeaayed not to escape 
from their Ciceronian tyrants ; and indeed it would have 
been especially difScult to do so, aiuce the guides alone 
are permitted to visit these monumcuta with torches in 
their hands. The young men made no resistance, but 
surrendered themselves unreservedly to their couductora. 
FranK had ah-cady made ten similar excursions to the 
Colosseum, whOe his companion trod for the first time 
the classic memorial of Flavius Vespasian; and to hia 
credit be it spoken, bis mind, even amid the glib loquacity 
of the guides, was strongly impressed. In fact, without 
seeing it no one can form any idea of tbe majesty of such 
a ruin, all whose proportions appear twice as large in the 
mysterious light of that southern moon, whose rays have 
the effect of a twilight in the east. Scarcely therefore 
had the reflective Franz walked a hundred steps beneath 
the interior porticos of the ruin, when abandoning Albert 
to the guides, who would by no means yield their pre- 
scriptive right to exhibit to him the Den of Lions, the 
Gladiators' Chamber, and the Gallery of the C^aars, he 
ascended a dilapidated staircase, and leaving them to their 
prescribed course of sight-seeing, went quietly to sit in 
the shadow of a column and opposite a large chasm, 
which permitted him to enjoy a full and undiaturbed 
view of the gigantic dimensions of this majestic ruin. 

Franz had remained nearly a quarter of an hour hidden 
by tbe shadow of a column, whence bis eyes followed tlie 
motions of Albert and his guides, who, holding torches in 



(G THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 

their hands, had emei^ed from a vomitarium placed at tha J 
opposite extremity of tlie Colosseum, and then again dis-. 
appeared down the steps conducting to the seats reserved I 
for the Vsstal Virgins, resembiing, as they glided along, i 
some restless shades following thu flickering glare of so 
many ignes-fatui, when all at once hia ear caught a sound J 
resembling that of a stone rolling down the stairoaee op- I 
postte the one by which he had himself ascended. There \ 
was nothing remarkable in the circumstance of a piece o 
granite giving way and falling heavily below ; but it seemed I 
to him that the substance that fell gave way beneath tha I 
pressure of a foot, and also that some one who endeavored 
as much as possible to prevent his footsteps from being 
heard, was approaching the spot where he sat. Conjecture 
soon became certainty, — for the figure of a man appeared, 
gradually emerging from the darkness as he ascended the 
staircase, the summit of which was lighted by the moon, I 
while its steps descended into obscurity. He might be a i 
traveller who like Franz preferred the enjoyment of soli- 
tude and his own thoughts to the frivolous gabble of the | 
guides, — so that his appearance there was not surprising ■ I 
but the hesitation with which he proceeded onwards, e 
ping and listening with aniioua attention at every step he I 
took, convinced Franz that he had come with a definite \ 
purpose, and that he was expecting some one. By an 
instinctive impulse Franz ivithdrew as much as possible 
behind his pillar. About ten feet from the spot where i 
himself and the stranger were placed, the roof bad given i 
way, leaving a large round apei'ture through which might 
be seen the blue vault of heaven thickly studded with j 
stars. Around this opening, which had possibly for ages ' 
permitted a free enti'ance to the moonlight, grew a quantity 
of creeping plants, whose delicate green branches stood out 
in bold relief against the clear azure of the firmament, 



AN APPAEITION. 7" 

while krge maaseR of thick strong fibrous shoots forced 
their way through the chasm and hung floating to and fro 

ilike so many waving strings. The person whose mysteri- 
ous arrival had attracted the attention of Franz stood in a 
J^ind of half'light that rendered it impossible to distinguish 
3ii3 features, although hia dress was easily made out. He 
■wore a large brown mantle, one fold of which thrown over 
ilia left shoulder served Hkewise to mask the lower part of 
lis countenance, while the upper part was completely 
liidJen by his broad-brimmed hat. The lower part of his 
dress was more distinctly visible by the bright rays of the 
moon, which entering through the broken ceiling showed 
I that he wore boots of polished leather, over which do- 
i trousers of black cloth. Evidently he belonged 
high society, if not to tlie aristocracy. 
After a few moments the stranger began to show signs 
Eiif impatience, when a slight noise was heard outside the 
bperture in the roof, and almost immediately a dark shadow 
teemed to obstruct the light, and the figure of a man was 
Nearly seen gazing with eager scrutiny on the immense 
aeath him ; then, as he perceived the man in the 
[mantle, he grasped a floating mass of thickly-matted boughs 
and glided down by their help to within three or four feet of 
the ground, and tlien leaped lightly on Ids feet. He wore 
the costume of a Transteverian. 

" I beg your Excellency's pardon for keeping you wait- 
i the man, in the Roman dialect; "but I don't 
bhiuk I 'm many minutes after my time. Ten o'clock lias 
Bust struck by the clock of St. Jean de Latran." 

"Say not a word about being late," replied the stranger, 

a purest Tuscan ; " 't ia I who am too soon. But even if 

^on had caused me to wait a little while, 1 should have 

felt quite sure that the delay was not occasioned by any 

tault of youra," 



78 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



" Your Excellency is riglit," said the maD ; " 
here direct from tiie Cli&teaii St. Ange, nnil I had an im<i 
menae deal of trouble before I could get to speak taV 
Beppo." 

" Aud who is Beppo ? " 

" Oh, Beppo is employed in the prison ; and I give himfl 
BO much a year to let me know what ib going on wit)iia| 
his Holiness's chateau," 

" Indeed I You are a provident person, I see." 

"Why, you see, no one knows what may happen,! 
Perhaps some of these days 1 way he entrapped like jwor^ 
Peppiuo, and may be very glad to have some little nibblingj 
mouse to gnaw the nieahea of my net." 

"Briefly, what did you learn 1 " 

"That two executions of considerable interest will tak&a 
place on Tuesday, at two o'clock, as is customary at liom^H 
at the coramenceraent of all great festivals. One of ths^ 
culprits will be moMolato; ho is an atrocious villaiiif 
who murdered the priest who brought him up, and c 
serves not the smallest pity. The other sufferer 
tenced to be deeapitalo ; and he, your Excellency, is po£ 
Peppino." 

" What can you expect ? You have inspired not onlft 
the pontifical Government, but also the neighboring StateaJ 
with such fear that they aro glad of an opportmiity b 
make an example." 

" But Peppino did not even belong to my band ; I 
was merely a poor shepherd, whose only crime consist© 
in furnishing ua with provisions." 

" Which makes him your accomplice to all intents and> 
purposes. But mark the distinction with which he is* 
treated : iDstead of being knocked on the head as you 
would he if once they caught hold of you, he is simply 
sentenced to be guillotined. In that way the amusements 



AN APPARITION. 79 

of the day are diversified, and there is a spectacle to please 
every spectator." 

" Without reckoning the wholly unexpected one I am 
preparing to surprise them with." 

** My good friend," said the man in the cloak, " excuse 
me for saying that you seem to me precisely in the mood 
to commit some act of folly." 

" I am in the mood to prevent the execution of the 
poor devil who has got into this scrape solely through 
having served me. By the Madonna ! I should despise 
myself as a coward did I desert the brave fellow in his 
present extremity." 

" And what do you mean to do ] " 

" To surround the scaflFold with twenty of my best men, 
who at a signal from me will rush forward when Peppino 
is brought for execution, and by the assistance of their sti- 
lettos drive back the guard and carry ofif the prisoner." 

"That seems to me as hazardous as uncertain, and I am 
quite sure that my scheme is far better than yours." 

" And what is your Excellency's project?" 

" Just this : I will so advantageously bestow ten thou- 
sand piastres that the person receiving them shall obtain 
a respite till next year for Peppino ; and during that year 
I will so bestow one thousand additional piastres that he 
will escape from prison." 

"And do you feel sure of succeeding]" 

" Pardieu ! " exclaimed in French the man in the 
cloak. 

"What did your Excellency sayl** inquired the other, 

" I say, my good fellow, that I will do more single- 
handed with my gold than you and all your band could 
effect with stilettos, pistols, carbines, and blunderbusses 
included. Leave me, then, to act^ and have no feajs for 
the result." 



80 THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 

" Very good ! but if you fail wa shall be ready." 

" Take what precautions you please but rely upon my 
obtaining tbe reprieve 

"Bemeuiber the exec to s fixed for the day after to- 
morrow, and that you ha^e b t one lay to work in." 

"And what thenl I n t a day d vided into twenty- 
four hours, each hour into aixtj m utia, and every i 
ute subdivided into a xty atconds 1 Now, in 86, 
seconds very many t! nga can 1"b dune." 

"And how shall I k ow nhether }our Excellency has 
Bucceoded or not!" 

" Oh ! that is very easily arranged. I have engaged the 
three lower windows at the Cafe Roapoli ; should I have 
obtained the requisite pardon for Peppino, the two outside 
windows will he hung with yellow damask, and the centre 
with white having a large cross in red marked on it." 

"And whom will you employ to carry the reprieve to 
the officer directing the executionl" 

" Send one of your men disguised as a penitent friar, 
and I will give it to him ; in that dress he can approach 
the scaffold itself and deliver the official order to the c 
cer who in his turn wiU hand it to the executioner, 
the mean time, acquaint Peppino with what we have de- 
termined on, to prevent his dying of fear or losing his 
senses ; in either case a useless expense will have been 
incurred for him." 

"Your Excellency," said the man, "you are fully per- 
suaded of my entire devotion to you, are you not I" 

"Nay. I flatter myself that there can be no doubt of 
it," replied the cavalier in the cloak. 

"Well, then, if you save Peppino, henceforward you 
shall receive not only devotednesa, but obedience." 

"Have a care how far you pledge yourself, my good 
friend, for I may remind you of your promise at some per- 



AN APPARITION. 81 

haps not very distant period, when I, in my turn, may 
require your aid and influence," 

"Let that day come sooner or later, your Excellency 
will find me what I have found you in this my heavy 
trouble ; and if from the other end of the world you but 
write me word to do such or such a thing, conclude it 
done, for done it shall be, on the word and faith of — " 

" Hush 1 " interrupted the stranger ; " I hear a noise." 

"'Tis some travellers who are visiting the Colosseum 
by torchlight." 

" 'T were better we should not be seen together. Those 
guides are nothing but spies, and might possibly recognize 
you ; and however I may be honored by your friendship, 
my worthy friend, if once the extent of our intimacy 
were known, I am afraid my reputation would suffer 
thereby." 

" Well, then, if you obtain the reprieve 1 " 

" The middle window at the Caf^ Rospoli will be hung 
with white damask bearing on it a red cross." 

" And if you fail ] " 

" Then all three windows will have yellow draperies." 

"And then]" 

" And then, my good fellow, use your daggers in any 
way you please ; and I further promise you to be there as 
a spectator of your prowess." 

"All is then understood between us. Adieu, your 
Excellency; depend upon me as firmly as I do upon 
you." 

Saying these words, the Transteverian disappeared 
down the staircase; while his companion, muffling his 
features more closely than before in the folds of his 
mantle, passed almost close to Franz, and descended to 
the arena by an outward flight of steps. The next min- 
ute Franz heard himself called by Albert, who made the 

VOL. II. — 6 



5:! THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

lofty building re-echo with the sound of hie frienii's 
Franz, however, itid not obey the BummonB till he liad 
aatisBed himself the two men hud j^oiie, — not wishing 
them to iearn tliat there bad been a witness of tlieir in- 
terview ivlio, if unable to recognize their faces, had at 
least heard every word that passed. Ten minutes later 
Franz was on tlie road to the Hfitel d'Eapagne, listening 
with iadilTerence to the learned dissertation delivered by 
Albert, after the manner of Pliny and CaJpuniius, touch- 
inj; liie iron-pointed nets used to prevent the feroeious 
benste from springing on the specttitora. Franz let him 
proceed without interruption ; he longed to be alone that 
he might without intpmiption ponder over all that had 
occurred. One of those two men was an entire stranger 
to him, but not so the other ; ami though I'ranz had been 
unable to distinguish his features, wrapped in hia mantle 
or obscured by the shadow, the tones of hia voice had 
mode too powerful an impression on him the first time 
he heard them for him ever to forget them. There was 
especially in his tones of raillery a certain metallic vibra- 
tion which hud startled him among the ruins of the Colos- 
seum as in the grotto of Monte Cristo, Ho was therefore 
well eatistied tliat this man was no other than " Sinbad 
the Sailor." 

Now, under any other circumstances, so great was his 
curiosity about this strange being, Franz would have made 
himself known to him ; but in the present instance, the 
confiJential nature of the conversation he had overheard 
suggested to him the reasonable apprehension that his ap- 
pearance at such a time would be anything but agreeable. 
As we have seen, therefore, he had allowed the man to de- 
part without addressing him, — proTiiising hiraaelf that if 
he should meet him again he would not allow him to es- 
cape a second time. In vain did Franz endeavor to forget 



AN APPARITION. 83 

the many perplexing thoughts which assailed him ; in vain 
did he court the refreshment of sleep, Slumher refused 
to visit his eyelids, and his night was passed in feverish 
contemplation of the chain of circumstances tending to 
prove the identity of the mysterious visitant to the Colos- 
seum and the inhabitant of the grotto of Monte Cristo ; 
and the more he thought, the firmer grew his opinion on 
the subject. Worn out at length, he fell asleeg at day- 
break and did not awake till late. Like a genuine French- 
man, Albert had employed his time in arranging for thci 
evening's diversion. He had sent to engage a box at the 
Teatro Argentine ; and Franz, having a numbeir of letters 
to write, relinquished the carriage to Albert for the whole 
of the day. At five o'clock Albert returned ; he had de- 
livered his letters of introduction, had received invitations 
for all his evenings, and had seen Rome. A day had suf- 
ficed Albert for all that ; and he had also had time enough 
to ascertain the name of the piece to be played that night 
at the Teatro Argentino, and also what performers appeared 
in it. 

The opera of " Parisina " was announced for represen- 
tation, and the principal actors were Coselli, Moriani, 
and La Spech. The young men had reason to con- 
sider themselves fortunate in having the opportunity of 
hearing one of the best works by the composer of " Lucia 
di Lammermoor," supported by three of the most renowned 
vocalists of Italy. Albert had never been able to endure 
the Italian theatres, which have orchestras from which it 
is impossible to see, and no balconies or open boxes ; these 
defects pressed hard on a man who had his stall at the 
BoufFes, and his share in the omnibus-box at the opera. 
Nevertheless, Albert displayed his most dazzling and eflfec- 
tive costume whenever he visited the theatres. It was 
wasted splendor, — for it must be confessed that one of the 



84 THE COUKT OF MONTE CRKITO. 

most worthy representatives of Parisian fashion had over- 
run Italy for four months withoat meeting ^vith a si) 
adventure. 

Sometimes Albert would affeet to make a joke of 
"■ant of success, but internally he was deeply mortified 
that he, Albert de Morcerf, one of the young i 
sought after, should still liave only his labor for hia pains. 
And the thing waa the more annoying because with the 
characteristic modesty of a Frenchman, Albert had quitted 
Paris with the full conviction that he bad only to show 
himself in Italy to carry all before him, and that upon his 
return he should astonish the Parisian world with the re- 
cital of his numerous love affairs. Alas ! jione of those 
interflsting adventures fell in his way. The iovely coun- 
tesses — Genoese, Florentine, and Neapolitan — were all 
faithful, if not to their husbands, at least to their lovers ; 
and Albert had gained the painful conviction that the 
women of Italy have at least this advantage over those of 
France, that they aro faitbfd to their infidelity. I would 
not venture to dcTiy that in Italy, as everywhere else, there 
are exceptions. Albert, besides being an elegant, well- 
looking young man, was also possessed of considerable 
talent and ability; moreover, he was a viscount, — a re- 
cently created one, certainly, but in tlie present day it ia 
of no consequence whether one dates from 1399 or from 
1815. But to crown all these advantages, Albert de 
Morcerf commanded an income of iifty thousand livres, a 
more than sufficient sum to render him a personage of con- 
siderable importance in Paris. It was therefore no small 
mortification to him not to have been seriously regarded 
by any one in any of the cities wjiicb he had visited. He 
hoped, however, to recover himself at Rome, — the Carnival 
being, in all the countries of the earth which celebrate 
that excellent institution, a period of liberty in which even 



1 



AN APPARITION. 85 

the wisest and gravest throw off the usual rigidity of 
their lives, and suffer themselves to be drawn into acts 
of foUy. 

The Carnival was to commence on the morrow ; there- 
fore Albert had not an instant to lose in setting forth the 
programme of his hopes, expectations, and claims to notice. 
With this design he had engaged a box in the most con- 
spicuous part of the theatre, and exerted himself to set off 
his personal attractions by the aid of an elaborate toilet. 
The box taken by Albert was in the first circle, which with 
us is the gallery. The first three tiers of boxes are equally 
aristocratic, and are called for that reason *' the boxes of 
the nobility." The box engaged, which would contain a 
dozen persons easily, had cost the two friends a little less 
than a box for four would cost at the Ambigu. Albert 
had still another hope. If he could engage the affection 
of some fair Koman, that would lead naturally to a seat in 
a carriage, or a place in a princely balcony from which he 
might behold the gayeties of the Carnival. These united 
considerations made Albert more lively and anxious to 
please than he had hitherto been. Totally disregarding 
the business of the stage, he leaned from his box and 
began attentively scrutinizing the beauty of each pretty 
woman, aided by a powerful lorgnette. But alas ! this at- 
tempt to attract similar notice wholly failed, — not even 
curiosity had been excited ; and it was but too apparent 
that the lovely creatures into whose good graces he was 
desirous of stealing were all so much engrossed with 
themselves, their lovers, or their own thoughts, that they 
had not so much as remarked him or the pointing of 
his glass. 

The truth was that the anticipated pleasures of the 
Carnival, with the " Holy Week " that was to succeed it, 
80 filled every fair breast as to prevent the least attention 



THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 

being bestowed eTen on the business of tlie stage ; the 
actors made their entries and exits uiiobserved ( 
thought of. At (Miitaiu couventional niojuents tlie specta- 
tors wuuld suddenly cease their conversation, 
themselves from their musings to listen to some brilliant 
effort of Muriani'a, a well-esecuted recitative by Coselli, 
or to join in loud applause at the wonderful powers of La 
Spech 1 but that momentary excitement over, tJiey quickly 
relapsed into their former state of preoccupation or inter- 
esting conversation. Towards the close of the first act 
the door of a box which had been hitherto vacant was 
opened ; a lady entered to whom Franz had been intro- 
duced in Paris, where indeed lie bad imagined she still 
was. Tiie quick eye of Alliert caught the involuntary 
start with which his friend beheld the new arrival, 
and turning to him, he said hastily, "Do you know tbat 

" Yes ; what do you think of her 1 " 

"She is supremely beautiful; what a co 
And such magnificent hair 1 Is she French 1 " 

" No ; a Venetian." 

"And her name ia—" 

" Comtesso G " 

"Ah ! I know her by name," exclaimed Albert; "aba 
is said to possess as much wit and clevernesa as beauty ! 
Ah ! when I think that I mi},'ht have been presented to 
her at the last ball of Madame de Villefort, where she was 
present, and neglected the opportunity, — what a ninny 



mplcx 



I ' 



,8!" 



"Shall T assist you in repairiug your negligences" 
asked Franz. 

" My dear fellow, are you really on such good terms 
with her as to venture to take nie to her box!" 

"Why, I have bad the honor of speaking to her J 



AN APPARITION. 87 

three or four times in my life ; but you know that even 
such an acquaintance as that might warrant my doing 
what you ask." 

At this instant the countess perceived Franz and 
graciously waved her hand to him, to which he replied 
by a respectful inclination of the head. 

" Upon my word," said Albert, " you seem to be on 
excellent terms with the beautiful countess ! '* 

"You are mistaken in thinking so," returned Franz, 
calmly ; " but you fall into the same error which leads so 
many of our countrymen to commit the most egregious 
blunders, — I mean that of judging the habits and customs 
of Italy and Spain by our Parisian notions. Believe me, 
nothing is more fallacious than to form an estimate of the 
degree of intimacy existing among persons by the familiar 
manner of their intercourse ; there is a similarity of feel- 
ing at this instant between ourselves and the countess, — 
nothing more." 

" Is there, indeed, my good fellow 1 Pray tell me, is it 
sympathy of heart 1 " 

" No ; of taste ! " continued Franz, gravely. 

" And what is the cause of it 1 " 

" A visit to the Colosseum, like that which we made 
together." 

" By moonlight 1 " - 

"Yes." 

" Alone 1 " 

" Very nearly so." 

" And you talked of — " 

" The dead." 

" Ah 1 " cried Albert, " that must have been exhila- 
rating. Well, I promise you that if I have the good 
fortune to attend the beautiful countess on such a prome- 
nade, I shall talk to her of the living." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



will make a mistake." 
D time you will present me to her, t 



" And you v 

" In the n 
have promisi 

" As soon as the curtain falls." 

" The first act ia devilislJy lung." 

"Hear the end; it ia very hue, and CoselH slugs 
admirably." 

" Yes J but what a figure ! ' 

"La Spedi, then, it is impussible to be more 
dramatie." 

" But you must iindei-stand that when one has heard 
Soutag aud Malibran — " 

"At least you must admire ik[c>i'iani's style and 
execution." 

" I never fancied men of hia dark, pouderoua appear- 
ance singing with a voice hke a woman's." 

" My good friend," said I'rauz, turning to bim, while 
Albert continued to point hia glass at every box in the 
theatre, "you aeeni determined not to approve; you are 
really too difficult to please." 

The curtain at length fell on the performances, to the 
infinite satisfaction of the Vicomte de Morcerf, who 
seiised his hat, rapidly passeil his fingers through hia hair, 
arranged his cravat and wiistbands, and signified to Franz 
that he was waiting fur him to lead the way. Fram!, who 
had mutely interrogated the countess and received from 
her a gracious smile in token that he would he welcome, 
did not delay the gratification of Albert'a eager impa- 
tience, hut began at once the tour of the house closely 
followed by Albert, who availed himself of the few min- 
utes required to reach the opposite aide of the theatre to 
adjust bis collar and to arrange the lappets of his coat ; 
this important task was just completed as they arrived 
at the countess's bos. The young man who was seated 



AN APPARITION. 



89 



beside the countess in the front of the loge instantly ro8e, 
in obeiliutice to the Italian custom, and surrendered his 
place to the atrangera, wbo, in turn, would be expected to 
retire upuu the arrival of other visitors. 

Pranz presented Albert as one ot the most distinguished 
young men of the day, both as regarded his position in 
society and extraordinary talents ; nor did lie say mote 
than the trtitii, for iu Puria and the uircle in which the 
viscount moved, he was looked upon and cited as a model 
of perfection, l^'rani added that his compaaiou, deeply 
grieved because he had not been presented to the countess 
duriug her sojourn in Paris, bad requested bim (Fran?) 
to remedy that misfortune by conducting bim to her box, 
and concluded bj asking pardon for his presumption in 
doing 80. The countess replied by a charming bow to 
Albert, and extended her bond with cordial kindness to 
i'ranz. Albert, being invited by her, took the vacant 
place by ber side, and Franz sat in the second row behind 
her, Albert was soou deeply engrossed in discoursing 
upon Palis and Paris matters, speaking to the countc^sa of 
the various persons they both knew there, Franz perceived 
how completely he was in bis element, and unwilling to 
interfere with the pleasure he so evidently felt, took up 
Albert's lorgneUe, ami began in his turn to survey the 
audience. Sitting alone, iu the front of a box immedi- 
ately opposite, but situated iu the third tier, was a woman 
of exquisite beauty, dressed in a Greek costume, which 
it was evident from the ease and grace with which she 
wore it was her national attii'e. Behind her, but in deep 
shadow, was the outline of a male figure ; but the features 
of this latter personage it was not possible to distinguish, 
Franz could not forbear breaking in upon the apparently 
interesting conversation passing between the countess and 
Albert, to inquire of the former if siie knew who was the 



DO THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 

fuir A]baniau oppositi;, since beauty such as liera was wl'U 
worthy of bbing remajked by either sex, 

" All I can tell you about her," rephed the counteaa, 
■' ia tliat ahe liaa been at Eome since the beginning of the 
season, — for I saw her where she now sits the very first 
uigbt of the theatre's opening ; and since then she has 
never missed a performance. Sometimes she ia accom- 
panied by the ill wl ia with her, and at others 
merely attend d by bl k se vant." 

" And what ! j th k f her pereonal appearance 1 " 

" Oh, I ccji d 1 p if tly lovely, — she ia just my 
idea of what M 1 i» m t h e been." 

Franz and tl unt ss h nged a smile ; and then the 
latter reeumed her conversation with Albert, while Franz 
returned to his previous survey of the house and company. 
The curtain roae on the ballet, which was one of thuae 
excellent specimens of the Italian aohool, arranged and put 
on the stage by Henri, who has established for himself a 
great reputation throughout Italy for hia taste and skill in 
the chorographic art, — one of those masterly productions 
of grace, method, and elegance in which tho whole corpM 
de ballet, from the principal dancers to the humblest super- 
numerary, are all engaged on the stage at tho same time ; 
and a hundred and fifty persona may be seen exhibiting 
the same attitude, or elevating the same arm or leg with a 
si ujulttt neons movement. The ballet was called " Poliska." 
However much the ballet mi^'ht have claimed his attention, 
Franz was too deeply occupied with the heantiful Greek 
to take any note of it, while she seemed to experience an 
almost childlike del^ht in watching it ; her eager, animated 
looks uontraated strongly with the utter indiflerence of her 
companion, who during the whole time the piece lasted 
never even moved, spite of the furious crashing din pro- 
duced by the trumpets, cymbals, and Ciiiuese bells, made 



AN APPARITION. 91 

to produce their loudest sound from the orchestra. The 
apathetic companion of the fair Greek took no heed of the 
deafening sounds that prevailed, but was apparently en- 
joying soft repose and bright celestial dreams. The ballet 
at length came to a close ; and the curtain fell amid the 
frenzied plaudits of an enthusiastic audience. 

Owing to the very judicious plan of dividing the two acts 
of the opera with a ballet, the pauses between the perform- 
ances are very short in Italy, — the singers in the opera 
having time to rest themselves and change their costume 
when necessary, while the dancers are executing their pir- 
ouettes and exhibiting their graceful steps. The overture 
to the second act began ; and at the first sound of the 
leader's bow across his violin, Franz observed the sleeper 
slowly arise and approach the Greek girl, who turned 
round to say a few words to him, and then leaning for- 
ward again on the railing, became as absorbed as before 
in what was going on. The countenance of the person 
who had addressed her remained so completely in the 
shade that Franz could not distinguish his features. The 
curtain was raised, and the attention of Franz was attracted 
by the actors ; his eyes wandered for a moment from the 
box containing the beautiful Greek to watch the scene on 
the stage. 

Most of my readers are aware that the second act of 
" Parisina " opens with the celebrated and effective duet 
in which Parisina, while sleeping, betrays to Azzo the 
secret of her love for Ugo. The injured husband goes 
through all the workings of jealousy until conviction 
seizes on his mind ; and then in a frenzy of rage and 
indignation, he awakens his guilty wife to tell her he 
knows her guilt, and to threaten her with his vengeance. 
This duet is one of the most beautiful, expressive, and 
terrible that have emanated from the fruitful pen of Doni- 



93 THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 

Eetti. Franz now listened to it for the tLird time ; and 
though he was not especially suaceptible to the power of 
music, it produced upon liim a profound effect. He rose 
with the audience aud was about to join in the loud, 
enthusiastic applause that followed, but euJOcnly liis 
purpose was arrested, his hands fell by his sides, and the 
half-uttered "bravos" expired on iiis lips. The occupant 
of the box in which the Greek girl sat appeared to shar 
tbe universal admiration that prevailed, for he left his sea 
to stand up in the front ; so that his countenance bein 
fully revealed, Franz had no difficulty in recognizing him 
as the mysterious inhabitant of Monte Cristo, and the 
man whose voice and figure he had thought he recoguized 
the preceding evening in the ruins of the Colosseum, 
doubt of Ilia identity was now at an end ; the mysterious 
traveller evidently resided at Rome. The surprise 
agitation occasioned by this full confirmation of Franz's 
former suspicion had no doubt imparted a corresponding 
expression to his features, — for the countess, after gazing 
with a puzzled look on bis speaking countenance, burst 
into a fit of laughter, and be^ed to know what had 
happened. 

" Madame the Countess," returned Franz, " I asked you 
a short time since if you knew any particulars respecting 
the Albanian lady opposite ; I ask now if you know her 
husband 1 " 

" Nay," answered tbe countess, " I know no more of 
him than of her." 

" Perhaps you never before remarked him ! " 

"What a question, — so truly French 1 Do you not 
know that we Italians have eyes only for the man we 
love ) " 

" True," replied Franz, 

" All I can .say," continued the countess, taking up thfl 



AN APPARITION. 93 

lorgnette, and directing it to the box in question, " is that 
the gentleman seems to me as though he had just been 
dug up ; he looks more like a corpse permitted by some 
friendly grave-digger to quit his tomb for a while and 
revisit this earth of ours than anything human. How 
ghastly pale he is 1" 

" Oh, he is always as colorless as you now see him," 
said Franz. 

" Then you know him % " asked the countess. " Then 
I will inquire of you who he is." 

" I fancy I have seen him before ; and I even think he 



recognizes me." 



"And I can well understand," said the countess, shrug- 
ging up her beautiful shoulders, as though an involuntary 
shudder passed through her veins, " that those who have 
once seen that man will never be likely to forget him." 

The sensation experienced by Franz was evidently not 
peculiar to himself; another, and wholly uninterested 
person, felt the same unaccountable awe and misgiving. 
" Well," he inquired after the countess had a second time 
directed her lorgnette at the loge of their mysterious vis-a-vis^ 
" what do you think of that man 1 " 

" Why, that he is no other than Lord Euthven himself 
in a living form." 

This fresh allusion to Byron interested Franz. If any 
man could lead him to believe in the existence of vampires, 
it was the man before him. 

" I must find out who and what he is," said Franz, 
rising from his seat. 

" No, no ! " cried the countess ; " you must not leave 
me ! I depend upon you to escort me home. Oh, indeed, 
I cannot permit you to go 1 " 

" Is it possible," whispered Franz, " that you entertain 
any fear % " 



94 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO 



" I "Jl tell you," answered the countess. " Byron sworftB 
to me that he believed in the existence of vampires, and I 
even assured me that ha had seen thenj. He described to, J 
me their appearance; it is precisely like his, — the coal'l 
black hair, large bright glittering eyea in which a wild» J 
unearthly tire Beema bnnilng, that ghastly palet 
observe, too, that the very woman he has witli liim is I 
altogether unlike all others of her sex. She is a foreignerj 
— a Greek — a heretic — probably a mi^cian like liim-F 
self. I entreat of you not to go near bini, — at least to-| 
night. And if to-morrow your curiosity still continues a 
great, pursue your researcbes if you will , but now 1 meaa | 
to keep you." 

Franz protested that he could not defer Ins pni^uit till I 
the following day for many reasons. 

" Listen to me," said the couulesa ; " I am going home. J 
I have a party at my house to-night, and therefuro cannot I 
possibly remain till the conclusiou of the opera. WiU yoiv I 
be so Uiscourtcoua as to refuse me your company 1 " 

There was nothing left for Franz to do but to take up 1 
his hat, open the door of the loffe, and oETer tlie coi 
his arm. It was quite evident from the countess's man- 
ner that her uneasiness was not feigned ; and Fi'anz him- 
self could not resist a species of superstitious dread, — the 
stronger in him, as it arose from a variety of corroborating 
recollections, while the terror of the countess sprang from 
an instinctive feeling. Franz could even feel her arm 
tremble as he assisted her into the carriage. lie conducted 



her to her 1 



No c 



was there ; and she v 



) company 
not expected. He reproached her about it. 

"In very truth," she said, "I am not well, and I 1 
need to bo alone ; the sight of that i 
upset me," 

Fronx began to laugh. 



AN APPARITION. 95 

"Do not laugh," she said ; " you really do not feel like 
laughing. Now make me a promise." 

" What is it 1 " 

" Promise me." 

" I will do anything you desire except relinquish my 
determination of finding out who this man is. I have 
more reasons than you can imagine for desiring to know 
who he is, whence he came, and whither he is going." 

" Where he comes from I don't know ; but I can tell 
you where he is going, — he is going to hell, without the 
least doubt." 

" Let us return to the promise you wished me to 
make," said Franz. 

"Well, then, you must give me your word to return 
immediately to your hotel, and make no attempt to follow 
this man to-night. There are certain affinities between 
the persons we quit and those we meet afterwards. For 
Heaven's sake, do not serve as a conductor between that 
man and me ! Pursue him to-morrow as eagerly as you 
please ; but never bring him near me if you would not 
see me die of terror. And now good-night; retire to 
your apartment and try to sleep away all recollections of 
this evening. For my own part, I am quite sure T shall 
not be able to close my eyes." So saying, the countess 
quitted Franz, leaving him unable to decide whether 
she was merely amusing herself at his exjDense or was 
disturbed by actual apprehensions. 

Upon his return to the hotel, Franz found Albert in his 
dressing-gown and slippers, listlessly extended on a sofa, 
smoking a cigar. " My dear fellow ! " cried he, springing 
up, " is it really you 1 Why, I did not expect to see you 
before to-morrow." 

" My dear Albert ! " replied Franz, " I am glad of this 
opportunity to tell you, once and forever, that you enter- 



9G 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRTSTO. 



tnin a moat erroneoua notion concerning Italian wore 
I Bhoulil havo thought the continual failures you have 
raet with in all your own love aft'airs might have tanght i 
you laetter by this time." 

" Upon my soul ! these women would pnzzle the very ] 
DevU to read them aright. Why, here, — they give you i 
their hand, they press yours in return, they keep up a I 
whispering conversation, permit you to acponipany them I 
home I Why, if a Parisian were to do one quarter as 
much she would lose her reputation ! " 

"And the very reason why the women of this fine 
country put ao little restraint on their words and actions 
is that they live so much in public, and have really noth- 
ing to conceal. Besides, you must have perceived that J 
the countess was really alarmed." 

" At wliat, — at the sight of that respectahle gentleman ' 
sitting opposite to ua with the lovely Greek J Now, 
for my part, I met them in tlie lobby after the con- 
clusion of the piece ; and hang me, if I can guess wher 
you got your notions of the other world t He is a fine- j 
looking follow, well dressed, with the air of one who ■ 
clothes himself in France, with Elin or with Huraann, 
a trifle pale, indeed, but you know that paleness is a mark I 
of distinction." 

Franz smiled, — for he well reraemhered that Albert | 
particularly prided himself on the entire absence of color 
in his own complexion. "Well, that tends to confirm my i 
own ideas," said he, "that the cnuntesa'a enspioions w 
destitute alike of sense and reason. Did he speak in your I 
hearing ; and did you catch any of his words V 

" I did ; but they were uttered in the Romaic dialect, 
I knew that from the mixture of broken Greek words. 
I must tell you, my boy, thot when T was at college I 
was rather Btrong in Greek." 



AN APPARITION. 97 

" He spoke the Romaic language, did he ? " 

" I think so." 

"That settles it," murmured Franz. "'Tis he, past 
all doubt." 

"What do you say]" 

"Nothing, nothing! But tell me, what were you 
doing herel" 

" Oh, I was arranging a little surprise." 

" Indeed ! Of what nature 1 " 

"Why, you know it is quite impossible to procure a 
carriage." 

" I should think so, when we have in vain made every 
possible endeavor." 

" Well, I have had a marvellous idea." 

Franz looked at Albert as though he had not much con- 
fidence in the suggestions of his imagination. 

" My dear fellow," said Albert, " you honor me with a 
look which well deserves that I should demand satis- 
faction of you." 

" And I promise to give you the satisfaction of a gentle- 
man if your scheme turns out as ingenious as you say 
it is." 

" Well, then, listen." 

« I listen." 

" You agree, do you not, that obtaining a carriage is out 
of the question 1 " 

" I do." 

" Neither can we procure horses 1 " 

" True." 

" But we might procure a cart 1 " 

"Perhaps." 

" And a pair of oxen 1 " 

" Probably." 

"Then you see, my good fellow, with a cart and a 
VOL. n. — 7 



US THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

coup]eofoxenouibu3tnesscaDbijiiiana,ged. Thacartmust 
be tastefully ornttmented ; and if you aud I dresa ourselves j 
as Neapolitan reapers, we may get up a striking tableau, 
after the raaiiiier of that splendid picture by Leopold Hobert, 
It would add greatly to the effect if the countess would i 
join uain the costume of a peasant from Piizzoli or Sorrento. 
Oup group would then be quite complete, more especially 
as the countess \a quite beautiful enough to be taken for 1 
the original of ' The Mother of the Child.' " 

"Well," said Franz, "this time, M. Albert, 
bound to give you credit for having bit upon a capital i 

" And quite a national one, too," replied Albert, with 
gratified pride. " A mere mask borrowed from our own 
festtTities. Ha, ha 1 Messieurs the Romaua; you thought 
to make ua unhappy strangers trot at the heela of your i 
processions, like so many lazzaroni, because no carriages or j 
horses are to be had in your beggarly city. Very well ; i 
have invented them." 

" And have you communicated your triumphant idea to ] 
any person 1 " 

" Only to our host. Upon my return home I sent for 
him and explained to him my wishes. He assured me 
that nothing would be easier. I wanted him to have the 
horns of the oxen gilded, but he told mo there would not 
be time, as Jt would require three days to effect thatj , 
so you see we must do without that little superfluity." 

" And where is he now 1 " 

"\Vho1» 

" Our host." 

" Gone out in search of our equipage ; by to-morrow it 
might be too late." 

" 'I'lien he will Ije able to give us an answer to- 
niulill" 



AN APPARITION. 99 

" Oh, I expect him every minute." 

At this instant the door opened, and the head of 
Maitre Pastrini appeared. " Permesso ? *' inquired he. 

" Certainly, certainly ! " cried Franz. 

" Now then," asked Albert, eagerly, " have you found 
the desired cart and oxenl" 

" Better than that ! " replied the Maitre Pastrini, with 
the air of a man perfectly well satisfied with himself. 

" Take care, my worthy host,'* said Albert ; " better is a 
sure enemy to well,** 

" Let your Excellencies only leave the matter to me," 
returned Maitre Pastrini, in a tone indicative of unbounded 
self-confidence. 

" But what have you done ? " asked Franz. 

"Your Excellencies are aware," responded the landlord, 
swelling with importance, "that the Count of Monte 
Cristo is living on the same floor with yourselves ! " 

" I should think we did know it," exclaimed Albert, 
" since it is owing to that circumstance that we are packed 
into these small rooms like two poor students in the back 
streets of Paris." 

" Well, then, the Count of Monte Cristo, hearing of the 
dilemma in which you are placed, has sent to offer you 
seats in his carriage and two places at his windows in the 
Palace Rospoli." 

Albert and Franz looked at each other. " But do you 
think," .asked Albert, " that we ought to accept such offers 
from a stranger ? " 

" What sort of person is this Count of Monte Cristo 1 " 
asked Franz of his host. 

" A very great nobleman, but whether Maltese or Sicilian 
I cannot exactly say ; but this I know, that he is noble as 
a Borghese and rich as a gold mine." 

" It seems to me," said Franz, speaking in an undertone 



100 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CBlaTO. 



to Albert, "that if thia man merited thp high panegyrica | 
of our landlord, he would have conveyed hia invitation I 
through another cliannel, and not pennittod it to he I 
brought to us in this unceremonious way. He would | 
have written, or — " 

At tliia instant some one knocked at the door. " Come I 
in I" said Franz. A servant, wearing a livery of peculiar i 
elegance, appeared at the threshold ; and placing two cards ' 
in the landlord's hands, who forthwith presented them to 
the two young men, he said, " From M. le Comte de Monta 
Cristo to M. le Vicomte Albert de Morcerf and M. Franz 
Epinay, M. le Comte de Monte Cristo," continued the 
servant, " begs these gentlemen's permission to wait upon 
them as their neighbor to-morrow morning, and ho desires 
to know at what time they will please to receive him." 

" Faith, Franz," whispered Albert, " there is not much | 
to find fault with here." 

"Tell the Rount," replied Franz, "that we will do o 
selves the pleasure of calling on him." The servant bowed | 
and retired. 

*' That is what I call an elegant mode of attack," said 
Albert. " Yon were quite correct in what you stated, 
Maitre Pastrini. The Count of Monte Criato is unijues- I 
tionably a man of good breeding." 

" Then you accept his offer! " said the host. 

" Of course we do," replied Albert. " Still, I must own 
I am sorry to he obliged to give up the cart and the group 
of reapers ; it would have produced such an effect ! And 
were it not for the windows at the Palace Eospoli, by way 
of recompense for the loss of our beautiful scheme, I don't 
know but what I should have held on by my original' plan. 
What say you, Franz 1 " 

" Oh, I agree with you ; the windows in the Palace ( 
Eospoli alone decided me." 



AN AVpIRITION. 



101 



The mention of two plaeed in the Fnlace Kospoli bad 
recalled to Frau/'s mind tbe couvaraation he had overheard 
the precedisg evening in tbe tuins of tjite CoIuBseum be- 
tween the mysterious unknown and the 'TfanBtev-:Tian, in 
which the stranger in the eloak had engaged .!iim*eli| to 
obtain the freedom of a condemned criminal. Now, jl' tJia 
man with tbe cloak was, as everything led Fraaz to btj' 
lieve, tbe same as the person be bad just seen in tbe Teatro 
Argentino, he wonld clearly recognize him ; and then noth- 
ing would prevent his satisfying his curiosity concerning 
liim. Franz passed the niglit in dreaming of those two 
apparitions and longing fur the morrow. The next day 
must clear up every doubt ; and uuless bis host of Monte 
Cristo possessed tbe ring of Gyges, and by its power were 
able to render himself invisible, it was very certain be 
could not escape this time. Eight o'clock found Franz up 
and dressed, while Albert, who had not tbe eama motives 
for early rising, was still profoundly asleep. The first act 
of Franz was to summon bis landlord, who presented him- 
self with his accustomed obsei^uiousnesa. 

"Pray, Mattre Paatrini," asked Franz, "is not some 
execution appointed to take place to-day 1 " 

" Tea, your Excellency ; but if your reason for inquiry 
is that yon may procure a window, you are much too 

" Oh, no ! " answered Frauz, " I hod no such intention ; 
and even if I had felt a wish to witness the spectacle, I 
might have done so from Monte Pincio, could I not 1 " 

" Ob ! I thought your Excellency would not wish to 
mingle with the rabble, to whom that hill is a sort of 
natural amphitheatre." 

"Very possibly I may not go," answered Franz j "but 
give me some particulars." 

" What particulars would your Elxcellency lite to bear ) " 



f 



102 THE COUST 0F_M03TH.CBIST0, 

" Why, the number ^f peisons conilemiied to Buffer, their 
names, and description of the death tliey are to die." 

" That hapgens, wed, your Eicellency ! Only a, few n 
ntea ago they, brought me the tavoletlas." 

.". Wha\are they ! " 
.■'-.'i'^yi'ddeii tablets hung up at the comers of streets the 
._ "flvening before an execution, on which ia pasted a paper 
'containing the names of the coudemned persona, their 
Crimea, and mode of punishment. The purpose of this 
uotiScation is to summon the faithful to pray that God 
will grant to the culpi'ita a sincere repentance." 

"And these tablets are brought to you that you may 
add your prayers to those of the faithful, are tboy!" asked 
Franz, somewhat incredulously. 

" Oh, dear, no, your Excellency ; I have an agreement 
«4th the man who pastes up the papers, and he brings 
them to me as he would tlie play-bills ; so that in case 
any person staying at my hotel should like to witness 
an execution, be njay obtain every requisite information 

" Upou my word, that is most delicate attention on 
your part, MnJtre Pastrini," cried Franz. 

"Why, your Excellency," returned the landlord, smil- 
ing, " I think 1 may take upou myself to say tliat I 
neglect nothing to deserve the support and patronage of 
the noble visitors to this poor hotel." 

"I see that plainly enough, my most excellent host, 
and you may rely upon my repeating so striking a proof 
of your attention to your guests wherever I go. Mean- 
while, oblige me by a sight of one of these tavoiettai." 

" Nothing can be easier than to comply with your Ex- 
cellenoy'a wish," said the landlord, opening the door of 
the chamber ; " I Lave caused oue to be placed on the 
landing, close by your apaiiiments." Then, taking the 



AS APPARITION. 103 

tablet from the wall, he handed it to Fraiiz, who reail 
as follows ; — 

"The public is infonneJ. that on. Wedneadoy, February 23, 
being the first duy of the Carnival, two execntious will take 
place in the Place del Popolo, by order of the Tribunal de la 
Rota, of two individuals, named Andrta Rondola, and Peppino, 
otherwise called Rocca Pi'iori; the fumier found guilty of the 
murder of a venerahle and esemplary priest, named Don C&ar 
Torlini, canon of the church of St. Jean de Latrsn ; and the 
latter convicted of being an accomplice of the atrocious and bsd- 
goinary tMudit, Laigi Vampa, and bla band. The first-named 
malefactor will be ma^^liiio, the second culprit decapitato. The 
prayers of all charitable souk are entreuteil for these unfortu- 
nate men, that it may please God to awaken them to a senae of 
their guilt, and to grant them a. hearty and sincere repentance 
for their crunes." 

Tiiis was precisely what Franz had heard tho evening 
before in the ruins of the Coloasoum. No part of the 
programme difl'ered. The names of the condemned per- 
sona, their crimes, and mode of punishment, all agreed 
with his previous information, In all probability, there- 
fore, the Transteverian was no other than the bandit 
Luigi Vampa himself, and the man shrouded in the 
mantle "Sinbad the Sailor," who no doubt was still 
purauiug his philanthropia undertakings in Rome aa ho 
had already done at Porto Vecchio and Tunis. Time waa 
getting on, however ; it waa nine o'clock, and Franz was 
going to awaken Albert, when to hie great astoiiishmenb 
he saw him eome out of hie chamber fully dressed. Tlie 
anticipated delights of the Carnival had so run in Albert's 
head aa to make him leave his pillow earlier than hia 
friend had expected. 

"Now, my excellent Mattre Paatrini," aaid Franz, 
addressing Ids laudloid, "since we are both ready, do 



104 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRI8T0. 

you think we may proceed at once to visit tlie Count 
of Monte Criatol" 

" Moat assuredly," replied he. " The Count of Moiite 
Criato is always an early riser ; and I can answer for his 
having been up these two hours." 

" Tlien you really think that we shall coniniit no impro- 
priety if we pay our respects to him immediately 1 " 

"Not the least." 

" In that case, Albert, if you are ready — " 

"Entirely ready," said Albert. 

" Let us go and thank our neighbor for his courtesy." 

"Come on." 

The landlord preceded the friends across the lauding, 
which was all tliat separated them from the apartments 
of the count, rang at the bell, and upon the door being 
opened by a servant, said, "/ Sigaori Franeeii." 

The domestic bowed respectfully and invited them to 
enter. Tiiey passed through two rooms furnished with 
a style and luxury they had not expected to find under 
the roof of Maitre Pastrini, and were shown into an ele. 
gantly-fitted-up salon. The richest Turkey carpets covered 
the floor, and the softest and most inviting couches, ber- 
girei, and sofas offered their high-piled and yielding cush- 
ions to such as desired repose or refreshment. Splendid 
paintings by the first masters were ranged against the 
walls, intermingled with magnificent trophies of war, 
while heavy curtains of costly tapestry were suspended 
before the different doors of the room. " If your Excel- 
lencies will please to he seated," said the man, " I will 
let Monsieur the Count know that you are here," 

And with these words he disappeared behind one of the 
tapestried portierei. As the door opened the sound of a 
^zla reached the ears of the young men, but was almost 
immediately lost, for the rapid closing of the door merely 



B 



AN APPARITION. 105 

allowed one ricli swell of harmony to enter the salon. 
Fianz and Albert looked inquiringly at each other, then 
at the gorgeous furniture of the apartment. All seemed 
even more splendid on a second view than it had at first. 

" Well," said Franz to his friend, " what do you think 
of aU this 1 " 

" Why, upon my soul, my dear fellow, it strikes me our 
neighbor must either be some successful stock-jobber who 
has speculated in the fall of the Spanish funds, or some 
prince travelling ijicognito" 

" Hush ! " replied Franz, " that is what we shall soon 
discover, — for here he comes." 

As Franz spoke, he heard the sound of a door taming 
on its hinges; and almost immediately afterwards the tap- 
estry was drawn aside, and the owner of all these riches 
stood before the two young men. Albert instantly rose 
to meet him; but Franz remained spell-bound on his 
chair. He who entered was the mysterious visitant to 
the Colosseum, the occupant of the box at the theatre, 
and the mysterious host of Monte Cristo. 



THE COUNT OF MOXTE CBISTO. 



CHAPTEK V. 



LA UA220LATA. 



" Gentlemen," said the Count of Moiite Criato as he en- ' 
tered, " I pray you to excuse me for eutfering my visit to 
be anticipated ; but I feared to disturb you by presenting 
myself earlier at your apartments. Besides, you sent me 
word you would come to me ; aud I have held myself at 
your disposal," 

" Fiunz and I have to thank you a thousand times, 
Monsieur the Count," returned Albert. " You extricated 
U8 from a great dilemma ; and we were on the point of 
inventing some very fautaatio vebicle when your Mendly 
invitation reached us." 

" Inileed ! " returned the count, motioning the two 
young men to sit down. " It was the fault of that 
blockhead Pastrini that I did not sooner assist you in 
your distress. He did not mention your embarrassment 
to me, who, alone and isolated as I am, seek every oppor- 
tunity of making the acquaintance of my neighbors. As 
soon as I learned I could in any way assist you, I eagerly 
seized the opportunity of offering my services." 

The two young men bowed, Franz had as yet found 
nothing to say. He had formed no plan of action ; aud as 
nothing in tlie count's manner manifesteil t!ie wish that 
he should recognize lum, he did not know whether t 
make any aUusiou to the post, or to wait until he hai 
more proof. Besides, although sure it was he who hai 



lA MAZZOLATA. 



107 



been in the box the previous evBuing, ha ooulcl not he 
equally positive that he waa the man he hai] seen at the 
Coloaseum. He resolved, therefore, to let thinga take their 
course without making any direct overture to the count. 
Beaidea, he bad this advantage over him, — lie waa niaater 
of hia secret, while he had no hold on Franz, who had 
nothing to conceaL However, he resolved to lead the 
coEveraation to a subject which might possibly clear up 
his doubts. 

" Monsieur the Count," said he, " you have offered via 
places in your carriage, end at your windows of the Rospoli 
Palace. Can you tell us where we can obtain a sight of 
the Place del Popolo 1 " 

" Ah ! " said the count, negligently, looking attentively 
at Morcerf, " is there not something like an execution upon 
the Place ilel Popolo 1 " 

" Yes," returned Franz, finding that the count was 
Doming to the point he wished. 

" Stay, I think I toM my steward yesterday to attend 
to this; perhaps I can render you this slight service also," 
He extended his hand, and rang the bell thrice, " Did 
you ever occupy yourself," said he to Franz, " with the 
employment of time and the means of simplifying the 
summoning your servants ) I have ; when I ring once, it 
is for my valet ; twice, for my mattre if/iGtel; thrice, for 
my steward. Thus I do not waste a minute or a word. 
Here he is I" 

A man from forty-five to fifty years old entered, who 
exactly resembled the smuggler who bad introduced Franz 
into the cavern ; but he did not appear to recognize him. 
It was evident be had his orders. 

" M, Bertuccio," said the couut, " liave you procured 
me a window looking on the Place del Popolo, as I ordered 
you yesterday 1 " 



lOS 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRI6T0. 



" Yes, Excellency," returned the eteward ; " but it was 
very late." 

" Did I not tell you I wiBhad for one J " replied the 
count, frownicg, 

" And your Excellenoy has one, which had braen let to 
Prince Lobanieff; but I was obliged to pay a hundred- 

" That will do, — that will do, M, Bertuccio ; spare 
these gentlemen all euch domestic arrange meuls, 
have tlie window ; that is sufficient. Give ordera to the 
coachman ; and be in readiness on the stairB to conduct 
us to it," Tiie steward bowed, and was about to quit the 
room. " Ah I " continued the count, " be good enongh 
to ask Pastrini if he has received the lavoUlta, and if 1 
can send us an account of the execution." 

" Tliore is no need to do that," said Franz, taking out 
Ilia tablets ; " for I saw the account, and copied it down." 

" Yery well, you can retire, M. Bertuccio ; let us kuow 
when breakfast is ready. These gentlemen," added he, 
turning to the two friends, "will, I trust, do me the honor 
to breakfast with me ! " 

" But, Monsieur the Count," said Albert, " we shall 
abuse your kindness." 

" TTot at all ; on the contrary, you will give me great 
pleasure. Yoti will, one or the other of you, perhaps 
both, return it to me at Paris. M. Beitiiccio, lay covers 
for three," He took Franz's tabltta out of his hand. 

" ' The public is informed,' " he read in the same tone with 
which he would have read a newspaper, " ' that on Wednesday, 
February 23, being the first day of the Carnival, two executions 
will take place inlhePlauedel Popolo, byorder of the Tribunal 
de la Rota, of two individuals, named Andrea Eondola, and 
Peppino, otherwise called Rocca Priori ; the former found 
guilty of the murder of a venerable and exemplary priest, 
named Don Cc*ar Torlini, canon of the church of St. Jean 



I 
I 



LA MAZZOLATA. 



109 



de Latran ; and the latter oimvicted of being an accomplice 
of the atrocious and sanguinary bandit, Luigi Vampa, and his 
band.' Hum! 'The firet-nained malefactor will ha ma2st>lalo, 
the second culprit deatpitato.' 

"Yes," continneJ the count, "it waa at first arranged 
11) this way ; but I think since yesterday some change has 
talten place in the order of the ceremony." 

" Really I " said Franz. 

" Yea ; I passed the evening at the Cardinal Roapigliosi's, 
and there mention waa made of something like a pardon 
for one of the two men." 

" For Andrea Eondolo 1 " asked Franz. 

" No," replied the count, carelessly ; "for the other [he 
glanced at the tablets as if to recall the name], for Peppiuo, 
called Eocca Priori. You are thus deprived of seeing a 
man guillotined ; but the matzolato still remains, which is 
a very curious punishment when seen for the first time, 
and even the second, while the other, as yon must know, 
is very simple. The manda'ta never fails, never trembles, 
never strikes thirty times ineffeotiiolly, like the soldier 
who beheaded the Corate de Chalais, and to whose tender 
mercy Richelieu had doubtless recommended the sufferer. 
Ah I " added the count, in a contemptuous tone, " do not 
tell me of European punishments ; they are in the infancy, 
or rather the old age, of cruelty," 

" Really, Monsieur the Count," replied Franz, " one 
would think that you had studied the different tortures 
of all the nations of the world," 

" There are, at least, few that I have not seen," said the 
count, coldly. 

" And yon took pleasure in beholding these dreadful 
spectacles f " 

" My first sentiment wag horror ; the second indifference ; 
the third curiosity," 



no 



THE COUNT OF MOSTE CEISTO. 



" Curiosity ! that ia a terrible word," 

"Why sol In life, our j-reatest preoccupation is death. 
Is it not, tlien, curious to etuUy tlie Uiifereiit wnys by whii 
the aoul and body can part ; and how, according to their J 
different cliaract^ra, tempetamenta, and even tile different I 
customa of tlieir countries, individuals bear the transition 
from life to death, from existence to annihilation I 
for myself, I can aseuro you of one thing, — the more J 
men you see die, the easier it becomes to die ; and in ( 
tny opinion, death may he a torture, but it ia not i 
expiation." 

" I do not quite understand yon," replied Franz; "pray I 
explain your meaning, for you excite my curiosity to the I 
higheet pitch." 

" Liat«n," said the count, and deep hatred mounted to I 
his face as the blood would to the face of any other. " If \ 
a man had by unheard-of and excruciating tortnres de- 
stroyed your father, your mother, your mistress, — 
word, one of those beings who when they are torn from 
yon leave a desolation, a wound that never doses, in your 
breast, — do you consider sufficient the reparation that 
society gives you by oauaing the knife of the guillotine 
to pass between the base of the occiput anti the trapezal ■ 
muacies of the murderer, and by inflicting a few seconda' 
physical pain upon him who has caused you years of I 
moral sufferings i " 

"Yes, I know," aaid Franz, "that human justice i 
insufBcient to console us. She can give blood in return I 
for blood, — that ia all; but you must demand from her ) 
only what it ia in her power to grant." 

" I will put another case to you," continued the count ; 
" that where societj-, attacked by the death of a person, 
avenges death by death. But are there not a thousand 
tortures by which a man may be made to suffer without , 



LA MAZZOLATA. Ill 

society taking the leaat oognizanp* of them, or offering 
Q the insuffiuient meaiig of vengeance of which W6 
have jnst spuken J Are there not Crimea for which the 
impalement of tlia Turks, the angers of the Persians, the 
ud the Lrand of the Iroquois Indinas, woidd be 
inadequate puiiishraent, and which nevertlieless society, 
indifferent, leaves unpunished 1 Answer me, do not these 
crimes e. " 

"Yes," answered Franz; "and it ia to punish them 
that duelling is tolerated." 

