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Full text of "The Count of Monte-Cristo"

I am a heritage because I 
brioCi you years oj tboupbt 
arri tbe lore of time — 
I Impart yet I can pot speak- 
I have traveled armory tbe 
peoples of tbe eartb -^ I 
am a rover^ Oft- tiroes 
I str^y jtorr? tbe fireside, 
of tbe one u;bo loves and 
cberisbes n?e-u;bo 
rr/isoes me ujber; I an? 
qor?e^5bould you /tn<3 
| me vagrant please send 
rr?e home - among my 
brothers -on tbe book_ 
shelves of 

ALmpSANTtlL 



/ 



The Count of Monte-Cristo 



THE 

COUNTOF MONTE-CRISTO 



ALEXANDRE DUMAS 



WITH NEARLY FIVE HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS FROM DESIGNS BY G. STAAL, 
J. A. BEAUCE, AND OTHER EMINENT FRENCH ARTISTS 



IN FIVE VOLUMES 



Vol. 



GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS 

LONDON AND NEW-YORK 
1888 




Copyright, 1887. 
Bj ]o 1 ph L Blam 



.,.■-,<■ 




Stack 

Annex 



T.\ BLE OF CONTEXTS 



Page 

Chap. I. Marseilles — The Arrival 1 

II. Father and Son 1:5 

III. The Catalans j:j 

IV. Conspiracy .'J4 

V. The Marriage Feast 4:! 

VI. The Deputy Procureur du Boi 63 

VII. The Examination 75 

VIII. The Chateau dTf 89 

IX. The Evening of the Betrothal 1<>- 

X. The Small Cabinet of the Tuileries 109 

XI. The Ogre of Corsica 1l!> 

XII. Father and Son 130 

XIII. The Hundred Days 138 

XIV. The Two Prisoners 14'.) 

XV. Number :!4 and Number 21 H\2 

XVI. A Learned Italian 180 

XVII. The Abbe's Chamber l!Hi 

XVIII. The Treasure 215 

XIX. The Third Attack 230 

XX. The Cemetery of the Chateau d'If i'41 

XXI. The Isle of Tiboulex J4!> 

XXII. The Smuo< ileus 261 

XXIII. The Isle of Monte-Cristo .71 

XXIV. The Secret Cave 279 

XXV. The Unknown 290 

XXVI. The Auberge of Pont du Gard 301 

XXVII. The Recital :S17 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Page 

Dantes Cast into the Sea Frontispiece 

My Name is Edmund Dantes xv 

Edmund Dantes 3 

The •• Phabaon" 5 

Dantes and Morrel 7 

Mercedes 9 

Father and Son 15 

Caderousse 17 

Dantes' Father 19 

Dantes and Mercedes 21 

Eernand and Mercedes l'.~> 

Danglars 31 

The Conspiracy 36 

Eernand and Dantes 37 

Fernand and the Letter 39 

By her Side walked Daxtes' Father 45 

The Marriaue Breakfast 49 

The Procureur dtj Eoi 51 

Eernand .">:; 

The Arrest of Edmond Dantes 55 

What News ? 59 

Mercedes and Dante's Father 61 

M. de \ illefort 65 

The Marquise de Saint-Meran 67 

Renee de- Saint-Meran 71 

The Dinxer 7:'. 

Villefort and Morrel 77 

VlLLKFURT AND DaNTES 7!l 

The Isle of Elba 83 

Burning the Letter 

The Chateau d'If ->7 

Taken to the Chateau d'If 91 



xii LIST OF I 1. 1. USTRA II <>\s. 

Page 

Dantks in the Di ngeon 93 

The Arrival \t the Prison 99 

DANTES \m> THE .1x11.1:1; 100 

Villeport ami Saint-Meran 103 

Mercedes usd Villeport 105 

Mercedes \m> Fernand 107 

B \i;<>\ D \Mii,-i: 113 

King Loi is Will, &nd M. de Villeport ... 117 

M. i>k Blacas 1-1 

'I'm. ( \i:im it Meeting 125 

Tin: King Conferring the Cross 127 

Villeport \m> Eis Father 128 

Noir pier 131 

Tin. Changed Clothes 135 

Napoleon's Return prom Elba 139 

vlllefort and morre1 141 

•• Be Carefi l of Yourself, for if You \kk Kjlled 1 Shall be Alone" 145 

Dantes and the Inspector 153 

The Akkk Paria 155 

"YOU WILL NOT ACCEPT MY GOLD ; I WILL KEEP IT FOR .MlsKl.l" . 157 

Examining the Register 159 

Dantks Throwing his Meals into the Ska 165 

Dantes \ni> the Jailer L69 

The Br< iken Jug 171 

Dantes Undermining the Cell 17:! 

Paria Enters Dantes' Cell 177 

Dantes \ni> Paria isi 

Paria Disheartened 187 

Paria Abandons Eope 189 

Paria in 1 1 is Chamber 1<):J 

The Needle 195 

Paria Cries for Kelp 209 

Paria's Paralyzed Arm 213 

M \rco Spada 219 

Paria GrTES Dantks the Letter 223 

The Cardinal's Secretary 225 

Paria's Farewell to Dantes 235 

Paria's Death 2:i7 

Tin Death Test : . . 239 

Dantes Enters the Sack 24:: 

Tin Sea is the Cemetery of the Chateau i>Tk 247 

Tin. Paint Report of a Gun was Beard 257 

Jacopo 259 

Dantks VIEWS EmSELF 263 

Jeune A.mkkik 2G5 

The Isi.k of Monte-Cristo 269 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. xiii 

Page 

Dantes on the Isle of Monte-Cristo 27.") 

The Cave at Monte-Cristo i»,Sl 

Blasting the Rock 2*3 

Alone with the Countless, these Unheard-of Fabulous Treasures 287 

Dantes Selling the Diamonds 291 

Dantes' Yacht 293 

Removing the Treasure 29;") 

Dantes Revisits His Father's Room 297 

" You are Welcome, Sir," said Caderousse 299 

Caderousse and His Wipe 303 

The Abbe Busoni 30.") 

Busoni and Caderousse 307 

La Carconte 309 

Caderousse Tells the Story 31."> 

The Death of Dantes' Father 32] 

Fernand Enlists 325 

" Suppose it is False ? " 329 

Mercedes Marries Fernand 331 



: 




THE COUNT OF MOXTE-CRISTO 




rilAPTEE I 



MARSEILLES — THE ARRIVAL 



N the '24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of 
Notre-Dame de La Garde signaled the three-master, 
the Pharaon, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples, 

As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and, round- 
ing the < Ihateau d'lf, got on board the vessel between 
Cape Morgion and the Isle of Rion. Immediately, 
and as usual, the platform of Fort Saint Jean was 
covered with lookers-on; it is always a great evenl 
at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially 
when this ship, like the Pharaon, had been built, 
rigged, and laden on the stocks of the old Phoccea, and belonged to an 
owner of the city. 

The ship drew on; she had safelypassed the straitwhich some volcanic 
shock has made between the Isle of < !alasareigne and the Isle of Jaros ; 
had doubled Poinegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, 
and foresail, but so slowly, and in so cheerless a manner, that the idlers, 
with that instinct which foresees misfortune, asked one another what 
accident could have happened on hoard. Eowever, those experienced 
in navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it was no! 

to the Vessel herself, for she holV doWD with all the evidence of being 

skillfully handled, the anchor ready t<> be dropped, tl e bowsprit-shrouds 
loose, and beside the pilot who was steering the Pkaraon through the 



2 THE col ST OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

narrow entrance of the porl of Marseilles, was a young man, with rapid 
gestures and vigilant eye, who superintended every motion of the ship, 
and repeated each order of the pilot. 

The vague disquietude which prevailed amongsl the spectators bad 

so much affected of the crowd on the ten-ace of Saint .lean, thai he 

lid nol await the arrival of the vessel in harbor, but, jumping into a 
small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside the Pharaon, which he readied 
as she rounded the creek of La Reserve. 

When the young sailor saw this man approach, he left his station 
by the pilot, and came, hat in hand, to the side of the ship's bulwarks: 
lie was a fine, tall, slim young fellow, of from eighteen to twenty 
years, with beautiful black eyes, ami hair like ebony; and his whole 
appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accus- 
tomed from their cradle to contend with danger. 

"Ah! is it yon, Dantes?" cried the man in the skiff. "What's the 
matter .' and why have you such an air of sadness aboard?" 

" A great misfortune, M. Morrel !" replied the young man, — "a great 
misfortune, for me especially! off Civita Vecchia we lost our brave 
( iaptain Leclere." 

" And the cargo?" inquired the owner, eagerly. 

"Is all safe, M. Morrel; and I think you will he satisfied on that 
head. Bu1 poor Captain Leclere " 

" What happened to him .'" asked the owner, with an air of consider- 
ate relief. " What happened to the worthy captain!" 

" He died." 

" fell into the sea?" 

" No, sir; he died of tlie brain-fever, in dreadful agony." 
Then, turning to the crew, he said: 

"Look out there! all ready to drop anchor!" 
All hands obeyed. At the same moment eight or ten seamen 
sprang some to the main-sheets, others to the braces, others to the 
halliards, others to the jib-ropes, and others to the topsail-brails. 

The young sailor gave a look to see that his orders were promptly 
and accurately obeyed, and then turned again to the owner. 

"Ami how did this misfortune occur.'" inquired he, resuming the 
conversation suspended for a moment. 

■• Ala-! sir, in the most unexpected manner. After a long conver- 
sation with the harbor-master, Captain Leclere left Naples greatly 
disturbed in ins mind. At the end of twenty-four hours he was 
attacked by a i'cycy, and died three days afterward. We performed the 
usual burial service, and lie is at his rest, sewn up in his hammock 
with two balls of thirty-six pounds each at his head and feet, off the 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 3 

island of El Giglio. We bring to his widow his sword and cross of 
honor. It was worth while, truly," added the young man with a 
melancholy smile, "to make war against the English for ten years, and 
to die at last, like everybody else, in his bed." 




Edmonfl Dantes. 



"Why, you see, Edtnond," replied the owner, who appeared more 
comforted at every moment, "we arc all mortal, and the old must make 
way for the young. If not, why, there would be no promotion : and as 
you have assured me that the cargo " 



4 Till: COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8I0. 

"Is all safe and sound, M. Morrel, take my word for it ; ami 1 advise 
you not to take 100,000 francs for the profits of the voyage." 

Then, as they were just passing the Round Tower, the young man 
shouted out : 

" Beady, there, t>> lower topsails, foresail, and jib ! " 
Tl rder was executed as promptly as if on board a man-of-war. 

"Lei go! and brail all!" At this last word all the sails werelowered, 
and the bark moved almost imperceptibly onward, advancing only 
under the impulse already given. 

" Now. if you will come on board, M. Morrel," said Dantes, observing 
the owner's impatience, "here is your supercargo, M. Danglars, coming 
out of bis cabin, who will furnish you with every particular. As for 
me, i must look after the anchoring, and dress the ship in mourning." 

Tl wnerdid no1 wail to be twice invited. He seized a rope which 

Dantes Hum;- to him, and, with an activity that would have done credit 
to a sailor, climbed up the side of the ship, whilst the young man, 
going to his task, left the conversation to the individual whom he had 
announced under the name of Danglars, who now coming out of the 
cabin advanced toward the owner. He was a man of twenty-five or 
twenty-six years of age, of unprepossessing countenance, ohseqiiious to 
his superiors, insolent to liis inferiors; and then, besides his position as 
responsible agent on hoard, which is always obnoxious to the sailors, 
he was as much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantes was beloved 
by them. 

■• Well, M. Morrel," said Danglars, "you have heard of the misfortune 
that has befallen us .'" 

"Yes — yes! poor Captain Leclere! He was a brave and an honest 
man !" 

" And a first-rate seaman, above all, grown old between sky and ocean, 
as should a man charged with the interests of a house so important 
as that of Morrel and Son," replied Danglars. 

"But," replied the owner, following with his look Dantes, who was 
watching the anchoring of his vessel, "it seems to me that a sailor 
ueeds not to he so old as you say, Danglars, to understand his business; 
for our friend Edmond there does his, it seems to me, like a man who 
has no I,,. ( 'd to ask instruction from any one." 

" Ye-.," said Danglars, casting toward Edmond a look in which a 
feeling of hate was strongly visible. "Yes, he is young, and youth is 
invariably self-confident. Scarcely was the captain's breath out of his 
body than he assumed the command without consulting any one, and 
he caused us to lose a day and a half at the Isle of Elba, instead of 
making for .Marseilles direct." 



THE (<>l XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"As to taking the command of the vessel," replied Morrel, ''that 
was his duty as first mate; as to Losing a day and a half off the Lsle of 

Ell>a he was wrung, unless the ship wanted some repair." 




Thp Pharaon. 



"The ship was as well as I am, and as, 1 hope, yon are, M. Morrel, 
and this day and a half was lost from pure whim, for the pleasure of 
going ashore, and nothing else." 

"Dantes!" said the shipowner, turning toward the young man, 
"come this way!" 



<; ill i: COUNT OF MOFTE-CRISTO. 

" In a moment, sir," answered Dantes, "and I'm with you !" 
Thru, calling to t lie crew, be said, " Lei go ! " 

The anchor was instantly dropped, and the chain ran rattling 
through the port-hole. Dantes continued at his post, in spite of the 
presence of the pilot, until this manoeuvre was completed, and then he 
added: 

"Lower the pennant half-mast high; put the ensign in a weft, and 
slope the yards ! " 

" Ymi see," said Danglars, "he fancies himself captain already, upon 
my word." 

" And so, in fact, be is," said the owner. 

" Except your signature and your partner's, M. Morrel." 

" Ami why should lie not have this.'" asked the owner; " he is young, 
it is true, hut he seems to me a thorough seaman, and of full experience." 
A cloud passed over Danglars's brow. 

" Your pardon, M. Morrel," said Dantes approaching ; " the ship now 
rides at anchor, and I am at your service. You called me, I think ?" 
Danglars retreated a step or two. 

" I wished to impure why you stopped at the Isle of Elba." 

"1 do not know, sir; it was to fulfill a last instruction of Captain 
Leclere, who, when dying, gavemea packet for the Marechal Bertram!." 

"Then, did yon see him, Edmond ?" 

" Who!" 

" The marechal." 

"Yes." 
Morrel looked around him, and then, drawing Dantes on one side, 
be said suddenly — 

" And how is the Emperor ! " 

" Very well, as far as I could judge from my eyes." 

" You saw the Emperor, then :'" 

'• lie entered the marechal's apartment whilst I was there." 

"And you spoke to him .'" 

" Why, it was he who spoke to me, sir," said Dantes, with a smile. 

" And what did he say to yon '. " 

" A.sked me questions about the ship, — the time she left Marseilles, 
the course she had taken, and what was her cargo. I believe, if she had 
been in ballast, and I had been her master, he would have bought her. 
But 1 told him I was only mate, and that she belonged to the firm 
of Morrel and Son. 'Ah! ah !' he said, ' I knoAV them ! The Morrels 
have been shipowners from father to son; and there was a Morrel 
who served in the same regiment with me when I was in garrison a 
Valence.'" 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



u Pa/rdieu! and that is true!" cried the owner, greatly delighted 
"And that was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who was afterward a captain. 
Dantes, you must tell myuncle that the Emperor remembered him, and 
you will see it will bring tears into theold soldier's eyes. Conic, come ! " 




continued he, patting Edmond's shoulder kindly, "yon did very right, 
Dantes, to follow Captain Leclere's instruction, and touch at the Isle of 
Elba, although if it were known that you had conveyed a packel to the 
marechal, and had conversed with the Emperor, it might bring yon into 
trouble." 



8 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"How could that bring me into trouble, sir ?" asked Dantes; "for I 
did not even know of what I was the bearer; and the Emperor merely 
made such inquiries as he would of the first-comer. But, your pardon, 
here arc the officers of health and the customs coming alongside. You 
will excusi in 

"Certainly, certainly, my dear Dantes!" 
The young man went to the gangway, and, as he departed, 
Danglars approached, and said — 

" Well, it appears that he has given you satisfactory reasons for his 
landing at Porto-Ferrajo ?" 

" Yes, most satisfactory, my dear Danglars." 

"Well, so much the better," said the supercargo; "for it is always 
painful to sec a comrade who does not do his duty." 

" Dantes lias done his," replied the owner, "and there is nothing- to 
say ahout it. it was Captain Leclere who gave orders for this delay." 

"Talking of Captain Leclere, has not Dantes given you a letter from 
him ! " 

"To me :' — no — was there one '. " 

"1 believe that, besides the packet, Captain Leclere had confided a 
letter to his care." 

"Of what packet are you speaking, Danglars!" 
Why, that which Dantes left at Porto-Ferrajo." 

•• Dow do you know he had a packet to leave at Porto-Ferrajo ? " 
Danglars turned very red. 

"I was passing close to the dour of the captain's cabin, which was 
half-open, and I saw him give the packet and letter to Dantes." 

'"Me did no! speak bo me of it," replied the shipowner ; "but if there 
be any Letter he will give it to me." 
Danglars reflected for a moment. 

"Then, M. Morrel, I beg of you," said he, "not to say a word to 
Dantes on the subjeel ; 1 may have been mistaken." 

At this momenl the young man returned, and Danglars retreated. 

"Well, my dear Dantes, are you now tree:'" inquired the owner. 

" Yes, sir." 

" You have not been long detained." 

" No. I gave the custom-house officers a copy of our manifest ; and 
as to the consignment, they sent a man off with the pilot, to whom 1 
gave our papers." 

"Then you have nothing more to do here '." 
Dantes cast a glance around. 

" Xo ; nil is arranged now." 

"Then you can come and dine with me .'" 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CBI8T0. g 

"Excuse me, M. Morrel, excuse me, if you please; bul my first visit 
is due to myfather, though I am not the Less grateful for the honor you 
have done me." 
" Eight, Dantes, quite right. I always knewyouwere a good Bon." 




Merced&s. 



"And," inquired Dantes, with some hesitation, " he is well, as far as 
you know .' My father is well .' " 

"Well, 1 believe, my dear Edmond, though I have not seen him 
lately." 



10 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" $es, he likes to keep himself shut up in his little room." 
"That proves, at Least, that he has wanted for nothing during your 
absence." 

Dantes smiled. 

" My father is proud, sir; and if he had not a meal left, I doubt if he 
would have asked anything from any one in the world, except God." 

•• Well thru, after this first visil has been made we rely on you." 

"Imust again excuse myself, M.Morrel; for after this firsl visit has 
been paid I have another, which I am no less anxious to pay." 

"True, Dantes, I forgol that there was at the Catalans some one who 
expects you no less impatiently than your father — the lovely Mercedes." 
Dantes Mushed. 

" Ah ! ah ! ■' said the shipowner, " that does not astonish me, for she 
has been to me three times, inquiring if there were any news of the 
Pha/raon. Peste ! Edmond, you are a lucky fellow, you have a very 
bands »me mistress ! " 

" She is not my mistress," replied the young sailor, gravely ; " she is 
my betrothed." 

" Sometimes one and the same thing," said Morrel, with a smile. 

"Not with us, sir," replied Dantes. 

" Well, well, my dear Edmond," continued the owner, " do not let me 
detain you. You have managed my affairs so well that I ought to allow 
you all the time you require for your own. Do you want any money?" 

" No, sir ; 1 have all my pay to take — nearly three months' wages." 

" You are a careful fellow, Edmond." 

" Say I have a poor father, sir." 

" Yes, yes, 1 know how good a son you are, so now haste away to see 
your father. I have a sou too, and I should be very wroth with those 
who detained him from me after a three months' voyage." 

" Then I have your leave, sir ?" said the young man, with a salute. 

" Yes, if you have nothing more to say to me." 

" Nothing." 

"Captain Leclere did not, before he died, give you a letter for me?" 

" He was unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I must ask 
your leave of absence for some days." 

" To get married ?" 

" Yes. first, and then to go to Paris." 

" Very good; have what time you require, Dantes. It will take quite 
six weeks to unload the cargo, and we cannot get you readyforsea until 
three mouths after that : only be hack again in three months, for the 
PharaoHf added the owner, patting the young sailor on the back, "can- 
not sail without her captain." 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. \\ 

" Without her captain .' " cried Dantes, his eyes sparkling with anima- 
tion; " pray mind what you say,foryou are touching on the most secrel 
wishes of my heart. Is it really your intention to nominate me captain 
of 1 he Pharaon /'' 

"If I were sole owner I would give yon my hand, my dear Dantes, 
and say, ' It is settled'; but I have a partner, and you know th< [talian 
proverb — Chi ha compagno ha padrone — 'He who has a partner has 
a master.' But the thing is at least half done, as you have one out of 
two voices. Rely on me to procure you the other; I will do my b< 

"Ah! M. Morrel," exclaimed the young seaman, with tears in his 
eyes, and grasping the owner's hand, "M. .Morrel, I thank you in the 
name of my father and of Mercedes." 

"Good, good! Edmond. There's a sweet little cherub that sits up 
aloft that keeps a good watch for good fellows! Go and see your 
father; go and see Mercedes, and come to me afterward." 

" Shall I row you on shore :' " 

"No, I thank you; I shall remain and look over the accounts with 
Danglars. Have you been satisfied with him this voyage .' " 

"That is according to the sense you attach to the question, sir. Do 
you mean, he is a good comrade? No, for I think he never liked me 
since the day when I was silly enough, after a little quarrel we had, to 
propose to him to stop for ten minutes at the isle of Monte-( Iristo to set- 
tle the dispute — a proposition which I was wrong to suggest, and he 
quite right to refuse. If you mean as supercargo that you ask me the 
question, I believe there is nothing to say against him, and that you 
will be content with the way in which he has performed his duty." 

" But tell me, Dantes, if you had the command of the Pharaon, should 
you be glad to retain Danglars .'" 

" Captain or mate, M. Morrel," replied Dantes, "I shall always ha v.' 
the greatest respect for those who possess our owners' confidence." 

"Good! good! Dantes. I see you are a thorough good fellow, and 
will detain you no longer. Go, for I see how impatient you arc." 

"Then I have leave 

" Go, I tell you." 

"May I have the use of your skiff :'" 

" Certainly." 

" Then, for the present, M. Morrel, farewell, and a thousand thanks!" 

"I hope soon to see you again, my dear Edmond. Good luck to 
you ! " 

The young sailor jumped into the skiff, and sat down in the stem, 
desiring to be put ashore at the Cannebiere. The two rowers benl to 
their work, and the little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the 



12 Till: cor XT OF MOFTE-CRISTO. 

midst of the thousand vessels which choke up the kind of narrow street 
which leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the 
harbor to the Quai d'Orleans. 

Tin' shipowner, smiling, followed him with his eyes until he saw 
him spring out on the quay and disappear in the midst of the motley 
throng, which, from five o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at 
night, choke up this famous street of La Cannebiere, of which the 
modern Phoceens are so proud, and say with all the gravity in the 
world, and with that accent which gives so much character to what is 
said, "If Paris had ha Cannebiere, Paris would be a little Marseilles." 
( >n turning round, the owner saw Danglars behind him, who apparently 
attended his orders, 1ml in reality followed, as he did, the young sailor 
with his eyes. 

Only there was a great difference in the expression of the looks oi 
the two who thus watched the movements of the same man. 



CHAPTER II 



PATH EB AND SON 




E will leave Danglars struggling with the feelings of hatred, 
and endeavoring to insinuate in the ear of the shipowner 
some evil suspicions againsl his comrade, and follow 
Dantes, who, after having traversed the Cannebiere, took 
the Rue de NoaUles, and entering into a small house situated on the lefi 
side of the Alices de Meilhan, rapidly ascended four stories of a dark 
staircase, holding the baluster in one hand, whilst with the other he 
repressed the beatings of his heart, and paused before a half-opened 
door, which revealed all the interior of a small apartment. 
This apartment was occupied by Dant&s' father. 
The news of the arrival of the Pharaon had not yet reached the old 
man, who, mounted on a chair, was amusmg himself with staking, with 
tremulous hand, some nasturtiums which, mingled with clematis, 
formed a kind of trellis at his window. 

Suddenly, he felt an arm thrown round his body, and a well-known 
voice behind him exclaimed, "Father ! dear father I " 

The old man uttered a cry, and turned round: then, seeing his son, 
he fell into his arms, pale and trembling. 

'• What ails y o\\, my dearest father?" inquired the young man. much 
alarmed, "Are you ill .' " 
"No, no, my dear Edmond — my boy — my son! — do; hut 1 did 

not expect you; and joy, tin 1 surprise of seeing you so suddenly 

Ah ! I really seem as if I were going to die." 

"Come, come, cheer up, my dear father: "Tis I — really 1! They 
say joy never hurts, and so I come to you without any warning. Come 
now, look cheerfully al me, instead of gazing as you do with your eyes 
so wide. Here I am hack again, and we will now lie happy." 



!4 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"Yes, yes, my boy, so we will — so we will," replied the old man; 
" but how shall we I"' happy? Will you never leave me again.' Conic, 
tell in.' all the g I fortune that has befallen you." 

"Grod forgive me," said the young man, "for rejoicing at happiness 
derived from the grief of others; but, Heaven knows, I did not desire 
this good fortune: it has happened, and I really cannot affect to lament 

it. The g I Captain Leclere is dead, father, and it is probable that. 

with the aid of M. Morrel, I shall have his place. Do you understand, 
father.' Only imagine me a captain at twenty, with a hundred louis 
pay, and a share in the profits! Is this not more than a poor sailor like 
me could have hoped for J" 

'• Yes, my dear hoy," replied the old man. "It is great good fortune." 

" Well, then, with the first money I touch, I mean you to have a 
small house, with a garden to plant your clematis, your nasturtiums, 
and your honeysuckles. But what ails you, father? Are not you well .'" 

""Pis nothing, nothing; it will soon pass away." 
And as he said so the old man's strength failed him, and he fell 
backward. 

"Come, come," said the young man, "a glass of wine, father, will 
revive you. Where do you keep your wine .'" 

"No, no; thank ye. You need not look for it; I do not want it," 
said the old man. 

" Yes, yes, father, tell me where it is," and he opened two or three 
cupboards. 

" It is no use," said the old man, " there is no more wine." 

" What ! no more wine :' " said Dantes, turning pale and looking alter- 
nately at the hollow and pallid cheeks of the old man and the empty 
cupboards. " What ! no wine :' Have you wanted money, father?" 

"I want nothing since I see you," said the old man. 

"Yet," stammered Dantes, wiping the perspiration from his brow, — 
" yet 1 gave you two hundred francs when I left, three months ago." 

"Yes, yes, Edmond, that is true, but you forgot at that time a little 
debt to our neighbor, Caderousse. He reminded me of it, telling me if 
I did not pay for yon, he would go and get paid by M. Morrel; and so, 

you see, lest he might do yon an injury " 

•Well — " 

" Why, I paid him." 

"But," cried Dantes. "it was a hundred and forty francs I owed 
< laderousse." 

"Yes," stammered the old man. 

" And you paid him out of the two hundred francs I left you?" 
The old man made a sign in the affirmative. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 15 

"So that you have lived for three months on sixty francs?'' muttered 
I lie young man. 

"You know how little I require," said tl M man. 

"Heaven pardon me," cried Edmonds going on his knees before the 

old man. 



" What are you doing .' " 

" You have wounded my very heart." 

"Never mind it, for I see you once more," said the old man; "and 
now all is forgotten — all is well again." 

"Yes, here I am," said the young man, "with a happy future and a 
little money. Here, father! here!" he said, "take this — take it. and 
send for something immediately." 



Ki THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 

And lie emptied his pockets on the table, whose contents consisted 
of ;i dozen pieces of gold, five or six crowns, and some smaller coin. 
The countenance of old Dantes brightened. 

•• Whom does this belong to .'" he inquired. 

"Tome! to you! to us."' Take it; buy some provisions ; be happy, 
and to-moiTO"w we shah have more." 

"Gently, gently," said the old man, with a smile; "and by your 
leave i will use your purse moderately, for they would say, if they saw 
me buy too many things a1 a time, thai I had been obliged to await your 
return, in order to he able to purchase them." 

" Do as you please; hut, first of all, pray have a servant, father, i 
will not have you lefl alone so long. I have .some smuggled coffee and 
most capital tobacco, in a small chest in the hold, which you shall have 
to-morrow. But, hush! here comes somebody." 

"'Tis Caderousse, who has heard of your arrival, and no doubt comes 
to congratulate you on your fortunate return." 

"Ah! lips that say one thing, whilst the heart thinks another," mur- 
mured Edmond. "But, never mind, he is a neighbor who has done us 
a service on a time, so he's welcome." 

As Edmond finished his sentence in a low voice, there appeared, 
framed by Hie door of the landing, the black and bearded head of 
Caderousse. He was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, 
and hehl in his hand a morsel of cloth, which, in his capacity as a tailor, 
he was about to turn into the lining of a coat. 

"What! is it you, Edmond, returned.'" said he, with a broad Marseil- 
laise accent, and a broad grin that displayed his teeth as white as ivory. 

"Yes, as you see, neighbor Caderousse ; and ready to be agreeable to 
you in any and every way," replied Dantes, but ill-concealing his cold- 
ness under this appearance of civility. 

"Thanks — thanks; but, fortunately, I do not want for anything; 
and il chances that at times there are others who have need of me." 
Dantes made a gesture. "1 do not allude to you, my boy. No! — do! 
I lent you money, and you returned it; that's like good neighbors, and 
we are (puts." 

"We are never quits with those who oblige us,'' was Dantes' reply; 
" for when we do not owe them money, we owe them gratitude." 

" What's the use of mentioning that ? What is done is done. Let tis 
talk of your happy return, my boy. I had gone on the quay to match 
a piece of mulberry cloth, when I met friend Danglars. 

"'What! yon at Marseilles ?'—' Yes,' says he. 
' ' I thought you were at Smyrna.' — ' I was ; but am now back again.' 

"'And where is the dear boy, our little Edmond?' 



THE cor XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



17 



" ' Why, with his father, no doubt,' replied Danglars. And sol came," 
added Caderousse, "as fast as I could to have the pleasure of shaking 
hands with a friend." 

" Worthy Caderousse I" said the old man, "he is so much attached to 
us ! » 






-7~;-^S, 



'".V ■ - ' - ' »* 




"Yes, to be sure I am. I love and esteem you, because honesl folk 
arc so rave! But it seems you have come back rich, my boy," continued 
the tailor, looking askance at the handful of gold and silver which 
Dantes had thrown on the table. 

The youngman remarked the greedy glance which shone in the dark 
eves of his neighbor. 



18 TEE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

"Eh!" he said, negligently, "this money is not nunc: 1 was express- 
ing to my father my fears that he had wanted many things in my 
absence, and to convince me he emptied bis purse on the table. Come, 
father," added Dantes, "put this money back in your box — unless 
neighbor Caderousse wants anything, and in that case it is at his 

service " 

" No, my boy, no," said Caderousse. "lam not in any want, thank 
Cod! the trade keeps me. Keep your money — keep it, I say; — one 
never lias too much; — but, at the same time, my boy, I am as much 
obliged by your offer as if I took advantage of it." 

" It was offered with good-will," said Dantes. 

" No doubt, my boy ; no doubt. Well, you stand well with M. Morrel, 
I hear, — yon insinuating dog, you ! " 

" .M. Morrel has always been exceedingly kind to me," replied Dantes. 

" Then you were wrong to refuse to dine with him." 

•'What! did you refuse to dine with him:'" said old Dantes; "and 
did he invite you to dine .' ,1 

" Yes, my dear father," replied Edmond, smiling at bis father's aston- 
ishment at the excessive honor paid to bis son. 

" And why did you refuse, my son ?" inquired the old man. 

" That I might the sooner be with you again, my dear father," replied 
the young man. "I was most anxious to see you." 

"But it must have vexed M. Morrel, good, worthy man," said Cade- 
rousse. " And when yon arc looking forward to lie captain, it was wrong 
to vex the owner." 

"But T explained to him the cause of my refusal," replied Dantes; 
"and 1 hope he fully understood it." 

" Yes, but to be captain one must give way a little to one's patrons." 

" f hope to he captain without that," said Dantes. 

" So much the better — so much the better! Nothing will give greater 
pleasure to all your old friends; and I know one down there behind the 
citadel of Saint Nicolas who will not be sorry to bear it." 

" Mercedes :'" said the old man. 

" 5Tes, my dear father, and with your permission, now I have seen you, 
and know you are well, and have all von require, 1 will ask your consent 
to go and pay a visit to the Catalans." 

" Co, my deal- boy," said old Dantes; " and Heaven bless you in your 
wife, as it has blessed me in my son!" 

"His wife!" said Caderousse; "why, how fast you go on, father 
Dantes; she is not his wife yet, I fancy." 

"No, but according to all probability she soon will be," replied 
Edmond. 



THE COUNT OF MONTJE-CRISTO. 



19 



" Y& — yes," s ;ii'l Caderousse; " bu1 you were righl t" !"• in a hurry, 
my boy." 
"And why?" 




I in Hi i'>' father. 



" Because Mercedes is a very fine girl, and tine girls never lack lovers; 
slic, particularly, has them by dozens." 

"Really!" answered Edmond, with a smile which had in it traces i>\' 
slight uneasiness. 



20 THE COUNT OF WONTE-CRISTO. 

••Ah, 5 ■■>," continued Caderousse, "and capital offers, too; but, you 

know, you will lie captain, and who could refuse you then :'" 

"Meaning to say," replied Dantes, with a smile which hut ill-con- 
cealed his trouble, "that if I were nol a captain " 

" Eh — eh !" said < 'aderousse, shaking his head. 

"Conic, come, " said the sailor, "I have a better opinion than you of 
women in general, and of Mercedes in particular; and I am certain 
that, captain <>r not, she will remain ever faithful to me." 

"So much the better — so much the hotter," said Caderousse. "When 
one is going to he married, there is nothing like implicit confidence; 
hut never mind that, my hoy, — hut go and announce your arrival, and 
let her know all your hopes and prospects." 

" I will go directly," was Bdmond's reply. 
Then, embracing his father, and saluting Caderousse, he left the 
apartment. 

Caderousse lingered for a moment; then, taking leave of old Dantes, 
he went downstairs to rejoin Danglars, who awaited him at the corner 
of the hue Senac. 

"Well," said Danglars, "did you see him :'" 

"Ihavejusi left him," answered Caderousse. 

"Did he allude to his hope of being- captain .'" 

•• I fe spoke of it as a thing already decided." 

" Patience !" said Danglars; " he is in too much hurry, it appeal's to me." 

"Why, it seems M. Morrel has promised him the thing." 

"So that he is quite elate about it !" 

"That is to say, he is actually insolent on the matter — has already 
offered me his patronage, as if he were a grand personage, and proffered 
me a loan of money, as though he were a banker." 

" Which you refused ?" 

" .Most assuredly; although I might easily have accepted it, for it was 
1 who put into his hands the first silver he ever earned; but now 
M. Dantes has no longer any occasion for assistance — lie is about to 
become a captain." 

"Pooh!" said Danglars; "he is not one yet." 

"Ma foil — and it will he as well he never should lie," answered 
Caderousse; "for, if he should be, there will be really no speaking to 
him." 

"If we choose," replied Danglars, "he will remain what lie is; and 
perhaps become even less than he is." 

" What do you mean ? " 

"Nothing — I was speaking to myself. And is lie still in love with 
the fair Catalane :'" 



/'///: corxr of monte-cristo. 



11 



"Over head and cars; but, unless I am much mistaken, there will be 
a storm in that quarter." 
"Explain yourself." 
"Why should If" 




"It is more important than you think, perhaps. You do not like 
Dantes?" 

"I never like upstarts." 

"Then tell me all you know relative to the Catalane." 

" I know nothing for certain; only I have seen things which induce 
me to believe, as I told you, that the future captain will find some 
annovance in the environs of the road of the Vieilles Cnfirmeries." 



22 THE COUNT OF \l<> X / ' E - G B I S T 0. 

■■ What have you seen .' — come, tell me!" 

- Well, every time I have seen Mercedes come into the city, she has 
heen accompanied by a tall, strapping, black-eyed Catalan, with a red 
complexion, brown skin, and tierce air, whom she calls cousin." 

" Really ; and you think this cousin pays her attentions ?" 

" 1 suppose so. What else can a strapping chap of twenty-one mean 
with a fine lass of seventeen ?" 

"And you say Dantes lias gone to the Catalans?" 

"He went before I came down." 

'■ he us go the same way; we will stop at La Reserve, and we can 
drink a glass of La Malgue, whilst we wait for news." 

'•( 'nine along," said Caderousse; " but mind you pay the shot." 

"I lertainly," replied Danglars. 
The two walked quickly to the spot alluded to; on their reaching it, 
they called for a bottle of wine and two glasses. 

Pere Pamphile had seen Dantes pass not ten minutes before. 
Assured that Dantes was at the Catalans, they sat down under the 
budding foliage of the planes and sycamores, in the branches of which 
the birds were joyously singing on one of the first fair days in spring. 



CHAPTER III 



THE CATALANS 



^5.(^1 s£ BOUT a hundred paces from the spol where the two friends 
fywiGJi were, with their looks fixed on the distance, and their cars 
Kyfnlgaiffl attentive, whilst they imhibed the sparkling wine of ha 
i/sfS^mi Malgue, behind a bare wall, torn and worn by sun and 

storm, was the small village of the Catalans. 

One day a mysterious colony quitted Spain and settled on the 
tongue of land on which it is to this day. It arrived from no one knew 
where, and spoke an unknown tongue. One of its chiefs, who understood 
Provencal, begged the commune of Marseilles to give them this I .are 
and barren promontory, on which, like the sailors of the ancient times, 
they had run their boats ashore. The request was granted; and three 
months afterward, around the twelve or fifteen small vessels which had 
brought these gypsies of the sea, a small village sprang up. 

This village, constructed in a singular and picturesque manner, half 
Moorish, half Spanish, is the one we behold at the present day inhabited 
by the descendants of those men who speak the language of their 
fathers. For three or four centuries they remained faithful to this 
small promontory on which they had settled like a flight of sea-birds, 
without mixing with the Marseillaise population, intermarrying and 
preserving their original customs and the costume of their mother- 
country, as they have preserved its language. 

Our readers will follow us along the only street of this little village, 
and enter with us into one of the houses, on the outside of which the 
sun had stamped that beautiful dead-leaf color peculiar to the buildings 
of the country, and within, a coat of limewash, of that white tint which 
forms the only ornament of Spanish posadas. A young and beautiful 
girl, with hair as black as jet, her eves as velvety as the gazelle's, was 
leaning with her back against a partition, rubbing in her slender fingers, 



24 TEE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

molded after the antique, an innoceul spray of heath, the flowers of 
which she was picking off and strewing on the floor; her arms, bare to 
the elbow, embrowned, bu1 which seemed modeled after those of the 
Venus ;ii Aries, moved with a kind of restless impatience, and she 
tapped the earth with herplianl and well-formed foot, so as to display 
the pure and full shape of her well-turned leg, in its red cotton stock- 
ing with gray and blue docks. 

At three paces from her, seated in a chair which he balanced on two 
legs, Leaning his elbow on an old worm-eaten table, was a tall young 
man of twenty or two-and-twenty, who was looking at her with an air 
in which vexation and uneasiness were mingled. He questioned her with 
his eyes, hut the firm and steady gaze of the young girl controlled his look. 

"You see, Mercedes," said the young man, "here is Easter come 
round again ; it is the time for a wedding; what do you say .'" 

"I have answered you a hundred times, Fernand; and really you 
must be your own em my to ask me again." 

- Well, repeat it,— repeat it, I beg of you, that I may at last believe 
ii ! Tell me for the hundredth time that you refuse my love, which had 
your mother's sanction. .Make me fully comprehend that you are tri- 
fling with my happiness, that my life or death is immaterial to you. 
Ah! to have dreamed for ten years of being your husband, Mercedes, 
and to lose that hope, which was the only object of my existence!" 

"At least it was not I who ever encouraged you in that hope, Fer- 
nand," replied Mercedes; "yon cannot reproach me with the slightest 
coquetry. I have always said to you, 'I love you as a brother; but do 
not ask from me more than sisterly affection, for my heart is another's.' 
is not this true. Fernand ?" 

" \'es, 1 know it well, Mercedes," replied the young man. " Yes, you 
have been cruelly frank with me; but do you forget that it is among 
the < iatalans a sacred law to intermai ry :'" 

•■ You mistake, Fernand, it is not a law, but merely a custom; and, J 
praj of you. do not cite this custom in your favor. You are included in 
the conscription, Fernand, and are only at liberty on sufferance, liable 
at any moment to be called upon to take up arms. Once a soldier, 
what -would you do with me, a poor orphan, forlorn, without fortune, 
with nothing but a hut, half in ruins, containing some ragged nets, a 
miserable inheritance left by my father to my mother, and by my 
mother to me.' She has been dead a year, and you know, Fernand, I 
have been living almost on public charity. Sometimes you pretend I am 
useful to you, and that is an excuse to share with me the produce of your 
fishing, and T accept it, Fernand. because yon are the son of my father's 
brother, because we were brought up together, and still more because it 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRIBTO. 25 

would give you so much pain if I refuse. Bui I feel very deeply that 
this fish which I go and sell, and with the produce of which I buy the 
flax I spin,— I feel very keenly, Fernand, that this is charity." 




Fernand and Mere6dds. 



"And if it were, Mercedes, poor and lone as you are, you suit me as 
well as the daughter of the first shipowner, or the richest banker of 
Marseilles! What do such as we desire bul a good wife and careful 
housekeeper, and where can I look for these better than in you .'" 






I III: COUNT OF M0NTE-CR1ST0. 



"Fernand," answered Mercedes, shaking her head, "a woman becomes 
a bad manager, and who shall say she will remain an honesl woman 
when she loves another man better than her husband! Rest content 
with my friendship, for I repeal to yon thai is all I ran promise, and I 
will promise no more than I ran bestow." 

••I understand," replied Fernand, "you can endure your own wretched- 
ness patiently, bu1 yon are afraid of mine Well, Mercedes, beloved by 
von, I would tempi fortune; yon would bring me good luck. I might 
gel a place as clerk in a warehouse, and become myself a merchant in 
time." 

"You could do ao such thing, Fernand; yon are a soldier, and if 
you remain at the Catalans it is because there is not a war; so remain 
a Bsherman, cherish Ireams thai will make the reality still more ter- 
rible; be contented with my friendship, as I cannot give you more." 

"Well, you are right, Mercedes. I will be a sailor; instead of the 
costume of our fathers, which you despise, I will wear a varnished hat, 
a striped shirt, and a blue jackel with an anchor on the buttons. 
Would not thai dress please you .'" 

" What do you mean .'" asked Mercedes, darting at him an imperious 
glance,— "whal do you mean .' I do not understand yon." 

" 1 mean, Mercedes, that you are thus harsh and cruel with me, 
because yon are expecting some one who is thus attired; but, perhaps, 
be i horn yon await is inconstant, or, it' he is not, the sea is so to him." 

■• F( nand !" cried Mercedes, " I believed you were good-hearted, and I 
wa~. mistaken ! Fernand, you are wicked to call to the aid of your jeal- 
ousy the anger of God ! Yes, I will not deny it, I do await, and I do 
Love him to whom you allude; and, if he does not return, instead of 
accusing him of the inconstancy which you insinuate, I will tell you 
that he died loving me, and me only." 

The young < latalan made a gesture of rage. 

" I understand you, Fernand : you would be revenged on him because 

I d t love you; you would cross your Catalan knife with his dirk. 

What end would that ans. er ? To lose you my friendship if you were 
conquered, and see thai friendship changed into hate if you were con- 
queror. Believe me, to seek a quarrel with a man is a bad method of 
pleasing the woman who loves that man. No, Fernand, you will not 
thus give way to evil thoughts. Unable to have me for your wife, you 
will content yourself with having me for your friend and sister; and 

besides," she added, her eyes troubled ;,l!il , m is ,,.,„.,] ^ftj tearS) U w& ^ 

wait. Fernand; you said just now that the sea was treacherous, and he 
has been gone four months, and during these four months T have 
counted many, many storms." 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 27 

Fernand made no reply, nor did he attempt to check the tears \\ hich 
flowed down the cheeks of Mercedes, although for each of these tears be 
would have given a cupful of his heart's blood; but these tears flowed 

for another. He arose, paced awhile up and down the but, and then, 
suddenly stopping before Mercedes, with his eves stern and his bands 
clenched, 

"Say, Mercedes," be said, "once for all, is this your final determina- 
tion .'" 

"I love Edniond Dantes," the young girl calmly replied, "and none 
but Edniond shall ever be my husband." 

" And you will always love him ? " 

" As long as I live." 
Fernand let fall his head like a defeated man, heaved a sigh which 
resembled a groan, and then suddenly looking her full in the face, with 
clenched teeth and expanded nostrils, said: 

" But if be is dead ?" 

" If be is dead, I shall die too." 

" If he has forgotten you ? " 

" Mercedes !" cried a voice, joyously, outside the house, — " Mercedes ! " 

"Ah!" exclaimed the young girl, blushing with delight, and springing 
up with love, "you see he has not forgotten me, for here he is ! " And 
rushing toward the door, she opened it, saying, 

" Here, Edniond, here I am!" 
Fernand, pale and trembling, receded Like a traveler at the sight of 
a serpent, and fell into a chair beside him. 

Edniond and Mercedes were clasped in each other's arms. The 
burning sun of Marseilles, which penetrated the room by the open door, 
covered them with a Mood of light. At first they saw nothing around 
them. Their intense happiness isolated them from all the rest of the 
world, and they only spoke in broken words, which are the tokens of 
a joy so extreme that they seem rather the expression of sorrow. Sud- 
denly Edniond saw the gloomy countenance of Fernand, as it was 
defined in the shadow, pale and threatening, and by a movement, for 
which lie could scarcely account to himself, the young Catalan placed 
his hand on the knife at his belt. 

"Ah! your pardon," said Dantes, fi'Owning in his turn; "I did not 
perceive that there were three of us." Then, turning to Mercedes, he 
inquired, "Who is this gentleman .'" 

"One who will be your best friend, Dantes, for lie is my friend, my 
cousin, my brother; it is Fernand — the man whom, after you, Edniond. 
I love the best in the world. Do you not remember him .'" 

"Yes!" said Edniond, and without relinquishing Mercedes' hand 






TEE COl NT OF MO A TM-CRISTO. 



clasped in one of his own. he extended the other to the Catalan with 
a cordial air. Bui Fernand, instead of responding to this amiable gest- 
Ulv< remained mute and motionless as a statue. Edmond then cast his 
eye's scrutinizingly at Mercedes, agitated and embarrassed, and then 
again on Fernand, gloomy ami menacing. This look told him all, ami 
his brow became suffused and angry. 

•■ | did not know, when 1 came with such haste to you, that I was to 
meel an enemy lien'."' 

•■An enemy!" * - 1 i * * I Mercedes, with an angry look at her cousin. 
•■ An enemy in my house, do you say. Edmond! If I believed that, I 
would place my arm under yours and go with you to Marseilles, leaving 
the house to return to it no more." 

Fernand'- eye darted hghtning. "And should any misfortune 
occur t<> you. dear Edmond," she continued, with the same implaca- 
ble calmness which proved to Fernand that the young girl had read the 
very innermost depths of his sinister thought, "if misfortune should 
occur to you. 1 would ascend the highesl point of the Cape de Morgion, 
and casl myself headlong from it on the rocks In-low." 
Femand became deadly pale. 

" Bu1 you are deceived, Edmond," she continued. " You have no 
enemy here — there is no one but Fernand. my brother, who will grasp 
your hand a- a d'-\ "ted friend." 

And at these words the young girl fixed her imperious look on the 
Catalan, who. as if fascinated by it. came slowly toward Edmond, and 
offered him his hand. His hatred, like a powerless though furious wave, 
was broken against the strong ascendency which Mercedes exercised over 
him. Scarcely, however, had he touched Edmond's hand than he felt he 
had done all he could do. and rushed hastily out of the house. 

" ( »h !" he exclaimed, running furiously and plunging his hands in his 
hair — " < >h ! who will deliver me from this man .' Wretched — wretched 
thai 1 am!" 

"Halloo. Catalan! Halloo. Fernand! where are you running to?" 
exclaimed a voice. 

The young man slopped suddenly, looked around him, and per- 
ceived Caderousse sitting at table with Danglars under an arbor. 

" Well," said Caderousse, "why don'1 yon com,'.' Are you really in 
such a hurry that you have no time to say 'how do' to your friend's 

" Particularly when they have still a full bottle before them," added 
Danglars. Fernand looked at them both with a stupefied air, but did 
not say a word. 

"He looks sheepish," said Danglars, pushing Caderousse with bis 
knee. - Are we mistaken, and is Dantes triumphant in spite of all we 
have believed .'" 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 29 

"Why, we must inquire into that," was Caderousse's reply; and, 
turning toward the young man. said, "Well, Catalan, can't you make 
up your niind .'" 

Fernand wiped away the perspiration steaming from his brow, and 
slowly entered the arbor, whose shade seemed to restore somewhat of 
calmness to bis senses, and whose coolness somewhat of refreshment to 
his exhausted body. 

"Good-day," said he. "You called me, didn't you?" And he fell, 
rather than sat down, on one of the seats which surrounded the table. 

"I called you because you were running like a madman, and I was 
afraid you would throw yourself into the sea," said Caderousse, laugh- 
ing. "Why! when a man lias friends, they are not only to offer him a 

glass of wine, but, moreover, to prevent his swallowing thr r four 

pints of water unnecessarily ! " 

Fernand gave a groan, which resembled a sob, and dropped bis head 
into his hands, crossed over each other, on the table. 

"Well, Fernand, I must say," said Caderousse, beginning the conver- 
sation, with that brutality of the common people in which curiosity 
destroys all diplomacy, " you look uncommonly like a rejected lover"; 
and he accompanied this joke with a hoarse laugh. 

" Bah !" said Danglars, " a lad of his make was not born to be unhappy 
in love. You are laughing at him, ( laderousse .' " 

" No," he replied ; " only hark how he sighs ! Come, come, Fernand ! " 
said Caderousse, "hold up your head, and answer us. It's not polite qo1 
to reply to friends who ask news of your health." 

"My health is well enough," said Fernand, clenching his hands with- 
out raising his head. 

"Ah! you see, Danglars," said Caderousse, winking at his friend, 
"this is how it is: Fernand, whom you see here, is a good and brave 
( iatalan, one of the best fishermen in Marseilles, and he is in love with a 
very fine girl, named Mercedes; but it appears, unfortunately, that the 
fine girl is in love with the second in command on hoard the Pharaon : 
and, as the Pharaon arrived to-day — why, you understand !" 

"No, I do not understand." said Danglars. 

"Poor Fernand has been dismissed," continued Caderousse. 

"Well, and what then .' " said Fernand. lifting up his head, and look- 
ing at Caderousse like a man who looks for sonic one on whom to vent 
his anger; " Mercedes is not accountable to any person, i-- she .' Is she 

not free to love whomsoever she will :'" 

"Oli! if you take it in that sense," said Caderousse, "it is another 
thing! But I thought you were a Catalan, and they told me the Catalans 
were not men to allow themselves to be supplanted by a rival. It was 
even told me that Fernand. especially, was terrible in hi- vengeance." 



30 THE COl \ ■■/■ OF M0NTE-GRI8T0. 

Fernand smiled piteously. " A lover is never terrible," he said. 

"Pool fellow! "remarked Danglars, affecting to pity the young man 
from the bottom of his heart. " Why, you see, he did not expect to see 
Dantes return so suddenly! he thoughl he was dead, perhaps ; orper- 
chance faithless! These things always come on as more severely when 
thej come suddenly." 

•■.\li, mafoi, under any circumstances ! " said Caderousse, who drank 
as he spoke, and on whom the fumes of the wine of La Malgue began to 
take effect,— " under any circumstances Fernand is not the only person 
put "lit by the fortunate arrival of Dantes; is he, Danglars?" 

"No, yon are righl — and I should say thai would bring hi m ill-luck." 

- Well, never mind," answered Caderousse, pouring out a glass of wine 
for Fernand, and filling his own for the eighth or ninth time, whilst 
Danglars had merely sipped his. " Never mind — in the meantime he 
marries Mercedes — the lovely Mercedes — at least, he returns to do 
that," 

During this lime Danglars fixed his piercing glance on the young 
man, on whose heart Caderousse's words fell like molten lead. 

'• Ami when is the wedding to lie .' " he asked. 

"Oh, it is not yet fixed!" murmured Fernand. 

"No, hnt it will he," said Caderousse, "as surely as Dantes will be 
captain of the Pharaon — eh, Danglars?" 

Danglars shuddered at this unexpected attack, and turned to Cade- 
rousse, « hose countenance he scrutinized, to try and detect whether the 
blow was premeditated ; but he read nothing but envy in a countenance 
already rendered almost stupid by drunkenness. 

•■ Well," said he, filling the glasses, " let us drink to Captain Edmond 
Dantes, husband of the beautiful Catalane!" 

Caderousse raised his glass to his month with unsteady hand, and 
swallowed the contents at a gulp. Fernand dashed his on the ground. 

'" Eh ! eh ! eh I " stammered ( laderousse. " What do 1 see down there 
bythe wall, in the direction of the Catalans .' Look, Fernand! your 
eyes are better than mine. I believe I see double. You know wine is a 
deceiver; hnt I should say it was two lovers walking side by side, and 
hand in hand. Heaven forgive me! they do not know that we can see 
them, and they are actually embracing!" 

Danglars did not Los te pang that Fernand endured. 

" I >o yon know them, M. Fernand .'" he said. 

" 5Tes," was the reply, in a l..v, voice. " It is M. Edmond and Made- 
moiselle Mercedes !" 

"Ah! see there, now!" said Caderousse: "and I did not recognize 
them! Halloo, Dantes! halloo, lovely damsel ! Come this way, and let 



Til V COUNT OF MONTE-GRIHTO. 



::i 



us know when the wedding is to he, for M. Fernand here is so obstinate 
he will not tell us ! " 

" Hold your tongue, will you ?" said Danglars, pretending to restrain 
Caderousse, who, with the tenacity of drunkards, leaned oul of the 




Danglars. 

arbor. "Try to stand upright, and Let the lovers make love without 
interruption. See, look at .M. Fernand, and follow his example; he is 
well-behaved ! " 

Fernand, probably excited beyond bearing, pricked by Danglars, as 
the bull is by the bandilleros, was aboul to rush out; for he had risen 



32 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CBISTO. 

from his seat, and seemed to be collecting himself to dash headlong 
upon his rival, when Mercedes, smiling and graceful, lifted up her 
Lovely head, and showed her clear and brighl eye. At this Fernand 
recollected her threat of dying if Edmond died, and dropped again 
despairingly on his scat. Danglars looked at the two men, one after 
il ther, the one brutalized by liquor, the other overwhelmed with love. 

•• 1 shall extracl uothingfrom these fools," he muttered; "audi am 
very much afraid of being here between a drunkard and a coward. 
Bere is a man deservedly crazy, who fuddles himself with wine, while he 
on-Iii to intoxicate himself with gall; there is a great idiot whose mis- 
tress is taken from under his very eyes, and who does nothing mrl weep 
and whine like a baby. Vet this Catalan has eyes thai glisten, like the 
Spaniards, Sicilians, and Calabrians, who practice revenge sowed; he 
has lists that would crush the sknll of an ox as surely as the butcher's 
ax. Unquestionably, Edmond's star is in the ascendant, and he will 
marry the splendid girl — he will he captain, too, and laugh at us all, 
unless — " a sinister smile passed over Danglars' lips — " unless I mingle 
in the affair," he added. 

'• Hallo,,!" continued Caderousse, half rising, and with his fist on the 
table, "halloo, Edmond! do yon not see your friends, or are you too 
proud to speak to them ;'" 

" No, my dear fellow !" replied Dantes,"] am not proud, but I am 
happy; and happiness blinds, 1 think, more than pride." 

"Ah! very well, that's an explanation!" said Caderousse. "Well, 
good-day, .Madame I >antes ! " 

Mercedes court esieil gravely, and said — "That is not my name, and 
in my country it bodes ill-fortune, they say, to call young girls by the 
name of their betrothed before he becomes their husband. Call me, 
then, .Mercedes, if yon please." 

"We ii nisi excuse our worthy neighbor, Caderousse," said Dantes, 
" he is so easily mistaken." 

" So, then, the wedding is to take place immediately, M. Dantes:'" said 
Danglars, bowing to the young couple. 

"As soon as possible, M. Danglars; to-day all preliminaries will be 
arranged at my father's, and to-morrow, or next day at latest, the wed- 
ding festival here at La Reserve. My friends will be there, I hope; that 
is to say, you are invited, M. Danglars, and you, Caderousse." 

"And Fernand," said Caderousse with a chuckle: " Fernand, too, is 
invited ! " 

" My wife's brother is my brother," said Ecbnond; "and we, Mercedes 
and 1, should he very sorry if he were absent at such a time." 

Fernand opened his mouth to reply, hut his voice died on his lips, 
ami he could not utter a word. 



THE COUXT OF MOXTE-CRISTO. 33 

"To-day the preliminaries, to-morrow or next day the ceremony! you 
are in a hurry, captain ! " 

" Danglars," said Edmond, smiling, " I will say to you as Mercedes 
said just now to Caderousse, ' Do not give me a title which does not 
belong to me ' ; that may bring me bad luck." 

"Your pardon," replied Danglars, "I merely said you seemed in a 
hurry, and we have lots of time; the Pharaon cannot be under way 
again in less than three months." 

"We are always in a hurry to be happy, M. Danglars; for when we 
have suffered a long time, we have great difficulty in believing in good 
fortune. But it is not selfishness alone that makes me thus in haste : I 
must go to Paris." 

"To Paris! really! and will it he the first time you have ever been 
there, Dantes .' " 

" Yes." 

" Have you business there I " 

"Not of my own; the last commission of poor Captain Leclere; you 
understand, Danglars, — it is sacred. Besides, I shall only take the time 
to go and return." 

"Yes, yes, I understand," said Danglars, aloud; and then in a low- 
tone he added, "To Paris, no doubt, to deliver the letter which the 
Grand Marshal gave him. Ah ! this letter gives me an idea — a capita] 
idea! Ah! Dantes, my friend, you are not yet registered number one 
on board the good ship Pharaon " ; then, turning toward Edmond, who 
was walking away, "Good journey." he cried. 

"Thank ye," said Edmond, with a friendly nod, and the two lovers 
continued their route, calm and joyous as two blessed souls that ascend 
to heaven. 



CHAPTER IV 



CONSPIRACY 




ANGLARS followed Edmund and Mercedes with his eyes 

until the two lovers disappeared behind one of the angles 

of Fort Saint Nicolas; then, turning round, he perceived 

Fernand, who had fallen, pale and trembling, into his chair, 

whilst Caderousse stammered out the words of a drinking-song. 

" Well, my dear sir," said Danglars to Fernand, " here is a marriage 
which does not appear to make everybody happy." 

" It drives me to despair," said Fernand. 

"Do you, then, love Mercedes .'" 

"I adore her!" 

"Have you loved her long?" 

"Ever since I have known her." 

"And you sit there, tearing your hair, instead of seeking to remedy 
your condition; I did not think it was thus the men of your nation 
acted." 

" What would yon have me do ;' " said Fernand. 

'■ Eow do I know .' Is it my affair? 1 am not the one who is in love 
with Mademoiselle Mercedes ; bul you. Seek, Nays Scripture, and you 
shall find." 

" I have found already. 

"What .'" 

" I would stab the man, but the woman told me that if any misfortune 

happened to her betrothed, she would kill herself." 
"Pooh! women say those things, but never do them." 
" You do not know Mercedes; what she threatens she will do." 
"Idiot!" muttered Danglars; " whether she kill herself or not, what 

matter, provided Dantes is not captain :'" 

"Before Mercedes should die," replied Fernand, with the accents of 

unshaken resolution, "I would die myself!" 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-C RISTO. 35 

"That's what I call love!" said Caderousse, with a voice more tipsy 
than ever. "That's love, or I don't know what love is." 

•■ I !ome," said Danglars, " you appear to me a good sort of fellow, and 
hang me! but I should like to help you, but " 

"Yes," said Caderousse, "bu1 bow?" 

"My dear fellow," replied Danglars, "you are three-parts drunk; 

finish the bottle, and you will I ompietely so. Drink, then, and do 

not meddle with what we arc doing, for what we are doing requires all 
one's wits." 

"I — drunk!'' said Caderousse; "well, that's a g I one! I eould 

drink four more such bottles; they are no bigger than Eau-de-Cologne 
flasks. Pere Pamphile, more wine!" 

And Caderousse, to add the proof to the proposition, rattled his 
glass upon the table. 

"You were saying, sir " said Fernand, awaiting with great 

anxiety the end of the interrupted remark. 

"What was I saying! 1 forget. This drunken Caderousse has made 
me lose the thread of my thoughts." 

"Drunk, if you like; so much the worse for those who fear wine, for 
it is because they have some bad thoughts which they arc afraid the 
liquor will extract from their hearts." 

And Caderousse began to sing the last two lines of a song very 
popular at the time : 

"'Les mediants sunt beuveurs d'eau; 
Bieu prouve par li- deluge."" 

"You said, sir, resumed Pernand, "you would like to help me, 
but » 

"Yes; but 1 added, to help you it would be sufficient that Dantes 
did not marry her you love; and the marriage may easily be thwarted. 
methinks, and yet Dantes need not die." 

•• Death alone can separate them," remarked Pernand. 

"You talk like a noodle, my friend," said Caderousse ; ••and here is 
Danglars, who is a wide-awake, clever, deep fellow, who will prove to 
you that you are wrong. Prove it, Danglars. I have answered for you. 

Say there is no need why Dantes should die: it would, ind 1, he a 

pity he should. Dantes is a good fellow ; 1 like Dantes! Dantes, your 
health." 

Fernand rose impatiently. 

"Let him run on," said Danglars, restraining the young man; "drunk 

•All the bad are water-drinkers; 

X, .all's deluge is a proof. 



3U 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



as he is, he is not much out in what he says. Absence severs as well as 

death, and it' the walls of a prison were between Edmond and Mercedes 

fchey would be as effectually separated as if he lay under a tombstone." 

"Yes; <»nly people gel oul of prison," said Caderousse, who, with what 







sense was left him, hstened eagerly to the conversation, "and when they 
get out, and their names are Edmond Dantes, they revenge " 

" What matters that?" muttered Fernand. 

" And why, I should like to know," persisted Caderousse, " should they 
put Dantes in prison ? he has neither robbed, nor killed, nor murdered." 

" Hold vour tongue ! " said Danglars. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



37 



"I won't hold my tongue!" replied Caderousse; "1 say I want to 
know why they should put Dantes in prison; I like Dantes; Dantes, 

vour health ! " 




And he swallowed another glass of wine. 

Danglars saw in the muddled look of the tailor the progress of his 

intoxication, and, turning toward Fernand, said: 
" Well, yon understand there is no need to kill him." 



38 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" ( lertainly Qot, if, as you said just now, you have the means of having 
Dantes arrested. Have you that means .'" 

'•It is to he found for the searching. But why should I," he con- 
tinued, "meddle in the matter? it is no affair of mine." 

"I know not why you meddle," said Fernand, seizing his arm; 
'•hut this I know, you have some motive of personal hatred against 
Dantes, for lie who himself hates is never mistaken in the sentiments of 
others." 

■■ I ! motives of hatred against Dantes ? None, on my word ! I saw 
you were unhappy, and your unhappiness interested me; that's all; but 
the moment yon believe 1 act for my own account, adieu, my dear friend, 
get out of the affair as best you may." 
Danglars made a pretense of rising. 

" No, no,'* said Fernand, restraining him, ''stay! It is of very little 
consequence to me, after all, whether you have any angry feeling or not 
against Dantes. I hate him! I confess it openly. Do you find the 
means, I will execute it, provided it is not to kill the man, for Mercedes 
has declared she will kill herself if Dantes is killed." 

Caderousse, who had let his head drop on the table, now raised it, 
and, looking at Fernand with his dull and fishy eyes, he said: 

" Kill Dantes ! who talks of killing Dantes .' I won't have him killed — 
I won't ! He's my friend, and this morning offered to share his money 
with me. as I shared mine with him. I won't have Dantes killed — I 
won't ! " 

" And who has said a word about killing him, muddlehead .'" replied 
Danglars. "We were merely joking: drink to his health," he added, 
filling Caderousse's glass, "and do not interfere with us." 

" Yes, yes, Dantes' good health ! " said. ( laderousse, emptying his glass, 
"here's to his health ! his health ! — hurrah!" 

"But the means — the means:''' said Fernand. 

" Have you not hit upon any 1'" 

" Xo ! — -you undertook to do so." 

"True," replied Danglars; "the French have this superiority over the 
Spaniards, that the Spaniards ruminate, whilst the French invent." 

" Invent, then!" said Fernand, impatiently. 

" Waiter," said Danglars, "pen, ink, and paper." 

"Pen, ink, and paper!" muttered Fernand. 

"Yes; I am a supercargo; pen, ink, and paper are my tools, and 
without my tools I am fit for nothing." 

" Pen, ink, and paper ! " called Fernand, in his turn. 

"All you require is on that table," said the waiter, pointing to the 
writing materials. 



T1IE COL XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



39 



"Bring them here." The waiter took the pen, ink, and paper, and 
placed them on the table where they were drinking. 

"When one thinks,'' said Caderousse, letting his hand drop on the 
paper, "there is here wherewithal to kill a man more surely than it' we 




waited at the corner of a wood to assassinate him ! 1 have always had 
more dread of a pen, a bottle of ink, and a sheet of paper, than of a 
sword or pistol." 

"The fellow is not so drunk as he appears to he," said Danglars. 
"Give him some more wine, Fernand." 



40 THE COUNT OF MONTJE-CBISTO. 

Fernand filled Caderousse's glass, who, toper as lie was, lifted his 
hand from the paper and seized the glass. 

The Catalan watched him mitil Caderousse, almost overcome by this 
fresh assault on his senses, rested, or rather allowed his glass to fall 
upon the table. 

" Well !" resumed the Catalan, as he saw the final glimmer of Cade- 
rousse's reason vanishing before the last glass of wine. 

" Well, then, 1 should say, for instance," resumed Danglars, "that if 
after a voyage such as Dantes has just made, and in which he touched 
at Naples and the isle of Elba, some one were to denounce him to the 
king's procureur as a Bonapartist agent " 

" I will denounce him!" exclaimed the young man, hastdy. 

"Yes, but they will make you then sign your declaration, and con- 
front you with him you have denounced; I will supply you with the 
means of supporting your accusation, I am quite sure. But Dantes 
eannof remain forever in prison, and one day or other he will leave it, 
and the day when he conies out, woe betide him who was the cause of 
his incarceration !" 

" Oh, 1 should wish nothing better than that he would come and seek 
a quarrel with me." 

"Yes, and Mercedes ! Mercedes, who will detest you if you have only 
the misfortune to scratch the skin of her dearly beloved Edmond ! " 

" True ! " said Fernand. 

"No! no!" continued Danglars; "if we resolve on such a step, it 
would be much better to take, as I now do, this pen, dip it into this ink, 
and simply write with the left hand (that the writing may not be recog- 
nized) a little denunciation like this." 

And Dantdars, uniting practice with theory, wrote with his left 
hand, and in a back-hand that had no analogy to his usual writing, the 
following lines, winch he handed to Fernand, and which Fernand read 
on in undertone: 

•' The Procureur du Roi is informed by a friend of the throne and religion that one 
Edmond Dantes, mate of the ship Pharaon, arrived this morning: from Smyrna, after 
having touched at Naples and Porto-Ferrajo, has been intrusted by Murat with a letter 
for the usurper, and by the usurper with a letter for the Bonapartist Committee, in 
Paris. 

" Proof of this crime will be found on arresting him, for the letter will be found upon 
him, or at his father's, or in his cabin on board the Pliar/nm." 

" Very good," resumed Danglars ; " now your revenge looks like com- 
mon sense, for in no way can it revert to yourself, and the matter will 
thus work its own way; there is nothing to do now but fold the letter 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 41 

as I am doing, and write upon it, 'To .M. Le Procureur Royal,' and all 

would be settled." 

And Danglars wrote the address as he spoke. 

"Yes, all would be settled!" exclaimed Caderousse, who, by a last 
effort of intellect, had followed the reading of the letter, and instinct- 
ively comprehended all the misery which such a denunciation musl 
entail. " Yes, and all that would be settled: only it will be an infamous 
deed"; and he stretched out his hand to reach the letter. 

" Moreover," said Danglars, taking it from beyond his reach, " and as 
what I say and do is merely in jest, and as I, amongst the fust am! 
foremost, should be sorry if anything happened to Dantes — the w< >rt try 
Dantes — look here!" And taking the letter, he squeezed it up in his 
hands and threw it into a corner of the arbor. 

"All right!" said Caderousse. "Dantes is my friend, and I won't 
have him ill-used." 