"Ah, duelh'ng!" cried the count, — "a pleasant manner, 
upon my aoul, of arriving at your end when that end is 
vengeance ! A man has carried off your mistress; a man 
has aeduoed your wife ; a man has dishonored your daugh- 
ter, — he has rendered the whole life of one who had the 
right to expect from Heaven that portion of happiness 
God has promised to every one of his creatures an exist- 
tenoe of misery and infamy ; and you think you are 
B.Tenged becanae you Bend a ball through the bead, or pass 
a sword through the breast of that man who has planted 
madness in ynur brain and despair in your heart, — with- 
out considering that it is often he who comes off victorious 
from the strife, cleared in the eyes of the world, and in a 
manner absolved by God ! No, no," continued the count; 
" had I to avenge ravself, it is not thns I would take 



" Then ynu disapprove of dnelling ; you would not 
fight a duel t " asked Albert, in his turn, astonished at 
this strange theory, 

"Oh, yes!" replied the count; "understand me, I would 
tight a duel for a trifle, for an insult, for a blow ; and the 
more readily because, thanks to my skill in all hoiiily 
exercises and the indifference to danger I have gradually 
acquired, I should be ulmost certain to kill my man. Oh, 



112 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRI3T0. 



I would figlt for aiich a cause ; but in return for a slow, 
profound, eternal torture, I would give back the same, 
were it possible : an eye for au eye, a tooth for a tooth, 
as the Orientalists say, — our masters ia everything ; 
those favored creatures who have formed for themselves a 
life of dreams and a paradise of realities." 

"But," said Franz to the count, "with tHia theory, 
which renders you at once judge and executioner of your 
own cause, it would be difficult to adopt a course in which 
you would always avoid falling under the power of the 
law. Hatred is blind ; rage carries you away ; and he 
who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter 
draught." 

"Yes, if he be poor and inexperienced; not if be be 
rich and skilful Besides, the worst that could happen to 
iiim would be the punishment of which we have already 
'spoken, and which the philanthropic French Revolution 
has substituted for being torn to pieces by horses, oi 
broken on the wheel. What matters this punishment, as 
long as he is avenged 1 On my word, I almost regret that 
in all probability t!iis miserable Peppino will not be rfe- 
capiiato, as yon might have had an opportunity then of 
seeing how short a time the punishment lasts, and whether 
it is worth even mentioning — hut really this is a most 
singular conveMation for the Carnival, gentlemen ; how 
did it ariso 1 Ah, I recollect I you asked for a place at 
my window. You shall have it ; but let ua first sit down 
to table, for here comes the servant to inform us that 
breakfeat is ready." As be spoke, a servant opened one 
of the four doors of the salon, saying, " Al tuo com- 
modo I " The two young men rose and entered the 
break iftst-room. 

During the meal, which was excellent, and admirably 
served, Franz looked repeatedly at Albert, in order to 



I 



^F remark the im] 
^P made on him 
^ whether with I 



LA MAZZOLATA. 



113 



I 



remark the impression which he douhted not had been 
made on him by the words of theii entertainer; tut 
whether with his usnal carelessnesa he had paid but little 
attention to him ; whether the explanation of the Count of 
Monto Criato with regard to duelling had satisfied him ; or 
whether the eventa which Franz knew of had redoubled for 
htm alone the effect of the count's theories, — he remarked 
that iiis companion was not at all preoccupied, but on the 
contrary ate like a man who for the last four or five 
months_!iad been condemned to partake of Italian cookery, 
— that is, the worat in the world. Aa for the count, he 
just touched the dishes ; it seemed as if he fulSUed the 
duties of an entertainer by sitting down with his guests, 
and awaited their departure to be served with some strange 
or more delicate food. This brought hack to Franz, in 
spite of himself, the recollection of the terror with which 

the count had inspired the Comtesse G , and her firm 

conviction that the man in the opposite box was a 
-vampire. At the end of the breakfast Franz took out his 
■watch. 

"Well," said the count, "what are you doing?" 

"You must excuse us, Monsieur the Count," returned 
Franz ; " but wo have still much to do." 

" What may that be r' 

" We have no disguises ; and it is absolutely necessary 
to procure them." 

" Do not concern yourself about that ; we have, I think, 
a private room in the Place del Popolo. I will have what- 
ever coatumea you choose brought to us, and you can 
dress there." 

" After the execution 1 " cried Franz. 

" Before or after, as you please." 

" Opposite the scaffold ? " 

" The scaffold forms part of the fete." 



lU THE COUNT OF MONTE CE13T0. 

"Monsieur the Count, I have reflected ou the matter," 
said Franz. "I thank you for your courtesy, hut I shall 
conteut myself with accepting a place in your carriage and 
at yoar window at the Rospoli Palace ; and 1 loave you at 
liherty to dispose of my place at the Place del Popolo. 

" But I warn you, you will lose a very curious sight," 
retnmed the count. 

"You will relate it to me," replied Franz; "and the J 
recital from your lipa will make as great an impression on , 
tns aa if 1 had witnessed it. I have more than 
intended witnessing an execution, but I have never 
able to make up my mind ; and you, Aihert ! " 

"I,"repKed the viscount, — "1 saw Caataing executed; 
but I think I was rather intoxicated that day, for I had 1 
quitted college the same morning, and we had passed the 
previous night at a tavern." 

" Beaides, the fact that you have not done a thing in 1 
Paris is no reason for your not doing it abroad ; when you 
travel, it is to see everything. Think what a figure yon 
will make when you are asked, ' How do they execute at 
Rome 1 ' and you reply, ' I do not know ' I And they say 
that the culprit is an infamous scoundrel, who killed with 
a log of wood a worthy canon who had brought him up 
like hia own son. The devil ! when a churchman is killed, 
it should be with a ditFerent weapon than a log, especially 
when he has behaved like a father. If you went to Spain, 
would yon not see the bull-fights 1 We!), suppose it is a bull- 
fight that we are going to see. Recollect the ancient Ho- I 
mans of the Circus, and the Bjiorts where they killed three 
hundred Hona and a hundred men. Think of the eighty I 
thousand applauding spectators, the sage matrons who took i 
their daughters, and tho charming Vestals who made with I 
the thumb of their white hands the fatal sign that said, i 
' Come, no idling I kill me that man, already nearly dead.' " 



LA UAZZOLATA. 



115 



" Shall you go, then, Albert) " asked Franz. 

" Ma foi ! yes. Like you, I heeitatefl, but the count's 
eloquence decides me I " 

" Let us go, then," aaid Franz, " since you wish it ; but 
on onr way to tlie PlacQ del Popolo, I wish to pass through 
the Rue du Coura. la this possible, Monsieur the Count 1 " 

" On foot, yes j in a carriage, no ! " 

" I will go on loot, then ! " 

" Is it important that you should pass through this 
street!" 

" Yes, there is something I wish to see," 

"Well, wo will pass hy the Eue du Coure. We will 
send the carriage to wait for ua on the Place del Popolo, 
by the Strada del Babuino, for I shall be glad, to pass, nny- 
self, through the Rue du Cours, to see if some orders I have 
given have been executed." 

" Excellency," said a servant, opening the door, " a mna 
in the dress of a penitent vriehes to speak to you." 

" Ah, yes ! " returned the count ; " I know who he is, 
gentlemen. Will you return to the salon I Youwillfindon 
the oentre-table some excellent Havana cigars. I will bo 
with you directly." 

The young men rose and returned into the salon, while 
the count, again apologiidng, left by another door. Albert 
who was a great smoker, and who had considered it no 
small sacrifice to be deprived of the cigars of the Caf4 de 
Paris, approached the table, and uttered a cry of joy at 
perceiving some veritable pvroi. 

" Well," asked Franz, " what do you think of the Count 
of Monte Cristo 1 " 

"What do I think 1" said Albert, evidently surprised 
at such a question from hia companion. " I think that he 
is a delightful fellow, who does the honors of his table 
admirably ; who has travelled much, road much, is, like 



116 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



BrutuB, of the Stoio school ; and moreover," added he, 
sending a volume of smoke up towards the ceiling, " that 
he has excellent cigars." 

Snch was Albert's opinion of the count j and ae PranK I 
well knew that Albert professed never to form an opinion i 
except ujKin long reflection, he made no attempt to change 
it, " But," said he, " did jou remark one veiy aingulap 1 
thing 1 " 

"What!" 

" How attentively he looked at joii." 

"Atmol" 

"Yes." 

Albert reflected. " Ah 1 " replied he, sighing, " that ia 
not very surprising. I have been more than a year absent 
from Paris, and my clothes are of a most anti(jnated cutj 
the count takes me for a. provincial. The first opportu- 
nity you have, tmdeueive him, I beg, and tell him I am I 
nothing of the kind," 

Franz grailed ; an instant after, the count entered, 
am now quite at your service, gentlemen," said he. " The | 
carriage is going one way to the Place del Popolo, and v 
will go another; and if yoii please, by the Hue du Cours. I 
Take some of those cigars, M. de Morcerf." 

" With all my heart," retnmed Albert ; " these Italian I 
cigars are horrible. When you come to Paris, I will re- J 
turn alt this." 

" I will not refuse. I intend going there soon ; and 
you allow me, I will pay you a visit. Come; we havo I 
not any time to lose, it is half-past twelve, — let us set ] 



All three descended ; the coachman received his master's 
orders, and drove down the Via del Eabuino, while the ] 
three gentlemen walked towards the Place d'Espagne and 
the Via Frattina, which led directly between the Fiano I 




LA MAZZOLATA. 117 

aiiJ Koapoli Palaces. All Franz's attention was directed 
towards the windows of the palace last named, for be had 
not forgotten the signal agreed upon between the man in 
the mantle and the Transteverian peasant. " Wtiich are 
yoar windows t" asked he of the count, with as much in- 
difference as ho could assume. 

" The last three," returned he, with a negligence evi- 
dently unaffected, — for he could not imagine with what 
intention the question was put, Franz glanced rapidly 
towards the three windows. The side windows were hung 
with yellow damask, and the centre one with white dam- 
oak and a red cross. The man in the mantle had kept his 
promise to the Transteverian, and there could now bo no 
doubt that he was the count. The three windows were 
still untenanted. Preparations were making on every 
aide ; eliairs were placed, scaffolds were raised, and win- 
dows were hung with Hags. The masks could not ap- 
pear ; the carriages could not move about until the strik- 
ing of the clock ; but the masks were visible behind the 
windows, the carriages behind all the gates. 

Franz, Albert, and the count continued to descend the 
Rue du Cours. As they approached the Place del Popolo 
the crowd became more dense, and above the heads of the 
multitude two objects were visible, — the obelisk, sur- 
mounted by a cross, which marks the centre of the place ; 
and before the obelisk at the point where tfae three streets, 
del Eabuino, del Corso, and di Ripotta meet, the two up- 
rights of the scaffold, between which glittered the curved 
knife of the manddia. At the corner of the street they 
met the count's steward, who was awaiting bis master. 
The window, hired doubtless at an exorbitant price, 
which the count had wished to conceal from his guests, was 
on the second floor of the great palace, situated between 
the Rue del Babuino and the Monte Pincio. It belonged. 



113 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO. 



as we have saiJ, to a. small dressiiig-rooui, opening into 
a bedroom ; and when the door of commuiiicHtion vas 
shut, the inmates were quite alone. Oo the cbaica were 
kid elegant costumes of paillasse, iu blue and white 
Batin. 

"As you left the choice of your costiiniee to me," said 
the count to the two friends, " I have had these brought, 
as they will be the most worn this year ; and they are ; 
suitahle, on account of the eon/etti, aa they do not sliow the 
flour." 

Franz heard the words of the count but imperfectly, and 
lie perhaps did not fully appieciate this new attention, for 
he was wholly absorbed by the spectacle that the Place del 
Popolo presented, and by the terrible instrument which at 
that moment was its principal ornament. It was the first 
time Franz had ever seen a guillotine, — we say guillotine 
because the Eoman manda^ is formed on almost the same 
model OS the French instrnment ; the knife, which is shaped 
like a crescent, that outs with the convex side, falls from 
a less height, and that is aU the difference. Two men, 
seated on the movable plank on which the culprit is laid, 
were eating their breakfast while waiting for the criminal. 
Their repast consisted apparently of bread and sausages. 
One of them, lifted the plank, took thence a flask of wine, 
drank some and then passed it to his companion. These 
two men were the executioner's assistants. At this sight 
Franz felt the perspiration start forth upon his brow. 

The prisoners, transported the previous evening from 
the Careeri Nuovo to the little church of Santa Maria 
del Popolo, bad passed the night, each accompanied by 
two priests, in a chapel closed by a grating before which 
were two sentinels, relieved at intervals, A double line 
of carbineers, placed on each side of the door of the church, 
reached to the scaffold and formed a circle round it, leav- 



LA MAZZOLATA. 119 

ing a, path about ten feet wide, and around the guillotine 
a apace of nearly a liuudred feet. All the rest of the place 
waa paved with heada of men and women. Many women 
held their infanta on their ehoiilders, and thas the chil- 
dren had the he^t view. The Monte Pii)i;io seemed a 
vast amphitheatre filled with speotatora. The bnleoniea 
of the two churches at the corner of the Rue del Babuino 
and the Rue di Ripetta were crammed; the atepa even 
seemed a parti-colored sea, that waa impelled towards 
the portico ; every niche in the wall held ita living 
statue. What the count said was true, — the most curi- 
ous apectacle in life ia that of death. 

And yet, instead of the silence which the solemnity of 
the apactacle would seem to demand, a great noise arosa 
from that crowd, — a noise composed of laughter and joy- 
ona ahouts; it waa evident that this execution waa in the 
eyea of the people only the ooimnencement of the Cami- 
val. Suddenly the tumult ceased aa if by magic ; the 
doors of the church opened. A brotherhood of penitents 
clothed from bead to foot ill robes of gray sackcloth, with 
holea for the eyea alone, and holding in their hands lighted 
tapera, appeared first ; the chief marched at the head. Be- 
hind the penitents came a man of lofty atature. He was 
naked, with the exception of cloth drawers, at the left 
aide of which hung a large knife in a sheath, and lie bore 
on his right shoulder a heavy mace. This man was the 
executioner. He had, moreover, sandals bound on his feet 
by corda. Behind the executioner came, in the order in 
which they were to die, first Peppino, and thun Andrea- 
Each was accompanied by two priests. Neither had hia 
eyes bandaged, Peppino walked with a lirm step, doubt- 
less aware of what awaited him. Andrea was supported 
by two priests. Each of them kissed from time to time 
the crucifix a confessor held out to them. At this sight 



120 



THE COUNT OF MOJJTE CRISTO. 



alone Franz felt bis legs tremble uuder him. He looked 
at Albert i be was white as his shirt, and mechanically 
cast away his cigar, although he had not half smoked it. 
The count itlone seemed unmoved, — nay, more, a slight 
color seemed striving to rise iii his pale cheeka. His nos- 
tiil diluted like that of a wild beast that scents its prey ; 
and Lis lips, half-opened, disclosed his white teeth, small 
and sharp like those of a jackal. And yet his featui'ea 
wore an expressioQ of smiling tenderness, such as Franz 
had never before witnessed in them ; his black eyes es- 
pecially were full of kindness and pity, However, the 
two culprits advanced, and as they approached, their faces 
hecame visible. Peppino was a handsome young man, 
twenty-four or twenty-five years old, bronzed by the sun ; 
he carried his head erect, and seemed to sniif the air to as- 
certain on which side his liberator would appear. Andrea 
was short and fat ; his visage, marked with brutal cruelty, 
did not indicate age ; he might be thirty. In prison he 
had suffered his beard to grow ; his head fell on bis shoul- 
der, his legs bent beneath him, and he seemed to obey a 
mechanical movement of which he was unconscious. 

" I thought," said Franz to the count, " that you told 
me there would be but one execution," 

" I told you the truth," replied he, coldly. 

"However, hero are two cidprits." 

"Yes; but only one of these two is about to die. The 
other has Jong years to live." 

" If the pardon is to come, there is no time to lose." 

" And see, here it comes ! " said the count. 

At the moment when Peppino arrived at the foot of the 
mandaia, a penitent, who seemed to arrive late, forced his 
way through the soldiers, and advancing to the chief of 
the brotherhood, gave him a folded paper. The piercing 
eye of Peppino had noticed all. The chief took the paper, 



LA MAZZOLATA. 121 

unfolded it, and raising hie hand, "Heaven be praised! 
and hia Holiness also ! " said he, in a loud voice, " Here 
ja a purdon for one of the prisonere ! " 

"A pardon I" cried the people, with one voice, — "a 

At this cry Andrea mised hia head. " Pardon for whom 1 " 
cried he. Peppino remained breathless. 

"A pardon for Peppino, called Eocca Priori," said the 
principal friar; and he passed the paper to the officer 
commanding the carbineers, who read and returned it 
to him, 

"For Peppino 1" cried Andrea, who aeeoied aroused 
from the torpor in which he had been plunged. "Why 
for him and not for mel We ought to die together, I 
was promised he should die with me. You have no right 
to put me to death alone. I will not die alone ! I will 
not ! " And he broke from the priests, struggliug and 
raving Hke a wild beast, and striving desperately to break 
the cords that bound his bauds. The executioner made 
a sign, and his assistants leaped from the scaiFold and 
seized him. 

"What is the matter with himl " asked Franz of the 
count, for as all had been spoken in the Boman dialect, 
he had not perfectly comprehended it. 

"Do you not seel" returned the count. "This human 
creature who is about to die is furious that hia fellow- 
sufferer does not perish with him ; and wore he able, he 
would rather tear him to pieces with his teeth and nails 
than let him enjoy the life he himself is about to be de> 
prived of. Oh, roan, man ! race of crocodiles ! " cried the 
count, extending his clinched liands towards the crowd, 
" I recognize you wall in that. At all times you are 
worthy of yourselves I " 

All this time Andrea and the two eseciitioners were 



122 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CHISTO. 



struggling on the ground ; aad he kept exclaiming, 
aught to die ! ho shall dio I I will not die alone I " 

" Look, look ! " cried the count, seizing the young ■ 
hands, — " look ! for on my buuI, it is curious. Hem is a 
mau who had resigned himself to iib fato, vlio was going 
to the acalfold to die, — like a coward, it is true, hut he 
was about to die without resistance. Do you know what 
gave Liui strength ; do you know what consoled him t 
It was that another partook of hia puniahment ; that 
another partook of his anguiah; tliat another waa to 
die before him 1 Lead two slioep to the butcher's, two 
oxen to the slaughter- house, and make one of them under- 
stand hia companion will not die, — the sheep will bleat 
for pleasure, the ox will bellow with joy. But mau, — 
man, whom God created in hia own image ; man, upon 
whom God haa laid hia first, his supreme commandment, 
to love his neighbor; man, to whom God. haa given a 
voice to express his thoughts, — what is Ids first cry when 
he hears his fellow-uiau ia saved 1 A blaephemy I Honor 
to man, this masterpiece of nature, this king of the crea- 
tion 1 " And the count burst into a laugh, but a terrible 
laugh, that showed he must have suffered horribly. 

In the mean time the struggle continued, and it was 
dreadful to witness. The people all took part against 
Andrea, and twenty thousand Toices cried, " Kill him ! 
KUI him 1 " Franz sprang back ; but the count seized 
his arm and held him before the window. " What are 
you doing 1 " said he, " Do you pity him 1 If you heard 
the cry of ' Mad dog I ' you would take your gun, you 
would unhesitatingly shoot the poor beast, who after all 
would be guilty only of having been bitten by another 
dog. And yet you pity a mau who, witJiout being bitten 
by one of hia race, has yet murdered hia benefactor ; and 
who, now unable to kill any one because hia hands are 



1 



LA. MAZZOLATA. 123 

bound, wishes to see hLs companion in captivity perish. 
No, no j look, look 1 " 

This recommendation was needless. Franz was fasci- 
nated by the horrible spectacle. The two assistants had 
borne Andrea to the scaffold, and there, in spite of his 
struggles, his bites, and his cries, had forced him to his 
knees. Meanwhile the executioner had put himself in 
position by his side, and lifting his mace, he signed to 
them to get out of the way ; the criminal strove to rise, 
but ere he had time, the mace fell on his left temple. A 
dull and heavy sound was heard, and the man dropped like 
an ox, with his face to the ground, and then turned over 
on his back. The executioner let fall his mace, drew his 
knife, and with one stroke opened his throat, and mount- 
ing on his stomach, stamped violently on it with his feet. 
At every stroke a jet of blood sprang from the wound, 

Franz could sustain himself no longer, but sank half- 
fainting into a seat. Albert, with his eyes closed, was 
standing grasping the window-curtains. The count was 
erect and triumphant, like the avenging angel. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CBISTO. 



CHAPTER VI. 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROHB. 



When Frauz recovered his aenaea, he aaw Albert drinking 
a glass of water, of which hie paleneas showed he stood in 
great need, and the count assuming liia costume of pa- 
illasK. He glanced mechanically towards the place. All 
had disappeared, — acaffold, executioners, victims; nought 
remained but the people, full of noise and exciteraeut. 
The bell of Monte Citorio, which sounda only on the 
pope'a decease and the opening oF the Carnival, was ring- 
ing a joyoua peal. " Well," asked he of the count, " what 
has then happened ) " 

" Nothing," replied the count ; " only, as you see, 
the Carnival has commenced. Make haste and dress 
yourself." 

" In reality," said Franz, " this horrible scene has 
passed away like a dream." 

" It ifl indeed nothing but a dream, — a nightmare that 
has disturbed you." 

" Yes, as to myself; but the culprit 1 " 

" That is a dream also. Only he has remained asleep, 
while you have awakened ; and wlio knows which of you 
is the most fortunate 1" 

" But Peppino, — what has become of him 1 " 

" Peppino ia a lad of sense who unlike most men, who 
are furious if they pass unnoticed, was delighted to see 
that the general attention was directed towards hia com- 
panion. He profited by this dbtraction to slip away 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROME. 



125 



among the crowd, without even thanking the worthy 
priests who had accompanied him. Decidedly, man is an 
ungrateful and egotistical animal, But dress yourself; 
seej M, de Morcerf seta you the example." 

Albert was iu fact drawing on the satin trousers over 
his black troitsefs and varnished toots. " Well, Albert," 
said Fran^ " do you feel much inclined to join the revels 1 
Come ; answer frankly," 

" Ma foi! no," returned Alhert. "But I am really 
glad to Lave seen such a sight ; and I nndetstand what 
Monsieur tiie Count said, — tliat whon you have once 
habituated yourself to such a spectacle, it is the only one 
that causes you any emotion." 

" Without reflecting that it is the only moment in 
which you can study characters," said the count. " On 
the steps of the scaffold death tears off the miwk that has 
been worn through life, and the real visage is disclosed. 
It must be allowed Andrea was not very handsome, — the 
hideous scoundrel! Come, dress youraelvea, gentlemen; 
dress yourselves ! " 

Franz felt that it would be ridiculous not to follow his 
two companions' example. He assumed his costume and 
fastened on his mask, which certainly was not paler than 
his own face. Their toilet finished, they descended ; the 
carriage awaited them at tho door, filled with confetti and 
bouquets. They fell into the line of carriages. It is diffi- 
cult to form an idea of the perfect change that had taken 
place. Instead of the spectacle of gloomy and silent 
death, the Place del Popolo presented a spectacle of gay 
and noisy revelry. A crowd of masks flowed in from all 
sides, escaping from t)je doors, descending from the win- 
dows. From every street and every turn drove carriages 
filled with pierrols, harlequins, domiaos, marchionesses, 
Traosteverians, knights, and peasants, screaming, fighting, 



126 THE COUNT OF MOOTE CRISTO. 

gesticulating, whirling eggs filled with flour, ennfeUi, 
boaquets, attackiog with their sarcasms and missiles 
friends and foes, companiona and stmngers, indiacrimi- 
nately, without any one taking offence, or doing anytliii 
else than laugh- 
Franz and Albert were like men who to drive away a 
violent sorrow have recourse to wine, and who, as they 
drink and heoome intoxicuted, feel a thick veil drawn 
between the past and tho present. Tliey saiy always, or 
rather they continued to perceive irithin themselves the 
reflection of what they had witnessed ; but little by little 
the general excitement gained upon them, and they felt 
themselves obliged to take part in tho noise and confusion. 
A handful of confetti that came from a neighboring car- 
riage, and which, while it covered Morcerf and his two 
companions with dust, pricked his neck and that portion 
of his face uncovered by his mask like a hundred pins, 
plunged him into the general combat, in which all the 
masks around him were engaged. He rose in his turn, 
and seizing handfula of confetti, with which the carriage 
was filled, cast them at his neighbors with oU the force 
and address he was master of. The strife had fairly com- 
menced ; and the rocollection of what they had seen half 
an Lour before waa gradually effaced from the young 
men's minds, eo mueh were they occupied by the gay and 
glittering procession they now beheld. As for the Count 
of Monte Cristo, he had never for an instant shown any 
appearance of having been moved. 

Imagine the large and splendid Rue du Com-s bordered 
from one end to the other with lofty palaces, with their 
balconies hung with carpets, and their windows with 
flags ; at these balconies and windows three hundred 
thousand spectators, — Romans, Italians, strangers from 
all parts of the world; tho united aristocracy of birth, 



^H wet 

^* fmi 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROUE. 



12' 



I 



wealth, and genina ; lovely women who, yielding to tlio 
influence of the scene, bond over their balconies or lean 
from their windows and shower down upon tlie paBSing 
earriagea confetti, which are returned by bouquets; the 
air seems darkened with falling cm/Mi and ascending 
flowers ; in the streets the lively crowd, dressed in the 
moat fantastic costumes, — gigantic cabbages walk gravely 
about, buffaloes' heads bellow from men's shoulders, dogs 
walk on their hind legs ; in the midst of all this a mask 
is lifted, and as in Callot's " Temptation of Saint Anthony," 
a lovely face ia exhibited which we would fain follow, but 
from which we are separated by troops of fiends, — this 
will give a faint idea of the Carnival at Rome. 

At the second turn the count stopped tho carriage and 
asked of bis companions permission to quit them, leaving 
the vehicle at tbeir disposal. Franz looked up ; they were 
opposite tlie Rospoli Palace. At the centre window, the 
one hung with wiiite damask with a red cross, was a blue 
domino, beneath which Fran/'s imagination easily pictured 
the beautiful Greek of the theatre, 

"Gentlemen," said the count, springing out, "when 
you are tired of being actors, and wish to become spoda- 
tots of this scene, you know you have places at my win- 
dows. In ttie mean time, dispose of my coachman, my 
carriage, and ray servants." 

We have forgotten to mention that the count's coach- 
man was attired in a bear-skin exactly resembling Odry's 
in " The Bear and the Pacha ;" and the two footmen be. 
hind were dressed up as green monkeys, with spring masks 
with which they made grimaces at every one who passed, 

Franz thanked the count for hia attention. As for 
Albert, he was busily occupied throwing bouquets at a 
carriage full of Roman peasants that had halted near him. 
Unfortunately for him, the line of carriages moved on 



128 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO, 



again, and while he descended towards the Place fiel Popolo, 
the other ascended towards the Palais de Veuise. " Ah ! 
my dear follow ! " said he to Franz ; " jou did nut see 1 " 

" What I " 

" There, — that ealeche filled with Koiuan peasants." 

"No." 

" Well, I am oonTinced they are charming women." 

" How unfortunate you were masked, Albert ! " said 
Fianz ; " here was an opportunity of making iip for past 
disappointments." 

" Oh ! " leplied he, half laughing, half serious ; " I 
Lope the Carnival will not pass without bringing ma 
some compensation." 

But in spite of Albert's hope, tbe day passed unmarked 
by any incident, excepting meeting two or three tiiiiea the 
calec/ie with the Roman peasants. At one of these en- 
counters, accidentally or by Albert's intention, his mask 
fell off. He instantly rose and cast the remainder of the 
bouquets into the carriage. Doubtless one of the charming 
women Albert had divined beneath their coqucttiab dis- 
guisa was touched by hia gallantry, — for in her tnrn, aa 
tbe carriage of the two fiienda passed her, she threw a 
bunch of violets into it. Albert seized it ; and as FraiiB 
had no reason to suppose it was sent to him, he suffered 
Albert to retain it. Albert placed it ia hia button-hola, 
and the carriage went triumphantly on. 

"Well," said Franz to him, "here is the commencement 
of an adventure." 

" Laugh if you please | 1 really think so. So I will 
not abandon this bouquet," 

"Pardieul" returned Franz, laughing, "1 believe you; 
it is a sign of recognition." 

The jest, however, soon appeared to become earnest, — 
for when Albert and Fianz again encountered the carri^ 



I 



r 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROME. 



139 



ith the contadini, the one who had thrown the violets 
to Alhert clapped her hands when she beheld them in his 
button- hole. 

" Bravo ! bravo I " said Franz ; " things go wonderfully. 
Shall I leave you 1 Perhaps you would prefer being alone? " 

" No," replied he ; "I will not be caught like a fool 
at a first demanstration, by a rendezvous utiilcr the clock, 
08 they say at the opera-baUa. If the fair peasant wishes 
to carry matters any farther, wo shall lind lier, or lather 
alie will find us ti>-morrow ; then she will give me some 
sign, and 1 shall know what I have to do." 

"On my woril,"said Frauz, "yon ate wise as Neator and 
prudent as Ulysses ; and your fair Circe must be very skil- 
ful oi very powerful if she succeed in changing you into 
& beast of any kind." 

Albert was right ; the fair unknown had resolved, 
doubtless, to carry the intrigue no farther on that day ; 
for although the young men made several more turns, 
they did not again see the caliche, which had turned np 
one of the neighboring streets. Then they returned to the 
Hospoli Palace ; but the count and the blue domino had 
also disappeared. The two wimiows, hung with yelluw 
damask, were still occupied by persons whom probably 
the count had invited. At this moment the same bell 
that had proclaimed the opening of the Carnival sounded 
the retreat. The ti!e on the Corso broke the line, and 
in a second all the carriages had disappeared. Franz 
and Albert were opposite the Via delle Maratte ; the 
coachman, without saying a word, drove up it, passed 
along the Place d'Espagne and the Roappli Palace and 
stopped at the door of the hotel. Maltre Pnstnni came 
to the door to receive his guests. Franz's first care 
was to inquire after the count, and to eipresa his regret 
that be had not tetumed iu time to take hitn ; but Fastrini 



130 



THE COUST OF MONTE CKISTO. 



reassured him by saying that the Count of Monte Cristo I 
ba<I ordered a second carriage for himself, and that it had i 
gone at four o'clock to fetch him from tiie Rospoii Palace. 
The count had moreover charged hini to olfer the tw' 
frieiida tho key of his box at the Argentina. Franz ques- 
tioned Albert as to hia intentions ; but Albert had great , 
jjTojecta to put into execution before goiug to the theatre 
and instead of making any answer, he inijuired if Maltre ] 
Pflstriiii could procure him a tailor. 

" A tailor ! " said the host ; "and for what V 

" To make us between now and to-morrow two eoetumes 
of Roman peasants," returned Albert. 

The host shook his head. " To make you two costumes 
between uow and to-morrow ) I ask your Excellencies' 
pardon, but this is a demand quite French ; fur the nest 
week you will not find a single tailor who would consent 
to sew six buttons on a waistcoat if you paid him a crc 
for each button." 

" Then I must give up the idea % " 

" So ; we have them ready-made. Leave all to i 
and to-raorrow, when you wake, you shall lind a collection i 
of costumes with which you will he satisfied." 

" My dear Albert," said Franz, " leave all to our host ; | 
he has already proved himself full of resources. Let 
dine quietly, and afterwards go and see the ' Italieim' 

"Agreed," returned Albert; "but recollect, Maitre Pas- I 
trini, that both my friend and myself attach the greatest I 
importance to having to-iuorrow the costumes we liave | 
asked for." 

The host again assured them they might rely on him, 
and that their wishes should be attended to ; upon which 1 
Franz and Albert mounted to their apartments, and pro- I 
ceeded to disencumber themselves of their 



THE CABNIVAL AT I 



131 



Albert, as he took off his dress, carefully preserved the 
bunch of violets ; it was his sign of recognition for the 
morrow. The two friends sat down to table. Albert 
could not refrain from remarking the difference between 
the table of the Count of Monte Cristo and that of Maitre 
Fostrini ; and Franz, notwithstanding the dislike lie seemed 
to have taken to the count, was obliged to confess that the 
advantage was not on Pastriiii'a side. During dessert the 
servant inquired at what time they wished for the carriage. 
Albert; and Franz looked at each other, fearing indeed to 
abuse the count's kindness. The servant understood them. 
" Hie Ebtcelleacy the Count of Monte Criato," he said, 
"has given positive orders that the carriage shall remain 
at their Lordships' orders all the day ; and their Lordships 
therefore can use it without fear of indiscretion." 

They resolved to profit by the count's courtesy, and 
onlered the horses to be harnessed, while they substituted 
an evening costume for that whicli they had on, and which 
was somewhat the worse for tbe numerous combats they 
had sustained. This precaution taken, they went to tbe 
theati'e, and installed themselves in the count's box. Dur- 
ing tbe first act the Comtesse entered hers. Her 

first look was at the lo</e where she had seen the couut tbe 
previous evening, so that she perceived Franz and Albert 
in the box of the very person concerning whom she had 
expressed so strange an opinion to Franz, Her opera-glass 
was so fixedly directed towards them that Franz saw it 
would be cruel not to satisfy her curiosity ; and avaUing 
liimseK of one of the privileges of the spectators of the 
Italian theatres, which consists in using their boxes as 
reception-rooms, the two friends quitted their box to pay 
their respects to the countess. Scarcely had they entered 
the lor/e when she motioned to Franz to assume the seat 
of honor. Albert in his turn sat behind. 



13; 



THE COUKT OF MONTE CIIISTO. 



" Well," said she, hardly giving Fmiiz time to Bit down, 
" it seems you have nothing better ti> do than to make the 
ocqtiiuntance of this new Lord Ruthven ; and here you are, 
the best friends in the world." 

" Without being bo far advanced as that, Madame the 
Countess," returned Franz, " I cannot deny that we have > 
abused his good-nature all <lay." 

"AH dayl" 

" Tes ; this morning we breakfasted with him ; we rode i 
in bis carnage all day, and now we have taken poaaession i 
of his bos." 

" Yon know him, then 1 " 

"TeiS, and no," 

"How sol" 

" It ia a long story." 

" Relate it to me," 

" It would frighten you too much." 

" Another reason," 

" At least wait until the story has a conclusion." 

" Very welL I prefer complete bistoriea ; but tell me 
how you made his acquaintance? Did any one introduce 
you to him 1 " 

" No ; it was ho who introduced himself to us." 

"Wbenl" 

" Last night, after we left you," 

" Through what medium 1 " 

" The very prosaic one of our landlord." 

" Ha is staying, then, at the H6tel dea Londres i 
yoal" 

" Not only in the same hotel, but on the same \ 
floor." 

" What is his name, — for of course you know 1 " 

" The Count of Monte Criato." 

" What kind of a name is that t it is not a family name." 



THE CARNIVAL AT HOME. 



133 



" No, it is the name of an iidaaJ he has purchased." 

" Ami he is a oount ! " 

"A Tuscan count." 

" Well, we must put up with that," said the countesa, 
who was herself of one of the oldest families of Yenice. 
" What sort of a man ia hel" 

" Ask the Vicomte do Morcerf." 

"You hear, M. de Morcerf; I am referred to you," said 
the couutess. 

"We should be very hard to please, Madame," returned 
Albert, " did we not think him delightful ; a friend of ten 
years' ataniiing could not have done more for us, — and 
that with a grace, a dehcacy, a courtesy which indicate 
clearly a man of aoeiety," 

" Come," observed the countess, smiling, " 1 see that 
my vampire is only some millionnaire, who Las taken the 
appearance of Lara in order to avoid being confouaded 
with M. de Kothachild. And you have seen her!" 

"Her?" 

" The beautiful Greek of yesterday." 

"No; we heard, I think, the sound of her gu:ta, hut 
she remained invisible." 

"When you say invisible," interrupted Albert, "it is 
only to keep up the mystery ; for whom do you take 
the blue domino at the window with the white curtains 1 " 

" Whara was this window with white hangiuys } " said 
tha countess. 

" At the Eospoli Palace." 

" The count Iiad three windows at the Eoapoli Palace 1 " 

" Yes. Did you pasa through the Eue da Coura 1 " 

" Yes," 

" Well, did you remark two windows hung with yellow 
damask, and oue with white damask with a red cross i 
Those were the count's windows-" 



134 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 



" Why, he muflt be a nabob I Do you know what those 
three windows were worth 1 " 

" Two or three hundred Roman crow 

" Two or three thousand ! " 

"The devil] " 

" Does his iaknd produce him such a 

" It does not bring him a penny," 

" TliBu why did he purchase it 1 " 

" For a whim." 

" He is an original, then ) " 

" In fact," observed Albert, " he seemed to mo some- 
what eccentric ; were he at Puiis, and a frequenter of the 
theatres, I should say that he was a malicious joker play- 
ing a part, or that he was a poor devil whom literature bad 
mined, — in fact, this morning be made two or three exits 
worthy of Didier or Authony." 

At this moment a new vieitui entered, and according to 
custom, Fmuz gave up his seat to him. This circumstance 
had moreover the effect of changing the conversation ; an 
hour afterwards the two friends returned to their hotel. 
MaJtre Paatrini had already set about procuriug their dis- 
guises for the morrow ; and he assured them they would 
bo perfectly satiafled. 

Tbe next morning, at nine o'clock, tbe host entered 
Franz's rooia, followed by a tailor, who liad eight or ten 
costumes of Roman peasants on his arm ; they selected 
two exactly alike, and charged the tailor to sew on each of 
their hats about twenty yards of ribbon, and to procure 
them two of those long silken sashes of different colors 
with which the lower orders decorate themselves on fSte 
days. Albert was impatient to see how lie looked in his 
DOW costume ; it was a jacket and breeches of blue velvet, 
silk stockiugs with clocks, shoes with buckles, and a silk 
waistcoat. This picturesque attire set him off to great ad- 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROME. 



135 



vantage ; and when he Lad bound tbe scarf aroond kia 
waiBt, and hU hat, placed coquettishly on one aide, let 
Ml on his shonlder a stream of ribbona, Franz wa^ forced 
to confess that costume lius much to do with the physical 
Buperiority we accord to certain nations. The Turks, who 
used to be bo picturesque with tbeii long and flowiug robes, 
— are they not now hideous with their blue frocks but- 
toned up to the chin, and their red caps, which make 
them look like a bottle of wine with a red seal ) Frans: 
complimented Albert, who looked at himself in the glass 
with an unequivocal aiuile of satisliictiou. They were thus 
eng^^d when the Count of Monte Cristo entered. 

" Gentlemen," aaid he, "although a companion ia agree- 
able, perfect freedom is sometimes still more agreeable. I 
come to say that to-day and during the remainder of the 
Carnival, I leave the carriage entirely at your dispoaah 
The host will tell you that I have three or four more, so 
that you do not deprive me in taking it. Employ it, I 
pray you, for your pleasure or your biisioesa." 

The young men wished to decline, but they could find 
no good reaaon for refusing an offer which was so agree- 
able to them, Tho Count of Monte Cristo remained a 
quarter of an hour with them, conversing on all subjects 
wit!) the greatest ease. He was, as we have already said, 
well acquainted with the literature of all countries. A 
glance at the walls of hia salon proved to Franz and 
Albert that he was a lover of pictures. A few words he 
let fall showed them he was no stranger to tlie scienoes, 
anil he seemed especially interested in chemistry. The 
two friends did not venture to return to the count the 
breakfast ho had given them ; it would have been too ah- 
Bttrd to offer him. in exchange for his excellent table the 
very inferior one of Maitre Paatrini. They told him so 
frankly, and he received their excuaea with the air of a 



136 



THE UOUNT OF MONTE CRBTO. 



man who appreciated their delicacy. Albert was charmed 
with the count's manueia, and he was only prevented from 
recognizing him for a veritable gentlemau by his scientific 
knowledge. The permission to do what he liked with the 
carriage pleased him above nil, — for the fair peasants had 
appeared in a very ule^nt curriage the preceding evening, 
and Alt«rt was not sorry to be upon an equal footing with 
them. At half-past one they descended ; the coachman and 
footman had pat on their livery over their disguises, which 
gave them a more ridiculous appparaiice than ever, uud 
which gained them the appliiuse of Franz and Albert. 
Albert hiid fastened the faded bunch of violets to hia 
buttou-hcle, At the first sound of the bell they hastened 
into the Hue du Cours by the Via Vittoria. At the sec- 
ond turn, a bunch of fresh violets, thrown from a carriage 
filled with pailltuniteg, indicated to Albert that, like him' 
self and his friend, the peasants hud changed their costume 
also ; and whether it was the result of chance, ur whether 
a similar feeling had possessed botli parties, while ho had 
taken their costume, they had taken his. 

Albert placed the fresh bouquet in his button-hole, but 
he kept the faded one iu his hand; and when he again 
met the caliche he raised It expressively to his Kpa, — an 
action whieh seemed greatly to amuse not only the Ihit 
lady who had thrown it, but her joyous companions al«>. 
The day was as gay as the preceding one, perhaps even 
more animated and noisy; they saw the count for an 
instant ot his window, but when they agaiu passed he 
had disappeared. It is needless to say that the flirtation 
between Albert and the fair peasant continued all day. 
Iti the evening, on his return, Franz found a letter from 
the embassy, to inform him he would have the houor of 
being received by his Holiness the next day. At each 
previous visit he had made to Eome he had solicited and . 



THE CAHSIVAL at ROME. 



137 



1 



obtained the same favov ; mid incited as much by n reli- 
gions feeling as by gratitude, he nas uuwilling to quit tbo 
capital of the Christian world without laying his respect- 
ful homage at tlie feet of one of Saint Peter's aucceasora, 
who has set a rare example of all virtues. For that day, 
then, he was not iu a utuod to think much of the Carni- 
val, — for in spite of his condoaceiision and touching kind- 
ness, ono cannot incline one's self without awe before the 
venerable and noble old man callud Gr^ory XYI. 

Oa his return fwm the Vatican, Franz carefully avoided 
the Uaa du Cours ; he brought away with bim a treoanre 
of pious thoughts, to wliich the mad gayety of the Carni- 
val would have been profanation. At ten minutes past 
five Albert entered. He was at the summit of joy. The 
paillaedne bad reasaumed her peasant's costume, and as 
she passed she hail raised her mask. She was charming, 
FrauE congratulated Albert, who received his congratula- 
tions with the air of a man cousoious they are merited; 
He had recognized by certain unmistakable signs that the 
beautiful unknown belonged to the aiiatocracy. He had 
made up bis mijid to write to lier the next day. Franz 
rcmarlied, while he gave these detads, that Albert seemed 
to have something to ask of him, but that he was unwil- 
ling to aak it. He insisted u]>on it, declanng beforehand 
that he was willing to make any socnhce he required. 
Albert let himself be pressed just as long aa friendship 
required, and then avowed to Franz that be would do him 
a great favor by allowing him to occupy tbe carriage alone 
the nest day. Albert attributed to Franz's absence the 
extreme kindness of the fair peasant in raising her mask. 
Franz was of course not selfish enough to stop Albert iu 
the middle of an adventure that promised to prove so 
agreeable to his curiosity and so flattering to his vanity. 
He felt assured that the complete unreserve of his friend 



138 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

would duly inform liini of all tliat Liippened; aud as 
during ttvo or tbree years tbat ho bad travelled in Italy 
he had fimnd no opportunity to start such aii intrigue on ' 
his own account, Franz was by no means sorry to learn how I 
to act on such an occasiun. He theroforo promised Albert I 
that he would content himself on the morrow with witneas- 
ing the Carnival from the windows of the Rospoli Palace, 

The next morning; he saw Albert pass and repass. He 
held an enormous bouquet, which he doubtless meant to i 
make the bearer of bis amorous epistle. This belief was 
changed into certainty when Franz saw tlie bouquet (re- 
markable by a circle of white camellias) in the hand of a 
charming paillaaeine dressed in rosen^olorod satin. And 
80 when evening came Albert was elated, not with joyj 
but with delirium ; he had no doubt that the fair unknown 
would reply in the same manner. Franz anticipated his 
wishes by telling him that the noise fatigued him, and 
that he ebould pass the nest day in writing and looking | 
over his journal. 

Albert was not wrong in his e.tpectationa, for the next 
evening Franz saw him enter shaking triumphantly a 
folded paper he held by one corner. " Well," said he, 
" was I mistaken I " 

" She has answered you ! " cried Franz. 

" Read ! " This word was pronounced in a manner 
impossible to describe. Franz took the letter, aud read ; 

Tuesday evening, at eeven o'clock, descend from youi car- 
riage opposite the Via dei Ponteliai, and follow the Bonian 
peasant who snat^hea your moceohlto from you, When you 
arrive at the first step of the church of San Qiacomo, be sure 
to fasten a knot of rose-colored ribbons to the shoulder of your 
Gootume of jiaillagBe, in Older that you may be recognized. 
Until then you will not see me. 

COSISTANCr AH& DiSCEEIIOK. 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROME. li'J 

"WeU," asked he, wheu Franz bad fiuialied, "what do 
you think of that ( " 



3 assuming a very agree- 



" I think that the adventure ii 
able appearance." 

" I think BO too," replied Albert j " and I very 
much fear you will go alono to the Due de Bracciano's 
balL" 

Franz and Albert had received that morning an invita- 
tion from the celebrated Roman bankor. " Take care, 
Albert," said Franz. " All the noliiity of Rome will be 
present ; and if your fair unknown belongs to tlie higher 
class of society, ehe must go there," 

" Whether sbe goes there or not, my opinion is still tho 
same," returned Albert, 

" You have read the letter t " 

" Yes." 

"You know how imperfeetly the women of tbe middle 
class are educated in Italy ? " 

" Yes." 

" Well ; read the letter again. Look at the writing, 
and find a fault in the language or orthography." The 
writing was in fact charming, and the orthography 
irreproachable. 

"You are born to good fortune," said Franz, as he 
returned the letter. 

" Laugh aa much as you will," replied Albert, " I am 

" You alarm me," cried Franz. " I see that T shall not 
only go alone to the Dnc de Bracciano'», but also return 
to Florence alone." 

"If my unknown be aa amiable as she is beautifol," 
Baid Albert, " I shall fii myself at Rome for six weeks at 
least, I adore Rome, and I have always had a great taste 
for acchfflology." 



140 



TUB COUST OF MOSTE CBISTO. 



" Come, two or three more aach adventoies, and I do 
not deapair of seeing yon a member of the academy,' 

Doubtless Albert wa« abont to discuss seriously his 
right to the academic chair when tliey were informed that 
dinner was ready. Albert's love Lad not taken away 
hia appetite. He hastened with Franz to seat himself, 
intending to resume the discussion aftfir dinner. After 
dinner the Count of Monte Cristo was announced. They 
had not seen him for two d&ys. MaJtre Pastrini informed 
them that business had called liim to Civita Vecchia. He 
had started the previous evening, and had retnmed only 
an hour since. He was charming. Whether he kept a 
watch over himself, or whether accident did not sound 
the acrimonious chords that certain circumstances had 
already touched, he was like everybody else. This man 
was an enigma to Franz. Tlie count must feel sure he 
recognized liim, and yet had not let fall a single word 
that indicated he Imd seen iiim anywhere. On his side, 
however great Franz's desire was to allude to their former 
interview, the fear of its being di.sagreeable to the 
who had loaded himself and hia friend with kindness pre- 
vented hiin frijm mentioning it. The count had learned 
that the two friends had sent to secure a box at the 
Argentina Theatre, and were told they were all 
consequence, ho brougiit them the key of his 
least such was the apparent motive of his visit. Franz 
and Albert made some difficulty, alleging their fear of 
depriving him of it ; hut the count replied that as hi 
was going to the Palli Theatre, the box at the Ai^eutina 
Theatre would not ha used if they did not occupy it. 
This assurance determined the two friends to accept it. 

Franz had become by degrees accustomed to the count'a 
paleness, which had so forcibly struck him the £rst time 
he saw him. He could not refrain frum tidmiring the 



1 



THE CAESn'AL AT ROME. 



Ul 



I 



severe beauty of his features, the only defect, or rather the 
principal quality of which was the pallor. Veritable hero 
of Byron I Franz could not, we will not say eee hiiu, but 
even think of him without representing his stern head 
OD the shoulders of Maiifreil, nr beneath the casque of 
Lara. His forehead was marked by the line that indi- 
cntea the constant preaence of a bitter thought ; he had 
tliose fiery eyes that seem to penetrate to the heart, and 
the haughty and disdainful upper lip that gives to the 
words it utters a peculiar character that impresses them 
on the minds of those to whom they are addressed. The 
count was no longer young. Ha was at least furty ; anil 
yet it was easy to understand that he was formed to rule 
the young men with whom he was now associated. In 
reality, to complete his resemblance with the fantastic 
heroes of the English poet, the count seemed to have the 
power of fascination. Albert was constantly expatiating 
on their good fortune in meeting audi a man. Franz was 
less enthusiastic ; but the count exercised over him also 
the ascendency a strong mind always acquires. He thought 
several times of the project the count had of visiting Paris; 
and he had no doubt but that with his eccentric character, 
his characteristic face, and his colossal fortune, he would 
produce a great effect there. And yet he did not wish to 
be at Paris when the count was there. 

The evenings passed as evenings mostly pass at Italian 
theatres; that is, not in listening to the music, but in pay- 
ing visits and conversing. The Comtesse G wished 

to revive the subject of the count, but Franz announced 
he had something far newer to tell ijer ; and in spite of 
Albert's demonstrations of aifected modesty, he informed 
the countoas of the great event which had pieoccupied 
them for the last three days. As similar intrigues are not 
uncommon in Italy, if we may credit travellera, the count- 



U2 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



ess did not manifest the least incredulity, but congratulated 
Albert on liis suci:ess, Thej pruniised, upon aeparoling, 
to miiet at tba Due de Bracciano's ball, to which uU Rome 
was invited. The heroine of the bouquet kept her word 
neither on the morrow nor on the day following did she 
give Albert any sifjn of her existence. 

At length arrived the Tuesday, the last and most tnmult- 
uoua day of the Carnival. On Tuesday the theatres open 
at ten o'clock in the morning, as Lent begins at eight at 
night. On Tuesday all those who through waut of money, 
time, ur onthuaiasm have not been to see the Carnival 
before, mingle in the gayety, and contribute to the noise 
and excitement. From two o'clock till five Franz and 
Albert followed in the procession, exchanging handfuls of 
cotifitU with the other carriages and the pedestrians, who 
crowded among the horses' feet and the carriage- wheels 
without a single acctileDt, a single dispute, or a single figlit. 
The flutes are veritable days of pleasure to the Italians. 
The authoi' of this history, who has resided five or six 
yeare in Italy, does not recollect to have ever seen a cere- 
mony interrupted by one of those events which so often 
accompany celebrations among ourselves. Albert was tri- 
umphant in his costume of pai/^aMC. A knot of rose-colored 
ribbons fell from his shoulder almost to the ground. In 
order that there might be no confusion, Fianz wore his 
peasant's costume. 

As the day advanceil, the tumult became greater. There 
was not on the pavement, in the carriages, at the windows, 
a single tongue that was silent, a single arm that did not 
move. It was a human storm, composed of a thunder of 
cries, and a hail of confectionery, flowers, eggs, oranges, 
and bouquets. At three o'clock the sound of fireworks, 
lot off on the Place del Popolo and the Palais de Venise, 
heanl with difficulty amid the din and confusion, announced 



ted ^H 



r 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROME. 



ii; 



that the races were atout to begin. The races, like the 
moccoli, ore one of the episodes peculiar to the lost days of 
the Cftrnival. At the sound of the fireworks the carriages 
instantly hroke the ranks, and retired by the adjacent 
streets. All these evolutions are executed with an iiicim- 
ceivable address and marvelloas lapidity, without the 
police interfering in the matter. The pedestrians ranged 
themselves against the walla ; then the trampling of horses 
aud the clashing of steel were heard. A detachment of 
oarbiaeera, fifteen abreast, galloped up the Bne da Coura 
in order to clear it for the harberi. When the detachment 
arrived at the Palais Je Venise, a second volley of fireworks 
■was discharged, to announce that the street was clear. 
Almost instantly, in the midst of a tremendous and gen- 
eral outcry, seven or eight horses, excited hy the shouts of 
three hundred thousand spectators, passed by like light- 
ning. Then the Castle of St. Angelo fired three cannons 
to indicate that Number Three had won. Immediately, 
without any other signal, the carriages moved on, flowing 
on towarila the Corso, down all the streets, like torrents 
pent up for a while, which again flow into the parent 
river ; aud the immense stream again continued its 
coarse between its two banks of granite. 

A new source of noise aud movement was added to 
the crowd. The sellers of moeciletti entered on the scene. 
The moccoli, or moccolelli, are candles, which vary in size 
from the paschal taper to the rushlight, and which stimulate 
the actors in the great scene which terminates the Carnival 
to two diverse enterprises ; (1) to preserve their moccoletH 
aliglit ; (2) to extinguish the moccolctti of others. The 
moecolfUo is like life ; man has found but one means of 
transmitting it, and that one o<jmes from God ; hut ho has 
discovered a thousand means of taking it away, although 
the Devil has somewhat aided him. The moccoletto is 



141 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

kindled by approaching it to a light. But who < 
acribe the thousand means of extinguiahiug the 
Uttol — the gigantic hellowa, the monstrous extinguishers, 
the fiuperhnmau fans. Kvery one hastened to purchasa 
moKoklti, — Franz and Albert among the rest. 

The night was rapidly approaching ; and already, nt 
tlie cry of " Moecoli ! " repeated by the shrill voices of a 
tlionaand vendera, two or three stars began to bum among 
the crowd. It was a signal. At the end of ten miuntoB 
fifty thousand lights glittered, descending from tlie Palais 
de Venise to the Place del Popoln, and mounting from 
tlie Place del Popolo to the Palais de Venise. It seemed 
the fStfi of Jack-o'-lantern a. It is impossible to form any 
idea of it without having seen it. Suppose all the stars 
had descended from the sky and mingled in a wild dance 
on the face of the earth, — the whole accompanied by criet 
that were never heard in any other part of the world. 
Thc/ocf/iiBO follows the prince, tlie Transteverian the citi- 
zen, every one blowing, extinguishing, relighting. Had 
old ^olus appeared at this moment, he would have been 
proclaimed king of the vioccoli, and Aquilo the heir- 
presumptive to the throne. This flaming race continued 
for two hours ; the Rue du Cours was light as day ; the 
features of the spectators on the third and fourth stories 
were visible. Every five minutes Albert took out his 
watch ; at length it pointed to seven. The two friends 
were in the Via dei Pontefici, Albert sprang out, bearing 
his moaxlello in his hand. Two or three masks strove to 
knock his moecokfto out of his hand ; but Albert, a first- 
rate pugilist, sent them rolling in the street, one after the 
other, and continued his course towarils the church of San 
Giacomo, The steps were crowded with masks, who strove 
to snatch each other's torches, Franz followed Albert with 
his eyes, and saw him mount the first step. Instantly a 



1 

I 

I 



THE CARNIVAL AT ROME. 145 

mask, wealing the well-kiiown costume of a female peasant, 
snatched his moccoletto from him without his oifering any 
resistance. Franz was too far off to hear what they said, 
but without doubt, nothing hostile passed, for he saw Albert 
disappear arm-in-arm with the peasant girl. He watched 
them pass through the crowd some time, but at length he 
lost sight of them in the Via Macello. Suddenly the bell 
that gives the signal for the end of the Carnival sounded, 
and at the same instant all the moccoletti were extinguished 
as if by enchantment. It seemed as though one immense 
blast of the wind had extinguished every one. Franz 
found himself in utter darkness. No sound was audible 
save that of the carriages that conveyed the masks home ; 
nothing was visible save a few lights that burned behind 
the windows. The Carnival was over. 



VOL. IL — 10 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CR13T0. 



CHAPTER VII. 



1' 81. SEBASTIAN, 

In Ilia whole life perhaps Franz had never experienced 
80 suddeti all impression, so rapid & transition from gayetj 
to sadness as iu this luomeut. It aetsmed as though Rome, 
under the magic breath of some demon of tlie niglit, had 
auddeidy heen changed into a vast tomh. B; a chancy, 
which added yet more to the intensity of the darknes^r 
the moon, which was on the wane, would not rise until' 
eleven o'clock, and the streets which the young man trav- 
ersed were plunged in the deepest obscurity. The distance 
was short ; and at the end of ten minutes liia carriage, of 
rather the count's, stopped before the Hotel de Loudrea. 
Dinner was waiting ; but as Albert had told him that he 
should not return so soon, Franz sat down without him. 
Ma!tro Pastrini, who had been accustomed to see them 
dine together, inquired into the cause of his absence, and 
Friinii replied that Albert had received on the previous 
evening an invitation which he had accepted. The sud- 
den extinction of the moccolelti, the darkness which had 
replaced the light, and the silence which had succeeded 
the tiirmoil had ieft iu Franz's mind a certain depression 
which was not free from uneasiness. He therefore dined 
very silently, in spite of the officious attention of his host, 
who presented himself two or three times to inquire if he 

inted anything. 