"And who thinks of using him ill? Certainly neither I nor Fer- 
nand!" said Danglars, rising and looking at the young man, who still 
remained seated, but whose sidelong looks were fixed on the denuncia- 
tory sheet of paper flung into the corner. 

"In this case," replied Caderousse, "let's have some more wine. I 
wish to chink to the health of Edmond and the lovely Mercedes." 

" You have had too much already, drunkard," said Danglars; "and if 
you continue, you will be compelled to sleep here, because unable to 
stand on your legs." 

" I ? " said Caderousse, rising with all the fatuous dignity of a drunken 
man, " I can't keep on my legs ! Why, I'll bet a wager I go up into the 
1 lelfry of the Accoules, and without staggering, too ! " 

"Well, done!" said Danglars, "I'll take your bet; but to-morrow — 
to-day it is time to return. Give me your arm, and let us go." 

"Very well, let us go," said Caderousse; "but I don't want your arm 
at all. Come, Fernand, won't you return to Marseilles with us!" 

"No," said Fernand; " I shall return to the Catalans." 

"You're wrong. Come with us to Marseilles — come along." 

"I have nothing to do at Marseilles, I don't want to go there." 

"What do you mean? you will not? Well, just as you like, my 
prince; there's liberty for all the world. Come along, Danglars, and let 
the young gentleman return to the Catalans if he chooses." 

Danglars took advantage of Caderousse's temper at the moment, to 
take him off toward Marseilles, only to give Fernand a shorter and 
easier road. In place of returning by the quay of the Efceve Neuve, he 
returned by the Porte Saint Victor. 

Caderousse followed, staggering, and holding on by his arm. 



42 TEE COUNT OF M0NTE-GRI8T0. 

When they had advanced about twenty yards, Danglars looked back 
and saw Fernand stoop, pick up the crumpled paper, and, putting it 
into his pocket, then rash out of the arbor toward Pillon. 

•• WV1I," said Caderousse, " why, what a lie he told! He said he was 
going to the Catalans, and he is going to the city. Halloo, Fernand! 
You are coming, my boy ! " 

"Oh, it is you who see wrong," said Danglars; "he's gone right by 
the road to the Vieilles [nfirmeries." 

•• Well," said Caderousse, " 1 should have sworn that he turned to the 
righl — how treacherous wine is!" 

"Come, come," said Danglars to himself, "now the thing is well 
started, and there is nothing to be done but let it go on by itself." 



CHAPTER V 



THE MAIUUAGE FEAST 




HE next day was a beautiful one. The morning sun rose clear 
and resplendent, and his first rays of red and purple studded 
with their rubies the foamy eresl of the waves. 

The plenteous feast had been prepared on the first door 
of La Reserve, with whose arbor the reader is already familiar. The 
apartment destined for the purpose was spacious, and lighted by five or 
six windows, over each of which was written in golden letters — explain 
the phenomenon if you can — the name of one of the principal cities of 
France; beneath these windows a wooden balcony extended the entire 
length of the house. 

And although the entertainment was fixed for twelve o'clock at 
noon, an hour previous to that time the balcony was filled with impatient 
and expectant guests, consisting of the favored part of the crew ol thi 
Pharaon, and some soldier friends of Dantes, the whole of whom had 
arrayed themselves in their choicest costumes, in order to do greater 
honor to the day. 

Various rumors were afloat among the guests to the effect that the 
owners of the Pharaon had promised to attend the nuptial feast of its 
mate, hut all seemed unanimous in doubting that an act of such rare 
and exceeding condescension could possibly he intended. 

Danglars, however, who now made his appearance, accompanied bj 
Caderousse, effectually confirmed the report, stating tli.it he had 
recently conversed with M. Morrel, who had himself assured him lie 
intended joining the festive party at La Reserve. 

A moment afterward an enthusiastic burst of applause from lie 
crew of the Pharaon announced the presence of M. Morrel. The visit of 
the shipowner was to them as a sure indication that the man whose wed- 
ding-feast he thus delighted to honor would ere long be firsl in com- 



44 THE <'<>r XT OF MOXTTE-CRISTO. 

maml lit' the Pharaon; and as Dantes was universally beloved on board 
his vessel, the sailors pul no restraint on the tumultuous joy at finding 
the opinion and choice of the owner so exactly coincide with their own. 

This noisy though hearty welcome over, Danglars and Caderousse 
were dispatched to the residence of the bridegroom to convey to him 
the intelligence of the arrival of the important personage who had 
caused such a sensation, and to desire he would hasten. 

Dan-las and Caderousse stalled off upon their errand at full speed; 
luil ere they had -one many steps they perceived at the powder maga- 
zine the little troop advancing toward them. This little troop was com- 
posed of a party of young girls in attendance on the bride, who leaned 
on the arm of Dantes. By her side walked Dantes' father ; last, came 
Fernand, with his evil smile. 

Neither .Mercedes nor Edmond observed this evil smile. Happy in 
their innocent love, they saw only themselves and the clear, pure sky 
that blessed them. 

Having acquitted themselves of then- errand, and exchanged a 
hearty shake of the hand with Edmond, Danglars and Caderousse 
took their places beside Fernand and old Dantes, — the latter of whom 
attracted universal notice. 

The old man was attired in a suit of black, trimmed with steel but- 
tons beautifully cut and polished. His thin but still powerful legs were 
arrayed in a pair of richly embroidered clocked stockings, evidently of 
English manufacture, and smuggled, while from his three-cornered hat 
depended a Ion-- streaming knot of white and blue ribbons. Thus he 
came along, supporting himself on a stick, twisted its whole length like 
the ancient pedum. He might have been one of those mascadins who, 
in 17!»(i, promenaded in the newly reopened gardens of the Luxemborg 
and Tuileries. 

Beside him crept Caderousse, whose desire to partake of the good 
things provided for the wedding party had induced him to become 
reconciled to the Dantes, father and son, although there still lingered 
in his mind a faint and imperfeci recollection of the events of the pre- 
ceding night; just as the brain retains on waking the dim and misty 
outline of tlie dream that has "murdered sleep." 

As Danglars approached the disappointed lover, he cast on him a 
look of deep meaning, while Fernand, as he slowly paced behind the 
happy pair, completely forgotten hy the bride, who, with the juvenile 
and charming egotism of love, had eyes only for her Edmond, was pale, 
with occasional deep flushes that disappeared only to give place to her 
ever-increasing pallor. From time to time he looked toward Marseilles, 



THE cor XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. \~ 

and then a nervous, involuntary trembling made him quiver. Fernand 
seemed to expect, or at leasl anticipate, some greal event. 

Dantes himself was simply, though becomingly, clad in the dress 
peculiar to the merchant service — a costume somewhal between a uni- 
form and a civil garb; and his fine countenance, radiant with joy and 
happiness, was in keeping with this garb. 

Lovely as the Greeks of ( lyprus or < !eos, Mercedes boasted the same 
eyes of jet and coral lips, while she walked with thai free, frank step 
thai distinguishes the women of Aries and Andalusia. One more prac- 
ticed in the arts of greal cities would have hid her joy beneath a veil, 
or, at least, beneath her thickly-fringed lashes; but Mercedes, on the 
contrary, smiled and looked at those around her. Her look and her 
smile said, as plainly as words could have done, "If you are my friends, 
rejoice with me, for, in truth, I am very happy." 

As soon as the bridal cortege came in sight of La Reserve, M. Morrel 
came forth to meet it, followed by the soldiers and sailors there assem- 
bled, to whom he had repeated the promise already given, thai Dantes 
should he the successor to the late Captain Leclere. Edmond, at the 
approach of Ins patron, respectfully placed the arm of his affianced bride 
within that of M. Morrel, who, forthwith conducting her up theflighl of 

w len steps leading to the chamber in which the feast was prepared, 

was gayly followed by the guests, beneath whose thronging numbers the 
slight structure creaked and groaned as though alarmed a1 the unusual 
pressure. 

" Father," said Mercedes, stopping when she had reached th nterof 

the table, "sit, I pray you, on my right hand; on my left I will place 
him who has ever been as a In-other to me," pointing with a sweetue - 
that struck Fernand to his inmosl hearl like the blow of a dagger. Hi- 
lips became ghastly pale, and even beneath the dark hue of his com- 
plexion the blood might be seen retreating as though driven back to the 
heart. 

During this time, Dantes, at the opposite side of the table, had been 
occupied in similarly placing his most honored guests. M. .Morrel was 
seated at his right hand, Danglars at his left; while, al a sign from 
Edmond, the rest of the company ranged themselves as they found it 
most agreeable. 

Already there passed round the table sausages of Aries, with their 
brown meat and piquant flavor; lobsters in their dazzling red cuirasses ; 
prawns of brilliant color, the sea-urchins looking like chestnut-burrs, with 
their prickly outside; the clams, esteemed by the epicm*es of the south 
as more than rivaling the exquisite flavor of the oyster, north. All 
these, in conjunction with the numerous delicacies cast up by the wash 



48 TEE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

of waters on the sandy beach, and styled by the grateful fishermen "sea 
fruits," served to furnish forth this marriage table. 

" A pretty silence, truly !" said the old father of the bridegroom, as he 
carried to his lips a --lass of wine of the hue of the topaz, aud which had 
just been placed before Mercedes by Father Pamphile himself. "Now, 
would anybody think that this room contained thirty people who desire 
nothing better than to laugh .'" 

" Ah !" sighed Caderousse, "a man cannot always feel happy because 
he is about to he married." 

" The truth is," replied Dantes, " that I am too happy for noisy mirth ; 

if that is what you meant by your observation, my worthy friend, you 

are right; joy takes a strange effect at times: it oppresses like sorrow." 

Danglars looked toward Edmond, whose impressionable nature 

received and betrayed each fresh emotion. 

" Why, what ails you ? " said he. " Do you fear any approaching 
evil .' I should say that you were the happiest man alive at this 
instant." 

" And t hat is the very thing that alarms me," returned Dantes. " Man 
does not appear to me to be intended to enjoy felicity so unmixed ; hap- 
piness is like the palaces of the enchanted isles, where dragons guard 
the doors. We must right to win it. I do not know how I have 
deserved the honor of being the husband of Mercedes." 

"Husband, husband," cried Caderousse, laughing, "not yet, captain. 
Just try to play the husband, and see how you are received." 

The bride blushed. Fernand, restless and uneasy, started at every 
sound, occasionally wiping away the large drops of perspiration that 
gathered on his brow like the first rain-drops of a storm. 

'•Well, neve mind that, neighbor Caderousse," said Dantes; "it is 
not worth while to contradict me for such a trifle as that. 'Tis true 
that Mercedes is not actually my wife; but," added he, drawing out his 
watch, "in an hour and a half from this she will be." 

A general exclamation of surprise ran round the table, with the 
exception of the elder Dantes, whose laugh displayed the still perfect 
beauty of his large white teeth. Mercedes looked pleased without a 
blush, while Fernand grasped the handle of his knife with a convulsive 
clutch. 

"In an hour ?" inquired Danglars, turning pale. " How is that, my 
friend f» 

" Why, thus it is," replied Dantes. "Thanks to the influence of M. 
Morrel, to whom, next to my father, I owe every blessing I enjoy, every 
difficulty has heeii removal. We have got the license, and at half-past 
two o'clock the Mayor of Marseilles will be waiting at the Hotel de 
Ville. Now, as a quarter-past one has already struck, I do not consider 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 



V.) 



I have asserted too much in saying, that in another hour and thirty 

minutes Mercedes will be called Madame Dantes." 

Fevnand closed his eyes, a cloud of flame scorched his eyelids, and 
he leaned on the table to prevent his falling; but, in spite of all his 

i; 




efforts, he could not refrain from uttering a deep groan, which, however, 
was lost amid the noisy felicitations of the company. 

"Upon my word," cried the old man, "you make short work of this 
kind of affairs. Arrived here only yesterday morning, and married 
to-day at three o'clock! Commend me to a sailor for going the quick 
way to work ! " 

"But," asked Danglars, in a timid tone, "how did you manage aboul 
the other formalities — the contract — the settlemenl V 

"Oh, bless you," answered Dantes, laughingly, "our papers were soon 



50 Till: COUNT OF MONTE-CBISTO. 

drawn up. Mercedes has nothing, nor have I. We settle our property 
in common. So, you see, our papers were quickly written out, and 
certainly do nol come very expensive." 

This joke elicited a fresh burst of applause. 
" So that what we presumed to be merely the betrothal feast turns out 
to be the actual wedding dinner!" said Danglars. 

"No, no!" answered Dantes; "you'll lose nothing. Take it easy. 
To-morrow morning I start for Paris: four days to go, and four days 
to return, with one day to discharge the commission intrusted to me, 
and I shall be back here by the first of March; the next day I give my 
real marriage feast." 

This prospect of fresh festivity redoubled the hilarity of the guests 
to such a degree, that the elder Dantes, who, at the commencement of 
the repast, complained of the silence that prevailed, now made vain 
efforts, amid the general din of voices, to drink to the health and pros- 
perity of the bride and bridegroom. 

Dantes, perceiving the wish of his father, responded by a look of 
grateful pleasure; while Mercedes began to look at the clock, and made 
a slight gesture to Edmond. 

Around the festive board reigned that noisy hilarity and mirthful 
freedom which is usually found at the termination of social meetings 
among those of inferior station. Such as had not been able to seat 
themselves according to their inclination, rose and sought other neigh- 
bors. All spoke at the same time, and yet none cared to reply to what 
his interlocutor said, but merely to his own thoughts. 

The paleness of Fernand appeared to have communicated itself to 
Danglars. As for Fernand himself, he seemed one of the damned in 
the burning lake; he was among the first to quit the table, and, as 
though seeking to close his ears to the roar of songs and the clink of 
glasses, he continued to pace backward and forward. 

Caderousse approached him just as Danglars, whom Fernand 
seemed most anxious to avoid, had joined him in a corner of the room. 
" Upon my word," said Caderousse, from whose mind the friendly 
treatment of Dantes, united with the effect of the excellent wine of 
Father Pamphile, had effaced every feeling of envy at Dantes' good 
fortune, — "upon my word, Dantes is a downright good fellow, and 
when I see him sitting there beside his pretty wife that is so soon to be, 
I cannot help thinking it would have been a great pity to have served 
him that trick you were planning yesterday." 

"Well," said Danglars, "you saw that it ended in nothing. Poor 
Fernand was so upset that I was sorry for him at first; but, as he has 
gone so far as to be his rival's best man, there is nothing more to say." 



THE COUNT OF MOKTE-CRISTO. 



51 



Caderousse looked full al Fernand — he was ghastly pale. 
"Certainly," continued Danglars, "the sacrifice was do trifling one 
when the beauty of the bride is concerned. Upon my soul, thai future 
captain of mine is a lucky dog! Gad! I only wish he would lei me take 

his place." 




" Shall we not set forth?" asked the sweet, silvery voice of Mercedes : 
"two o'clock has just struck, and you know we are expected at the 
Hotel de Ville in a quarter of an hour." 

"Yes! yes!" cried Dantes, eagerly quitting the table; "let us go" 

" Let us go," said the whole party in chorus. 



52 THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GRI8T0. 

At tliis moment Diino-liirs, who had been mcessantly observing Fer- 
iian-1. perceived him open Ins haggard eyes, rise with an almost convul- 
sive spasm, and fall back againsl a seat placed near one of the open 
windows. At the same instant the ear caught an indistinct sound on the 
stairs, a measured tread, a confused murmur of voices, mixed with the 
clanking of arms, deadening even the mirth of the party, and attracting 
general curiosity, which displayed itself almost instantaneously by a 
restless stillness. 

Nearer and nearer cam.' the sounds. Three knocks, against the 
door, resounded. Kadi looked inquiringly in the countenance of his 
neighbor. 

"In the name of the law!" said a harsh voice, to which no voice 
replied. 

The door was opened, and a magistrate, wearing his official scarf, 
presented himself, followed by four soldiers and a corporal. 
Oheasiness now yielded to dread. 

" .May I venture to inquire the reason of this unexpected visit f " said 
ML Morrel, addressing the magistrate, whom he knew; "there is doubt- 
less some mistake." 

"If it he so," re] .lied the magistrate, "rely upon every reparation 
being made; meanwhile, I am the bearer of an order of arrest, and 
although I most reluctantly perform the task assigned me, it must, 
nevertheless, be fulfilled. Who among the persons here assembled 
answers to the name of Edmoud Dantes?" 

Every eye was turned toward the individual so described, who, spite 
of agitation, advanced with dignity, and said: 

" I am he; what is your pleasure with me?" 

" Edmond Dantes," replied the magistrate, " I arrest you in the name 
of the law!" 

"Me!" repeated Edmond, slightly changing color, " and wherefore, I 
pray .' " 

" I cannot inform yon, but you will be duly acquainted with the 
reasons that have rendered such a step necessary at your first exami- 
nation." 

31. Morrel felt that further resistance was useless. An officer, girt 
with his scarf, is n<> longer a man; he is the statue of law, cold, deaf, 
and dumb. 

Old Dantes, on the other hand, rushed toward the officer. There are 
things which the heart of a father or mother can never comprehend. He 
prayed and supplicated, but tears and prayers were useless. Still his 
despair was so deep that the officer was touched. " My worthy friend," 
said he, " let me beg of you to calm yourself. Your son has probably 



THE COUNT OF UONTE-CRISTO. 



53 



neglected some prescribed form in registering Ins cargo, and it is more 
than probable he will be set at liberty directly he has ;_ci \*-i i the infor- 
mation required," 




" What is the meaning of all this f" inquired Caderousse, Erowningly, 
of Danglars, who had assumed an air of utter surprise. 

"How can I tell you?" replied he; "I am, like yourself, utterly 

bewildered at all that is going on, not a word of which do 1 understand.'' 

Caderousse then looked around for Fernand, but he had disappeared. 



54 I'll i: COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

The scene of the previous night now came back to his mind with 
startling accuracy. The painful catastrophe appeared to have rent away 
the veil which the intoxication of the evening before had raised between 
himself and his memory. 

"So! so!" said he, in a hoarse voice, to Danglars, "this, then, I sup- 
pose, is a part of the trick you were concerting yesterday? All I can 
say is, that if it be so, woe to him who has done it, for it is a foul one ! " 

" Nonsense ! " returned Danglars. " You know very well that I tore 
the paper to pieces." 

"No, you did not!" answered Caderousse, "you threw it in a corner. 
There's the whole matter." 

" Hold your tongue, you fool ! — what should you know about it f — 
why, you were drunk ! " 

"Where is Fernanda " inquired Caderousse. 

" How do I know f " replied Danglars ; " after his own affairs, most 
likely. Never mind where he is ; let us try and help our poor friends in 
this their affliction." 

During this conversation, Dantes, after having exchanged a shake 
of the hand with all his friends, had surrendered himself, merely say- 
ing, with a smile, "Make yourselves quite easy, there is some little 
mistake to clear up, and very likely I may not have to go so far as 
the prison." 

" Oh, to be sure ! " responded Danglars, who had now approached the 
group, " nothing more than a mistake." 

Dantes descended the staircase, preceded by the principal officer of 
police, and followed by the soldiers. A carriage awaited him at the 
door ; he got in, followed by two soldiers and the officer ; the door was 
shut, and the vehicle drove off toward Marseilles. 

" Adieu ! adieu ! dearest Edmond ! " cried Mercedes, leaning forward 
from the balcony. 

The prisoner heard her cry, as it were a sob from the lacerated heart 
of his beloved, thrust his head out of the carriage window and cried, 
" Good-bye — we shall soon meet again ! " and disappeared round one 
of the turnings of Fort Saint Nicolas. 

" Wait for me here ! " cried M. Morrel ; I will take the first convey- 
ance I find, and hurry to Marseilles, whence I will bring you word how 
all is going on." 

" Go ! " exclaimed a multitude of voices ; " go, and return as quickly 
as you can ! " 

This second departure was followed by a long and fearful state of 
terrified silence on the part of those who were left behind. 

The old father and Mercedes remained for some time apart, each 




THE AKK'KST OF EDMOND DANTES. 



THE cor XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 57 

absorbed in their separate griefs; but al length the two poor victims of 
the same blow raised their eyes, and mth a simultaneous bursl of feeling 

rushed into each other's arms. 

Meanwhile Fernand made his reappearance, poured oul for himself 

a glass of water, which he drank, and went to sit down on a chair. 

This was, by mere chance, placed next to the seat <>u which | 

Mercedes had fallen when released from the embrace of "Id Dantes. 
Instinctively, Fernand drew back his chair. 

"He has done it," whispered Caderousse, who had never taken his 
eyes off Fernand, to Danglars. 

"I do not think so," answered the other; "he is too stupid. In any 
case, let the mischief fall upon the head of whoever wroughl it." 

"You don't mention him who advised it," said < laderousse. 

"Pooh !" replied Danglars; "who can be responsible for every random 
word I " 

" But if the random word hits the mark .' *' 
Meantime the subject of the arrest was being canvassed in every 
different form. 

"What think you, Danglars," said one of the party, "of the affair .'" 

"Why," replied he, "I think he may have brought in some smuggled 
goods." 

"But how could he have done so without your knowledge, Danglars, 
who were the ship's supercargo! " 

"Why, as for that, I could only know what I was told respect inn- the 
merchandise. I know she was loaded with cotton, and that she took in 
her freight at Alexandria from the magazine of M. Pastret, ami at 
Smyrna from M. Pascal's. Don't ask me anything more." 

"Now I recollect!" said the afflicted old father; " my poor hoy told 
me yesterday he had got a small case of coffee, and another of tobacco 
for me ! " 

"There, you see ! " exclaimed Danglars. The custom-house people 
have been to the ship in our absence, and discovered poor Dante's' 
hidden treasures." 

Mercedes, however, did not believe a word of this. Her grief, 
hitherto restrained, now burst out in sobs. 

"Come, come — hope!" said the old man, hardly knowing W hat he 
said. 

"Hope!" repeated Danglars. 

"Hope!" faintly murmured Fernand; but the word choked him, his 
lips quivered, and no sound escaped them. 

"Good news!" shouted forth one of the party stationed in the balcony 
on the look-out, "Here comes M. Morrel hack. No doubt, now. he 
brings us good news." 



58 THE COUNT OF M OXTE-CRIHTO. 

Mercedes ami the old man rushed to meet him at the door. He was 

deadly pale. 

■• What news .' " exclaimed a general burst of voices. 

" Alas! my friends," replied M. Morrel, with a shake of his head, "the 
thing has assumed a more serious aspect than I expected." 

••oh! indeed — indeed, sir, he is innocent!" sol/bed forth Mercedes. 

'•That I believe!" answered M. Morrel; "but still he is charged " 

"With what :'" inquired the elder Dantes. 

"With being a Bonapartist agent!" Many of my readers may be 
able tn recollect how formidable such an accusation became in the 
period at which our story is dated. 

A cry escaped the lips of Mercedes, while the old father fell into a 
chair. 

"Ah, Danglars!" whispered Caderousse, "you have deceived me — 
the trick has been played; but I cannot suffer a poor old man or an 
innocent girl to die of grief. I will tell them all." 

"Be silent, you simpleton!" cried Danglars, grasping him by the 
arm, "or I will not answer even for your own safety. Who can tell 
whether Dantes be innocent or guilty t The vessel did touch at Elba, 
where he (putted it, and passed a whole day at Porto-Ferrajo. Now, 
should any letters of a compromising character be found upon him, will 
it not be taken for granted that all who uphold him are his accom- 
plices .'" 

With the rapid instinct of selfishness, Caderousse readily perceived 
the solidity of this mode of reasoning; he gazed with eyes of grief and 
terror on Danglars, and then for every step forward he had taken, he 
t( x >k two back. 

"Let us, then, wait !" said he. 

" To be sure ! " answered Danglars. " Let us wait, by all means. If 
he be innocent, of course he will be set at liberty; if guilty, why, it is 
no use involving ourselves in his conspiracy." 

" Then let us go hence. I cannot stay longer here." 

"With all my heart!" replied Danglars, but too pleased to find a 
partner in his retreat. "Come, let us leave them to get out of it as they 
best can." 

After their departure, Fernand, who had now again become the 

support of Mercedes, led the girl back to the Catalans, while some friends 

of Dantes conducted his father, nearly lifeless, to the Allees de Meilhan. 

The rumor of Edmond's arrest as a Bonapartist agent was not slow 

in circulating throughout the city. 

"Could you ever have credited such a thing, my dear Danglars?" 
asked M. Morrel, as he overtook his supercargo and Caderousse, on his 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 59 

return to the port for the purpose of gleaning fresh tidings of Dantes 
from the deputy Proeureur du Roi, M. de Villefort, w1k.hi he knew 
slightly. "Could you have believed such a thing possible .'" 
"Why, you know I told you," replied Danglars, "thai I considered 




the circumstance of his having anchored in the isle of Elba as a very 

suspicious circumstance." 
"And did you mention these suspicions to any person beside myself!" 

"Certainly not!" returns I Dau-lars • then a. hid, in a low whisper, 



60 THE cor XT OF MOXTE-VUISTO. 

"You understand thai, mi account of your uncle M. Policar Morrel, 
who served under the other, and who does not conceal what he thinks, 
you arc suspected of regretting Napoleon. I should have feared to 
injure both Edmond and yourself, had I divulged my own appre- 
hensions to a soul. There are things which a subordinate is bound to 
acquaint the shipowner with, and to conceal from all else." 

"Yes! yes! Danglars," replied M. .Morrel. "You are a worthy 
fellow ; and I had already thought of you in the event of poor Edmoud 
having become captain of the Pharaon? 

" Eow so.'" 

"Yes, indeed ; I previously inquired of Dantes what was his opinion 
of you, and if he should have any reluctance to continue you in your 
post, for somehow I had perceived a sort of coolness between you two." 

" And what was his reply f 

" That he certainly did think he had given you offense in an affair 
which he did not speak about, but that whoever possessed the confidence 
of the ship's owners would have his also." 

"The hypocrite ! " murmured Danglars between his teeth. 

" Poor Dantes ! " said Caderousse. " No one can deny his being a 
noble-hearted young fellow ! " 

" But, meanwhile," continued M. Morrel, "the Pharaan has no captain." 

" Oh ! " replied Danglars, " since we cannot leave this port for the 
next three months, let us hope that by that period Dantes will be set 
at liberty." 

" Xo doubt ; but in the mean time what are we to do .' " 

" I am entirely at your service, M. Morrel," answered Danglars. " Sou 
know that I am as capable of managing a ship as the most experienced 
captain in the service; and it will be so far advantageous to you to 
accept my services, that upon Edmond's release from prison there will 
be no one to dismiss. Dantes and myself each will resume our respective 
posts." 

■•Thanks, Danglars — that will smooth all difficulties. Assume the 
command of the I'l/aram/, and look carefully to the unloading. Private 
misfortunes must never induce us to neglect business." 

" All right, M. Morrel; but when shall we be allowed to see him, at 
least, poor Edmond." 

" I will let you know that directly I have seen M. de Villefort, whom 
I shall endeavor to interest in Edmond's favor. I am aware he is a 
furious loyalist; but, in spite of that, and of his being the king's pro- 
cureur, he is a man, and I fancy not a bad one ! " 

" Perhaps not," replied Danglars ; " but he is said to be ambitious, 
and that is much the same." 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CBI8T0. 



61 



"Well, well!" returned M. Morrel, "we .shall see! Bui now hasten 
on board ; I will join you there ere long." 

So saying, the shipowner quitted the two allies, and proceeded in 

the direction of the Palais de Justice. 




"You see," said Danglars, addressing Caderousse, "the turn things 
have taken. Do you still feel any desire to stand up in bis defen 

"Not -the slightest, bul yel it is a shocking thing a joke should lead 
to such consequences." 

"But who perpetrated that joke? Let me ask; neither you nor myself, 
but Fernand : you know very well that I threw the paper into a corner 
of the room, — indeed, I fancied I had destroyed it." 



62 THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

" Oh, no ! " replied Caderousse, " that I can answer for, yon did not. 
I only wish I could sec it now as plainly as I saw it lying all crushed 
and crumpled in a corner of the arbor." 

" Well, then, if you did, depend upon it, Fernand picked it up, and 
either copied it or caused it to be copied; perhaps, even, he did not 
take the trouble of reeopying it. And now I think of it, by Heavens ! 
he may have sent the letter itself ! Fortunately, for me, the handwriting 
was disguised." 

" Then you were aware of Dantes being engaged in a conspiracy f " 

" Not a bit in the world ! As I before said, I thought the whole thing 
was a joke, nothing more. It seems, however, that, like Harlequin, I 
have unconsciously stumbled upon the truth." 

" All the same," argued Caderousse, " I would give a great deal if 
nothing of the kind had happened ; or, at least, that I had had no hand 
in it. You will see, Danglars, that it will turn out an unlucky job for 
both." 

" Nonsense ! If any harm comes of it, it should fall on the guilty per- 
son ; and that, you know, is Fernand. How can harm come to us ? All 
we have got to do is, to keep quiet, not breathing a word to any living 
soul; and you will see that the storm will pass away without the thun- 
der-holt striking." 

"Amen!" responded Caderousse, waving adieu to Danglars, and 
bending his steps toward the Alices de Meilhan, moving his head to and 
fro, and muttering as he went, after the manner of one thoroughly 
preoccupied. 

" So far, then," said Danglars, " all has gone as I would have it. I am, 
temporarily, commander of the Pharaon, with the certainty of being 
permanently so, if that fool of a Caderousse can be persuaded to hold his 
tongue. My only fear is the chance of Dantes being released. But, 
1 »ah ! " addi si 1 he, with a smile, " Justice is justice ; I'll leave it to her." 
So saying, he leaped into a boat, desiring to be rowed on board the 
Pharaon, where M. Morrel, it will be remembered, had appointed to 
meet him. 




CHAPTER VI 

THE DEPUTY PEOCUEEUB DTJ BOI 

X one of those old aristocratical mansions, built byPuget, 
situated in the Rue du Grand Cours opposite the fountain 
of Medusa, a second marriage feast was being celebrated, on 
the same day and at the same hour; only, while the actors 
in one scene were plain people, sailors and soldiers, in the other they 
belonged to the heads of Marseillaise society, — magistrates who had 
resigned then' office during the usurper's reign : officers who had deserted 
ovu' ranks to join the army of Conde; youths win > had been brought 
up by then- family, hardly yet assured of their existence, in spite of the 
substitutes they had paid for, to hate and execrate the man whom five 
years of exile ought to have converted into a martyr, and fifteen of 
restoration elevated to a demi-god. 

The guests were at table, and the conversation was animated and 
heated with all the passions of the epoch — passions more terrible, 
active, and hitter in the south, because for five years religious hatreds 
had reenforced political hatreds. 

The emperor, now king of the petty isle of Elba, after having held 
sovereign sway over one half of the world, counting us, his subjects, a 
population of five or six thousand. — after having been accustomed to 
hear the Five Napoleons of one hundred and twenty millions uttered 
in ten different languages, — was looked upon as a man ruined forever for 
France and the throne. 

The magistrates talked of political blunders; the military talked of 
Moscow and Leipsic, and the women of his divorce from Josephine. It 
seemed to this royalist world, joyous and triumphant, less at the fall of 
the man than at the annihilation of the principles he represented, as if 
life were again beginning after a peaceful dream. 

An old man, decorated with the cross of Saint Louis, now rose and 



64 THE corxr OF M0NTE-CR1ST0. 

proposed the health of King Louis XVIII. II" was the Marquis de 
Saint-Meran. This toast, recalling at oner the patient exile of Hartwell 
and the king and pacificator of Prance, excited great applause; glasses 
were elevated in the air a PAnglaise, and the ladies, detaching their 
bouquets, strewed the table with them. In a word, poetical enthusiasm 
prevailed. 

"Ah! they would own, were they here," said the Marquise de Saint- 
Meran, a woman with a hard eye, thin lips, and aristocratic mien, 
though still elegant-looking, despite her fifty years — "ah! these revolu- 
tionists, who drove us out, and whom we leave now in our turn to con- 
spire at their ease in the old chateaux which they purchased for a mere 
trifle during the Reign of Terror, would be compelled to own, were they 
here, that all true devotion was ou our side, since we attached ourselves 
to a falling monarch, while they, on the contrary, worshiped the rising 
sun, and made their fortunes while we lost ours. Yes, yes, they could 
not help admitting that the king, our king, was in truth 'Louis the 
well-beloved,' while their emperor was never anything but 'Napoleon 
the accursed.' Am I not right, Villefort I " 

"I beg your pardon, madame, but — in truth — I was not attending 
to the conversation." 

".Marquise, marquise!" interposed the same elderly personage who 
had proposed the toast, "let the young people alone; on their wedding 
day they naturally have to speak of something else than politics." 

"Pardon me, dearest mother," said a young and lovely girl, with a 
profusion of light brown hair, and eyes that seemed to float in liquid 
crystal, " I yield to you M. de Villefort, whom I had seized for a mo- 
ment. M. Villefort, my mother speaks to you." 

"If Madame la Marquise will deign to repeat the words I but imper- 
fectly caught, I shall be delighted to answer," said M. de Villefort. 

"Never mind, Renee," replied the marquise, with such a look of 
tenderness as all were astonished to see on her harsh features; for a 
woman's heart is so constituted that, however withered it be by the 
blasts of prejudice and etiquette, there is always one spot fertile and 
smiling, the spot consecrated by Clod to maternal love. " I forgive you. 
What I was saying, Villefort, was, that the Bonapartists had neither 
our sincerity, enthusiasm, nor devotion." 

" They had, however, what supplied the place of those fine qualities," 
replied the young man, "and that was fanaticism. Napoleon is the 
Mahomet of the West, and is worshiped by his commonplace but ambi- 
tious followers, not only as a leader and lawgiver, but also as a type, as 
the personification of equality." 

"Of equality!" cried the marquise, '"Napoleon the type of equality! 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRIBTO. 



65 



For mercy's sake, then, what would you call M. de Robespierre .' It 

seems to me that you rob him of his place and give it to the Corsican." 

"Nay, madame; I would place each on his right pedestal — thai of 

Robespierre on his scaffold in the Place Louis ; that of Napoleon on 




M. de Villefort. 



the column of the Place Yendome ; only the one made the equality that 
elevates, the other the equality that depresses; the one brings a king 
to the level of the guillotine, the other the people to a level with the 
throne. Observe," said Villefort, smiling, "I do not mean to deny that 
both were revolutionary scoundrels, and that the !>th Thermidor and 



66 THE <(>r NT OF MOXTE-CRIHTO. 

the 4th of April, 1814, were lucky days for France, worthy of being 
equally remembered by every friend to monarchy and order; and that 
explains how, fallen as 1 trust he is forever, Napoleon has still pre- 
served a train of fanatical adherents. Still, marquise, it has been so 
with other usurpers: Cromwell, who was not half of a Napoleon, had 
his." 

"Do you know, Villefort, that you are talking in a revolutionary 
strain '. But I excuse it; it is impossible to be the son of a Girondin 
and lie free from a spice of the old leaven." 

A deep crimson suffused the countenance of Villefort. 

"'Tis true, madame," answered he, "that my father was a Girondin, 
but lie did not vote for the king's death; he was an equal sufferer with 
yourself during the Reign of Terror, and had well-nigh lost his head on 
the same scaffold as your own father." 

" True," replied the marquise, without the tragical remembrance 
producing the slightest change in her features; "only our respective 
parents underwent proscription from diametrically opposite principles; 
in proof of which I may remark, that while my family remained adher- 
ents of the exiled princes, your father lost no time in joining the new 
government; and that after the Citizen Noirtier had been a Grirondin, 
the Count Noirtier became a senator." 

" Dear mother," interposed Renee, " you know very well it was agreed 
that all these disagreeable reminiscences should be spoken of no more." 

"Suffer me, also, madame," rejoined Villefort, "to add my earnest 
request that you will kindly forget the past. What avails recrimina- 
tion touching circumstances before which even the will of God himself 
is powerless? God can change the future; he cannot modify the past. 
What we human beings can do is not to deny, but to cast a veil over it. 
For my own part, I have laid aside the name of my father, as well as 
his principles. He was — nay, probably may still be — a Bonapartist, 
and is called Noirtier; I, ou the contrary, am a royalist, and style 
myself de Villefort. Let what may remain of revolutionary sap die 
away with the old trunk, and only regard the young shoot which has 
stalled up from this trunk, without having the power, any more than 
the wish, to separate itself entirely." 

"Bravo, Villefort!" cried the marquis; "excellently well said! I, 
too, have always preached to the marquise oblivion of the past without 
ever obtaining it. You, I hope, will be more fortunate." 

" With all my heart," replied the marquise; "let the past be forever 
forgotten ! I ask no more. All I ask is, that Villefort will be inflexible 
for the future. Remember, also, Villefort, that we have pledged our- 
selves to his majesty for you, and that at our recommendation the king 



THE cor ST OF M0NTE-CRI8T0 



67 



consented to forget it" (and here she extended to him her hand), "as 
I now do at your entreaty. Only, if there fall in your way some con- 
spirator, remember that there are so many more eyes on you, as Li U 
known you belong to a family winch, perhaps, is in sympathy with these 
conspirators." 




The Marquise de Saint-Mi-ran. 

"Alas! madame," returned Villefort, " my profession, as well as the 
times in which we live, compel me to be severe. 1 shall be so. I have 
already successfully conducted several public prosecutions, and proved 

my faith. But we have not done with the thing yet." 



68 THE COUNT OF MOXTE-CRISTO. 

" Do you, indeed, think so ? " inquired the marquise. 

" I am, at least, fearful of it. Napoleon, in the island of Elba, is too 
near France, and his presence, almost in sight of our coasts, keeps up 
the hopes of his partisans. Marseilles is filled with half-pay officers, 
who arc daily, under one frivolous pretext or other, getting up quarrels 
with the royalists; hence duels among the higher classes, and assassi- 
nations in the lower." 

" You have heard, perhaps," said the Count de Salvieux, one of M. de 
Saint-Meran's oldest friends, and chamberlain to the Count d'Artois, 
" that the Holy Alliance purpose removing him from thence?" 

" Ah ! " they were talking about it when we left Paris," said M. de 
Saint-Meran ; " and where is it decided to transfer him ! " 

" To Saint Helena." 

" Saint Helena ! where is that ? " asked the marquise. 

" An island situated on the other side of the equator, at least two 
thousand leagues from hence," replied the count. 

" So much the better ! As Villefort observes, it is a great act of folly 
to have left such a man between Corsica, where he was born, Naples, of 
which his brother-in-law is king, and Italy, the sovereignty of which he 
coveted for his son." 

" Unfortunately," said Villefort, " there are the treaties of 1814, and 
without violating them Napoleon cannot be touched." 

" They will be violated," said the Count de Salvieux. " Did he regard 
treaty-clauses when he shot the hapless Due d'Enghien ? " 

" Well," said the marquise, " the Holy Alliance will free Europe of 
Napoleon, and, M. de Villefort, Marseilles of his partisans. The king 
cither reigns or does not. If he reigns, his government must be strong, 
and his agents inflexible. This is the way to prevent mischief." 

"Unfortunately, madame," answered Villefort, a deputy Procureur 
du Roi only appears when the mischief is done." 

" Then all he has got to do is to endeavor to repair it." 

" Nay, madame, we cannot repair it ; we can only avenge the wrong 
done." 

" Oh ! M. de Villefort," cried a beautiful young creature, daughter to 
Count Salvieux, and the cherished friend of Mademoiselle de Saint- 
Meran, "do try and get up some famous trial while we are at Mar- 
seilles. I never was in a law-court ; I am told it is so very amusing ! " 

" Amusing, certainly," replied Villefort, " for, in place of a fictitious 
tragedy, you have a real drama ; in place of theatrical woes, real woes ; 
the man whom you see there, instead of going home when the curtain 
falls, and supping with his family, and sleeping peacefully to begin 
again another day, goes back to prison, where he finds the executioner. 



THE COUNT OF M0NTS-CBI8T0. 69 

You will see that for nervous persons who seek emotions no spectacle 
can be more attractive. Be assured, mademoiselle, if the circumstance 
presents itself, I will give you an opportunity." 

" He makes us shudder — and he smiles ! " said Renee, becoming quite 
pale. 

"Why, it is a duel. I have already recorded sentence of death, five 
or six times, against political criminals, and who can say how many 
daggers may be now sharpening or already directed againsl me?" 

"Gracious heavens! M. de Villefort," said Renee, becoming more and 
more terrified ; " you surely are not in earnest ! " 

"Indeed I am," replied the young magistrate with a smile; "and in 
the interesting trial that young lady desires, to satisfy her curi< >sity, and 
I to satisfy my ambition, the case would only be still more aggravated. 
All these soldiers of Napoleon, accustomed to charge the enemy blindly, 
what did they think about burning a cartridge or rushing on a bayonet .' 
Will they think a bit more about killing a man whom they believe their 
personal enemy, than about killing a Russian, Austrian, or Hungarian 
whom they have never seen? It is this — it is this which justifies our 
profession ! I, myself, when I see the eye of the accused gleaming with 
the flash of rage, I feel myself encouraged and elevated. It is n<> longer 
a trial, it is a combat; I thrust at him, he lunges back; I thrust again, 
and all is ended, as in all combats, by a victory or a defeat ! This is 
what I call pleading ! This is the power of eloquence ! A prisoner who 
smiled at me after my reply woidd make me believe that I had spoken 
badly — that my address was colorless, feeble, insufficient. Think, then, 
of the sensation of pride which is felt by a prosecutor, convinced of the 
guilt of the accused, when he sees the prisoner blanch and crouch 
beneath the weight of his proofs and the thunders of his eloquence! 
That head drops ; that head will fall ! " 
Renee uttered a low cry. 

"Bravo!" cried one of the guests; " that is what I call talking." 

"Just the person we require at a time like the present," said a second. 

"What a splendid business that last cause of yours was, my dear 
Villefort!" remarked a third; "I mean the trial of the man formurder- 
ing his father. Upon my word, you killed him ere the executioner had 
laid his hand upon him." 

"Oh! as for parricides," interposed Renee, "it matters very little 
what is done to them; but, as regards poor political cr imin a ls " 

"But it is still worse, Renee, as the king is father of his people, to 
wish to overthrow or kill the father of thirty-two millions of souls." 

"I don't know anything about that," replied Renee; "but, M. de 
Villefort, you promise to show mercy to those I plead for ? " 



70 THE COENT OF MOWTE-CRISTO. 

" Make yourself quite easy on that point," answered Villefort, with one 
of his sweetest smiles ; " you and I will always consult upon our verdicts." 

" My love," said the marquise, "attend to your humming-birds, your 
lap-dogs, and embroidery ; let your husband mind his business. Nowa- 
days the military profession has rest ; the long robe is in credit. There 
is a Latin proverb about it, very profound." 
Cedant arma togce, said Villefort, with a bow. 

" 1 would not dare to speak Latin," replied the marquise. 

" Well," said Renee, "I cannot help regretting you were not a physi- 
cian. Uo you know I always felt a shudder at the idea of even a 
destroying angel, angel though he be :'" 

" Dear, good, Renee ! " whispered Villefort, as he gazed with tender- 
ness on the speaker. 

" Let us hope, my child," cried the marquis, " that M. de Villefort may 
prove the moral and political physician of this province; if so, he will 
have achieved a noble work." 

"And one which will go far to efface the recollection of his father's 
conduct," added the incorrigible rnarquise. 

" Madame," replied Villefort, with a mournful smile, " I have already 
had the honor to observe that my father has — at least I hope so — 
abjured his past errors, and that he is, at the present moment, a firm 
and zealous friend to religion and order — a better royalist, possibly, 
than his son ; for he is one, with repentance ; I, only with passion." 

Having made this well-turned speech, Villefort looked carefully 
round to mark the effect of his oratory, much as he would have done 
in the court after a like phrase. 

" Do you know, my dear Villefort," cried the Count de Salvieux, 
"that is as nearly as possible what I myself said the other day at 
the Tuileries, when questioned by his majesty's principal chamberlain 
touching the singularity of an alliance between the son of a Griron- 
din and the daughter of an officer of the Duke de Conde. He under- 
stood it thoroughly. This system of fusion is that of Louis XVIII. 
Then the king, who, without our suspecting it, had overheard our con- 
versation, interrupted us by saying, 'Villefort,' — observe that the king 
did not pronol^nee the word Noirtier, but, on the contrary, placed consid- 
erable emphasis on that of Villefort — 'Villefort,' said his majesty, 'is a 
young man of discretion, who will make a figure ; I like him much, and 
it gave me great pleasure to hear that he was about to become the son- 
in-law of M. le Marquis and Madame la Marquise de Saint-Meran. I 
should myself have recommended the match, had not the noble marquis 
anticipated my wishes by requesting my consent to it.' " 

" The king said that, Count ! " asked the enraptured Villefort. 



THE (OIXT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



71 



" I give you his very words ; and if the marquis chooses to be candid 
he will confess that they perfectly agree with whal his majesty said to 
him, when he went, six months ago, to consult him upon the subjecl of 
your espousing his daughter." 




Ren6e de Saint-M6ran. 



"Certainly," answered the marquis. 

- Bow mucli do I owe this gracious prince! What would I aol do to 
evince my gratitude!" 

"That is right," cried the marquise. " 1 love to see you thus. Now, 



72 THE COUNT OF M0NTH-CBI8T0. 

then, were a conspirator to fall into your hands, lie would be most 
welcome." 

" For my part, dear mother," interposed Renee, "I hope God will not 
bear you, and that Providence will only permit petty offenders, poor 
debtors, and miserable cheats to fall into M. de Villefort's hands; then 
I shall be contented." 

".Inst the same as though," said Villefort, laughing, "you prayed 
that a physician might only be called upon to prescribe for headaches, 
measles, and the stings of wasps, or any other slight affection of the 
epidermis. If you wish to see me the king's procureur, you must desire 
for me some of those violent and dangerous diseases from the cure of 
which so much honor redounds to the physician." 

At this moment, and as though the utterance of Villefort's wish had 
stifficed to effect its accomplishment, a servant entered the room and 
whispered a few words in his ear. Villefort immediately rose from 
table and quitted the room upon the plea of urgent business : he soon, 
however, returned, his whole face beaming with delight. 

Renee regarded him with fond affection ; for, with his blue eyes, 
olive complexion, and the black whiskers which framed his face, he was 
truly a handsome, elegant young man, and the whole soul of the young 
girl seemed hanging on his lips till he explained the cause of his sudden 
departure. 

" You were wishing just now," said Villefort, addressing her, " that I 
were a doctor instead of a lawyer. Well, I at least resemble the disciples 
of Esculapius in one thing [people spoke in this style in 1815], that of 
not being able to call a day my own, not even that of my betrothal." 

"And wherefore were you called away just now?" asked Made- 
moiselle de Saint-Meran, with an air of interest. 

" For a patient who is, according to the report given me, near his end. 
A serious case, likely to end in the scaffold." 

" How dreadful ! " exclaimed Renee. 

" Is it possible I " burst simultaneously from all. 

" Why, if my information prove correct, a sort of Bonapartist con- 
spiracy has just been discovered." 

" Can I believe my ears ? " cried the marquise. 

" I will read you the letter containing the accusation, at least," said 
Villefort: 

" ' The procureur du roi is informed by a friend to the throne and the religious institu- 
tions of his country, that an individual, named Edmond Dantes, second in command on 
board the Pharaon, this day arrived from Smyrna, after having touched at Naples and 
Porto-Ferrajo, has been the bearer of a letter from Murat to the usurper, and from the 
usurper to the Bonapartist Club in Paris. Proof may be obtained by arresting him, for 
tin- litter is in the possession either of him or his father, or on board the Pharaon in his 
cabin.'" 



Till: COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



73 



"But," said Renee, "this letter, which, after all. is but an anonymous 
scrawl, is not even addressed to you, but to the procureur du roi." 

"True; but that gentleman being absent, bis secr< tary, by his orders, 
opened his letters: thinking this one of importance, he sent for me, but. 




not finding me, took upon himself to give the necessary orders 
arresting the accused party." 

"Then th<> guilty person is in custody .'" said the marquise. 

"Say the accused person," cried Renee. 



for 



74 TEE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"He is in custody," answered Villefort; "and if the letter alluded to 
is found, as I just said to Mademoiselle Renee, the patient is very sick." 

" And where is the unfortunate being ?" asked Renee. 

" He is at my house." 

"Conic, my friend," interrupted the marquise, "do not neglect your 
duty to linger with us. You are the king's servant, and must go 
whithersoever that service calls you." 

"Oli, M. de Villefort !" cried Renee, clasping her hands, "be merciful 
on this the day of our betrothal." 

The young man passed round to the side of the table where the fair 
pleader sat, and, leaning over her chair, said tenderly : 

" To give you pleasure," he whispered, " I promise, dear Renee, to 

show all the lenity in my power; but if the charges are correct, the 

accusation proved, we must cut short this rank growth of Bonapartism." 

Renee shuddered at the word cut, for the growth in question had a 

head. 

" Never mind that foolish girl, Villefort," said the marquise ; " she will 
soon gei over these things." 

So saying, Madame de Saint-Meran extended her dry hand to Ville- 
fort, who, while kissing it, looked at Renee, saying with his eyes, "It is 
your hand I kiss, or would fain be kissing, at least." 

'• Sad auspices!" sighed Renee. 

" Upon my word, child!" exclaimed the angry marquise, "your folly 
exceeds all bounds. I shoidd be glad to know what connection there 
can possibly be between your sickly sentimentality and the affairs of the 
slat.'!" 

u ( >h, mother ! " murmured Renee. 

"Pardon, marquise," said Villefort; "for this bad royalist, I promise 
to act conscientiously, that is, to be horribly severe." 

But while he addressed these words to the old marquise, he east a 
glance at his betrothed which said, " Have no fear, Renee ; your love 
will make me mercifid." Renee replied to the look by a smile, and 
Villefort departed with paradise in his heart. 



CHAPTER VII 



THE EXAMINATION 




sooner had Villefort left the saloon than he dropped the 
mask of gayety and assumed the grave air of a man who 
holds the balance of life and death in his hands. But, in 
spite of the mobility of his features, a mobility which he 
had more than once studied, as a clever actor does, before his mirror, it 
was on this occasion a labor for him to contract his brows and make his 
countenance stern and judicial Except the recollection of the line of 
politics his father had adopted, and which might interfere, unless he 
acted with the greatest prudence, with his own career, Villefort was as 
happy as a man could be. Already rich, he held a high official situa- 
tion, though only twenty-seven. He was about to marry a young and 
charming woman, whom he loved, not passionately, but discreetly, as a 
magistrate ought to love; and besides her personal attractions, which 
were very great, Mademoiselle de Saint-Meran's family possessed con- 
siderable political influence, which her parents, having no other child, 
would, of course, exert in his favor. The dowry of his wife amounted 
to thirty thousand dollars, besides the prospect of inheriting one hun- 
dred thousand more at her father's death. 

At the door he met the commissary of police, who was waiting for 
him. The sight of this officer recalled Villefort from the third heaven 
to earth; he composed his face as we have before described, and said : 

"I have read the letter, monsieur, and you have acted rightly in 
arresting this man; now inform me what you have discovered concern- 
ing him and the conspiracy." 

" We know nothing as yet of the conspiracy, monsieur; all the papers 
found have been sealed up and placed on your bureau. The prisoner 
himself is named Edmond Dantes, mate on board the three-master, the 



7<; THE COUNT OF M OXT E-C h'ISTO. 

Pharaon, trading in cotton with Alexandria and Smyrna, and belonging 
to Morrel and Son, of Marseilles." 

"Before he entered the merchant service, had he ever served in the 
navy :'" 

"Oh, no, monsieur; he is very young." 

"How old?" 

" Nineteen or twenty at the most." 
At this moment, and as Villefort, following the Grand Rue, had 
arrived at the corner of the Rne dcs Conseils, a man, who seemed to 
have been waiting for him, approached : it was M. Morrel. 

" Ah ! M. de Villefort," cried he, " I am delighted to see you. Some of 
your people have committed the strangest, most unheard-of mistake — 
they have just arrested Kdmond Dantes, the mate of my ship." 

"1 know it, monsieur," replied Villefort, "and I am now going to 
examine him." 

" Oh," said Morrel, carried away by his friendship, " you do not know 
him, and 1 do. He is the most estimable, the most trustworthy man, 
and, I will venture to say. the man who knows his business best in all 
the merchant service. Oh, M. de Villefort, I beseech your indulgence 
for him." 

Villefort, as we have seen, belonged to the aristocratic party at Mar- 
seilles ; Morrel to the plebeian. The first was an ultra royalist ; the other 
suspected of Bonapartism. Villefort looked disdainfully at Morrel, and 
replied coldly : 

"You are aware, monsieur, that a man may be estimable and trust- 
worthy in private life and his commercial relations, and the best seaman 
in the merchant service, and yet be, politically speaking, a, greal crim- 
inal. Is it not true :'" 

The magistrate laid emphasis on these words, as if he wish e< I to 
apply them to the owner himself, whilst his eyes seemed to plunge into 

the heart of him who, whilst he interceded for another, had himself i d 

of indulgence. 

Morrel reddened, for his own conscience was not quite clear on poli- 
tics; besides, what Dantes had told him of his interview with the 
^rand-marshal, and what the emperor had said to him, embarrassed him. 
He replied, however, in a tone of deep interest : 

" I entreat you, M. de Villefort, be just, as is your duty, and, as you 
always are, kind, and give him back to us soon." 

This give us sounded revolutionary in the sub-prefect's cars. 

" Ah, ah ! " murmured he, " is Dantes then a member of some Car- 
bonari society, that his protector thus employs the collective form? 
He was, if I recollect, arrested in a cabaret, in company with a great 
nianv others." Then he added aloud : 



THE COUNT OF M02TTE-CRIBT0. 77 

"Monsieur, you may resl assured I shall perform my duty impartially, 
and that if lie he innocent you shall nol have appealed to mein vain; 
should he, however, be guilty, in this presenl epoch, impunity would 

furnish a dangerous example, and I must do my duty." 




As lie had now arrived at the door of his own house, which adjoined 
the Palais de Justice, he entered with an air of majesty, after having 
saluted with freezing politeness the shipowner, whostoocLas if petrified, 
on the spot where Villefort had lefi him. 

The antechamber was full of agents of police and gendarmes, in the 



78 THE COT NT OF MOXTE-Ch'ISTO. 

midst of whom, carefully watched, but calm and smiling, stood the 
prisoner. 

Yillefort traversed the antechamber, cast a side glance at Dantes, 
and, taking a packet which a gendarme ottered him, disappeared, saying : 

" Bring in the prisoner." 
Rapid as had been Villefort's glance, it had served to give him an 
idea of the man he was about to interrogate. He had recognized intelli- 
gence in the high forehead, courage in the dark eye and bent brow, and 
frankness in the thick lips that showed a set of pearly teeth. 

Villefort's first impression was favorable ; but he had been so often 
warned to mistrust first impulses, especially if they were good, that he 
applied the maxim to the impression, forgetting the difference between 
the two words. He stifled, therefore, the better instincts that were ris- 
ing, composed his features before the glass into a grave and menacing 
aspect, and sat down at his bureau. 

An instant after, Dantes entered. He was pale, but calm and smiling, 
and, saluting his judge with easy politeness, looked round for a seat, as if 
he had been in the saloon of M. Morrel. It was then that he encoun- 
tered, for the first time, Villefort's look, — that look peculiar to lawyers 
who do not wish their thoughts to be read. This look told him he was 
in presence of the stern figure of justice. 

" Who and what are you ! " demanded Villefort, turning over a pile 
of papers, containing information relative to the prisoner, that an agent 
of police had given to him on his entry, and which within an hour had 
become voluminous, so rapidly does the unhappy man, styled the 
accused, become the object of detective corruption. 

" My name is Edmond Dantes," replied the young man calmly ; " I 
am mate of the Pharaon, belonging to Messrs. Morrel and Son." 

" Your age f " continued Villefort. 

" Nineteen," returned Dantes. 

" What were you doing at the moment you were arrested ! " 

" I was at the festival of my marriage, monsieur," said the young 
man, his voice slightly tremulous, so great was the contrast between 
that happy moment and the painful ceremony he was now undergoing ; 
so great was the contrast between the somber aspect of M. de Villefort 
and the radiant face of Mercedes. 

" You were at the festival of your marriage ? " said the deputy, shud- 
dering in spite of himself. 

" Yes, monsieur, I am on the point of marrying a young girl I have 
been attached to for three years." 

Villefort, impassive as he usually was, was struck with this coinci- 
dence ; ami the tremulous voice of Dantes, smprised in the midst of his 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 



7!' 



happiness, struck a sympathetic chord in his own bosom ; — he also was 
on the point of being married, ami he was summoned from his own 
happiness to destroy that of a man who, like himself, bad happiness at 
his grasp. 




"This philosophic reflection," thought he, "will make a greal sensa- 
tion at M. de Saint-Meran's." Ami he arranged mentally, whilsl I >antes 
awaited further questions, the antithesis by which orators often create 
those phrases which sometimes pass for real eloquence. When this 
speech was arranged, Villefort turned to Dantes. 



80 THE COT XT OF MOXTE-CKISTO. 

•■ Continue, sir," said lie. 

" What would you have me continue :'" 

" To give all the information in your power." 

"Tell mi' on whirl] poinl you desire information, and I will tell all 1 
know ; only," added be, with a smile, "I warn you I know very little." 

•• Eave you served under the usurper?" 

" I was about to he incorporated in the naval forces when he fell." 

"It is reported your political opinions are extreme," said Villefort, 
who had never heard anything- of the kind, but was not sorry to make 
this inquiry, as if it were an accusation. 

" .My political opinions ! " replied Dantes. "Alas ! sir, I never had, I 
am almost ashamed to say, any opinions. I am hardly nineteen; I 
kimw nothing; I have no part to play. What I am and what I shall be, 
if 1 obtain the situation I desire, 1 shall owe to M. Morrel. Thus all my 
opinions — I will not say public, but private — are confined to these 
three sentiments: 1 love my father, I respect M. Morrel, and I adore 
Mercedes, This, sir, is all I can tell you, and you see how uninteresting 
it is." 

As Dantes spoke, Villefort gazed at his ingenuous and open counte- 
nance, and recollected the words of Renee, who, without knowing who 
the culprit was, had besought his indulgence for him. With the 
deputy's knowledge of crime and criminals, every word the young man 
uttered convinced him more and more of his innocence. This lad, — for 
he was scarcely a man, — simple, natural, eloquent with that eloquence 
of the heart never found when sought for ; full of affection for every- 
body, because he was happy, and because happiness renders even the 
wicked .u'ood, extended, even to his judge, the affabibty which over- 
flowed his heart. Edinond, in his looks, his tones, and his gestures, 
seven- and harsh as Villefort had been, displayed only gentleness and 

respect. 

" Pardieu /" said Villefort to himself, "he is a noble fellow ! I hope I 
shall gain Renee's favor easily by obeying the first command she ever 
imposed on me. I shall have at least a pressure of the hand in public, 
ami a sweet kiss in private." 

Full of this idea, Villefort's face became so joyous, that when he 
turned to Dantes, the latter, who had watched the change on his physi- 
ognomy, was smiling also. 

" Sir," said Villefort, " have you any enemies, at least that you know ? " 

"I have enemies ?" replied Dantes ; "my position is not sufficiently 

elevated for that. As for my character, that is, perhaps, somewhat too 

hasty; but I have striven to repress it toward my subordinates. I 

have had ten or twelve sailors under me; and if you question them, 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 81 

they will tell you that they Love and resped me, nol as a father, for I 
am too young, but as an elder brother." 

"But, instead of enemies, you may have excited jealousy. Eon are 
about to become captain at nineteen — an elevated post in your profes- 
sion; you are about to marry a pretty girl, who loves yon, a happiness 
raiv in any position ; and these two pieces of good fortune may have 
excited the envy of some one.' 1 

"You are right; you know men better than I do, and what yon say 
may possibly be the case, I confess ; but if they are among my friends I 
prefer not knowing them, because then I should be forced to hate them." 

"You are wrong; you should always strive to see clearly around you. 
You seem a worthy young man ; I will depart from the strict line of my 
duty to aid you in throwing light on the matter, by communicating to 
you the information which has brought you here. Here is the paper; 
do you know the writing .' " 

As he spoke, Yillefort drew the letter from his pocket, and presented 
it to Dantes. Dantes read it. A cloud passed over his brow as he said: 

"No, monsieur, I do not know the writing. It is disguised, and yet 
it is tolerably plain. Whoever did it writes well. I am very fortunate," 
added he, looking gratefully at Yillefort, "to be examined by such a 
man as you; for this envious person is a real enemy." 

And by the rapid glance that the young man's eyes shot forth, A'ille- 
fort saw how much energy lay hid beneath this mildness. 

" Now," said the deputy, "answer me frankly, not as a prisoner t<> 
a judge, but as one man in a false position to another who takes an 
interest in him, what truth is there in the accusation contained in 
this anonymous letter .' " 

And Yillefort threw disdainfully on his bureau the letter Dantes had 
just given back to him. 

'• Xone at all. I will tell you the real facts. I swear by my honor a< 
a sailor, by my love for Mercedes, by the life of my father " 

" Speak, monsieur," said Yillefort. Then, internally, " If Renee could 
see me, I hope she would be satisfied, and would no longer call me a 
decapitator." 

" Well, when we quitted Naples, Captain Leclere was attacked with a 
brain-fever. As we had n<> doctor on board, and he was so anxious to 
arrive at Elba that he would not touch at any other port, his disorder 
rose to such a height that at the end of the third day. Heeling he was 
dying, he called me to him. 'My dear Dantes,' said he. 'swear to per- 
form what I am going to tell you, for it is a matter of the deepest 
importance.' 

"'I swear, captain,' replied I. 



82 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"'Well, as after my death the command devolves on you as mate, 
assume the command, and hear up for the isle of Elba, disembark at 
Porto-Ferrajo, ask for the grand-marshal, give him this letter; — per- 
haps he will give you another letter, and charge you with a commis- 
sion. You will accomplish the mission that I was to have done, and 
derive all the honor from it.' 

" 'I will do it, captain; but, perhaps, I shall not be admitted to the 
grand-marshal's presence as easily as you expect ." 

" 'Here is a ring that will obtain audience of him, and remove every 
difficulty,' said the captain. At these words he gave me a ring. It was 
time ; — two hours after he was delirious ; the next day he died." 

"And what did you do then V 

" What I ought to have done, and what every one would have done in 
my place. Everywhere the last requests of a dying man are sacred ; but 
with a sailor the last requests of his superior are commands. I sailed for 
the isle of Elba, where I arrived the next day; I ordered everybody to 
remain on board, and went on shore alone. As I had expected, I found 
some difficulty in obtaining access to the grand-marshal ; but I sent the 
ring I had received as my credentials, and was instantly admitted. He 
questioned me concerning Captain Leclere's death; and, as the latter 
had told me, gave me a letter to carry in person to Paris. I undertook it 
because it was what my captain had bade me do. I landed here, regulated 
the affairs of the vessel, and hastened to visit my affianced bride, whom 
I found more lovely than ever. Thanks to M. Morrel, all the forms 
were got over; in a word, I was, as I told you, at my marriage feast; 
and I should have been married in an horn-, and to-morrow I intended to 
start for Paris, when, on this accusation which you now seem to despise 
as much as I do, I was arrested." 

" Ah ! " said Villefort, " this seems to me the truth. If you have been 
culpable, it was imprudence, and this imprudence was legitimized by 
the orders of your captain. Give up this letter you have brought from 
Elba, and pass your word you will appear should you be required, and 
go and rejoin yoiu- friends." 

" I am free, then, sir ? " cried Dantes, joyfully. 

" Yes ; but first give me this letter." 

"You have it already; for it was taken from me with some others 
which I see in that packet." 

" Stop a moment," said the deputy, as Dantes took his hat and gloves. 
" To whom is it addressed ? " 

" To Monsieur Noirtier, Rue Coq-Heron, Paris. n 
Had a thunder-bolt fallen into the room, Villefort could not have 
hecu more stupefied. He sank into his seat, and, hastily turning over 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



>:, 



the packet, drew forth the fatal letter, at which be glanced with an 
expression of terror. 

"M. Xoii-ticr, Rue Coq-Heron, No. 13," murmured he, growing still 
paler. 





" Yes," said Dantes ; " do yon then know him .'" 

" No," replied Yillefort ; " a faithful servant of the king does not know 
conspirators." 
"It is a conspiracy, then? "asked Dantes, who, after believing hum- 



84 THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GBI8T0. 

self free, now began to feel a tenfold alarm. " I have already told you, 
however, sir, I was ignorant of the contents of the letter." 

•' Yes, hut you knew the name of the person to whom it was addressed," 
said Yillefort. 

" 1 was forced to read the address to know to whom to give it." 

•• II;, ve you shown this letter to any one :' " asked Yillefort, becoming 
still more pale. 

" To no one, on my honor." 

" Everybody is ignorant that you are the hearer of a letter from the 
isle of Elba, and addressed to M. Nbirtier "?" 

" Everybody, except the person who gave it to me." 

" This is too much," murmured Yillefort. Villefort's brow darkened 
more and more, his white lips and clenched teeth filled Dantes with 
apprehension. After reading the letter, Villefort covered his face with 
his hands, and remained for an instant overpowered. 

"Oh !" said Dantes, timidly, "what is the matter?" 
Villefort made no answer, but raised his head at the expiration of a 
few seconds, and again perused the letter. 

"You give me your honor that you are ignorant of the contents of 
this Letter!" 

" I give you my honor, sir," said Dantes; "but what is the matter? 
You are ill ; — shall I ring for assistance ? — shall I call \ " 

" No," said Yillefort, rising hastily ; " stay where you are. Don't say 
a word ! It is for me to give orders here, and not you." 

"Monsieur," replied Dantes, proudly, "it was only to summon assist- 
ance for yon." 

" I want none ; it was a temporary indisposition. Attend to yourself; 
answer me." 

Dantes waited, expecting a question, but in vain. Yillefort fell back 
on his chair, passed his hand over his brow, moist with perspiration, 
and, for the third time, read the letter. 

"Oh! if he knows the contents of this!" murmured he, "and that 
Noii-tier is the father of Villefort, I am lost !" And he fixed his eyes 
upon Edmond as if he woidd have penetrated his thoughts. 

" Oh ! it is impossible to doubt it," cried he suddenly. 

" In heaven's name!" cried the unhappy young man, "if voir doubt 
me, question me ; I will answer you." 

Villefort made a violent effort, and in a tone he strove to render 
firm : 

" Sir," said he, " your examination has resulted in very grave charges 
against you. I am no longer able, as I had hoped, to restore yon immedi- 
ately to liberty; before doing so, I must consult the judge of instruc- 
tion ; but you see how I behave toward you." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 



35 



"Oh! monsieur, and I thank you," cried Dantes; "you have been 
rather a friend than a judge." 
"Well, I must detain you some time Longer, but I will strive to make 

it as short as possible. The principal eharyv against you is this letter 
aud you see " 




Villefort approached the fire, cast it in, and waited until it was 
entirely consumed. 

"You see, 1 destroy it?" 

" Oh !" exclaimed Dantes, " you are goodness itself." 

" Listen," continued Villefort ; "you can now have confidence in me 
after what I have dour." 

"()h! order me, and I will obey." 



86 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" Listen ! this is not an order, but a counsel, I give yon." 

•• Speak, and I will follow your advice." 

" I shall detain you until this evening in the Palais de Justice. 
Should any one else interrogate you, tell him all you have told me, only 
do not breathe a word of this Letter." 

" 1 promise." 
It was Villefort who seemed to entreat, and the prisoner who 
re-assured him. 

" You see," continued he, looking at the ashes which still retained the 
shape of the paper and were dancing above the flames, "the letter is 
destroyed; you and I alone know of its existence; should you, therefore, 
he questioned, deny all knowledge of it." 

" Fear nothing; I will deny it." 

"Good," said Villefort, laying his hand on the bell-rope, and then 
checking himself. 

" It was the only letter you had ? " 

" It was." 

'■ Swear it." 

" I swear it." 
Villefort rang. An agent of police entered. Villefort whispered 
some words in his ear, to which the officer replied by a motion of his 
head. 

" Follow him," said Villefort to Dantes. Dantes saluted Villefort and 
retired. Hardly had the door closed, than Villefort threw himself 
into a chair, nearly fainting. 

" Alas ! alas ! " murmured he, " on what chances life and fortune depend ! 
if the proeureur de r<>i had been at Marseilles ! if the judge of instruction 
had been called instead of me, I should have been ruined. This paper, 
this accursed letter, would have destroyed all my hopes. Oh ! my father, 
will you always be an obstacle to my happiness, and have I forever to 
struggle against your past?" 

Suddenly a light seemed to pass over his spirit and illuminate his 
face; a smile played round his mouth, and his lips became unclenched, 
and his haggard eyes seemed to pause on some new thought. 

" This will do," said he, " and from this letter, which might have 
ruined me, I will make my fortune." 

And after having assured himself the prisoner was gone, the deputy 
proeureur hastened to the house of his bride. 