Franz resolved to wait for Albert as late as possible. He 
^ ordered the carriage, therefore, for eleven o'clock, desiring 



I 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST. SEBASTIAN. 



147 



Maltre Postriiii to inform him the moment Albert returned 
to the hotel. At eleven o'clock Albert had not come bauk. 
Fraoz dressed himself and went oat, telling his host that 
he was going to pass the night at the Due de Braccianu's. 
The house of the Due de Bracciano ia one of the most 
delightful ill Home ; hia lady, one of the last heiresses of 
the Colonnas, does its henora with the most consummate 
grace, and thus their f&tcs have a European celebrity. 
Franz and Albert had braugiit to Home letters of intro- 
duction to them ; and the first question on Franz's acrivat 
was, where was hia truTelliiig companion. Frauz replied 
that be had left bim at the moment tliey were about to 
extingniah the moccoli, and that he bad lost sight of him 
in tbe Yia Macello. 

" Then he has not returned ! " said tlie duke, 

" I waited for bim until this hour," replied Frauz. 

" And do yoii know whither he went I " 

"No, not precisely; however, I think it was something 
very like an assignation." 

" The devil I " said the duke, " this ia a bad day, or 
ratiier a bad night, to be out late ; is it not, Countess t " 

These words were addressed to the Comtesse O^ -, who 

bad juat arrived, and was leaning on the arm of M. Tor- 
Ionia, the duke's brother. 

"I think, on the contrary, that it ia a charming night," 
replied the countess ; " and those who are here will com- 
plain of only one thing, — its too rapid flight." 

" I am not speaking," said the duke, with a smile, " of 
the persons who ate here. The only tianger here is, — for 
tbe men, that of failing in love with you i ami for the 
women, that of falling ill of jealousy at aeeiug you so 
lovely. I allude to those who are out in the streets 
of Rome." 

"Ah 1 " aaked the countess, " who is out in the 



148 



THE CODNT OF MONTE CRI8T0. 



Btreets of Rome at this hour, unless it be to go to a 
ball 1 " 

" Our friend, Albert de Moruerfi Couutcsa, whom I left 
iu pursuit of his uukuown aboat seven o'clock this even- 
lug," aaid Fronz, "aud whom I have not seen Biuce." 

"And don't jou kuow where he ia J " 

"NutatalL" 

" Is he armed 1 " 

" He is e« paiilaase." 

" You should not have allowed him to go," said the duke 
to Franz, — " you, who know Rome better than he does." 

" You might as well have tried to stop Number Three 
of the barberi, who gained the prize in the race to^iay," 
replied Franz; "and besides, what could happen to himi" 

"Who can tell? The night ia gloomy, and the Tiber J 
is very near the Via Macello." 

Franz felt a ahudder run through liis veins at oWrvingJ 
the feeling of the duke and tho countess so much in i: 
son with his own ansiety. " I infonned them at the hot^l 
that I had the honor of passing the night here, Duke," 
said Franz, " and desired them to come and inform me of] 
his return." 

"Ah I" replied the duke, "here, I think, is one of my j 
Bervanta who ia seeking you." 

The iluke was not mistaken ; when he Baw Fraua the 
servant came up to him. "Your Excellency," he said, i 
" the master of the Udtel de Loudres has sent to let yoa 1 
know that a man is waiting for you with a letter from the | 
Vicomte de Morcerf." 

" A letter from the viscount 1 " esclaimed Franz. 

" Yes." 

" Aud who is the man ) " 

" 1 do not kuow." 

" Why did he not bring it to me here I " 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST. SEBASTIAN. 



UO 



3 enter tho bdl- 



"The messenger did not say." 

"ADd where is the messenger! 

" He went away as soon as ]ie 
■ooni to find you." 

" Oh I " said the countess to Franz, " go with all speed ! 
Poor young man 1 perhaps some accident has happened 

" I will hasten," replied Franz. 

" Shall you return to give ub any iuformatioii 1 " in- 
quired the countess. 

' Yef^ if it is not any serious affair ; otherwise I cannot 
answer as to what I may do myself." 

" Be prudent, in any event," said the countess. 

" Oh ! he assured of that." 

Franz took his hat and went away in haste. lie had 
sent away his carri^e with orders for it to fetch him at 
two o'clock ; fortunately the Palace Braceiano, which is 
on one side in the Rue du Conrs and on the other in the 
Place des Saints Apfltres, is hardly ten minutes' walk 
from the Hotel de Londres. Aa he came near the hotel 
Franz saw a man in tho middle of the street. He had no 
douht that it was the messenger from Albert. The man 

s wrapped up in a large cloak. He went up to him, 
but to his estreme astonishment, the man first addressed 

n. "What does yonr Excollency want of mei" he 
asked, retreating a step, as if to keep on his guard. 

" Are not you the person who brought me a letter," in- 
quired Franz, " from the Vicomte de Morcerf 1 " 

" Your Excellency Imlges at Paatrini's hotel 1 " 

" T do." 

" Your Excellency is the travelling companion of the 
■viscount 1 " 



" Your E-tcellancy's name - 



THE COUNT OF 

" Ib the Baron Franz d'Epinay," 

" Then it ia to your Excellency that this letter i 




" la there any ane 
letter from him. 

"Yes; your friend at leaat 1 

"Come npBtairs with me and I will give it to you." 

'■ I prefer waiting here," said the i 
smile. 

"And whyl " 

" Your Excellency will know when yoi 
letter." 

"Shall I find yon, thee 

" Certainly," 

yrana entered the hotel. On the stairc 
Pastrini. "Weill" said the landlord, 

" Well, what 1 '* responded Franz, 

" You have aeen the man who desired to speak with you ' 
from your friend 1 " he asked of Fraaz. 

"Yea, I have aeen him," he rephed, "and he has handed 
this letter to me. Light the candle in my apartment, if 
you please." 

The innkeeper gave ordera to a servant to go befoq 
Franz with a candle. The young man had found Maltrtf 
Pastriiii looking very much alarmed, and this had onl^ 
made Jiim the more anxious to read Albert's letter; au^'l 
thus he went instantly towards the waxli^'ht, and unfolde^l 
the letter. It was written and signed by Albert. FraD» 
read it twice before he could comprehend what it containedij 
It'waa thus conceived : — • 

My dear Fellow, — The moment you have receivetl thS^ 
have the kindneaa to take from my pocket-book, which yoo 
will find in the aquare drawer of the secretary, the letter o 
credit ; add your own to it, if it be not sufBcient. Bud f 



THE CATACOMBS OP ST. SEBASTIAN. 151 

TorloniOj draw from him. instantly four thouBand piiistres, and 
give thetn to the bearer It is urgent that 1 should have thin 
money without delay. I do not say more, relj-iiiy on you as 
you may rely on me. Tour friend, 

Albert de Morcerf. 
P. S. I now believe in Italian banditti. 

Below these lines were written in a strange hard the 
following in Italian : — 

Se alia sei della mattina le quattro mila piastre non sono 
Dalle mie mani, aUe sette il Conte Alberto avr& cesaato di 

Luioi Vaupa. 

Thia Bocond signature explained all to Franz, who now 
understood tlie objection of the messenger to coming up 
into the apartment : the street was safer fur him. Albeit, 
then, had fallen into the bands of the famous chief of 
banditti in whose existence he had for so long a time re- 
fused to believe. There was no time to lose. He hastened 
to open the secretary, and found the p)ocket-book in the 
drawer, and in it the letter of credit. It was for six thou- 
sand piiistrea in all ; but of these six tiiousand Albert had 
already expended three thousand. As to Franz, he had 
no letter of credit, as he lived at Florence, and bad coma 
to Rome to pass only seven or eight days ; he had brought 
but a hundred louis, and of these he had not more than 
fifty left. Thus seven or eight hundred piastres were 
wanting to them both to make up the sum that Albert 
required. True, bo might in such a case rely on the kind- 
neaa of M. Torloiiia. He was therefore about to return 
to the Palace Bracciano without loss of time, when sud- 



THE COUNT OF MOKTE CEISTO. 



r, if you please, and request liitS'fl 
ne an audience." 
la ho woa desired, and returiiinj 
said, " The count awaits joui 



152 

denly a. himinoua idea crossed bis mind. He reniemlM] 
the Count of Monte Cristo. Franz was about to ring 
MaStre Paatriiii, whsn that worthy presented hims 
"My dear air," he said hastily, "do yon know if tl 
count is within 1 

" Yes, your Excellency ; he has this ninmeiit returned.'*, 

"Is he in bedJ" 

" I should aay no." 

" Then ring at his doi 
to be 80 kind as to give 

Maltre Pastriiii did 
five minutes after, he 
Excellency," 

Franz wont along the corridor, and a servant introd 
him to the count. He was in a small caliinet which Fi 
had not yet seen, and which was surrounded with divans. 
The count came towards him. " Well, what good wind 
Hows you hither at this hour I" said he; "have you 
come to sup with me? It would be very kind of 

" No ; I have come to speak to you of a very serioi 
matter." 

" A serious matter ! " said the c 
with the earnestness usual to h 
it be!" 

"Aro wo alone ! " 

"Yes," replied the count, going to the doc 
ing. FraDK gave him Albert's letter. 

" Read that," he said. 

The count read it. " Ah, ah ! " said he. 

" Did you see th 

" I did, indeed, - 

Se alle sei della mattina 1e qnattro mila piastre non eonc>^ 
nelle mie numi, alie aette il Conte Alberto avrfi ceasato d' 
vivere. I.oiai Vampa. 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST. SEBASTIAN. 



153 



" What do you thiiik of that J " inquired Franz, 

" Have you the money lie demands 1 " 

" Yes, all but eight hundred piastres." 

The count went to his eecretary, opened it, and pulling 
out a drawer filled with gold, said to Franz, " I hope you 
will not offisnd me by applying to any one but myself." 

"You see, on the contrary, 1 come to you firet and 
instantly," replied Franz. 

"And I thank you; help yourself;" and he made a 
aign to Franz to take what he pleased, 

" Is it absolutely necessary, then, to send the money to 
Lnigi Vampa 1 " asked the young man, looking fixedly in 
his turn at the count, 

"Judge for yourself," replied he ; "the postscript is 
explicit." 

" I think that 'if you would take the trouble of reflect- 
ing, you could find a way of simplifying the negotiation," 
said Franz. 

" How so 1 " returned the count, with surprise. 

" If we were to go together to Lnigi Vampa, I am sure 
he would not refuse you Albert's freedom." 

" What influence can I possibly have over a bandit 1 " 

" Have you not just rendered him one of those services 
that are never forgotten)" 

" What is that % " 

" Have you not saved Peppino's life ? " 

"Ah, ah 1" said the count, " who tuld you thatl" 

" No matter ; I know it." 

The count knit his brows and remained silent an 
instant. "And if I went to aeek Vampa, would you 
I puny mel" 

" If my society would not be disagreeable." 

it so. It is a lovely night; and a walk in the 
of Rome will do us both good," 




154 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRI8T0. 



" Shall I take any arms ! " 
" For what purpose J" 
" Any money 1 " 

'• It is useless. Where is the man ^ 
letter 1" 

"In the street." 

" He awaits the answer 1 " 



" I must learn where we are going. I will suicmon 
him hither." 

"It is useless ; be would not come up," 

" To your apartments, perhaps ; but lie will not make 
any liifficnlty in entering mine." 

Tiie count went to the window of the apartment tliat 
looked on to the street, and whistled in a peculiar nmuiier. 
Tlie man in the mantle quitted the wall and advanced 
into the centre of the street. " SaliU I" said the count, 
in the same tone in which be would have given an order 
to his sen-ant. The messenger obeyed without the least 
hesitation, but rather with alacrity, and mounting the 
steps of the passage at a bound, entered the hotel j five 
seconds afterwards he waa at the door of the cabinet, 
"Ah, it is you, Peppino," said the count. But Peppino, 
instead of aiiBwering, threw himself on his knees, seized 
the count's hand and covered it with kisses, 

" All," said the count, " you have then not forgotten 
that I saved your life ; that is strange, fui it is a week 
ago 1 " 

" No, Excellency ; and never shall I forget it," returned 
Peppino, witli an accent of profound gratitude. 

"Never! That is a long time; hut it is something 
that jou believe so. Eise and answer." Peppino glanced 
anxiously at Franz. " Oh, you may speak before his 
Excellency," said the count; "he is one of my friends. 



THE CATACOfilBS OF ST. SEBASTIAN. 155 

You allow me to give yon tliia titlal" continued the 
coaut, in French ; " it ia necessaiy in order to gain this 
man's confidence." 

" You can apeak before me," said Franz ; " I am a friend 
of the count's." 

" Good ! " returned Peppinn. " I am ready to aiiswer 
any questions your Esceilency may address to me." 

" How did the Vioonite Alheii fall into Luigi's 
hands ] " 

" Excellency, the Frenchman's carriage passed several 
tiraes the one in which waa Teresa." 

" The chiefs mistress ! " 

" Yes, The Frenchman threw her a bciuiinet ; Teresa 
returned it, — with the consent of the chief, who was in 
the carriage." 

" What I " cried Franz ; " was Luigi Vampa ia the car- 
riage with the Roman peasants 1" 

" It was he who drove, disguised as the coachman," 
replied Peppino. 

"Wei!}" said the count, 

" Well, then, the Frenchman took off Ids mask ; Teresa, 
with the chiers consent, did the same. The Frenciiman 
asked for a rendezvous ; Teresa gave him one, — only, in- 
stead of Teresa, it was Beppo who was on the steps of 
the church of San Giaoomo." 

" What 1 " exclaimed Franz, " the peasant girl who 
snatched his moccohtto from him — " 

" Was a lad of Hfteen," replied Peppino. " But it was 
no disgrace to your friend to have been deceived ; Beppo 
has taken in plenty of others." 

" And Beppo led him outside the walls "i " said the 
count. 

" Exactly so ; a carriage was waiting at the end of Via 
Macello. Beppo got in, inviting the Frenchman to follow 



156 

liim, ftnd he did not wait to be aaked twice. IIo gallantly 
offered the right-hand Beat to Eeppo, and aat h; him. 
Beppo told him he was going to take him to a villa a 
league from Rome ; the rreuchmua aBsured him he would 
follow hira to the end of the world. The coachman went 
np the Rue di Ripetta and out by the Porta San Paolo. 
When they were two hundred yards outside, as the French- 
man became somewhat too forward, Beppo put a brace of 
ptHtols to his head j the coachman pulled up and did the 
Baine. At the same time four of the hand, who were con- 
cealed on the hanks of the Almo, surrounded the carriage. 
The Frenchman made some resistance and nearly strangled 
Beppo ; bat he could not resist five armed men, and was 
forced to yield. They made him get out, walk along the 
banks of the river, and then brought him to Teresa and 
Luigi, who were waiting for him in the catacombs of 
St. Sebastian." 

" Well," said the count, tuniing towards Franz, " it 
seems to me that this is a very pretty story. What do 
you say to iti " 

"Why, that I should think it very amusing," replied 
Franz, " if it had concerned any one but poor Albert." 

" And in truth, if you had not found me here," said 
the count, " it might have proved a gallant adventure 
which would Lave cost your friend dear; but now, be 
aaaured, his alarm will he tlie only serious consequence." 

" And shall we go and find him J " inquired Franz. 

" Oh, decidedly. He is in a very picturesque place ; do 
you know the catacombs of St. Sebastian!" 

"I was never in them, hut I have often resolved to 
visit them." 

"Well, here is an opporhmity made to your hand, and 
it would be difficult to contrive a better. Have you a 
carriage ? " 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST, SEBASTIAN. 157 

"No." 

" That 13 of no consequence ; I always have one ready, 
(lay and night," 

"Always ready! " 

"Yea, I am a very capricious being; and 1 should tell 
you that sometimes when 1 rise, ur after my dinner, or in 
the middle of the night, I resolve ou etarting for some 
particular point, and away I go." The count rang, and a 
footman appeared. " Order oat the cairiage," he said, 
" and remove the pistols which are in the liolstera. You 
need not awaken the coachman ; Ali will drive," 

In a momeat the noise of wheels was heard, and the 
carriage stopped at the door. The count took out hia 
watcli. "Half-past twelve,"" he said. "We might start 
at five o'clock and be in time ; but the delay may cause 
your friend to pass an uneasy night, and tlierefore we had 
better go with all speed to extricate liim from t!ie hands 
of the infidels. Are you still resolved to accompany 
met" 

"More determined than ever." 

"■Well, then, come along." 

Franz and the count went downataira, accompanied by 
Peppino. At the door they found the carriage. Ali was 
on the box, in whom Franz recognized the dumb slave of 
the grotto of Monte Criato. Franz and the count got into 
the carriage. Peppino placed himself beside Ali, aud they 
set off at a rapid pace, Ali liad received his instructions, 
and went down the Rue do Cours, crossed the Canipo 
Vaecino, went np the Strada San Gregorio, and reached 
the gates of St. Sebastian. There the porter raised some 
difficulties, but the Count of Monte Cristo produced an 
authority from tlie governor of Rome to quit nr enter the 
city at any and all hours of the day or night ; the portcullis 
waa therefore raised, the porter bad a louis for his trouble. 



158 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 



and they went on tlieir way. Tlie road which the eot- 
riage now traversed was the ancient Appian Way, and bor- 
dered vith tombs. From time to time, by the light of 
the mouD, which began to ri^ Franz ioiagiaed that he 
saw a sentinel stand out from the ruin, and suddenly 
retreat into the darkness on a signal t'rum Peppino. A 
short time before they reached the circus of Caracalla the 
carriage stopped, Peppino opened the door, and the count 
and Franz alighted. 

"In ten minutes," said the count to hia conijianion, "we 
shall arrive there." 

He then took Peppino aside, gave him some order in 
a low voice, and Peppino went away, taking with hiin a 
torch, brought with them in tlie carriage. Five minutes 
elapsed, during which Franz saw the shepherd advance 
along a narrow path in the midst of the irregular ground 
formed by upheavals in the plain of Rome, and disappear 
in the midst of the high red herbage, which seemed like 
the bristling mane of some enormous lion. " Now," said 
the count, " let us follow him." Franz and the count in 
their turn then advanced along the same path, which at 
the end of a hundred paces led them by a declivity to the 
bottom of a small valley. They then perceived two men 
conversing in the shade. 

" Ought we to advance ! " asked Franz of the count ; 
" or should we pause 1 " 

" Let US go on ; Peppino will liave warneil the sentry 
of our coming." 

One of these two men was Peppino, and the other a 
bandit on the lookout. Franz and the count advanced, 
and the bandit saluted them. 

" Your Excellency," said Peppino, addressing the count, 
"if you will follow me, the opening of the catacombs is 
closo at hand." 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST. SEBASTIAN. 159 

" Go on, tlien," replied the count. 

They came to an opening behind a chlicp of bushes, 
and ill the midst of a. pile of rocks by wliit^h a maa could 
eoaruely pass. Feppiiio glided first into this crevice ; but 
after advancing a few paeea the passage widened. Then 
lie paused, lighted his torch, and turned round to see if 
they came after him. The count first reached a kind of 
square space, and Franz followed him closely. The path 
sloped in a gentle descent, and widened as tliey proceeded; 
still Franz and the count were compelled to advance stoop- 
ig, and scarcely able to proceed two abreast. They went 
n a hundred and fifty paces tluis, and then were stopped 
by " Who goes there 1 " At the same time they saw the 
reflection of their torch on the barrel of a carbine. 

"A friend I" responded Peppino ; and advancing alone 
towards the sentry, he said a few words to him in a low 
tone, and then he, like the first, saluted the nocturnal 
visitors, making a sign that they might proceed, 

Behind the sentinel was a stairci^e with twenty steps. 
Franz and the count descended these, and found themselves 
in a kind of cross-roads, fonning a burial-ground. Five 
roads diverged like the rays of a star, and the walls, dug 
into niches in the shape of cofBna, showed that they were 
at last in the catacombs. In one of the cavities whose 
extent it was impossible to determine some rays of light 
were visible. The count laid his hand on Franz's shoulder, 
" Would you lite to see a camp of bandits in repose t " he 
inquired. 

" Certainly," replied Franz. 

"Come with rae, then. Peppino, RKtinguish the torch." 

Peppino obeyed, and Franz and the count were suddenly 
in utter darkness j but fifty paces in advance of them there 
played along the wall some reddish beams of light, more 
visible since Peppino had put out his torch. They ad- 



IGO 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



vanoed sileutly, the count guidiug Fianz as if he had the I 
sicgular faculty of seeing in the dark. Frunz himself j 
howeTer, distinguished liis way moio plainly in proportion J 
as he advanced towards the rays of li^'ht, which served fl 
them as a guide. Tlirao arcades, of which the middle T 
served as a door, gave them passage. These arcades ] 
opened on one side into the corridor in which were the 1 
count and Franz, and on the other into a large square I 
chamber entirely surrounded by niches similar to those J 
of which we have spuken. In the midst of this chamber 1 
were four stones, which had formerly served as an altar, 
as was evident from the cross which still surmountwl them. 
A lamp, placed at the base of a pillar, lighted up with its | 
pale and flickering flame the singular scene which presented 
itself to the eyes of the two visitors concealed in the shadow. 
A man was seated with his elbow leaning on the column, ! 
and was reading with his back turned to the arcades, ] 
througli the ojjenings of which the new-comers contem- 
plated him. This was the chief of the band, Luigi Vampa, I 
Around him and in groups, according to their fancy, lying 1 
in their mantles, or with their backs against a kind of I 
stone bench which went all around the Columbarium, ] 
were to be seen twenty brigands or more, each having his I 
carbine within reueh. At the farther end, silent, scarcely 
visible, and like a shadow, was a sentinel, who was walking J 
up and down before a kind of opening, which was distin- ' 
gnishable only as in that spot the darkness seemed thicker. 
When the count thought Franz had gazed sufficiently on I 
this picturesque tableau, he raised his finger to his lips, to I 
warn him to be silent, and ascending the three steps which I 
led to the corridor of the Columbarium, entered the cham- ] 
ber by the centre arcade, and advanced towards Vatopft,, 1 
who was so intent on the book before him that he did not,] 
hear the noise of Ms footsteps. 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST. SEBASTUN. 



161 



" Who goes there ! " cried the sentiuel, less occupied, and 
who saw hy the lamp's light a shadow which approached 
Lis chief. At this souud, Vampa rose quickly, drawing 
} game moment a pistol from his girille. In a, moment 
all the bandits were on their feet, and twenty carbines 
were levelled at the count. " WeU," said he, in a voice 
perfectly calm, and no muacle of his countenance disturbed, 
— " well, my dear Vampa, it appeara to me that you re- 
ceive a frieud with a great deal of ceremony ! " 

" Urouod arms I " esclnimed the chief, with an impera- 
tive sign of the hand, while with the other he took off hia 
hat respectfully ; then turning to the singular personage 
who had caused this scene, he said, " Your pardon, Mon- 
Bienr the Count, but 1 was so iar from expecting the honor 
of a visit that I did not reoogDize you." 

t seems that your memory is equally short in every- 
thing, Vampa," said the count, " aii J that not only do you 
forget people's faces, but also the agreements you make 
with them." 

" What agreements have I forgotten, Monsieur the 
Count 1 " inquired the bandit, with tlie air of a man 
who having committed an error is anxious to repair it. 

" Was it not agreed," asked the count, " that not only 
my person, but also that of my friends, should be respected 
by you 1 " 

"And how have I broken that treaty, your Excellency 1" 

" You have tliis evening carried off and conveyed hither 

e Vicomte Albert de Morcerf Well," continued the 
count, in a tone that made Krann shudder, " this young 
gentleman is one of mi/ friends; this young gentleman 
lodges in the same hotel as myself ; this young gentleman 
has been up and down the Corso for eight hours in my pri- 
vate carriage, — and yet, I repeat to you, you have carried 
him off and conveyed him hither, and," added the count, 



162 



THE COUKT OF MONTE ClUSTO. 



taking the letter from hia pocket, " you have set a ransom 
on him, as if he were an indiifereut person." 

" Why did you not toll me all thia, — joul " iuquired I 
the briganJ chief, turning towards his men, who all re- I 
treated before his look. "Why have you exposed me tliua 
to fail iu luy word towards a gentleman like the count, who I 
bos all our lives in bis bands t By tbo blood of Christ I [ 
if I thought that any one of you knew that tlje young 
gentleman was the friend of his Excellency, I would blow 
his brains out witli my own hand ! " 

" Well," said the count, turning towards Franz, " I told ' 
you there was some mbtake in this." 

" Are yoa not alone 1 " asked Vauipa, with « 

"I am with the person to whom this 1 
dressed, and to whom I desired to prove tliat Luigi Vampa \ 
was a man of his word. Come, your Excellency, here is i 
Luigi Vaiupa, who will himself exjiress to yoa Lis deep 
regret at the mistake he has committed." 

Franz approached, the chief advancing several sti^jis to 
meet htm. " Welcome among us, your Excellency I " he 
said to him ; " you beard what the count just said, and 
also my reply. Let me add that I would not have such a 
thing OS this happen for the four thousand piastres at 
which I had fixed your frieud'a ransom." 

" But," said Franz, looking round liim uneasily, " where i 
13 the viscount 1 I do not see him," 

" Nothing has happened to him, I hope 1 " said the I 
count, frowning. 

" The prisoner is tlierc," replied Vampa, pointing to the | 
hollow space in front of which the bandit was on guard; I 
" and I will go myself and toll him that ho 
chief went towards the place he bad pointed out as Albert's 
prison, and Franz and the count followed him. " What | 
is the prisoner doing 1 " inquired Vampa of the sentinel 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST. SEBASTIAN. 103 

" Ma foi I Captain," replied the sentry, " I do not 
know ; for the last hoiir I have not heard him stir." 

" Come in, your Excellency," Baid Vampa. 

The count and Franz ascended saveii or eight steps after 
the chie^ who drew hack a bolt, and opened a door. Then, 
by the gleam of a lamp similar to thnt which lighted the 
Columbarium, Alhert was to be seen wrapped up in a 
cloak which cue of the bandits had lent him, lying in 
a corner in profound slumber. 

" Come ! " said the count, smiling with his own peca- 
liar smile, " not so had for a man who is to be shot at 
aoTen o'clock to-morrow morning I " 

Vampa looked at Albert with a kind of admiration ; he 
was not insensible to such a proof of courage. 

" You are right. Monsieur the Count," he said ; "this 
must be one of your friends." Then, going to Albert, he 
touched him on the shoulder, saying, " Will your Excel- 
lency please to awaken 1 " 

Albert stretched out his anns, luhbed bis eyelids, and 
opened hia eyea. " Ah, ah ! " said he, " is it you, 
Captain I You should have allowed me to sleep. I had 
such a delightful dream : I was dancing tlie galop at Tor- 
Ionia's with the Comtesse G ." Then he drew from 

his pocket his watch, which he had kept that he might 
see how time sped. 

" Half-past one only ! " said he, " Why the devil do 
you rouse me at this hour!" 

"To tell jou thnt you ate free, your Excellency." 

"My dear fellow," replied Albert, with perfect ease 
of mind, " remember for the future Napoleon's maxim, 
• Never awaken me hut for had news ; ' if you had let me 
sleep on I should have finished my galop, and have been 
grateful to you all my life. Bo, then, they have paid my 
ransom 1 " 



164 



TUE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



"No, your Excellency," 

" Well, then, how am I free 1 " 

" Some oue to whom I can refuse nothing bos come to 
demand you." 

" Come hither 1 " 

" Yes, hither." 

" Really ! that eome one is a most amiable person." 
Albert looked round, and perceived Frauz. " What 1 " 
said he, " is it you, my dear Franz, whose deTotion and 
friendship are thus displayed J " 

" No, not I," replied Franz ; " but our neighbor, the 
Count of Monte Criato." 

" Ah, ah ! Monsieur the Count," said Albert, gayly, 
and arranging his cravat and wristhauda, " you are really 
most kind, and I hope you will consider me as eternally 
obliged to you, — in the first place for the carriage, and 
in the next for this;" and he put out his band to the 
count, who shuddered ns he gave his own, but who never- 
theless did give it. The bandit gazed on this scene with 
amazement j he was evidently accustomed to aeo his pria- 
ouers tremble before him, and yet here was one whose 
gay humor was not for a moment altered. As for Franz, 
he was enchanted at the way in which Albert had sus- 
tained the national honor in the presence of the bandit. 
" My dear Albert," he said, " if you will make haste, we 
shall yet hare time to finish the night at Torlouia's. 
You may conclude your interrupted galop, so that you 
will owe no ill-will to Signor Luigi, who has indeed 
throughout tbia whole aUair acted like a gentleman." 

" You are decidedly right ; and we may reach the 
palace by two o'clock. Signor Luigi," continued Albert, 
" is there any formality to fulfil before I take leave of 
your Excellency 1 " 

"None, sir," replied the bandit; "you are as free as tur." 



THE CATACOMBS OF ST. SEBASTIAN. 165 

" Wei], theu, a happy and merry life to you ! Come, 

gCEtlGmeil, CODIB." 

Ami Albert, followed by Franz and the count, de- 
scended the staircase, crossed tiie square chamber, where 
stood all the bandits, hat in band. " Peppino," Baid the 
brigand chief, " give me the torch." 

" What are you going to do, then 1 " inquired the count, 

"I will abow you the way back myself," said the cap- 
tain ; " that ia the least honor I can testify to your Excel- 
lency," And taking the lighted torch from the bands of 
the herJsman, he preceded his guests, not aa a servant 
who performs an act of civility, but like a king who pre- 
cedes ambassadors. On reaching the door he bowed. 
" And now, Monsieur the Count," added he, " allow me to 
repeat my apologies ; and I hope you will not entertain 
any resentment at what has occurred." 

"No, my dear Vampa," replied the count; " beaidea, 
you redeem your errors so politely that one almost feela 
obliged to you for having committed them." 

" Oantlemeu," added the chief, turning towards the 
young men, "perhaps the offer may not appear very 
tempting to you ; but if you should ever feel inclined 
to pay me a aecond visit, wherever I may be, you shall 
be welcome." 

Franz and Albert bowed. The count went out first, 
then Albert. Franz paused for a moment. " Has your 
Excellency anything to ask me 1 " said Yampa, with a 

" Yes, I have," replied Franz ; " I am curious to know 
what work you were perusing with so much attention as 
we entered 1 " 

" ' Cffisat's Commentaries,' " said the bandit ; " it ia my 
favorite work." 

" Well, are you coming 1 " aaked Albert, 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



" Yea," replied Franz, " liere I am ! " aud he in his turn 
left the cares. 

Theyadvauced to the plain. " Ah^ your pardon 1" said 
Alhert, turning round; "will you allow lue, Captain!" 
And he lighted his cigar at Varapa's torch. " Now, Mon- 
sieur the Count," he said, " let ua on with all the speed 
we may. I am enormously anxiouB to finish my night at 
the Vac de Bracciano'e." 

Tliey found the carriage where they had left it. The 
count said a word in Arabic to Ali, and the boraes went 
off at great speed. It was just two o'clock by Albert's 
watch when the two friends entered into the dancing- 
room, Their return was quite an event ; but as they en- 
tered together, all uneasiness on Albeit'a account ceased 
instantly. 

" Madame," said the Vicomte de Morcerf, advancing to- 
wards the coimteaa, " yesterday you were so condescending 
as to promise me a galop ; I am rather late in claiming 
this gracious promise, but here is my friend, whose charac- 
ter for veracity you well know, and he will assure yon 
the delay arose from no fault of mine." And as at tliis 
moment the music gave the warning for the waltz, Albert 
put his arm round the waist of the couiitess, and disap- 
peared with her in the whir! of dancers. In the niean 
while Franz was considering the singular slmdder that 
had pervaded the Count of Monte Cristo's frame at the 
moment when he had been, in some sort, forced to give 
hia hand to Albert, 




THE RENDEZVOUS. 



CHAPTER VIIL 

THE RENDEZVOES. 



Albert's first words to hia friend on the followiug tnora- 
iiig contained a request that he would accompany him to 
the count. True, he had wamnly and energetically 
thanked Iiim the previous evening; but aervicea such as 
he had rendered were worthy of a twofuld acknowleiig- 
nient. Franz, who was attracted by some invisible influ- 
ence towards the count, in which terror was strangely 
mingled, felt an extreme reluctance to permit his friend 
to be exposed alone to the singular fascination which the 
mysterious count seemed to exercise over him, and there- 
fore made no objection to Albert's request, but at once 
accompanied him ; they were ushered into the salon, and 
five minutes later the count appeared. 

" Monsieur the Count," said Albert, advancing to meet 
lim, " permit me to repeat the poor thanks I oflered last 
.iglit, and to assure you that the remembrance of all I 
owe to you will never be effaced fmm my menioiy; 
I shall always remember the important service you have 
tendered me, and that to you I am indebted even for 
my life." 

" My dear neighbor," replied the count, with a smile, 
you exaggerate your obligations to me. You owe me 
nothing but the saving of some twenty thousand livres in 
your travelling expenses. Permit me to congratulate you 
the ease and unconcern with which you resigned your- 
self to your fate." 



168 THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO. 

"Upon my word," said Albert, "I deserve no credit for 
what I could not belp ; Damely, a determination to take 
eveiytbing aa I found it, and to let those bandita see that 
although men get into troublesome ecrapea all over tha 
world, there is no nation but the French can smile even 
in the faoe of grim Death himself. All that, however, has 
nothing to do with my ohligations to you ; ami I now 
come to ask you whether in my own person, my family, 
or connections, I can in any way serve you. My father, 
the Comte de Morcerf, although of Spanish origin, pos- 
sesses considerable influence both at the court of Frauce 
and Madrid, and I unhesitatingly place the best services of 
myself and all to whom my life is dear, at your disposal" 

" M. de Morcerf," replied the count, " your offer, far 
from surprising me, is precisely what I expected from 
you ; and I accept it in the same spirit of hearty sincer- 
ity with which it is made. I had already made up my 
mind to ask a great favor at your hands." 

" What is it 1 " 

" I am wholly a stranger to Paris ; it is a city I have 
never yet seen." 

"Is it possible," exclaimed Albert, "that you hava 
reached your present age without visiting Paris} I can 
scarcely credit it." 

" Novertheless, it is quite true; still, I agree with yott 
in thinking that my present ignorance of the first city in 
Europe is a reproach to mo in every way, and calls for 
immediate correction. Probably I should have made that 
important journey long ago had I known any one who 
could introduce mo into that world with which I have 
no connection." 

" Oh ! a man like you ! " cried Albert. 

" You are most kind ; bnt since I find in myself no 
other merit than the ability to compete as millionnaire 



THE KENDEZVOUS. 



169 



with M, Aguado or with M. liothsohild, and since I do 
not go to Pari3 to speculate, tlmt trifling circumatance has 
withheld me. Now your offer decides me. Let ua see ; 
you undertake, my dear M, de Morcerf" (these worda 
were accompanied hy a moat peculiar smile), " upon my 
arrival iu France, to open to me the doors of that fashion- 
able world of which I know no more than a Huron or a 
native of Cooliiu Cliiiia." 

"Oh, that I do, and with infinite pleaaure ! " answered 
Albert; "and so much the more readily ae a letter re- 
ceived this morning from my father summons me to Paris 
in consequence of a treaty for my aUiauce (my dear Franz, 
do not smile, 1 beg of you) with a family of high standing 
and connected with the very elite of Parisian society." 

"Alliance hy marriage i" said FranK, laughing. 

" GJood Lord, yes ! " answered Albert ; " so when yon 
return to Paris you will find me settled down, and per- 
haps father of a family. That will agree well with my 
natural gravity, will it notl In any case. Count, I repeat 
that I and mine are devoted to you, body and soul." 

" I accept," said the count, " for I give you my solemn 
assurance that I only waited an opportunity like the pres- 
ent to realize schemes I have long meditated." 

Franz doubted not that these schemes were the same con- 
cerning which he had dropped some words in the grotto of 
Monte Cristo ; and while the count spoke, the young man 
closely examined him in the hope of reading in his face 
some revelation of the plans which drew him to Paris. 
But it was very difficult to penetrate to the soul of that 
man, especially when he veiled it with a smile. 

" But tell me now, Count," exclaimed Albert, delighted 
at the idea of having to introduce so distinguished a per- 
son as Monte Cristo, — " tell me truly whether you are in 
earnest, or if this project of visiting Paris is merely one 



170 



THE COUNT OF MOSTE CKISTO. 



of those chimerical and uncertain things of which we 
make so many iu the course of our lives, but which, 
like a house built on the saud, ia liable to be blown 
over by the first puff of wind 1 " 

" I pledge you my honor," returned the count, " that 
I mean to do as I have said ; both incliuation and pos 
tive neceasity compel me to visit Paris." 

'■ Wlien do you propoae going thither ? " 

"Have you made up your mind when you shall I 
there yourself 1 " 

" Certainly I have, — in a fortnight or three weeks' time ; 
that is to say, as fast as 1 can get there 1 " 

" Well,'' said the count, " I will give you three months ; 
you see I make an ample allowance for all delays e 
difKculties." 

"And in three months' time," said Albert, "you v 
be at my house ? " 

"Shall we make a positive appointment for a particular 
day and bout 1 " iimmred the count ; " only let me 
you that I am desperately punctuaL" 

" Tlie very thing I " exclaimed Albert ; " an exact ap- 
pointment, — that suits me to a dot." 

" So be it, then," replied the count ; and extending his 
hand towards a calendar suspended near the chimney-piece, 
he said, "to-day ia the 21st of February," and drawing 
out his watch, added, " it ia exactly half-past ten o'tluok. 
Now promise me to remember this, and expect me on the 
21fit of May at half-past tan in the forenoon." 

" Capital I " exclaimed Albert ; " breakfast will be 

" Where do you live t " 
"No, 27 Rue du Hekler." 

"Have you bachelor's apartments there! I hope ray 
coining will not put yon to any inconvenience." , 



THE EENDEZV0U3, 



ni 



"I reside in my father's botol, but occupy a pavilion at 
the farther side of the courtyard, entirely eeparated fi^Dm 
e main building." 

"Good," replied the count, aa taking out his tablets, 
be wrote down, " No. 27 Kue du Helder, 21afc May, half- 
past ten in the morning." " Now then," said he, return- 
ing bis tablets to his pocket, " make yourself perfectly 
easy ; the hand of your timepiece will not ho more punct- 
ual than I shall be." 

" Shall I see you again before my departure ! " asked 
Albert. 

" That will be according to circumatancea ; when do you 
Bet off 1" 

" To-morrow evening, at five o'clock." 
" In that cose I must say adieu to you, as I am com- 
pelled to go to Naples, and shall not return hither before 
Saturday evening or Sunday morning. And you, Mon- 
sieur the Baron," pursued the count, addressing Franz, 
"do yon also depart to-morrow 1" 
"Yes." 

" To France 1 " 

" No, to Venice ; I shall remain in Italy for another 
year or two." 

"Then we shall not meet in Paris?" 
" I fear I shall not have that honor." 
" Well, since we must part," said the count, holding 
out a hand to each of the young men, "allow me to wish 
you both a safe and pleasant journey." 

It was the first time the hand of Franz had come in con- 
tact with that of this mysterious man, and unoonsciously 
he shuddered at its touch, for it felt cold and icy as that 
of a corpse. 

" Let U8 understand each other," said Albert ; " it is 
agreed — is it not J — that you are to be in the Eue du 



172 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEKTO. 



Heldcr on tlie 21st of Mny, at hnlf-past ten in the mnrning, 
anil your word of honor ia passed for your punctuality 1 " 

"All that is settled nud ftrranged upon honor," replied 
the count; " rely upon netting me at the time and place 
agreed on," 

The young men then rose, Iwwed to the couut, and 
quitted the room. 

"What is the matter!" asked Albert of Franz, when 
they had returned to their own apartments ; " you seem 
more than commonly thoughtful." 

" I will confess to you, Albert," replied Franz, " that I ] 
am deeply puzzled to unravel the real career of this strange I 
count ; and the appointment you have made to meet him 
in Paris fills me with a thousand apprehensions." 

" My dear fellow," esclaimed Albert, " what can there ' 
possibly be in that to excite uneasiness 1 "Why, you are 1 
mad 1 " 

" As you please," said Franz ; " mad or not, so it is. 

" Listen to me, Franz," said Albert ; " and I am glad of 
the opportunity to tell you that I have noticed a marked 
coldness in your manner towards the count, who on the 
other hand has been simply perfect in his manner towards 
us. Have you anything against him 1 " 

" Possibly." 

" Did you ever meet him previously to coming hither 1 " 

" I have." 

" And where 'i " 

" Will you promise me not to repeat a single word of J 
what I am about to tell you 1 " 

" I promise." 

" Upon honor!" 

" Upon honor." 

" That is satisiaotory ; listen, then." 

Franz then related to his friend the history of his ex- 



THE BENDEZVOCa. 



173 



I 



cuTsiou to the island of Monte Oristo, and of hia finding a 
party of smugglers there, with whom were two Coraluau 
bandits. He dwelt with considerable force and energy ou 
the almost magioal hospitality he had I'eceived from the 
count, and the magniticeuce of bis entertainment in the 
grotto of t!ie " Thooaanct and One Nights," He recounted 
all the particulars of the supper, — the hashish, the statues, 
the dream, and the reality ; and how at his awakeiiiufj 
there remained no proof or trace of all these event^^ save 
the small yacht seeu in the distant horizon sailing towards 
Porto Vecchio. Then he detailed the conversation over- 
heard by him at the Colosseum between the count aud 
Yampa, in which the count bud promised to obtain the re- 
lease of the bandit Peppino, — an engagement which as our 
leaders are aware, he moat faithfully fulfilled. At last he 
arrived at the adventure of the preceding night, and tbe 
embarrassment in which he found biniself placed by not 
having six hundred or seven hundred piastres, aud his 
idea of applying to the count, — an idea which had led 
to results so picturesque aud satisfactory. 

Albert listened witli the most profound attention. 
" Well," said he, when Franz had concluded, " what do 
you find to object to in all you have related t The count 
ia fond of travelling, and being rich possesses a vessel of 
his own. Gro to Portsmouth or Southampton, and you 
will find tbe harbors crowded with the yachts belonging to 
wealthy Englishmen who have the same fancy. To have 
a resting-place in his travels; to escape the frightful cook- 
ing which has poisoned us, — me for four mouths, yon for 
four years ; to avoid lying ou tliese abominable beds on 
which no oue can sleep, — he furnishes a place ut Monte 
Cristo. Then, when his place is furnished be fears that 
the Tuscan Government will drive liim away, and that hia 
expenses will be lost money ; he therefore buys the island 



174 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CKiaTO. 



aud takes its name. Just ask yourself, toy good fellow, 
wUether there are uot mauy persons of our acquaintance J 
-who assume the uames of lands aud properties tfaey ne 
iu theii lives were master of.'' 

" But," said Fraaz, " how do you accouot for the cii- ' 
cumataace of the Curaicaa bosdits being among the ei 
of his vessel J " 

" Well, what .is there surprising in that 1 Nobody 1 
knows better than yourself that the bandits of Corsiua are 
not rogues or thieves, but purely and simply fugitives 
driven by some vendetta from their native town or village, 
and that their fellowship involves no disgrace or etign 
for my own part I protest that should I ever visit Corsica, I 
my iirat visit, ere even I presented myself to the governor I 
or prefect, should be to the bandits of Colomba, if I could | 
only manage to meet them. I find them charming." 

"Still," persisted Franz^ "I suppose you will allow j 
that such men as Vampa and bis band are villains who 
have no other motive than plunder when they seize your 
person. Uow do you explain the iuflueace of the couut 
over those ruflSans ) " 

"My good friend, as in all probability I owe my present 
safety to that influence, it would ill become me to search 
too closely into its source. Therefore, instead of condemn- 
ing him for his intimacy with outlaws, yon must give 
me leave to excuse any little iixegnlarity there may bo in 
such a connection, — not altogether for preserving my life, 
for my own idea was that it never was in much danger; 
but certainly for saving me four thousand piastres, which, 
being translated, means neither more nor less than twenty- 
four thousand livres of our money, — a sum at which, most 
assuredly, I should never have been estimated in Frani 
proving most indisputably," added Albert, with a laugh, 
"that no prophet is honored in Ms own country." 



THE RENDEZVOUS. 



175 



"Talking of countriea," replied Franz, "of what conn- 
try ia the couut ; what ia his native tongue ; what are his 
mBana of existence ; wheuco does he derive his immense 
fortune ; what were those events of his early life — a life 
as marvellous as uukuown — that have tinctured his suc- 
ceeding years with so dark and gloomy a misanthropy 1 
Certainly these are questiona that iu your place I should 
like to have answered." 

"My dearjranz," replied Albert, "when upon receipt 
of my letter you found the necessity of asking the count's 
assistance, you promptly went to him, saying, ' My friend 
Albert de Morcerf ia in danger ; help me to deliver liira.' 
Was not that nearly what you said)" 

" It was." 

" Well, then, did he ask you, ' WIk 
Morcerf ; how does he come by his n 
what are his means of existence ; what 
of what country is he a native I Tell i 
these questions to you 1 " 

" I confess he asked me none." 

"No; he merely came and freed me from the hands of 
M. Vampa, where, I can assure you, in spite of all my 
appearance of ease and unconcern, I did not very particU' 
larly care to remain. Now then, Franz, when in return 
for services so promptly and unhesitatingly rendered, he 
but asks me to do for him what is done daily fur any 
Russian prince or Italiao noble who may pass through 
Paris, — merely to introduce him into society, — would 
you have me refusel My good fellow, you must have lost 
your senses to think it possible I could act ^vith such 
cold-blooded policy." And this time it must he confessed 
that contrary to custom, ail the good arguments were on 
Albert's side. 

"Well," said Franz, with a aigh, "do as yoti please, my 



. is M. Albert de 
anie, his fortune ; 
is his birth-place ; 
ae, did he put all 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



17C 

dear viscount, fur your argunieuta are beyond my powi 
of refutation. But it is none the lesa true that tliis Count 
of Monte Criito is a. strange man. 

" He is a philanthropist," answered the other ; " and 
no doubt his motive in visiting Paris is to compete for the 
Monthjon prize. If my vote aud interest can obtain it 
for him, 1 will readily give him the one and promise the 
other. And now, my dear Franz, let us talk of something 
else. Come, shall we take our luncheon, aud then pay a 
last visit to St. Peter's J" Frani silently assented ; and 
the following afternoon at balf-past five o'clock, the young 
men parted, — Albert de Moroerf to return to Paris, and 
Franz d'Epinay to pass a fortnight at Venice. But ere he 
entered hia travelling-carriage, Albert, fearing that his 
expected guest might forget the engagement he had 
entered into, placed in the care of the waiter of the hotel 
a card to be delivered to the Count of Monte Cristo, on 
which, beneath the name of Albert de Moreerf, he had 
written in pencil, "2" Rue du Hulder, May 21 
paat ten, a. u." 



'oun^^H 




THE GUESIS. 



CHAPTER IX. 



THE GUESTS. 



In the house in the Rub da Helder, to which Albert had 
invited the Count of Monte Criato, preparation, was made 
'le morning of tha 2lBt of May to honor the joung 
s invitation. Albeit de Morcerf inhabited a pavilion 
situated at a comer of a large court, and directly opposite 
I another building in which were the servants' apartments. 
Two windows only of the pavilion faced the street; three 
[ other windows looked into the court, and two at the back 
I into tlie gBTiien. Between the court aud tlie garden, built 
I in the heavy style of the imperial architecture, was the 
large and fashionable dwelling of the Comte and Cotutesse 
3 Morcerf. A high wall surrounded the whole of the 
1 hotel, sarmounted at intervals by vases filled witli flowers, 
[ and broken in the centre hj a large gate of gilded iron 
1 which served as the carriage entrance. A sinall door close 
I to the lodge of the concierge gave ingress and egress to 
lie servants or to the masters when they wnre on foot. 
In this choice of the pavilion as Albert's residenca it 
I vas easy to discern the delicate care of a mother unwilling 
I to part from her son, and yet aware that he required the full 
L exercise of his liberty ; also, it must be admitted, the intel- 
ligent egotism of the young man himself, captivated by 
that free aud idle life. Through these two windows look- 
ing into the street, Albert could see all that passed j t!ie 
sight of what is going on is so necessary to young men. 



178 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



wlio wiah always to see the world traverse their horizoi^ 
be that horizon but the street only. Then should anyifl 
thing appear to merit a more minute examination, Alberta 
de Morcerf could follow up his reeearches by goiug out at I 
a email gate, similar to that close to the concierge'^ door, J 
and wliich merits a particular description. It was a littloj 
entratice that seemed never to have been opened since th&l 
house was built, so entirely was it covered with dust and.| 
dirt; but the well-oiled hinges and locks announcetl ( 
frequent and mysterious employment. This door laugbeij 
at the concierge, Erom whose vigilance and jurisdictio 
eacaped, opening, like the door in the " Arabian Nights, "l 
the " Sesame " of Ah Baba, by a cabahatic word, or a con^J 
cerbed tap without, from the sweetest voices or whitest h 
gera in the world. At the end of a long corridor witfaifl 
which the door communicated, and which formed thfti 
ante-chamher, was, on the right, Albert's break fast-room ■ 
looking into the court, and on the left the salon looking J 
into the garden. Sbrubs and creeping plants covered th»> 
windows and hid from the garden and court these two 
rooms, — the only rooms into which, as they wer 
ground-floor, the prying eyea of the curious could penP'.J 
trate. On the first floor were ooiTesponding rooms, with* 
the addition of a third formed out of the ante-cbamber {; 
these three rooms were a salon, a boudoir, and a bedroonufl 
The salon downstairs waa only an Algerian divan for th^A 
use of smokers. The boudoir upstairs communicated with.fl 
the bedchamber by an invisible door on the staircase ; iM 
was evident that every precaution had been taken. Ahov^ 
this floor waa a large studio, which had been increased u 
size by pulling down the partitions, — a pandemonium, ia«l 
which the artist and the dandy strove for pre-eminenee, ' 
There were collected and piled up all Albert's successive i 
caprices, — hunting-horns, bass-viola, flutes, — a whola f 



THE GUESTS. 179 

orchestta, for Albert bad had, not a taeto, but tbe wbim 
fnr music ; easels, palettes, brushes, pencils, ^- for the 
'whim fur music bad beeu succeeded by a fatuous passion 
for painting; foils, boxing-ykves, broad-Bwords, and eiu- 
gle-sticka, — for following the example of tbe fashionable 
young men of tba time, Albert de Morcerf cultivated with 
far laure perseverance tlian music and draiTJng the three 
arts that complete a dandy's education, namely, fencing, 
boxing, and singlestick ; and it was in this room that be 
received Grisier, Cook, and Charles Lecour. The rest of 
the furniture of this privileged chamber consisted of old 
cabinets of the time of Francis I., iilleil with China and 
Japan vases, earthenware from Lucca or Robbia, plates of 
Bernard de Palissy; of old armchairs, which perhaps 
Henry IV. or Sully, Luuis XIII. or Richelieu had occu- 
pied, — for two of these armchaii's, adorned with a carved 
shield on which were engraved the Jfeur-de-lU of France 
on an azure held, evidently came from the Louvre, or at 
least some royal residence. On these dark and sombre 
chairs were thrown apleudid stuffs, dyed beneath Persia's 
sun or woven by the fingers of the women of Calcutta or 
of Chandernagor. What these stuffs were there for it 
was impossible to say. They awiiitwl, while gratifying the 
eyes, a destination unknown to their owner himself; in 
the mean time they tilled the room with their golden and 
silky reflections. In the centre of the room was a piano 
in rosewood, of Boiler and Blanchet, of small dimensions, 
but containing an orchestra in its narrow and sonorous 
cavity, and groaning beneath the weight of the chefs- 
d'cetivre of Beethoven, ^^''eber, Mozart, Ilaydn, Gri'try, 
and Porpora. On the walla, over the doors, on the ceil- 
ing, were swords, daggers, Malay creeses, maces, battle- 
axes, suits of armor gilded, damaskeened, and inlaid, 
dned plants, minerals, and stuffed birds, opening their 



THE COUNT OV MONTE CHISTO. 

flame-colored ivinga as if for fliglit, and their beaks 
that never close, This was the favoiite sittiny-room of 
Albert. 

However, on the day of the appointed rendeavous the 
young man had established himself in the small salon 
downstairs. There, on a table surroiuided at aoiae dis- 
tance by a large and luxurious divan, every species of 
tobacco known, from the yellow tobacco of Petersburg 
to the black tobacco of Sinai, the Maryland, the Porto 
Hico, and the Latakia, was exposed in those pots of 
cmckled earthenware of which the Dutch are so fond. 
Beside them in boxes of fragrant wood were ranged, ac- 
cording to their size and quality, ptiroi, regalias, havanaa, 
and mauillas ; and in an open cabinet a collection of Ger- 
man pipes, of chibouques with their amber mouth-pieces 
ornamented with coral, and of naigiles witJi their long 
tubes of morocco, awaited the caprice or the desire of the 
smokers. Albert had himself presided at the arrangement, 
or rathei' the symmetrical derangement which after coffee 
the guests at a breakfast of modern days like to contem- 
plate through the vapor that escapes from their mouths, 
and ascends in long and fauciful wreaths to the ceiling. 
At a quarter to ten a volet entered ; he composetl, with a 
little groom named John and who spoke English only, all 
Albert's establishment, although the cook of the hotel was 
always at his service, and on great occasions the count's 
chasseur also. This valet, whose name was Germain, and 
who enjoyed the entire confidence of hia young master, 
held in one hand a number of pajwrs, and in the other a 
iwcket of letters which he gave to Albert. Aiheil. glanced 
carelessly at the different missive^ selected two written in 
a small and delicate hand and enclosed in scented envel- 
opes, opened them, and perused their contents with some 
attention. " How did tbeee letters come 1 " said ha. 



I 
I 



THE GUESTS. 181 

" One by t!ie post ; Madame Danglara'a footman left t!ie 
other." 

" Let Madame Danglare know that I accept the place 
she offers me in her box. Wait; then, duriug the day, 
tell Rosa that wheu I leave the opew I will sap with her 
as ahe wiahea. Take to her six bottles of assctrteil wlue^ 
— Cyprus, sherry, and Malaga, — and a beg of Osteud 
oysters ; get the oysters at Burel's, and bo Bure you suy 
they are for me." 

" At what o'clock, Monsieur, do you breakfast t " 

" What time is it now i " 

"A quarter to ten." 

" Very well ; at Lalf-paat ten. Debray wiE perhaps be 
obliged to go to his oifice ; and besides [Albert looked at 
his tablets], it ia the hour I appointed with the count, — 
May 21, at half-jmat ten, — and though I do not much 
rely upon his promise, I wish to be punctual Is Madame 
the Countess up yet 1 " 

"If Monsieur the Viacount wishes, I will inquire." 

" Yes ; ask her for one of her liqueur cellarets, — mine ia 
incomplete ; and tell her I shall have the honor of seeing 
her about three o'clock, and that I request permission to 
introduce some one to her." 

The valet left the room. Albert threw himself on the 
divan, tore off the cover of two or three of the papers, 
looked at the playbills, made a face at perceiving they 
played an opera and not a ballet, hunted vainly among 
the advert iaementa for a new tooth-powder of which he 
had heard, and threw down, one after the other, the three 
leading papers of Paris, muttering, " These papers become 
more and more stupid every day." A moment after, a 
carriage atiipped before the door, and the servant an- 
nounced M. Lucien Debray. A tall young man, with 
light hair, clear gray eyes, and thin, compressed lips, 



182 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO. 



dressnd in a Llue coat with buttoos of gold beautifully 
carved, a white UEokcloth, and a tortoise-shell eye-glaaa 
suspended by a silken thread, and which by au effort of 
the Bupercihary and zygomatic nervea ho fixed in hia eye, 
entered with a half-official air, without smiling or speaking. 

" Good-moming, Lucien! good-nioming I" said Albert; 
"ygnr punctuality really alarms me. What do I sayl 
Punctuality [ You, whom I expected last, you arrive at 
five minutes to ten, when the time fixed was half-past! 
It is wonderful I Has the ministry fallen 1" 

" No, my dear fellow," returned the young man, seat- 
ing himself on the divan ; " reassure yourself. We are tot- 
tering always, hut we never fall ; and I begin to believe 
that we shall pass comfortably into a state of permanence, 
■ —without reckoning that the affairs of the Peninsula will 
completely consolidate us." 

"Ah, true I you drive Don Carlos out of Spwn." 

"Ko, 110, ray dear fellow ; do not confound our plans. 
We take him to the other side of the French frontier, and 
offer htm hospitality at fiourges." 