THE CHATEAU DTP. 




CHAPTEB VIII 

THE CHATEAU l>'lF 

HE commissary of police, as he traversed the antechamber, 
made a sign to two gendarmes, who placed themselves one 
on Dantes' righl and the other on his left. A door thai com- 
municated with the Palais de Justice was opened, and they 
traversed a long range of gloomy corridors, whose appearance might 
have made even the boldest shudder. The Palais de .lustier communi- 
cated with the prison, — a somber edifice, that from its gaping windows 
looks on the clock-tower of the Accoules rising before it. After num- 
berless windings, Dantes saw an iron door and wicket. Th mmis- 

sary knocked thrice, every Mow seeming to Dantes as if struck on his 
heart. The door opened, the two gendarmes gently pushed him for- 
ward, and the door closed with a loud sound behind him. The air he 
inhaled was no longer pure, hut thick and mephitic, — he was in prison. 
Me was conducted to a tolerably neat chamber, hut grated and 
barred, and its appearance, therefore, did not greatly alarm him; 
besides, the words of Villefort, who seemed to interest himself so much, 
resounded still in his ears like a promise of hope, it was four o'clock 
when Dantes was placed in this chamber. It was, as we have said, the 
1st of March, and the prisoner was soon buried in darkness. The 
obscurity augmented the acuteness of his hearing: at the slightest 
sound In' rose and hastened to the door, convinced they were aboul 
to liberate him; but the sound died away, and Dantes sank again into 
his seat. At last, aboul ten o'clock, ami just as Halites began to 

despair, sounds were again heard and seemed to approach his cham- 
ber; steps echoed in the corridor and stopped at his door, a key turned 
in the lock, the holts creaked, the massy oaken door tlew open, and a 
flood of light from two torches pervaded the apartment. 

By the torchlight Dantes saw the glittering sabers and carbines of 



90 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRI&TO. 

four gendarmes. He had advanced at first, but stopped at sight of this 
fresh accession of force. 

" Are you come to fetch me?" asked he. 

"Yes," replied a gendarme. 

" By the orders of the deputy of the king's proeureur ?" 

" I believe so." 

" Well," said Dantes, "I am ready to follow you.' 1 
The conviction that they came from M. de Villefort relieved all 
Dantes' apprehensions; he advanced calmly, and placed himself in the 
center of the escort. A carriage waited at the street door, the coach- 
man was on the box, and an exempt seated behind him. 

"Is this carriage for me ?" said Dantes. 

" It is for yon," replied a gendarme. 
Dantes was about to speak, but feeling himself urged forward, and 
having neither the power nor the intention to resist, he mounted the 
steps, and was in an instant seated inside between two gendarmes ; the 
two others took their places opposite, and the carriage rolled heavily 
over the stones. 

The prisoner glanced at the windows — they were grated ; he had 
changed his prison for another that was conveying him he knew not 
whither. Through the close-barred grating, however, Dantes saw they 
were passing through the Rue Caisserie, and by the Quay Saint-Laurent 
and the Rue Taramis, to the quay. Soon he saw, through the grating 
of the coach and the railing of the edifice, the gleam of the lights of La 
( lonsigne. 

The carriage stopped, the exempt descended, approached the guard- 
house, a dozen soldiers came out and formed themselves in order; 
Dantes saw the reflection of their muskets by the light of the lamps on 
the quay. 

" Can all this military force be summoned on my account '! " thought he. 
The exempt opened the door, which was locked, and, without speak- 
ing a word, answered Dantes' question; for he saw between the ranks 
of the soldiers a passage formed from the carriage to the port. The two 
gendarmes who were opposite to him descended first, then he was 
ordered to alight, and the gendarmes on each side of him followed his 
example. They advanced toward a boat, which a custom-house officer 
held near the quay by a chain. 

The soldiers looked at Dantes with an air of stupid curiosity. In 
an instant he was placed in the stern-sheets of the boat, between 
the gendarmes, whilst the exempt stationed himself at the bow; a 
shove sent the boat adrift, and four sturdy oarsmen impelled it rapidly 
toward the Pilou. At a shout from the boat, the chain that closes the 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



9] 



mouth of the port was lowered, and in a second they were outside the 
harbor. 

The prisoner's first feeling was joy at again breathing the pure air — 
for air is freedom, and he eagerly inhaled the fresh breeze thai brings 




on its wings all the unknown scents of the night and the sea. Bu1 he 
soon sighed, for he passed before I>a Reserve, where he had thai morn- 
ing been so happy, and now through the open windows came the 
laughter and revelry of a ball. Dantes folded Ins hands, raised his 
eyes to heaven, and prayed fervently. 



92 THE COUNT OF M ON T E-V R I STO. 

The boat continued her voyage. They had passed the Tete de 
More, were now in front of the light-house, and about to double the bat- 
fcery. This manoeuvre was incomprehensible to Dantes. 

" Whither are you taking me?" asked he. 

"You will soon know." 

"But, still " 

" We are forbidden to give you any explanation." Dantes was half a 
soldier and knew that nothing would be more absurd than to question 
subordinates, who were forbidden to reply, and remained silent. 

The most vague and wild thoughts passed through his mind. The 
boat they were in could not make a long voyage; there was no vessel 
at anchor outside the harbor; he thought perhaps they were going to 
leave him on sonic distanl point and tell him he was free. He was not 
bound, nor had they made any attempt to handcuff him; this seemed a 
good augury. Besides, had not the deputy, who had been so kind to 
him, told him that, provided he did not pronounce the dreaded name of 
Noirtier, he had nothing to apprehend f Had not Villefort in his pres- 
ence destroyed the fatal letter, the only proof against him ? He waited 
silently, striving to pierce through the obscurity of the night with his 
sailor's eye, accustomed to darkness and distance. 

They had left the He Eatonneau, where the light-house stood, on the 
right, and were now opposite the Point des Catalans. His eyesight 
redoubled its vigor, and it seemed to the prisoner that he could dis- 
tinguish a female form on the beach, for it was there Mercedes dwelt. 
How was it that a presentiment did not warn Mercedes her lover was 
near her ! 

One light alone was visible; and Dantes recognized it as coming 
from the chamber of Mercedes. She was the only being awake in the 
little colony. A loud cry could be heard by her. He did not utter it. 
A false shame restrained him. What would his guards think if they 
heard him shout like a madman '! 

He remained silent, his eyes fixed upon the light; the boat went on, 
but the prisoner only thought of Mercedes. A rising ground hid the 
light. Dantes turned and perceived that they had got out to sea. 
Whilst he had been absorbed in thought, they had hoisted the sail, and 
the hark was borne onward by the wind. 

in spite of his repugnance to address the guards, Dantes turned to 
the nearest gendarme, and, taking his hand, 

" Comrade," said he, " I adjure you, as a Christian and a soldier, to tell 
me where we are going. I am Captain Dantes, a loyal Frenchman, 
though accused of I know not what treason; tell me where you are con- 
ducting me, and I promise you, on my honor, I will submit to my fate." 



TEE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 95 

The gendarme scratched his ear and looked irresolutely al his com- 
panion, who returned for answer a sign thai said, " I see no greal harm 

in telling him now," and the gendarme replied : 

"You are a native of .Marseilles, and a sailor, and yet yon do qoI 
know where you are going .' " 

"On my honor, I have no idea." 

"And yon cannot guess ?" 

" I cannot." 

"That is impossible." 

" I swear to you it is true. Tell me, I entreat." 

" But my orders." 

" Your orders do not forbid your telling me what I must know in ten 
minutes, in half an hour, or an hour. Yon will merely spare me ages of 
uncertainty. I ask yon as it you were my friend. Yon see 1 cannot 
escape, even if I intended." 

" Unless you are hlind, or have never Keen outside the harbor, you 
must know." 

"I do not." 

"Look round you then." 
Dantes rose and looked forward, when he saw rise within a hundred 
yards of him the black and frowning rock on which stands the I lhateau 
d'If. 

This strange mass, this prison around which such dee]) terror reigns, 
this fortress that for three hundred years has tilled .Marseilles with it> 
gloomy traditions, appearing thus suddenly to Dantes, who was not 
thinking about it, seemed to him what the scaffold seem- to the con- 
demned prisoner. 

" The Chateau d'If.'" cried he, " what are we going there for!" 
The gendarme smiled. 

"lam not going there to he imprisoned," said Dantes; "i1 is only 
used for political prisoners. I have committed no crime. Are there 
any magistrates or judges at the Chateau d'If .' " 

"There are only," said the gendarme, "a governor, a garrison, turn- 
keys, and good thick walls. Come, come, do not look so astonished, or 
you will make me think you are laughing at me in return for my good 
nature." 

Dantes pressed the gendarme's hand as though he would crush it. 

"You think, then," said he, "that lam conducted to the chateau to 
he imprisoned there :' " 

" It is probable ; bul there is no occasion t<> squeeze so hard." 

" Without any further formality .' " 

" All the formalities have been gone through." 



96 THE Cor XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" In spite of M. de Villefort's promises \ " 

" I do not know what M. de Villefort promised you," said the gen- 
darme, " but 1 know we are taking you to the Chateau d'If. But what 
are you doing l — Help ! comrades, help ! " 

By a rapid movement, which the gendarme's practiced eye had per- 
ceived, Dantes sprang forward to precipitate himself into the sea; but 
four vigorous arms seized him as his feet quitted the rlooi*ing of the 
boat. He fell back, foaming with rage. 

" Good ! " said the gendarme, placing his knee on his chest ; " this is the 
way ynu keep your word as a sailor ! Believe soft-spoken gentlemen 
again ! Hark ye, my friend, I have disobeyed my first order, but I 
will not disobey the second; and if you move, I lodge a bullet in your 
brain." 

And he leveled his carbine at Dantes, who felt the muzzle touch his 
head. 

For a moment the idea of struggling crossed his mind, and of thus 
ending the unexpected evil that had overtaken him. But just because 
it was unexpected, he believed it would not last long, and he bethought 
him of Villefort's promise; and, besides, death in a boat from the hand 
of a gendarme seemed too repulsive. He remained motionless, but 
gnashing his teeth with fury. 

At this moment a violent shock made the bark tremble. One of the 
sailors leaped on the rock which the bow had just touched, a cord creaked 
as it ran through a pulley, and Dantes guessed they were at the end of 
the voyage and mooring the boat. 

His guardians, taking hold of his arms and collar, forced him to rise 
and land, and dragged him toward the steps that lead (<> the gate of the 
fortress, whilst the exempt followed, armed with a carbine and bayonet. 

Dantes made no resistance; he was dazed and tottering like a 
drunken man; he saw soldiers who stationed themselves on the sides; 
he felt himself forced up fresh stairs; he perceived he passed through a 
door, and the door (dosed behind him; but all this as mechanically as 
through a mist, nothing distinctly. He did not even see the sea, that 
terror of prisoners who regard its expanse with the awful feeling that 
they cannot ctoss it. 

They halted for a minute, during which he strove to collect his 
thoughts. He looked around: he was in a square court surrounded 
by four high walls ; he heard the measured tread of sentinels, and as 
they passed before the liyhl reflected on the walls from two or three 
lamps in the interior of the fortress, he saw the barrels of their muskets 
shine. 

They waited upward of ten minutes. Certain Dantes could not 



Till: COIXT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0 97 

escape, the gendarmes released him. They seemed awaiting orders. 
The orders arrived. 

" Where is the prisoner .'" said a voice. 

"Here," replied the gendarmes. 

"Let him follow me; I am going to conducl him to his room." 

"Gk>!"said the gendarmes, pushing Dantes. 
The prisoner followed his conductor, who led him into a room almosl 
under ground, whose bare and reeking walls seemed as though impreg- 
nated with tears. A Lamp placed on a stool, its wick floating in stinking 
fat, illumined the apartment faintly, and showed Dantes the features 
of his conductor, an under-jailer, ill-clothed, and of sullen appearance. 

"Here is your chamber for to-night," said he. ,- It is late, and Mon- 
sieur le Q-ouverneur is asleep. To-morrow perhaps, when he awakes 
and has examined the orders concerning you, he may change you. In 
the mean time there are bread, water, and fresh straw; and that is all a 
prisoner can wish for. GrOod-night." 

And before Dantes could open his mouth, before he had noticed 
where the jailer placed his bread, or where the water was, before he 
had glanced toward the corner where the straw was, the jailer disap- 
peared, taking with him the lamp, whose dull rays showed him the 
dripping walls of his prison. 

Dantes was alone in darkness and in silence, mute as the vault 
above him, and cold as the shadows that fell on his burning forehead. 
With the first dawn of day the jailer returned, with orders to leave 
Dantes where he was. He found the prisoner in the same position, as 
if lixed there by an iron hand, his eyes swollen with weeping. Ee had 
passed the night standing, and without sleep. The jailer advanced; 
Dantes appeared not to perceive him. He touched him on the shoulder. 
Edmond started. 

"Have you not slept .'" said the jailer. 

"1 do not know," replied Dantes. 
The jailer stared. 

"Are you hungry .'" continued he. 

" I do not know." 

"Do you wish for anything .' " 

" [ wish to see the governor." 

The jailer shrugged his shoulders and left the chamber. 

Dantes followed him with his eyes, ami stretched forth his hands 

toward the open door; but the door closed All his emotion then bursl 

forth, tears streamed from his swollen lids in rivulets: he casl himself 
on the ground, praying, recalling all his past life, and asking himself 
what crime he had committed that he. <\\W so young, was thus punished. 



98 THE cor. XT OF MOHTTE-CRISTO. 

The day passed thus; he scarcely tasted food; at times he sat rapt 
in thought, at times he walked nuiml and round the cell like a wild 
beast in its cage. One thought in particular tormented him, — namely, 
that during his journey hither he had sat so still, whereas he might, 
a dozen times, have plunged into the sea, and, thanks to his powers of 
diving, for which he was famous, have disappeared beneath the water, 
eluded his keepers, have gained the shore, concealed himself until the 
arrival of a Genoese or Spanish vessel, and escaped to Spain or Italy, 
where Mercedes could have joined him. He had no fears as to how he 
should live — good seamen are welcome everywhere. He spoke Italian 
like a Tuscan, and Spanish like a Castilian ; he would then have been 
free and happy with Mercedes and his father, for his father must come 
too, whereas he was now confined in the Chateau d'lf, ignorant of the 
future destiny of his father and Mercedes; and all this because he had 
trusted to Villefort's promise. The thought was maddening, and Dantes 
threw himself furiously down on his straw. The next morning the jailer 
made his appearance. 

" "Well," said the jailer, "are you more reasonable to-day ?" 
Dantes made no reply. 

"Come, take courage; do you want anything in my power to do for 
you t " 

" I wish to see the governor." 

" I have already told you it was impossible." 

"Why so.'" 

" Because it is not allowed by the rules." 

"What is allowed then?" 

" Better fare, if you pay for it, books, and leave to walk about." 

"I do not want books, I am satisfied with my food, and I do not care 
to walk about ; but I wish to see the governor." 

" If you worry me by repeating the same thing, I will not bring you 
any more to eat." 

""Well, then," said Edmond, "if you do not, 1 shall die of famine — 
that is all." 

The jailer saw by his tone he would be happy to die; and as every 
prisoner is worth sixpence a day to his jailer, the man, after reflecting 
on the loss his death would cause him, replied in a more subdued 
tone: 

"What you ask is impossible. Do not ask it again. The governor 
never comes to a prisoner's cell ; but if you are very well behaved, you 
will be allowed to walk about, and some day you will meet the governor. 
You can ask him, and if he chooses to reply, that is his affair." 

" But," asked Dantes, " how long shall I have to wait f " 



77//: COUNT OF M02TTE-CRIST0. 



99 



"Ah! a month — six months — a year." 

"It is too long a time. I wish to see him a1 once." 

" Ah," said the jailer, "do not always brood over whal is impossible, 

of yim will lie mad in a fortnight." 





"You think so .' " 

"Yes; they all begin iii this way. We have an instance here: it was 
by always offering a million of francs to the governor for his liberty 
that the abbe" who was in this chamber before you 1 ame mad." 



100 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CBISTO. 



"How long has he Left il ?" 

" Two years." 

•• Was he Liberated then?" 

"No; he was put in a dungeon.'' 

" Listen ! " said Dantes. " I am not an abbe, I am not mad; perhaps 




I stall be, but at present, unfortunately, I am not. I will make you 
another offer." 

" What is that f " 

" I do not offer you a million, because I have it not ; but I will give 
you a hundred crowns if, the first time you go to Marseilles, you will 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 101 

sock out a young girl named Mercecles, al the Catalans, ami give her a 
Letter — no, not even a letter; just two lines from me." 

" If I took them, and were detected, I should lose my place, which i- 
worth two thousand francs a year; so that I should be a great fool to 
run such a risk for three hundred." 

" Well," said Dantes, "mark this: If you refuse to tell the governor 
that I wish to speak with him; if you refuse at least to tell Mercedes I 
am here, I will sonic day hide myself behind the door, and when you 
enter I will dash out your brains with this stool." 

"Threats!" cried the jailer, retreating and putting himself on the 
defensive; "you are certainly going mad. The abbe* began like you, 
and in three days you will want a strait-waistcoat; hut, fortunately, 
there are dungeons here." 

Dantes whirled the stool round his head. 

" Oh ! " said the jailer, " you shall see the governor at once." 

" That is right," returned Dantes, dropping the stool and sitting on it 
as if he were in reality mad. 

The jailer went out, and returned in an instant with a corporal and 
four soldiers. 

"By the governor's orders," said he, "conducl the prisoner to the 
story beneath." 

"To the dungeon, then," said the corporal. 

"Yes; we must put the madman with the madmen." 

The soldiers seized Dantes, who followed passively. Ee descended 
fifteen steps, and the door of a dungeon was opened, and he entered, 
murmuring, " He is right; the madman with the madmen!" The door 
dosed, and Dantes advanced with outstretched hands until he touched 
the wall; he then sat down in the corner until his eyes became accus- 
tomed to the darkness. The jailer was right : Danles wanted hut little 
of being utterly mad. 




CHAPTER IX 

THE EVENING OF THE BETROTHAL 

*y>ij ELLEFOET had, as we have said, hastened back to the Place 

Cm 7^ ' m ''' '"' '' '""' "" (,|l,, ' 1 'i |l K ^"' house found all tin- 

guests in the salmi at coffee. Pence was, with all the resl 
of the company, anxiously awaiting him, and his entrance 
was followed by a general exclamation. 

"Well, Decapitator, Guardian of the State, royalist Brutus, what is 
the matter ;' " said one. 

"Are we threatened with a fresh Peign of Terror '. " asked another. 

"Has the Corsican ogre broke loose f cried the third. 

" Madame la Marquise," said Yillefort, approaching his future mother- 
in-law, " I request your pardon for thus leaving you. M. le Marquis, 
honor me by a few moments' private conversation ! " 

" Ah ! this affair is really serious, then ? " asked the marquis, remarking 
the cloud on Villefort's brow. 

" So serious, that Imust take leave of you for a few days; so," added 
he, turning to Pence, "judge for yourself if it be not important." 

" You are going to leave us !" cried Pence, unable to hide the emotion 
caused by this unexpected intelligence. 

" Alas! " returned Yillefort, " I must ! " 

"Where, then, are you going!" asked the marquise. 

" That, madame, is the secret of justice; but if you have any commis- 
sions for Paris, a friend of mine is goiug there to-night, and will gladly 
Mull them." 

The guests looked at each other. 

" You wish to speak to me alone ? " said the marquis. 

" Yes ; let us go into your cabinet." 
The marquis took his arm and left the salon. 

" Well ! " asked he, as soou as they were in his closet, " tell me, what 
is it 1 " 



////.' COUNT or MONTE-GRISTO. 



103 



"An affair of the greatest Importance, thai demands my Immediate 
presence in Paris. Now, excuse the indiscretion, marquis, but have yon 
any funded property '!" 

"All my fortune is in the funds; — sis <>r seven hundred thousand 
francs." 




"Then soil out — sell out, marquis, as soon as yon can." 

"Eh! how .-an I sell out here?" 

" You have a broker, have yon not .' " 

"Yes." 

"Then give me a letter to him, and tell him to sell out without an 
instant's delay; perhaps, even now I shall arrive too late." 

" What say you .' " said the marquis, " Let us lose no time, then ! " 
And, sitting down, he wrote a Letter to his broker, ordering him to 
sell out at any loss. 



104 ill i: COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

"Now, then," said Villefort, placing the letter in his pocket-book, 
" write another." 

"To whom?" 

"To the king." 

" I dare n<>1 write to his majesty." 

" I do not ask you to write to his majesty, but ask M.de Salvieux to 
do so. I want a letter that will enable me to reach the kind's presence 
without all the formalities of demanding an audience; that would 
occasion a loss of time." 

"But address yourself to the keeper of the seals; he has the right of 
entry, and can procure yon audience with the king, day <»• night." 

" Doubtless ; but there is no occasion to divide the merit of my dis- 
covery with him. The keeper would leave me in the background, and 
take all the honor to himself. I tell you, marquis, my fortune is made 
if I only reach the Tuileries tin- first, for the king will not forget the 
service I do him." 

"In thai case make your preparations, and I will call Salvieux and 
get him to write the letter of introduction."' 

" Be as quick as possible ; 1 must be en route in a quarter of an hour." 

"Make your carriage stop at the door." 

" You will present my excuses to the marquise and Mademoiselle 
Hence, whom I leave on such a day with great regret." 

" They are both in my room; you can say all this for yourself." 

"A thousand thanks — busy yourself with the letter." 
The marquis rang, a servant entered. 

" Inform the Counl de Salvieux I am waiting for him." 

" Now, then, go ! " said the marquis to Villefort. 

'• I only go for a few moments." 
Villefort hastily quitted the apartment, but reflecting that the sighl 
of the deputy procureur running through the streets would be enough 
to throw the whole city into confusion, he resumed his ordinary dig- 
nilied pace. At his door he perceived in the shade, as it were, a white 
phantom, erect and motionless, that seemed to wait for him. It was 
Mercedes, who, hearing no news of her lover, had come herself at night- 
fall from the Pharos to impure after him. 

As Villefort drew near, she advanced and stood before him. Dantes 
had spoken of his bride, and Villefort instantly recognized her. Her 
beauty and high bearing surprised him, and when she inquired what 

had becon f her lover, it seemed to him that she was the judge, and 

he the accused. 

" The young man you speak of," said Villefort abruptly, "is a. great 
criminal, and I can do nothing for him, mademoiselle." 



THE COUNT OF M0WTE-CRI8T0. L05 

Mercedes bursl into tears, and, as Villeforl strove to pass her, 
addressed him. 

"But, at least, tell me where he is, thai I may learn if ho is alive or 

dead.*' said she. 



AJ 




- I do not know; he is no longer in my hands," replied '\ illefort. 

And. desirous of putting an end to the interview,he pushed by her, 

and closed the door, as if to exclude the pain he felt. Bui remorse is 

n«.t thus banished; like the wounded hero of Virgil the arrow remained 

in tlic wound, and when he arrived al the saloD his limbs failed him. 



106 THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GBI8T0. 

Villi tort, in his turn, uttered a sigh that resembled a sob, and sank into 
a chair. 

At the bottom of his diseased heart, the first roots of a mortal ulcer 
wen- forming. The man he sacrificed to his ambition, that innocent 
victim he made pay the penalty of his father's faults, appeared to him 
pale and threatening, leading his affianced bride by the hand, and bring- 
ing with him remorse, not such as the ancients figured, furious and 
terrible, but that slow and consuming agony which, at times, strikes the 
heart and lacerates it with recollections of past deeds, — a laceration 
whose poignant pangs increase and deepen the evil till death comes. 
Then he had a moment's hesitation. He had frequently called, without 
any other emotion than that of the struggle between the prosecution and 
defense, for capital punishment on criminals, and owing to his irresisti- 
ble eloquence they had been condemned, and yet the slightest shadow 
of remorse had never clouded Villefort's brow, because they were guilty, 
or, at least, he believed so; but here the case was different. He was 
about to send into perpetual imprisonment an innocent man, an inno- 
cent man with a happy future before him, and was destroying not only 
his liberty, but his happiness. In this case he was not the judge, but 
the executioner. 

As he thus reflected, he felt the sensation we have described, and 
which had hitherto been unknown to him, arise in his bosom and 
fill him with vague apprehensions. It is thus that a wounded man 
trembles instinctively at the approach of the finger to his wound until 
it be healed, but Villefort's was one of those that never close, or, if they 
do, only close to re-open more agonizing than ever. If at this moment 
the sweet voice of Renee had sounded in his ears pleading for mercy, or 
the fair Mercedes had entered and said, "In the name of Grod, I conjure 
you to restore me my affianced husband," his cold and trembling hands 
would have signed his release at any risk ; but no voice broke the still- 
ness of the chamber, and the door was opened only by Villefort's valet, 
who came to tell him the traveling-carriage was in readiness. 

Villefort rose, or rather sprang, from his chair, hastily opened one 
of the drawers of his secretaire, emptied all the gold it contained into 
his pocket, stood motionless an instant, his hand pressed to his head, 
muttered a few inarticulate sounds, and then, perceiving his servant had 
placed his cloak on his shoulders, he sprang into the carriage, ordering 
the postilions to go, Rue du Grand Cours, to the house of M. de Saint- 
Meran. 

The wretched Dantes was condemned. 

As the marquis had promised, Villefort found the marquise and 
Renee in the parlor. He started when he saw Renee, for he fancied she 



•/•///•; COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO in? 

was again about to plead for Dantes. Alas ! she was thinking only of 
Villefort's departure. 

She Loved Villefort, and he left her at the momenl In- was about 
to become her husband. VilleforJ knew nol when he should return, 




an.l Renee, far from pleading for Dantes, hated the man whose crime 
separated her from her lover. 

What had Mercedes to say .' 

Merc&les had me1 Fernand at the corner of the Eue de la Loge: 



108 THE COUNT <>F MONTE-GRISTO. 

she had returned to the Catalans, and had despairingly cast herself on 
her couch. Fernand, kneeling by her side, took her hand and covered 
it with kisses thai MercMes did not even feel. She passed the night 
thus; the Lamp died <>nt for want of oil, she saw neither light nor dark, 
and the day returned withoul her noticing it. Grief had made her blind 
to all but one object — that was Edmond. 
"Ah ! you are there," said she, at length. 

"I have not (putted you since yesterday," returned Pernand sorrow- 
fully. 

M. Morrel had learned that Dantes had been conducted to prison, 
and he had gone to all his friends and the influential persons of the 
city, but the report was already in circulation that Dantes was arrested 
as a Bonapartist agent; and as the most sanguine looked upon any 
attempt of Napoleon to remount the throne as impossible, he met with 
nothing but coldness, alarm, and refusal, and had returned home in 
despair, confessing that Dantes was in a dangerous position, beyond 
his aid. 

Caderousse was equally restless and uneasy, but, instead of seeking 
to aid Dantes, he had shut himself up with two bottles of wine, in the 
hope of drowning reflection. But he did not succeed, and became too 
intoxicated to fetch any more wine, and yet not so intoxicated as to for- 
get what had happened, and as he leaned on his shaky table, opposite 
his two empty bottles, he saw in the flare of his dull candle all the 
specters of Hoffmann's punch-inspired tales. 

Danglars alone was content and joyous — he had got rid of an enemy 
and preserved his situation on board the Pharaon. Danglars was one 
<>f those men born with a pen behind the ear and an inkstand in place 
of a heart. Everything with him was multiplication or subtraction, 
and he estimated the life of a man as less precious than a figure, when 
that figure could increase, and that life would diminish, the total of the 
amount. 

Villefort, after having received M. de Salvieux's letter, embraced 
Renee, kissed the marquise's hand, and shaken hands with the marquis, 
started for Paris. 

Old Dantes was dying with anxiety, and, as regards Edmond, we 
know what had become of him. 




CHAPTER X 

THE SMALL CABINET OF THE TUILERIES 

E will leave Villefort on the road to Paris, traveling with all 

speed, and, penetrating the two or three apartments which 

precede it, enter the small cabinet of the Tuileries with the 

arched window, so well known as having been the favorite 

cabinet of Napoleon and Louis XVIIL, as also that of Louis Philippe. 

There, in this closet, seated before a walnut-tree table he had brought 
with him from Hartwell, and to which, from one of those fancies aol 
uncommon to great people, he was particularly attached, the king, Louis 
XVIIL, was carelessly listening to a man of fifty or fifty-two years of 
age, with gray hairs, aristocratic bearing, and exceedingly gentlemanly 
attire, whilst he was making a note in a volume of Horace. Qryphius's 
edition, — a bad one, hut precious, — which was much indebted to the 
sagacious observations of the philosophical monarch. 

" You say, sir, " said the king. 

" That I am exceedingly disquieted, sire." 

"Really, have you had a visit of the seven fat kine and seven lean 
kine:'" 

"No, sire, for that would only betoken for us seven years of plenty 
and seven years of scarcity; and with a king as full of foresight as your 
majesty, scarcity is not a thing to be feared." 

" Then of what other scourge are you afraid, my dear Blacas I ' 
"Hire, I have every reason to believe that a storm is brewing in the 
south." 

" Well, my dear duke," replied Louis XVI 1 1 . " 1 think you are wrongly 
informed, and know positively that, on the contrary, it is very line 
weather in that direction." 

Man of ability as he was, Louis XV ill. liked a pleasant jest. 
"Sire," continued M. de Blacas, " if it only be to re-assure a faithful 



HO Till: COUNT OF M0NTE-0BI8T0. 

servant, will your majesty send into Languedoc, Provence, and Dau- 
]iliinc trusty nirii who will bring you back a faithful report as to the 
feeling in these three provinces .'" 

Canimus surdis, replied the long, continuing the annotations in his 

Horace. 

" Sire," replied the courtier, laughing, in order thai he might seem to 
comprehend the quotation, "your majesty may be perfectly righ1 in 
relying on the good feeling of France, bul T fear! am not altogether 
wrong in dreading some desperate attempt." 

•• By \\ horn ?" 

•• By Bonaparte, or, at least, Ins party." 

" My dear Blacas," said the king, " you with your alarms prevenl me 
from working." 

" And you, sire, prevenl me from sleeping with your security." 

■• Wait, my dear sir, wait a moment ; for I have such a delightful note 
on the Pastor quum traheret — wait, and 1 will listen to you afterward." 
There was a brief pause, during "which LouisXVIII. wrote, in a hand 
as small as possible, another note on the margin of his Horace, and then, 
looking at the duke with the air of a man who thinks he has an idea of 
his own, whilst he is but commenting upon the idea of another, he said : 

"G-< , my dear duke, go on — I listen." 

" Sire," said Blacas, "who had for a, moment the hope of sacrificing 
Yillefort to his own profit,"] am compelled to tell yon that these are 
not mere rumors destitute of foundation which thus disquiet me; hut a 
reflective man, deserving all my confidence, and charged by me to watch 
over the south" (the duke hesitated as he pronounced these words), "has 
arrived post to tell me a ureal peril threatens the king, and then I hastened 

to you, sire." 

Main duds iir) (Ionium, continued Louis XYIIL, still annotating. 
" Does your majesty wish me to cease as to this subject ?" 
" By no means, dear duke ; hut just stretch out voiir hand." 
"Which?" 

" Whichever you please — there to the left." 

" Here, sire :' " 

" I tell you to the left, ;illd you Seek the right J I llieail oil 111V right 

yes, there. You will find the report of the minister of police of yester- 
day, lint here is M. Dandre himself." And M. Dandre, announced by 
the chamhei-la in-in- waiting, entered. 

"Did you not say M. Dandre.'" said the king- to the servant who 
announced the minister of police. 

"Yes, sire, the Baron Dandre," the man replied. 

- n\' course, the Baron," said Louis XYIIL, with an imperceptible 



Til I J cor XT OF MONTE-CRIBTO. Ill 

smile, " come in, baron, and tell the duke all you know — the latest news 
of M. de Bonaparte; do not conceal anything, however serious, — Lei us 
see, the island of Elba is a volcano, and we may expect to have issuing 
thence flaming and bristling war — bella, horrida bella. 1 ' 

M. Dandre leaned very respectfully on the back <>f a chair with his 
two hands, and said : 

"Has your majesty perused yesterday's reporl :'" 

"Yes, yes; but tell the count himself, who cannot And anything, what 
the report contains — give him the particulars of what the usurper is 
doing in his islet." 

"Monsieur," said the baron to the count, "all the servants of his 
majesty must approve of the latest intelligence which we have from the 

island of Elba. Bonaparte " 

M. Dandre looked at Louis XVIIL, who, employed in writing a note, 
did not even raise his head. "Bonaparte," continued the baron, "is 
mortally wearied, and passes whole days in watching his miners at 
work at Porto Longone." 

"And scratches himself for amusement," added the king. 

"Scratches himself?" inquired the count ; "what does your majesty 
mean I " 

"Yes, indeed, my dear count. Did you forget that this greal man, 
this hero, this demi-god, is attacked with a malady of the skin which 
worries him to death, prurigo .' " 

"And, moreover, M. le Comte," continued the minister of police, " we 
are almost assured that, in a very short time, the usurper will lie insane." 

" Insane I " 

" Insane to a degree ; his head becomes weaker. Sometimes he weeps 
bitterly, sometimes laughs boisterously; at other times he passes hours 
on the sea-shore, flinging stones in the water, and when the flint makes 
' duck-and-drake ' five or six times, he appeals as delighted as it' he hail 
gained another Marengo or Austerlitz. Xow, you must agree these are 
indubitable symptoms of weakness ?" 

"Or of wisdom, M. le Baron — or of wisdom," said Louis XVIIL, 
laughing; "the greatest captains of antiquity recreated themselves with 
casting pebbles into the ocean — see Plutarch's life of Scipio Africanus." 
M. de Blacas pondered deeply on this blind repose of monarch and 
minister. Villefort, who did not choose to reveal the whole secret, lest 
another slxmld reap all the benefit of the disclosure, had yet communi- 
cated enough to cause him the greatest uneasiness. 

"Well, well, Dandre," said Louis XVIIL, "Blacas is no! yd con- 
vinced; let us proceedj therefore, to the usurper's conversion." 
The minister of police bowed. 



112 THE COUNT OF MOWTE-CRISTO. 

"The usurper's conversion!" murmured the count, looking at the 
king and Dandre, who spoke alternately, like Virgil's shepherds. "The 
usurper converted ! " 

" Decidedly, my dear count." 

" In what way converted ?" 

"To good principles. Explain all about it, baron." 

" Why, this it is, M. le Comte," said the minister, with the graves! air 
in the world: " Napoleon lately had a review, and as two or three of his 
old grumblers, as he calls them, testified a desire to return to France, 

he gave them their dismissal, and exhorted them to 'serve their g I 

king.' These were his own words, M. le Cointe; I am certain of that." 

" Well, Blaeas, what think you of this ?" inquired the king triumph- 
antly, and pausing for a moment from the voluminous scholiast before 
him. 

'* I say, sire, that M. the minister of police or I am greatly deceived; 
and as it is impossible it can lie the minister of police, as he has the 
guardianship of the safety and honor of your majesty, it is probable 1 
am in error. However, sire, if I might advise, your majesty will inter- 
rogate the person of whom I spoke to you, and I will even urge your 
majesty !>> do him this honor." 

"Most willingly, count; under your auspices I will receive any per- 
son you please, but with arms in hand. M. le Ministre, have you any 
report more recent than this, dated the 20th February, and this is the 
3d of March?" 

"No, sire, lint I am hourly expecting one; it may have arrived since 
1 left my office." 

" Go thither, and if there be none — well, well," continued Louis XVIII., 
laughing, " make one ; that is the usual way, is it not .' " 

"Oh, sire," replied the minister, "we have no occasion to invent any: 
every day our desks are loaded with most circumstantial denunciations, 
coming from crowds of individuals who hope for some return for ser- 
vices which they seek to render, but cannot; they trust to fortune, and 
rely that some unexpected event will give a kind of reality to then pre- 
dictions." 

" Well, sir, go," said bonis XVTIL, "and remember that I am wait- 
ing for yon." 

"I will but go and return, sire; I shall be back in ten minutes." 

" And I, sire," said M. de Blaeas, " will go and find my messenger." 

" Wait, sir, wait," said Louis XVIII. "Really, M. de Blaeas, I must 
change your armorial bearings; I will give you an eagle with out- 
stretched wings, holding in its claws a prey which tries in vain to 
escape, and bearing this device — Tenax." 



Till: COUNT OF MONTE-GBIBTO. 



113 



" Siiv, I listen," said de Blacas, biting bis nails with impatience. 

"I wish to consull you on this passage, Molli fugis anhelitu; you 
know it refers to a stag flying from a wolf. Arc you not a sportsman 
and a. great wolf-hunter? Well, then, wliaf do you think of tin- molli 




Baron Dandr6. 



" Admirable, sire; but my messenger is like the stag you refer to, for 
he has posted two hundred and twenty leagues in little more than three 
days." 

" Which is undergoing greal fatigue and anxiety, my dear count, when 



114 Till: COUNT OF M <> XT E-0 BISTO. 

we have a telegraph which corresponds in three or four hours, and that 
withoul putting it the leasl in the world out of breath." 

" All, sire, yon recompense but badly this poor young man, who has 
come so Ear, and with so much ardor, to give your majesty useful infor- 
mation. If only for l lie sake of M. de Salvieux, who recommends him 
to me, I entreat your majesty to receive him graciously." 

"M. de Salvieux, my brother's chamberlain ?" 

•• Fes, sire." 

" He is at Marseilles." 

" Ami w rites me thence." 

" Dues he speak to you of this conspiracy f" 

•' No, but strongly recommends M. de Villefort, and begs me to pre- 
sent him to your majesty." 

"M. de Villeforl !" cried the king; "is the messenger's name M. de 
Villeforl .'" 

" Yes, sire." 

"And he comes from Marseilles .'" 

" In person." 

"Why did you not mention his name at once ?" replied the king, 
betraying some uneasiness. 

" Sire, I thought Ins name was unknown to your majesty." 

" No, no, Blacas; he is a man of strong and elevated understanding, 
ambitious too, and, pardieu ! you know his father's name!" 

" His father?" 

" Yes, Noirtier." 

" Noirtier the Grirondin ? — Noirtier the senator f" 

" He himself." 

"And your majesty has employed the son of such a man?" 

" Blacas, my friend, you have but limited comprehension. I told you 
Villefort was ambitious, and to attain this ambition ViUefort would 
sacrifice everything, even his father." 

"Then, sire, may I present him ?" 

" This instant, count ! Where is he ! " 

" Waiting below, in my carriage." 

" Seek him at once." 

" I hasten to do so." 
The count left the royal presence with the speed of a young man: 
his really sincere royalism made him youthful again. Louis XVIII. 
remained alone, and, turning his eyes on his half-opened Horace, mut- 
tered : 

Justum et tenacem propositi virum. 

M. de Blacas returned with the same rapidity lie had descended, but 



THE COT XT OF MONTE -CRI ST 0. 115 

in the antechamber he was forced to appeal to the king's authority. 
Villefort's dusty garb, his costume, which was nol of courtly cut, excited 
the susceptibility of M. de Brez6, who was all astonishmenl at finding 
that this young man had the pretension to enter before the king in such 
attire. The count, however, superseded all difficulties with a word — 
"His majesty's order," and, in spite of the observations which the mas- 
ter of the ceremonies made for the honor of his office and principles, 
Villefort was introduced. 

The king was seated in the same place where the count had left him. 
On opening the door, Villeforl found himself facing him, and the young 
magistrate's first impulse was to pause. 

"Come in, M. de Villefort," said the king, "come in." 
Villefort bowed, and, advancing a few steps, waited until the king 
should interrogate him. 

" M. de Villefort," said Louis XVIII., "the Count de Blacas assures 
me you have some interesting information to communicate." 

"Sire, the count is right, and I believe your majesty will think it 
equally important." 

"In the first place, and before everything else, sir, is the bad news as 
great in your opinion as it is wished to make me believe .' " 

" Sire, I believe it to be most urgent, but I hope, by the speed 1 have 
used, that it is not irreparable." 

" Speak as fully as you please, sir," said the kin*;, who began to give 
way to the emotion which had changed the face of M. de Blacas and 
affected Villefort's voice. " Speak, sir, and pray begin at the beginning ; 
I like order in everything." 

"Sire," said Villefort, "I will render a faithful report to your majesty, 
but I must entreat your forgiveness if my anxiety creates some obscurity 
in my language." 

A glance at the king after this discreet anil subtle exordium assured 
Villefort of the benignity of his august auditor, and he continued: 

"Sire, I have come as rapidly to Paris as possible, to inform your 
majesty that I have discovered, in the exercise of my duties, not a com- 
monplace and insignificant plot, such as is everyday got up in the lower 
ranks of the people and in the army, hut an actual conspiracy — a storm 
which menaces no less than the throne of your majesty. Sire, the 
usui per is arming three ships; he meditates some project, which, how- 
ever mad, is yet, perhaps, terrible. At this moment he will have left 
Elba, to go whither I know not, but assuredly to attempt a landing 
either at Naples or on the coast of Tuscany, or perhaps on the shore of 
France. Your majesty is well aware that the sovereign of the isle of 
Elba has maintained his relations with Italv and France .' " 



]1( ; THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GRI8T0. 

"I am, sir," said the king, much agitated; "and recently we have had 
information thai the Bonapartisl clubs have had meetings in the Rue 
Saint-Jacques. Bui proceed, I beg of you. Eow did you obtain these 
details f" 

" Sire, they are the results of an examination which I have made of a 
man of Marseilles, whom I have watched for sonic time, and arrested on 
the day of my departure. 'Phis person, a sailor, of turbulent character, 
and whom I suspected of Bonapartism, has been secretly to the isle of 
Elba. There he saw the grand-marshal, who charged him with a verbal 
mission to a Bonapartisl in Paris, whose name I could not extract from 
him ; hut this mission was to prepare men's minds for a return (it is the 
man who says this, sire) — a return which will soon occur." 

" And where is this man .' " 

" In prison, sire." 

"And the matte]- seems serious to you .'" 

"So serious, sire, that when the circumstance surprised me in the 
midst of a family festival, on the very day of my betrothal, I left my 
bride and friends, ] lost i ton inn' everything, that I might hasten to lay at 
your majesty's feet the fears that impressed me, and the assurance of 
my devotion." 

"True," said Louis XVIII., "was there not a marriage engagement 
between you and Mademoiselle de Saint-Meran ? " 

" Daughter of one of your majesty's most faithful servants." 

" Yes, yes; but let us talk of this plot, M. do Villefort." 

" Sire, I fear it is more than a plot; I fear it is a conspiracy." 

" A conspiracy in these times," said Louis XVIIL, smiling-, "is a thing- 
very easy to 1 Iitate,bu1 more difficult to conduct to an end; inasmuch 

as, reestablished so recently on the throne of our ancestors, we have our 
eyes open at once upon the past, the present, and the future. For the 
last ten months my ministers have redoubled their vigilance, in order to 
watch the shore of the Mediterranean. If Bonaparte landed at Naples, 
the whole coalition would he on foot before he could even reach Piom- 
bino; if he land in Tuscany, he will be in an unfriendly territory ; if 
he land in France, it must he with a handful of men, and the result of 
that is easily foretold, execrated as he is by the population. Take 
courage, sir; but at the same time rely on our royal gratitude." 

"Ah, here is M. Dandre" :"' cried de Blacas. 
At this instant the minister of police appeared at the door, pale, 
trembling, and as if ready to faint. 

Villefort was about to retire, but M. de Blacas, taking his hand, 
restrained him. 



CHAPTER XI 



THE OGRE OF CORSICA 




T the sight of this agitation Louis XVIII. pushed from hiin 
violently the table at which he was writing. 

"What ails you, M. le Baron?" he exclaimed. "You 
appear quite aghast. This trouble — this hesitation — have 
they anything to do with what M. de Blacas has told me, and M. de 
Villefort has just confirmed .'" 

M. de Blacas moved suddenly toward the baron, but the fright of 
the corn-tier precluded the triumph of the statesman; and besides, as 
matters were, it was much more to his advantage that the prefect of 
police should triumph over him than that he should humiliate the 
prefect. 

" Sire, " stammered the baron. 

" Well, what is it t " asked Louis XVIII. 

The minister of police, giving way to an impulse of despair, was 
about to throw himself at the feet of Louis XVIIL, who retreated a 
step and frowned. 

"Will you speak ?" he said. 

"Oh! sire, what a dreadful misfortune! I am, indeed, to be pitied. 
I can never forgive myself ! " 

" Monsieur," said Louis XVIIL, "I command you to speak." 

"Well, sire, the usurper left Elba on the 26th of February, and landed 
on the 1st of March. " 

" And where '! In Italy '! " asked the kino- eagerly. 

" In France, sire, — at a small port, near Antibes, in the Gulf of Juan." 

"The usurper landed in France, near Antilles, in the Gulf of Juan, 
two hundred and fifty leagues from Paris, on the 1st of March, and you 
only acquired this information to-day, the 3d of March ! Well, sir, what 



120 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

\,,u id] mi' is impossible. You musi have received a false report, or 
you have gone mad." 

•• Alas ! sire, it is 1ml too time ! " 
Louis made a gesture of indescribable anger ami alarm, ami then 
drew himself up as if this sudden blow hail struck him at the same 
momenl in heart ami countenance. 

"iu Prance!" he cried, " the usurper in France! Then they did nol 
watch over this man. Who knows .' they were, perhaps, in league with 
him." 

"<)h, siiv!" exclaimed the Comte de Blacas, "M. Dandre is nol a 

man to be accused of treason! Sire, we have all I a blind, and the 

minister of police has shared the general blindness; that is all." 

"But " said VTUefort, ami then, suddenly checking himself, 

he was silent ; then he continued. "Your pardon, sire," he said, bow- 
ing, "my zeal carried me away. Will your majesty deign to excuse 

mi .' " 

" Speak, sir, speak boldly," replied Louis. " Von alone forewarned us 
of the evil ; now try ami aid us with the remedy ! " 

"Sire," -aid Yillefort, "the usurper is detested in the south; and it 

seems to me that if he ventured into the south, it would be easy to raise 

Languedoe am! Provence againsl him." 

" Yes, assuredly," replied the minister; "but he is advancing by Gap 
ami Sisteron." 

"Advancing! he is advancing!" said Louis XVIII. "Is lie then 
advancing on Paris?" The minister of police kept a silence which was 
equivalenl to a complete avowal. 

"And Dauphine, sir ?" inquired the king of Yillefort. "Do you think 
it possible to rouse that as well as Provence .' " 

" Sire, I am sorry to tell your majesty a cruel fact ; but the feeling in 
Dauphine is far from resembling that of Provence or Languedoe. The 
mountaineers are Bonapartists, sire." 

" Then," murmured Louis, " he was well informed. Ami how many 
men had he with him .' " 

"I do not know, sire," answered the minister of police. 

" What ! you do not know t Have you neglected to obtain informa- 
tion of this circumstance:' It is true this is of small importance," he 
added, with a withering smile. 

"Sire, it was impossible to learn; the dispatch simply stated the fact 
of the landing and the route taken by the usurper." 

"Ami how did this dispatch reach you?" inquired the king. 
The minister bowed his head, and whilst a deep color overspread his 
cheeks, he stainmereil out : 



TEE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 



121 



"By the telegraph, sire." Louis XVIII. advanced a step, and folded 
his arms over his chest as Napoleon would have done. 

" So then !" he exclaimed, turningpale with anger, "seven conjoined 
and allied armies overthrew that man. A miracle of Heaven replaced me 




M. de Blacas. 

on tin- throne of my fathers after five-and-twenty years of exile. 1 have, 
during those five-and-twenty years, studied, sounded, analyzed the men 
and things of that France which was promised to me; and when I have 
attained the end of all my wishes, the power I hold in my hands bursts 
and shatters me to atoms ! " 



-[•>._> T1IK C<> I' XT OF MONTE-CBISTO. 

"Sire, it is fatality!" murmured the minister, feeling that such a 
pressure, however lighl for destiny, was sufficient to overwhelm a 

man. 

" What our enemies say of us is then true. We have learned noth- 
ing, forgotten nothing ! If I were betrayed as he was, I would console 
myself; bul to be in the midst of persons elevated by myself to dignities, 
who ought to watch over me more preciously than over themselves; for 
my fortune is theirs! — before me they were nothing — after me they will 
be nothing, and perish miserably from incapacity — ineptitude ! Oh, yes, 
sir ! you are right — it is fatality!" 

The minister was bowed beneath this crushing sarcasm. M. de Blacas 
wiped the moisture from his brow. Villefort smiled within himself, for 
he felt his increased importance. 

" To fall ! " continued King Louis, who at the first glance had sounded 
the abyss on which the monarchy hunt;' suspended, — "to fall, and learn 
that fall by the telegraph ! Oh ! I would rather mount the scaffold of my 
In-other, Louis XVI., than thus descend the staircase of the Tuileries 
driven away by ridicule. Ridicule, sir — why, you know not its power 
in France, and yet you ought to know it ! " 

" Sire, sire," murmured the minister, "for pity's " 

" Approach, M. de Villefort," resumed the king, addressing the young 
man, who, motionless and breathless, was listening to a conversation on 
which depended the destiny of a kingdom. "Approach, and tell mon- 
sieur that it is possible to know beforehand all that he has not known." 

" Sire, it was really impossible to learn secrets which that man con- 
cealed from all the world." 

"Really impossible! Yes — that is a great word, sir. Unfortunately, 
there are great words, as there are great men; I have measured them. 
.Really impossible for a minister who has an office, agents, spies, and 
fifteen hundred thousand francs for secret service money, to know what 
is going on at sixty leagues from the coast of France ! Well, then, see, 
here is a gentleman who had none of these resources at his disposal — a 
gentleman, only a simple magistrate, who learned more than you with 
all your police, and who would have saved my crown, if, like you, he 
had the power of directing a telegraph." 

The look of the minister of police was turned with concentrated 
spite on Villefort, who bent his head with the modesty of triumph. 

"I do not mean that for you, Blacas," continued Louis XVIIL; "for 
if you have discovered nothing, at least you have had the good sense to 
persevere in your suspicions. Any other than yourself would have con- 
sidered the disclosure of M. de Villefort as insignificant, or else dictated 
by a venal ambition." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CBISTO. 123 

These words were meant to allude to those which the minister of 
police had uttered with so much confidence an hour before. 

Yillefort understood the drift of the king. Any other person would, 
perhaps, have boon too much overcome by the intoxication of praise; 
but he feared to make for himself a mortal enemy of the police minis- 
ter, although he perceived Dandre was irrevocably lost. In fact, the 
minister, who, in the plenitude of his power, had been unable to pene- 
trate Napoleon's secret, mighl in the convulsions of his dying throes 
penetrate his, Villefort's, secret, for which end he had hut to interrogate 
Dantes. He therefore came to the rescue of the crest-fallen minister, 
instead of aiding to crush him. 

"Sire," said Yillefort, "the rapidity of the event must prove to your 
majesty that God alone can prevent it, by raising a tempest; what your 
majesty is pleased to attribute to me as profound perspicacity is simply 
owing to chance ; and I have profited by that chance, like a good and 
devoted servant — that's all. Do not attribute to me more than I deserve, 
sire, that your majesty may never have occasion to recall the first opinion 
you have been pleased to form of me." 

The minister of police thanked the young man by an eloquenl look, 
and Yillefort understood that he had succeeded in his design ; that is to 
say, that without forfeiting the gratitude of the king he bad made a 
friend of one on whom, in case of necessity, he might rely. 

"'Tis well !" resumed the king. " And now, gentlemen," he continued, 
turning toward M.de Blacas and the minister of police, "1 have no further 
occasion for you, and you may retire; what now remains to do is in the 
department of the minister of war." 

" Fortunately, sire," said M. de Blacas, " we can rely on the army ; your 
majesty knows how every report confirms their loyalty and attachment." 

" Do not mention reports, sir, to me ! for I know now what confidence 
to place in them. Yet, apropos of reports, M. le Baron, what intelligence 
have you as to our affair in the Rue Saint-Jacques ?" 

"The affair in the Rue Saint-Jacques!" exclaimed Yillefort, unable to 
repress an exclamation. 

Then, suddenly pausing, he added, "Your pardon, sire, but m\ 
devotion to your majesty has made me forget, not the respect I have, 
for that is too deeply engraven in my heart, hut the rules of etiquette." 

" Say and act, sir I" replied the king; " you have acquired the right to 
inquire." 

" Sire," replied the minister of police,"! came this moment to give 
your majesty fresh information which 1 had obtained on this head, 
when your majesty's attention was attracted by this terrible affair of 
the Gulf, and now these facts will cease t<» interest your majesty." 



124 rui: coi xt <>f mofte-cristo. 

••<>n the coiii vary. sir. — on the contrary," said Louis XyjJLL, " this 
affair seems to me to have a derided connection with thai which occu- 
pies our attention: and the death of General Quesnel will, perhaps, put 
us on the direel track of a great internal conspiracy." 
At the name of < reneral Quesnel, Villefort trembled. 

" All combines, sir," said the minister of police, "to insure the proba- 
bility that this deatli is not the result of a suicide, as we at first 
believed, but of an assassination. General Quesnel had quitted, as 
it appears, a Bonapartist club when lie disappeared. An unknown per- 
son had been with him that morning, and made an appointment with 
him in the Rue Saint-Jacques; unfortunately, the general's valet-de- 
chambre, who was dressing Id* hair at the moment when the stranger 
entered, heard the street mentioned, hut did not catch the number." 

As the police minister related this to the king, Villefort, who seemed 
as if his very existence bung on his lips, turned alternately red and 
pale. The king looked toward him. 

'•Do you not think with me, M. de Villefort, that General Quesnel, 
whom 1 1 11 'y believed attached to the usurper, but who was really entirely 
devoted t<> me, has perished tin' victim of a Bonapartist ambush .'" 

"It is probable, sire," replied Villefort. "But is this all that is 
known :'" 

"They are on the traces of the man who appointed the meeting with 
him." 

"On his traces .'" said Villefort. 

"Yes, the servant has given his description. lie is a man of from 
fifty to fifty-two years of age, brown, with black eyes covered with 
shaggy eyebrows, and a thick mustache. He was dressed in a blue 
frock-coat, buttoned up to the chin, and wore at his button-hole the 
rosette of an officer of the Legion of Honor. Yesterday an individual 
was followed exactly corresponding with this description, but he was 
lost sight of at the corner of the Rue de la Jussienne and the Rue Coq- 
Heron." 

Villefort leaned on the hack of an arm-chair; for, in proportion as 
the minister of police spoke, he felt his legs bend under him; but when 
he learned that the unknown had escaped the vigilance of the agent who 
followed him, he breathed again. 

" ( 'oiitinue 1u seek for this man. sir," said the king to the minister of 
police; "for if, as all conspires to convince me, General Quesnel, who 
would have been so useful to us at this moment, has been murdered, 
his assassins, Bonapartists or not, shall lie cruelly punished." 

It required all Villefort's sang-froid not to betray the terror with 
which this declaration of tin; king inspired him. 



Ill i: COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO 



125 



"How strange!" continued the king, with some asperity; "the police 
thinks all is said when it says, A murder lias been committed,' and par- 
ticularly when it adds, 'And we are on the track of the guilty persons.'" 

"Sire, your majesty will, 1 trust, be amply satisfied on this poini at 
Least." 




"We shall see; I will no longer detain you, baron. M. dc Villefort, 
you must be fatigued after so long a journey; go and repose yourself. 

Of course you stopped at your father's .' " 
A faintness came over Villefort. 



126 TEE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" NO, sire," lie replied; "I alighted at the Hotel de Madrid, in the Rue 
tic Tournon." 

" But you have seen him ?" 

" Sire, I went straight to M. le Comte de Blacas." 

" Biit you will see him, then?" 

" I think not, sire." 

"Ali, I forgot," said Louis, smiling in a manner which proved that all 
these questions were not made without a motive; "I forgot you and 
.M. Noirtier are not on the best terms possible, and that is another 
sacrifice made to the royal cause, and for winch you should be recom- 
pensed." 

"Sire, the kindness your majesty deigns to evince toward me is a 
recompense which so far surpasses my utmost ambition that 1 have 
nothing more to request." 

"Never mind, sir, we will not forget you; make your mind easy. In 
the mean while" (the king here detached the cross of the Legion of 
Honor he usually wore over his blue coat, near the cross of St. Louis, 
above the order of Notre-du-Mont-Carmel and St. Lazare, and gave it to 
Villefort) — "in the mean while, take this cross." 

"Sire," said Villefort, "your majesty mistakes ; this cross is that of 
an officer." 

" Ma foil" said Louis XVIII., "take it, such as it is, for I have not 
the time to procure you another. Blacas, let it lie your care to see that 
the brevet is made out and sent to M. de Villefort." 

Villefort's eyes were tilled with tears of joy and pride; he took the 
cross and kissed it. 

"And now," he said, "may I inquire what are the orders with which 
your majesty deigns to honor me '! " 

"Take what rest you require, and remember that, unable to serve me 
here in Paris, you may be of the greatest service to me at Marseilles." 

"Sire," replied Villefort, bowing, "in an hour I shall have quitted 
Paris." 

" (lo, sir," said the king; "and should I forget you (kings' memories 
are short), do not be afraid to bring yourself to my recollection. M. le 
Baron, send for the minister of war. Blacas, remain." 

" Ah, sir," said the minister of police to Villefort, as they left the 
Tuileries, "you enter by the right door — your fortune is made." 

"Will it lie long first:'" muttered Villefort, saluting the minister, 
whose career was ended, and looking about him for a hackney-coach. 
One passed at the moment, which he hailed : he gave his address to the 
driver, and, springing in, threw himself on the seat and gave loose to 
dreams of ambition. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO, 



127 



Ten minutes afterward Villeforl reached his hotel, ordered his horses 
in two hours, and desired to have his breakfast brought to him. Be 
was about to commence his repast when the sound of a bell, rung by a 
free and firm hand, was heard. The valet opened the dour, and VUleforl 
heard his name pronounced. 




" Who could know that I was here already .' " said the young man. 

The valet entered. 
"Well," said Yillefort, "what is it? — Who rang? — Who asked 
for me ?" 



128 



THE GOV NT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



" A stranger who will not send in his name." 

•• A stranger who will not send in his name! What can lie want 
with nil- .' '" 
•• lie wishes i" speak to you." 




"Tome?" 

" Yes." 

" Did lie mention my name ?" 

" Yes." 

" What sorl of a person is he?" 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 120 

" Why, sir, a man of about fifty." 

" Short or tall '. " 

" About your owu height, sir." 

" Dark or fair '. » 

"Dark, — very dark: with black eyes, black hair, black eyebrows." 

"And how dressed :'" asked Villefort, quickly. 

"In a blue frock-coat, buttoned up close, decorated with the Legion 
of Honor." 

"It is he!" said Villefort, turning pale. 

"Eh, pardieu ."' said the individual, whose description we have twice 
given, entering the door, "what a great deal of ceremony! Is it the 
custom in Marseilles for sons to keep their fathers waiting in their 
anterooms." 

"Father!" cried Villefort. "Then | was not deceived; I felt sine it 
must be you." 

"Well, then, if you felt so sure," replied the new-comer, putting bis 
cane in a corner and his hat on a chair, "allow me to say, my dear 
( lerard, that it was not very filial of you to keep me waiting at the door." 

" Leave us, Germain," said Villefort. 
The servant quitted the apartment with evident signs of astonish- 
ment. 



CHAPTER XII 



F AIHEE AND SON 




XOIRTIER — for it was indeed he who entered — followed 
with his eyes the servant until he had closed the door, and 
hen, fearing, no doubt, that he might be overheard in the 
antechamber, he opened the door again; nor was the pre- 
caution useless, as appeared from the rapid retreat of Germain, who 
proved that he was not exemjit from the sin which ruined our first 
parents. M. Noirtier then took the trouble to close carefully the door 
of the antechamber, then that of the bedchamber, and then extended 
his hand to Villefort, who had followed all his motions with surprise 
which he could not conceal. 

" \\Y11, now, my dear Gerard," said he to the young man, with a very 
significant look, "do you know yon seem as if you were not very glad 
to sec me?" 

" My dear father," said Villefort, " 1 am, on the contrary, delighted ; 
but I so little expected your visit that it has somewhat overcome me." 

" But, my dear fellow," replied M. Xoirtier, seating himself, " I might 
say the same tiling to you, when you announce to me your wedding for 
the 28th of February, and on the 4th of March here yon are in Paris." 

" And if I have come, my dear father," said Gerard, drawing closer to 
M. Xoirtier, "do not complain, for it is for you that I came, and my 
journey will save you." 

"Ah, indeed!" said M. Xoirtier, stretching himself out at his ease in 
the chair. "Really, pray tell me all about it, M. le Magistrat, for it 
must be interesting." 

" Father, you have heard speak of a certain club of Bonapartists held 
in the Rue Saint-Jacques .'" 

" No. 53; yes, I am vice-president." 

"Father, your coolness makes me shudder." 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GRI8T0. 



131 



"Why, my dear boy, when a man lias been proscribed by the Mount- 
ain, has escaped from Paris in a hay-cart, been hunted in the landes of 
Bordeaux by M. Robespierre's blood-hounds, he becomes accustomed to 




most things. But, go on; what about the dull in the Rue Saint- 
Jacques I " 

"Why, they induced General Quesnel to go there, mid General Ques- 
neL who quitted his own house at nine o'clock in the evening, was found 
the next day in the Seine." 



L32 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" And who told you this line story f " 

"The king himself." 

"Well, then, in return for your story," continued Noirtier, "I will 
tell you one." 

" My dear father, I think 1 already know what you are about to tell me." 

"Ah, you have heard of the landing of the emperor ? " 

" Not so loud, father, I entreat of you — for your own sake as well as 
mine. Yes, I heard this news, and knew it even before you could; for 
three days ago I posted from .Marseilles to Paris with all possible speed, 
and half desperate because I could not send with a wish two hundred 
leagues ahead of me the thought which was agitating my brain." 

" Three days ago ! You are crazy. Why, three days ago the emperor 
had not landed." 

"No matter; 1 was aware of his project." 

" How did you learn it ?" 

" By a letter addressed to you from the isle of Elba." 

"To me?" 

"To you; and which 1 discovered in the pocket-book of the mes- 
senger. Had that letter fallen into the hands of another, you, my dear 
father, would probably ere this have been shot." 
Villefort's father laughed. 

" Come, come," said he, "it appears that the Restoration has learned 
from the Empire the mode of settling affairs speedily. Shot, my dear 
boy! you go ahead with a vengeance. Where is this letter you talk 
about! I know you too well to suppose you would allow such a thing 
to pass you." 

"I burned it, for fear that even a fragment should remain;- for that 
letter must have effected your condemnation." 

"And the destruction of your future prospects," replied Noirtier; 
"yes, I can easily comprehend that. But I have nothing to fear whilst 
I have you to protect me." 

"I do better than that, sir — I save you." 

" You do \ why, really, the thing becomes more and more dramatic — 
explain yourself." 

" I must refer again to the club in the Rue Saint-Jacques." 

" It appears that this club is rather a bore to the police. Why didn't 
they search more vigilantly? they would have found " 

" They have not found ; but they are on the track." 

" Yes, that's the usual phrase ; I know it well. When the police is at 
fault, it declares that it is on the track ; and the government patiently 
awaits the day when it comes to say, with a sneaking ah, that the 
track is lost." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 133 

" Yes, but they have found a corpse ; the general has been killed, and 
in all countries they call that a murder." 

"Amurder, do yon call it.' why, there is nothing to prove that the 
general was murdered. People are found every day in the Seine, hav- 
ing thrown themselves in, or have been drowned from no1 knowing 
how to swim.'' 

"Father, yon know very well that the general was not a man to 
drown himself in despair; and people do qoI bathe in the Seine in the 
month of January. No, no, do not mistake; this death was a murder 
in every sense of the word." 

"And who thus designated it .' " 

" The king himself." 

" The king! I thought he was philosopher enough to allow that there 
was no murder in politics. In politics, my dear fellow, yon know as 
well as I do, there are no men, but ideas — no feelings, but interests; 
in polities we do not kill a man, we only remove an obstacle — that is all. 
Would you like to know how matters have progressed ? "Well, I will tell 
you. It was thought reliance might he placed in General Quesnel; he 
was recommended to us from the isle of Elba. One of us went to him, 
and invited him to the Rue Saint-Jacques, where he would find some 
friends. He came there, and the plan was unfolded to him of leaving 
Elba, the projected landing, etc. When he had heard and comprehended 
all to the fullest extent, he replied that he was a royalist. Then all 
looked at each other, — he was made to take an oath, and did so, but 
with such an ill grace that it was really tempting Providence to swear 
thus; and yet, in spite of that, the general was allowed to depart free — 
perfectly free. Yet he did not return home. What could that mean.' 
why, my dear fellow, that on leaving us he lost his way — that's all. A 
murder! really, Yillefort, you surprise me. You, a deputy procureur, 
to found such an accusation on such bad premises ! Did I ever say to 
you, when you were fulfilling your character as a royalist, and cut off 
the head of one of my party, 'My son, you have committed a murder' .' 
No, I said, 'Yery well, sir, you have gained the victory; to-morrow, 
perchance, it will he our turn.'" 

" But, father, take care when our turn comes; our revenge will he 
sweeping." 

"I do not understand you." 

" You rely on the usurper's return ? " 

"We do." 

"You are mistaken ; he will not advance two leagues into the interior 
of France without being followed, tracked, and caught like a wild beast." 

"My dear fellow, the emperor is at this moment on the way to 



134 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

Grenoble; on the 10th or 12th he will be at Lyons, and on the 20th or 
25th at Paris." 

" Tin- population will rise." 

" Yt's, to go and meet him." 

"He lias bul a handful of men with him; and armies will be dis- 
patched against him." 

" Yes, i,i escort him into the capital. Really, my dear Gerard, you 
are bul a child ; you think yourself well informed because a telegraph 
has told you three days after the landing, ' The usurper has landed at 
Cannes with several men. He is pursued.' But where is he? what is he 
doing \ You do not know well ; and in this way they will pursue him 
to Paris, without drawing a trigger." 

" Grenoble and Lyons are faithful cities, and will oppose to him an 
impassable barrier." 

"Grenoble will open her gates to him with enthusiasm; all Lyons 
will hasten to welcome him. Believe me, we are as well informed as 
you; and our police is as gootl as your own. Would you like a proof 
of it ? Well, you wished to conceal your journey from me, and yet I 
knew of your arrival half an hour after you had passed the barrier. 
You gave your direction to no one but your postilion, yet I have your 
address, and in proof I am here the very instant you are going to sit at 
table. Ring, then, if you please, for a second knife, fork, and plate, and 
we will dine together." 

" Indeed ! " replied Villefort, looking at his father with astonishment, 
" you really do seem very well informed." 

" Eh? the thing is simple enough. You who are in power have only 
the means that money produces; we who are in expectation have those 
which devotion prompts." 

" Devotion ! " said Villefort with a sneer. 

" Yes, devotion ; for that is, I believe, the phrase for hopeful ambitit >n." 
And Villefort's father extended his hand to the bell-rope, to summon 
the servant whom his son had not called. Villefort arrested his arm. 

" Wait, my dear father," said the young man; " one other word." 

" Say it." 

" However ill-conducted is the royalist police, they yet know one terri- 
ble thing." 

" What is that ? " 

" The description of the man who, on the morning of the day when 
General Quesnel disappeared, presented himself at his house." 

" Oh, the admirable police have found that out, have they ? And what 
may be that description ? " 

" Brown complexion ; hair, eyebrows, and whiskers black ; blue frock- 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CBI8T0. 



135 



«oat, buttoned up to the chin ; rosette of an officer of the Legion of 
Honor in his button-hole; a hat with wide brim, and a cane." 

" Ah ! ah ! that is it, is it ? " said Noirtier ; " and why, then, have they 
not laid hands on the individual I " 



%$N 







"Because yesterday, or the day before, they lost sighl of him at the 
corner of the Rue Coq-Heron." 

" Didn't I say your police was good for nothing .' " 

" Yes; but still it may lay hands on him." 

"True," said Noirtier, looking carelessly around him, "true, if this 



136 THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

individual were not warned as he is." And he added, with a smile, " He 
will constantly change looks and costume." 

At these words he rose and put oft* his frock-coat and cravat, went 
toward a table on which lay all the requisites of the toilette for his son, 
lathered his face, took a razor, and, with a firm hand, cut off the 
whiskers that might have compromised him and gave the police so 
decided a trace. Villefort watched him with alarm, not divested of 
admiration. 

His whiskers cut off, Noirtier gave another turn to his hair; took, 
instead of his black cravat, a colored neckerchief which lay at the top 
of an open portmanteau; put on, in lieu of his blue and high-buttoned 
frock-coat, a coat of Villefort's, of dark brown, and cut away in front; 
tried mi before the glass a narrow-brimmed hat of his son's, which 
appeared to fit him perfectly, and, leaving his cane in the corner where 
he had deposited it, he made to whistle in his powerful hand a small 
bamboo switch, which the dandy deputy used when he walked, and 
which aided in giving him that easy swagger which was one of his 
principal characteristics. 