"At Bourgesl " 

" Fes, he has not much to complain of; Bourges is the 
capital of Charles VII. What ! Yon did n't know that ) 
All Paris knew it yesterday ; and the day before it had 
already transpired on the Bourse, and M. Danglars (I do 
not know by what means that man contrives to obtain 
intelligence aa soon as we do) speculated for a rise, and 
won a miUi<)n ! " 

" And you another order apparently, for I see you 
have a blue ribbon at your button-hole." 

" Yes, tiiey sent me the order of Charles III.," returned 
Debray, carelessly. 

" Come, do not affect indifference, but confess you were 
pleased to have it." 



THE GUESTS. 



163 



" Oh, it is very veil as a finial] to the toilet. It looks 
very neat on a black coat buttonei! up." 

"And makes you reseraljle the Prince of Wales or tha 
Due de Reich stadt." 

" It ia for that reason you see me so early." 

" Because you have the order of Charles III., and you 
wish to announce the good news to mel" 

" No, because I passed the night writing letters, — five 
and twenty despatches. I returned home at day-break 
and strove to sleep ; but njy bead ached, and I got up to 
ride for an hour. At the Bois de Boulogne, ennui and 
hunger attacked me at once, — two enemies who rarely 
accompany each other, and who are yet leagued against 
me, a sort of Carlo -republican alliance. I then recollected 
that you were to give a breakfast this morning, and here , 
I am. I am hungry ; feed me. I am bored ; amuse me," 

" It is my duty as yoiir host," returned Albert, ringing 
the boll, while Lucien turned over with his gold-mounted 
cane the papers that lay on the table. " Germain, a glass 
of sherry and a biscuit. In the mean time, my dear Lucien, 
here are cigars — contraband, of course ; try them, and 
persuade the minister to sell us such instead of poisoning 
us with cabbage-leaves." 

" Ptsle ! I will do nothing of the kind ; so long as 
they came from Government you would find them exe- 
crable. Besides, that does not concern the home but the 
financial department. Addresa yourself to M, Humann, 
Section of the Indirect Contributions, Corridor A, So. 56." 

" On my word," said Albert, " you astonish me by the 
extent of your acqiiaintanca Take a cigar." 

" Really, my dear viscount," replied Lucien, lighting a 
manilla at a rose-colored taper that burned in a stand 
beautifully enamelled, " how happy you are to have noth- 
ing to do ; you do not know your own good fortune ! " 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



184 

" And what would you do, my dear pacificator of kiug- 
iloms," replied Morcerf, with a slight degree of irony in 
his voice, " if you did nothing ! What 1 private secretary 
to B miiiister, plunged at the same time iuto European 
cabals and Parisian intrigues ; having kings, and lietter 
still queena to protect, parties to unite, elections to direct ; 
achieving more from your cabinet with your pen and 
your telegraph than Napoleon did from his battle-fields 
with his sword and liifl victories ; possessing five snd 
twenty thousand livrea a year, besides your place ; a horse 
for which Chateau-Eenaud offered you four hundred 
louis, and which you would not part with ; a tailor who 
never disappoints you ; having accesa to the Opera, the 
Jockey Club, and the Varietes, — in all that can you not 
find enough to amuse you t Well, I will amuse you," 

"Howr 

" By introducing to you a new acquaintance," 

" A man or a woman ? " 



" I know so many already," 

'■ But you do not know this man." 

" Where does he come from, — the end of the world 1 " 

" Farther still, i 

" The devil 1 I 1 

"Ob, no; our breakfast is cooking in the maternal 
kitchen. You are hungiy, then 1 " 

" Humiliating as such a confession is, I am. But I 
dined at M. de Villefort's, and lawyers always give ycm 
very bud dinners. You woiild think they felt some re- 
morse ; did you ever remark that ! " 

" Ah ! depreciate other persons' dinners ; you ministers 
give such splendid ones." 

"Yes; hut we do not invite people of fashion. If we > 



1 



i not bring our hreakfast 



THE GUESTS, 



185 



were not forced to entertEun a parcel of country boobies 
because they think and vote with us, we should never 
droftm of dining at home, I assure you." 

" Well, take another glass of sherry and auotlier biscuit." 

" Willingly. Your Spanish wine is escellent. You see 
we were quite right to pacify that couutry." 

" Yes J but Don Carlos 1 " 

" Well, Don Carlos will drink BurJeaiix ; and in ten 
years we will mairy his son to the little queeii." 

" You will then obtain tho Gulden Fleece, if you are 
atill in the ministry." 

" I tliiiik, Albert, you have adopted the system of 
feeding me on smoke this morning." 

" Well, you must aUow it is the best thing for the 
stomach ; but 1 hear Beauehamp in the next room. You 
can dispute together, and that will pass a»'ay the time." 

" About what i " 

"About the papers." 

" My dear friend," said Lucten, with an air of sovereign 
contempt, " do I ever read the papers t " 

" Then you will dispute the more." 

" M, Beauchamp," announced the servant. 

" Enter, enter ! " said Albert, rising and advaneing to 
meet the young man. " Here is Debray, who detests you 
without reading you, so he says." 

" He is quite right," returued Beauchamp ; " for I criti- 
cise him without knowing what he does. Uood-ilay, 
Commander I " 

"Ah ! you know that already," said the private secre- 
tary, smiling and shaking hands with him. 

" PardCeii ! " 

" Aud what do they say of it in the world 9 " 

" In which world 1 we havo so many worlds in tlia year 
of grace 1838." 



186 



THE COUST OF MOSTE CRISTO. 



" In the critico-[)olitical world, of wLich you are one of 
tlio leaders." 

" They say that it is quite fulr ; and that you bow bo 
much ind that you raust reap a little blue." 

" Come, come ! that is not bad I " aaid Luoien. " Why 
do yuu not join oui party, my dear Beauchamp 1 With 
your talents you would make your fortuue iu three or 
four years." 

" I only await one thing before following your advice, 
— tliat is, a minister who will hold office for six montliB. 
My dear Albert, one word ; for I must get poor Lucien a 
respite. Do we breakfast or dine 1 I must go to the 
Chamber, for our life is not an idle one." 

" We breakfast only. I await two persons ; and the 
instant they arrive we ahull sit down to table." 

" And what sort of persons do you expect to breakfast I " 
said Beauchamp. 

"A gentleman, and a diplomatist." 

" Then we shall have to wait two hours for the gentle- 
man, and three for the diplomatist. I shall come back to 
dessert ; keep me some strawberries, coffe-e, and cigata. I 
eball take a cutlet on my way to the Chamber." 

" Do not do anything of the sort, — for were the gentle- 
man a Montmorency, and the diplomatist a Metternich, we 
will breakfast at eleven ; in the mean time, follow Debray's 
example, and take a glass of sherry and a biscuit." 

" Be it so ; I will stay. I must do something to distracli 
my thoughts." 

" You are like Debray ; and yet it seems to ma that* 
when the minister is out of spirits, tlie oppoBttiou ougbtJ 
to be joyous." 

" Ah, yon do not know with what I am threatened. 1 
I shall hear this morning M. Dauglars make a speech ab.A 
the Chamber of Deputies ; and at bis wife's this evenijt 



I 



THE GUESTS. 



187 



I shnll hear the tragedy of a peer of FraDc& The devil 

take the constitutional goverument ! Since we bad our 
choice, as they eay at least, how could we choose that ) " 

" I understand ; you must lay in a stock of hilarity," 

"Do not rundown M. Daiiglara's speeches," said Debray; 
" he votes for you, for he helonga to the opposition." 

" Pardieu 1 that is exactly the worst of all. I am wait- 
ing until you aend him to speak at the Luxemhourj, to 
laugh at my ease." 

" My dear friend," said Albert to Eeanchamp, " it is 
plain that the affairs of Spain are settled, for you are 
most desperately out of humor this morning. Recollect 
that Parisian gossip has spoken of a marriage between my- 
self and Mademoiselle Eugenie Danglars ; I cannot in con- 
science therefore let you tun down the speeches of a man 
who will one day say to me, ' Moiisiear the Yiscount, you 
know I give two millions to my daughter.' " 

" Ah, this marriage will never take place," said Beau- 
cliamp. " The king has made him a haion and can maka 
liira a peer, but he cannot make him a gentleman ; and 
the Comte de Morcerf is too aristocratic to consent for the 
paltry sum of two millions to a me»alliaiice. The Vicomte 
de Morcerf can wed only a marchioness," 

" Two millions ! it is a nice little sum," replied Morcerf. 

" It is the capital stock of a theatre on tlie boulevard, 
or a railroad from the Jardin des Plantes to La Sapee." 

" Never mind what he says, Morcerf," said Dehray ; " do 
you marry her. You marry a ticket to a money-bag, it is 
true; well, but what does that matter 1 It is better to 
have a blazon less and a figure more on it. You have 
seven martlets ou your arms. Give three to your wife, 
and you will still have ftrnr ; that is one more than M. de 
Guise liad, who so nearly became King of Fiance, and 
whose coii^u was StnpeiGir of CenBaDV;" 



188 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



" On my word, I thiuk you ate right, Lucien," said 
Albert, abeently. 

" To be sure ; besides, every millionnaire is as noble as 
a, bastard, — that is, be can be." 

" Do not say tbat, Dubray," returned Beaucbamp, laugh- 
ing, " for here comes Uh&teau-Reiiaud, who, to cure you of I 
your mania for paradoxes, will pass the sword of Renaud ( 
de MontaubaD, his ancestor, through your body." 

" He will sully it then," returned Lucien ; " for I b 
low — very low." 

" Oh, heavens ! " cried Beauchamp, " the minister quotes 
Beranger ; what shall we come to next ! " 

" M. de CliSteou- Renaud I M. Maximilian Morrel ! " 
said the servant, announcing two new guests. 

" Now, then, to breakfast," said Beauchamp ; " for if I 
I remember, you told me you only expected two persons, I 
Albert." 

" Morrel ! " muttered Albert, — " Morrel I who ia ha 1 '* 
But before he had finished, M. de Chateau- Renaud, a hand- 
Bome young man of thirty, gentleman all over, — that is, 
with a figure of a Guiche and the wit of a Moutemart, — 
took Albert's hand. " My dear Albert," said he, "let me 
introduce to you M. Maximilian Morrel, captain of Spahis, I 
my friend, and what ia more, my pre.server. And besides ] 
all that, he cames his credentials in his own person. Sa- 
lute my hero. Viscount." And he stepped on one side, 
exhibiting the large aud open brow, the piercing eyes, and j 
black mustache of the fine and noble young man whom j 
our readers have already seen at Marseilles under cirouni- I 
stances sufficiently dramatic not to be foigotten, A rich 1 
uniform, half French, half Oriental, set off his broad cheat, 
decorated with the order of the Legion of Honor, and his I 
graceful and stalwart figure. The young officer bowed I 
with eaey and elegant politeness. 



THE GUESTS. 189 

" Monsieur," said Albert, witli affectionate courtesy, 
"M. le Conite de Chateau-Kenaud knew liow unioli 
pleasure this introduction would give me; ;ou are his 
friend, be ours also." 

" Well said ! " interrupted Cliiteau-Renaud ; " and pray- 
that should the case require it, he may do as much for 
you aa lie did for tne." 

" What has he done ) " asked Albert. 

" Oh 1 nothing worth speaking of," said Morrel ; " M. de 
ChSteau-Renaud csaggeratea." 

" Not worth speaking of ! " cried Chiteau-Eenaud ; " life 
is not worth speaking of ! — that is rather too philosophi- 
cal, on. my word, Morrel. It is very well for you, who 
risk your life every day ; bat for me, who only did so 

" What ia evident in aD this, Baron, is that M. le Capi- 
taine Morrel saved your life." 

" Exactly so." 

" On what occasion 1 " aaked Beanchamp. 

" Beauehamp, my good fellow, you know I am starving," 
said Debray. " Do not set him off on some long story," 

" Well, I do not prevent your sitting down to table," 
replied Beiiuchanip ; " Chiiteau-EeDflud can tell ua while 
we eat our breakfast." 

" Gentlemen," said Morcerf, '* it is only a quarter past 
ten, and 1 expect some one else." 

"Ah, true ! a diplomatist I " observed Dehray. 

" I know not whether be be or not ; I only know that I 
gave him a mission which he terminated so entirely to my 
satisfaction that had I been king 1 should have instantly 
created him knight of all my orders, even had I been able 
to offer him the (Jolden Fleece and the Garter." 

" Well, since we are not to sit down to table," said 
Debray, " take a glass of sherry, and tell us all about it" 



190 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



" You al] know that I had the fancy of going to Afrioa." I 

" It is a road your ancestors have traced for you," said | 
Albert, gallantly. 

" Yes, but I doubt that your object waa like theirs, — | 
to rescue the Holy Sepulchre." 

" You are quite riglit, Beauchamp," observed the young | 
aristocrat. " It was only to light as an amateur. I cannot | 
bear duelling ever since two seconds, 'wliom 1 had chosea I 
to accommodate a quarrel, forced me to break the arm of 1 
one of my best friends, one whom you all know, — poop I 
Franz d'Epinay," 

" Ah, true ! " said Debray, " you did light some time I 
ago; about wbati" 

" The devil take me, if I remember I " returned Cbfiteau- 
Kenaud. " But 1 recollect perfectly one thing, — that 
being imwilling to let such talents as mine sleep, I wished 
to try upon tl e Arabs the ne > pist Is that had been giveu 
to me. In consejueace I emba kel for Oran, and went 
from thence to Lonatantine w! ere I arrived juat in time 
to witness the raising of the iie^e 1 retreated with the I 
rest. For fcrty eight lours I supported the rain during I 
the day and the cold during the ni^ht tolerably well ; but | 
the third morning ray horse died of cold. Poor brute I ac- | 
customed to be covered up and to have a stove in the sta- 
ble, the Arabian finds himself unable to bear ten degrees ] 
of cold in Arabia." 

"That's why you want to purchase my Enj^liah horse," 
said Debray ; " you think he will Bui)port the cold better." 

" You are mistaken, for I have made a vow never to | 
return to Africa." 

" You were very much frightened, then 1 " inquired I 
Beauchamp. 

" I confess it ; and I had good reason to be bo," replied I 
Chateau-Renaud. " I was retreating ou foot, for my horse J 



THE GUESTS. 



191 



was dead. Six Arabs came up, full gallop, to cut off my 
head. I shot two with my doubio-barrelled gun, and two 
more with my pistols ; but I was tlien disarmed, and two 
were atill left. One seized me by the Lair (tliat is why 
I now wear it ao short, for no one knows what may 
happen), the other encircled my neck with the yataghan, 
when this gentleman whom you see here charged them, 
ehot the one who lield me by the hair with a pistol, and 
cleft the skull of the other with his sabre. He had as- 
sigaed himself the task of saving the life of a man that 
day ; ohanee caused that man to he myself When I am 
nch I will order from Elagmann or Marochetti a statue 
of Chance." 

" Yes," said Morrel, smiling, " it was the Bth of Sep- 
tember, — the anniversary of the day on which my father 
was miraculously preserved ; therefore, aa far as it lies in 
my power, I endeavor to celebrate it every year by soma 
action." 

" Heroic, is it not I " interraptei! Ch&teau-Renaud. 
" In brief, I was the chosen one ; but that is not all. 
After rescuing me from the sword he rescued me from 
the cold, not by sharing his cloak with me, like Saint 



by 



I each of ua nte a slice 
very hard." 



Martin, but by giving it all to me; then from hui 
sharing with me — guess what 1 " 

" A Strasbourg pie 1 " asked 

" No, his hoTse ; of which 
with a hearty appetite. It w 

" The horse t " said Morcerf, laughing, 

"No, the aacrifice," returned Chfi,teau-Renaud ; "nak 
Dehray if he would sacriiice his English ateed for a 
Btrangarl" 

"Not for a stranger," said Dehray; "hut for a friend I 
might perhaps." 

" I divined that you would become mine, Monsieur the 



192 



THE COUNT OF JIONTE CEISTO. 



Baron," replied Morrel ; " besides, as I had the honor 
tell you, heroiara or not, sacritice or not, that day I owed. 
an offering to bad fortune in recompeiiBe for the favors 
good fortune had on other days granted to us." 

" The history to which M. Morrel alludes," continued 
ChSteau-Ronaud, "is an admirable one, which he will tell 
you some day when you are better acquainted with bita ; 
to-day let us hll our stomachs and not our memories. 
What time do you breakfast, Albert 1" 

"At hftlf-paat ten." 

" Precisely t " asked Debray, taking out his watch. 

" Oh ! yon will give me five minutes' grace," replied 
Moreerf, " for I also expect a. preserver," 

"Of whom 1" 

"Of myself, to be sure!" cried Moreerf; "do yon 
think I cannot be saved as well as any one else, and that 
there are only Arabs who cut off heads! Our breakfast is 
a philanthropic one, and we shall have at table — at least, 
I hope so — two benefactors of humanity." 

" What shall we do ] " said Debray [ " we have only 
one Monthyon prize." 

" Well, it will be given to some one who has done 
nothing to deserve it," said Beauchamp ; " that is the 
way the Academy usually escapes from tho dilemma." 

" And where does he come from ) " asked Debray, 
" You have already answered the question once, but so 
vaguely that I venture to put it a second time." 

" Really," said Albert, " I do not know ; when I 
invited him three months ago, he was then at Rome, 
but since that time, who knows where he may hava 
gone)" 

" And yon think him capable of being here punc- I 
tually ? " demanded Debray. 

"I think hiia capable of everything." 



r to ^^M 
wed. ^^H 

vors ^^^1 

ued ^^H 



I 



" Wei], with the live miniitea' grace, i 
teu luft." 

" I will profit by tiiem to tell you sonietljing about my 
guest." 

"I beg poiiion I" interrupted Beauchamp; "are there any 
materials for an article in what you are going to tell ua 1 " 

" Yes, and for a raoet curious one." 

"Go on, then, for I see I shall not get to the Chamber 
tliis morning, and I must make up for it." 

" I was at Rome during the last Carnival." 

"We know that," said Beauehamp. 

" Yea; but what you do not know is that I was carried 
off by bandits." 

"Thece are no bandits," cried Debray. 

" Yes, there ate, and most hideous, or rather most admi- 
rable ones, for I found them ugly enough to frighten me." 

" Come, my dear Albei-t," said Debray, " confess that 
your cook is behindhand, that the oysters have not ar- 
rived from Oatend or Marennea, and that, like Madame de 
MaintenoTi, you are going to replace the dish hy a story. 
' Say so at once; we are sufficiently well-bred to excuse 
I you, and to listen to your story, fabulous as it promises 
I to be." 

"And I say to you that fabulona as it may seem, I 
I give it to you as a true one from beginning to end. The 
brigands liad carried me off and conducted me to a most 
gloomy spot, called the catacombs of St, Sebfistian," 

" I know it," said Chateau-Renaiid ; " I narrowly 
escaped catching a fever there." 

"And I did more than that," replied Morccrf, "for I 
caught one. I was informed that I was a prisoner until I 
paid the eum of four thousand Roman crowns, — about 
twenty-four thousand livres. Unfortunately, I had not 
above fifteen hundred. I was at the end of my journey 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CEI8T0. 



194 

and of my credit. I wrote to Franz — and were he here 

he would coufirm every word — I wrote tu Franz that 
did not come with the four thousand crowns before ei 
ten minutes past I should have gone to join the blessed 
Eaints and glorious martyrs in whose company I had the 
honor of being; and Siguor Litigi Vampa — that was the 
name of the chief of these hanJits — would have scrupu- 
lously kept his word," 

" But Franz came with the four thousand crowns," said 
Chateau- Re naud. " The devil I A man whose name is 
Franz d'Epiiiay or Albert de Moreerf has n't much trouble 
to get four thousand crowns." 

" No, ha arrived accompanied simply by the guest I am 
goinj; to present to you," 

"Ahl this gentleman is a Hercules kilUng Caeus, a 
Perseus freeing Andromeda 1" 

" Ko, he is a man of about my own size. 

" Armed to the teeth 1 " 

" He had not even a knitting-needle." 

" But he paid yonr ransom i " 

" He said two words to the chief, and I was free." 

" And they apologized to him for havijig carried yoa 
off! " said Beauchamp. 

" Just so." 

" Why, he is a second Ariosto." 

" No ; he is simply the Count of Monte Cristo." 

" There is no Count of Monte Cristo," said Debray. 

"I do not think there is," added Chateau- Ronnud, with 
the air of a man who knows the whole of the European" 
nobility perfectly. " Does any one know anything of a 
Count of Honle Cristo t " 

" He comes possibly from the Holy Land, and one of 
his ancestors possessed Calvary, as the Montemarts did' 
the Dead Sea." 



, at ^T 



THE GUESTS. 



195 



" I tliint I con assist your researches," said Maximilian. 
"Monte Cristo is a little island I have often heard spoken 
of by the old Bailors my father employed, ■^- a grain of 
saud in the ceatre of the Mediterranean, an atom in the 
infinite." 

" Precisely 1 " cried Albert. " Well, he of whom I 
apeak is the lord aud master of this grain of aand, of this 
atom ; he has purchased the title of count somewhere 
in Tuscany." 

" He is rich, then 1 

"I believe so." 

" But that ought to be visible." 

" That is what deceives you, Debray." 

"I do not understand you." 

" Have you read the ' Arabian Nights ' 1 " 

" What a question ! " 

" Well, do you know if the persona you see there are 
rich or poor, if their grains of wheat are not rubiea or 
diamonds ! They seem like poor fishermen, and suddenly 
they open some mysterious cavern filled with the wealth 
of the Indies," 

"Weill" 

" My Count of Monte Cristo is one of those fishermen. 
He has even a name taken from the book ; he calls himself 
Sinhad the Sailor, and has a cave filled with gold." 

"And you have seen this cavern, MorcerfJ" asked 
Beau champ. 

" No, but Franz has ; for Heaven's sake, not a word of 
this before him I Franz went in with his eyes blindfolded, 
and was served by mutes and women to whom Cleopatra 
was nothing. Only he is not quite sure about the women, 
for they did not come in until after he had taken some 
hashish, so that what he took for women might have been 
simply a row of statues," 



186 



THE CODNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



The two young men looked at Morcerf as if to say, 
"Are you mad, or are you laughing at U3)" 

" And I also," said Morrel, thoughtfully, " have heard | 
something like this from on old sailor named Peneli 

" Ah ! " cried Albert, " it is very lucky that M, Morrel | 
cornea to aid me ; you are vexed, are you not, that he ' 
thus gives a clew to the lahyrinth 1 " 

" My dear Albert," said Debray, " what you tel 
so extraordinary." 

" Ah ! because your ambassadors and your consuls do I 
not tell you of them. They have no time; tliey must I 
molest their countrymen who travel." 

" Now you get augry, and attack our poor agents. How 
will you have them protect you ? The Chamber cuts down I 
their salaries every day, so that now they have scarcely I 
any. Will you be ambassador, Albert t I will send you I 
to Constantinople," 

" No, lest on the first demonstration I make in fiivor of ] 
Mehemet Ali, the Sultan send me the bowstring, and make 
my secretaries strangle me." 

" There, now I " said Debroy. 

" Yea, but this does not proveut the Count of Monte 
Cristo from existing," 

" Pardie-u ! evory one exists." 

" Doubtless, but not in the aame way i every one has 
not black slaves, superb galleys, arms like those at La i 
Casauba, Arabian horses, and. Greek mistressea." | 

" Have you seen the Greek mistress 1 " 

" I have both seen and heard her. I saw her at the I 
theatre, and heard her one morning when I break^ted 
with the count," 

" Your extraordinary man eats, then 1 " 

" Yes ; but so little, it can hardly bo called eating." 

" He must be a vampire," 



THE GUESTS. 



197 



" Lauyh if you. will j that waa the opinion of the Corn- 
tease G , who, aa you are aware, knew Lord Ruthven," 

"Ah, capital!" said Beauchamp. "For a man not 
connected with newspapers, here is the pendant to the 
famous sea-serpent of the ' Constitutiouuel.' " 

" Wild eyes, the iris of which contracts or dilates at 
pleasure," said Dehray ; " facial angle strongly developed ; 
magnificent forehead ; Uvid complexion ; block beard ; 
sharp and white teetb ; politeness unesceptionable." 

"Just so, Lucien," returned Morcerf; "you have de- 
Bcrihed him, feature for feature. Tea, keen and cutting 
politeness. This man has often made me ehadder ! and 
one day when we were viewing an execution I thought I 
should faint, more from bearing the cold and calm manner 
in which he spoke of every description of torture than 
from the aiglit of the executioner and the culprit." 

" Did be not conduct you to the ruins of the Colosseum 
to suck your blood t " asked Beauchamp. 

" Or, after having delivered you, did he not make you 
sig]i a flame-colored parchment by which you yielded 
your soul to him, as Esau sold his birthright ? " 

" Ettil on, rail on at your ease, gentlemen ! " said Mor- 
cerf, somewhat piqued. " When I look at you Parisians, 
idlers on the Boulevard de Gand or the Bois de Boulogne, 
and thiuk of this man, it seems to me we are not of the 



" I am highly flattered," returned Beauchamp. 

" At the same time," added Chataau-Renaud, " your 
Count of Monte Cristo is a very fine fellow, always except- 
ing his little arrangements with the Italian banditti." 

" Tliere are no Italian banditti ! " said Debray. 

" There are no vampires ! " cried Beauchamp, 

" There is no Count of Monte Cristo ! " added Debray. 
" There is balf-post ten striking, Albert 1 " 



198 THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 

" Confeas you have dreamed this, and let ub ait down 
to breakfast," continued Beauchaiup. But the sound of 
the clock had nut died away when Gi'rmain announced, 
" Hia Escelleucy the Count of Mnnte Criato." The in- 
voluntary start every oue gave proved how much MorcerTa 
narrative had impressed them, and Albert himself could 
not prevent himself from feeling a sudden emotion. He 
had not heard a carriage stop in the street, or steps in 
the ante-ciiambsr ; the door had itself opened noiselessly. 
The count appeared, dressed with the greatest simplicity ; 
but the most fastidious dandy couid have found nothing 
to cavil at in his toilet. Every article of dress — hat, 
coat, gloves, and boots — was from the first makcra. He 
seemed scarcely five and thirty. But what struck every- 
body was hia extreme resemblance to the portrait Debray 
had drawn. The count advanced, smiling, into the centre 
of the room, and approached Albert, who hastened towards 
him, holding out hia hand. " Punctuality," said Monte 
Cristo, " is the politeness of kings, according to one of 
your Bovereigna, I think ; but it is not that of travellers, 
however they may wish. But I hope you will excuse the 
two or three seconds I am behindhand ; £ve hundred 
leagues are not to be accomplished without aome trouble, 
and eapecially in France, where it aeema it is forbidden 
to beat the postilions." 

"Monsieur the Count," replied Albert, "I was an- 
nouncing your visit to some of my friends, whom I had 
invited in consequence of the promise you did me the 
honor to make, and whom I now present to you. They 
are M. ]e Comte de Chateau- Renaud, whose nobility goes 
back to the twelve peers, and whoae ancestors had a place 
at the Round Table ; M. Lucien Debray, private secretary 
to the Miniatre de I'lntdrieur ; M. Beauchamp, an editor 
of a paper, and the terror of the French Government, but 



THE GUESTS. 



199 



of whom, in apita of liia celebrity, you have not heard in 
Italy, eiiice his paper is prohibited there ; and M, Maxi- 
milian Morrel, captain uf Spahis." 

At this name the count, who had hitherto ealuted every 
one with courtesy, hut at tlie same time with a coldDoss 
and formality quite English, made in spite of himself a 
step forward, and a slight tinge of red colored his pale 
cheeks. " Yoii wear the uniform of the new French con- 
querors, Monsieur," said he ; " it is a handsome uniform." 
No one could have said what caused the count's voice to 
vibrate so deeply, and what made his eye flash, wliich was 
in general so calm and so clear, when he had no motive 
for veiling its expression. 

"You have never seen our Africans, Monsieur the 
Count 1 " said Albert. 

" Never," replied the count, who was by this time 
perfectly master of himself again. 

" Well, beneath this uniform beats one of the bravest 
and noblest Leatts in the whole army." 

" Oh, M, de Moroerf 1 " interrupteii Morrel. 

" Let me go on, Captain ! And we have just heard," 
continued Albert, " of a recent action of Monsieur, and 
one so heroic that although I have seen him to-day for 
the first time, I request yon to allow me to introduce bim 
as my friend." 

At tliesQ words it was still possible to remark in Monte 
Cristo that fixed gaze, that passing color, and that slight 
trembling of the eyelid which with hini betrayed emotion. 

"Ahl you have a noble hearti" said the count; "so 
much the better." 

This exclamation, which answered to the count's own 
thought rather than to what Albert was saying, surprised 
everybody, and especially Morrel, who looked at Monte 
Cristo with surprise. But at the same time the intona- 



200 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

tion waa so soft that however strange the exclamation 
might seem, it was imposaiblo to be ofietided at it. 

" Why, then, should he doubt it 1 " said Beauchamp to 
Ch&teau-Renaud. 

" In fact," replied the latter, who with hia aristocratic 
glance and his kuowkdge of the world had penetrated at 
once all that was penetrable in Monte Cristo, " Albert has 
not deceived us ; the count is a singular being. What 
say jou, MorreH" 

" Ma foil he has an open look about him that pleases me, 
in spite of the singidar remark he has made about mc 

" Gentlemen," said Albert, " Germain informs me that 
breakfast ia ready. My dear count, allow me to show 
you the way." 

They passed silently into the breakfastroom ; every one 
took hia place. 

" Gentlemen," said the count, seating himself, "permit 
me to make a confession which must form my excuse for 
auj uneonventionalities of which I may be guilty. 
a stranger, and a stranger to such a degree that thia is the 
iirat time I have ever been in Paris, The French way of 
living is utterly unknown to rae, and up to the prese 
time I have followed the Eastern customs, which are e 
tirely in contrast to the Parisian. I beg you, therefore, 
to excuse me if you find anything in me too Turkish, too 
Italian, or too Arabian. Now, then, gentlemen, let us 
breakfast." 

" With what an air he says all thia 1 " muttered Beau- 
champ ; " decidedly he is a great man," 

"A grent man in his country," ailded Debray. 

" A great man ia every country, M. Debray," said 
Chateau -lleuau J. 



THE BKEAKFAST. 



CHAPTER X. 



THE BREAKFAST. 



The count was, it may be remembered, a. most temperate 
gaest. Albert remarked thie, expressing his fears lest at 
the outset tlie Parisian luoile of life should displease the 
traveller in the ninst essential point. 

" My dear count," said he, " I fear that the fare of the 
Eue du Helder is not so much to your taste as that of 
the Place d'Espagne. I ought to haye consulted you on 
the point, and have had aoine dishes prepared expressly 
to suit your taste." 

" Did you know me better," returned the count, smil- 
ing, "you would not give one thought of such a thing for 
a traveller like myself, who has successively lived on mac- 
aroni at Naples, polenta at Milan, oils podriila at Valencia, 
pilau at Constantinople, karrick in India, and swallows' 
nests in China. I eat everywhere, and of everything, — 
only I eat but little; and tliis day, on which you reproach 
me for abstinence, is my day of appetite, for I have not 
eaten since yesterday morning." 

" What ! " cried all the guests, " yoa have not eaten 
for four and twenty hours}" 

" No," replied the count ; " I was forced to go out of 
my road to obtain some information near Nlmes, so that 
I was somewhat late, and I did not choose to atop." 

" And you ate in your carriage ) " asked Morcerf. 

" No ; I slept, as I generally do when I am weary 



D A&ica, who have 
inything to drink." 
mfortuiiately my re- 



202 THE COUNT OF MONTE CBISTO. 

without having the courage to amuse myaelf, or when 
I am hungry without feeling iiichned tn eat." 

" But you can sleep when you please, Monsieur f " said 
Morrel. 

" Very nearly." 

" You have a receipt for that ) " 

"An infallible one." 

"That would he invaluable to v 
not always food to eat, and rarely s 

" Yea," eaid Monte Cristo ; 
ceipt, excellent for a man like myself who lead au excep- 
tional life, would be very dangerous applied to an army, 
which might not awake when it was needed." 

" May we inquire what ia this receipt J " asked 
Dehray. 

" Oh, yes," returned Monte Cristo ; " I make no secret 
of it. It is a mixture of excellent opium, which I brought 
myself from Canton in order to have it pure, and the beat 
hashish which grows in the East, — that is, between the 
Tigris and the Euphrates. These two ingredients are mixed 
in equal proportions and formed into pills. Ten wtnutes 
after one ia taken, the effect is produced. Ask M. le Baron 
Franz d'Epinay ; I think he tasted them one day." 

"Yes," replied Morcer^ "he said something ahout it 
to me." 

" But," said Beauchamp, who in his capacity of jour- 
nalist was very iDoreduious, " you always carry this drug 
about you 1 " 

" Always." 

" Would it he an indiscretion to ask to see those pre- 
cious piils 1 " continued Beauchamp, hoping to take him 
at a disadvantage. 

" No, Monsieur," returned the count ; and be drew 
from his pocket a marvellous bonbonnih-e, formed out of 



THE BKEAKFAST. 203 

B, single emerald, and closed by a golden lid, wbicb 
unsciewed and gave paasage to a small ball of a greecieh 
color, and about the size of a pea. This ball bad an acrid 
and penetTating odor. There were four or five more in 
the emerald, which would contain about a dozen. The 
bonbonnisre passed round the table ; but it was more to 
examine the admirable emerald than to see the pilld that 
the guests handed it around. 

" And is it your cook who prepares these pills t " asked 
Beauchamp. 

" Oh, no. Monsieur," replied Monte Cristo ; " I do not 
thus intrust my real enjoyments to the discretion of the 
incapable. I am a tolerable chemist, and prepare my 
pills myself." 

" This is a magni6cent emerald, and the largest I have 
ever seen," said Chftteau-Renaud, " although my mother 
has some remarkable Eimily jewels." 

" I had three aimilar ones," returned Monte Cristo. " I 
gave one to the Grand Seigneur, who mounted it in his 
sabre ; another to our Holy Father the Pope, who had it 
set in his tiara opposite to one nearly as large, though 
not so fine, given by the Emperor Napoleon to his prede- 
cessor, Pius VII. I kept the third for myself, and I 
Lad it hollowed out, wJiich reduced its value, but ren- 
dered it mora commodious for the purpose I intended 
it for." 

Every one looked at Monte Cristo with astonishment; 
he spoke with so much simplicity that it was evident he 
spoke the truth or that he was mad. However, the sight 
of the emerald made them naturally Inchne to the former 
belief. 

"And what did these two sovereigns give you in ex- 
change for these magni6cent presents 1 " asked Debray. 

" The Grand Seigneur, the liberty of a woman," replied 



204 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



the count ; " the Pope, tlie life of a mftn, — bo that once in 
my life I have been as powerful aa if Heaven liad inade 
me come into the world on the steps of a throne." 

" And it \raa Peppino you saved, waa it not 1 " cried 
Moreerf; "it was for bim that you obtained pardoi 

"Perhaps," returned the count, smiling. 

" Monsieur the Count, you have no idea what pleasu 
gives me to hear you speak thus," said Morcerf. " I had 
auuounced you beforehand to my friends ae an enchanter 
of the 'Arabian Niyhts,' a wizard of the Middle Ages; 
but the Parisians are so suljtle in paradoxes that they 
mistake fui capricea of the imagination the most iiicontest- | 
able trntliB, when these tnitlis do not form a jiart of their ' 
daily existence. Por example, here is Debray who reads, 
and Beauchamp who prints every day that a member of 
the Jockey Club has been stopped and robbed on the 
Boulevard; that four persons have been assassioated in 
the Hue St. Denis or the Faubourg St. Germain ; that ten, 
fifteen, or twenty thieves have been arrested in a cafe on 
the Boulevard du Temple, or in the Thermes de Julien, — 
and who yet contest the existence of the bandits of the 
Maremma, of the CarapaRna di Eoraana, or the Pontine 
Marshes. Tell them yourself that I was taken by bandits, 
and that without your generous intercession I should now 
have been sleeping in the catacombs of St. Sebastian, in- 
stead of receiving them in my humble abode in the Eue | 
du Helder." 

" Bah," said Monte Cristo, " you promised me nevi 
speak of tfiat misfortune." 

" It was not I who made that promise," cried Moreerf ; 
" it must have been some one else whom you have rescued 
in the same manner, and whom you have forgotten. ] 
speak of it, for if you decide to relate that event you will 
perhaps not only repeat a few things that I already knov, ' 



THE BEEAKFAST. 205 

but will also acquaint me with much of which I am still 



" It sBeme to me," returned the count, smiling, " that 
you played a suffiuieully important part to know aa well 
as myself what happened." 

" Well, you promise me, if I tell all I know, to relate 
in your turn all that I do not know ) " 

" That is hut fair," replied Moiite Cristo. 

" Well," said Morcerf, " for three days I believed myself 
the object of the attentions of a maak whom 1 took for a 
descendant of Tulha or Popptea, while I was simply the 
object of the attentions of a conladine, and I say eonladine 
to avoid saying peasant. What I know is that like a fooL 
a greater fool than he of whom I spoke just now, I mistook 
for this peasant a young bandit of fifteen or sixteen, with 
a. beardless chin and slim waist, and who just as I was 
about to imprint a chaste salute on hia lips placed a pistol 
to my head, and aided by seven or eight others, led, or 
rather draped me, to tiie catacombs of St. Sebastian, 
where I found a highly educated cliief of brigands pe- 
rusing ' Csesar's Commentaries,' and who deigned to leave 
off reading to inform me that unless the next morning 
before six o'cIai:k I should have contributed to his money- 
box four thousand piastres, at a quarter past six I should 
cease to exist. The letter is still to be seen, for it is in 
Franz d'Epinay's possession, signed by me, and witli a 
postscript of M, Luigi Vampa. Tins is all 1 know ; but 
1 know not, Monsieur the Count, how you contrived to 
inspire with such respect the banditd of Rome, who re- 
spect BO few, I assure you, Franz aiid I were lost in 
ail mi ration." 

" Nothing more simple," returned the count. " I had 
known the famous Vampa for more tlian ten years. When 
he was quite a child, and only a shepherd, I gave him, 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO. 



for baving shown me the way to a place, i 
flold ; he, in order to reimy me, gave mo a poniard, 
hilt of whieh he had carved with his own hand, and which 
yon niny haro seeu in my collection of arms. In after 
yukn, wliiilhiT ho had forgotten tliie interchange of prea- 
cntH, which ought to have cemented our friendship, or 
whother ho did not recollect me, he sought to take mo ; 
hut on tho oontmry il was I who captured him and a 
(Icium of hid bund. 1 might have banded him over to 
Ittiiiiun jastioD, which is somewhat expeditioue, and which 
Woiil'l hiivc been ospcciully so with him ; hut I did noth- 
iug »f tho Murt, — I 8UtToR>d him and his band to depart." 

" On iho condition that they should sin no more," said 
14<AUchuiu)\ laughing. " I see with pleasure that they 
hftvo xcrupulougily kupl their word." 

'■ No, Monaieur," returned Moute Cristo ; " upon the 
Rlni)ili> condition that they should respect myself and 
iny fiitind*. K'rhaiis what I am about to say may seem 
Btmngo to you who are socialists, and vaunt humanity 
anil yiHir duty to your neighbor ; but I never seek to 
proliuU loeioty, whioJ) does not protect me, and which I 
will ovrn iwy j.-unemlly occupies itself about me only to 
iriJiiR) tiw, and thus while I give them a low place in 
my i>htt<tiiu, and |irtis(<rre k neutrality towards them, it is 
aoi^ioly and my neighbor who are indebted to me." 

" Umvo! " orifd Ch&teau-Renaud : "you are the first 
man I nvnr nipt sutfirioutly wumgeoua to preach egotism 
pure and simjilo. fimvo, Mon^ur the Count, bravo t " 

" U is fhink, at loasl," mid Morrcl. " But I am sure that 
Mousiour the Count doos not lugret having once deviated 
ftom the pnuciplos he has so btddly avowed." 

" How have I deviated (Vom those principles. Monsieur! " 
nsktwl Monte Cristo, who wuld not help looking at Morrel 
vith so much intensity that two or three times the young 



of ^^H 
the ^Hj 

'hich ^^^ 



I 



THE BREAKFAST. 



207 



man had been unable to sustain the clear and piercing eye 
of the count. 

" Why, it seems to me," replied Morrel, " that in deliv- 
wing M. de MorcBrf, whom you did not know, you did 
good to your neighbor and to society." 

" Of which he is the brightest ornament," said Beau- 
charap, driuking off a glaaa of champagne. 

" Monsieur the Count," cried Morcerf, " you are at fault, 
— you, one of the most formidable logicians I know ; and 
you must see it clearly proved that instead of being an 
egotist, you are a philanthropist. Ah ! you call yourself 
Oriental, a Levantine, Maltese, Indian, Chinese ; your fam- 
ily name ia Monte Cristo ; Sinbad the Sailor is your bap- 
tismal appellation ; and yet the 6rst day you set foot in 
Paris you instinctively possess the greatest virtue, or rather 
the chief defect of us eccentric Parisians, — that is, you 
assume the vices you have not, and conceal the virtues 
you possess." 

" My dear viscount," returned Monte Cristo, " I do not 
see in all I have done anything that merits, either from 
you or these gentlemen, the pretended eulogies I have re- 
ceived. You are no stranger to roe, for I was acquainted 
■with you ; I had given up two rooms to you ; I had in- 
vited yon to breakfast with me ; I had lent you one of 
my carriages ; we had witnessed the Carnival together ; 
and we had also seen from a window of the Place del 
Popolo the execution that affected you so much that you 
nearly fainted. I will appeal to any of these gentlemen ; 
could I leave my guest in the hands of a hideous ban- 
dit, as you term him ) Besides, you know, I had the 
idea that you could introduce me into some of the Paris 
salons -when I came to France. You have aotaetimes per- 
haps looked upon this resolution as a vague and fugi- 
tive project, but to-day you see it is a solid reality, to 



308 



THE C0C3T or MOSTI CSISTa 



whidi yon uqat salmit nnder paaltj of brraking jonr 

"I wtn keep it," retained Mmecrf; "but I fear UMt 
jou wiQ be much diMppointed, accottooHd m joa sn to 
pictnreaqiK events aad bntastic boraraa. Araoog os job 
viD Dot meet with aaj of those episodes with which jour 
adTentnians ezisteDce has so familiiuized yon. Our Chim- 
bccaio is Montmaitre ; oar Hiioila^a is Mount Valerien ; 
our Great Deaeit is the E^in of Grenelle, where tfaej are 
BOW boring an Artesian well to water the cararans. Wa 
bave plenty of thieves, thoogh not so many as reported ; 
but these thieves stand in far more dread of a policeman 
than a lonL France is so prosaic, and Paris so civilized a 
city, that yon wUl not find in its eighty-five departments — 
1 say eighty-five, because I do not inclnde Corsica — yon 
win not find, then, in these eighty-five departments a sin- 
gle bill on wliich tltere is not a telegraph, or a grotto in 
whioh the commissary of police has not put up a gas-lamp. 
There is but one service I can reniler you, and for that I 
place myself entirely at youi orders ; that is, to present, 
or make ray friends present you everywhere. Besides, 
you have no need of any one to introduce you, — witb 
your name and your fortune and your talent " (Monts 
Cristo bowed with a somewhat ironical smile) " you can 
preaent yourself everywhere, and be well received. 1 
can be useful in one way only : if knowledge of Parisian 
habits, of the means of rendering yourself comfortable, or 
of tliB bazaars, can assbt, you may dispose of me to find 
you a suitable residence. I dare not ofler to share my 
apartments with you as I shared yours at Eome — I, who 
do not profess egotism, but am yet egotistical par excel- 
Unce, — for except myself, these rooms would not contain 
a shadow, unless it were the shadow of a woman." 

"Ahf" said the count, "that is a moat conjugal reaei 



oar ^H 



THE BREAKFAST. 



209 



tion ; I recollect that at Roma you said something of a 
projected marriage. May I congratulate youl" 

" The affair is still only a project." 

" And he who saya ' project ' means certainty," said 
Debray. 

"No," replied Morcerf, "roy father is most anxious 
ahout it ; and I hope ere long to introduce you, if not to 
my ivifo, at least to my inteuJed, — Uadomoiaelle Eu- 
genie Danglars." 

"Eugenie Danglars!" said Monte Cristo ; "tell mo, ia 
not her father M, le Baron DanglaraC 

" Yea," returned Morcorf ; " a baron of recent 
creation." 

"What matter," said Monte Criato, "if he hna rendered 
the State services which merit thia distinction ] " 

" Enormoua services," answered Beauchamp. " Al- 
though in reality a Liberal, he negotiated a loan of six 
luiliious for Charles X. in 1829, who made him a buruu 
and chevalier of tiie Legion of Honor ; so that he carries 
the ribbon, not, as you would think, in bis waistcoat- 
pocket, but at his button-hole." 

" Ah I " interrupted Morcerf, laughing, " Beauchamp, 
Beauchamp, keep that for the ' Charivari,' but apare my 
future father-in-law in my presence." Then, turning to 
Monte Criato, " You just now pronounced his name as if 
you knew the baron ? " 

" I do not know him," returned Monte Criato ; " but I 
shall probahly soon make bis acqaaintauce, for I have a 
credit opened with him by the house of Richard and 
Blount of London, Arstein and Eakelea of Vienna, and 
Thomson and French at Bome." 

As he pronounced the last two namea the count glanced 
at Maximilian Morrel If the stranger expected to pro- 
duce an effect on Morrel he was not miiitakeu ; Maximilian 
VOL. ir. — li 



210 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



started us if he had received an electric shock. " Thom-^ 
Bon aud French !" said he; "do you know that house|,l 
Monsieur 1 " 

'' They are my bankers in the capital of the Chriatiar 
world," returned the count, quietly. "Can my influenca'l 
with them be of any service to youl" 

" Oh, Monsieur the Count, you could assist me perhaps fl 
in rcEearches which have been up to the present fruitless, i 
That house in post years did ours a groat service, and ha^ I 
I know not for what reason, always denied having reii<I 
dered us this service." 

" I shall be at your orders," said Monte Cristo, inclining! 
himself. 

" But," continued Morcerf, " h propoi of Danglara, wm 
have strangely wandered from the subject. ^ 
speaking of a suitable habitation for the Count of Mont&l 
Cristo. Come, gentlemen, ict us all propose some plac 
where shall we lodge this new guest in our 
capital 1 " 

"Faubourg St. Germain," said Ch&teau-Eenaud. "Tho^ 
connt will lind there a charming hotel, with a court and'^ 
garden." 

"Bah I Chateau-EenaQd,"rotumed Dobray, "you know 
only your dull and gloomy Faubourg St. Germain. Do 
not pay any attention to him, Monsieur the Count; live in 
the Chauss^e d'Antin, — that 'a the real centre of Paris." 

"Boulevard de I'Opiira," said Beaucliamp; "on the 
first floor, a house with a balcony. Monsieur the Count _ 
will have his cushions of silver cloth brought there, and a 
he smokes his chibouque see all Paris pass before him." 

"You have no idea, then, Morrell" asked Chateaa-^ 
Renaud; "you do not propose anything!" 

" Oh, yes," returned the young man, smiling ; " ou th< 
contrary, I have one ; but I expected the count would t 



THE BREAKFAST. 211 

tempted by one of tbe brilliant proposals matle him ; yet 
aa ho has not replied to any of them I will venture to 
oFFer him a suite of apartments in a charming hotel, in 
the Pumpadour style, that my sister haa inhabited for a 
year, in the Rue Meslay." 

" You have a sister t " aaked the count. 

" Yea, Monsieur, a most excellent sister." 

" Married I " 

" Nearly nine years." 

" Happy 1 " asked the count again. 

" As happy as it ia permitted to a human creature to 
be," replied Maximilian. " She married the man she 
loved, who remained faithful to us in our fallen fortunes, 
— Emmanuel Herbaut." Monte Criato smiled impercep- 
tibly. " I live there during my leave of absence," con- 
tinued Maximilian ; " and I shall be, together with my 
hrother-in-law Emmanuel, at the disposition of Monsieur 
the Count whenever he tJiinks fit to honor us." 

"One minute!" cried Albert, without giving Monte 
Criato the time to reply. " Take care ; you are going to 
shut up a traveller, — Sinbad the Sailor, a man who 
comes to see Paris, — to the routine of femily life. You 
are going to make a patriarch of him," 

" Oh, no," said Morrel ; " my sister is five and twenty, 
my brother-in-law is thirty. They are gay, young, and 
happy. Besides, Monsieur the Count will be in bia own 
louse, and only see them when he thinks fit to do ao." 

" Thanks, Monsieur," aaid Monte Criato. " I shall con- 
tent myself with being presented to your sister and her 
I, if you will do me tlie honor to introduce me ; 
but I cannot accept the offer of any one of these gentle- 

n, since my habitation ia already prepared." 

"What!" cried Morcerf; "you are then going to a 
hotel ; that will ba very duU for you." 



312 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRI8T0. 



" Was I ao badly lodged at Rome ) " said Monta CriBto, 

smiling. 

" Parblett I at Rome you spent fifty thousand piastres I 
in furnishing your apartmenta ; but I preaume that you 
are uot disposed to spend a similar sum every day," 

" It is not that whicli deterred me," replied Monte J 
Criato ; " but as I determiued to liave a house to myself, 
1 sent on my valti de chambre, and he ought by this time 1 
to have bought the bouse and furnished it." 

" But you have, tbeii, a valA de chambre who knowB I 
Paris t " eaid Beanchanip. 

'' It is the first time be baa ever been in Paris, He is | 
black, and cannot speak," returned Monte Cristo. 

" It is Ali ! " cried Albeit, Ju the midst of tlie general | 
surprise. 

" Yes ; Ali himself, my Nubian mute, whom you bow, I I 
thiuk, at Rome." 

"Certainly," said Morcerf; "I recollect him perfectly. 
But bow could you charge a Nubian to purchase a house, 
and a mute to furnish it 1 he will have done everytliing 
wrong, poor fellow." 

" Undeceive yourself, Monsieur," replied Monte Cristo ; ' 
" I am quite sure that on the contrary lie will have ] 
chosen everjtliin^ as I wish. He knows my tastes, my ' 
caprices, my wants ; he has been here a week, with tlia 
instinct of a hound, hunting by himself; he will have 
arranged everything to suit me. He knew I should arrive 
to-day at ten o'cluck; since nine be awaited me at the , 
Barriere de Fontainbleau, He gave me this paper ; it con- 
tains the number of my new abode. Read it yourself" 
and Monte Cristo passed a paper to Albert. 

" Ah, that is really original," said Beaucbamp. 

" And very princely," added Chateau- Ren and. 

" What I do you not know your house % " asked Debray, 



THE BEEAKFA3T. 



213 



"No," said Monte Cristo ; "I told yoa I diJ not wish 
to be behind my time ; I dressed myself in the carriage, 
and descended at the viscount's door." 

The young men looked at each other. They did not 
know whether it was a comedy Munte Cristo was phiyiag, 
but every word lie uttered had such an air of ainiplicity 
that it was impossible to suppose that what he said was 
false; besides, why should he tell a falsehood 1 

"We must content ourselves, then," said Beaiichamp, 
" with rendering Monsieur the Count all the little services 
in our power. I, in my quality of journalist, open all the 
theatres to him." 

"Thanks, Monsieur," returned Monte Cristo; "my stew- 
ard has orders to take a box at each theatre." 

" Is your steward also a Nubian ) " asked Debray. 

" No, he is a countryman of yours, if a Corsican ia a 
countryman of any one's. But you know him, M. de 
Moreerf." 

" Is it that excellent M. Bertuccio, who uaderstands 
hiring windows so well ) " 

" Yes ; you saw him the day I had the honor of receiv- 
ing you. Ha has been a soldier, a smuggler, — in fact, 
everything. I would not be quite sure that he has not 
been involved with the police for some trifle, — a stab 
with a knife, for instance." 

" And you have chosen this honest citizen for yonr 
steward," said Debray. " Of bow much does be rob you 
every year 1 " 

" Oa my word," replied the count, " not more than 
another, I am sure. He answers my purpose, knows no 
impossibility, and so I keep him." 

"Then," continued Cbateau-Renaud, "since you have 
an establishment, a steward, aud a hotel in the Cliamps 
Elys^es, you want nothing more but a mistress." 



2U 



TEX COUNT 0? UONTE CRISTO, 



Albert smiled. He thought of the fair Greek be had | 
Been in the couut'8 box at the Argentina and Yalle tbeatres. 

" I have fiomething better than that," said Monte Cristo ; 
" I have a slave. You procure your miatressea from the 
Opera, the Vaudeville, or the Vari^t^ ; I purchased mine 
at Constautinople. It cost me more, but I have uotbing _ 

" But you forget," replied Debray, laughing, "tbat ^ 
are Franks by name and franic by nature, as King Charles I 
said ; and that the momeut she puts her foot in France \ 
your alavB becomes free." 

"Who will tell her)" 

" The first person who sees her." 

" She speaks only Romaic." 

" That is another thing." 

" But at least we shall see her," said Beauchamp ; 
do you keep euniichs as well as mutes 5" 

" Ob, no," replied Monte Ctiato ; " I do not carry 
Orientaliain so far. Every one about me is free to quit 
me, and when he leaves me will no longer have any need 
of me 01 auy one else ; it its for that reason, perhaps, that 
they do not quit me." 

They had long since passed to dessert and cigars. I 

" My dear Albert," eaid Debray, rising, " it is half-past 
two. Your guest is charming ; but there is no company 
so good but that one must leave it, and sometimes for bad 
company, I must return to the ministor'a. I will tell 
him of the count, and we shall soon know who he it 

" Take care," returned Albert ; " no one has been able 1 
to accomplish that." 

" Oh, we have three millions for our police. It is tmo | 
they are almost always spent beforehand ; but no matter, > 
we shall still have fifty thousand livres to spend for this J 
purpose." 



THE BREAKFAST. 215 

" And when you know, will you tell me 1 " 

*' I promise you. Au revoir, Albert. Gentlemen, good- 
morning." 

As he left the room, Debray called out loudly, "My 
carriage I " 

" Bravo ! " said Beauchamp to Albert ; " I shall not go 
to the Chamber, but I have something better to offer my 
readers than a speech of M. Danglars." 

" For Heaven's sake, Beauchamp," returned Morcerf, 
** not a word, I beg of you ; do not deprive me of the 
merit of introducing him and explaining him. Is he not 
peculiar? " 

" He is more than that," replied Chdteau-Eenaud ; " he 
is one of the most extraordinary men I ever saw in my 
life. Are you coming, Morrel?" 

"As soon as I have given my card to Monsieur the 
Count, who has promised to pay us a visit at Rue Meslay, 
No. 14." 

" Be sure I shall not fail to do so," returned the count, 
bowing. And Maximilian Morrel left the room with the 
Baron de Ch^teau-Renaud, leaving Monte Cristo alone 
with Morcerf. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



CHAPTER XL 



THB PBESBKTATION. 



When Albert found hiniBelf alone witb Monte Cristo, 
" Monsieur the Count," said be, " allow me to commenca 
my ciceroneahip by showing you a specimen of n bache- 
lor's apartmenta. You, who are accustomed to the pala 
of Italy, can amuse yourself by calculating in how many 
square feet a. young man who ia not the worst lodged in 
Paris can Hve. As we pass from one room to another, I 
will open the windows to let you breathe." 

Monte Cristo had already seen the breakfast-room and 
the salon on the gronnd-floor. Albert led him first to hia 
studio, which was, as we have said, his favorite apart- 
ment. Monte Cristo was a worthy appreciator of all that 
Albert had collected here ; old cabinets, Japan porcelain, 
Oriental stuffs, Venice glass, arms from all parta of the 
■world, — everything was familiar to him, and at the first 
glance he recognized their date, their country, and their 
origin. Morcerf had expected he should be the guide; on 
the contrary, it was he who under the count's guidance 
followed a course of archEenlogy, mineralogy, and natural 
histoiy. They descended to the first floor ; Albert led his 
guest into the salon. The salon was filled with the works 
of modem artists; there were landscapes by Dupr^, with 
their long reeds and tall trees, their lowing oxen and mar- 
vellous skies ; Delacroix's Arabian cavaliers, with their 
long white bumooses, theirshining belts, their damaskeened 
arms, their horses, who tore each other with tbeir teeth 



4 



THE PRESENTATION. 



217 



while their riders contended fiercely with their macea; 
aquarelles of Eoulanger, representing Notre Dame de Paris 
with that vigor that makes the artist the rival of the poet ; 
there were paintings by Dias, who makea his flowers mora 
beantiful than flowers, Lis suns more brilliant than the 
sun ; designs by Decamps, as vividly oolored us those of 
Salvator Iloaa, but more poetic ; pastels by Giratid and 
MUlIer, representing children like angels, and women with 
the features of virgins ; sketches torn from the album of 
Dauzat'a " Travels in the East," that had been mode in a 
few seconds on the saddle of a camel, or beneath the dome 
of a mosque, — in a word, all that modern art can give in 
exchange and as recompense for the art lost and gone with 
ages long since past. 