" Well," he said, turning toward his wondering son, when this dis- 
guise was completed, "well, do you think your police will recognize me 

llo\\ .'•• 

"No, father," stammered Villefort; "at least, I hope not." 

" And now, my dear boy," continued Noirtier, " I rely on your 
prudence to remove all the things which I leave in your care." 

" Oh, rely on me," said Villefort. 

" Yes, yes ! and now I believe you are right, and that you have really 
saved my life ; 1 »ut be assured I wall return the obligation to you 
hereafter." 

Villefort shook his head. 

" You are not convinced yet ? " 

" I hope, at least, that you may be mistaken." 

" Shall you see the king again .' " 

" Perhaps." 

" Would you pass in his eyes for a prophet ! " 

" Prophets of evil are not in favor at the court, father." 

" True, but some day they do them justice ; and, supposing a second 
restoration, you would then pass for a great man." 

" Well, what should I say to the king :' " 

" Say this to him : ' Sire, you are deceived as to the feeling in France, 
as to the opinions of the towns, and the prejudices of the army; he 
whom in Paris you call the ogre of Corsica, who at Nevers is styled the 
i;surper, is already saluted as Bonaparte at Lyons and emperor at G-re- 



THE COT XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 137 

noble. You think he is tracked, pursued, captured; he is advaneii 
rapidly as his own eagles. The soldiers you believe dying with hunger, 
worn out with fatigue, ready to desert, increase like atoms of snow 
about the rolling ball which hastens onward. Sire, go, Leave France to 
its real master, to him who did not buy, but acquired it ; go, sire, nut 
that you incur any risk, fur your adversaryis powerful enough to show 
you mercy, but because it would he humiliating fur a grandson of Saint 
Louis to owe his life to the man of Areola, Marengo, Austerlitz.' Tell 
him this, Gerard ; or, rather, tell him nothing. Keep your journey a 
secret; do not boast of what you have come to Paris to do, or have 
done. You have made haste to come here, return with all speed ; enter 
Marseilles at night, and your house by the back door, and there remain, 
quiet, submissive, secret, and, above all, inoffensive; for this time, I 
swear to you, we shall act like powerful men who know their enemies. 
Go, my son — go, my dear Gerard, and by your obedience to my pater- 
nal orders, or, if you prefer it, friendly counsels, we will keep you in 
your place. This will be," added Xoirtier, with a smile, " one means by 
which you may a second time save me, if the political balance should 
one day place you high and me low. Adieu, my dear Gerard, and at 
your next journey alight at my door." 

Noirtier left the room when lie had finished, with the same calmness 
that had characterized him during the whole of this remarkable and 
trying conversation. Yillefort, pale and agitated, ran to the window, 
put aside the curtain, and saw him pass, cool and collected, by two or 
three ill-looking men at the corner of the street, who were there, per- 
haps, to arrest a man with black whiskers, and a blue frock-coat, and 
hat with broad brim. 

Yillefort stood watching, breathless, until his father had disappeared 
at the Rue Bussy. Then he turned to the various articles he had left 
behind him, put at the bottom of his portmanteau his black cravat and 
blue frock-coat, threw the hat into a dark closet, broke the cane into 
small bits and flung it in the tire, put on his traveling-cap, and, calling 
his valet, checked with a look the thousand questions he was ready to 
ask, paid his bill, sprang into his carriage, which was ready, learned at 
Lyons that Bonaparte had entered Grenoble, and in the midst of the 
tumult which prevailed along the road, at length reached .Marseilles, a 
prey to all the hopes and fears which enter the heart of man with 
ambition and its first successes. 



CHAPTER XIII 



THE II UNDEED DAYS 




XOIRTIER was a true prophet, and things progressed 
rapidly, as he had predicted. Every one knows the his- 
tory of the famous return from Elba, a return which, 
without example in the past, will probably remain without 
imitation in the future. 

Louis XYIII. made but a faint attempt to parry this unexpected 
blow ; his lack of confidence in men deprived him of his confidence in 
events; the royalty, or rather the monarchy, he had scarcely recon- 
structed tottered on its precarious foundation, and it needed but a 
sign of the emperor to hurl to the ground all this edifice composed of 
ancient prejudices and new ideas. Villefort, therefore, gained nothing 
save the king's gratitude, which was rather likely to injure him at the 
present time, and the Cross of the Legion of Honor, which he had the 
prudence not to wear, although M. de Blacas had duly forwarded the 

lire Vet. 

Napoleon would, doubtless, have depi'ived Villefort of his office had 
it not been for Noirtier, who was all-powerful at the court of the Hun- 
dred Days, by the dangers he had faced and the services he had ren- 
dered, and thus the Girondin of '93 and the senator of 1806 protected 
him who so lately had been his protector. All Yillefort's influence 
barely enabled him to stifle the secret Dantes had so nearly divulged. 
During this re-appearance of the empire, whose second fall could be 
easily foreseen, the king's procureur alone was deprived of his office, 
being suspected of royalism. 

However, scarcely was the imperial power established — that is, 
scarcely had the emperor reentered the Tuileries and issued his numer- 
ous orders from that little cabinet into which we have introduced our 
readers, and on the table of which he found Louis XV ILL'S snuff-box, 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



139 



"half full— than Marseilles began to rekindle the flames of civil war, 
always unextinguished in the south, and it required but Little to excite 
the populace to acts of far greater violence than the shouts and insults 

with which they assailed the royalists whenever tln-y ventured abroad. 




Owing to this natural change, the worthy shipowner became al that 
moment— we will not say all-powerful, because Morrel was a prudenl 

and rather a timid man, like all who have made a slow success in busi- 
ness; so much so, that many of the most zealous partisans oi Bona- 



!40 Till-: coCXT OF M0WTF-GBI8T0. 

parte accused him of moderation — bu1 sufficiently influential to make a 
demand ; and this demand, as may be divined, was in favor of Dantes. 
Villeforl retained his place in spite of the fall of his superior, but 
his marriage was put off until a more favorable opportunity. If the 
emperor remained on the throne, Gerard required a different alliance to 
aid his career, and his father undertook to find it; if Louis XVIII. 
returned, the influence of M. Saint-Meran and himself became double, 
and the marriage must lie still more suitable. The deputy procureur 
was, therefore, the first magistrate of Marseilles, when one morning his 
door opened, and M. Morrel was announced. 

Any one else would have hastened to receive him and revealed his 
weakness; but Villefort was a man of ability, who, if he had not the 
experience, had the instinct for everything. He made Morrel wait in 
the antechamber, although he had no one with him, for the simple 
reason that the king's procureur always makes everyone wait; and 
after a quarter of an hour had passed in reading the papers, he ordered 
Morrel to he admitted. 

Morrel expected Villefort would be dejected; be found him, as he 
had found him six weeks before, calm, firm, and full of that glacial 
politeness, that most insurmountable barrier, which separates the well- 
bred and the vulgar man. 

lie had penetrated into VUlefort's cabinet, convinced the magistrate 
would tremble at the sight of him; on the contrary, he felt a cold shud- 
der all over him when he beheld Villefort seated, his elbow on his 
desk, and his head leaning on his hand. He stopped at the door; 
Villefort gazed at him as if he had some difficulty in recognizing him; 
then, after a brief interval, during which the honest shipowner turned 
and turned his hat in his hands, 

" M. Morrel, I believe .' " said Villefort. 

" Yes, sir." 

"Come nearer,' 1 said the magistrate, with a patronizing wave of the 
hand, "and tell me to what circumstance I owe the honor of this visit." 

" Do you not guess, monsieur ? " asked Morrel. 

"Not in the least; but, if I can serve you in any way, I shall be 

d. 'lighted." 

" Everything depends on you." 

" Explain yourself, pray." 

" Monsieur," said Morrel, recovering his assurance as lie proceeded, 
encouraged by the justice of his cause, " do you recollect that a few 
days before the landing of his majesty the emperor, I came to intercede 
for an unfortunate young man, the mate of my ship, who was accused 
of being concerned in a correspondence with the isle of Elba \ and what 



THE <<>r\r OF MOJS "/ 7 : ~ < UI8T0. 



141 



was the other day a cnme is to-day a title of favor. You then served 

Louis XVIII., and you did no1 show any favor — it was your du1 

day you serve Napoleon, and you ought to protecl him — ii is equally 

your duty. I come, therefore, to ask what has become of him."' 




Villefort made a violent effort. 
" What is his uame ?" said he; "tell me his name." 
" Edmond Dantes." 

Villefort would, evidently, have rather stood opposite the muzzle of 



142 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

a pistol at five-and-twenty paces than have heard this naine pronounced; 
I mt he betrayed no emotion. 

"In this way," said Villefort to himself, "I cannot be accused of 
making the arrest of this young man a personal question." 

" Dantes," repeated he, " Edmond Dantes." 

" Yes, monsieur." 
Villefort opened a large register, then went to a table, from the 
table turned to his registers, and then, turning to Morrel, 

"Are you quite sure you are not mistaken, monsieur.'" said he, in 
the most natural tone in the world. 

Had Morrel been a more quick-sighted man, or better versed in 
these matters, he would have been surprised at the king's procureur 
answering him on such a subject so entirely out of his line, instead 
of referring him to the governors of the prison or the prefect of the 
department. But Morrel, disappointed in his expectations of exciting- 
fear, saw only, where no fear was visible, condescension. Villefort had 
calculated rightly. 

" No," said Morrel, " I am not mistaken. I have known him ten years, 
and the last four he has been in my service. Do not you recollect, I 
came about six weeks ago to beseech your clemency, as I come to-day 
to beseech your justice — you received me very coldly, and answered 
me rudely? Oh, the royalists were very severe with the Bonapartists 
in those days." 

" Monsieur," returned Villefort, " I was then a royalist, because I 
believed the Bourbons not only the heirs to the throne but the chosen 
of the nation. The miraculous return which we have seen proves me 
mistaken; the genius of Napoleon has conquered; the legitimate mon- 
arch is he who is loved by his people." 

"That's right !" cried Morrel. " I like to hear you speak thus, and I 
augur well for Edmond from it." 

" Wait a moment," said Villefort, turning over the leaves of a regis- 
ter; "I have it — a sailor, who was about to marry a young Catalan 
girl. I recollect now, it was a very serious charge." 

" How so ? " 

"You know that when he left here he was taken to the Palais de 
Justice." 

"Well?" 

" I made my report to the authorities at Paris, and sent to them the 
papers found on him, — it was my duty, — and a week after, he was 
carried off." 

" ( 'arried off!" said Morrel. " What can they have done with him ? " 

" Oh, he has been taken to Fenestrelles, to Pignerol, or to the lies. 



THE COIXT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 143 

Sainte-Marguerite. Some fine morning he will return to assume the 
command of your vessel." 

" Come when he will, it shall be kept for him. But how is it he is not 
already returned? It seems to me, the first care of the Bonapartist 
government should be to set at liberty those who have suffered from 
that of the Bourbons." 

"Do not be too hasty, M. Morrel," replied Villefort. " Tl rder of 

imprisonment came from high authority, and the order for his liberation 
must proceed from the same source; and, as Napoleon has scarcely been 
reinstated a fortnight, the letters have not yet been forwarded." 

" But," said Morrel, " is there no way of expediting all these formali- 
ties? "We are victorious; I have friends and some influence; I can 
obtain the canceling of his arrest." 

" There has been no arrest." 

"How?" 

" It is sometimes essential to government to cause a man's disappear- 
ance without leaving any traces, so that no written forms or documents 
may defeat their wishes." 

" It might be so under the Bourbons, but at present " 

"It is always the same, my dear Morrel, since the reign of Louis XXV., 
all governments are alike ; we have the Bastile to-day. The emperor is 
more strict in prison discipline than even Louis himself, and the num- 
ber of prisoners whose names are not on the register is incalculable.'' 

Had Morrel even any suspicions, so much kindness would have dis- 
pelled them. 

" Well, M. de Villefort, how would you advise me to act .' " asked he. 

"Petition the minister." 

"Oh, I know what that is; the minister receives two hundred every 
day, and does not read four." 

" That is true ; but he will read a petitiou countersigned and presented 
by me." 

" And will you undertake to deliver it ? " 

" With the greatest pleasure. Dantes was then guilty, and now he is 
innocent ; and it is as much my duty to free him as it was to condemn 
him." 

Villefort foresaw the danger of an inquiry, possible but not probable, 
which might ruin him beyond retrieval. 

" But how shall I address the minister \ " 

"Sit down there," said Villefort, giving up his place to Morrel, "and 
write what I dictate." 

" Will you be so good ? " 

"Certainly. But lose no time; we have lost too much already." 



144 THE cor XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

•'That is true. Only think that perhaps this poor young man is 
pining in despair." 

Villefort shuddered at this picture of the prisoner cursing him in 
silence and obscurity, but he was too far gone to recede; Dantes must 
lie crushed beneath the weight of Villefort's ambition. 
" I am waiting," said Morrel, pen in hand. 
ViUefort dictated a petition, La which, from an excellent intention, no 
doubt, Dantes' services to the Bonapartists were exaggerated, and he 
was made out one of the most active agents of Napoleon's return, it 
was evident that at the sight of this document the minister would 
instantly release him. The petition finished, ViUefort read it aloud. 
" That will do," said he; " leave the rest to me." 
" AVill the petition go soon \ " 
"To-day." 

" Countersigned by you V 

" The best thing I can do will be to certify the truth of the contents 
of your petition." 

And, sitting down, ViUefort wrote the certificate at the bottom. 
" What more is to be done ? " 
" I will answer for everything." 
This assurance charmed Morrel, who took leave of ViUefort, and 
hastened to announce to old Dantes that he would soon see his son. 

As for ViUefort, instead of sending to Paris, he carefully preserved 
the petition that so fearfully compromised Dantes, in the case of an 
event that seemed not unlikely, — that is, a second restoration. Dantes 
remained a prisoner, and heard not the noise of the fall of Louis XVIII.'s 
throne, nor the more terrible collapse of the Empire. 

Twice during the brief imperial apparition which is called the Hun- 
dred Days had Morrel renewed his demand, and twice had Villefort 
soothed him with promises. At last there was Waterloo, and Morrel 
came no more : he had done all that was in his power, and any fresh 
attempt under the second restoration woiild only compromise himself 
uselessly. 

Louis XVIII. reim muted the throne, Villefort demanded and obtained 
the situation of king's procureur at Toulouse, and a fortnight afterward 
married Eenee, whose father was more influential at court than ever. 

Thus Dantes, during the Hundred Days and after Waterloo, remained 
under bolt and bar, forgotten by God and man. 

Danglars comprehended the full extent of the wretched fate that 
overwhelmed Dantes, and, like all men of small abilities, he termed this 
a decree of Providence. But when Napoleon returned to the imperial 
throne in Paris, Danglars' heart failed him, and he feared at every 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. H7 

instant to behold Dantes eager for vengeance. Ee therefore informed 
M. Morrel of his wish to quit the sea, and obtained a recommendation 
from him to a Spanish merchant, into whose service be entered ;it the 
end of March, — that is, ten or twelve days after Napoleon's return to 
the Tuileries. He then left for Madrid, and was no more beard of. 

Fernand understood nothing except that Dantes was absent. Whal 
bad become of him he cared not to inquire. Only, during the respite 
the absence of his rival afforded him, he reflected, partly on the means 
of deceiving Mercedes as to the cause of his absence, partly on plans of 
emigration and abduction, as from time to time be sal sad and motion- 
Less on the summit of Cape Phavo, at the spot from whence Marseilles 
and the village of the Catalans are visible, watching for the apparition 
of a young and handsome man, who was for him also the messenger of 
vengeance. Fernand's mind was made up: he would shoot Dantes, 
and then kill himself. But Fernand was mistaken; a man of his 
disposition never kills himself, for he constantly hopes. 

During this time the Empire made a last appeal, and every man in 
France capable of bearing arms rushed to obey the summons of his 
Einperor. Fernand departed with the rest, heaving with him the terrible 
thought that perhaps his rival was behind him, and would marry .Mer- 
cedes. Had Fernand really meant to kill himself, he would have done 
so when he parted from Mercedes. His devotion, his constant atten- 
tions, and the compassion he showed for her misfortunes, produced the 
effed they always produce on noble minds — Mercedes had always had a 
sincere regard for Fernand, and this was now strengthened by gratitude. 
"My brother," said she, as she placed his knapsack on his shoulders, 
"he careful of yourself, for if you are killed I shall be alone in tin- 
world." 

These words infused a ray of hope into Fernand's heart. Should 
Dantes not return, Mercedes might one day be his. Mercedes was Kit 
alone to gaze on this bare earth that had never seemed so barren, and 
the sea that had never seemed so vast. Sometimes, bathed in tears, 
she wandered, without ceasing, around the little village of the Catalans, 
sometimes she stood mute and motionless as a statue beneath the burn- 
ing sun of the South, gazing toward Marseilles; at other times gazing 
on the sea, and debating as to whether it were not better t<> cast herself 
into the abyss of the ocean, and thus end her woes. It was not want 
of courage that prevented her putting this resolution into execution; 
but her religious feelings came to her aid and saved her. 

Caderousse was, like Fernand, enrolled in the army. l>tit. being 
married and eight years older, he was merely sent to the coast fortresses. 
Old Dantes, who was only sustained by hope, lost all hope at Napoleon's 



148 THE COUNT OF M01TTE-CRIST0. 

downfall. Five months after he had been separated from his son, and 
almost at the very hour at which he was arrested, he breathed his last in 
Mercedes' arms. Morrel paid the expenses of his funeral and a few 
small debts the poor old man had contracted. 

There was more than benevolence in this action; there was courage; 
for in assist, even on his death-bed, the father of so dangerous a Bona- 
partist as Dantes was stigmatized as a crime. 



CHAPTER XIV 



THE TWO PRISONERS 




k 



YEAR after Louis XVIII.V restoration, a visit was made by 
the inspector-general of prisons. Dantes heard from tin- 
recesses of his cell the noises made by the preparations for 
receiving him, — sounds that at the depth where lie lay would 
lave been inaudible to any but the ear of a prisoner, who could dis- 
tinguish the plash of the drop of water that every hour fell from the 
roof of his dungeon. He guessed something uncommon was passing 
among the living; but he had so long ceased to have any intercourse 
with the world, that he looked upon himself as dead. 

The inspector visited the cells and dungeons, one after another, <>f 
several of the prisoners whose good behavior or stupidity recommended 
them to the elemency of the government; the inspector inquired how 
they were fed, and if they had anything to demand. 

The universal response was that the fare was detestable, and that 
they required their freedom. 

The inspector asked if they had anything else to demand. They 
shook their heads! What could they desire beyond their liberty .' 
The inspector turned smilingly to the governor. 
"I do not know what reason government can assign for these useless 
visits; when you see one prisoner, you see all, — always the same 
thing, — ill-fed, and innocent. Are there any others .' " 

"Yes; the dangerous and mad prisoners are in the dungeons." 
"Let us visit them," said the inspector, with an air of fatigue. "I 
must fulfill my mission. Let us descend." 

" Let us first send for two soldiers,'' said the governor. "The pris- 
oners sometimes, through mere disgust of life, and in order to he 
sentenced to death, commit acts of useless violence, and you might 
fall a victim." 



150 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"Take all needful precautions," replied the inspector. 
Two soldiers were accordingly scut for, and the inspector descended 
;i stair so foul, so humid, so dark, that the very sight affected the eye, 
the smell, and the respiration. 

"Oh!" cried the inspector, " who can live here .'" 

"A most dangerous conspirator, a man we are ordered to keep the 
m »st strict watch over." 

"He is ah. lie ?» 

"Certainly." 

" How long has he been there .' *' 

" Nearly a year." 

"Was he placed here when he first arrived ?" 

"No, not until he attempted to kill the turnkey." 

" To kill the turnkey ? " 

"Yes, the very one who is lighting us. Is it not true, Antoine ? ' r 
asked the governor. 

" True enough ; he wanted to kill me ! " replied the turnkey. 

"He must lie mad," said the inspector. 

" He is worse than that, — he is a devil ! " returned the turnkey. 

"Shall I complain of him ?" demanded the inspector. 

" Oil, no ; it is useless. Besides, he is almost mad now, and, to judge 
from our experience here, in another year he will be quite so." 

"So much the better for him, — he will suffer less," said the inspector. 
He was, as this remark shows, a man full of philanthropy, and in 
every way tit for his office. 

" Von are right, sir," replied the governor; "and this remark proves 
that you have deeply considered the subject. Now, we have in a dun- 
geon about twenty feet distant, and to which you descend by another 
stair, an old abbe, ancient leader of a party in Italy, who has been here 
since 1811, and in 1813 he went mad, and the change is astonishing. 
He used to weep, — he now laughs; he grew thin, — he now grows fat. 
You had better see him, for his madness is amusing." 

"I will see them both," returned the inspector; "I must consci- 
entiously perform my duty." 

This was the inspector's first visit: he wished to display his authority. 

" Let us visit this one first," added he. 

" Willingly," replied the governor ; and he signed to the turnkey to 
open the door. At the sound of the key turning in the lock, and the 
creaking of the hinges, Dantes, who was crouched in a corner of the 
dungeon, raised his head. At the sight of a stranger, lighted by two 
turnkeys, accompanied by two soldiers, and to whorn the governor 
spoke bareheaded, Dantes, who guessed the truth, and that the moment 



77//: COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 151 

to address himself to the superior authorities was come, sprang forward 
with clasped hands. 

The soldiers presented their bayonets, for they thought he was about 
to attack the inspector, and the latter recoiled two or three steps. 1 >ant< - 
saw he was represented as a dangerous prisoner. Then, infusing all the 
humility he possessed into his eyes and voice, he addressed the inspector, 
and sought to inspire him with pity. 

The inspector listened attentively; then, turning to the governor, 
observed in a low tone : 

" He will become religious — he is already more gentle; he is afraid, 
and retreated before the bayonets — madmen are not afraid of anything; 
I made some curious observations on this at < 'harentou." 

Then, turning to the prisoner, " What do you demand .'" said he. 

" I ask what crime I have committed — I ask to be tried before my 
judges; and I ask, if I am guilty, to be shot; if innocent, to be set at 
liherty. 1 ' 

" Are you well fed ? " said the inspector. 

"I believe so — I know not; but that matters little. What matters 
really, not only to me, but to every functionary of justice, every member 
of the government, is, that an innocent man should languish in prison, 
the victim, of an infamous denunciation, cursing his murderers.'' 

"You are very humble to-day," remarked the governor. "Yon are 
not so always; the other day, for instance, when you tried to kill the 
turnkey." 

"It is true, sir, and I beg his pardon; for he has always been very 
good to me; but I was mad." 

" And you are not so any longer '! " 

"No! captivity has subdued, broken, annihilated me; I have been 
here so long." 

"So long? — when were you arrested, then .'" asked the inspector. 

" The 28th of February, 1815, at half-past two in the afternoon." 

" To-day is the 30th of June, 1816: why, it is hut seventeen months." 

"Only seventeen months!" replied Dantes. "Oh, you do not know 
what is seventeen months in prison ! seventeen years, — seventeen ayes 
rather, especially to a man who, like me, had arrived at the summit of 
his ambition — to a man who, like me, was on the point of marrying a 
woman he adored, who saw an honorable career open before him, and 

who loses all in an instant — who sees his pros] ts destroyed, and is 

ignorant of the fate of his affianced wife, and whether his aged father 
be still living! Seventeen months' captivity to a sailor accustomed to the 
air, the expanse, the immensity of the boundless ocean, is a worse punish- 
ment than human crime ever merited. Have pity on me, then, and ask 



152 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRIS.TO. 

forme, not indulgence, bu1 atrial — let me see my judges; I ask only for 
a judge ; you cannot refuse to bring me before a judge." 

" We shall see," said the inspector; then, turning to the governor: 
"On my word, the poor devil touches me. You must show me the proof s 
againsl him." 

"Certainly; but you will find terrible notes against him." 

" Monsieur," continued Dantes, "1 know it is not in your power to 
release me; but you can forward my petition, can obtain an inquiry, 
can plead for me — you can have me tried; and that is all I ask." 

" Light me," said the inspector. 

'• Monsieur," cried Dantes, "I can tell by your voice you are touched 
with pity ; tell me at least to hope." 

"I cannot tell you that," replied the inspector; "I can only promise 
to examine into your case." 

"Oh, i am free — then I am saved !" 

" Who arrested you ?" 

" M. Villefort. See him, and hear what he says." 

" M. Villefort is no longer at Marseilles; he is now at Toulouse." 

"I am no longer surprised at my detention," murmured Dantes, 
" since my only protector is removed." 

" Had M. de Villefort any cause of personal dislike to you :'" 

" None ; on the contrary, he was very kind to me." 

" I can, then, rely on the notes he has left concerning you:" 

" Entirely." 

" That is well ; wait patiently, then." 
Dantes fell on his knees, and prayed earnestly for the man who had 
descended to this Hades. The door closed ; but this time a fresh inmate 
was left with Dantes — Hope. 

" Will you see the register at once," asked the governor, "or proceed 
to the other cell ? " 

" Let us visit them all," said the inspector. " If I once mounted the 
stairs, I should never have the courage to descend." 

"Ah, this one is not like the other; and his madness is less affecting 
than the reason of his neighbor." 

"What is his folly:'" 

" He fancies he possesses an immense treasure. The first year he 
offered government a million of francs ($200,000) for his release; the 
second, two; the third, three; and so on progressively. He is now in 
his fifth year of captivity; he will ask to speak to you in private, and 
offer you five millions." 

" How curious ! — what is his name .' " 

" L'Abbe Faria." 



THE COUNT OF M0XTE-CR1 8T0. 



153 



" No. 27," said the inspector. 

" It is here; unlock the door, Antoine." 

The turnkey obeyed, and the inspector gazed curiously into the 
chamber of the mad <ihl/< : , as the prisoner was usually called. 

In the center of the cell, in a circle traced with a fragmeul of 




plaster detached from the wall, sat a man whose tattered garments 
scarcely covered him. He was drawing in this circle geometrical lines, 
and seemed as much absorbed in his problem as Archimedes when the 
soldier of Marcellus slew him. He did not move at the sound of the 



i;,l THE COUNT OF MONTE-GEISTO. 

door, and continued his problem until the Hash of the torches lighted 
up with an unwonted glare the somber walls of his cell; then, raising 
his head, he perceived with astonishment the number of persons in his 
cell. II«' hastily seized the coverlid of his bed, and wrapped it round 
him in mder to appear in a more decent state to the strangers. 

" What do you demand ?" said the inspector. 

" I, monsieur!" replied the abbe, with an air of surprise, — "I demand 
nothing." 

'• Von do not understand," continued the inspector; "I am sent here 
by government to visit the prisoners, and hear the requests of the 
prisoners." 

"Oli, that is different," cried the abbe; " and we shall understand 

each other, I hope." 

"There, now," whispered the governor, "it is just as I told you," 

" Monsieur," continued the prisoner, "I am the Abbe Faria, born at 
Rome. I was for twenty years Cardinal Spada's secretary; 1 was 
arrested, why I know not, in 1811; since then I have demanded my 
liberty from the Italian and French government." 

" Why from the French government I " 

"Because I was arrested at Piombino; and I presume that, like 
Milan and Florence, Piombino has become the capital of some French 
department." 

The inspector and governor looked at each other with a smile. 

" Ah !" said the inspector, " you have not the latest intelligence from 
Italy." 

"They date from the day on which I was arrested," returned the 
Abbe Faria; "and as the emperor had created the kingdom of Rome 
for Ms infant son, I presume that he has realized the dream of Machiavel 
and Ca?sar Borgia, which was to make Italy one vast kingdom." 

"Monsieur," returned the inspector, " Providence has fortunately 
■ hanged this gigantic plan you advocate so warmly." 

"It is the only means of rendering Italy happy and independent." 

" Very possibly; only I am not come to discuss politics, but t<> 
inquire if you have anything to ask or complain of." 

"The food is the same as in other prisons, — that is, very bad; the 
lodging is very unwholesome, but, on the whole, passable for a dun- 
geon ; hut it is not that which I speak of, but of a secret I have to 
reveal of the greatest importance." 

" We are coming to the point," whispered the governor. 

"It is for that reason I am delighted to see you," continued the abbe, 
"although you have disturbed me in a most important calculation, 
which, if it succeeded, would possibly change Newton's system. Could 
you allow me a few words in private ! " 



THE COUNT OF M02TTE-CRIST0. 



155 



" "What did I tell you f" said the governor. 

" You knew him," returned the inspector. 

"What you ask is impossible, monsieur," continued he, addressing 

Faria. 











The Abbe Faria. 

" But " said the abbe, "I would speak to you of a large sum. ami ranting 
to five millions." 

"The very figure you named," whispered, in his turn, the inspector. 

" However " continued Faria, perceiving the inspector was aboul to 
depart, "it is not absolutely necessary we should lie alone: monsieur 
the governor can be present." 



156 THE COUNT OF M02TTE-CRIST0. 

" Unfortunately," said the governor, "I know beforehand what yen; 
are about to say; it concerns your treasures, does it not ?" 

Faria fixed his eves on him with an expression that would have 
convinced any else of his sanity. 

" Doubtless," said he; "of what else shordd I speak .'" 

" Monsieur I'Inspecteur," continued the governor, "I can tell you the 
story as well, for it has been dinned in my ears for the last four or five 
years." 

"That proves," returned the abbe, "that you are like the people of 
Holy Writ, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear 
not.'" 

" The government does n< >t waul your treasures," replied the inspector; 
"keep them until you are liberated." The abbe's eyes glistened; he 
seized the inspector's hand. 

" But what if I am not liberated," cried he, " and am detained here, 
contrary to all justice, until my death \ What, if I die without reveal- 
ing my secret! the treasure will be lost. Had not government better 
profit by it? I will offer six millions, and I will content myself with 
the rest." 

" On my word," said the inspector, in a low tone, " had I not been 
told beforehand this man was mad, I should believe what he says." 

" I am not mad!" replied Faria, with that acuteness of hearing pecul- 
iar to prisoners. "The treasure I speak of really exists; and I offer to 
sign a treaty with you, by virtue of which you will take me to a spot 
I shall designate, you shall see the earth dug up under your own eyes, 
and if I lie, if nothing is found, if I am mad, as you call me, then bring 
me here again, and I shall die without asking more." 

The governor laughed. " Is the spot far from here ? " 

" A hundred leagues." 

" It is not a bad idea," said the governor. "If every prisoner took it 
into his head to travel a hundred leagues, and their guardians consented 
to accompany them, they would have a capital chance of escaping." 

" The scheme is well known," said the inspector; "and M. l'Abbe has 
not even the merit of its invention." 

Then, turning to Faria, "I inquired if you are well fed?" said he. 

"Swear to me," replied Faria, "to free me, if what I tell you prove 
true, and I will stay here whilst you go to the spot." 

" Are you well fed t " repeated the inspector. 

"Monsieur, you run no risk, for, as I told you, I will stay here; so 
there is no chance of my escaping." 

" You do not reply to my question," replied the inspector impatiently. 

" Nor you to mine," cried the abbe. " Accursed be you like the other 




li & 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GBI8T0. 



159 



fools who will not believe me! You will no! accept my gold; I will 
keep it f or myself. You refuse me my liberty; Grod will give ii me. 

G-o! I have no more to say." And the abb6, casting away his coverlid, 
resumed his place and continued his calculations. 




" What is he doing there :'" said the inspector. 
"Counting his treasures,'' replied the governor. 

Faria replied to this sarcasm by a glance of profound contempt. 

They left the dungeon, and the door dosed behind them. 
"He has been wealthy once, perhaps," said the inspector. 



KID THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GBI8T0. 

•■ < >r dreamed he was, and awoke mad." 

" Alter all," said the inspector, with the candor of corruption, "if he 
had been rich, he would not have been here." 

Tims finished the adventure of the Abbe Faria, He remained in his 
cell, and this visit only increased the belief of his insanity. 

< 'a 1 inula or Nero, those treasure-seekers, those desirers of the impos- 
sible, would have accorded to the poor wretch, in exchange for his 
wealth, the liberty and the air lie so earnestly prayed for. But the 
kings of modern ages, retained within the limits of probability, have 
neither the courage nor the desire. They fear the ear that hears their 
orders, and the eve that scrutinizes their actions. They do not feel the 
divinity that hedges a king; they are men with crowns — that is all. 
Formerly they believed themselves sprung from Jupiter, and shielded 
by their birth; but, nowadays, they are not inviolable. It has always 
been against the policy of despotic governments to suffer the victims of 
their policy to re-appear. As the Inquisition rarely suffered its victims 
to lie seen with their limbs distorted and their flesh lacerated by torture, 
sc > madness is always concealed in its cell, from whence, should it de] >art, 
it is conveyed to some gloomy hospital, where the doctor recognizes 
neither man nor miud in the mutilated being the jailer delivers to him. 
The very madness of the Abbe Faria, gone mad in prison, condemned 
him to perpetual captivity. 

The inspector kept his word with Dantes: he examined the register, 
and found the following note concerning him : 

i Violent Bonapartist ; took an active part in the return 
Edmond Dantes. from Elba. 

I The greatest watchfulness and cine to be exercised. 

This note was in a different hand from the rest, which proved it had 
been added since his confinement. The inspector could not contend 
against this accusation; he simply wrote, Nothing to be done. 

This visit had infused new vigor into Dantes ; he had, till then, for- 
gotten the date ; but now, with a fragment of plaster, he wrote the date, 
30th July, 1816; and made a mark every day, in order not to lose his 
reck< ming again. Days and weeks passed away, then months — Dantes 
still waited; he at first expected to be freed in a fortnight. This fort- 
night expired ; he reflected the inspector would do nothing until his 
return to Paris, and that he would not reach there until his circuit was 
finished; he therefore fixed three months; three months passed away, 
t hen six more. During these ten months no favorable change had taken 
place; no consoling news came, his jailer was dumb as usual, and 
I >antes began to fancy the inspector's visit was but a dreain, an illusion 
of the brain. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 161 

At the expiration of a year the governor was changed; he had 
obtained the government of Ham. He took with him several of his 
subordinates, and amongsl them Dantes' jailer. A fresh governor 
arrived. It would have been too tedious to acquire the names of 
the prisoners j he learned their numbers instead. This horrible board- 
ing-house consisted of fifty chambers; their inhabitants were designated 
by tlic number of their chamber; and the unhappy young man was do 
longer called Edmond Dantes, — he was now No. 34 



CHAPTER XV 



NUMBER 34 AND NUMBER 27 




ANTES passed through all the degrees of misfortune that 
prisoners, forgotten in their dungeons, suffer. He com- 
menced with pride, a natural consequence of hope and a 
consciousness of innocence; then he began to doubt his 
own innocence, which justified in some measure the governor's belief in 
his mental alienation; and then, falling into the opposite extreme, he 
supplicated, not Heaven, but his jailer. Heaveu, which ought to be 
the first resort of the unhappy, is the last one, only sought when all 
others have been tried in vain. 