Albert expected to have something new this time to 
show to the traveller, but to bis great surprise the ktter, 
without seeking for the signatures, many of which indeed 
were only initials, named instantly the author of every 
picture in such a manner that it was easy to see that each 
iiame was not only known to hira, hut that the style of 
each had been appreciated and studied by him. From 
the salon they passed into the bedchamber ; it was a 
model of taste and simple elegance. A single portrait, 
signed " Leopold Robert," shone in its carved and gilded 
frame. This portrait attracted the Count of Moute Cristo's 
attention, for he made three rapid steps in the chamber, 
and stopped suddenly before it. It was the portrait of a 
young woman twenty-five or twenty-six years old, witb a 
dark complexion, and light and Instroua eyes, veiled be- 
neatli their long lashes. She wore the picturesque cos- 
tume of the Catalan fisherwomen, — a red and black bodice, 
and the golden pins in her hair. Siie was looking at the 
sea, and her shadow was defined on the blue ocean and 
aky. The light was so faint in the room that Albert did 



21S 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CB18T0. 



not perceive the paleness that spread itself over the count's 
visage, or the iiervoua heaving of hie chest and shoulders. 
Silence prevailed for an instant, during which Monte 
Crieto gazed intently on the picture. 

" You have there n most charmiug mistress. Viscount," 
said the count, in a porfeetly calm tone ; " and this cos- 
tume — a hall costume, doubtless — becomes her most 
admirably." 

"Ah, Monsieur!" returned Albert, "I would never 
forgive you this mistake if you had seen another picture 
beside this. You do not know my mother. She it is 
whom you see here ; she had her portrait painted thus six 
or eight years ago. This costume is a fancy one, it ap- 
pears, and the resemblance is bo great that I think I still 
see my mother the same as she was Jii 1830. The count- 
ess had this portrait painted during the count's absence. 
She doubtless intended giving him an agreeahle surprise ; 
but strange to say, this portrait seemed to displease my 
father, and the value of the picture, which is, as you see, 
one of the best works of L«5opo]d Robert, could not over- 
come his dislike to it. It is true, between ourselves, that 
M. de Morcerf is one of the moat assiduous peers at the 
Luxembourg, a general renowned for theory, but a most ' 
mediocre amateur of art. It is different with my mother, 
who paints exceedingly well, and who, unwilling to part 
with so valuable a picture, gave it to me to put here, 
where it would be leas likely to displeafle M. de Morcerf^ 
whose portrait, hy Groa, I will also show you. Excuse my 
talking of family matters ; but as I shall have the honor 
of introducing you to the count, I tell you this to prevent 
your making any allusions to this picture. The picture 
seema to have a lualign influence, for my mother rarely 
eomee here without looking at it, and still more rarely 
does she look at it without weeping. This disagreement | 



THE PRESENTATION. 



219 



is the only one that has ever taken place between the 
count and countess, who are still as niucli nnited, although 
married more than twenty years, as on the day of their 
wedding." 

Monte Cristo glanced rapidly at Albert as if to seek a 
hidden meaniug in his words; hut it was evident the 
yonng man tittered them in the simplicity of his heart. 

" Now," said Albert, " that you have seen all my treas- 
ures, allow me to offer them to you, unworthy as they are. 
Consider yourself as in your own home ; and to put your- 
self still more at your ease, pray accompany me to the 
apartments of M. de Moreerf, to whom I wrote from Rome 
an account of the services you rendered me, and to whom 
I announced your promised visit. And I may say that 
both the count and countess anxiously desire to thank 
you in person. You are somewhat blaee, I know ; aud 
family scones have not much effect on Sinbad the Sailor, 
who has seen so many others. However, accept what I 
propose to you as an initiation into Parisian lifo, — a life 
of politeness, visiting, and introductions." 

Monte Cristo bowed without making any answer ; he 
accepted the offer without enthusiasm and without regret, 
as one of those conventions of society which every gentle- 
man looks upon as a duty. Albert summoned his servant 
aud ordered hira to acquaint Monsieur and Madame de Mor- 
eerf of the arrival of the Count of Monte Cristo. Albert 
followed hira with the count. When they arrived at tho 
ante-chamber, above the door was visible a shield, which 
by its rich ornaments and its harmony with the rest of 
the furniture indicated the importance the owner attached 
to this blazon. Monte Cristo stopped and ezamineil it 
attentively. 

"Azure seven merleta, or, placed bender," said he. 
" These are doubtless your family arms t Except for the 



242 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



of some terrible event, and vitli hia clinched hands I 
seemed striving to ehut out some horrible recollections. 

" Well 1 " insisted the count. 

" No, no," criod Bertuccio, setting down the lantern a 
the angle of the interior wall. " No, Monsieur, it is im*^ 
possible ; I can go no farther." 

"What does this meanl" demanded the iiresistibls '| 
voitie of Monte Cristo. 

"Why, you must see, Monsieur the Count," criod the I 
steward, " that this is not natural, — that having a bouse 
to purchase, you purchase it exactly at Auteuil ; and that, 
purchasing it at Auteuil, this house should be Xo, 28, Rue 
de la Fontaine. Oh ! why did I not tell you all! I am 
sure you would not have forced me to come. I hoped 
your house would have been some other one than this ; 
as if there was not another house at Auteuil than that J 
of the assassination ! " 

" Ah, ah ! " cried Monte Cristo, stopping suddenly, J 
" wjiat words did you utter! Devil of a man, Corsican 
that yon are, — always mysteries or superstitions. Come, J 
take the lantern, and let us visit the garden ; you are no&fl 
afraid with me, I hope 1 " 

Bertuccio raised the lautem and obeyed. The door, s 
it opened, disclosed a gloomy sky, in which the mooa'J 
strove vainly to struggle through a sea of clouds tliafl 
covered her with their sombre wave, that she illumined'! 
for an instant, and was then lost in the darknessi The J 
steward wished to turn to the left, 

" No, no, Monsieur," said Monte Cristo ; " what IE 
wee of following the alleys I Here is a beautiful lawn ; let fl 
us go on straight forwards." 

Bertuccio wiped the perspiration from his brow, but;l 
obeyed; however, he continued to take the left hand. J 
Monte Ciisto, on the contraiy, took the right hand;; 



THE HOUSE AT ADTEDIL. 



243 



arrived near a. clump of trees, he stopped. The steward 
could not restrain liimself. "Move, Monsieur, — move 
away, I entreat you; you are exactly iu the spot!" 

"WbatBpotI" 

" Wliere he fell." 

"My dear M. Bertuccio," said Monte Cristo, laughing, 
"recover yourself; we are no longer at Sartene or at 
Corte. This is not a maqiiis but an English garden, — 
badly kept, I own, but you muat not calumniate it for 
that." 

" Monsieur, I implore you, do not stay there ! " 

" I think you are going mad, Bertuocio," said the connt, 
coldly. " If that is the case, I warn yon 1 shall have 
you put in a lunatic asylum." 

" Alns, Excellency," returned Bertuecio, joining his 
hands, and shaking his head in a manner that would hnve 
excited the count's laughter, had not thoughts of a supe- 
rior interest occupied him and rendered him attentive to 
the least revelation of this timorous conscience, — " alas. 
Excellency, the evil has arrived 1 " 

" M. Bertuecio," said the count, " I am very glad to tell 
you that while you gesticulate you wring your hands and 
roll your eyes like a man possessed by a devil that will 
not leave him ; and I have always remarked that the 
devil most obstinate to be expelled is a secret. I knew 
you were a Coisican ; I knew you wore gloomy, aud 
always brooding over some old history of the vendetta ; 
and I overlooked that in Italy, because in Italy those 
things are thought nothing of. But iu France assassina- 
tion is generally held to be in very had taste ; there are 
gendarmes who occupy themsolvea with such affairs, judges 
who condemn, and scaffolds which avenge." 

Bertuecio clasped his hands, and as in all these evolu- 
tions ha did not let fall the lantern, the light showed his 



241 



THE CODST OF MONTE CRISTO. 



pole and altered countenance. Mout« Cristo examined 
liim with the same expreEsion with which at Rome he 
had viewed the execution of Andrea, and then, in a tone 
that made a ehudJer pass through the veins of the poor 
steward, " The AbW Btisoni, then, told me an nutrutli," 
said he, " when after his journey in France, in 1829, he 
sent you to me with a letter of recommendation, in which 
he enumerated all your valuable qualities. Well, I shall 
write to the abb4 ; 1 ehall render him responsible for his 
protege's miaconduct, and 1 shall soon know all about this 
OGsaasinatioD. Only 1 warn you that when I reside in a 
country, I conform to all its code, and I have no wish to 
embroil myseirwith French justice for your soke." 

" Oh, do not do that, Excellency ; I have always served 
you faithfully," cried Bertuccio, in despair. " I have al- 
ways been an honest man, and as far as lay in my power I 
1 have done good." 

" 1 do not deny it," returned the count ; " but why are I 
you thus agitated ? ft is a bad sign ; a quiet conscience I 
does not occasion such paleness in the cheeks and such i 
fever in the hands — " 

" But, Monsieur the Count," replied Bertuccio, hesitate 
ingly, " did not M. I'AbW Busoiii, who heard my con- 
fession in the prison at Ntraea, tell you I had a heavy 
reproach to make against myself." i 

"Yes; hut as he said you would make an excellent i 
steward, I concluded you had stolen, — that was all." 

" Oh, Monsieur the Count 1 " returned Bertuccio, ^ 
contemptuously. I 

" Or, as yon are a Corsicau, that you had been unable , 
to resist tho desire of making a peait, as you call it." j 

" Yes, my good master," cried Bertuccio, casting him- I 
self at the count's feet; "it was simply a vengeance, J 
nothing else." 



THE HOUSE AT AUTEUIL. 



245 



" I understand that ; but I do not Tinderstand what it 
is tliat galvanizes you in this manner." 

" But, Monsieur, it is very uatural," returned Bertuccio ; 
"since it was in this house that my vengeance was 
accomplished." 

" What ! my house 1 " 

" Oh, Monsieur the Count, it was not youre then." 

" Whose, then t M, le Marquis de Saint-Meran, I think 
the concierge said. What had you to revenge ou the 
Marquis de Saint-M6ran ! " 

" Oh, it was not on him, Monsieur; it was on another." 

" This is strange," returned Monte Criato, seeming to 
yield to his reflections, — "that you should find yourself 
without any preparation in a house where the event hap- 
pened that causes you so much remorse." 

" Monsieur," said the steward, "it ia fatahty, I am sure. 
First, jou purchase a house at Auteuil ; that house is 
the one where I have committed an assassination ; you de- 
scend to the garden by the same staircase by which he 
descended ; you stop at the spot where he received the 
blow ; and two paces farther is the grave in which he had 
just buried bis child. This is not chance, — for chance 
in this case resembles Providence too much." 

" Well, Monsieur the Corsican, let ns suppose it is 
Providence. I always suppose anything people please ; 
and besides, you must concede something to diseased 
minds. Come, collect yourself, and tell me all," 

" I have never related it but once, and that was to 
the Abbe Busoni. Such things," continued Bertuccio, 
shaking his head, " are only related under the seal of 
confession." 

" Then," said the count, " I refer you to your confessor. 
Turn Chartrenx or Trappist, and relate your secrets ; but 
as for me, I do not like any one who is alarmed by such 



246 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO. 



pbaDtasms, ani I do iiot chooae that my serrante shonld 
be afraid to walk iu the garden of ati evening. I confess 
I am not very desirous of a visit from tlie commissary of 
police; for in Italy justice is only paid when dlent, in 
France she is paid only whan she speaks. Peile ! I 
thoufjht you somewhat Coraican, a great deal smuggler, 
and an escellent stowaitl; but 1 see you have other 
stcings to your how. You are no longer in my service, 
M. Bertuccio." 

" Oh, Monsieur the Count, Monsieur the Couut I " oried 
the steward, struck with terror at this threat, "if that ia 
the only reason I cannot remain in your service, I will 
tell all, — for if I quit you it will only be to go to tha 
ecafibld," 

" That is different," replied Monte Cristo ; " but if you 
intend to tell an untruth, reflect. It were better not to 
epeak at all." 

" No, Monsieur, I swear to you by my hopes of salva- 
tion I will tell you all, for the Abbe Buaoni himself only 
knew a part of my secret j but I pray you go away from 
that plane-tree. The moon is just bursting through the 
clouds, and there, standing where you do, and wrapped in 
that cloak that conceals your figure, you remind me of 
M. de Villefort." 

" What I " cried Monte Cristo, " it was, then, M. de 
Vilktortl" 

" Your Excellency knows him 1 " 

" The ioimtv proturettr du rot at NImes ) " 

" Yes." 

" Who married the Marquis de Saiut-M<5ran's daughterl " 

"Yes." 

"Who enjoyed the reputation of being the most se- 
vere, the most upright, the most rigid magistrate on 
the bench t" 



THE HOUSE AT AUTEUIL. 247 

** Well, Monsieur,** said Bertuccio, " this man with this 
spotless reputation — " 

"Weill" 

** Was a villainr" 

** Bah I " replied Monte Cristo, " impossible ! " 

" It is as I tell you." 

" Ah, really ! " said Monte Cristo. " Have you proof 
of this 1 " 

« I had it." 

" And you have lost it ; how stupid ! " 

*' Yes ; but by careful search it might be recovered.'' 

" Really 1 " returned the count ; " relate it to me, for it 
begins to interest me." And the count, humming an air 
from " Lucia di Lammermoor," went tp sit down on a 
bench, while Bertuccio followed him, collecting his 
thoughts. Bertuccio remained standing before him. 



THE COUST OF KONTB CRBTO. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE TEKDETTA. 

" At what point ghall I begin my story, Monsieiu the I 
Count I" asked Bertnceio. 

" Where you please," returned Mont* CriBto, " sii 
know nothing at all of it," 

" I thought M. I'Abb^ Buaoni liad told your I 
Excellency." 

"Some particulaisi doubtless; but that is 
eight yean ago, and I have forgotten them." 

"Then I can speak without feai of tiling yonci 
Excellency 1 " 

" Go on, M. Bertuccio ; you will supply the want of 1 
the evening papers," 

"The story begins in 1815," 

" Ab," aiud Monte Cristo, " 1815 is not yesterday." 

" No, Monsieur ; and yet I recollect all things as clearly 
as if they had happened but yesterday. I had a brother, 
an elder brother, who was in the eerviee of the emperor ; 
he had become lieutenant in a regiment composed entirely . 
of Corsicans, This brother was my only fHend ; we ba- j 
came orphans, — I at five, be at eighteeu. Ho brought ' 
uio up as if I had been his son, and in 1811 be married. 
When the emperor returned from the island of Elba, my 
brother instantly joined the army, was slightly wounded 
at Waterloo, and retired with the army behind th« i 

"Eut that is the biatory of the Hundred Days, M. J 



THE VENBETrA. 249 

Bertuccio," said the count ; " unless I am miataken, it 
has been already written." 

"Excuse me, ExceLency, tut these details are iiecea- 
aary, and you promised to be patieut." 

" Go on ; I will keep my word," 

" Oue day we received a letter. I Bhould tell you that 
we lived iu the little village of fiogliauo, at the extremity 
of Cape Corse. I'hia letter was from my brother. Ha 
told ua that the army waa disbanded, and that he should 
return by Ch&teauroax, Clermont-Ferrand, Le Puy, aad 
NImea ; and if I had any money, he prayed me to leave it 
for him at IJimes, with an innkeeper with whom I had 
dealings." 

" In the smuggling linel" said Monte Crista. 

" Eh, Monsieur the Count % Every oue muat live." 

"Certainly ; continue." 

" I loved my brother tenderly, aa I told your Excellency, 
Knd I resolved not to send the money, but to take it to him 
myself. 1 possessed a thousand livres. I left hve hun- 
dred with Aasunta, my sister-in-law, and with the other 
five hundred I set off for Nimes. It was easy to do so ; 
and as I had my boat and a lading to take in at sea, 
everything favored my project. But after we had taken 
in our cargo, the wind became contrary, so that we were 
four or Rve days without being able to enter the Rhone. 
At last, however, we succeeded, and worked up to Arlea ; 
I left tJie boat between Bellegarde and Beaucaire, and took 
the road to Niniea." 

" We are getting to the story now 1 " 

" Yea, your Excellency ; excuse me, but, as you will 
see, I only tell you what is absolutely necessary. Just 
at thia time the famoua massacres of the south of France 
took place. Two or three brigands, called Trastaillon, 
Truphemy, and Graffan, publicly assassinated everybody 



250 TUE COUNT OF MONTE CRBTO. 

whom they suspected of Bonapartism. You Lave doubt- 
less hcitrd of these niassacres, MosBieni the Couut 1 " 

" Vaguely ; I was fat ftom France at that period. 
Go on." 

" Aa I entered Ninies, I literally waded in blood ; at 
every step I encountered dead bodies, and bands of the 
murderers, who killed, plundered, and burned. At the 
sight of this slaughter and devastation I becamo terrified, 
— not for myself (for I, a simple Goraican fisherman, had 
iiothin<r to fear ; on tbe contrary, that time was moat fa- 
vorable for ua amugglere) ; but for my brother, a soldier of 
the empire, returning from the army of tbe Loire, with his 
uniform and his epaulettes, there waa everything to appre- 
hend. I hastened to the innkeeper. My presages had been 
but too true ; my brother had arrived the previous evening 
at Nimes, and at the very door of tbe house where he vna 
about to demand boapitality, he had been assaseinated. I 
did all in my power to discover the murderers, but no one 
durst tell me their names, so much were they dreaded, 
I then thought of that French justice of which I had 
heard so much, and which feared nothing ; and I went 
to the procareur dii roi." 

" And this prociireur du roi was named Villefort 1 " 
asked Monte Cristo, carelessly. 

" Yes, your Excelleiicy ; be came froni Marseilles, where 
he had been deputy /troeiireur. His seal had procured him 
advancement, and he was said to bo one of the first who 
had informed the Government of the departure from the 
island of Elba." 

" Then," said Monte Cristo, " you went to him 1 " 

" ' Monsieur,' I said, ' my brother was assassinated yes- 
terday in the streets of NImes, I know not by whom, but 
it is your duty to find out. You are the bead of justice 
hero ; and it is for justice to avenge those she has been J 



THE VENDETTA. 



251 



unable to protect.' ' Who was your brother t ' asked he. 
' A lieutenant in the Corsican battalion.' ' A soldier of 
the UBurpef, then!' 'A soldier of the French army.' 
' Well,' repUed he, ' lie has smitten with the sword, and 
has perished by theswoi'd.' 'You are mistaken, Monsieur,' 
I rejjlied ; ' he has perished by the poniard.' ' What do 
you want me to do 1 ' asked the magistrate. ' I have al- 
ready told you, — avenge him.' ' On whom ? ' 'On hia 
murderers,' ' How should I know who they are 1 ' ' Ordec 
them to he sought for.' ' Why 1 your brother has been 
involved iu a quarrel, and killed in a duel. All these old 
soldiers comniit excesses, which were tolerated in the time 
of the emperor, but which are not suffered now ; for our 
people of the South do not hke either soldiers or disorder,' 
" ' Monsieur,' I replied, ' it is not for myself that I en- 
treat your interference, — I should gi'ieve for him or avenge 
him ; but my poor brother Lad a wife, aud were anything 
to happen to me, the poor ereature would perish from 
want, — for my brother's pay alone kept her. Pray try 
and obtain a small government pension for her,' ' Every 
revolution bos its catastrophes,' returned M. de VlUefort ; 
' your brother has been the vietim of this. It is a misfor- 
tune, aud Government owes nothing to his family. If we 
are to judge by all the acts of vengeance that the followera 
of the usurper exercised on the partisans of the king, when 
in their turn they were in power, your brother would be 
to-day in all probability conderaued to death. What has 
happened is quite natural, and is only the law of reprisals.' 
'What !' cried I, 'do you, a magistrate, speak thus tome 1' 
'All these Corsicaus are mod, on ray honor,' replied M. de 
Villefort ; ' they fancy that their countryman is still em- 
peror. You have mistaken the time ; you should have 
told me this two months ago, — it is too late uow. Dejiart 
iaBtftutly, OT I will compel you to do so.' I looked at him 



THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 



252 

an instant to see if therQ 'WEtB anything to be gained by 
renewed entreaties j but tbia man waa of stone, 
proached him and said in a low Toice, ' Well, since you 
know the Coreicans so well, you know that they always 
keep their word. You think that it was a good deed to 
kill my brother, who was a Bonapartist, because you are 
a Hoyalist ! Well, I, who am a Bonapartist also, declare 
one thing to you, which b that I will kill yon I From 
this moment I declare the vendetta against you ; so protect 
yourself as well ae you can, for the next time we meet your 
last hour will have come ! ' And before he had recovered 
from hb surprise, I opened the door and escaped." 

" Ah, ah ! " said Moute Cristo, " with your innocent 
appearance you do those things, M. Bertuccio, and to a 
proeurmr du mi/ And did he know what was meant by 
tlib terrible word ' vendetta * 1 " 

*' He knew so well that from that moment he never 
went out unattended, but shut himself up in bb house, 
and caused me to be searched for everywhere. Fortu- 
nately, 1 was so well concealed that he could not find me. 
Then he became alarmed, and dared not reside any longer 
at N^tmes j so lie solicited a change of residence, and as 
ho was in reality very influential, he was nominated to 
Versailles, But, as you know, a Corsican who has sworn 
to avenge himself cares not for distance ; so bia carriage, 
fast as it went, was never above half a day's journey before 
me, who followed him on foot. The most important thing 
was not to kill him only — for I had an opportunity of 
doing so a hundred times — hut to kill him without being 
discovered ; at least, without being arrested, I no longer 
belonged to myself, for I had my sister-in-law to protect 
and provide for. During three months I watched M. de 
VilleEort ; for three months he took not a step out of doora- 
wlthout my following him. At length I discoYeTed thai 



1 



I 




I 



THE VENDETTA. 253 

he went myaterionaly to Auteuil, I followed him thither, 
and I saw hira enter the house where we now are ; only, 
instead of entering by the great door that looks into the 
street, he came ou horseback or iu his carriage, left carriage 
at the little inn, and entered by the gate yon see 
there ! " 

Monte Crieto made a sign with his head that he conld 
discern amid the darknesa the door to which Bertuccio 
alluded. 

"As I had nothing more to do at Versailles, I went 
to Antenil and gained all the information I could. If I 
'wished to surprise him, it was evident that this was the 
pLice in which to lie in wait for him. Tlie house belonged, 
as the concierge informed your Excellency, to M. de Saint- 
MtSran, Villefurt'a father-in-law. M. de Saint-Meran lived 
at Marseilles, so that this country-house was useless to 
him ; and it was reported to be let to a young widow, 
known only by the name of ' the Baroness.' 

" One evening, as I was looking over the wall, I saw a 
young and handsmiie woman who was walking aloue in 
that garden, which was not overlooked by any windows ; 
and I guessed that she was awaiting M. de Villefort. 
When she was sufEciently near to distinguish her features, 
I saw that she was from eighteen to nineteen years of age, 
tall and very fair. As she had a loose muslin dresa on, 
aud as nothbg concealed her figure, I saw that she would 
ere long become a mother. A few moments after, the 
little door was opened, and a man entered ; the young 
woman hastened to meet him. They threw themselves 
into each other's arms, embraced tenderly, and returned to- 
gether to the house. This man was M. de Villefort ; jaj 
opinion was that when he should go away, especially if ba 
went in the night, he would have to traverse the whole 
of the garden alone." 



254 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

asked the count, " did you ever know tho name 



"And, 

" No, Excellenuy," returned Bertuccio ; "you wiU 
that I had no time to leara it." 

"Go on." 

"<riiat evening," continued Bertuccio, " I could have 
killed the proc^rtur du rot ; but I wae not sufficiently 
ninater of the localities. I was afraid that I might not 
kill him instantly, and that should his cries give the 
alarm, I could not escape. I deferred the undertaking 
until his next visit; and in order that nothing should, 
escape me I took a cbamhor looking into the street, along 
which mil the wall of the gardeu. Three days after, 
about seven o'clock in the evening, I saw a servant on. 
horsehack leave the house at full gallop and take the road 
that led to Sevres. I conjectured he was going to Ver-- 
Boillea, and I was not deceived. Three hours after, tba 
man returned covered with dust ; his errand was per- 
formed. Ten minutes later another man, on foot, muffled 
in a mantle, opened the little door of the garden, which 
he closed after him. I descended rapidly; although I had 
not seen Villefort's faue, I recognized him by the heating 
of niy heart, I crossed the street and stopped at a post 
placed at the angle of the wall, by the aid of which I bad 
once before looked into the garden. This time I did not 
content myself with looking, hut I took my knife out of 
my pocket, assured myself that the point was sharp, and 
sprang over the walL My flist care was to run to tha 
door ; he had left the key in it, taking the simple precaii- 
tion of turning it twice in the lock. Nothing, then, pra- 
veiited my escape by thb door. I examined the localities. 
The garden formed b. long square ; a. terrace of smooth, 
turf extended in the middle, and at the comers were tufto 
of trees with thick and massive foliage that mingled witl 



1 
I 



THE VENDETTA. 



255 



the shrubs and flowers. In onler to go from the door to 
the house, or from the house to the door, M. de Villetbrt 
was compelled to pass by one of these clumjw. 

" It was the end of September ; the wind blew vio- 
lently. The faint gleams of the pale moon, hidden at 
every instant by the masaoa of dark clouds that were 
Bweeping across the shy, whitened the gravel walks that 
led to the house, but were unable to pierce the obscurity 
of the thick sbrubberiea, in which a man could conceal 
himself without any fear of discovery. I hid myself in 
the one nearest to the path Villefort must take, and 
scarcely was I there when amid the giiats of wind I fan- 
cied I heard gi-oans ; but you know, or rather you do not 
know, Monsieur the Count, that he who ia about to com- 
mit an assassination fancies he hears low cries in the 
air. Two hours passed thus, during which I imagined I 
heard these moans repented. Midnight struck. As the 
last stroke died away, I saw a faint light shine through 
the windows of the private staircase by wliich we have just 
descended. The door opened, and the man in the mantle 
reappeared. The terrible moment had come ! but I had 
HO long been prepared for it that my heart did not fail in 
the least. I drew my knife from my pocket again, opened 
it, and prepared myself to strike. The man in the mantle 
advanced towards me, but as he drew near I saw that he 
had a weapon in his hand. I was afraid, not of a struggle, 
but of a failure. When he was only a few paces from me 
I saw that what I had taken for a weapon was only a 
spade. I was still unable to divine for what reason M. de 
Villefort had this spade in his hands, when he stopped 
close to the clump, glanced round, and began to dig a hole 
in the earth. I then perceived that he hid something be- 
neath his mantle, which he laid on the grass in order to 
dig more &eely. Then, I confess, curiosity became mixed 



256 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



with my hatred ; I wialied to see what Villefort was going j 
to do there, and I remained motintilesB, holding my breath. 
Then an idea crnaaed my mind, which was confirmed when | 
I saw tlie pTocweur du rd draw from under Iiie mantle a, 
box two feet long and sii or eight inches deep. 1 let him i 
place the box in the hole he had made j then, while he 
stamped with hia feet to remove all traces of his occupa- 
tion, I rushed on him and plunged my knife into his I 
breast, exclaiming : ' I am Giovanni Bertuccio ; thy death 
for my brother's ; thy treasure for his widow 1 Thou seest 
that my vengeance is more complete than I had hoped 1 ' 
I know not if he heard these words ; I think he did not, 
for he fell without B cry. I folt his blood gush over my ■ 
face ; but I was intoxicated, I was delirious, and the blood J 
refreshed instead of burning me. In a second I had t 
interred the box ; then, that it might not be known that j 
I had done so, I filled up the hole, threw the spade over 
the wall, and rushed through the door, which I double- 
locked, carrying off the key." 

" Ah I " said Monte Cristo, " it seems to me this was \ 
a little assassination combined with robbery." 

" No, your Excellency," returned Bortuccio ; "it ' 
a vendetta followed by a restitution." 

" And was the sum a large one } " 

" It was not money." 

" Ah ! I recollect," replied the count ; " did you not. j 
say something of an infant 1 " 

" Yes, Eicelleney ; I hastened to the river, sat down on I 
the bank, and with my knife forced open the lock of the ' 
box. In a fine linen cloth was wrapped a new-bom child. 
Its purple visage and ita violet-colored hands showed that 
it had perished from suffocation ; but as it was not yet 
cold I hesitated to throw it into the water that ran at my 
feet. In fact, after a moment I fancied I felt a alight pul- 




THE VENDETTA. 



257 



I 



sation of its heart ; and as I bad been assistant at the hos- 
pital at Bftstia, I did what a doctor woiUd have done, — 
I inflated its lungs by blowing air into them. And at the 
expiration of a quarter of an hour I saw it breathe, and 
heard a feeble cry ; in niy tuni, I uttered a cry, but a cry 
of joy. ' God liaa not cursed me, tlien,' I cried, ' since he 
permits mo to save the life of a human creature in ex- 
change for the life I have taken away.' " 

"And what ilid you do with the child 1 " asked Monte 
Crista, " It was an embarrassing load for a man seeking 
to escape." 

I had not for a moment the idea of keeping it ; but I 
knew that at Paris there was a hospital where they receive 
these poor creatures. As I passed tlie harrier I declared I 
had found this child on the road, and I ioquired where 
the hospital was. The box confirmed my statement ; the 
linen proved it belonged to wealthy parents ; the blood 
witli which I was covered might have proceeded from 
the child as well as from any one else. No objection was 
raised, but tiiey pointed out to me the hospital, which was 
situated at the upper end of the Rue d'Enfer; and after 
having takeu the precaution of cutting the linen in two 
pieces, so that one of tlie two letters which marked it was 
wrapped round the child, while the other remained in my 
possession, I rang the hell and Sed with all speed. A 
fortnight after I was at Hogliano, and I said to Assunta, 
Console thyself. Sister ; Israel is dead, but he is avenged.' 
[She asked what I meant, and when I had recounted all 
to her, ' Giovanni,' said she, ' you should have brought 
this child with you. We would liave replaced the parents 
it has lost, have called it Benedetto ; and then in conse- 
quence of ttiis good action, God would have blessed us.' 
In reply I gave her the half of the linen I had kept, in 
order to reclaim him if we should become more prosperous," 



258 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



" What letters were marked on the liuen ? " 
Monte Cristo. 

" Aa H auJ an N, surmounted by a baron'a torse. 

" By Heaven, M. Bertuccio, you make use of heraldi 
terms! Where did yon study heraldry 1" 

" In yonr service, Excellency, where one leai 
everything." 

" Go ou ; I am curious to know two things." 

" What are they, Monseigneur 1 " 

" What became of this little boyl for I think you toli: 
me it was a boy, M. Bertuccio." 

" No, ExceUency, I do not recollect telling you that." 

" I thouglit you did ; I was miatakeu." 

" No, you ware not, for it was in fact a little boy. 
your Excellency wished to know two things; wht 
the second 1 " 

" The second waa the crime of which you were accused 
when you asked for a confessor, and the Abbe Busoni 
came to visit jou at your request in the prison at Nimea. 

" The story will be very long, Excellency." 

"What matter 1 Tou know I take but little sleep 
and I do not suppose you are very much inclined for 
either." 

Bertuccio bowed and resumed his story. "Partly 
drown the recollections of the past that haunted me, partly, 
to supply the wants of the poor widow, I eagerly returned 
to my trade of smuggler, which had become more easy by 
reason of that reksBtion of the laws which always follows 
a revolution. The coasts of the South especially were, 
poorly guarded, in consequence of the dbturbances thi 
were perpetually breaking out in Avignon, NSmes, or Uzi!! 
"We profited by the kind of respite Government gai'e us- 
to establish connections along the seaboard. Since my 
brother's assassination in the streets of Kimes, I had never 



(TS 

us-^^* 



THE VENDETTA. 259 

entered the town ; the result was that the innkeeper with 
whom we were connected, seeing we would no longer come 
to him, was forced to come to us, and had established a 
branch to his inn on the road from Bellegarde to Beau- 
caire, at the sign of the Pout du Gard. We had thus, 
in tlie direction of Aiguea-Mortea, Martiques, and at 
Bone, a dozen places where we left our goods, and where 
in case of necessity, we concealed ourselves from the gen- 
darmes and custom-house officers. Smuggling is a proiit- 
able trade when a certain degree of vigor and intelligence 
nployed ; as for myself, brought up in the mountains, 
d a double motive for fearing the gendftnaes and cus- 
■house officers, — as my appearance before the judges 
would cause an inquiry, and an inquiry always looks back 
into the past. And in my past life they might find some- 
,bing far more grave than the selling of smuggled cigars 
or barrels of brandy, without a permit. So preferring 
death to capture, I accomplished the most astonishing 
deeds, which more than once showed me that the too 
great care we take of our bodies is almost the only obsta- 
cle to the success of those projects which require a rapid 
decision and vigorous and determined execution. In fact, 
when you have once devoted your life, you are no longer 
tbe equal of other men, or rather, other men are no longer 
your equals ; and whosoever has taken this resolution feels 
at once that his strength is ten times as great, and that 
his horizon is enlarged." 

" Philosophy, M. Bertaccio ! " interrupted the count ; 
" you have done a little of everything in youi life." 

" Oh, your pardon. Excellency." 

" No, no ; but philosophy at half-past ten at night is 
somewhat late. Yet I have no other observation to make, 
except that what you soy is correct, which is more than 
cao be said for all philosophy." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CBISTO. 



260 

"My joumeya become more and more extensive and 
more prodQctive. Assunta took care of all, and our 1itt]9 
fortune increased. One day when I was setting off 
expedition, 'Go,' said she; 'at your return I will give 
you a Burprise.' I questioned hor, but in vain ; sha 
would tell me nothing, and I departed. Our expedition 
lasted nearly six weeks. We had been to Lucca to take in 
oil, to Leghorn for English cottons ; and we landed our 
cargo without opposition, took our proSta, and returned 
home full of joy. When I entered the house the first 
thing I beheld in the centre of Assuuta's chamber was a 
cradle that might bo called sumptuous compared with tbe 
rest of the furniture, and in it a baby of seven or eight 
months old. I uttered a cry of joy ; the only momenta 
of sadness I had known since the assassination of the pro- 
cureur dii roi were caused by the recollection that 1 bad, 
abandoned this child. For the assassination itself I had-] 
never felt any remorse. Poor Assunta had divined alL 
She bad profited by my absence, and furnished with the 
half of the linen, and having written down the day and 
hour at which I had deposited the child at the hospital, 
had set off for Paris and had reclaimed it. No object! 
was raised, and the infant was given up to her. Ah 
confess. Monsieur the Count, when I saw this poor cr 
ture sleeping peacefully in its cradle, I felt my eyes filled 
with tears. ' Ah, Aasunta,' cried I, ' you are an excel- 
lent woman, and Heaven will bless you. 

" This," said Monte Cristo, " is less correct than yonr_ 
philosophy ; it is true that this is only faith, 

"Alas! your Excellency is right," replied Bertuecio, 
" and God made this infajit the instmment of onr punish-' 
tnent. Never did a perverse nature declare itself more 
prematurely ; and yet it was not owing to any fault in hia 
bringing up. He was a most lovely child, ivith large bla9 



ud ■ 

tie S 



I 

I 



2G1 

eyes of that deep color that hunuonizes so well with the 
general fairness of the complexion ; only hia hair, which 
vraa too light, gave his face a. singular expression, which 
redonbled the vivacity of his look and the mulitse of hia 
smile. Unfortunately, there is a proverb that says that 
'red is either altogether good or altogether bad.' The 
proverb was but too correct as regarded Benedetto j and 
even in his infancy he manifested the worst disposition. 
It is true that the indulgence of hia mother encouraged 
him. This child, for whom my poor sister would go to 
the town five or six leagues off to purchase the earliest 
&uit8 and the most tempting sweetmeats, preferred to the 
oranges of Palma or the preserves of Genoa the chestnuts 
stolen from a neighbor's orcharfl or the dried apples in his 
loft, although he could eat aa well of the nuta and apples 
that grew in my garden. One day when Benedetto was 
about live or six, our neighbor Wasilio, who, according to 
the custom of the country, never locked up hia purse ot 
his valuables, — for, as your Excellency knows, there are 
no thieves in Corsica, — complained that he had lost a 
louia out of his purse ; we thought he must have made a 
mifltalte in counting his money, but lie persisted in the 
accuracy of hia statoment. That day Benedetto, who had 
left the houao in the morning to our great anxiety, did 
not return until late in the evening, when we saw him 
approach dragging a monkey after liim, which he said he 
had found chained to the foot of a tree. For more than 
a month the miachievous child, who knew not what to 
wish for, had taken it into hia head to have a monkey. 
A boatman who had passed by Eogliano, and who had sev- 
eral of these animals, whose tricks had greatly diverted 
him, had doubtless suggested this idea to him. ' Mon- 
keys are not found in onr woods chained to trees,' said I ; 
'confess how you obtained this animal/ Benedetto ad- 



2G2 THE COUNT OF UONTE CBISFO. 

bered to hia falsehood, and ttccompanied it with details 
than did more honor to his imagination than to hia vera- 
city. I became angry ; he began to laugh. I threatened 
to strike him, and he made two Btepa backwards. 'Yoa 
cannot beat me,' said be ; ' you have no right, for you are 
not my father.' 

" We never knew who had revealed this fetal secret, 
which we had so carefully concealed from him ; however, 
it was this answer, in which the child's whole character 
revealed itself, that almost terrified me, and my arm fell 
without touching him. The boy triumphed ; and this 
victory rendered him so audacious that all the money of 
Aasunta, whose affection for him seemed to increase aa ho 
became more unworthy of it, was spent in caprices she 
knew not how to contend against, and follies she had not 
the courage to prevent. "When I was at Rogliano every- 
thing went on pro]>erly ; but no sooner was my back 
turned than Benedetto became master, and everything 
went wrong. When he was only eleven he chose his cora- 
panioas from among the young men of eighteen or twenty, 
the worst characters in Bastia, or indeed in Corsica ; and 
they had already for some pieces of mischief been several 
times threatened with a prosecution. I became alarmed, 
as any prosecution might be attended with serious conse> 
quences. I was compelled at this period to leave Corsica on 
an important expedition ; I reflected for a long time, and 
with the hope of averting some impending misfortune, I' 
resolved that Benedetto should accompany me. I hoped 
that the active and laborious life of a smuggler, with the 
severe discipline on board, would have a salutary effect on 
his character, well-nigh, if not quite corrupted. I spoke to 
Benedetto alone and proposed to hJro to accompany me, 
endeavoring to tempt him by all the promisps most likely 
to dazzle the imagination of a child of twelve yeais old. 



I 
I 

I 



THE TENDETTA, 

He heard me patiently, and when I had finiahod, burst out 
laughing. 

" 'Are you mad, Uncle ) ' (Ha called me by this name 
when ho was in a good humor.) ' Do you think I am going 
to change the life I lead for your mode of existence, — ray 
agreeable indolence for the hard and precarious toil you 
impose on youiselfl exposed to the bitter frost at night 
and the scorching heat by day, compelled to conceal your- 
self, and when you are perceived, to receive a volley of 
balls, — and all to earn a paltry sura ) Why, I have as 
much money as I waufc ; Mother Asaunta always furnishes 
me when I ask for it ! You see that I should be a fool to 
accept your otfer.' 1 was stupefied hy such audacity and 
such reasoning. Benedetto rejoined his associates ; and I 
saw him fmm a distance point me out to them as a fool." 

" Sweet child ! " murmured Monte Criato. 

" Oil I had he been my own son," replied Eertuccio, 
" or oven my nephew, I would have brought him back to 
the right road, fur the knowledge that yon are doing your 
duty gives you strength ; but the idea that I was striking 
a child whose father I had killed made it impossible for me 
to punish him. I gave my sister, who constantly defended 
the unfortunate hoy, good advice ; and as she confessed 
that she had several times missed money to a considerable 
amount, I showed her a safe place in which to conceal our 
little treasure for the future. My mind was already made 
up : Benedetto could read, write, and cipher perfectly, — 
for when the lit seized him, he learned more in a day tbau 
others in a week ; my intention was to enter him as clerk 
in some ship, and without letting him know anything of 
my plan, to convey him some morning on board. After I 
should have done that, and recommended him to the cap- 
tain, his future would depend upon himself. I set oif for 
France, after having fixed upon the plan. All our cargo 



264 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKKTO. 



-waa tti be landed in the Oulf of Lyons ; and these opera- 
tions were benoming more and more difficult, for we were 
in 1829. Tranquillity was corajiletely re-established, and 
the vigilance of the cuBtom-houso offiwrs was redoubled ; 
and their strictness was increased at this time in conse- 
quence of the fair of Beaucaire, which had just opened. 

" Our-ejtpedition was successfully started. We anchored 
our vossel, which had a double hold in which our goods 
were concealed, amid a number of other vessels that bor- 
dered the banks of the Khono from Beaucaire to Arlea. 
On our arrival there we began to discharge oui cargo ii 
the night, and to convey it into the town by the help of 
the iunkeepeiB with whom we were connected. Whether 
success rendered us imprudent, or whether we were be- 
trayed, I know not ; but one evening, about five o'clock, 
our little cabin-boy hastened, breathless, to inform ub 
that he had seen a detachment of custoiu-house officera 
advancing m our direction. It was not their vicinity that 
alarmed us, — for detachments were constantly patrolling 
along the banks of the Rhone, — but the care, accord- 
ing to the boy's account, which they took to avoid being 
seen. In an instant we were on the alert ; but it was too 
late. Our vessel was surrounded, and among the custom- 
house officers I observed several gendarmes ; and as terri- 
fied at the sight of their uniforms as I was brave at the 
sight of any other, I sprang into the hold, opened a port, 
and dropped into the river, dived, and only rose at inter- 
vals to breathe, until I reached a cutting tliat led from the i 
Rhone to the canal that runs from Beaucaire to Aigucs- 
Mortes. I was now safe, for I could swim along the cut- . 
ting without being seen, and I reached the canal in safety j , 
I had deaif;nedly taken this direction. I have already told 
your Excellency of an innkeeper of Nimes who had sel 
a little inn on the road from Bellegarde to Beaucaire." 



THE VENDETTA. 2CS 

"Yes," Bail! Monte CristOj "I pMfectly recoUeot him; 
I think be was your aasociate," 

"Precisely," answered Bertuccio; "but he bad, seven 
or eight years before this period, sold his establishment to 
a tailor at Marseilles, wbo, having ahnost ruined himself 
in his old trade, wished to make bis fortune in another. 
Of course we made the same arrangements with thu new 
landlord that wo had with the old ; and it was of this man 
that I intended to ask shelter." 

" What was his name)" then inquired the count, who 
seemed to become somewhat interested in Bertuccio's story. 

" Gaapard Caderousse ; he bad married a woman froui 
the village of Carconte, and whom wb did not know by 
any other name than that of her village, She was sufier- 
ing from the marsh-fever, and seemed dying by inuhes. 
As for her husband, bo was a strapping fellow, forty or 
forty-Hvo years old, who Lad more than once in time of 
danger given ample proof of hia presence of mind and 
courage," 

"And you say," interrupted Monte Criato, "that this 
took plate towards the year — " 

" 1839, Monsieur the Count." 

" In what month 1 " 

" The beginning or the end 1 " 

" The evening of the 3d." 

" Ah," said Moiito Cristo, "the evening of the 3d of 
June, 1829. Go on." 

" It was from Caderousse that I intended demanding 
shelter; and as we never entered by the door that opened 
on to the road, I resolved not to bi-eak through the rule, 
and climbing over the garden hedge, I crept among the 
olive and wild fig trees. And fearing that Caderousse 
might have some one there, I entered a kind of shed in 



THE CODNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



2C6 

which I had often paaaed the night, and which was 
rated from the iiin only by a partition in which holes 
heQn made in order to enable us to watch an opportunity 
of annonncing our presence. My intention was, if Cade- 
rousse was alone, to acquaint him with niy arrival, fiiiiah 
the meal the custom-house officers had interrupted, and 
profit hy the threatened storm to return to the Rhone 
and Bscertuin the state of our vessel and its crew. I 
stepped into the shod ; and it wns fortunate I did so, foi 
at that moment Caderousse entered with a stranger. 

" I waited patiently, not to overhear what they said, 
hut because I coidd do nothing else ; besides, the same 
thing had occurred often before. The man who was with 
Caderou.sso was evidently a stranger to the south of 
France ; he was one of those merchants who come to sell 
jewelry at the fair of Eeaucaire, and who during the month 
the fair lasts, when there is so great an influx of mcrchanta 
and customers from all parts of Europe, often have dealings 
to the amount of one hundred thousand to one hundred 
and fifty thousand livros. Caderousse entered hastily. 
Then, seeing that the room was, as usual, empty and 
only guarded by the dog, he called to his wife. ' Holloa, 
Carcoiite I ' said he, ' the worthy priest has not iloeeived 
us ; the diamond is real.' An exclamation of joy was 
heard; and the staircase creaked beneath a feeble step. 
' What do you say ) ' asked his wife, pale as death. ' I 
say that the diamond is real, and that this gentleman, one 
of the first jewellers of Paris, will give us fifty thousand 
livres for it. Only, in order to satisfy himself that it 
really belongs to ns, he wishes you to relate to hira, as I 
have done already, the miraculous manner in which the 
diamond came iuto our possession. In the mean time,, 
please to sit down, Monsieiu-, and I will bring you aom» 
refreshment.' 



sepa- ^^H 
s had ^^H 
unity TT 



" The jeweller examined attentively the interior of the 
inn and observed the visible poverty of the persons who 
were about to sell him a diamond that seemed to have 
come from the caaket of a prince. ' Relate your story, 
Madame,' said he, wishing no doubt to profit by the ab- 
Bence of the husband, so that the latter could not influ- 
ence the wife's story, and to see if the two recitals tallied. 
' Oh ! ' returned she, ' it was a giit of Heaven, which we 
were far from expecting ! My husband was a great friend, 
in 1314 or 1815, of a sailor named Edmond Dantes. 
This poor fellow, whom Caderonase had forgotten, had not 
forgotten him ; and at his death he bequeathed this dia- 
mond to him.' ' But how did he obtain it ? ' asked the 
jeweller; 'had he it before he waa imprisoned ?' 'No, 
Monsieur ; but it appears that in prison he made the ac- 
quaintance of ft rich Englishman. And as in prison he fell 
Bick, and Dant&s took the same care of him as if he hod 
been his brother, the Englishman, when he was set free, 
gave this stone to Dantea, who, leas fortunate, died, and 
in his turn left it us, and charged the excellent abb^ who 
was here this morning to deliver it.' ' The same story ! ' 
muttered the jeweller ; ' and improbable as it seems at 
first, the history may be true. There's only the price wo 
are not agreed about,' 'How not agreed about?' said 
Caderousse. ' I thought we agreed for the price I asked." 
' That is,' replied the jeweller, ' I offered forty thousand 
livres,' ' Forty thousand ! ' cried La Careonte ; ' we will 
not part with it for that sum, The abb6 told us it was 
woriih fifty thousand without the setting.' ' What waa 
the abba's name 1 ' asked the indefatigable qiiEstioner. 
' The Abb^ Busoni,' said La Careonte. ' Ho was a for- 
eigner 1 ' ' An Italian, from the neighborhood of Mantua, 
I believe.' ' Let me see this diamond again,' replied the 
jeweller ; ' the first time you are often mistaken as to the 



r heard of him before, 
; and that waa from the 
in the prison at 



268 THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRI3T0. 

value of a atoue.' Codcrouaae took from his pocket a 
small cose of bbck shagreen, opened, and gave it to the 
jeweller. At the eiglit of the diamond, which was aa 
large as a hazel-nut, La CarcOBte'a eyes sparkled with 
cupidity." 

"And what did you think of this fine story, eavea- 
dropper 1 " said Monte Criato ; " did you credit it 1 " 

" Yea, your Excellency. I did not look on Caderousae 
as a bad man, and I thought him incapable of committing 
a Clime, or even a theft." 

" That did more honor to your heart than to your ex- 
perience, M. Bertuccio. Had you known thia Edmond 
Dantes, of whom they spoke 1 ' 

" No, your Excellency, I had r 
and never but once afterwards ; 
Abb^ Buaoni himself, wlien I 
Himea." 

"Goon." 

"The jeweller took the ring; and drawing from hia 
pocket a pair of steel pliers and a small set of copper 
scales, taking the atone out of its setting, he weighed it 
carefully. ' I will give you forty-five thousand,' aaid he, 
' but not a half-penny more ; besides, as that is the exact 
value of the atone, I brought just tljat sum with me.' 
' Oh, that 'a no matter," replied Caderousse, ' I will go back 
with you to fetch the other five thousand livrea. ' So,' 
returned the jeweller, giving back the diamond and the 
ring to Caderousae, — 'no, it is worth no more; and I am 
sorry I offered so much, for the stone has a flaw in it, 
which I had not seen. However, I will not go from my 
word, and I will give forty-five thousonU.' ' At least, re- 
place the diamoDd in the ring,' said La Carconte, sharply. 
'Ah, tnie,' replied the Jewelier, and he reset the atone. 
' No matter,' observed Caderousae, replacing the box in iaa 



I 



THE VENDETTA. 269 

pocket, 'some one else will purchase it.' 'Yes,' continued 
the jeweller J ' but eome one eUe will not be so easy ae I 
am, or content himself witb the same story. It is not 
natural that a man like you should possess sucli a diamond. 
He wilt inform against you. You will have to fiud the 
Abb6 Busoni ; and abb^s who give diamonds worth two 
thousand louis are rare. Justice would seiae it, and put 
you in prison ; if at the end of three or four mouths you 
are set at liberty, the ring wiU be lost, or a false stone, 
worth three livrea, will be given you, instead of a diamond 
worth fifty thousand livrea, perhaps fifty-five thousand, 
but which yon must allow one runs considerable risk in 
purchasing.' Caderouaae and his wife looked eageriy at 
each other. ' No,' said Caderousse, ' we are not rich 
enough to lose five thousand livres.' ' As you please, my 
dear air,' said the jeweller; * I had, however, as you see, 
brought you the money in bright coin.' And he drew 
from his pocket a handful of gold, which he made to 
sparkle in the dazzled eyes of the innkeeper, and in 
the other hand he held a packet of bank-notes. 

"There was visibly a severe struggle in the mind of 
Caderouasej it was evident that the small shagreen case, 
which lie turned and re-tumed in hia hand, did not seem 
to him commensurato in value with the enormous sura 
which fascinated his gaze. He turned towards his wife. 
' What do you think of thial' he asked in a low voice. 
'Let him have it j let him have it!' she said. 'If he 
returns to Beaucaire without the diamond, he will inform 
against us ; and as ho says, who knows if we shall ever 
again see the Abbe BusoniJ' 'Well, then, so I willl' 
said Caderousse j ' bo you may have the diamond for forty- 
five thousand livrea. But my wife wants a gold chain, 
and I want a pair of silver buckles.' The jeweller drew 
from his pocket a long flat box, which contained several 



270 TDE COUKT OF MONTE CKISTO. 

saiuplas of the articlea demanilod. 'Here,' he said, ' 
am very plain in my dealings ; take jour choice.' Tho i 
woman selected a guld chain worth about five loais, and i 
the hushand a iiaii of buckles worth perhaiis fifteen Mvjta. 
' I liope you will not complain now ) ' said the jeweller, 
'The abhe told me it was worth fifty thousand livrea,' 
muttered Caderousse. ' Come, come ; give it to me 1 
What a atrange fellow you are ! ' eatd the jeweller, taking 
the diamond from hia hand. ' I give you forty-five thou- 
sand livres, — that is, two thousand five hundred livres of . 
income, — a fortune such as I wish I had myself ; and you 
are not satisfied!' 'And the forty-five thousand livres,' 
inquired Caderousse, in a hoarse voice, 'where are they t 
Come, let us see them 1 ' ' Here they are,' replied the 
jeweller ; and he counted out upon the table fifteen thou- 
sand livres in gold, and thirty thousand livres in bank- 
notes. ' Wait while I Kghfc the lamp,' said La Carconte J 
■it is growing dark, and there may be some mistake.' 

" In fact the night had come on during this conversa- 
tion, and with the night the storm which had beeu threat- 
ening for the last half-hour. The thunder was heard | 
growling in the distance ; but neither the jeweller, nor ' 
Caderousse, nor La Carconte seemed to heed it, possessed 
as they were with tlie demon of gain. I myself felt a 
strange kind of fiiscinatiou at the sight of all this gold 
and oil these bank-notes ; it seemed to me that I was in 
a dream, and as it always happens in a dream, I felt my- 
self riveted to the spot. Caderousse counted and again 
counted the gold and the notes ; then handed them to hia 
wife, who counted and counted them again in her turn. 
Daring this time, the jeweller made the diamond play and 
sparkle beneath the ray of the lamp; and the gem threw 
out fiaabea of light which made him unmindful of those 
which — precursors of the storm — began to play in at 



THE VENDETTA. 



271 



the windows. ' Well,' inquired the jeweller, ' is the cash 
all ri^'ht 1 ' ' Yes,' said Caderousae. ' Give ma the poctet- 
book, La Carconte, and find a bag somewhere.' 

" La Carcoiite went to a cupboard, and returned with 
an old leathern pockot-buok from which she took some 
^'Teasy letters and put in their place the bank-notes, and a 
bag in which were at the moment two or three crowna of 
six livres each, and which in all probability formed the 
eiitiiie fortune of the miserable couple. ' There,' said 
Caderousse; 'and now, although jou have wronged ua 
of perhaps ten thousand livrea, will you have your aupper 
with us 1 I invite you with good-wilL' ' Thank you," 
replied the jeweller ; ' it must be getting late, and I must 
return to Beauoaire. My wife will be getting uneasy.' He 
drew out his watch, and exclaimed, 'Morbleu/ nearly nine 
o'clock ! Why, I shall not get back to Beaucaire before 
midnight 1 Good-night, my deara. If the Abbe Busoni 
ehould by any accident return, think of me.' ' In another 
week you will have left Beaucaire,' remarked Caderousse, 
' for the fair finishes in a few days.' ' True ; but that is 
no consequence. Write to me at Paris, to M. Joannes, in 
the Palais-Eoyal, Stone Gallery, No. 45 ; I will make the 
journey on purpose to see him.' 

" At this moment there was a tremendous clap of thun- 
der accompanied by a flash of lightning so vivid that it 
quite eclipsed the light of the lamp. ' Oh, dear ! ' ex- 
claimed Caderousse. ' You cannot think of going out in 
such weather as this.' ' Oh, I am not afraid of thunder ! ' 
said the jeweller, ' And then there are robbers,' said La 
Carconte; 'the road is never very safe during fair time,' 
'Oh, as to the robbers,' said Joannes, ' here is something 
for them ; ' and he drew from his pocket a pair of small 
pistols, loaded to the muzzle. ' Here,' said he, ' are dogs 
who bark and bite at the same time ; they are for the 



274 THE COUNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 

as if I was not to return to Beaucaire to-night. The short- 
est follies are best^ my dear Caderousse. You offered me 
hospitality, and I accept it, and have returned to sleep be- 
neath your friendly roof/ Caderousse stammered out some 
words while he wiped away the damp that started to his 
brow. La Carconte double-locked the door behind the 
jeweller. 



THE RAIN OF BLOOD. 



CHAPTER XV. 



THE KAIN OF BLOOD. 



" As the jeweller returned to the apartment, ha cast around 
him a scrutinizing glance; but there was notliing to excite 
suspicion, if it did not exist, or to confirm it, if already 
awalcened. CaderouBse'a hands Btill gmsped hia gold and 
bank-notes ; and La Carconte smiled upon her guest aa 
pleasantly as she could. ' Heyday ! ' said the jeweller, 
' you fteem to have had some fears respecting the amount 
of your receipts, since you go over them again after my 
departure,' ' No, no,' answered Caderousae ; ' but tlie cir- 
cumstances by which we have become possessed of thia 
wealth are so unexpected as to make us scarcely credit 
our good fortune, and it is only by placing the actual 
proof of our riches before our eyes that wo can persuade 
ouraelvea the whole affair is not a dream.' The jeweller 
smilad. ' Have you any other guests in your house 1 ' 
inquired he. 'No,' replied Caderousse, 'we do not Iwlge 
travellers ; we are bo near the town that nobody would 
think of stopping here.' ' Then I am ofmid I shall very 
much inconvenience you ! ' ' Oh, dear me, no I indeed, 
my dear Monsieur, jou will not,' said La Carconte ; ' not 
at all, I assure you.' ' But where will you manage to stow 
me T 'In the chamber overhead.' ' But ia not that your 
chamber t ' ' Never mind that ; we have a second bed in 
the room adjoining this.' Caderousse stared at hia wife 
with much astonishment. 

" The jeweller, meanwhile, was humming a song as he 



276 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRIBTO. 

stood warming his back by the fire which La Carconta 
had lighted in the fireplace to dry the wet garmenta of 
her guest. She also spread a napkin at the end of the 
table and placed on it the slender remains of thoir dinner, 
to which she added three or four fresh eggs. Caderousao 
had once more parted with his treosareB ; the bank-notea 
were replaced in the pocket-book, the gold put baek into ' 
the bag, and the whole carefully locked in the strong-box. 
He then began pacing the room with a pensive and gloomy 
wr, glancing from time to time at the jeweller, who stood 
steaming before the fire, and as soon as he got dry on one 
side, turning the other, 

" ' There,' said La Carconte, as she placed a bottle of 
wine on the table, ' supper is ready whenever you are in- 
clined to partake of it.' ' But you are going to ait dowa 
with me, are you not 1 ' asked Joannes. ' 1 shall not take 
any supper to-night,' said Caderousse. ' We dined very 
late,' hastily interposed La Carconte. ' Then it seema I 
am to eat alone t ' remarked the jeweller, ' Oh, we shall 
have the pleasure of waiting upon you,' answered La Car- . 
conte, with an eager attention she was not accustomed to 
manifest even to guests who paid for what they took. 

" From one minute to another Caderousse darted on hia i 
wife keen, searching glances, but rapid as the lightning* 
flash. The storm still continued. ' There ! there I ' said 
La Carconte ; ' do you hear that 1 Upon my word, yoa 
did well to return.' ' Nevertheless,' replied the jeweller, 
' if by the time I have finished my supper the tempest 
has at all abated, 1 shall make another attempt to complete 
roy journey.' ' Oh,' siud Caderousse, shaking his head, 
' there ia not the slightest chance of its abating ; it is 
the mittral, and that will be sure to last till to-morrow 
morning.' He then sighed heavily. ' Well 1 ' said the 
jewellet, as he pkced himaelf at tablej ' all I can say ia, 



T".^J 



THE RAIN OF BLOOD. 277 

BO much the worse foi those who are abroad.' ' Ah 1 ' 
chimed iu La Carconte, ' they will have a wietcbed night 
of it.' 

" The jeweller began to eat his supper, and La Carconte 
continiieil to pay him the little atteiitious of a careful 
hostess. Ordinarily ho whimsical and cross-grained, she 
had become a model of painstaking pohteuesa. Had the 
jeweller been previously acquainted with her, a change so 
marked certainly would have surprised him, and would 
not have failed to excite in him some suspicion. Cade- 
rousse, meanwhile, continued to pace the room and seemed 
unwilling to look at his guest ; but as soon as the stranger 
had completed hia repast, be went to the door and opened 
it. ' The storm seems over,' said he. But as if to contra- 
dict his statement, at that instant a violent clap of thuniler 
seemed to shake the bouse to its very foundation, while a 
sudden gust of wind, mingled with rain, extinguished the 
lamp he held in his hand, Caderousse shut the door and 
returned to his guest, while La Carconte lighted a candle 
by the smouldering ashes that glioamered on the hearth. 
' You must be tired," said she to the jeweller ; ' I have 
spread a pair of white sheets on your bed. Go up to yonr 
room, and may you sleep well ! ' 

" Joannes waited a moment to assure himself that the 
storm was not abating ; and when he saw that the thunder 
and the rain were increasing, he hade hia hosts goodnight 
and ascended the staircase. Me passed over my head, and 
I heard every step creak as he went up. La Carconte 
followed him with eager eyes, while Caderousse on the 
contrary did not even look in that direction! 

"All these details, whicli since that time have been 
gathered up in my mind, made bat little impression on 
me when they were taking place before ray eyes ; in fact, 
all that bad happened (with the exception of the story 



278 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CKISTO. 



of the diamonJ, which certaiiilj did wear an air of im- 
probability) appeared quite natural; but worn out as I 
waa with fatigue, and fully purposing to proceed onwards 
as BOOH Bs the tempeat abated, 1 determined to take advan- 
tage of the comparative eilenoe and tranquillity that pre- 
vailed to obtain the refreshment of a few hours' sleep, 
Overhead 1 could accuraLely distiuguiah every movement 
of the jeweller, who, after making the boat arrangements 
in his power fur passing a comfortable night, threw himaelf 
on tiia bed, and i could hear it creak and groan beneath 
his weight Insensibly my eyelids grew heavy ; deep sleep 
stole over me ; and liaving no suspicion of anything wrong, 
I sought not to shake it off. For the laat time I looked 
in upon the room where Caderousse and hia wife were sit- 
ting ; the former waa aeated upon one of thoae low wooden 
stools which in country places are frequently used instead 
of chairs. His back being turned towards ine, I could not 
see the expression of hia countenance ; neither abould I 
have b^en able to do so had he been placed difforeotly, as 
hia head was buried between bis two hands. La Carconte 
continued to gaze on him for some time in eontemptuoiia 
sUence ; then shrugging up her shoulders, she took hei seat 
Immediately opposite to him. At this moment the expir- 
ing embers threw up a fresh flame from the kindling of a 
piece of wood that lay near; and a bright gleam waa thrown 
on the scene and the actors in it. La Carconte still kept 
her eyea flxed on her husband ; hut as he made no sign of 
changing his position, ehe extended her hard bony hand 
and touched him on the forehead. 

" Caderouaae shuddered, Tiie woman's lips seemed to 
move aa though ahe were talking ; but either because she 
spoke in an undertone, or because my senses were dulled 
by sleep, I did not catch a word she uttered, I could no 
longer even see except through a mist and with that ua- 



I 
I 



TBE BAIN OF BLOOD. 279 

certainty in which perceptioiia are blended with dreams. 
Finally my eyes closed, and I lost eonaciousneas. How 
long I had been in thia anconsciou? state I know not, 
when I was suddenly aroused by the report of a pistol 
followed by a fearful cry. Unsteady footsteps sounded on 
the lioor of the chamber, and the next instant a dull, heavy 
weight seemed to fall powerless on the staircase. 1 had 
not yet fully recovered my recollection when aguiu I 
heard groans mingled with half-stifled cries, as if from 
persons engaged in a deadly struggle. A last cry, more 
prolonged than the others, which gradually was subdued 
to groans, effectually aroused me from my drowsy lethargy. 
Hastily raising myself on one arm, I looked arouml, but 
all was dark ; and it seemed to me as if the rain must 
have penetrated through the flooring of the room above, 
for some kind of moisture appeared to fall, drop by drop, 
upon luy forehead, and when I passed my Land across my 
brow, I felt it wet and clammy. 

" To the fearful noises that had awakened me bad suc- 
ceeded the most profound silence, — unbroken, save by 
the footsteps of a man walking about over my head. The 
staircase creaked under his step. The man descended to 
the lower room, approached the fireplace, and lighted a 
candle. It was Caderousse, his face pale and bis shirt 
red with blood. Having obtained the light, he hurried 
upstairs again, and once more I heard Iiis rapid and uneasy 
step in the chamber above. Ere long lie came below 
holding in his hand tlie small shagreen case, which he 
opened, to assure himself it contained the diamond, and 
seemed to hesitate ae to which pocket he should put it in ; 
then, as if dissatisfied with the security of either pocket, 
be deposited it in his red handkerchief, which he care- 
fully rolled round his head. After this he took from his 
cupboard the bank-notes and gold he bad put there, thrust 



280 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CfilSTO. 



the one into the pocket of his trousers, and the other into 
that of his wuiatcoat, hastily tied up a small buudle of 
linen, and mshiog towarila the door, disappeared in the 
dnrkoesa of the night. 

"Then all became clear and manifest to me; and I 
reproached myself with what had happened os though I 
myself had done the guilty deed. I fancied that I still 
heard faint moans ; and imagining that the unfortunate 
jeweller might not be quite dead, I determined to go to 
his relief by way of atoning in aome slight degree, not 
for the crime I had committed, but for that which I had 
not endeavored to prevent, For this purpose I applied all 
the strength I possessed to force an entrance from the 
cramped spot in which I lay to tlio adjoining mom ; the 
badly arranged planks which alone dJviJed nie from it 
yielded to my oiforts, and I found myself in the house. 
Hastily snatching up the lighted caudle, I hurried to the 
staircase ; towards the middle of it I stumbled over a hu- 
man body lying quite across the stairs. It was the body 
of La Carconte ! The pistol 1 had heard had doubtless 
been discharged at the unfortunate woman, whose throat 
it had frightfully lacerated, leaving a gaping wound from 
which, as well as the mouth, the blood was welling in 
sangoinary striams. Finding the miserable creature past 
all human aid, I strode past her and ascended to the 
sleeping-chamber, which presented an appearance of the , 
wildest disorder. The furniture had been knocked over 
in the deadly struggle that had taken place there; and the 
sheets, to which the mifortunate jeweller had doubtless I 
clung, were dragged across the room. The murdered man ; 
lay on the floor, his head leaning against the wall, welter- 
ing in a gory stream, poured forth from throe large wounda i 
in his breast ; in a fourth wound was a large kitchen-knife ' 
of which the handle only was visible. 



THE RAIN OF BLOOD. 



281 



" I stumbled over the aeoond pistol, which had not been 
disuhat^ed, — the powder probably being damp. I ap- 
proached the jeweller, who was not quite dead ; and at the 
Bound of my footsteps, cauBing as they did the creaking of 
the floor, he opened bis eyes, fixed theia on me for a cio- 
metit, moved his lips as though trying to speak, and expired. 
This appalling sight almost bereft me of my senses; aud 
finding that I could no longer be of survice to any one in 
the house, my only desire was to get away. I rushed to 
the staircase, clasping my burning temples with both 
hands, and uttering cries of horror. Upon reaching the 
room below, I found five or aii custom-houso officers aud 
two or three gendarmes, — an armed troop. They im- 
mediately seized me, and I did not even attempt any 
resistance ; I was no longer master of my senses. I tried 
to speak, but could utter only inarticulate cries. I saw 
some of the party pointing at me, and lowered my eyes to 
look at myself; I was covered with blood. That warm 
rain that I bad perceived falling on me through the stair- 
case was the blood of La Cai'conto. I pointed with my 
finger to the place where I had been concealed. ' What 
does he meani' asked a gendarme. One of the revenue 
officers went to the place I had indicated. ' He means,' 
replied the man, upon Ida return, 'that he eifeeted his 
entrance by means of tliia hole,' showing the place where 
I had broken my way through the pianks into the house, 

" Then I understood tliat tliey look me for an assassin. 
I recovered my voice and my strength, I tore niysulf 
from the two men who held me, and cried out, ' It is not 
I ! it is not II' A couple of gendarmes held tlie muzdes 
of tbeir carbines against my breast; 'Stir but a step,' 
said they, 'and you are a dead man !' 'Why shoidd you 
threaten me with death,' cried I, ' when I have already 
declared my innocence 1 ' ' You will tell your little story 



282 



TBE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



to the judges at NImes. MeauwhUe, oome along with us i 
and the beat advice we can give you is to do ao unresist- | 
iugl;.' KesiBtance was far from my tbuughts. 1 was ut- 
terly overpowered by surprise aiid terror ; and without a 
word I sufiTered niyBelf to be hanilcuffGd and tied to a 
horse's taiJ, in wluch disgraceful plight I anired at 
^N'imea. 

" It aeema I had been tracked by a dmanier, who had 
lost aight of me near the inn ; feeling assured that I in- 
tended to pass the uiglit there, he had returued to aummoa 
hia comrades, who arrived juet in timo to hear the report | 
of the pistol, and to take me in the midst of such proofs t 
of my guilt that 1 at once understood the difficulty 1 I 
should have in proving my innocence. One only chanCQ I 
was left me, that uf beseeching the magistrate before whom I 
I was taken to cause every inquiry to be made for a cer- I 
tain Abbe liusoni, who had stopped at the inn of 
Pont du Gard on the morning previous to the murder, j 
U, indeed, Caderousae had invented the story relative to 1 
the diamond, and there existed no such person as the 1 
Abhti Busoui, then, indeed, I was lost past redemption I 
unless Caderousse should be taken and should make i 



" Two months passed away in which — I ought to say I 
in praise of my judge — search was everywhere made foi I 
the person I had desired to see. I had already lost all I 
hope. Caderousse had not been taken. My trial was to J 
come on at the approaching sessions ; when, on the 8th of 1 
September, — that Is to say, precisely three months and I 
five days after the event, — the Abbe Busoni, whom I i 
longer hoped to see, presented himself at the prison, saying I 
that ho understood one of the prisoners wished to speak I 
to him. He had learned of the affair at Marseilles, ha ] 
said, and had hastened to comply with my desire. Yoa J 



THE RAIS OF BLOOD. 283 

may easily imagine with wliat eagernegB I welcomed him ; 
I related to him the whole of what I had aeen and heard. 
I felt some degree of nervousaess as I entered upon the 
history of the diamond ; but to my inexpressible astonisli- 
ment, he confirmed it in every particular, and to my equal 
Burpiit^e, he seemed to place entire belief in all I stated. 
And then it was that, won by his mild charity, perMiving 
him acquainted with all the habits and customs of mj 
own country, and considering also that pardon for the 
only crime of which I was really guilty might come with 
a double power from lips ao benevolent and kind, I be- 
sought him to receive my confession, under the seal of 
which I recounted the atfuir of Auteuil in all its details. 
That which I had done by the impulse of my best feel- 
ings pri'duced the same effect as though it had been the 
result of calculation. My voluntary confession of the assas- 
sination at Autenil proved to him that I had not committed 
that of wliicli I stood aocused. When he quitted me, he 
bade me be of good courage, and rely upon his doing all in 
his power to convince my judges of my innocence. 

" I had speedy proofs that the excellent abbe was en- 
gaged in my behalf, for the rigors of my imprisonment 
were gradually alleviated, and I was toM that my trial 
was to be postponed to the assizes following those now 
being held. In the interim it pleased Providence to 
cause the apprehension of Caderouase, who was discovered 
in some distant country and brought hack to France, 
where he made a fuJl confession, attributing to his wife 
tlie conception and instigation of the deed. He was 
sentenced to the galleys for life; and I was immediately 
set at liberty." 

"And then it was, I presume," said Monte Criato, 
" that you came to me as the bearer of a letter from the 
Abb^ Busonil" 



284 



THE COUNT OF MOSTK 06^10. 



"It was, your Excellency; the benevolent abb^ took 
an evtilent inte^rest in all that concerned me. 'Your 
Diode of life as a smuggler,' said Le to me one day, ' will 
be the ruin of you if you persist in it; let me advise 
you when you Ret oat of prison to choose eomething 
more safe as well as respectiihle.' ' But how,' inquired 
I, 'ami to maintain mysulf and my poor sister 1' .'A per- 
son, whose confessor I am,' replied he, ' and wlio entertaina 
a high regard for me, applied to me a short time since to 
pToenre him a confidential servant. Would you like such. 
a postl If so, I will give you a letter of introduction to 
the friend I allude to.' 'Oh, moa pire,' I cried, 'what 
goodness I ' ' But you must swear to me that I shall never 
have occasion to regret my recommendation.' I extended 
my hand to take the oath. ' It is needlaas,' he said ; 'I 
know and I like the Coreicana, — that is my reliance ! Here, 
take this,' continued he, after rapidly writing the few lines 
I brought to your Excellency, and upon receipt of which 
you deigned to receive me into your service ; and now I 
ask with confidence whether your Excellency has ever had ] 
cause to complain of me J " 

"On the contrary, Bertuccio, I have ever found yea | 
faitliful, honest, and deaerving. One fault I find with 
you, and that is your not having placed sufficient confi* 
denco in me." 

" Indeed, your Excellency, I know not what you mean 1 " 

"Simply this ; how comes it, that having both a aister ' 
and an adopted bou, you have never spoken to me c 
either 1 " 

" Alas ! I have still to recount the most distressing pe- { 
riod of my life. Anxious as you may suppose I was to he- 
boid and comfort my dear sister, I lost no time in hasten- 
ing to Corsica ; but when I arrived nt Eogliano I found 
the house in mourning ; there had been a scene so horrible 



THE KAIN OF BLOOD. 285 

that the neighbors Tememher and speak of it to this day. 
Acting by my advice, my poor aister had refused to com- 
ply with the unreasonable Jemanda of Benedetto, who was 
continually tormenting her for money aa long aa he be- 
lieved there was a sou left in her possession. One morn- 
ing when he had demanded money, threatening her with 
the aevereat cottaequeiices if ahe did not supply him with 
what he desired, he disappeared throughout the whole of 
the day, leaving the kind-hearted Asaunta, who loved him 
as if he were her own child, to weep over his conduct and 
bewail his absence. Evening came ; and stiU, with all 
the patient solicitude of a mother, she watched for hia 
return. 

" As the eleventh hour struck, hs returned with two of 
hia ordinary compauioiis. As poor Assunta rose to clasp 
her traant in her arms, she was seized upon by three 
rufGauB, and one of them — I abudder with the fear that 
it may have been that infernal child — cried out, ' Let us 
put her to the torture ; she will then tell ub where the 
money ia.' 

" It unfortunately happened that our neighbor, Wasiho, 
was at Baatia, leaving no person in bia house but his wife ; 
no one else coald bear or see anything that took place 
within our dwelling. Two of the brutal companions of 
Benedetto held poor Assunta, who, unable to conceive that 
any harm was intended to !iqt, smiled upon those who were 
soon to become her executioners. Tile third ruffian pro- 
ceeded to barricade the doors and windows ; then return- 
ing to his infamous accomplices, the three united in sti- 
fling the cries uttered by the poor victim at the sight of 
these alarming preparations. This effected, they put the 
brazier to Assiinta's feet, expecting thus to compel her to 
declare where our little treasure was concealed. In the 
struggles made by my poor siater her clothes caught hre. 




286 THE COUNT OP MONTE CBSl 

and they were compelled to let go their hold in order to 
preserve tliemselves, Covered with flames, Assuiita mahed 
wildly to the door ; but it was fastened. She flew to the 
wiodowa ; but they were barricaded. Then her neighlrot 
heard frightful cries, — Asaunta calling for help. Then her 
voice was stifled ; her cries sul«ided to i 
the following morning, when after a night of oogiiiab and 
terror Wasilio's wife could muster up courage to venture 
abroad, she caused the door of our dwelling to be opened 
by the public authorities, and Assituta, altiiough dreadfully 
burned, was found still breathing. Everydrawer and closet 
in the house had been forced open, and everything worth 
carrying off stolen &om them. Benedetto never again ap- 
peared at Rogliano, neither have I since that day either 
seen or heard anything concerning him. 

"It was subsequently to these dreadful events that I 
waited on your Excellency, to whom it would have been 
folly to have mentioned Benedetto, since all trace of him 
seemed entirely lost ; or of my sister, since she was dead." 

" And what have you thought of that event 1 " inquired 
Monte Cristo. 

" That it was a punishment for the crime T had com- 
mitted," answered Bertuocio. "Ob, those VillefortB are 
an accursed race ! " 

" I believe it," murmured the count, in a melancholy 
tone. 

"And now," resumed Bertueoio, "your Excellency 
may perhaps he able to comprehend that this place, 
which I revisit for the first tirae, this garden, where I 
have killed a man, might well excite iu me those dis- 
agreeable emotions of which you desired to know the 
cause. For, in short, I am not sure but that before me, 
there at my feet, lies M. de Villefort in the grave which 
he had dug for his child," 



THE HAIN OP BLOOD. 



287 



"Everything, in fact, is possible," said Monte Cristo, 
rising from the bench on which he had been sitting; 
"even," he added in a low tone, " that the proeureur dii 
roi is not dead. The Abb^ Busuni did right to send you 
to me ; and you have olao done well in relating to me your 
biatory, as it will prevent my forming any erroneous opin- 
ions concerning you in future. Aa for that Benedetto, 
who Bo grossly belied his name, have you never made 
auy efibrt to trace out whither he has gone or what 
has become of bimi" 

" Never ! If I had known vrbere he was, instead of 
going to him I should have fled as from a monster. I 
have never heard his name mentioned by any person ; I 
hope he is dead" 

" Do not hope it, Bertuccio," said the count. " The 
wicked do not die so, for God seems to keep them in 
his care, that he may use them as instruments of his 
vengeance." 

" So bo it," said Bertuccio. " I ask only that I may 
never see him again. And now. Monsieur the Count," 
added the steward, bending humbly forward, " you know 
all; you are my judge on earth aa the Almighty is in 
Heaven. Have you no words of consolation for mel" 

" My good friend, I can say to you what the AbbiS 
Busoni would say to yon. Villefort, the man you killeil. 
merited the punishment he received at your hands as a 
just reward for the wrongs he had done you, and it may 
be, for other crimes likewise. Benedetto, if still living, 
will become the instrument of some divine retribution, 
and then will be punished in hia turn, Aa far aa you 
yourself are concerned, I see but one point in which you 
are really giiilty. Ask yourself wherefore, after rescuing 
the infant from its living grave, you did not restore it to 
its mother. There was the crime, Bertuccio." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



" True, Monsieur ; there, as yon say, I acted wickedly, 
for as to that I was a coward. My first duty, as soon 
I had succeeded in recalling thebahe to life, was to restore 
it to its mother ; but in order to do so I must Lave 
close and careful inquby, which would in all probability 
have led to my own apprehension. And 1 clung to life, 
partly ou my slater's account, and partly from that feeling 
of pride inborn in our hearts, which makes us wish to 
come off untouched and victorious in the execution of our 
■vengeance, Purhaps, too, the natural and inslinctive love 
of life made me wish to avoid endangering my own. Oh ! 
I am not brave Uke my poor brother." 

Bertuccio hid his iace in his hands as he uttered these 
words, while Monte Cristo fixed od him a long and inde- 
scribable gaze. After a brief silence, rendereil still more 
solemn by the time and place, the eouut said in a tone of 
melancholy wholly unlike bis usual manner, " In order 
to end properly tliis conversation, which will be our last 
about these adventures, I will repeat to you some words I 
have heard from the lips of the Abb^ Busoni himself; 
' For all ills there are two remedies, — time and silence,' 
Now, M. Bertuccio, leave me to walk alone for a few 
moments in this garden. That which awakens pain- 
ful emotion in yon, an actor in that terrible scene, gives 
me a sensation almost pleasant and increases the value of 
this estate. The trees, you see, M. Bertuccio, are pleasant 
only as they make a shade ; and the shade itself is pleas- 
ant only as it is lilled with reveries and visions, Sere I 
have bought a garden, thinking to buy a simple enclosura 
shut in by walla ; but suddenly that enclosure becomes a 
garden full of ghosts, which were not mentioned in the 
contract. Now I Uke ghosts; I have never heard it said 
that so much harm had been done by the dead during 
six thousand years as is wrought by the liviug in ons 



edlf, ^1 
on as ^^H 

istore ^/II 

I 
I 



^H single day. 
^P Should foi 



THE RAIN OF BLOOD. 



single day. Retire within, Bertuccio, and sleep in peace. 
Should your oonfesaor be leas indulgent to you in your 
dying moments than you. found the Abbi^ Cusoni, scud for 
me if I urn still on earth, and I will find words to soothe 
yout soul as it makes ready to start on that rou^U voyage 
to what is called Eternity." 

Bertuccio bowed respectfully and turned away, sighing 
heavily. When he had quite disappeared, Monte Cristo 
arose ; and taking three or four steps onwards, he mur- 
mured, " Here, beneath this plane-tree, is where the in- 
fant's grave was dug. There is the little door opening into 
the garden. At this corner is the private staircase coni- 
Diuiiicating with the sleeping-apartment. There will be 
no necessity for me to make a note of theee particulars, 
for there before toy eyes, beneath ray feet, all around me, 
I have the plan sketched with all the hving reality of 

After making the tour of the garden a second time, 
the count regained the house and re-entered his carriage ; 
whilo Bertuccio, who perceived the thoughtful expression 
of his master's features, took his seat beside the driver 
without uttering a, word. The carriage proceeded rapidly 
towards Paris, 

That same evening, upon reiaching his abode in the 
Charapa Elyaees, the Count of Monte Cristo went over the 
whole building with the air of one long acquainted with 
each nook or corner. Nor, although preceding the party, 
did he once mistake one door for another, or commit any 
error in choosing the proper corridor or staircase to con- 
duct him to a place or suite of rooms he desired to visit. 
Ali accompanied him on this nocturnal inspection. Hav- 
ing given various orders to Bertuccio relative to the im- 
. provementa and alterations he desired to make in the 
house, the count, drawing out hia watch, said to the attea- 



290 



THE COUNT. OP MONTE CKISTO. 



tire Kubian, " It is half-post elevQii o'clock ; Hayd^ v 
soon aiTive. Have the French attendauta been notified 1"| 

All extended his handa towards the apartmenta destioedl 
for the fair tireek, which were so isolated that when thai 
door was coiicoalod behind tnpestry one might go all ovef^ 
the house without suspecting that in that locality were a 
eitloD and two chaiubera, occupied. Ali, having pointed 
to the apartments, counted three on the fingers of his left 
band, and then, placing it beneath hb head, shut his eyss . 
and feigned to sleep. 

" I understaud,'* said Monte Cristo, well acquainted « 
All's pautomime ; " yuu mean to tell me that three fe- 1 
male attendants are waiting in the ateepiug-cbamber." 

" Yes," said Ali, by repeatedly nodding his head. 

" Madame will be fatigued this evening," continued! 
Monte Cristo, " and will no doubt wish to retiiw to rest I 
immediately upon liei arrival. Desire the French attend- 1 
ants not to weary her with questions, but merely to payfl 
their respectful duty and retire. You will also see that M 
ttte Greek servants hold no commnnication with those of | 
this country." 

Ali bowed. Just at that moment voices were heard I 
hailing the conderge. The gate opened ; a carriage rolled I 
down tlie avenue, and stopped at the flight of steps lead- f 
iug to the house, The count descended, and presented J 
himself at the already opened carriage-door. He offered 
liis hand to a young woman completely enveloped in a 
mantle of green and gold. She raised the hand extended 
towards her to her lips, and kissed it witli a mixture of J 
love and respect, A few words passed between them in I 
that sonorous language in which Homer makes his goda \ 
converse. The woman spoke with an expression of deep 
tenderness, while the count replied with an air of gentle 
gravity. Preceded by Ali, who carried in his hand a 



THE RAIN OF BLOOD. 291 

candle of rose-colored wax, the woman, who was no other 
than the lovely Greek who had been Monte Cristo's com- 
panion in Italy, was conducted to her apartments, while 
the count retired to the pavilion reserved for himself. In 
another hour every light in the house was extinguished, 
and it might have been thought that all its inmates slept. 



THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



UNLIMITED CBBDIT. 



About two o'clock on tba following day a caliche, drawn 
by a pair of magnifioent English liorsea, stopped at the 
door of Monte Cristo, and a man dressed in a blue coat 
with buttons of tbe same color, a white waistcoat over 
which was displayed a raaaaive gold chain, and brown 
trousers, with hair so black and descending so low over 
liis eyebrows as to leave it doubtful whether it 
artificial, so little did its jetty glossiness assimilate with 
the deep wiinkles stamped on liis features, — a man, in a 
■word, who, although evidently more than fifty years of 
age, desired to be taken for not more than forty, bent for- 
ward frani the carriage^loor, on the panels of which were 
emblazoned the armorial bearings of a baron, and directed 
his groom to inquire at the porter's lodge whether tha 
Count of Monte Cristo resided there, and if he were 
within. While waiting, the ocnupant of the carriage sur- 
veyed the house, the garden so far as he could distinguish 
it, and the livery of the servants who passed to and fro, 
with on Qtt«ntion so close as to be some«'hat impertinent. 
The glance of this individual was keen, but evincing 
rather cunning than intelligence ; his lips were straight, 
and so thin that as they closed they were compressed 
within the month, — in short, the size and prominence of 
his cheek-bones, — a never-failing proof of craftiness, — 
the flatness of his forehead, and the enlaigement of tba 



i 



DNLIMITED CREDIT. 



293 



back of his skull, which extendeJ fat beyond his large and 
vulgarly-shaped ears, combined to give, in the eyes of a 
physiognomist, a cbaractei almost repuleive to the face of 
that man, so highly respected by the people for his mag- 
nificent horses, the enormous diamond he wore ou his 
shirt-front, and the red ribbon extended from one button- 
hole to the other of his coat. 

The groom, in obedience to his orders, tapped at the 
window of the porter's lodge, aayiiig, " Does not the Count 
of Monte Criato live here 1 " 

"His Excellency does reside here," replied the concierge ; 
" but — " added he, glancing an inquiriug look at AIL 
AU returned a sign in the negative. 

" But what 1 " asked the groom. 

"His Excellency does not receive visitors to-day." 

" Then take ray master's card, — M. le Baron Danglars ! 
Be sure to give the card to the count, and say that in 
going to the Chamber my master came out of his way to 
have the honor of calling upon him." 

" I do not speak to his Excellency," replied the con- 
cierge ; "the valet de ckambre will carry your message." 

The groom returned to the carriage. " Well 1 " aaked 
Danglars. The man, somewhat crestfallen by the re- 
buke he liad received, detailed to his master all that 
hod passed between himself and the eoncierge. 

" Oh ! " said the baron, " this gentleman ia a prince, 
then, who must be caUed Excellency, and must not be 
approached but by his valet. However, it does not sig- 
nify ; he has a letter of credit on me, so I must see him 
when he requires his money." 

Then, throwing himself back in his carriage, Danglars 
called out to his coachman, in a voice that might be heard 
across the road, " To the Chamber of Deputies ! " 

Through the blinds of his pavilion, Monte Cristo, 



294 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEiSTO. 



warned in time, liad aeen tlie baron, and had studied I 
him, by the aid of an excellent loi^nette, with no less 4 
Bcrutiny than M, Dunglars himself had given to his exam- I 
ination of the bouse, the garden, and tbe bveriea. " That I 
fellow has a decidedly bad countenance," said the count, 4 
in a tone of disgust, as he shut up his glass into its ivoiy I 
case. " How cornea it that all do not retreat in averaion at I 
sight of that flat, receding, eerpeiit-liko forehead, roand, I 
Tultu re-shaped head, and sbarp-hooked nose, like tbe beak I 
of a buzzard ) Ali ! " cried he, Btriking at the same time 1 
on the brazen gong. Ali appeared. " Summon Bertucdo I " \ 
said the count. 

Almost immediately Bertuccio entered the apartment. I 
" Did your Excellency desire to see me 1 " inquired 1: 

" I did," replied the count. " You no doubt observed | 
the horses standing a few minutes since at the dooT 1 " 

" Certainly, your Excellency ; I noticed them for their 1 
remarkable beauty." 

" Then how comes it," said Monte Cristo, with a frown, I 
" that when I desired you to purchase for me tbe fineat I 
pair of horses to be found in Paris, there are in Paris two I 
other horses as handsome as mine, and those horses are 1 
not in my stables 1 " 

At the look of displeaanro and the count's angry tones, I 
Ali turned pale and held down his heaJ. " It ia 
your fiiult, my good Ali," said the count, in the Arabic I 
language, and in a tone of such gentleness as none would I 
have given him credit for being capable of feeling, — " it ■ 
is not your fault. You do not profess to understand the I 
choice of English borses." 

The countenance of Ali recovered its serenity. 

" Permit me to assure your Excellency," said Bertuccio, J 
" that the horses you speak of were not to be sold wheS'l 
I ptirchased youra." 



UNLIMITED CREDIT. 295 

Monte Cristo abrugged hU ahoulilera. " It seems. Mon- 
sieur the lutendant," said he, "that you have yet to learn 
tliat all things are to be sold to such as care to pay the price." 
" Monsieur the Count ia not, perhaps, aware that Sf. 
Danglara gave sixteen thousand livrea for hia horsea 1 " 
" Very well ! then offer him thirty-two thousand ; 
a banker never loses an opportunity of doubling his 
capital." 

" Is your Excellency really in earnest 1 " inquired the 
steward. 

Uonte Cristo looked at his steward as if astonished at 
the question. " 1 have to pay a visit this evening," re- 
plied be. " I desire that these horses, with completely 
new harness, may he at the door with my carnage." 

Bertuccio bowed, and was about to withdraw ; hut when 
he reached the door, he paused and said, "At what o'clock 
does your Escellency intend to make that visit ? " 
" At five o'clock," replied the count, 
"I beg your Excellency's pardon," interposed the stew- 
ard, in a deprecating manner, " for venturing to observe 
that it ia already two o'clock." 

" I know it," was Monte Cristo's only reply. Then 
turning towards Ali, ha said, " Let all the horses in my 
atables be led before the windows of Madame, that she 
may select those she prefers for her carriage. Eequest her 
also to oblige me by saying whether it is her pleasure to 
dine with me ; if so, let dinner be served in her apart- 
ments. Now leave me, and desire my valet de chambre to 
come hither." 

Scarcely had Ali disappeared when the valet entered 
the chamber. 

" H. Baptistin," siud the count, "you have been in my 
service one year, the time I generally give myself to judge 
of the merits or demerits of those about me. You auit 



298 THE COPNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

" No, only the coachman, Ali, and Baptiatin." 

The count descended to the door of his mansion, and 
beheld hia carriage drawn by the very pair of Lorsee ho 
liad so much admired in the morning attached to the car- 
riage of Danglan, Aa he paasod them he stud, " They 
are extremely handsome certainly, and you have done well 
to purchase them, although you were somewhat late." 

" indeed, your Excellency, I had much difficulty in 
obtaining them, and they "have cost a large sum of 
money." 

"Does the sum you gave for them make the animals less 
beautiful 1" inquired tbe count, shrugging his shoulders. 

" Nay, if your Ejceelleney is satisfied, all is as I could 
wish it. Whither does Monsieur the Oount desire to be 
driven J" 

" To the residence of M. le Baron Danglara, Eue de la 
Chanssee d'Antin." 

This conversation had passed as they stood upon the 
terrace, from which a flight of stone steps led to the car- 
riage-drive. As Bertuccio was moving away, the count 
called him back. " I have another coinmisaion for you, 
M. Bertuccio," said he. "I am desirous of having aa 
estate by the seaside iji Normandy, — for instance, between 
Havre and Boulogne, You see I give you a wide rango. 
It wilt be absolutely necessary that the place you may 
select have a small harbor, creek, or hay, into which my 
corvette can enter and remain at anchor. She draws only 
fifteen feet of water. She must be kept in constant rea<n- 
ness to sail immediately at whatever hour of day or n 
I give the signal. Make tbe requisite inquiries for a. place I 
of this description ; and when you have met with an eligi- 
ble spot, visit it, and if it possess the advantages desired, 1 
purchase it at once in your own name. The corvette most J 
now, I think, be on her way to Fdcamp, is she notl " 



UNLIMITED CREDIT, 



299 

" Certainly, your Excellency ; I saw her put to sea the 
e evening we quitted Marseillea." 

"And the yacht 1" 

" Was ordered to remain at Martigues." 

'"Tis well ! I wish you to write from time to time to 
the captains in chaise of the two vessels so as to keep 
them on the alert." 

" And the steamboat 1 Has your Excellency any orders 
to give respecting herl " 

" She is at Chilona, is she not 1 " 



o orders as for the two sailing-vi 



"When you have purchased the estate I desire, I mean 
to establish relays at intervals of ten leagues on the road 
to the north and on the road to the south." 

" Your Excellency may fuUy depend upon me." 
The count gave an approving smile, descended the ter- 
race steps, and sprang into his carriage, which, drawn by 
the beautiful animals so expensively purchased, -was whirled 
along with incredible swiftness, and stopped only before 
the hotel of the banker, Danglars was engaged at that 
moment, presiding over a railroad committee. But the 
meeting was nearly concluded when the name of his visi- 
tor waa announced. As the count's title sounded on Lis 
ear, he rose, and addressing his colleagues, many of whom 
were members of one Chamber or the other, he said, 
" Gentlemen, I must beg you to excuse my quitting you 
thus ; but, if you will imagine it, the house of Thomson 
and French, at Rome, have sent to me a certain Count of 
Monte Cristo, and have opened for him with me an un- 
limited credit. It is the drollest thing I have ever met 
with in the course of my extensive foreign transactions ; 
and you may readily suppose it has roused my curiosity. 



soo 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



I took the trouble this morning to call on the pretended I 
count. If he were a true count he would n't he so rich. 
Monsieur was not to be seen I How does that strike you 1 
la n't that the style of royalty, or of a pretty woman giv- 
ing herself out as MaJtre Moute Cristo 1 As for the rest, . 
the house, situated in the Champs Elys^ea, and which, I I 
am informed, belongs to him, appeared to me quite re- | 
Bpectablo. But an unlimited credit," continued Danglars, [ 
with his villanous smile, "makes the banker with whom I 
it is opened very exacting. I hasten, then, to see our -I 
man. 1 think it is a hoax. But they don't know down J 
there with whom they have to deal. He laughs best who a 
laughs last." 

Having delivered himself of this pompous address, I 
uttered with a degree of energy that left him almost out I 
of breath, the barou left his guests and withdrew to a I 
salon finished in white and gold, which was much ad- 
mired in the Cbaussee d'Aiitin. He had ordered the ^ 
visitor to be ushered into that room, expecting him to he 
overwhelmed by its daBzlJng splendor. He found the 
count standing before some copies of Aibano and Fattore 
that had been passed off on the banker as originals, and 
wliich, though but cojiieB, were entirely out of harmony 
with the gaudy gihling that covered the ceiling. The coimt 
turned as he heard the entrance of Danglars into the ro 
"With a slight inclination of the head, Danglars signed to 1 
the count to be seated in an armchair covered with white j 
satin embroidered with gold. Tlie count obeyed, 

" I hnve the honor, I presume, of addressing M. da I 
Monte Cristo." 

The count bowed. " And I am speaking to Baron I 
Danglars, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, and Membez J 
of the Chamber of Deputies," — repeating all the titles he a 
had found on the baron's card. 



UNLIMITED CREDIT. 



301 



Daiiglars felt all the iMny coutained in the address of 
his visitor. For a minute or two he compressed his lips 
as though seeking to eoufiuer liia rage ere he trusted 
himself to speak. Then, turning to his visitor, be said, 
" You will, I trust, excuse my not having called jou by 
your title when I first addressed you, but you arc aware 
we are living under a popular form of government, and 
that I am myself a representative of the liberties uf the 
people." 

" So much so," replied Monte Cristo, " that while pre- 
serving the habit of styling yourself baron, you have 
deemed it advisable to lay aside that of calling others by 
their titles." 

" Upon my word," said Danglars, with affected careless- 
ness, " I attach no sort of value to such empty distinctions ; 
but the fact is, I was made baron, and also Chevalier of 
the Legion of Honor, in conaequenoo of some services I 
had rendered Government, but — " 

" You have relinquished your titles after the exam- 
ple set you by M.M. de Montmorency and Lafayette! 
Well, you cannot possibly choose more noble models for 
your conduct." 

" Why," replied Danglars, embarrassed, " I do not 
mean to say I have altogether laid aside my titles ; 
with the servants, for instance, — there I think it right 
to preserve my rank with all its outward forms." 

" Yea, to your servants you are ' Monseigneur ; ' to jour- 
nalists you are ' Monsieur ; ' and to your constituents ' citi- 
zen.' These are distinctions veiy proper under a consti- 
tutional government. I understand perfectly." 

Danglars bit his lips ; he saw that he was no match 
for Monte Cristo in an argument of this sort, and he has- 
tened to turn to subjects more familiar to him. 

"Monsieur the Count," said he, bowing, "I have ra- 



302 



TOE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



ceived a letter of advice from Thomson and French, of 
Rome." 

"I am glad to hear It, Monsieur the Baron, — for loiust 
claim the privilege of addreaaiug you as yom Bervauts do; 
it is a bad habit, acquired in countries where barons still 
are found, simply because they are no longer created. 
But as regards the letter of advice, I am charmed to 
find that it haa reached you ; it relieves me of the ne- 
cessity of introducing myself, which is always embar- 
lasaiog. You have, then, you say, received a letter o£ 
advice 1 " 

"Yes," said Danglars; "but I confess that I do not 
quite understand it." 

" Indeed 1 " 

" And for that reason I did myself the honor of calling 
upon you, in order to beg you would explain some part 
of it to me." 

" Do it now. Monsieur; I am here, and am prepared to 
understand you." 

"Why," said Danglars, "in the letter — I believe I 
have it about me " — here he felt in his breast-pocket — 
" yes, here it is ! Well, this letter gives M. le Comte do 
Monte Cristo unlimited credit on our house." 

"And what is there that requires explaining in that 
simple fact, may I ask. Monsieur the Baron 1" 

"Nothing, Monsieur, but the word 'unlimited.'" 

" Wei], is n't that a French word t You know they 
are Anglo-Germana who wrote the letter." 

" Oh, as for the composition of the letter there la 
nothing to say; hut as regards reliability it issomewhst 
diiferent," 

" Is it possible," asked the count, assuming an air end 
tone of the utmost simplicity, — "is it possible that Thom- 
son aud French are not looked upon as safe and solvent 



I 



TJNLimTED CREDIT. 303 

bankers t The devil 1 that is annoying, for I havQ con- 
siderable property in their hands." 

" Thomson and French are bankers of the highest re- 
pute," replied Danglars, with an almost mocking smile ; 
"and it was not of their solvency or capability I spoke, 
but of the word ' unlimited,' which in financial aifairs is 

"That it is unlimited, do you mean!" cried Monte 
Cristo. 

" PrecisDly what I was about to say," said Danglara. 
" Now, what is vague is doubtful ; and says the wise man, 
' where there ia doubt there is danger ! ' " 

" Meaning to say," rejoined Monte Cristo, " that though 
Thomson and French may be inclined to commit acts of 
folly, M. le Barnn Danglars is not disposed to follow their 
example," 

" How so. Monsieur the Count 1 " 

"Simply thus : the banking-house of Thomson and Co. 
Bets no bounds to its engagements, while that of M. Dan- 
glars has its limits j truly, he is as wise as the sage he 
just now quoted." 

"Monaiour!" replied the banker, drawing himself up 
with a haughty air, "the amount of my capital or the ex- 
tent and solvency of my engagements has never yet been 
questioned." 

" It seems, then, reserved for me," said Monte Cristo, 
coldly, " to be the first to do so." 

" By what right 1 " 

"By right of the explanations you have demanded, 
wbich appear to betray hesitation." 

Danglars bit liis lips. It was the second time he had 
Deen defeated by this man, and this time on his own 
ground. His mocking politeness was an affectation, and 
touched upon the border wtdch is so near to impertinence. 



304 THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 

MoDte CriBto, on the other band, smiled with the best 
grace in the worlU, and exhibited, when he wifihed, 
certain appearance of simplicity, which gave him msmy 1 



"Well, Monsieur," resumed Danglars, after a brief 
silence, " I will endeavor to make myself understood by 
requesting you to inform me for what sum you propose tO' 
draw upon me t " 

"Why, truly," replied Monte Cristo, determined notto'. 
lose an inch of the ground he had gained, " m 
desiring an 'unlimited' credit was preciaiily because I dii. 
not know what amount of money I might wish to have." 

The banker now thought the time had arrived for him' 
to take the upper hand. Flinging himself back in bia' 
armchair, he said with an arrogant and purse-proud air, 
" Let me beg of you not to hesitate in naming your 
wishes. You will then be convinced tbat the resources 
of the house of Danglars, however limited, are still equal 
to meeting the largest demands ; and were you e 
require a million — " 

" I beg your pardon," interposed Monte Criato. 

" I sud a million," repeated Danglars, with a pati 
mzing and pompous air. 

"And what should I do with a million!" said th< 
count. " Good heavens ! Monsieur, if I wanted only 
million I should n't need to open a credit for such a trifli 
A million I I always carry a million in ray pocket-book 
or in my dreasiBg-case." And with these words Monte 
Cristo took from his pocket a small case containing his, 
visiting-cards, and drew forth two orders on the treasui 
for five hundred thousand livres each, payable to thi 

It was necessary to crush, and not merely to sting 
man like Danglars. The stroke of the club bad its efiectj 



ces 

ual ^ 

)rc>>^^^H 
tb^^l 



UNLIMITED CKEDIT. 



305 



the banker sliuddered and had an attack of vertig;o. He 
etared at Monte Crista with stupefied eyes whose pupils 
were frightfully dilated. 

" Come," said Monte Criato, " confess honestly that you 
have not perfect confidence in tlie responsibility of the 
house of Thomson and French. It is a simple matter. 
I foresaw that posaibihty; and although not a busiueaa 
man, I took certain precautions. Here are two other 
letters like tlie one addressed to you, — the one from the 
house of Arstein and Eskeles, of Vienna, to Baron de 
Kothachild ; the other dra\vn by Baring, of London, on M. 
Laffitte. Now, Monsieur, you have but to say the word, 
and I will spare you all uneasiness on the subject by pre- 
senting my letter of credit at one of those two houses." 

It was all over ; Danglars was conqnei'ed. He opened, 
trembling visibly, the letter from Germany and that from 
London, which the count carelessly handed to him, and 
verified the authenticity of the signatures with a scnitiny 
which would have been insulting to Monte Cristo had it 
not proceeded from the banker's confusion. 

" Oh, Monsieur ! here are three signatures which are 
worth many millions," said Danglars, rising to salute the 
power of gold personified in the man before him. " Three 
nuhmited credits on three houses ! Pardon me. Monsieur 
the Count, but though no longer distrustful, I cannot help 
being astonished." 

" Oh, a house like yours is not so easily astonished," 
said Monte Criato, in his politest manner. " So you will 
he able to send me some money, will you not 1 " 

"Speak, Monsieur the Count ; I am at your orders." 

"Why," replied Monte Cristo, "since we mutually un- 
derstand each other, — for such, I presume, is the case ! " 
Danglars bowed assentingly. " You are quite sure that 
not a lurking doubt or suspicion lingers in your mind 1 " 



306 TEE COUNT OF MOKTE CRISTO. 

" Oh, Monsieur the Count 1 " exclaimed Danglars, 
never had any." 

"Ko, 110 ! you merely wished to be convinced you 
no risk, — nothing more ; but now that we have com 
GO clear an understatiiling, and that all distrust and Buspl' 
cion are kid at rest, we may as well fix upon a louud sui 
for the first year, — say, six millions." 

"Six millioiial" gasped out Dauglars. " Certainiyi 
whatever you please." 

"Then, if I should require more," continued Monte 
Criato, in a careless, indifferent manner, " why, of couree, 
I shotdd draw upon you ; but my present intention is 
not to romain in France more than a year, and during 
that period I scarcely think I shall exceed the sum I meii- 
tioued. However, wo shall see. To make a beginning, 
please send me to-morrow five hundred thousand livrea.] 
I shall be at home until noon, and should I not be there^j 
I will leave a receipt with my steward." 

"The money you desire shall be at your house by ti 
o'clock to-morrow morning, Monsieur the Count," repli 
Danglars. " How would you like to have it, — iu goldjl 
silver, or notes!" 

" Half in gold, and the other half in bank-notes, if yooJ 
please," said the couut, vising from his seat. 

" I must confess to you. Monsieur the Count," said 
Danglars, " that I have hitherto imagined myself ac- 
quainted with all the great fortunes of Europe, and yet 
yours, which seems to be considerable, is wholly unknown. 
to me. Is it recent 1 " 

" No, Monsieur," replied Monte Cristo ; " i 
contrary of very ancient date. It is a sort of treasui 
forbidden to be touched for a certain period of years,! 
during which the accumulated interest has trebled tht 
capital The period appointed by the testator for tht 



in- 

es.^^^1 

M 



UNLIMITED CREDIT. 



307 



disposal of these riches occurreO only a short time ago ; 
and they have only been employed by me within the last 
few years. Your ignoninca on the subject, therefore, is 
very natural. However, you will be better informed aa 
to me aud my possessions ere buy." And the count, 
while pronouncing these latter words, accompanied them 
with one of those ghastly smiles that seemed so terrible to 
Franz d'Epinay. 

" With your taatea and means of gratifying them," con- 
tinued Danglara, " you will exhibit a splendor that must 
effectually put ns poor little millionnaires quite in the 
backgroimd. If I mistake not, you are an admirer of 
patntinga ; at least I judged so from the attention you 
appeared to he bestowing on mine when I entered the 
room. If yon will permit me, 1 shall be happy to show 
yoa my pii;ture gallery, composed entirely of works by 
the ancient masters, — warranted as such. I cauuot en- 
dure the modern school of painting." 

"Tou are r[uite right in objecting to them, for they 
liave generally one great fjult, — that they have not 
yet had time to become old." 

" Or will you allow me to show you several fine statues 
by Tborwaldsen, Eartoluni, and Canova, — all foreign 
artists 1 As you may perceive, I think hut very indif- 
ferently of our French sculptors." 

"Tou have a right to be unjust to them, Monsieur, — 
they are your countrymen." 

"But all that may be postponed until we shall be 
better acquainted. For the present, I ivi!l confine ray- 
self, if agreeable to you, to introducing yoa to Madame la 
Baronne Danglars. Excuse ray impatience, Monsieur the 
Count ; but a person of your wealth and influence cannot 
receive too much attention." 

Monte Cristo bowed in sign that he accepted the prof- 



308 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CKISTO. 



fered hoaor, »iid the financier immediately rang a small I 
bell, which was answered by a servant in a sbowy livery. 

" Is Madame the Baroness at homo 1 " inquired Danglars, I 

" Yes, Monaieur the Baron," answered the man. 

"And alone V 

" No, Monsieur the Baron, Matlarae has visitors." 

" Have you any objection to meet any persons who may I 
be with Madame, or do you desire to preserve a strict J 
incognito ? " 

" No, indeed," replied Monte Cristo, with a smile ; " I | 
do not arrogate to myself the right of so doing." 

" And who ia with Madame, — M. Debray J " inqnired I 
Danglars, with an air of good-nature that made Monte 1 
Cristo smile, acquainted as he was with the secrets of| 
the banker's domestic life. 

" Yea, Monsieur the Baron," replied the aervsnt^ I 
"M. Debray is with Madame." 

Danglars nodded hia head, then turuing to Mont« I 
Cristo, said, " M. Luoien Debray ia an old friend of I 
ours, and private secretary to the Minister of the lute- 1 
rior. As for my wife, I maat tell yon she lowered her- 
self by marrying me, for she belongs to one of the most I 
ancient families in France. Her maiden name waa Da ! 
Scvieres, and her first husband was M. le Colonel Mar- | 
quia de Tfargonne," 

" I have not the honor of knowing Madame Danglars ; ' 
but I have already met M. Lncien Debray." 

" Ah, indeed I " said Danglars ; " and where was that ) " 

"At the house of M. de Morcerf." 

" Oh ! you are acquainted with the young viscount, are 
you 1 " 

" We were together a good deal during the Carnival at l 
Rome." I 

" True, true ! " cried Danglars. " Let me see j have I J 



UNLIMITED CREDIT. 309 

not heard talk of some strange adventure with bandits or 
thieves hid in ruins, and of his having had a miraculous 
escape 1 I forget how ; but I know he used to amuse my 
wife and daughter by telling them about it after his return 
from Italy." 

" Madame the Baroness is waiting to receive you, gen- 
tlemen," said the servant, who had gone to inquire the 
pleasure of his mistress. " With your permission," said 
Danglars, bowing, "I will precede you, to show you the 
way." 

" By all means," replied Monte Cristo ; " I follow you." 



THE COUNT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 



CHAPTEE XVII. 



THE DAPPLED GKiYa. 



The tiaron, followed by the count, ttaveraod a long suite 
of apartments, in which the prevailing characteristics were 
heavy magnificence and the gaudiness of ostentationa 
wealth, until he reached the boudoir of Madame Danglars, 
— a email octagonal-shaped room, hung with pink satin 
covered with white Indian muslin. The chairs 
ancient workmanship and materials ; over the doors were 
painted sketches of sliepheiiis and shepherdesses, after the 
style and manner of Boucher, and at each aide pretty me- 
ilalliona in crayons, harnioniring well with the appoint- 
ments of this charming apartment, — the only one in the 
vast hotel in which any distinctive taste prevailed. In 
fact, it bad been entirely overlooked in the plan arranged 
and followed out by M. Danglars and his architect, one of 
the most celebrated men of the day. The ornamental part 
of the finishing of Madame Danglars'a boudoir had been 
left entirely to hereelf and Lucien Debray. M. Danglars, 
however, while possessing a great admiration for the an- 
tique as it was understood during the lime of the Direc- 
tory, entertained the most sovereign contempt for the sim- 
ple elegance of his wifu'a i'avoiite sitting-room, where, by 
the way, he was never permitted to intrude, unless indeed 
he excused his own appeariinee by ushering in some more 
agreeable visitor than himself. It was not therefore in real- 
ity Danglars who presented the visitor ; on the eontraiy it 
was be who was presented. And Lis reception was cordial 



4 

i 



THE DAPPLED GRAYS, 



311 



or frigid, in proportion as the individual who accompanied 
Iiiiu chanced to please or displease the haroness. 

Aa Danglara now entered, he found Madame the Baro- 
ness (who, although past the first bloom of jouth, was still 
strikingly handsome) seated at the piano, — a most elabo- 
rate piece of cahinet and inlaid work, — while LuoieD De- 
bray, standing before a small work-table, was turning over 
the pages of an album. Lucien had found time, preparatory 
to the count's arrival, to relate many particulars respecting 
him to Madame Dauglars. It will be remembered that 
Monte Cristo bad made a lively impression on the minds 
of all the party assembled at the breakfast given by Albert 
de Morcerf. That impression had not yet been effaced 
from Debray'a mind, unsusceptible though ho was; and 
the information which he had given the baroness about 
the count was modified by it. The curiosity of Madame 
Danglars, excited by the details formerly given by Morcerf^ 
and by the new incidents related by Lucien, had therefore 
risen to a great height. That arrangement of piano and 
album was only one of those social deceptions by which 
the most serious precautions are concealed. A moat gra- 
cious welcome and unusual smile were bestowed on M. 
Danglars ; the count, in return for his gentlemanly bow, 
received a formal thouj;h graceful courtesy, while Lucien 
exchanged with the count a sort of distant recognition, and 
with Danglars a free and easy nod. 

" Baroness," said Danglars, " give me leave to present to 
you the Count of Monte Cristo, who has been most warmly 
recommended to me by my correspondents at Rome. I 
need but mention one fact to make all the ladies in Paris 
court his notice, — be comes to Paris with the intention of 
remaining a year and spending six millions in that time ! 
It sounds very much like an announcement of balls, fetes, 
dinners, and picnic-parties, in all of which I trust Moa- 



312 



THE COUNT OF MOSTB CRISTO. 



sieur tliB Couut will reiaember ub, as he may liepeud upon 
it we gliall ronieiulier him iu all the entcrtaiunients we 
luay give, be tliej groat or small." 

Spito of the groea flattery and coarseness of thb address, 
Irladame Danglars could not forbear gazing with considera- 
ble interest od a man capable of expending sis millions in 
twelve months, and who had selected Paris for the scene of 
Ilia princely extravagance. " And when did you arrive 
horel" inquired she. 

" Yesterday morning, Madame." 

" Coming, as usual, I presume, from the extreme end of 
the globe 1 Pardon me ; at least, such I have heard is 
your custom." 

" Nay, Madame ! this time I have come only from Cadiz." 

" You have selected a most unfavorable momeut for your 
first visit to our city. Paris is a horrible place iu summer I 
Balls, parties, and fetes are over ; the Italian opera ia in ' 
London ; the French opera everywhere except in Paris. 
As for the Thiifitre Frunqais, you know, of course, that it 
is nowhere. The only amusements left us are the indiffer- 
ent races held in the Champ de Mais and Satory. Do you 
propose entering any horses at either of these flices. Mon- 
sieur the Count 1 " 

"1, Madame, propose to do whatever people do in Paris, 
if I have the good fortune to find some one who will in- 
form me as to French customs." 

" Are you fond of horses, Monsieur the Count 1 " 

" I liave spent a portion of my life in the East, Madame, 
and you are doubtless aware that the inhabitants of those i 
climes value only two things, — the excellence of their ; 
horses and the beauty of their women." 

" Ah, Monsieur the Count," said the 
would have been somewhat more gallant to have placed 
the women first." 



THE DAPPLED GRAYS. 



313 



" You see, Madame, bow rightly I spoke wlien I said I 
required a iireceptor to ^iiie me into French ciietoma." 

At this instant the favorite attendant of Madame 
Danglars entered the bouduir ; approaching her mistresti, 
she spoke some wunls in an undertone. Madame Dan- 
glars turned very pale, thun exclaimed, " I cannot believe 
it ; the thing is impoasible." 

" I nssm* you, Madame," replied the Avoman, " it ia 
even as I have said," 

Turning impatiently towarda her husband, Madame 
Danglars demanded, " Is this true ! " 

" la what true, Madame ) " inquired Danglars, visibly 
agitated. 

" What my maid tells me." 

" But what does she tell you ! " 

" Tliat when my coachman was about to prepare my 
carriage lie discovered that the horses had beeo i-emoved 
Irom the stables without his knowledge, I desire to know 
what is the meaning of tliis 1 " 

"Be kind enough, Madame, to listen to me." 

" Oh ! I will listen to you. Monsieur, for I am curious 
to know wUat you are about to tell me. These two 
gentlemen shall decide between us ; but Grst I will state 
the case to them. Gentlemen," continued the baroness, 
"among the ten horses in the stables of M. le Baron Dan- 
glars are two that belong exclusively to me, — a pair of 
the handsomest and most spirited creatures to be found ia 
Paris. But to you, at least, M. Debray, I need not give a 
further description, because to you my beautiful pair of 
dappled grays were well known. Well ! just when I bave 
promised Jfadame de Villefort the loan of my carriage to 
drive to-morrow to the Bois de Boulngne, behold, the two 
horses have disappeared. No doubt M, Danglars has 
Bacrificed tbem to the selfish consideration of gaining some 



326 THE COUNT OP MONTE CEISTO. 

even Beauchamp accorded twenty lines in his journal to 
the relation of the count's courage and gallantry, which 
exhibited him as a hero before the eyes of all the fair 
members of the aristocracy of France. Many persons left 
their names at the hotel of Madame de Yillefort with the 
design of renewing their visit at the right moment to hear 
from her lips all the circumstances of this romantic adven- 
ture. As Helolse had predicted, M. de Yillefort put on 
a black suit and a pair of white gloves, and ordered the 
servants attending the carriage to be dressed in their full 
livery, and forthwith drove to the hotel of the count, sit- 
uated, as the reader is already informed, in the Avenue 
des Champs Elysees. 



CHAFrER XVIII. 



Jf the Count of Monte Cristo had lived for a very long 
time in Parisian society, he would have fully appreciated 
the aigoificance of the atep which M. de Villefort had 
taken. Standing well at court, whether the king regnant 
was of the elder or younger branch, whether the Govern- 
ment was Doctrinaire, Liberal, or Conservative ; esteemed 
clever by nil, just as we generally esteem those clever who 
have never esperiene^d a jjolitical check ; hated by mnny, 
but warmly protected by others, without being really liked 
by anybody, ■ — ^ M. de Villefort held a high position in the 
magistracy, and maintained his eminence like a Harlay or 
a Mol^. His drawing-room, regenerated by a young wife, 
and a daughter by his first marriage scarcely eighteen, 
was still one of those well-regulated Paris salons where 
the worship of traditional customs and the observance of 
rigid etiquette were carefully maintained, A freezing po- 
liteness ; a strict fidelity to government piinciplps ; a pro- 
found contempt for theories and theorists ; a deep-seated 
hatred of ideality, — these were the elements of private 
and public life displayed by M, de Villefort. 

M. de Villefort was not only a magistrate, ho was almost 
a diplomatist. His relations with the ancient court, of 
which he always spoke with dignity and respect, made 
him respected by the new one ; and he knew so many 
things that not otdy was he always carefidly considered, 
but BometimeB consulted. Perliaps this would not have 



S28 



THE COUNT OF MOSTE CBISTO. 



been BO had it been possible to gut rid of M. ile ViUefort ; 
but like the feudal barons w1io rebellwl against their suv- 
ert-ign, be dwelt in au impregnable fortress. This fortress J 
was- his post as procunur da roi, all the advantages of 1 
wUich he worked out mar veil on dy, and which he would 1 
not have renigned but to be made Deputy, and thus to I 
substitute opposition for neutrality. Ordinarily, M, da 1 
Villefort made and roturned very fow visits. His ■ 
visited fur him ; and tliia was the received thing in 
world, where they assigned to tlie Iieavy and multifariotlB I 
occupations of the magistrate what was really only a cal- | 
culation of pride, the essence of aristocracy, — in fact, the 
application of tbe axiom, " Pretend to think well of your- J 
self and the world will think well of you," an axiom a J 
hundred times more useful in our society than that of tbo \ 
Greeks, "Know thyself," — a knowledge for which ^ 
have substituted the less difBeult and more advantageous 
science of knowing others. 

For his friends M. de Villefort was a powerful proteo- J 
tor ; for his enemies he was a silent but bitter enemy ; for t 
those who were neither the one nor tbe other be was a 1 
statue of the law made man. With a haughty air, tnir 1 
movable couiitonance, look steady and impenetrable, c 
else insultingly piercing and inquiring, — such was tha § 
man for whom four revolutions, skilfully piled one 
the other, bad first constructed and afterwards cemented I 
tbe pedestal on which his fortune was erected. M. do 1 
Villefort had the reputation of being the least curiona 1 
and the least weitrisome man in France. He gave a ball I 
every year, at which he appeared for a quarter of an hour 1 
only, — that is to say, five and forty minutes less than I 
the king is visible at his balls. He was never seen at I 
the theatres, at concerts, or in any place of public resort. I 
Occasionally, but seldom, he played at whist; and then J 



IDEOLOGY, 339 

care was takeu to select partners worthy of him, — ■ goms 
anibaaaador, ttri;hbishop, princBj president, or some dowa- 
ger ilncheas. Such waa the man whose carriage had just 
now stopped before the Count of Monte Criato'a door. 
The valei de chambre announced M, de Villefort at the 
moment when the count, leaning over a large table, waa 
tracing on a map the route from St. PeteiBburg to China. 

"iha procureur du roi entered with the same grave and 
measured step with wkicb he would have entered a court 
of justice. He waa the same man, or rather the comple- 
tion of the Game man, whom we have heretofore seen as 
deputy procuretir at Marseilles. Nature, following up her 
principles, had changed nothing for him in the course she 
had marked out for him. From slender he had become 
meagre ; from pale, yellow ; his deep-set eyes were now 
hollow ; and his gold spectacles, as they shielded his eyes, 
seemed to make a portion of his face. All his costume 
was black, with the exception of his white 'cravat j and 
this funereal appearance was varied only by the slight line 
of red ribbon which passed almost imperceptibly throagh 
his buttun-hole, and which appeared like a streak of blood 
traced with a pencil. Although roaster of himself, Monte 
Cristo scrutinized with irrepressible curiosity the magis- 
trate, whose salute he returned, and who distrustful by 
habit and especially incredulous as to social marvels, was 
much more disposed to see in the noble stranger, as Monta 
Cristo was already called, a chevalier d'industne who hod 
come to try new grcmnd, or some malefactor who had 
broken his prescribed limits, than a prince of the Holy 
See, or a sultan of the " Arabian Nights." 

" Monsieur," said Villefort, in the tone assumed by 
ma^trates in their oratorical periods, and of which they 
cannot or will not divest themselves in society, — " Mon- 
sieur, the signal service which you yesterday rendered to 



330 



THE COUNT OF MOMTE CKISTO. 



my wife and son has mnile it my duty to offer you 
thanks. Allow me, therefore, to Jjscharge this duty 
to express to you all my gratitude." And as ho said 
Uio severe eya of the magistrate liail lost nothing of its 
habitual arrogance. These words he articulated in the 
voice of a procureur-gtitiral, with the rigid inflexibility 
of neck and shouldeTB which caused his flatterers to say 
thai he was a living statue of the law. 

" Monsieur," replied the count, with icy coldness, " I am 
very liappy to have been the means of preserving a son to 
his mother, — for they say that tUa sentiment of matern- 
ity is the most holy of all ; and the good fortune which 
occurred to mc, Monsieur, might have enabled you to 
dispense with a duty which in its discharge confers an 
undoubtedly great honor, — for I am aware that M, de 
Villefort is not lavish of the favor he bestows on me, but 
which, however estimable, is unequal to the satisfaction 
which I internally experience." 

Villefort, astonished at this reply which he by no means 
expected, started like a soldier who feels n blow upon the 
armor he wears ; and a curl of his disdainful lip indicated 
that from that moment he noted in the tablets of his brain 
that the Count of Monte Cristo was by no means a civil 
gentleman. He glanced arouud for something on which 
to resume the fallen conversation, which in falling seemed 
to have broken in pieces, lie saw the map which Monte 
Cristo had been exniniiiiiig when he entered, and said, 
" You seem geograpliically engaged, Monaiour. It is a 
rich study, especially for you, who, as I learn, have seen 
as many lands as are delineated on this map." 

" Yes, Monsieur," replied the count ; " I have sought to 
make on the human race, taken as a mass, what you prao- 
tiso every day on individuals, — a physiological study. I 
have believed it was much easier to descend from the whole 



DU my ^^H 
ty and ^^H 
id this, ^^P 

I 
4 



IDEOLOGY. 331 

to a part than to ascend from a part to tlie -whole. It is 
an algebraic axiom which directs ua to proceed from the 
known to the unknown, and not from the unknown to 
the known ; hut sit down, Monsieur, I beg of you." 

Montfl Cristo pointed to a chair, which the proeureur 
du rai was ohliged to take the trouble to move forward 
hinjaelf while the count merely fell hack into hie own, on 
which he had been kneeling when M. de Villefort entered. 
Thus the count waa half-way turned towards his visitor, 
having his back towards the window, his elbow resting on 
the geographical chart which affonled the conversation for 
the moment, — a conversation which assumed, as had those 
with Daiiglars and Morcerf, a turn adapted to the persons 
if not to tbe situation. 

" Ah, jou. philosophize," replied Villefort, after a mo- 
ment's silence, during which, like a wrestler who encoun- 
ters a powerful opponent, he took breath; "well, Mon- 
sieur, really, if like you I had nothing else to do, I should 
seek a more amusing occupation," 

" Why, in truth. Monsieur," was Monte Cristo'a reply, 
" man is but an ngly caterpillar for him who studies him 
through a solar microscope ; but you said, T think, that 
I had nothing else to do. Now, really, let me ask, Mon- 
sieur, have you 1 Do you believe you have anything to 
do ; or to speak in plain terms, do you think that what 
you do deserves being called anything 1" 

ViUefort'a astonishment redoubled at this second thrust 
80 forcibly made by his strange adversary. It was a long 
time since the magistrate had heard a paradox so strong, 
or rather to say the truth more exactly, it was the first 
time he had ever heard of it. The proeurear du rot ex- 
erted himself to reply. " Monsieur," he responded, " yon 
are a stranger, and I believe you say yourself that a por- 
tion of your life has been spent in Oriental countries ; ao 



332 THE COUNT OF MO^TE CRISTO. 

that you are not aware how human justice, so exjieilitions 1 
in tfurbarotu luuiitries, takea with us a }irudent aiiil well^f 
studied course." 

" Oh, ye», — yes, I am, Monsieur } it is th« pedt cJavda I 
of the nndents. I knuw all that, for it is wit)i the justice « 
of all countritts especially that I have ocfupied myself. 
ia the criminal proceditre of all nations that I have com* | 
pared with nntiiral justice; and I must say, Mi 
that it is the law of primitive nations, — that is, the law I 
of retaliation, — that I have most frequently found to bsfl 
Mcordiiig to the law of God." 

" If this low were adopted, sir," said the proeurettr dJW 
rot, " it would greatly simplify our legal codes ; and in that 
case the magistrates would not, aa you have just ohBerved,i 
have much to do." 

"It may perhaps come to this in time," obserred 
Monte Cristo. "You know thut human inventions 
march from the complex to the simple ; anii simplicity 
is always perfection." 

" In the mean while," continued the magistrate, ' 
codes are in full force, with all their contradictory enact-A 
luents derived from Gallic customs, lloraan laws, and Franlc'I 
usages, — the knowledge of all which, you will agree, isl 
not to he acquired without lengthened lahor ; an 
quires a tedious study to acquire this knowledge, and when I 
it is acquired, a strong power of brain ia ueceasary in order I 
to retain it." 

" I agree with you entirely, Monsieur ; but all that evei 
you know with respect to the French code, I know, not 1 
only in reference to that code, but aa regards the codes of 1 
all nations. The English, Turkish, Japanese, Hindu lawaJ 
are as familiar to me as the French laws ; and thus I was f 
right when I said to you that relatiyely — you know that fl 
everything is relative, Munsieur — that relatively to whatJ 



I hiiTe done, you have very little to do ; 1)111 that relatively 
to all I have learned, you have yet a great daal to learn." 

"But with what motive have you learned all thial" 
inqiitved Villafort, astonished. 

Monte Criato smiled, ' " Really, sir," he observed, " I 
. see timt in spite of the reputation which you have ac- 
quired as a superior man, you contemplate everything in 
the material and vulgar view of society, beginning with 
man and ending with man, — that is to say, in the moat 
restricted, most narrow view which it is possible for human 
understanding to embrace." 

" Pray, Monsieur, explain yonrself," said Viliefort, more 
and more astonished; "I really do — not — understand 
you — ]ierfeotly," 

"I say, Monsieur, that with the eyes fixed on the social 
orgniiiaition of nations, you see only the springs of the 
machine, and lose sight of the sublime Artisan who makes 
them act ; T say that you do not recognize before you and 
around yoa any hut those plaoe-men whose brevets have 
been signed by the minister or the king ; and that the 
men whom God has put above those titulars, ministers, 
and kings, by giving them a mission to follow out, instead 
of a post to fill, — I say that they escape your narrow 
view. It is thus that human weakiie-as faik, from its 
debilitated and imperfect organs. Tobias took the angel 
who restored him to sight for an ordinary young man; 
the nations took Attila, who was doomed to destroy tham, 
for a conr[ueror similar to other conquerors ; and it was 
necessary for huth to reveal their missions, that they might 
be known and acknowleilged. One was compelled to say, 
' I am the angel of the Lord ; ' and tlie other, ' I nm the 
hammer of God," in order that the divine essence in both 
might be revealed." 

"Then," said Viliefort, more and more amazed, and 



334 



THE COUNT OF MOXTE CRISTO. 



really sappOBiDg be ivns speakiii); to a mystic or a mad- 
man, " you consiJer youraelf as one of those extrHoidinaiy 

beings whom you Imvo mentioned 1 " 

" And why not I " said Monte Criato, coldly. 

"Yonr pardon, Monsieur," replied ViUefort, quite as- 
tounded ; " but you will excuse me if wben I presented , J 
myself to you, I was unaware that I ebould meet with a 
person whose knowledye and understanding so far surpass 
the usual knowledge ami understanding of men. It is 
not usual with us, corrupted wretches of civilization, to 
find gentlemen like yourself, possessors, as you are, of im- 
mense fortune, — at least, so it is said ; and I beg you to 
observe that I do not inquire, 1 merely repeat, — it is uot 
usual, 1 say, for such privileged anil wealthy beings to 
waste their time iu social speculations or in philosophical 
reveries, fitteii at Ijest to console those whom fate has 
deprived of the gooil things of this world." I 

" Really, Monsieur," retorted the count, " have yon at- 
tained the eminent situation in which you are, witbout 
having admitted, or even without having met with excep- 
tional beings; and do you never use your eyes, whiuh 
must have acquired so much skill and certainty, to divine 
at a glance the kind of man who bas come before you i 
Should not a niagiatmte be not merely the best adminis- 
trator of the law, not merely the most crafty expounds 
of the chicanery of his profession, but a steel probe to 
search hearts, a touchstone to try the gold which in e 
soul is mingled with more or loss of alloy 1 " 

" Monsieur," said ViUefort, " upon my word, you over- 
come mo. I never heard a person apeak as you do," 

" Because yon remain eternally encircled in n round of ' 
general conditions, and bave never dared to raise yonr 1 
wing into those upper spheres which God bas peopled | 
with invisible or exceptional beings." 



335 



m. Monsieur, that those spheres 
asceptional and invisible boiiiga 



I 



"And you allow t 
exist, and that these 
mingle with usl" 

" Why should they not 1 Can yon see the air you 
id without which you could not for a moment 
exist V 

"Then we do not see those heiogs to whom you allude?" 

" Tes, we do ; yon see them whenever God pleases to 
allow tliem to assume a material form. You toncli thom, 
come in contact witii them, speak to them, nud thoy reply 

" Ah ! " said Villpfurt, smiling, " I confess I should 
like to be warned wheu one of these beings is in con- 
tact with me." 

"You hare been served as you desire. Monsieur, for you 
liave been warned just now, and I now again warn you." 

" Then you yourself are one of these marked heings J" 

"Yes, Monsieur ; and I helieve that until now no man 
has found himself in a position similar to mine. The do- 
minions of kings are limited either by mountaiiia or rivers, 
or a change of manners, or an alteration of language. My 
kingdom is bounded only by the world, — for 1 am neither 
an Italian nor a Frenchman nor a Hindu nor an Ameri- 
can nor a Spaniard ; I am a coamopoUte. No country 
can say it saw my birth ; God alone knows what country 
wilt see me die. I adopt all customs, apeak all languages. 
You believe me to be a Frenchman, for I speak French 
e facility and purity as yourself. Well, AH, 
believes me to be an Arab ; Bertuccio, my 
I me for a Roman ; Haydee, my slave, thinks 
Yon may thereforo comprehend that being 
of no country, asking no protection from any government, 
ftcknowleilging no man as my brother, not one of the 
«niplea that arreslr the powerful, or the obstacles which 



with the sat 
my Nubian, 
steward, tak( 
me a Greek. 




33G THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

parolyas the weak, pamlyaes or arrests me. I Lave oulyl 
two adversaripB,^ — I will not say two conquerors, for 
porseverance I subdue evun lliem, — they ate time and 
space. There ia a Ihinl, and the most terrible, — that ia, 
my condition oa a mortal being. TUia alone can stop me 
ill my onwaril career, and before I have attiiined the goal 
at which I aim ; all the rest T have taken into accouutb 
What men call the chances of fate, — namely, ruin, cbange,-r 
circumstances, — I have anticipated them all ; and if any 
of these should overtake me, yet they will not overwhelm 
mo. Unless I die, 1 shall always be what I am ; and there- 
fore it is that I utter the things yon have never heard, 
even from the mouths of kings, — for kings have need of. 
you, and other pereona fear you. For who ia there whi 
does not say to himself in a society as incongruously or-' 
ganizeil as oors, ' Perhaps some day I shall have 
with the proeurenr du roi ' f " 

"But must you not say that, Monsieur 1 — for thi 
moment you become an inhabitant of France, you a»1 
uatiiniUy subjected to the French law." 

"I know it. Monsieur," replied Monte Cristo ; " bnfc^ 
when 1 visit a country, I hegin to study, by nil the meam 
which are available, the men from whom 1 may have any- 
thing to hope or to fear, until I know them as well, 
haps better, than they know tbemselvps. It follows froi 
this that the prociireur du roi, be he who he may, ivit 
whom T should have to deal would assuredly be tnoi 
embarrassed than I should." 

" T!mt ia to say," replied Villefort, with heeitatioi 
" that human nature being weak, every man according 
your creed has committed — faults." 

" Faults or crimes," responiled Monte Cristo, with 
negligent air. 

"And that you alone among men, whom yim do n 



IDEOLOGY. 



337 



I 
I 



recognize as your brotliera, — for you hnve said so," ob- 
eerved Villefort, in a tone that faltered somewhat, — "you 
alone are perfect." 

"Xn, not perfect," was the count's reply; "impeDetm- 
He, that 'a alL But let ua leave off this strain, sir, if the 
tone of it is displeasing to you j I am no more disturbed 
by your justice than you are by my second-sight." 

" No, no, by no means," said Villefort, who was afraid 
of seeming to abandon his ground. " No ; by your bril- 
hant and almost sublime couversatioa you have elevated 
me above the ordinary level. We nu longer tiilk ; we dis- 
course. But you kuow how the theologians in their col- 
legiate chairs, and pbiloaopheis in their controversies, 
occasionaily say cruel truths. Let us suppose for the 
moment that we are discussing social theology and theo- 
logical philosophy ; I wilt say to yon, rude as it may 
seem, ' My brother, you sacrifice greatly to pride ; you 
may be above others, but above you tJiere is God.' " 

"Above US all, Monsieur," was Monte Criato's re- 
Bponso, in a tone and with an emphasis so deep that 
Villefort involuntarily shuddered. "I have my pride 
for men, — serpents always ready to erect themselves 
against every one who may pass withovit crusliing them. 
But I lay aside that pride before God, who has taken me 
from notliing to make me what I am." 

" Then, Monsieur the Count, I admire you," said 
Villefort, who for the first time in this strange conversa- 
tion applied that aristocratic formula to the unknown per- 
sonage, whom, until now, he had only called Mon*ititr. 
"Yes; and I say to you, if you are really strong, really 
superior, really holy, — or impenetrable, which you were 
right in saying amounts to the same thing, —be arrogant. 
Monsieur, that is the characteristic of predominance. But 
you have unquestionably some ambition." 



" I havp liiul one, Mondieiir." 

" And wlmt WU3 it 1 " 

" I too, aa linppens to every man once in hb lii*?, bave 
Iwe^n ttiken tiy t^ntnn upon tlie higbeet moaiitaiu ia tlio 
cjirtli ; and when there he showed me all the kingdoms of 
the earth, and as he said boforc, so said he to me, ' Child 
"f earth, whnl woulUst thou have to mako thee adore niel ' 
I reflected long, for a gnawing ambition had long preyed 
upon me, and then I replied, 'Listen: J have alK'nya 
heard of Frovidenco, and yet I Imve never seen him, nor 
anything that reserables him, or whi:;h can make me be- 
lieve that he exists. I wish to be Providence myself, for 
I feel that the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing 
in the world, is to recompense and punish,' Satan bowed 
his head and groaned. 'You mistake,' he said; 'Frovi- 
dence does exist, oidy you have never seen him, becanee 
the child of Uod is as invisible as the parent. You have 
seen nothing that resembles him, because he works by 
secret springs, and moves by hidden ways. All I can do 
for yon is to make you one of the agents of that Provi- 
dence.' The bargain was concluded. I may have )ost 
my soul; but what matters it)" added Monte Crii 
" If the thing were to do again, I would again do it,' 

Villefort looked at Monte Cristo with extreme amt 
nient. " Monsieur the Count," he inquired, " have 
any relatives 1" 

" No, sir, I am alone in the world." 

" So much the worse." 

"Why?" asked Monte Cristo, 

" Because then you might witness a spectacle calculated 
to break down your pride. You say you fear nothing 
death 1 " 

" I did not say that I feared it ; I only said that tl 
alone could check me." 



1 ao 
■ovi- 

loatll 
ist^H 

I 

ited 



" And old age 1 " 

" My end will be achieved before I grow old." 

"And Biadnesai" 

" I have been nearly mad ; and you know the asiom, 
71011 bis 111 idam. It is an axiom of criminal law, and 
consequently you understand its full application." 

" Monsieur," continued Villefort, " there is something 
to fear besides death, old age, and madness. For instance, 
there is apoplesy, — that lightning-stroke whioh etrikea 
but does not destroy yon, and yet after which ail is ended. 
You are still yourself as now, and yet you are yourself no 
longer ; you who like Ariel touuh on the angelic, are but 
au inert mass, which like Caliban touches on the brutal ; 
and this is called in human tongues, as I tell you, neither 
more nor less than apoplexy. Come, if so you will, Mon- 
sieur the Count, and continue this conversation at my 
house, any day you may be willing to see an adversary 
capable of understanding and anxious to refute you, and I 
will show you my father, M. Jfoirtier de Villefort, one of 
the niMt fiery Jacobins of the French Revolution, — that 
is to say, a man of the most remarkable audacity, seconded 
by a most vigorous temperament ; a man who perhaps 
faaa not, like yourself, seen all the kingdoms of the earth, 
but who has helped to overturn one of the most powerful ; 
a man who, like you, believed himself one of the envoys, 
not of God, but of the Supreme Being, — - not of Provi- 
dence, but of fate. Well, Monsieur, the rupture of a 
blood-vessel in the lobe of the brain has destroyed all 
this, — not in a day, not in an hour, but in a second. 
M. Noirtier, who on the previous night was the old 
Jacobin, the old senator, the old Carbonaro, laughing at 
the guillotine, laughing at the cannon, laughing at the 
dagger ; M. Noirtier, playing with revolutions ; M. Noir- 
tier, for whom France was a vast chess-board from which 



340 



THE COUKT OF IIONTE CRI3T0. 



pawns, rooks, kiiiglits, and queens wera 
that the king was checkmated, — M. Noirtier, so redoubt- 
able, was the next morning poor M. Noirtier, the help- 
less old man, at the tender mercies of the weakest creatme 
in the houaehoM, that is, hiB grandchild, Vnlentine; a 
dumb and frozen carcass in fact, who only lives without 
snffering, that lime may be given to his frame to decom- 
poBO without ilia consciousness of its decay." 

" A!as, sir I " said Monto Cristo, " this spectacle ia 
neither strange to my eye nor my thought. I am some- 
thing of a physician, and bave, like my fellows, sought 
more than once for the soul in living and iu dead matter; 
yet like Providence it has remained invisible to my eyes, 
although present to my heart. A hundred ivriters since 
Socrates, Seneca, Saint Augustine, and Gall have made 
in verse and prose the comparisoa you have made; and 
yet I can weU understand that a father's sufferings may 
effect great chajiges in the mind of a son. I will call on 
you, sir, since you bid me contemplate, for the advantage 
of my pride, this terrible spectacle, which must spread so 
much sorrow throughout your house." 

"It would have done so nnquestionably, had not God 
given me so large a compensation. In presence of the old 
man who is dragging his way to the tomb, are two chil- 
dren just entering into life, — Valentine, the daughter by 
my first wife. Mademoiselle Renee de Saint-Meran, and 
EJouard, the boy whose life you have this day saved," 

" And what is your deduction from this compensation, 
Monsieur J " inquired Monte Cristo. 

" My deduction ia," replied Villefort, " that my father, 
led away by Ids passions, has committed some fault un- 
known to human justice, but marked by the justice of 
God ; and that God, wishing to punish but one person, 
has visited this justice on him alone." 



ibt- ^m 



n 



IDEOLOGY. 341 

Monte Cristo, with a smile on his lips, had yet a groan 
at his heart, which would have made Villefort fly had he 
but heard it. 

** Adieu, Monsieur," said the magistrate, who had risen 
from his seat ; " I leave you, bearing a remembrance of 
you, — a remembrance of esteem, which I hope will not 
be disagreeable to you when you know me better ; for I 
am not a man to bore my friends, as you will learn. 
Besides, you have made an eternal friend of Madame 
de ViUefort." 

The count bowed and contented himself with seeing 
Villefort to the door of his cabinet, the procureur being 
escorted to his carriage by two footmen, who on a signal 
from their master followed him with every mark of atten- 
tion. When he had gone, Monte Cristo drew a hard 
breath from his oppressed bosom, and said, " Enough of 
this poison ; let me now seek the antidote." Then sound- 
ing his bell, he said to Ali, who entered, "I am going 
to Madame's apartments ; have the carriage ready at 
one o'clock." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CEISTO. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The reader wiD remember who were the new — or rather, 
old — acquaintances of the Cowit of Monte Cristo who 
lived in the Rue Moslay ; they were Maximilian, Julie, 1 
and Emmaouel. The auticipation of that pi 
which he was about to make, of those few happy moments 
he was to enjoy, of that ray of Paradise gleaming across 
the hell to whiuh be had voluntarily (committed himself 
had, from the moment io w]iich he hod lost sight of Yille- 
fort, illumined the face of the count with a most charming I 
expression of happiness ; and All, who had responded | 
quickly to the call of the bell, seeing that face si 
ing with a joy so rare, withdrew on tiptoe and holding his I 
breath, aa if he feared to liighten away the pleasing thoughts I 
which seemed to him to hoyer around his masi 

It was the hour of noon, and Monte Cristo had set apart 1 
one hour to be passed with Hayd^e. It seemed as if hap- I 
piaess could not gain a sudden admission to that soul I 
which had been so long oppressed ; that it needed to pre- t 
pare itself for gentle emotions, aa other souls need to be I 
prepared for violent emotions. The young Greek, as we 
have already stated, occupied apartments wholly i 
nected with those of the count. The rooms had been 
fitted up in strict accordance with the Eastern style, — that 
is to say, the floors wens covered with the richest carpets 
Turkey could produce, and the walls hung with brocaded I 
silk of the most maj^niflcent designs and texture j while J 



r 



HAYDfiE. 



343 



around eaoh chamber luxurious divans were placed, with 
piles of soft aad yielding cushions that could bs arranged 
at the pleasure of those who used them. Haydee had four 
women iu her serviue, — three French and one Greek. 
The three French wtimen remained constiintly in a small 
waiting-room, ready to obey the lirat sound of a small 
golden bell, or to receive the orders of the Romaic slave, 
who knew sufhcient French to transmit her mistress's 
orders to the three other waiting- wo men, who had re- 
ceived instructions from Monte Criato to treat Haydee 
■with all the respect and deference they would pay to a 
queen. 

The young girl was in the inner room of her apartments, 
— a sort of boudoir, circular, lighted only from above, 
through panes of rosa-<;oiored glass. She was reclining 
upon cushions covered with blue aatin spotted with silver; 
her head, supported by one of her exquisitely moulded 
arms, rested on the divan immediately behind her, while 
the other was employed iu adjusting to her lips the coral 
tube of a rich nargile, through whose flexible pipe the 
vapor ascended fully impregnated with the rich odora of 
the most delicious flowers. Her attitude tho gh quite 
natural for an Oriental, would ha e e n 1 pe hapa, iu 
the case of a French woman, a slight aff t t n f coquet- 
ry. Her dress, which was that of tl e w n n f Epirus, 
consisted of a pair of white satin t u rs broidered 
with pink roses, — exposing to view tw mall fett which 
might have been taken for Parian marble but for their 
playing with two little sandals turned up at the point, and 
adorned with gold and pearls ; a blue and white striped 
vest, with large open sleeves, trimmed with silver loops 
and buttons of pearls ; and a species of bodice, which, of 
a heart^haped pattern in front, exhibited the whole of the 
ivory throat and upper part of the bosom, and was fas- 



3i4 



THE CODNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 




taned below by three diamoml buttons. The junction o 
the bodico and tniuseis was entirely concealed by one ofl 
those mony-coiored scarfs, whose biilliant hues and ilclx'fl 
silken fringe hnve rendered them so precious in the eyot I 
of Parisian bulltiH. A small cap of gold, embroidered with] 
I>earls, was [ilaced on one aide of her head; while on tl 
utber a natural to^e, of iiur|>1e color, mingled ivith the lox-J 
uriant massed of her hair, which was so black that it a 
peared to bo blue. Tho beauty of the countenance fl 
peculiarly and purely Grecian ; there were the large dark 
melting eyes, straight nose, the cowl lips, and pearly 
teeth, that belonged to her race and country. And to | 
complete the whole, Haydee was in the yiiry spring:tid0'l 
aud fulness of youtliful charms j she was nineteen otm 
twenty years old. 

Monte Cristo summoned the Greek attendant, aiid badft; 
bor inquire whether it would be agreeable to her 
to receive his visit, Hayd^e's only reply waa to direct lierM 
servant by a sign to withdraw the tapestried curtain thaM^ 
hung before the door of her boudoir ; the framework of thvl 
opening thus made served as a sort of border to the grace-S 
ful tableau pri'sented by Che lecliniug young girl. As Montsfl 
Cristo approached, she leaned upon the elbow of the 
that held the nargile, and extending to him her other hand,',| 
said with a smile of captivating sweetness, in the sonoro 
language spoken by the women of Alliens and Sparti 
"Why demand permission ere you enterl Are you no'S 
longer my master, or have I ceased to be your slave 1 " 

Monte Cristo returned her smile, "Haydi^e," saidh^'l 
"you know — " 

" Why do you address me so coldly ) " asked the tairM 
Greek. " Have I by any means displeased you 1 If bo» J 
puuisli me as you will ; but do not apeak to i 
formally ! " 



HiYBfiB. 345 

" Hajdee," replied tlie count, " you know that we ore 
now ia France, and that yoii are consequently free I " 

" Free ! " repeated the young girl ; " free to do what 1 " 

" Free to leave me." 

" Leave you ! and why should I leave you J '' 

" That is not for me to say ; but we are now about to 
mix in society, — to see the world." 

" I have no wish to see any one." 

"Nay, but bear me, Haydee. Yon cannot remain in 
seclusion in the midst of thb gay capital ; and should you 
sea one whom you could prefer, think not I would be so 
selfish or unjust as to — " 

" I have never seen men handsomer than you ; and I 
have loved only you and my father." 

" My poor child 1 " replied Monte Cristo, " that is 
merely because you have hardly spoken to any one but 
your father and my self." 

" Well ! what occasion is there for me to speak to any 
one else ! My father called me hii joy ; you style me 
yovr love ; and both of you call me your cJiild ! " 

" Do you remember your father, Haydee 1 " 

The young Greek smiled, " He is here, and here," said 
she, touching her eyes and her heart. 

"And where am I thenl" inquired Monte Cristo, 
laughingly. 

" You 1 " cried she, " you are everywhere ! " 

Monte Cristo took the delicate hand of the young girl in 
his, and was about to raise it to his lips, when the simple 
child of Nature hastily withdrew it, and presented her fair 
eheek instead. " You now understand, Haydee," said the 
count," that from this moment you are absolutely free ; that 
yon are mistress ; that you are queen. You are at liberty to 
lay aside or continue the costume of your country, as it 
may suit your inclination ; you will remain here when you 



345 THE COUNT OF UONTE CBISTO. 

wisli, and jou will go abruoil wbeii you wUli. Tliere will 
always be a carriage awaiting yuur onlurs ; and iUi aiid 
Myrto will accompuny you wliitljereoever you desire to 
go. Tbere is but one fiivor I would eutteut of you." 

" Oh, Bjjeak ! " 

" Preserve nioet carefully the secret of your birth. Uake 
no alluaiou to tlio paat ; nor upon any ocuaaion be induced 
to piouounco the name of your iiluslrioua father iior that 
of your poor mother I '' 

" I have already told juu, my Lord, that I will see no 
one." 

" It ia possible, daydee, that so perfect a secluaiou, 
though conformable with the habits and customa of the 
East, may not be pracltcable in Paris. Endeavor, then, to 
accuaton] yourself to uiir manner of living in the^e northern 
climes, as you did to those of Eome, Florence, Mikn, and 
Madrid ; it may be useful to you one of these days, whether 
you remain here or return to the East." 

The young girl raised her tearful eyes towards Monte 
Cristo, as she said with touehing eamestness, " Whether we 
return ti) the East, you mean, do you not, my Lord 1 " 

" My child," returned Monte Criato, " you know well 
that if we part, it will be by no wish of mine. The tree 
does not leave the flower ; the flower leaves the tree." 

" My Lord," replied Haydce, " I will never leave you, 
for I am sure that I could not live without you." 

"Poor child I In ten years I shall be old; and you 
will still be young." 

" My father bad numbered sixty years, and the snows 
of age were on hia head, but I admired and loved him far 
better than all the gay, handsome youtlis I saw about his 

" Then tell me, Haydee, do you believe you shall be able 
to accustom yourself to our present mode of life i " 



HAYD^E. 



U7 



" Sball I see you ) " 

" Every day." 

" Well, tlien ! what are you asking me, my Lord 1 " 

" I feur tiiat yoii may feel louely." 

" No, my Lord, fur in the nioniing I sball expect your 
coniinf,', and in the evening shall remember that you have 
been with me ; and besides, when alone I have grand remem- 
braunes, — I see again immense plains and far horizons 
with Pindus and Olympus in the distance ; and tben I 
have in my heart three sentiments which leave no room 
for ennui, — they ate sorrow, love, and gratitude." 

" You are a worthy daughter of Epirua, Haydee, and 
your cliarming and poetiial iiieas prove well your descent 
from that race of godJesses who claim your country as 
their birtbplace ; depend on my care to see that your 
youth ia not blighted, or sufTerad to pass away in ungenial 
solitude, for if you love me as a &thei, I too love you 
as my child." 

" Let not my Lord be deceived ; the love I bear you r»- 
sembles in no degree my feelings towards my father. I 
survived kit death ; hut were any evil to befall you, the 
moment in which I learned the fatal tidings would be the 
last of my life." 

The count, with a look of indescribable tenderness, ex- 
teniloJ hia band to the animated speaker, who carried it 
reverentially and affectionately to her lips. Monte Cristo, 
thus soothed and calmed into a befitting state of mind to 
pay bis visit to tho Morrels, departed, murmuring as he 
went these lines of Pindar, "Youth is a flower of which 
love is the fruit ; happy is he who, after having watched 
its sUent growth, is permitted to call it his own." The 
carriage was ready according to orders ; and stepping lightly 
into it, the count drove off at hia usual rapid pace. 



H 348 



348 THE COCNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



C'HAPTElt XX. 

TUB UORKBL FAUILT. 



In n TKry f<;w minutes the count readied No. 7 is the 
Rue Myalay. Tiie house was of wliit« stone, and in a 
emaU court before it were two small beds full of beautiful 
flowew. In the conderge that opened the gate the count 
recognized Cou]«a f but as ha had but one eye, and that 
eye had considerably weakened in the course of uine yeais, 
Coclf'S did not recogiiiM the couut. The carriages that 
drove up to the door were compelled to turn to avoid a 
fountain that played in a basiu of roukwork, in which 
sported a large number of gold nnd silver fisliea, — an or- 
nament that had excited the jealousy of the whole quarter, 
aud had gained for the house the appellation of It Petit 
VersaiUft. Tlie house, raised above the kitchens and oel- 
lara, had busidea the ground-floor two storioa and attics. 
The whole of the property, consisting of an immense work- 
shop, two pavilions at the bottom of the garden, and the 
garden itself, had been puwhased by Eminanttel, who had 
seen at a glance that he cotild make a profitable specula- 
tion of it, He had reserved the house aud half the garden, 
and buililing a wall between the garden and the work- 
shops, had let them with the pavilions at tiio bottom of 
the garden ; so that for a trifling sum he was as wall 
lodged, and as completely shut out from observation is 
the most exacting proprietor of a hotel in the Faubourg 
St. Germain. The dining-room was of oak ; the salon, of 
mahogany and blue velvet ; the bedroom, of citron wood 



THE MOEHEL FAMILY. 3iU 

and green damask. There was a study for Emmanuel, 
who never atudied, and a music-room for Julie, who never 
played. The whole of the aecoiid story was set apart for 
Masiniihan ; it was precisely the same as his sister's apart- 
ments, except that tiie diitiog-roum was changed into a 
billiard-room, where he receiTed bis friends. He was sa- 
perintendiug the grooming of his horse, and smoking his 
cigar at the entrance of the garden, when the count's 
carriage stopped at the door, 

Coclea opened the gate, and B.tptistin, sprioging from 
the bos, inquired whether Monsieur and Madame Her- 
baut and M. Masirailian Morrel would see M. le Comte 
de Monte Ci'isto. 

" M. le Comte de Monte Cristo 1 " criftl Morrel, throw- 
ing away his cigar and hastening to the carriage ; " I 
should think we would see him ! Ah I a thousand thanks, 
Monsieur the Count, for not having forgotten your prom- 
ise." And the young officer shook the count's hand so 
warmly that the latter could not be mistaken aa to the 
sincerity of his exptesaiona ; he saw that he had been ex- 
pected with impatience, and was received with pleasure. 

" Come, come ! " saiil Maximilian ; " I will serve as your 
guide, — such a man oa you are ought uot to be introduced 
by a servant. My sister is in the ganien plucking tbe 
dead rosos ; my brother ia reading his two papers, ' La 
Presse' and ' Les Debsts,' within five steps of her ; for 
wherever you see Madame Herbaut you have only to look 
within a circle o£ four yards and you will find M. Em- 
manuel, and ' reciprocally,' as they say at the Ecole Poly- 
techniqiie." At the sound of their steps a young woman 
of from twenty to twenty-five years, dressed in a silk robe 
de cAambre, and busily engaged in plucking the dead 
leaves off tlie splendid rose-tree, raised her head. This 
woman was Julie, who had become, aa the clerk of the 



350 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



houae of Thomson and Frencli had predicted, Madame 
EuunaQuel Uerbaut. She utteretl a cry of surprise 
the sight of a Btraugor; aud Maximiliaa began to laugh. 
" Don't disturb youreelf, Julie," aaid lie. " Monsieur the 
Count has only be«u two or threo ilaya in Paris ; but he 
already knows what a woman of liishion of the Maraia i^ 
and if Iia does not yon will show him." 

" Ah, Monsieur ! " returned Julie, " it is Iwason in ray 
brother to bring you thus ; but he never has any regaid 
for his poor slater. Peuolon ! Peuolon ! " 

An old man, who was digging busily at one of the beds 
of roses, stuck Ids spade in the earth and approached, cap 
in hand, and striving to conceal a quid of tobacco he had 
just thrust into his cheek. A few liwks of gray mingled 
with his hair, which was still thick and matted, while hia 
bronzed features and determined glance announced the old 
sailor who had braved the heat of the equator and the 
storms of the tropics. " I think you hailed me, Made- 
nioisolie Julie 1 " said ho. Peneion had still preserved 
the habit of calling his master's daughter " Mademoiselle 
Julie," and had never been able to change the name to 
Madame Herbaut. 

" Peneion," replied Julie, " go and inform M. Emmannel 
of this gentleman's visit, while Maximilian conducts him 
to the salon." Then, turning to Monte Cristo, " I hope 
yon will permit me to leave you for a few minutes," con- 
tinued she, and without awaiting any reply disappeared 
behind a clump of trees, and entered the houae by a lateral 
alley. 

" I am sorry to see," observed Monte Cristo to Mbrcelf , 
'■■ that I cause no small disturbance in your house." 

" Look there," said Maaimilian, laughing ; " there ia 
her husband changing bis jacket for a coat. I assure yon 
that you are well known in the Rue Meelay." 



idame-^^H 

iee at ^^H 

Iniiirh. ^ 

I 



THE MOBEEL FAMILT, 



f" Tour family apppara to me a very happy one ! " said 
bhe count, as if speaking to himseif, 
" Oh, yes, I assure yon, Monsieur tho Count, they want 
nothing that can render them happy. They are young 
and cheerful ; they are tenderly attached to each other ; 
and with twenty-five thousand livres a year they tancy 
themselves aa rich as the Rothschilds." 
" Five and twenty thousand livres is not a large eura, 
however," replied Monte Cristo, with a tone so sweet and 
gentle that it went to Maximilian's heart like the voice of 
a father j " but they will not he content with that. Your 

Ihrother-in-!aw is a barrister ; a doctor ) " 
" He was a merchant. Monsieur the Count, and had 
succeeded to the husinesa of my poor father. M. Morrel, 
at his death, left five hundred thousand livres, which were 
divided between my sister and myself, for wo wore hia 
only children. Her husband, who when he married her 
had no other patrimony than his noble probity, hia first- 
rate ability, and his spotless reputation, wished to possess 
as much as his wife. He labored and toiled until he had 
amassed two hundred and fifty thousand livres ; sis years 
Btifiiced to achieve this object. Oh, 1 assure you, Monsieur 
the Count, it was a touching spectacle to see these young 
creatures, destined by their talents for higher stations, toil- 
ing together, and unwilling to change any of the customs 
of their paternal house, taking sis years to acconspliah that 
which innovators would have effected in two or three. 
Marseilles still resounds with their well-earned praises. 
At last, one day Emmanuel came to hia wife, who had just 
finished making up the accounts. ' Julie,' said he to her, 
' Coclfea has just given me the last rouleau of a hundred 
livres ; tliat completes the two hundred and fifty thouaand 
livres we had Rxed as the limits of our gains. Can you 
content yourself with the sraall fortune whic!i we shall 



352 THE COUXT OF MOSTE CRISTO. 

pDsst-u foT tbe future 1 Listen to me. Our liouse tTan»-l 
acta busincim to the nniouot of a, miilioa a year, from wHchn 
tte (leiive an incoiue of forty thoiisBnd livres. "We can 
dispone of the boaineKs, if we jileaM', in an liour, for I havB 
received a letter from M. Dtlaiiiiay, in wliich he ufTcrs lo 
[inrr.hnsu the good-will of the liousc, to unite it with bis i 
own, for tlirue hundred thoosand lirrea. Adviso me what | 
I had bettor do.' ' Emmanuel,' returned niy sister, ' tlie 
Louse of Morrnl cnn only bo carried on by a Itlorrel. 
it not worth three hundred tlioueond livres to save OWa 
father's name fkura tlie chances of evil fortune and &il-l 
urc 1 ' 'I thought ao,' replied Emmanuel ; ' but I niahed'l 
to have yuur advice.' ' This ia my counsel : Our acoounts I 
are madu up and our bills paid ; all we have to do is to J 
stop the iaauo of any more, and close our office.' This fi 
done inatuntly. It was three o'tlock ; at a quarter paet a I 
merchant ptL-Bentod hiinuelf to insure two ships. TherO'f 
was a clear prolil of fifteen thousand livres. ' Monsieiir,' F 
said Emmanuel, ' have the goodness to address yourself toa 
M. Delaunay. We have quitted business.' 'How long J 
ago ! ' inquired the astonished merchant. ' A quarter o£l 
an hour,' was the reply. And this is the reason, Moi^fl 
aieur," continued MaKimilian, " that my sister and brother 
in-law have only twenty-five thousand lii'res a year." 

Maximilian had scarcely finished his story, duringl 
which the count's heart bad seemed ready to buret,^ 
when Emmanuel entered, having meanwhile put c 
hat and coat. He saluted the count witli the air gf J 
a man who is aware of the rank of his guest, then after 
having led Monte Cristo round the little garden, he re- 
turned to the house. A large vase of Japan porcelain, 
filled with flowers that impregnated the air with their 
perfume, stood in the salon. Julie, saitably dressed, and 
with hei hair coquettishly arranged (she had accomplished 



THE MOREEL FAMILY. 



S53 



this feat in leaa than ten mmutes), received tbe count on 
entrance. Tlie aonga of the birds were heard in an 
aviary hard by, — the branchra of fake ebony treea and 
iaciiia funning the border of the blue velvet cur- 
tains. Everything in this charming retreat, from the 
■ble of the birds to the smile of the mistress, breathed 
twrniniility and repose. The ooniit had felt from the 
moment he entered the house the influence of this hap- 
piness, and he remained silent and pensive, forgetting that 
he ^vas expected to recommence the conversation which 
had ceased after the first salutations had been exchanged. 
He perceived the pause, and by a violent effort tearing 
himself from his revery, " Madame," said he at length, " I 
pray you to excuse my emotion, whicli must aatonish you 
who are accustomed to tlie happiness I meet here ; bnt 
satisfaction upon a hnman countenance is so new a sight 
to me, that I could never be weary of looking at yourself 
aud your husband." 

" We are indeed very happy. Monsieur," replied Julie ; 
" but we liave also known unhappineas, and few have ever 
undergone more bittiir sufferings than ourselves." 

The count's features now displayed an expression of 
ourioaity. 

Oh, all this is a family history, as CJi&toau-Tlenaud told 
you the other day," observed Maximilian. " Ttiis humble 
picture would have but little interest fur yon, accustomed 

you are to behold the pleasures and the misfortunes of 
the wealtiiy and illustrious ; but sueh as we are wo have 

:perienced bitter sorrows," 

" And God has poured balm into your wounds, as ho 

)es for all those who are in afflictionl" said Monte Cristo, 
inquiringly, 

IS, Monsieur the Count," returned Julie, " we 
May indeed say he has, for he has done for us what 



354 THE COUNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 

he doc8 for only his elect, — he sent us one of Lis 
ungels." 

The count's checks hecame scarlet, and he coughed so as to 
have an excuse fur putting his handkerchief to his mouth. 

" Those horn to wealth and who have the means of grati- 
fying every wish/' said £mmanuel, '' know not what is the 
real happiness of life ; just as those who have been tossed 
on the stormy waters of the ocean on a few frail planks 
can alone estimate the value of a clear and serene sky." 

Monte Cristo rose, and without making any answer, — 
for the tremulousness of his voice would have betrayed 
his emotion, — walked up and down the room with a 
slow step. 

" Our magnificence makes you smile, Monsieur the Count," 
said Maximilitin, wlio had followed him with his eyes. 

" No, no," ivturned Monte Cristo, very pale, and press- 
ing one hand on his heart to still its throbbings, while 
witli the other he pointed to a crystal cover, beneath 
wliicli a silken purse lay on a black velvet cushion. *' I 
was wondering whiit could be the use of this purse which 
api)ears to contain a paper at one end, and at the other a 
lar<,'e diamond." 

" Monsieur the Count," replied Maximilian, with an air 
of gravity, " those are our most precious family treasures." 

" The stone seems very biilliant," answered the count. 

" Oh, my brother does not allude to its value, although 
it has been estimated at one hundred thousand livres ; he 
means that the articles contained in this purse are memo- 
rials of tlie angel of whom I spoke just now." 

" This I do not comprehend ; and yet I may not ask 
for an ex])lanation, Madame," replied Monte Cristo, bow- 
ing. *' Pardon me, I had no intention of committing an 
indiscretion." 

" Indiscretion ! Oh, you make us happy by giving us 



THE MOKREL FAMILY. 3-55 

an occasion of expaiiating on th'ia subject. Did wq intend 
to conceal the Eotile action this puree com mem orates, we 
should not expose it thus. Oh ! would wo could relate it 
everywhere and to every one ! so that the emotion of our 
unknown henefactor might reveal hia presence." 

"All, really t " said Monto Cristo, in a lialf-stifled voice. 

" Monsieur," returned Maximilian, raising the glass 
cover and respectfully kissing the silken purse, "this has 
touched the band of a man who saved niy father from 
suicide, us from ruin, and our name fwrn shame and dis- 
grace, — a man by whose matchless benevolence we, poor 
children doomed to want and wretchedness, can at present 
hear every one envying out happy lot. This letter " (as 
he spoke, Maximilian drew a 1 tt f m the p rso and 
gave it to the count) — " tl 1 tt wig tt n by him 
the day that ray fatlier had t k 1 p rat 1 ition, 

and this diamond was given by tl g e nkn wn to 

my sister as her dowry." M ut C t p ed tl letter 
and read it with an indes babl f 1 f d 1 ght. It 

was the letter written {aa our readers know) to Julie, 
and signed "Sinbad the Sailor." 

" Unknown, you say ; ia the man who rendered yon this 
service unknown to you J " 

" Yes ; we have never had the happiness of pressing his 
hand," continued Maximilian. " We have supplicated 
Heaven in vain to grant ua this favor, but all the affair 
has had a mysterious direction which we cannot compre- 
hend ; all has been guided by a hand invisible but pow- 
erful as that of an oncbanter." 

"Oh ! " cried Julie, " I have not lost all hope of some 
day kissing that hand as I now kiss the pnrse which he 
has touched. Four years ago Penelon was at Trieste, — 
Peneloi), Monsieur the Count, ia the ohl sailor whom you 
saw in tho garden, and who from quartermaster has be- 



ft 



356 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

come gardener, — Penelon, when he was at Trieste, saw 
on the quay an Englishman who was on the point of em- 
barking on b(iard a yacht ; and he recognized him as the 
person who called on my father on the 5th of June, 1829, 
and who wrote me this letter on the 5th of September. 
He felt convinced of his identity, but he did not venture 
to address him." 

" An Englishman ! " said Monte Cristo, who grew uneasy 
at the attention with which Julie looked at him. ** An 
Englishman, you say 1 " 

" Yes," replied Maximilian, " an Englishman, who rep- 
resented himself as the confidential clerk of the house of 
Thomson and French, at Rome. It was this that made 
me start when you said the other day, at M. de MorcerPs, 
that Messrs. Thomson and French were your bankers. 
That happened, as I told you, in 1829. For God's sake, 
tell me, did you know this Englishman ] ** 

" I>ut you tell me, also, that the house of Thomson and 
French have constantly denied having rendered you this 
service ] " 

'' Yes." 

" Then is it not probable that this Englishman may 
be some one who, grateful for a kindness your father 
had shown him, and which he himself had forgotten, 
has taken this method of requiting the obligation 1 " 

" Everything is possible on such an occasion, even a 
miracle." 

'^ What was his name 1 " asked Monte Cristo. 

*' lie ^'ave no other name," answered Julie, looking earn- 
estly at the count, " than that at tlie end of his letter, — 
' Sinbad the Sailor.' " 

" Which is evidently not his real name, but a fictitious 
one." 

Then noticiufj that Julie was struck with the sound of 



THE MORKEL TAMILT. 



■357 



I 



Lis voice, "Tell me," continued lie, "was he not about 
my height, perhaps a little taller and slenderer, with his 
neck confined in a high cravat, — closely buttoned and 
Uced, anil always carrying a pencil in his hand 1 " 

" Ob, do you then know hiiu t " cried Julie, whose eyes 
Bparkled with joy. 

" No," returned Monte Cristo, " I only guessed. I 
knew a Lord Wilmore, who was couiitantly doing acts of 
generosity." 

" Without revealing himself! " 

" He was an eccentric being, and did not believe in the 
existence of gratitude." 

" Oh, Heaven ! " exclaiiaed Julie, clasping her hands. 
"In what did he beheve, then?" 

"He did not believe in it at the period when I knew 
him," said Munte Cristo, touched to the heart by the 
accents of Julie's voice; "but perhaps since then he has 
liud proofs that gratitude does exist." 

" And do you know this gentleman, Monsieur 1 " 
inijuireil Emmanuel. 

" Oh, if you do know him," cried Julie, " can you tell 
us where lie is, — where we can find him 1 Maximilian, 
Emmanuel ! if we do but discover him, he must believe 
in the gratitude of the heart ! " 

Moute Crista felt tears start into his eyes, and he again 
walked hastily up and down the room. 

" In the name of Heaven 1" said Maximilian, " if you 
know anything of him, tell us what it is." 

" Alas ! " cried Monte Cristo, striving to repress hia 
emotion. "If Lord Wilraore was your unknown bene- 
factor, I fear you will never again see him. I parted 
from him two years ago at Palermo, and he was then on 
the point of setting out for the most remote regions ; so 
that I fear he will never return." 



358 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

" Oh, Monsieur, this is cruel of you," said Julie, much 
affected; and teara came into her eyes. 

" Madame," replied Monte Cristo, gravely, and gazing 
earnestly on the two liquid pearls that trickled down 
Julie's cheeks, •* had Lord Wilmore seen what I now see, 
he would become attached to life, for the tears you shed 
would reconcile him to mankind;" and ho held out his 
hand to Julie, wlio gave him hers, carried away by the 
look and accent of the count. 

" But this Lord Wilmore," said she, clinging to the last 
hope, " had a country, a family, relatives, — in short, he 
was known to some one] Could we not, then — " 

" Oh, make no inquiries, Madame," said the count ; 
"do not build chimerical hopes on that word of mine. 
No ; Lord Wihnore is probably not the man whom you 
seek. He was my friend ; he had no secrets from me, and 
he would have confided this also to me." 

" And he told you nothing 1 " 

" Nothing." 

" Never a word which might lead you to suppose — '^ 

" Never.'' 

" And yet you instantly named him." 

"Ah, in such a case one supposes — " 

"Sister, Sister," said Maximilian, coming to the count's 
aid, " Monsieur is quite right. Recollect what our excel- 
lent father so often told us : * It was no Englishman that 
thus saved us.' " 

Monte Cristo started. " What did your father tell you, 
M. Morrel I " said he, eagerly. 

" ]\Iy father thought that this action had been miracu- 
lously performed ; he believed that a benefactor had arisen 
from the grave to save us. Oh, it was a touching super- 
stition, i\[onsieur ; and although I did not myself believe 
it, I would not fur the world have destroyed my father\s 



THE MORREL FAMILY. 359 

faith in it. How often did he muse over it and pronounce 
the name of a dear friend, — a friend lost to him forever ! 
and on his death-bed, when the near approach of eternity 
seemed to have illumined his mind with supernatural 
light, this thought, which had until then been but a 
doubt, became a conviction, and his last words were, 
* Maximilian, it was Edmond Dantes ! ' " 

At these words the count's paleness, which had for some 
time been increasing, became alarming. He could not 
speak ; he looked at his watch like a man who has for- 
gotten the time, said a few hurried words to Madame 
Herbaut, and pressing the hands of Emmanuel and Max- 
imilian, " Madame," said he, " I trust you will allow 
me to visit you from time to time ; I value your friend- 
ship and feel grateful to you for your welcome, for this is 
the first time for many years that I have thus yielded to 
my feelings ; " and he hastily quitted the room. 

" This Count of Monte Cristo is a singular man," said 
Emmanuel. 

" Yes," answered Maximilian, " but I feel sure he has 
an excellent heart, and that he likes us." 

" His voice went to my heart," observed Julie ; " and 
two or three times I fancied I had heard it before." 



300 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

PYRAMUS AND THISBE. 

Near the middle of the Faubourg St. Honors, and at the 
back of one of the most distinguished-looking mansions in 
this rich neighborhood, where the various hotels vie with 
each other for elegance of design and magnificence of con- 
stmction, extended a large garden, whose widely-spread- 
ing chestnut-trees raised their heads above the walls, high 
and soliil as those of a rampart, scattering each spring 
a shower of delicate pink and white blossoms into the 
large stone vases placed at equal distances upon the two 
square pilasters supporting an iron gate of the time of 
Louis XIV. This noble entrance, however, notwithstand- 
ing its striking appearance and the graceful eflfect of the 
geraniums phmted in the two vases, as they waved their 
variegated leaves in the wind, and cliarmed the eye with 
their scarlet bloom, had fiillen into utter disuse from the 
period wlien the proprietors of the hotel (and many years 
had elapsed since then) had confined themselves to the 
possession of the hotel, with its thickly-planted courtyard 
opening into the Faubourg St. Honore, and the garden 
shut in by this gate, which formerly communicated with 
a fine kitchen-garden of about an acre in extent. But the 
demon of speculation having drawn a line, — that is to say, 
a street, — at the extremity of this garden, and the street 
having received a name even before it was completed, it 
occurred to the owner to sell the garden for a building 



H site on th 
V attery of 

■ Tn m:if 



PYRAMUS AND THISBE. 



361 



the street, and make connection with that grand 
artery of Paris called the Faubourg St, Honor^, 

latters of speculation, however, man proposesi, and 
money disposes. The newly named stceet was never fin- 
ished ; and the purchaser of the kitchen-garden, having 
made complete payment, was unable to find any one will- 
ing to take Ills bar^in off his hands without a consider- 
able los3. Believing, however, that at some future day he 
should obtain a sum for it that would repay him not only 
for his past outlay, but also the interest upon the capital 
locked up in hia new acquisition, he contented himself 
■with letting the ground tempomrily to some market-gar- 
deneca, at a yearly rent of five hundred liyres. Thus, 
then, as already statml, the iron gate leading into the 
kitchen-garden had been closed up and left to t!ie rust, 
which bade fair to destroy its hinges ere long, while to 
prevent the ignoble ghuioes of the diggers and deivers of 
the gi'ound from presuming to sully tlie aristocratic enclo- 
sure belonging to the hotel, the gate in question had been 
boarded up to a height of six feet. True, the planks are 
not so closely adjusted but that stolen views may be ob- 
tained between their interstices; but that house is rigidly 
proper, and has no fear of indiscreet curiosity. 

In that garden, where the most choice and delicate of 
fruits and vegetables once reared their heads, a scanty crop 
of lucerne alone bears evidence of cultivation. A small, 
low door opening on the projected street gives entranoe to 
the enclosed space, which has finally been abandoned on 
account of its sterility, and which for a week post instead 
of yielding one half of one per cent on its cost, as it had 
previously, yields nothing at all. Towards the hotel the 
chestnut- trees we have before mentioned rise high above 
the wall, without in any way affecting the gi'owth of other 
luxuriant shrubs and flowers that eagerly press forward to 



3G2 THE CX)UNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

fill up the vacant simcos, as though asserting their right to 
enjoy tlie boon of li^ht and air also. At one comer, 
where the foliage is so thick as almost to shut out the day- 
light, a lupf^o stone bench and sundry rustic seats indicate 
that til is sheltered spot is either a place of assemblage or 
a favorito rt>trc>at of some inhabitant of the hotel, which is 
faintly discernible through the dense mass of verdure that 
partially conceals it, though situated but a hundred paces 
off. In short, the choice of this mysterious retreat is 
abun<lantly justified by the absence of all glare ; the cool, 
refreshing shade ; the screen it affords from the scorching 
rays of th« sun, that find no entrance there even during 
tlio burninj^ days of hottest summer ; the warbling of 
birds ; and the seclusion from both the noise of the street 
and the bustle of the hotel. 

On the evening of one of the warmest days spring had 
yet bestowe*! on the inhabitants of Paris, might be seen, 
negligently thrown upon the stone bench, a book, a para- 
sol, ami a work-basket from which hung a partly em- 
broiilered cambric handkerchief; while at a little distance 
from these articles was a young woman, standing close to 
the iron gate, endeavoring to discern something on the 
other sitle through the openings in the planks, while the 
earnestness of her attitude and the fixed gaze with which 
she seemed to seek the object of her wishes, proved how 
much her feelings were interested in the matter. At that 
instant, the little side door leading from the enclosure to 
the street was noiselessly opened ; and a tall powerful 
young man, dressed in a common gray blouse and velvet 
cap, but whose carefully arranged hair, beard, and mus- 
taches, all of the richest and glossiest black, but ill ac- 
corded with his plebeian attire, after casting a rapid glance 
around him, in order to assure himself that he was unob- 
served, entered, and carefully closing and securing it after 



PTRAMU3 ASD THISBE. 



3G3 



, iiurried stop towards the iraii 
ail been espectiog to 



him, proceeded with : 
eiite. 

On seeing him present whom she 1 
aeSj though probably not in such e 
girl started in terror, and was about to njake a liasty 
retreat. But the joung man with the eye of love had al- 
re-ady seen through the opeDiugs iii the gate the movement 
of the white I'obe, and observed the fluttering of the blue 
Bash fastened arosnd the slender waist of his fair neighbor. 
He sprang to the wall, and applying hie mouth to an open- 
ing, eKclairaed, "Fear nothing, Valentine; it is 1 1" 

The young gir! drew near, " Oh, Monsieur," she said, 
" why have you come to-ilay so late 1 It is almost the 
dinner- hour, and I have been compelled to exercise my 
utmost skill to get rid of the incessant watchfulness of 
my stepmother, as well aa the espionage of my maid, who 
no doubt ia employed to report all I do and say. Nor 
has it cost me a little trouble to free myself from the 
troublesome society of my brother, under pretence of com- 
ing hither to work undisturbed at my embroidery, which 
I fear will not soon bo finished. So excuse yourself as 
well as you can for having made me wait ; ami after that 
tell me why I see you in so singular a dress, which almost 
prevented my recognizing you." 

" Dear Valentine," said the young raan, " you are ao 
far beyond my love that I dare not speak of it to you ; 
and yet every time I see you I want to tell you that I 
adore you, so that the echo of luy own words is sweet in 
my heart when I am no longor with you. Now I thank ' 
you for your reproaches ; they are altogether charming, for 
they show me, I don't dare to say that you awaited me, 
but that you thought of me. You wish to know the causa 
of my delay and the reason of my disguise ; I will explain, 
and I hope that you will pardon. I have chosen a trade," 



3G1 



niE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



"A trnda ! Oli, Maxiiuilinii, liuw can you jest ata tini 
wlmii we liave Buch ilet-p cause for unoMinoss ) " 

" Heaven keq> mo from jotting with ttint whicli is f&tm 
dcaror to mn thnn life itaislf] But listen tonii;, Voleatine, 
lutd I will tell you all about it Tired out with ranging'l 
fields and scaling; walls, and aoriou&ly alarmed nt the idean^ 
BDggi'3t''il by yourself, tiiiit if I should bo cau^lit hovering 
about liure your futlier would very likely have me sent t 
prison as a thief, — which would taint the honor of tha4 
Mitire French ariny, — and dreading no loss the surprise fl 
that might be occasioned by the sight of a captain 
Spahis hovering et«mally about this spot where there isl 
neithiiT a citadel to besiege nor a ntockade to defend, — ifl 
have becon)C a gardener, and have adopted the costume o 
my calling." 

" What nonsense you talk, Maiimiliau 1 " 

" On the contrary, it is, I believe, the wisest actios oCi 
my life, for it affonla us every security." 

" I beseech of you, Maximilian, to tell me what yooj 
mean." 

" Simply, that having ascertained that the piece < 
ground on which I stand was to let, I made applicationi 
for it, was readily accepted by the proprietor, and am nowM 
master of this fine crop of hiceme 1 Think of that, ValenJ 
tine ! There is nothing now to prevent my building niyfl 
self a littlo hut on my plantation, and raiding not tweutyl 
yarils from yon. Inmgine my Ijappineas 1 I can scaroolyi 
contain myself. Do you understand, Valentine, that suckl 
things can be paid fori Impossible, is it noti Well, allT 
that happiness, all that comfort, all that joy, for which {■ 
Tould have given ten years of my life, coat me — 
how miichi — five hundred livres per year, payable quam 
terly ! Henceforth we have nothing to fear, I 
my own ground, and have an undoubted right to place • 



PTEAMUS AND THISBE. SGo 

ladder agaiuat the wall, and to look over when I please ; 
and I may tell you that I love you, without fear of being 
taken off by the police, — unless, indeed, it offends youi 
pride to listen to professions of love from the lipa of a poor 
working-man, clitd in a blouse and cop." 

A faint ery of mingled pleasure and anrprise escaped 
from the lips of Valentine, who almost instantly said in a 
saddened tone, as though some envious cloud darkened the 
jny which illumined her heart, "Alaa, no, Maximilian! this 
must not be, for many reasons ! We should presume too 
much on our own strength, and like others perhaps be led 
astray by our blind confidence in each other's prudence." 

" How can you for an instant entertain so unworthy 
a thought, dear Valentine 1 Have I not, from the first 
blessed hour of our acquaintance, schooled all my words 
and actions to your sentiments and ideas ? And yon have, 
I am sure, the fullest confidence in my honor. When you 
spoke to me of your expwiencing a vague and indefinite 
sense of coming danger, I placed myself devotedly at your 
service, asking no other reward than tbe pleasure of heing 
useful to you ; and have I ever since by word or look 
given you cause of regret for having selected me from 
among those who would willingly have sacrificed their 
lives for you 1 Ynu told me, my dear Valentine, that 
you were engaged to M. d'Epinay ; and that your father 
was resolved upon completing the match ; and that from 
his will there was no appeal, as M. de Villefort was never 
known to change a determination once formed. Well, I 
kept myself in the background, awaiting, not my own res- 
olution nor yours, but the ordering of Providence. And 
meanwhile yon love me ; you have had pity on me and 
avowed it. I tliank you for that sweet won! ; I ask only 
that yon will repeat it from time to time, — it will enable 
me to forget everything else." 



366 THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

** Ah, Maximilian, that is the very tiling that makes 
you 80 bold, and which renders me at once so happy and 
iiiihappy that I fi-equently ask myself which is to be pre- 
ferrtnl, — the unhappiness occasioned by the harshness of 
my stepmother, and her blind preference for her own 
child, or the happiness fall of danger which I enjoy in 
seeing' you." 

** Danger ! " cried Maximilian ; " can you use a word 
so hard and so unjust ? Is it possible to find a more sub- 
missive slave than myself] You have permitted me to 
converse with you from time to time, Valentine, but for- 
bidden my ever following yuu in your walks or elsewhere ; 
1 hiive obeved. And since I found means to enter this 
ent'lasurc, to talk with you through this door, to be close 
to you without seeing you, have I ever sought to touch 
even the lieni of your rube through these openings ] Have 
I ever attempted to throw down this wall, — an obstacle 
so trivial to my youth and my strength 1 I have never 
complained of your reserve, never expressed a desire. I 
have held to my promise like a knight of the olden time. 
Conio, admit so much at least, that I may not think you 
unjust." 

*' It is true,*' said Valentine, passing through a small 
opening in tlie planks the end of one of her delicate fingers, 
to which Maximilian pressed his lips, — "it is true. You 
are an honorable friend ; but still you acted from motives of 
self-interest, my dear ^Maximilian, for you well knew that 
from tlie moment in which you had manifested an opposite 
spirit (dl would have been ended between lis. You 2)rom- 
ised to l)estow on me the friendly affection of a brother, — 
on nie, who have no friend but yourself upon earth; who 
am neglected and forgotten by my father, harassed and 
persecuted by my stepmother, and left to the sole com- 
panionship of a paralyzed and speechless old man, whose 



PYRAJilDS AND TBISBE. 



367 



withered hand oaa no longer press mine, whose eye alone 
) with me, and whose heart douhtleas retaina 
s some lingering warmth. Oh, how bitter a fate 
irve either as a victim or an enemy to all 
B stronger than myself, while my only friend and 
supporter ia but a living corpse 1 Indeed, Maximilian, I 
am very miserable, and you are right to love me for my 
sake and not your own." 

" Valentine," replied the young man, deeply affected, 
" I will not Bay you are all I love in the world, for I dearly 
prize my sister and brother-in-law ; hut roy affection for 
them ia calm and trani^nU, in no manner resembling that 
I feel for you. At the mere thought of you my heart 
beats more quickly, my blood flows with increased rapidity 
through my veins, and my breast heaves with tumultuous 
emotions ; but I solemnly pronaise you to restrain all tliis 
ardor, this fervor and intensity of feeling, until you your- 
self shall require me to render them available in serving or 
assisting you, M. Franz is not expected to return home for 
a year to come, I am told ; in that time many favorable and 
unforeseen chances may befriend ua. Let us, then, hope 
for the beat, — iiope is so sweet a comforter. Meanwhile, 
Valentine, while reproaching me with selfishness, think a 
little of what you have been to me, — the beautiful and 
cold statue of a modest Venus. In return for that devo- 
tion, that obedience, that restraint, what have you prom- 
ised me, — yout Nothing. What have yoii granted me J 
Very little. You tell me of M. Franz d'fipinay, your be- 
trothed lover; and you shrink from the idea of being his 
wife, Tell roe, Valentine, is there nothing else in your ■ 
heart 1 What ! I pledge ray life to you, I give you my 
soul, I devote to you even the lightest pulsation of my 
heart. And when I am tlms wholly yours : when I say 
to myaslf that I shall die if I lose you, — you, you do not 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 



r places ^^M 
vou, a ^^ 



368 

shudder with fright at the hare thought of helonging 
other ! Oh, Valentiiie, Valentine 1 if I were in jour 
if I knew myself loved as you nre sure that I love you, a 
hundred times at least should 1 have passed ray hand be- 
tween these iron bars, and said to poor Maximilian, ' Yours, 
yours only, Maximilian, in this world and the next ! ' " 

Valentine made no reply ; hut her lover could plainly 
hear her sobs and tears. A rapid change took place in 
the young ninn's feelings. " Oh, Valentiue, Valentine 1 " 
he exclaimed, " forget my words if there is anything 
them to give you pain." 

"No," she said, "you are right; hut do you not 
that I am a poor creature, at liome abandoned almost j 
Btranger, — for my father is almost a stranger to me, — 
whose will, since I was ten years old, has been broken 
day by day, hour by hour, rainiitfl by minute, by the iron 
will of those by whom I am oppressed 1 No one knows 
what I suffer, and I Lave not spoken of it except to you. 
Outwardly, and in the eyes of the world, all goes well 
with me, — every one is kind to me ; but in fact every one 
is my enemy. The general remark is, ' Ob, it cannot ha 
expected that one of so stern a character as M. de Villefort 
could lavish the tendemesa some fathers do on their 
ters, but she haa had the happiness to find a second motl 
in Madame de Villefort.' The world, 
taken ; niy father abandons me from utter indifferenoi 
while my stepmother detests me with a hatred the mi 
terrible as it is veiled beneath a continual 

" Hate you I you, Valentine ! " exclaimed the yoai 
man ; " how is it possible for any one to do that ) " 

" Alas ! " said Valentine, " I am obliged to own 
my stepmother's aversion to me arises from a very r 
ral source, — her overweening love for her own child, m^' 
brother ^ilouard/" 



PYRAMDS AND THISBE. 



3G9 



I 



I 



" How is that 1 " 

" How 13 it ! It seems strange to me to speak of money 
matters in a conversation with you ; but, my rrienil, I think 
her hatred towards me springs from that source, Slie has 
no fortune ; while I ain already rich, as heiress to my 
mother, and my possessions will be doubled by the wealth 
of Monsieur and Madame de Saint-Meran, which will 
some day fall to me. Well, I think that she is envious. 
Oh, my God ! if I could only give to her the half of that 
fortune and find myself in the home of M. de ViUefort 
as a daughter in the house of her father, I would certainly 
do it witiiout hesitation," 

" Poor Valentine 1 " 

" I seem to myself as though living a life of bondage, 
yet at the sarae time am so conscious of weakness that I 
fear to break the restraint in whii:h I am held, lest I fall 
utterly powerless and helpless. Tiien, too, my father ia 
not a person whose orders may be infringed with impu- 
nity. He is powerful against me ; he would be powerful 
against you, even against the king, — protected as he is 
by an irreproachable past and by a position almost im- 
pregnable. Oh, Maximilian I I assure you if I do not 
etruggle, it ia because you also, as well as I, would be 
overwhelmed in that struggle." 

" But why, Valentine, do you despair, and regard the 
fnture with dread ) " 

" Ah, my friend I because I judge it from tlia past." 

"Still, consider that although I may not be, strictly 
speaking, what is termed an illustrious match for you, 
I am for many reasons not altogether so much beneath 
your alliance. The days when such distinetions were so 
nicety weighed and consiilered no longer exist in 
and the first families of the monarchy have iiiteriuatried 
with those of the empire. The aristocracy of the lance has 




37f> TUE CODST OK MOSTE CRI3T0. 

allied itwlf with Iho nobility of tlia cannon. Well, I 
Iwlong to tlio liitter tiaas ; I huve a pruniieing future io 
Iho unny ; 1 [losiiess a fortune limited but independent ; 
and my father's mpuiory is revered in our country as 
that of a most honoruLle mercliant. 1 eay our coun- 
try, Valeiitifvo, because you were bom not far from 
MatsfillM." 

" Name not Mniscillea, I beseech you, llaximilian ; 
that one word brings book my mother to my recoUection, 
— my anyel mother, who died too soon for myself and 
for all wlio Icnew her, but who, after watchiug over her 
child during a brief period in tliia world, now, I ho]ie at 
least, conlomplatee her with pitying teniieniesa from those 
realms of bliss to whiab her pure spirit has flown. Ah, I 
were she Btill living, we need fear nothing, Maximilian, I 
for I would contide our love tu her, and she would aid 
and protect ua." 

" I fear, Valentine," replied the lover, " that were she 
living 1 abouhl never have hnd the happiness of knowing 
you. You would then have been too happy ; and Valen- 
tine happy would have regarded mo disdainfully from the 
height of her grandeur." 

" It is you who are unkind, — ay, and unjust, too, 
now, Maximilian," cried Valentine ; " but there is one 
thing I wish to know." 

" And what ia that," inquired the young man, perceiv- 
ing that Valentine hesitated and seemed at a loss how to 
proceed, 

" Tell rae Masiniilian, whether in former days, at Mar- 
seilloa th re e x ted any misundeistantliug between 

your fath and m I " 

" N t t! at I am aware of," replied the young man ; 
"unless ni d s m ill-feeling might have arisen from 
their b ngof jp t parties, — your father being, as you 



PTKAMU3 AND THI3BE. 



371 



know, 0, zealous partisan of the Eoiirhons, while mine waa 
wholly devoted to the emperor. There could not have 
been any other difference between them. But why that 
queation, Valentine J " 

" I will tell you," replied the young girl, " for it is but 
right that you should know all. Then I must begin by 
referring to the day when your being made an officer of 
the Legion of Honor was publicly announced in the papers. 
We were all sitting in the apartment of my grandfather, 
M. iJoirtier. M. Danglara was there also ; you recollect M. 
Danglare, do you not, Maximilian t — the banker, whose 
horaea ran away with my stepmother and little brother, 
and very neatly killed them. While the rest of tlie com- 
pany were discussing the approaching marriage of Made- 
moiselle Danglers, I waa occupied in reading the paper 
aloud to ray grandfather ; hut when I came to the para- 
graph concerning you, although I had done nothing else 
but read it over to myself all the morning (you know you 
had told me all about it the previous evening), I felt so 
ha^jpy, and yet so nervous, at the idea of pronouncing 
your beloved name aloud and before so many people, that 
I really think I should have passed it over but for the 
fear that my so doing might create suspicions aa to the 
cause of my silence. So I summoned up all my courage, 
and read it as firmly and steadily aa I could." 

" Dear Valentine ! " 

" Well, as soon as my father caught the sound of your 
name be turned round quite hastily. I was so certain — 
you see how foolish I am — that every one had been 
struck by your name aa by a thunderbolt that I thought 
I saw my father give a start, and even M. Danglors, too, 
— though that of course was an illaaion. 

" ' Morrel ! Morrel ! ' cried my father, ' stop a bit ; ' then, 
knitting hia brows into a deep frown, he added, ' Can that 



372 THE COUNT OF HONTE CRISTO. 

bo one of tlie Morrels of Marseilles, — those furious Bo- 
napartists w)io gave us so much trouble in 1815)' 

** ' I fancy,' replied M. Danglars, ' that the individoal 
alluded to in the journal Mademoiselle is reading is the 
son of that former ship-owner.' " 

^' Indeed ! " answered Maximilian ; *' and what said your 
father tlicn, Valentino 1 " 

** Oh, such a dreadful thing I dare not repeat it." 

" Tell it, nevertheless/' said the young man, smiling. 

" *Ah/ continued my father, still frowning, * their idol- 
ized emperor treated theso madmen as they deserved ; he 
called them "food for cannon," which was precisely all 
they were pood for. And I am delighted to see that the 
present Oovornmeiit is vigorously applying this salutary 
l>rinciple. Tliough it should keep Algiers only for that 
purpose, I would congmtulate the Government, even though 
that policy bo costly.' " 

" The sentiments expressed were somewliat unfeeling," 
said Maximilian ; " but do not blush, dear friend, at that 
speech of M. de Villefort, for I can assure you that my 
father was not behind yours in the heat of his political 
expressions. * Wliy,* said he, * does not the emperor, who 
does so many fine thinp^, form a regiment of judges and 
lawyers and send them always to the front of battle ] ' 
You see, Valentine, tliat for mildness of thought and pic- 
turesquenoss of expression there is not much choice be- 
tween tlie two parties. But what said M. Danglars to 
this burst of party spirit on tlie part of the procureur 
da mi?" 

" Oh, he laughed, and in that sinister way peculiar to 
him and which to mo seems ferocious ; and a moment later 
they got up and went out. Then for the first time I ob- 
served the agitation of my grandfather; and I must tell you 
Maximilian, that T am the only person capable of discerning 



PTBAM0S AND TSISBE. 



573 



emotiLHi in that poor paralytic. I suspected that the coq- 
versatioD that had been carried on in his presence (foi no 
one paj-a attention to him, poor niuo) had made a atroug 
impression on bia mind, — for naturally enough it must liuve 
pained him to hear the emperor he so devotedly luved and 
served spokeu of in tliat depreciating manner." 

"The name of M. Noii'tier," said Maxiniihan, "ia one 
of the celahratoj names of the empire. He was a Btates- 
man of high standing ; and I know not whether you are 
aware, Valentine, that he took a leading part in every Boua- 
partist conspiracy act on foot during tlie restoration of the 
Bourbons." 

" Oil, I have often heard whispers of things that seem 
to me moat strange, — the fathur a Bonapartist, the 
son a Ilnyalist ; what can have been the reason of so 
singular a difference in partiei) and politics 1 But to re- 
sume my story : I turned towards my grandfather, as 
though to question him aa to the cause of his emotion ; 
he looked eapressively at tlie newspaper I had been read- 
ing. 'What is the matter, dear grandfatberV said I. 
' Are you pleased 1 ' He gave me a sign in the affirmative. 
'With what my father said just now J' He returned a 
sign in tlie negative. ' Porhapa you liked what M. Dan- 
glars remarked J ' Another sign ia the negative. 'Oh, 
then, you were giad to hear that M. Morrel' (I dared not 
say Maximilian) ' has been made an ofBcer of the Legion of 
Honor ! ' He signified asaeut. Only think of the poor old 
man's being pleased that you, a stranger to him, had been 
made an officer of the Legion of Honor ! Perhaps, though, 
it was foolishness on his part, for ha is falling, they say, 
into a second childhood! but I love liim better for that 



i\v singular," murmured Maximilian, "that your 
should apparently hate the very mention of my 



374 THE COUNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 

name, while your grandfather, on the contrary — Strange 
things are these partisan loves and hatreds ! " 

" Husli ! " cried Valentine, suddenly, " conceal your- 
self ! Go, go ! Some one comes ! " 

Maximilian leaped at one bound into his crop of lucerne, 
wliich ho commenced pulling up in the most pitiless 
manner, under the pretext of being occupied in weed- 
ing it. 

*' Mademoiselle ! Mademoiselle ! " exclaimed a voice 
from behind the trees. '* Madame is searching for you 
everywhere ; there are visitors in the drawing-room." 

" Visitors ! " in(|uired Valentine, much agitated, " who 
are they ] " 

" A great lord, a prince, as thoy tell me, — M. le Comte 
de Monte Cristo," 

*• I will come directly," said Valentine, aloud. 

The name caused an electric shock to the individual on 
the other side of the iron gate, on whose ear the " I will 
come ! " of Valentine sounded the parting knell of all their 
interviews. 

" Now, then," said Maximilian, leaning thoughtfully on 
his spade, " how does it happen that the Count of Monte 
Cristo is acquainted with M. de Villefort ? " 



TOXICOLOGY. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



TOXICOLOGY. 



It was really the Count of Monte Cristo who had just 
arrived at Madame do ViUefort'a for the purpose of return- 
ing the visit of ths proeureiir du roi ; and at this name, as 
may be easily imagined, the whole house was iu confusion. 
Madame do Tillefort, who was alone in her drawing-room 
when the count was announced, desired that her son might 
be brought thither instantly to i«new hia thanks to the 
count J and Kdouard, who had heard this great personage 
spoken of unceasingly the last two days made all possible 
haste to come to him, — not in obedience to hia mother, nor 
from any feeling of gratitude to the count, hut from sheer 
curiosity, and that he might make some remark by help 
of which he might Bud an opportunity for saying one of 
those small pertnessea which made his mother say, " Oh, 
that sad child I but pray excuse him, he is really io 

After the first customary civilities, the count inquired 
after M. de ViUefort. 

" My husband dines with the chancellor," replied the 
young wife, " He has just gone ; and I am sure he will 
much regret having lost the pleasure of seeing you." 

Two visitors who were there when the count arrived, 
having gazed at him with all their eyes, retired after that 
reasonable delay required both by politeness and curiosity. 

" Ah ! what is your sister Valentine doing 1 " inquired 
Madame de ViUefort of ^ouard ; " tell some one to hid 



37C THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 

her como hero, that I may have the honor of pre8e2iting 
her to the count." 

" You have a daughter, then, Madame f " inquired the 
count ; " very young, I presume 1 " 

" The dauglittir of M. de Villefort," replied the young 
wife, "by his first marriage, — a fine well-grown girK" 

" But melancholy/' interrupted Master Edouard, snatch- 
ing the feathers out of t)ie tail of a splendid paroquet 
that was scro^iming on its gilded perch, in order to make 
a plume for his hat. Madame de Villefort merely cried, 
" Silence, ^tlouartl ! " She then added, " This young mad- 
cap is, however, very nearly right, and merely re-echoes 
what he has heard rao say with pain a hundred times ; 
for ^ladeinoisclle do Villefort is, in spite of all we can do 
to rouse her, of a melancholy disposition and taciturn 
habit which frequently injure the effect of her beauty. 
But she does not come, Edouard ; go and ascertain the 
reason." 

** Because they are looking for her where she is not to 
be found." 

" And where are they looking for her 1 " 

" Willi Grandjmpa Noirtier." 

" And do you think she is not there ? " 

" No, no, no, no, no, she is not there I " replied Edouard, 
singing his words. 

"And wliere is she, then? If you know, why don't 
you tell 1 " 

" She is under the great chestnut-tree," replied the 
spoiled child, as he f;ave, in spite of his mother's cries, 
live flies to the i)aiTot, who appeared to relish that sort 
of game. Madame de Villefort stretched out her hand 
to ring, intending to direct her waiting-maid to the spot 
where vshc would find Valentine, when the young lady 
herself entered the room. She appeared much dejected ; 




TOXICOLOGY. 



377 



and any jiltsoii who considered her attoutively might have 
ohserved the traces of tears in her ejes, 

Valeutiiie, wliom wo have in the rapid march of our 
narrative presented to our readere without formally intro- 
ducing lier, was a tall and graceful girl of nineteen yeurs 
of age, with bright chestuut hair, deep blue eyes, and that 
languishing air so full of distiuctiou which characterized 
her mother. Her white and elender fingers, her pearly 
^ neck, her cheeks tinted with varying huea, gave lior at the 
first view the aspect of one of those lovely Englishwomen 
who have been so poetically compared in their manner to 
a awan admiring itself. She entered the room, and seeing 
near her stepmother the stranger of whom she had already 
heijrd so much, saluted him without any girlish awkward- 
ness, or even lowering her eyes, and with a grace that 
redoubled the count's attention. He rose to return the 
salutation. 

" Mademoiselle de Villefort, my stepdaughter," Baid 

Madame de Villefort to Monte Cristo, leaning back on 

' her sofa and motioning towards Valentine with her hand. 

" And M. le Comte de Monte Cristo, King of China, 

Emperor of Cochin-China," said the young imp, looking 

slyly towanis his sister. 

Madame de Villefort at this really did turn pale, and 
was very nearly angry with this IioHsehold plague who 
answered to the name of Edouard ; hut the count on the 
contrary smiled, and appeared to look at tlie boy eom- 
placently, which caused the maternal heart to hound again 
with joy and enthusiasm, 

"But, Madame," replied the count, continuing the 
conversation, and looking by turns at Madame de Ville- 
fort and Valentine, " have I not already had the honor 
of meeting you and Mademoiselle 1 The idea occurred 
to me a moment since, and as Mademoiselle entered 



Die siglit of livT van an additional lay of liglit tlirowti oaM 
a coiifuacU remoni bronco; excuse utc the word." 

" I do not tliiiilc it likely, Monsieur j Mnilemoiselle do 
Vill«rutt is not very fi>n<l of society, and we very seldom 
go out," aaid tbe young wife. 

"Tlien it wna not iu aociety that I met with ftlademoi- 
Bulle and younolf^ Madame, and this clmrniiiig littlej 
fuUow. Ik'sidcs, the Parieiau world is entirely uiiknoirnl 
t<.i uic, for, n« I heliuve I told you, I Unve been iu Paris] 
tut very few daya. No ; but )>er)iu])e you will permit 1 
me to call to mind — stay ! " Tho count pUced his hand | 
on bis brow as if to collect liis thouglita. '' No — 
somewhere — away from here — it was — I do not knonr I 
— but it a[>]iears that tliia recollection ia connected with a I 
lovely sky and 8ome religious f6te. Mademoiselle was \ 
holding Sowers in her hand; the child was chaatng a beau- 
tiful peacock in a garden ; and you, Madame, were nndet 
the trellis of some arbor. Pray come to my aid, Madame ; 
do not these circumstances bring to your mind eome 

" No, indeed," replied Madame da Villefort ; " and yet 
it appean^ to me, Monsieur, that if I had met you any- 
where the recollection of you must Lave been imprinted 
on my memory." 

" Perhaps Monsieur the Count saw ns in Italy," said 
Valentine, timidly. 

"Yea, in Italy, — it was in Italy most probahly," re- 
plied Mant« Ciisto ; " you have travelled then iu Italy, j 
Mademoiselle 1 " 

" Yea ; Madame and I were there two years ago. The I 
doctors wore afraid for my lungs, and prescribed the air of J 
Naples. We went by Bologna, Perusa, and Rome." 

" Ah, yes ; true, Mademoiselle," exclaimed Monte 1 
Cristo, aa if this simple iudiuation was sufficient to deter- 1 



TOXICOLOGY. 



379 



mine Iiis recollection. "It waa at Peruaa on the day of 
the F£-te-Diou, in tho garden of the H6tel ilea Postes, that 
chance brought ua together, — you, Madame da Villefort, 
your eon, Mademoiselle, and myself; I now remember 
having had the honor of meeting you." 

" I perfectly well remember Peruaa, Monsieur, and the 
Hfltel dea Postea and the f@te to which you allude," said 
Madame de Villefort ; " but in vain do I tax my memory, 
of whoee treachery I am ashamed, for I really do not recall 
to mind that I ever bad the pleasure of seeing you before." 

" It is strange ; but neither do I recollect meeting with 
you," observed Valentine, raising her beautiful eyes to the 
count. 

" But I remember it," said Edouard, 

" I will aaaiat your memory, Madame," continued the 
count, " The day had been burning hot ; you were wait- 
ing for horses, which were delayed in consequence of 
the festival. Mademoiselle waa walking in the shade of 
the garden, and your son disappeared in pursuit of the 
bird." 

"And I caught it, Mamma, don't you remember?" said 
Edouard, "and I pulled three feathers from its tail." 

" You, Madame, remained under the arbor formed by 
the vine ; do you not remember that while you were 
seated on a stone bench, and while, as I told you. Ma- 
demoiselle de Villefort and your young son were absent, 
you conversed for a, considerable time with somebody 1 " 

"Yes, — iu truth, yea," answered the young wife, turning 
very red, " I do remember convereing with a man wrapped 
in a long woollen mantle ; he was a medical man, I 
think." 

"Precisely ho, Madame ; that man was myself. For a 
fortnight I had been at that hotel, during which period 
I had cured my valtt de chavihre of a fever and my land- 



360 



THE COUNT OP MONTE CRISTO. 



lord of tbo jaundice ; no tliat I liotl really a«iuirei] a repu- 
tation M a skilful physiviitn. Wo talked a long time, 
Mudumt-, iif diffc-Kiit Bubjecta, — of Pcrugioo, of JJaphael, 
of maiiiiera, costumes, of the fauiuua agua tofaiui, of ivli 
tbi>; hud told fdii, I think you said, that ccrtaiil pereoua i 
in I'erusa had presurved tlio Becrnl,*' 

" Yp8, Irup," replied Madame do Viilefort, hastily, and I 
with n dogtw! of uni^Haint-BS ; " I remember now." 

" I do Hut ruculluut now all the vatioua eubjects of I 
which wo di»eouwed, Madame," continued the oount, " 
with perfect calmness; "but I romember distinctly that I 
falUii^' into the error wlilch others bad entertained respect- I 
iug me, you consulted me as to the health of Mademoiselle I 
di- Villt^fort." 

'Tm, rtially. Monsieur; you were in fact a medical I 
man," said Madame de Villefuit, " since you had cured I 
the sick." 

" Muliere or BeHUmarubuis would reply to you, Madame, J 
that it won precisely because I was not that I bail cured I 
my patients ; for uiysulf, I am content to say to you that I f 
have stu<lied chemistry and the natural scienoea somewhat ] 
deeply, but still only as an amateur, you understand." 

At this moment the clock struck en. " It is six o'clock," 
said Mailame de Viilefort, evidently agitated, " Valentine, ! 
will you not go and see if your grandpapa will liave bis \ 
dinner 1 " 

Valentine rose, and aniuting the count, left the room I 
without replying a single word. 

" Oh, Madame I " aaid the count when Valentine hadl 
left the room, " was it on my account that you sent Made-fl 
moiaelie de Viilefort away 1 " 

"By no means," replied the young woman, quickly [ 1 
"but this is the hour when we give to M. Noirtier the | 
sad lepoHt which supports bis melancholy existence. Toa j 



TOXICOLOGY. 381 

are aware, Monsieur, of the deplorable condition of my 
husband's father 1 " 

" Yes, Madame, M. de Villefort spoke of it to me, — a 
paralysis, I think." 

" Alas, yes ! there is an entire want of movement in 
the frame of the poor old man ; the mind alone is still 
active in this human machine, and that is faint and 
flickering like the light of a lamp about to expire. But 
excuse me, sir, for talking of our domestic misfortunes ; 
1 interrupted you at the moment when you were telling 
me that you were a skilful chemist." 

"No, Madame, I did not say so much as that," replied 
the count, with a smile; "quite the contrary. I have 
studied chemistry because having determined to live in 
Eastern climates, I have been desirous of following the 
example of King Mithridates." 

" Mithridates, rex PonticuSy* said the young scamp, as 
he cut some beautiful portraits out of a splendid album, 
"the individual who breakfasted every morning with a 
cup of poison a la creme^^ 

" Edouard, you naughty boy ! " exclaimed Madame de 
Villefort, snatching the mutilated book from the urchin's 
grasp ; " you are unendurable ; you disturb the conversa- 
tion. Leave us, and join your sister Valentine in Grand- 
papa Noirtier's room." 

" The album," said i^douard. 

" What do you mean 1 the album ! " 

"I want the album." 

" Why have you cut out the pictures \ " 

" Oh, it amuses me." 

" Go ; go directly." 

" I won't go unless you give me the album," said the 
boy, seating himself doggedly in an armchair, according 
to his habit of never giving way. 



TliE COUNT OF MONTE CRI8T0. 



" Take it, then, ftnd disturb ub no longer," eaid Madama( 
do Vill^rort, giving tho allium to ^lotiurd, wlio then wenti 
towards thu dour, Iml by bis luuthet. 

The count followed her with his ityea. "Let as see if 
she shuta iha door nftor him," ho mattored. 

Mutlaron dti Villi-furt uluBud the door carefully after the 
child, the count appearing not to notice her ; then casting. 
n scnitinistiiig glance around the chamber, the young wif^ 
retura(:!<l la hor chaJr, in which she seated herself. 

" Allow me to observe, Madame," said the count, witi 
that kind tone ho couhl assume so welt, " you are reallyj 
very severe with that charming child." 

" Oh, sometimes severity is quite necessary," replied] 
Madame de Villefort, with a true maternal emphasis. 

"Il was his Comeliua Nepos that Master Edonard watf'j 
repeating when he referred to King Mithridatos," contin- 
ncd the count; "and you interrupted him in a quotation' 
which proves that his tutor has by no means neglected' 
him, for your son is really advanced for his years." 

"Tlie fact is. Monsieur the Count," answered thaj 
mother, agreeably flattered, " he has great aptitude, auttl 
loams all that is set before him. He has but one fault,—] 
he is somewhat wilful ; but referring to what he said, di 
yon believe that Mithridatos used these precautions, anfj 
that these precautious were efficacious J " 

" I think so, Madame, because I — I who now addresBj 
you — have raaile use of tJiem that I might not bepoieoiiedj 
at Saples, at Palermo, and at Smyrna ; that is to say, on' 
three several occasions when but for these precautions [ 
must have lost my life." 

" And your precautions were successfid J " 

"Completely so." 

" Yes, I remember now your mentioning to me at Pernea 
something of this sort," 



1 



TOXICOLOGY. 



383 



"Iiicleed ! did 1 1" said the count, with an air of stir- 
prise remarkably well counterfeited ; " I really did not 
remoraher it." 

I iniiuirod of you if poisons acted equally and with 
the same effect on men of the North as on men of the 
South ; and you answered me that the cold and sluggish 
babita of the North did not present tlie same auscepti- 
hility to poison as the rich and energetic temperaments 
of the natives of the South." 

"And that is the case," observed Monte Cristo. "I 

vB seen Russians devour without being visibly incon- 
• yenienced vegetable substances wliich would infallibly 
have killed a Neapolitan or an Arab." 

" And jou r«ailj believe the result would bo still more 
SUTB with us than in the East, and that in the midst of 
our fogs and rains a man would habituate himself more 
easily than in a warm latitude to this progressive absorp- 
tion of poison." 

" Certainly ; it being at the same time understood that 
)iie is protected only against that poison to which he has 
accustomed himself." 

Yes, I understand that ; and how would you habitu- 
nte yourself, for instance, or rather liow did you habituate 
yourself! " 

" Oh, very easily. Suppose you knew beforehand the 
loison that would be made use of against you ; suppose 
the poison was, for instance, brucine — " 

"Briicine is extracted from the Bruetsa ferruginea, is it 
not 1 " imiuired Ifadame de Villefort. 

"Precisely, Madame," replied Monte Cristo; "but I 
perceive I have not much to teach you. Allow me to 
compliment you on your knowledge ; such learning is 
. yery rare among ladies." 

" Oh, I am aware of that," said Madame de Villefort ; 



3Hfi 



THK COUNT OP MOSTB CRISTO. 



Carornmcnt, arc in bet Hntoun-al -Bosch ids and Giaffiin, 
wlio uut only pardou a jwiiioiicr, l>ut oven make him i 
primo niiniaUr if lits crime lias been on ingenious one, 
uui vrho under such circumstances bave tbe whole tstory 
written in lotten of golii, U> tlivort their liours of idlenesB 
anil ennui," 

" By no means, M&danie ; the fanciful exists no lonj^r 
in the East. There aio there now, disguised under Otbor 
nikmes, and conct^ulcd undvr other costnniee, agpnts of 
jKilice, magiBln>t«e, attorney-gone mla, and bailifTs. Tliey 
hang, behead, and impale their criminals in the most 
ogruMtlile manner |iossihle ; but some of theao, like clever 
rogues, have contrived to escape human justice and saC' 
ceed in their fraudulent enterprises hj cunning stratagems. 
Among us a simpleton poascwed by the demon of hate or 
cupidity, who has an enemy to destroy, or some near rela- 
tive to dispose of, goes straight to the grocer's or drug- 
gist's, gives a falue name, wliicb loads more easily to bis 
dotoetion than his real one, and purchases under a pre- 
text that the rats prevent him from sleeping five or six 
grams of arsenic ; if he ia really a canning fellow, he goes 
to five or six different druggists or grocers, and thereby 
becomes only hve or six times more easily traced. Then, 
when be has acquired his spet^ific, he administers duly to 
his enemy or near kinsman a dose of arsenic which would 
make a ciammoth or mastodon hurst, and which 'without 
rhyme or reason makes his victim utter groans which 
alarm the entire neighborhood. Then arrive a crowd of 
policemen and constables. They fetch a doctor, who opens 
the dead body, and collects from the entrails and stomach 
a quantity of arsenic in a spoon. Next day a hundred 
newspapers relate the fact, with the names of the victim 
and the murderer. The same evening the grocer or gro- 
cers, druggist or druggists, come and say, ' It was I who 



sold tbe arsenic to the gentleman accuaed;' and ratbei 
than not recognize the guilty purchaser, they will recog- 
nize twenty. Tlien the foolish criminal is taken, im- 
prisoned, interrogated, confronted, confounded, condemned, 
and cut off by hemp or ateel ; or if she he a woman of any 
consideration, they lock her up for life. This is the way 
in which you Northerners understand chemistry, Madame. 
Desrues was, however, I must confess, more skilful." 

"What wuuld you have. Monsieur 1" said the lady, 
laughing; " we do what we win. All the world has not 
the secret of the Medicia or the Borgias." 

" Now," replied tha count, shrugging bis shoulders, 
" shall I tell you the cause of all these stupidities I It is 
because at your theatres, by what at least I could judge 
by reading tbe pieces they play, they see persons swallow 
tbe contents of a phial, or suck the b\itton of a ring, and 
&11 dead instantly. Five muiutes afterwards the curtain 
falls ; and the spectators depart. They are ignorant of 
what cornea afterwards. They see neither the commissary 
of police with his badge of office, nor the corporal with his 
four men ; and that perauadea many weak minds to believe 
that things happen in that way. But go a little way from 
France ; go either to Aleppo or Cairo, or only to Naples 
or Rome, and you will aee people passing by yon in the 
streets, — people erect, smiling, and freah-colored, of whom 
Asmoileus, if he were near you, would say, ' That man was 
poisoned three weeks ago ; he will be a dead man in a 
month.'" 

Then," remarked Madame de Villefort, "they have 
again discovered the secret of the famous aqva-(ofana 
which they told me at Peruaa Lad been loat," 

Eh, indeed, does mankind ever lose anythingl The 
arts are removed, and make a tour of the world. Tilings 
(jhsnge their names, and the vulgar do not follow them, — 




388 TIIE COUNT OF MONTE CErSTO. 

that is all ; Init there U always the Baroe result. 
acts particularly on one organ or the other, - 
stotiineh, auotber on the brain, another on the iiiteatiuM. 
Well, the poison hrings on a congh, the cough an inflam- 
mation of the lungs, or some other complaint catalogued 
in the book of science, which however by no means pre- 
c!ud<!a it from being decidedly mortal ; and if it were not, 
it would be sure to become bo, thanks to the remedies 
applied by foolish doctors, who are geiiendly bad chem- 
ists, which will act in favor of or against the malady, as 
you please. And then there is a human being killed ac- 
cording to sU the rnles of art and skill, in regard to ivhom 
justice makes no inquiries, as was said by a terrible chem- 
ist of my acquaintance, the worthy AbM Adelmonte de 
Taormine, in Sicily, who has studied these national phe- 
nomena very profoundly." 

" It is frightftd, but deeply interesting," said the youid 
woman, motionless with attention. " I thought, I miB 
confess, that these tales were Inventions of the Middl 
Ages." 

" Yea, no doubt, hut improved upon in our own t 
What is the use of time, encouragements, medals, cross 
and Monthyon prizes, if they do not lead society towarf 
perfection t Yet man will never be perfect until he lean 
to create and destroy, like God ; he does know faow i 
destroy, and that is halfway on the road." 

" So," added Madame de Villefort, constantly returniu 
to her object, " the poisons of the Bui^das, the Medicu 
the Een^s, the Euggieris, and later probably that t 
Baron de Trenck, whose story has been so misused ] 
modern drama and romance — " 

" Were objects of art, Madame, and nothing more," ] 
plied the count. " Do you suppose that the real so 
addresses himself stupidly to the mere individual 1 



I 



KICOLOGT. 

no means. Suieuce loves eciientricities, leaps, and bounda, 
trials of strength, fancies, if I may be nlluwed so to term 
tiiem. Thus, for instance, the excellHnt Abbe Adehnonte, 
of whom I spoke to you just now, made on tliis subject 
sunie marvellous esptinuients." 

" Really ! " 

" Yes ; I will mention one to you. He had a remark- 
ably fine garden, full of v^etables, flowers, and fruit 
From among these vegetables be selected the most simple, 
— a cabbage, for iustauue. For three daya he watered this 
cabbage with a distillation of arsenic ; ou the third, the 
cabbage began to droop and turn yellow. At that mo- 
ment he cut it. In the eyes of everybody it aeonied 6t 
fi)r table, and preserved its wholesome appearance, la 
the knowledge of the Abbe Adelmonte alone it was pois- 
oned. He then took the cabbage to the room where he 
had rabbits, — for the Abbe Adelmonte had a collection 
of rabbits, cats, and guinea-pigs as tine as his collection of 
vegetables, Sowers, and fruit. Well, the Abbe Adelmonte 
took a rabbit, and made it eat a leaf uf the cabbage. The 
rabbit died. What magistrate would find, or even ven- 
ture to insinuate anything against this] 'What procureur 
ventui'ed to draw up an accusation against 
M. MageuUie or M. Floureus, in consequence of the rab- 
bits, cats, and guinea-pigs they have killed 1 Not one. 
So, then, tlie rabbit dies, and justice takes no notice. This 
rabbit dead, the Abbe Adelmonte has its entrails taken 
out by his cook and thrown on the dunghill ; on this 
dunghill is a hen, who pecking those intestines is in her 
turn taken ill, and dies next day. At the moment when 
she is struggling in the convnlsinna of death a vulture is 
flying by (there are a good many vultures in Adelmonte'a 
country); this bbd dai-ts on the dead bird and carries it 
away to a rook, where it dines off its prey. Three days 



3D0 TUE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, 

«flcrwBidB this poor vulture, wlia has been very much 
induposod aiiice that dinuer, feels very giddy §iidd<!Q]y 
while flying; uluft iu the clouds, and iaha heavily into u 
Iish-pi>iid. The pike, uels, and carp eut greedily always, 
as everybody knows ; they fuaat on the vulture. Well, 
suppose the next diiy one of these eels, or pike, or carp is 
served at your lubte, poifioned us they are in the fourth 
degree. Well, then, your guest will be poisoned in the 
fifth degree, and will die at the end of eight or ten days 
of pains in the inteslinea, sicknuas, or abecefia of the 
pylonis. The doetors open tlie body and say, ' The 
subject h&s diiid of a tumor on the liver, or of typhoid 
fever 1 ' " 

" But," reninrked Madame de Villefort, " all these 
cunistances which you link thus one to another may 
broken by the least accident ; the vulture may not pass 
8euaoD, or may fall a hundred yards from the fish-pond." 

" Ah, just there is the provinoe of art. To be a great 
chemist in the East we must direct chance ; and this is to 
be achieved." 

Madame do Villefort was deep in thought, yet listened 
attentively, " But," she exclaimed suddenly, " arsenic i^ 
indelible, iudestmctihle ; iu what way soever it 
eorbed, it will be fouml again in the body of the creati 
&om the moment when it has been taken in auffici 
quantity to cause deiitb," 

" Precisely so," cried Monte Cri»to, — " precisely 
Bud this is what I said to nty worthy Adelmoute. 
reflected, smiled, and replied to me by a Sicilian proverli, 
which I believe is also a French proverb, ' My son, the 
world was not made in a day, but in seven. Return on 
Sunday.' On the Sunday following I did return to liim. 
Instead of having watered his cabbage with arsenic, he 
had watered it this time with a solution of salt^. Laving 



lOia 



I 



B ope tie J tliB 
i bad lUsap- 



I, — an excitement of 



I 



L 



TOXICOLOGY. 

tlieir basis in strychnine, etrychnos eUuhrina, as the learned 
term it. Now, the cabbage had not the slightest appear- 
aoce of diaeaae in the world, and the rabbit had not the 
amalleat distrust; yet tive minutes aftetwania the rubbit 
was dead. The fowl pecked at the rabbit, and the next 
day waa dead. We were the vultures, so iv 
fowl, and this time all particular symptom: 
peared ; there were only general symptom 
no peculiar indication in any c 
the nervous system only ; a ease of cerebral congestion. 
The fowl had not been poisoned ; she had died of apo- 
plexy. Apoplexy is a rare disease among fowls, 1 believe, 
but very common among men." 

Madame de Villefort appeared more and more reflective. 
" It is very fortunate," she observed, " that such sub- 
stjinces could only be prepared by chemists, for otherwise, 
indeed, one haK the world would poisou the other half." 

" By chemists and persons who have a taste for chem- 
istry," said Monte Cristo, carelessly. 

" And then," said Madame de Villefort, endeavoring by 
a struggle, and with effort, to get away from her thoughts, 
" however skilfully it is prepared, crime ia always crime ; 
and if it avoid hutnan scrutiny, it does not escape the eye 
of God. The Orientals are stronger than we are in coses 
of conscience, and have prudently abolished hell, — that 
is the difference," 

" Really, Madame, this ia a scruple which naturally 
must occur to a pure mind like yours, but which would 
easily yield before sound reasoning. The bad side of 
human thought will always be defined by tlie paradox of 
Jean Jacques Eousseau, you know, — ' the mandarin who 
is killed at five thousand leagues' distance by raising the 
tip of the finger.' Man's whole life passes in doing these 
things, and his intellect is exhausted by reflecting on them. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. 






392 

You will fittd very few persons who will go and 1; 
thrust a knife in the heart of a. fellow-cieature, or vi 
minister to him, in order to remove him from the surface'" 
of the ylobe, that quautity of arsenic of whitli we just now 
talked. Such a thing is really out of rule, — eccentric or 
stupid. To attain such b. point the blood must be warmed 
to thirty-six degrees, the pulse be at least at ninety, and 
the feelings excited beyond the onliimry limit. But if, 
passing, as wa do in philology, from the word itself to ite 
softened synonyme, you make an elimination ; if instead 
of committing an ignoble assassination, you merely and 
simply remove from your path him who is in your way, 
and that without shock or violence, without the display of 
thi'se sufferings which beaoniiug a punishment make a 
martyr of the victim, and of him who inflicts them a 
butcher in every sense of the word ; if there be no blood, 
no groans, no convulsions, nor, above all, that horrible and 
compromising instantaneousneaa of the deed, — then one 
escapes the elutch of the human law, which says to you, 
' Do not disturb society ! ' This is the mode in which 
they manage these things and succeed in Eastern climes, 
where there are grave and phlegmatic persons who t 
very little for the matter of time in conjunctures ( 
importance," 

" Yet conscience remains ! " remarked Madame t 
Villefort, in an agitated voice, and with a stifled 6 

" Yes," answered Monte Cristo, " happily, yes, 
science does remain ; and if it did not, how wretched ti 
should be ! After every action requiring exertion it is 
conscience that saves us, for it supplies us with a thousand 
good excuses, of which we alone are judges ; and these 
reasons, htiw excellent soever ia proilucing sleep, would 
avail perhaps but little to save our lives before a tribunal. 
Thus Richard 111., for instance, was marvellously served 



TOXICOLOGY. 



393 



\ij iaa conscience aftei tlie putting away of the two chil- 
dren of Edward IV. ; in fact, he could eay, ' These two 
children of a cruel ami persecuting king, who have inher- 
ited the yices of their father, which I alone could per- 
ceive in their juvenile propensities, — these two children 
are imped i me nte in my way of promoting the happiness 
of the English people, to whom they would undoubtedly 
have done harm,' Thus was Lady Macbeth served by her 
conscience, when she sought to give her eon, and not her 
husband, whatever Shakespeare may say, a throne. Ah, 
maternal love ia a great yirtue, a poiverful motive, — so 
powerful that it excuses a multitude of things ; so that 
after the death of Duncan, Lady Macbeth would have 
been very miserable without her conscience." 

Madame de Villefort listened with avidity to these ap- 
palling masiras and horrible paradoxes, delivered by tlie 
count with that ironical simplicity which was pecuhar to 
him. After a moment's silence she said, " Do you know, 
Monsieur the Count, that you are a very terrible reasouer, 
and that you look at the world through a somewhat dis- 
tempered medium ! Is it, then, because you have studied 
humanity through alembics and crucibles t For you are 
right, you are a great chemist ; and the elixir you ad- 
ministered to my son, which recalled him to life almost 
instantaneously — " 

" Oh, do not place any reliance on that, Madame. One 
drop of that elixir sufficed to recall life to a dying child, 
but three drops would have impelled the blood into his 
lungs ia such a way as to have produced most violent pal- 
pitations ; six would have suspended his respiration and 
caused syncope more serious than that in which he was ; 
ten would have destroyed him. You know, Madame, how 
suddenly I snatched him from those phials which he so 
imprudently touched." 



391 



TIIK COUNT OF MONTE CBISTO. 




" tfl it, then, so tcrriblo ft poiscn I " 

" Oh, no 1 In tlic lirst [ilaue, lut us sgnMi that the v 
* poison ' docB not (ixUt ; because ia uiodiciiie use iu latu 
or the most violent poiaona, which become, according as 
they nro iiiiide ubo uf, suliiUiry reuieUies." 

" What, then, ia it 1 " 

" A skilful prepuMtion by my friend, the worthy AM 
Addraotite, who taught nie the ubg of it." 

"Oh," ohaerviid Madame de ViUefort, "it muet be I 
ndnitmblo anti-aposiuodic." 

" Perfect, Madame, as yuu bava sern," replied the 
count; "and I frequently make use of it, — with all 
possible prudence, tliougb, be it observed," ha add* 
smiling. 

" Most assuredly," responded Madame de Villefort, 1 
the same tone. " As for me, so nervous, nad so suhjeg 
to fainting'fita, I should require a Dr. Adelmonte to 1 
vent for me some moans of breathing freely, and tranqoj 
liang niy mind, in the fear I have of dying some fine day ' 
of suffovution. In the moan while, aa the thing is difiicult 
to find in France, and your abb6 is not probably disposed 
to make a journey to Paris on my accoimt, I must cour — 
tinue to use thH anti-spoaniodics of M. Plancli^ ; and n 
and Hoffmann'^ drops are among my favorite reniedj 
Here are some lozenges which are mude expressly for n 
they are compounded doubly strong." 

Monte Cristo opene'l the tortoise-sbell box, which U 
young woman presented to him, and imbibed the odor d 
the lozenges with the air of an amateur who thoroughly 
appreciated their composition. " They are indeed exquis- 
ite," he said ; " but aa they are necessarily submitted to 
the process of deglutition, — a function which it is 1 
quently impossible for a fainting person to aceompliah, - 
I prefer my own Bpecific," 



:1 

I tllB 

to iiH^I 



TOXICOLOGY. 



395 



" Undonbtedly ; and bo should I prefer it, after the 
effects T have aeen produced, But of course it is a secret ; 
and I am not so indiscreet aa to ask it of you." 

" But I," said Moate Cristo, rising as he spoke, — "I 
am gallant enough to offer it you." 

" Oil, Monsieur I " 

"Only rememher one thing : a small dose is a remedy ; 
a large one is poison. One drop will restore life, as you 
Lave witnessed ; five or six will inevitably kiU, and in a 
way the more terrible, inasmuch as poured into a glass of 
wine, it would not in the slightest degree affect its flavor. 
But I say no more, Madame ; it is really as if I were 
advising you." 

The clock struck half-past six, and a lady was an- 
nounced, — a friend of Madame de Villefort, who came 
to dine with her. 

"If I had the honor of seeing you for the third or 
fourtii time, Monaienr the Count, instead of for only the 
eecond," said Madame de Villefort j " if I had the honor 
of being yonr friend, insteoil of having only the happiness 
of lying under an obligation to yon, — I should insist 
on detaining you to dinner, and not allow myself to be 
daimted by a first refusal." 

" A thousand thanks, Madame," replied Monte Cristo, 
" but I have an engagement which I cannot break : 1 have 
promised to escort to the Academie a Greek princess of 
my acqiiaintanea who has never seen your grand opera, 
and who relies on me to conduct her thither." 

" Adieu, then, sir, and do not forget my recipe." 

"Ah, intnith, Madame, to do that I ronst forget the 
hour's conversation I have had with yon, which is indeed 
impossible." 

Monte Cristo bowed and left the house, Madame de 
Villefort remained immersed in thought. " He is a very 



396 THE COUNT OF MONTE CBISTa 

strange man,^ she said, ^'and in my opinion is himself tin 
Adelmonte he talks about.** 

As to Monte Gristo, the result had surpassed his utmost 
expectations. ** Good I *' said he, as he went away ; " thia 
is a fruitful soil, and I feel certain that the seed sown 
will not he cast on barren ground/* Next morning, fiftith- 
ful to his promise, he sent the desired prescription. 



END OF VOL. n. 



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