Dantes entreated to be removed from his present dungeon into 
another, even if it were darker and deeper, for a change, however dis- 
advantageous, was still a change, and would afford him some amuse- 
ment, lie entreated to be allowed to walk about, to have books and 
instruments. Nothing was granted; no matter, he asked all the same, 
lie accustomed himself to speak to his fresh jailer, although he was, if 
possible, more taciturn than the former; but still, to speak to a man, 
even though a mute, was something. Dantes spoke for the sake of 
hearing his own voice; he had tried to speak when alone, but the sound 
of his voice terrified him. 

Often, before his captivity, Dantes' mind had revolted at the idea of 
those assemblages of prisoners, composed of thieves, vagabonds, and 
murderers. He now wished to be amongst them, in order to see some 
other face besides that of his jailer; he sighed for the galleys, with 
their infamous costume, their chain, and the brand on the shoulder. 
The galley-slaves breathed the fresh air of heaven, and saw each other. 
They were very happy. 

He besought the jailer one day to let him have a companion, were 
it even the mad abbe. The jailer, though rude and hardened by the 
constant sight of so much suffering, was vet a man. At the bottom of 



Till: COUNT OF MONTE-CBISTO. L63 

his heart he had often compassionated the unhappy young man who 
suffered thus; and be laid the request of No. 34 before the governor: 
but the latter sapiently imagined that Dantes wished to conspire or 

attempt an escape, and refused his request. Dantes had exhausted all 
human resources; and he then turned to God. 

All the pious ideas that had been so long forgotten, returned ; he 
recollected the prayers his mother had taught him, and discovered a 
new meaning in every word; for in prosperity prayers seem but a mere 
assemblage of words, until the day when misfortune comes to explain to 
the unhappy sufferer the sublime Language by which he speaks to God. 
He prayed and prayed aloud, no longer terrified at the sound of his 
voice; for he fell into a species of ecstasy and saw God at every word 
he uttered. He laid every action of his life before the Almighty, pro- 
posed tasks to accomplish, and at the end of every prayer introduced 
the entreaty oftener addressed to man than to God, "Forgive us our 
trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us." Spite of his 
earnest prayers, Dantes remained a prisoner. 

Then a gloomy feeling took possession of him. He was simple, and 
without education; he could not, therefore, in the solitude of his dun- 
geon, and of his own thoughts, reconstruct the ayes that had passed, 
reanimate the nations that had perished, and rebuild the ancient cities 
that imagination renders so vast and poetic, and that pass before our 
eves, illuminated by the fires of heaven, as in Martin's pictures of 
Babylon. He could not do this, he whose past life was so short, whose 
present so melancholy, and his future so doubtful. Nineteen years of 
Light to reflect upon in eternal darkness. No distraction could conic to 
his aid; Iris energetic spirit, that would have exulted in thus revisit- 
ing the past, was imprisoned like an eagle in a cage. He chum- to one 
idea — that of his happiness, destroyed, without apparent cause, by an 
unheard of fatality ; he considered and reconsidered this idea, devoured 
it (thus to speak), as dgolino devours the skull of the Archbishop 
Roger in the Inferno of Dante. 

Rage succeeded to this. Dantes uttered blasphemies that made his 
jailer recoil with horror, dashed himself furiously against the wall- of 
his prison; he was in a fury with everything, and chiefly himself, and 
the least thine,- — a urain of sand, a straw, or a breath of ail" — that 
annoyed him. Then the letter of denunciation that he had seen and 
that Villefort had showed to him recurred to his mind, and every 
line seemed visible in fiery letters on the wall, like the Mene Tekel 
Upharsin of Belshazzar. He said that it was the vengeance of man, and 
not of Heaven, that had thus plunged him into the deepesl misery. Ee 
devoted these unknown persecutors to the most horrible tortures he 



164 TEE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

could devise in his ardent imagination, and found them all insufficient, 
because after torture came death, and after death, if not repose, at least 
that insensibility that resembles it. 

By dint of constantly dwelling on the idea that repose was death, 
and, in order to punish, other tortures than death must be invented, ho 
began to reflecl on suicide. Unhappy he, who, on the brink of misfor- 
tune, broods over these ideas! It is one of those dead seas that seem 
clear and smooth to the eye; but he who unwarily ventures within its 
embrace finds himself entangled in the bituminous deposit that draws 
him down and swallows him. Once thus ensnared, unless the protect- 
ing band of G-od snatch him thence, all is over, and his struggles but 
tend to hasten his destruction. This state of mental anguish is, how- 
ever, less terrible than the sufferings that precede, and the punishment 
that awaits it — a sort of consolation that points to the yawning abyss, 
at the bottom of which is nothingness. 

Bdmond found some solace in these ideas. All his sorrows, all his 
sufferings, with their train of gloomy specters, fled from his cell when 
the angel of death seemed about to enter. Dantes reviewed with com- 
posure his past life, and, looking forward with terror to his future 
existence, chose that middle line that seemed to afford him a refuge. 

" Sometimes," said he, " in my voyages, when I was a man and com- 
manded other men, I have seen the. heavens become overcast, the sea 
rage and foam, the storm arise, and, like a monstrous bird, cover the sky 
with its wings. Then I felt that my vessel was a vain refuge that, like 
a feather in a giant's hand, trembled and shook before the tempest. Soon 
the fury of the waves and the sight of the sharp rocks announced the 
approach of death, and death then terrified me, and I used all my skill 
and intelligence as a man and a sailor to escape. But I did so because 
I was happy, because I had not courted death, because this repose on a 
bed of rocks and seaweed seemed terrible, because I was unwilhng that 
I, a creature made for the service of God, should serve for food to the 
gulls and vultures. But now it is different : I have lost all that bound 
me to life ; death smiles and invites me to repose ; I die after my own 
manner, I die exhausted and broken-spirited, as I fall asleep when I 
have paced three thousand times round my cell, — that is thirty thousand 
steps, or about ten leagues.'' 

No sooner had this idea taken possession of him than he became 
more composed, arranged his couch to the best of his power, ate little 
and slept less, and found this existence almost supportable because he 
felt he could throw it off at pleasure, like a worn-out garment. He had 
two means of dying : the one was to hang himself with his handkerchief, 
to the stanchions of the window; the other, to refuse food, and starve 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 



165 



himself. But the former means were repugnant to him. Dantes had 
always entertained the greatest horror of pirates, who are hung up to 
the yard-arm; he would not die hy what seemed an infamous death. Id- 
resolved to adopt the second, and began that day to execute his resolve. 




Nearly four years had thus passed away; at the end of the second 
he had ceased to mark the lapse of time. Dantes said. " 1 wish to die," 
and had ehosen the manner of his death: and, fearful of changing his 



166 THE COUNT OF WONTE-CRISTO. 

mind, he had taken an oath to die. " When my morning and evening 

meals are brought," thought he, " I will cast them out of the window, 
and J shall be believed to have eaten them." 

He kept his word : twice a day he cast out, by the barred aperture, 
the provisions Ins jailer brought him — at first gayly, then with delib- 
erate and at last with regret. Nothing but the recollection of his 

oath gave him strength to proceed. Hunger rendered these viands, 
once so repugnant, acceptable to him; he held the plate in his hand for 
an hour at a time, and gazed on the morsel of bad meat, of tainted fish, 
of black and moldy bread. It was the last instinct of life, which occa- 
sionally vanquished his resolve; then his dungeon seemed less somber, 
his prospeels less desperate, lie was still young — he was only four or 
five and twenty — he had nearly fifty years to live. What unforeseen 
events might not open his prison door and restore him to liberty? 
Then he raised to his lips the repast that, like a voluntary Tantalus, he 
refused himself; but he thought of his oath, and he would not break it. 
He persisted until, at last, he had not sufficient force to cast his supper 
out of the loop-hole. The next morning lie could not see or hear; the 
jailer feared he was dangerously ill. Echnond hoped he was dying. 

The day passed away thus: Edmond felt a species of stupor creep- 
ingoverhim; the gnawing pain at his stomach had ceased; his thirst 
had abated; when he closed his eyes he saw myriads of lights dancing 
before them, like the meteors that play about the marshes. It was the 
twilight of that mysterious country called Death ! 

Suddenly, about nine o'clock in the evening, Edmond heard a hollow 
sound in the wall against which he was lying. 

So many loathsome animals inhabited the prison that their noise 
did not, in general, awake him; but whether abstinence had quickened 
his faculties, or whether the noise was really louder than usual, Edmond 
raised his head and listened. It was a continual scratching, as if made 
by a huge claw, a powerful tooth, or some iron instrument attacking 
the stones. 

Although weakened, the young man's brain instantly recurred to 
the idea that haunts all prisoners — Liberty! This sound came just at 
the time when all sounds were about to cease for him. It seemed to 
him that Heaven had at length taken pity on him, and had sent this 
noise to warn him on the very brink of the abyss. Perhaps one of 
those beloved ones he had so often thought of was thinking of him, and 
striving to diminish the distance that separated them. 

No ! no ! doubtless he was deceived, and it was but one of those 
dreams that forerun death ! 

Edmond still heard the sound. It lasted nearly three hours; he then 
heard a noise of something falling, and all was silent. 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 167 

Some hours afterward it began nearer and more distinct ; Edmond 
became already interested in thai Labor, which seemed Like companion- 
ship, when the jailer entered. 

For a week that he had resolved to die, and for four days thai he 
I >nt this resolution into execution, Edmond had not spoken to this 
man, had not answered him when he inquired what was the matter 
with him, and turned his face to the wall when he looked too curiously 
at him; but now the jailer mighl hear this noise and put an end to 
it, thus destroying a ray of something like bope that soothed hi- las 
moments. 

The jailer brought him his breakfast. Dantes raised himself up, 
and in loud tones began to speak on everything: on the bad quality of 
his food, on the coldness of his dungeon, grumbling and complaining, in 
order to have an excuse for speaking louder, and wearying the patience 
of his jailer, who had solieited some broth and white bread for his 
prisoner, and who had brought it. 

Fortunately he fancied Dantes was delirious; and, placing his f 1 

on the rickety table, he withdrew. Left alone, Edmond listened, and 
the sound became more and more distinct. 

"There can be no doubt," thought he, "it is some prisoner who is 
striving to obtain his freedom. Oh, if 1 were near him, how I would 
assist him." 

Suddenly another idea took possession of his mind, so used to mis- 
fortune that it could scarcely understand hope; yet this idea possessed 
him, that the noise arose from the workmen the governor bad ordered 
to repair the neighboring dungeon. 

It was easy to ascertain this; but how could be risk the question . 
It was easy to call his jailer's attention to the noise, and watch his 

countenance as he listened; hut mighl he not by this ans betray 

interests far more precious than this short-lived satisfaction .' Unfort- 
unately, Edmond's brain was still so feeble that he could not bend his 
thoughts to anything in particular. He saw lmt one mean- of restoring 
lucidity and clearness to his judgment. He turned his eyes toward the 
soup his jailer hud brought him, rose, staggered toward it. raised the 
vessel to his lips and drank off the contents with a feeling of Lndescribal le 
pleasure. 

He had the resolution to stop with this. He had often beard thai 
shipwrecked persons had died through having eagerly devoured too 
much food; Edmond replaced on the table the bread he was about to 
devour, and returned to his couch — he did not wish Iodic. He soon 
felt that his ideas, so vague and intangible, became again collected — he 
could think, and strengthen his thoughts by reasoning. 'I 'hen hi' -aid 
to himself: 



168 TEE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" 1 must put this to the test, but without compromising anybody. If 
it is a workman, I need but knock against the wall, and he will cease to 
work, in order to find out who is knocking, and why he does so ; but as 
bis occupation is sanctioned by the governor, he will soon resume it. If, 
on the contrary, it is a prisoner, the noise I make will alarm him, he will 
cease, and not recommence until he thinks every one is asleep." 

Edmond rose again, but this time his legs did not tremble, and his 
eyes were free from mists; he advanced to a comer of his dungeon, 
detached a stone, and with it knocked against the wall where the sound 
came. He struck thrice. 

At the first Mow the sound ceased as if by magic. 

Edmond listened intently: an hour passed, two hours passed, and 
no sound was heard; all was silent there on the other side of the wall. 

Full of hope, Edmond swallowed a few mouthfuls of bread and 
water, and, thanks to the excellence of his constitution, found himself 
well-nigh recovered. 

The day passed away in litter silence; night came without the 
noise having recommenced. 

"It is a prisoner," said Edmond joyfully. His brain was on fire, and 
life and energy returned. 

The night passed in perfect silence ; Edmond did not close his eyes. 

In the morning the jailer brought him fresh provisions — he had 
already devoured those of the previous day; he ate these, listening 
anxiously for the sound, fearing it had ceased forever ; walking round 
and round his cell, shaking the iron bars of the loop-hole, restoring by 
exercise vigor and agility to his limbs, aud preparing himself thus for 
his future destiny, as an athlete before entering the arena. At intervals 
he listened if the noise had not begun again, and grew impatient at the 
prudence of the prisoner, who did not guess he had been disturbed by a 
captive as anxious for liberty as himself. 

Three days passed — seventy-two long tedious hours, collided minute 
by minute. 

At length, one evening, as the jailer was visiting him for the last 
time that night, Dantes, as for the hundredth time he glued his ear to 
the wall, fancied he heard an almost imperceptible movement among 
the stones. Edmond recoiled from the wall, walked up and down his 
cell to collect his thoughts, and replaced his ear against the wall. 

There could lie no doubt something was passing on the other side ; 
the prisoner had discovered the danger, and had substituted the lever 
for the chisel. 

Encouraged by this discovery, Edmond determined to assist the 
indefatigable laborer. He began by moving his bed, behind which the 



THE COUNT <>F MOKTE-CRISTO. 



L69 



work seemed to be going on, and sought with bis eyes for anything with 
which he could pierce the walL penetrate the cement, and displace a 
stone. 

He saw nothing, he had no knife or sharp instrument, the grating 




of his window alone was of iron, and he had too often assured himself 
of its solidity. All his furniture consisted of a bed, a chair, a table, a 

pail, and a jug. The bed had iron clamps, but they were screwed to 
the wood, and it would have required a screw-driver to take them off. 
The table and chair had nothing; the pail had had a handle, but that 
had been removed. 



17ii THE COUNT OF MONTE-GBISTO. 

Dantes had but one resource, which was to break the jug, and with 
one of the sharp fragments attack the wall. He let the jug fall on his 
floor, and it broke in pieces. 

Dantes concealed two or three of the sharpest fragments in his bed, 
Leaving the resl on the tloor. The breaking of his jug was too natural 
an accident to excite suspicion. Edniond had all the night to work in, 
lint in the darkness he could not do much, and he soon felt his instru- 
ment was blunted against something hard; he pushed back his bed 
and awaited the day, — with hope, patience had returned. 

All night he heard the subterranean workman, who continued to 
mine his way. The day came, the jailer entered. Dantes told him the 
jug had fallen from his hands in drinking, and the jailer went grum- 
blingly to fetch another, without giving himself the trouble to remove 
the fragments of the broken one. He returned speedily, recommended 
the prisoner to be more careful, and departed. 

Dantes heard joyfully the key grate in the lock — a sound that hitherto 
had chilled him to the heart. He listened until the sound of steps died 
away, and then, hastily displacing his bed, saw, by the faint light that 
penetrated into his cell, that he had labored uselessly the previous 
evening in attacking the stone instead of removing the plaster that 
surrounded it. 

The damp had rendered it friable, and Dantes saw joyfully the 
plaster detach itself, — in small morsels, it is true; but at the end of 
half an hour he had scraped off a handfid. A mathematician might 
have calculated that in two years, supposing that the rock was not 
encountered, a passage, twenty feet long and two feet square, might he 
formei 1. 

The prisoner reproached himself with not having thus employed 
the hours he had passed in hopes, prayers, and despair. In six years, 
the time he had been confined, what might he not have accomplished .' 

This idea imparted new energy, and in three days he had succeeded, 
with the utmost precaution, in removing the cement and exposing the 
stone; the wall was formed of rough stones, t<> give solidity to which 
were imbedded, at intervals, blocks of hewn stone. It was one < >f these 
he had uncovered, and which he must remove from its socket, 

Dantes strove to do so with his nails, but they were too weak. The 
fragments of the jug broke, and after an hour of useless toil, Dantes 
paused with anguish on his brow. 

Was he to be thus stopped at the beginning, and was he to wait 
inactive until his fellow-workman had completed his toils I Suddenly 
an idea occurred to him, — he smiled, and the perspiration dried on his 
forehead. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



171 



Tin' jailer always brought Dantes' soup in an inm saucepan; this 
saucepan contained the soup of a second prisoner; for Dantes hail 
remarked thai it was either quite full, or half empty, according as the 
turnkey gave it to himself or his companion first. The handle of this 



, ,^>- K k^ 




saucepan was of iron; Dantes would have given ten year< of his life in 
exchange for it. 

The jailer poured the contents of this saucepan into Dantes' plate, 
who, after eating his soup with a wooden spoon, washed the plate, 



L72 THE GOV NT OF U0NTE-CBI8T0. 

which thus served for everyday. In the evening Dantes placed his 
plate "ii tin' ground near the door; the jailer, as he entered, stepped 
on it and broke it. 

This time he could not blame Dantes. He was wrong to leave it 
there, bu1 the jailer was wrong not to have looked before him. The 
jailer, therefore, contented himself with grumbling. Then he looked 
aboul him for something to pour the soup into; Dantes' whole furniture 
consisted of one plate — there was no alternative. 

•■ Leave the saucepan," said Dantes; "you can take it away when you 
bring me my breakfast." 

This advice was to the jailer's taste, as it spared aim the necessity 
of ascending, descending, and ascending again. He left the saucepan. 

Dantes was beside himself with joy. He rapidly devoured his food, 
and after waiting an hour, lest the jailer should change his mind and 
return, he removed his bed, took the handle of the saucepan, inserted 
the point between the hewn stone and rough stones of the wall, and 
employed it as a lever. A slight oscillation showed to Dantes that all 
went well. At the end of an hour the stone was extricated from the 
wall, leaving a cavity of a foot and a hah in diameter. 

Dantes carefully collected the plaster, carried it into the corners of 
bis cell, and covered it with earth, which he scratched up with one of the 
pieces of his jug. Then, wishing to make the best use of this night, in 
which chance, or rather his own stratagem, had placed so precious an 
instrument in his hands, he continued to work without ceasing. At the 
dawu of day he replaced the stone, pushed his bed against the wall, and 
lay down. T lie breakfast consisted of apiece of bread; the jailer entered 
and placed the bread on the table. 

" Well, you do not bring me another plate," said Daub s. 
" No," replied the turnkey, " you smash everything. First you break 
your jug, then you make me break your plate ; if all the prisoners fol- 
lowed your example, the government would be ruined. I shall leave you 
the saucepan, and pour your soup into that. So for the future, per- 
haps, you will not be so destructive to your furniture." 

Dantes raised his eyes to heaven, clasped his hands beneath the 
coverlid, and prayed. He felt more gratitude for the possession of this 
piece of iron than he had ever felt for anything. He had, however, 
remarked that the prisoner on the other side had ceased to labor; no 
matter, this was a greater reason for proceeding — if his neighbor would 
not come to him, lie would go to him. 

All day he toiled on untiringly, and by the evening he had suc- 
ceeded in extracting ten handfuls of plaster and fragments of stone. 
When the hour for his jailer's visit arrived, Dantes straightened the 



Till: COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



173 



handle of the saucepan as well as he could, and placed it in its accus- 
tomed place. The turnkey poured his ration of soup into it, together 
with the fish, for thrice a week the prisoners were made to abstain from 
meat: this would have been a method of reckoning time, had not Dantes 
long ceased to do so. Having poured out the soup, the turnkey retired. 







Dantes wished to ascertain whether his neighbor had really ceased 
to work. He listened — all was silent, as it had been for the last three 
days. Dantes sighed; it was evident that his neighbor distrusted him. 
However, he toiled on all the night without being discouraged ; bul after 
two or three hours he encountered an obstacle. The iron made no 



174 THE (<>r ST OF M OKTE-CRISTO. 

impression, but met with a smooth surface; Dantes touched it, and 
found it was a beam. This beam crossed, or rather blocked up, the 
bole Dantes had made; it was necessary, therefore, to dig above or 
under it. The unhappy young man had not thought of this. 

"0 my God! my God !" murmured he, "I have so earnestly prayed 
to you, that I hoped myprayers had been heard. After having deprived 
me of in) liberty, after having deprived me of death, after having 
recalled me to existence, my God ! have pity on me, and do not let me 
die in despair." 

" Who talks of God and despair at the same time .'" said a voice that 
seemed to come from beneath the earth, and, deadened by the distance, 
sounded hollow and sepulchral in the young man's ears. Edmond's 
hair stood on end, and he rose on his knees. 

" Ah ! " said he, "I hear a human voice." Edmund had not heard any 
one speak save his jailer for four or five years; and to a prisoner a 
jailer is not a man — he is a living door added to his door of oak, a 
barrier <>f flesh and blood added to his barriers of iron. 

"In the name of Heaven," cried Dantes, "speak again, though the 
sound of your voice terrifies me." 

" Who are you f said the voice. 

"An unhappy prisoner," replied Dantes, who made no hesitation in 
answering. 

" Of what country ' " 

"A Frenchman." 

" Your name .' " 

" Edmund Dailies." 

" Your profession .'" 

" A sailor." 

" How long have you been here ?" 

" Since the 28th of February, 1815." 

" Your crime .' " 

" I am innocent." 

"But of what are you accused .'" 

" Of having conspired to aid the emperor's return." 

" How for the emperor's return? — the emperor is no longer on the 
throne, then '! " 

"He abdicated at Pontainebleau in 1814, and was sent to the island 
of Elba. But how long have you been here that you are ignorant of 
all this .' " 

" Since 1811." 
Dantes shuddered: this man had been four years longer than himself 
in prison. 



THE COUNT OF M0KTE-CRI8T0. 175 

" Do not dig any more," Baid the voice ; "only tell me how high ap is 

your excavation .' " 

"On a level with the floor." 

" How is it concealed I " 

" Behind my bed." 

" Has your bed been moved since yon have been a prisoner .' " 

"No." 

'• What does >< >ur chamber open on .'" 

" A corridor." 

" And the corridor .' " 

" On a court." 

"Alas!" murmured the voice. 

"Oh, what is the matter.'" cried Dantes. 

" I am deceived, and the imperfection of my plans has ruined all. An 
error of a line in the plan has been equivalent to fifteen feet in reality, 
and I took the wall you are mining for the wall of the fortress." 

"But then you would end at the sea .' " 

"That is what I hoped." 

" And supposing you succeeded .' " 

"1 should have thrown myself into the sea, gained one of the islands 
near here, — the Isle de Dauuie orthe Isle deTiboulen, — ami then I was 
safe." 

" Could you have swum so far .'*' 

"Heaven would have given me strength; hut now all i- lost." 

" All ? " 

"Yes; stop up your excavation carefully; do not work any more, ami 
wait until you hear from me." 

"Tell me, at least, who you are." 

" I am — I am No. 27." 

" You mistrust me, then," said Dantes. 
Edmond fancied he heard a hitter laugh proceed from the unknown. 

"Oh, I am a Christian." cried Dantes, guessing instinctively that this 
man meant to abandon him. ''I swear to you by Him who died for us 
that I will die rather than breathe one syllable of the truth to our jailers ; 
but, I conjure you, do not abandon me. Let me know you are near, let 
me hear your voice. If you do abandon me, I swear to you that I will 
dash my brains out against the wall, and you will have my death to 
reproach yourself with." 

"How old are you .' Your voice is that of a young man." 

"I do not know my age, for I have not counted the years T have been 
here. All 1 do know i- that I was just nineteen when I was arrested, 
the 28th of February, 1815." 



i7t; run cor. XT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

" Not quite 1 \wuty-- ix ! " murmured the voice; " at that age be cannot 
be a traitor." 

"Oh! uo, uo!" cried Dantes. "1 sweat- to you again, rather than 
betray you they shall hew me to pieces." 

■• You have done well to speak to me and entreat me, for I was about 
to form another plan, ami leave you; but your age re-assures me. I 
will not forget you. Expect me." 

- When .''" 

" I must ealculateour chances; I will give you the signal." 

"But you will not leave me; you will come to me, or you will let me 
come i i you. We will escape, and if we cannot escape we will talk, — 
you of those whom you love, and I of those whom I love. You must 
love somebody." 

" No, 1 am alone in the world." 

" Then you will love me. If you are young, I will be your comrade ; 
if you are old, I will be your son. I have a father who is seventy if he 
yet lives; I only love him and a young girl called Mercedes. My father 
has not yet forgotten me, I am sure ; but God alone knows if she loves 
in.' still ; I shall love you as I loved my father." 

" It is well," returned the voice ; " t< •-morrow." 
These few words were uttered with an accent that left no doubt of 
his sincerity ; Dantes rose, dispersed the fragments with the same pre- 
caution as 1m ■fore, and pushed back his bed against the wall. He then 
gave himself up to his happiness ; he w T ould no longer be alone. He 
was, perhaps, about to regain his liberty. At the worst, he would have 
a companion; and captivity that is shared is but half captivity. 

All day Dantes walked up and down his cell, his breast throbbing 
with joy. He sat down occasionally on his bed, pressing his hand on 
his heart. At the slightest noise he bounded toward the door. Once 
or twice the thought crossed his mind that he might be separated from 
this unknown, whom he loved already; and then his mind was made 
up, — when the jailer moved his bed and stooped to examine the open- 
ing, he would kill him with his water-jug. He would be condemned to 
die, but he was about to die of grief and despair when this miraculous 
noise recalled him to life. 

The jailer came in the evening ; Dantes was on his bed. It seemed 
to him that thus he better guarded the unfinished opening. Doubtless 
there was a strange expression in his eyes, for the jailer said, " Come, 
are you going mad again .' " 

Dantes did not answer; he feared that the emotion of his voice 
would betray him. The jailer retired, shaking his head. The night 
came; Dantes hoped that his neighbor would profit by the silence to 




iinJI^v'' 1 ^ V ' i("r:- ■'" ^|jpi 



^= 



*\ 



THE COUNT OF M0NTJB-CBI8T0. 179 

address him, but he was mistaken. The nexl moruing, however, just 
as he removed his bed from the watt, he heard three knocks; he threw 
himself on his knees. 

" Is it you .'" said he ; " 1 am here." 

" Is your jailer gone .' " 

"Yes," said Dantes; "he will not return until evening; so thai we 
have twelve hour- before us." 

"I can work, then," said the voice. 

"Oh, yes, yes; this instant, I entreat you." 
In an instant the portion of the floor on which Dantes (half buried 
in the opening) was leaning his two hands, gave way ; he cast himself 
back, whilst a mass of stones and earth disappeared in a hole that opened 
beneath the aperture he himself had formed. Then from the bottom of 
this passage, the depth of which it was impossible to measure, he saw 
appear, first the head, then the shoulders, and lastly the body of a man. 
who sprang lightly into his cell. 



CHAPTER XVI 



A LEARNED ITALIAN 




USHINGr toward the friend so long and ardently desired, 
Dantes almost carried hini toward the window, in order to 
obtain a better view of his features by the aid of the imper- 
fect light that struggled through the grating of the prison. 

He was a man of small stature, with hair blanched rather by suffer- 
in 0- and sorrow than years. A deep-set, penetrating eye, almost buried 
beneath the thick gray eyebrow, and a long (and still black) beard reach- 
ing clown to his breast. The meagerness of his features, furrowed with 
deep wrinkles, joined to the bold outline of his strongly marked features 
announced a man more accustomed to exercise his moral faculties than 
his physical strength. Large drops of perspiration were now standing 
on his brow, while his garments hung about him in such rags as to 
render it useless to form a guess as to their primitive description. 

The stranger might have numbered sixty or sixty-five years ; but a 
certain vigor in his movements made it probable that he was aged more 
from captivity than the course of time. He received the enthusiastic 
greeting of his young acquaintance with evident pleasure, as though his 
chilled affections seemed rekindled and invigorated by his contact with 
one so ardent. He thanked him with grateful cordiality for his kindly 
welcome, although he must at that moment have been suffering bitterly 
to find another dungeon where he had fondly reckoned on finding 
liberty. 

"Let us first see," said he, "whether it is possible to remove the 
traces of my entrance here — our future comforts depend upon our 
jailers being entirely ignorant of it." 

Advancing to the opening, he stooped and raised the stone easily 
in spite of its weight ; then, fitting it into its place, he said : 



THE COUNT OF M01TTE-GRI8T0. 181 

"You removed this stone very carelessly; but I suppose you had no 

tools to aid you." 

" "Why," exclaimed Dantes, with astonishment, " do you possess any .' " 
"I made myself some; and, with the exception of a file, 1 have all 

that are necessary — a chisel, pincers, and lever." 




"Oh, how I should like to see these products of your industry and 
patience." 

"Well, in the first place, here is my chisel." 
So saying, he displayed a sharp, strong blade, with a handle made 
of beeclrwood. 



182 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" And with what did you contrive to make that :'" inquired Dantes. 

" W it li one of the clamps of my bedstead; aud this very tool has 
sufficed me to hollow out the road by which I came hither, a distance 
of al least fifty feet." 

"Fifty feel !" reechoed Dantes, with a species of terror. 

" Do not speak so loud, young man — don't speak so loud. It fre- 
quently occurs in a shite prison like this that persons are stationed 
outside the doors of the cells purposely to overhear the conversation of 
the prisoners." 

" But they believe I am shut up alone here." 

"That makes no difference." 

"And you say that you penetrated a, length of fifty feet to arrive 
here?" 

"I do; that is about the distance that separates your chamber from 
mine; only, unfortunately, I did not curve aright; for want of the 
necessary geometrical instruments to calculate my scale of proportion, 
instead of taking an ellipsis of forty feet, I have made fifty. I expected, 
as I told you, to reach the outer wall, pierce through it, and throw 
myself into the sea; I have, however, kept along the corridor on which 
your chamber opens, instead of going beneath it. My labor is all in 
vain, for I find that the corridor looks into a court-yard filled with 
soldiers." 

"That's true," said Dantes; "but the corridor you speak of only 
bounds one side of my cell; there are three others — do you know 
anything of their situation .'" 

" This one is built against the solid rock, and it would take ten expe- 
rienced miners, duly furnished with the requisite tools, as many years 
to perforate it. This adjoins the lower part of the governor's apart- 
ments, and were we to work our way through, we should only get into 
some lock-up cellars, where we must necessarily be recaptured. The 1 
fourth and last side of your cell looks out — looks out — stop a minute; 
now, where does it open to?" 

The side which thus excited curiosity was the one in which was 
fixed the loop-hole by which the light was admitted into the chamber. 
This loop-hole, which gradually diminished as it approached the outside, 
until only an opening through which a child could not have passed, 
was, for better security, furnished with three iron bars, so as to quiet 
all apprehensions even in the mind of the most suspicious jailer as to 
the possibility of a prisoner's escape. As the stranger finished his self- 
put question, he dragged the table beneath the window. 

" ( 'limb up," said he to Dantes. 
The young man obeyed, mounted on the table, and, divining the 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRIBTO. 183 

intentions of his companion, placed his back securely againsl the wall 
and held out both hands. The stranger, whom as yet Dantes knew 
only by his assumed title of the number of his cell, sprang up with an 
agility by no means to be expected in a person of his years, and, light 
and steady as the bound of a eat or a lizard, climbed from the tahle to 
the outstretched hands of Dantes, and from them to his shoulders; 
then, almost doubling himself in two, for the ceiling of the dungeon 
prevented his holding himself erect, he managed to slip his head 
through the top bar of the window, so as to be aide to command a 
perfect view from top to bottom. 

An instant afterward he hastily drew back his head, saying, " I 
thought so!" and, sliding from the shoulders of Dantes as dexterously 
as he had ascended, he nimbly leaped from the table to the ground. 

" What made you say those words ! " asked the young man, in an 
anxious tone, in his turn descending from the table. 

The elder prisoner appeared to meditate. " Yes," said he at length, 
" it is so. This side of your chamber looks out upon a kind of open gal- 
lery, where patrols are continually passing, and sentries keep watch day 
and night." 

"Are you sure of that .' " 

" Certain. I saw the soldier's shako and the top of his musket ; that 
made me draw in my head so quickly, for I was fearful he might also 
see me." 

"Well?" inquired Dantes. 

"You perceive then the utter impossibility of escaping through your 
dungeon ? " 

" Then " pursued the young man, eagerly. 

"Then," answered the elder prisoner, "the will of God be done!" And 
as the old man slowly pronounced those words, an air of profound 
resignation spread itself over his care-worn countenance. 

Dantes gazed on the individual who could thus philosophically 
resign hopes so lony- and ardently nourished, with an astonishmenl 
mingled with admiration. 

"Tell me, I entreat of you, who and what you are?" said he at 
length. 

" Willingly,'' answered the stranger; "if. indeed, yon feel any curi- 
osity now that I am powerless to aid you." 

"Say not so; you can console and support me by the strength of 
your own powerful mind." 

The stranger smiled a melancholy smile. 

"Then listen," said he. "I am the Abbe Faria, and have been 
imprisoned in this ( Mteau d'lf since the year 1811; previously to which 



184 TEE colXT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

I had been confined for three yearn in the fortress of Fenestrelle. In 
the year 1811 I was transferred from Piedmont to France. It was at 
this period 1 learned that the destiny which seemed subservient to 
every wish formed by Napoleon had bestowed on him a son, named 
kiny of home even in his cradle. 1 was very far then from expecting 
the change you have just informed me of; namely, that four years 
afterward, this colossus of power would be overthrown. Then, who 
reigns in France at this moment — Napoleon II.?" 

"No. Louis XVIII. !" 

"The brother of Louis XVI. ! How inscrutable are the ways of 
Providence — for what great and mysterious purpose has it pleased 
Heaven t<> abase the man once so elevated, and raise up the individual 
so cast down ?" 

Dantes' whole attention was riveted on the man who could thus for- 
get his own misfortunes while occupying himself with the destinies of 
others. 

" But so it was," continued he, " in England. After Charles I. came 
Cromwell; to Cromwell succeeded Charles II., and then James II., who 
was succeeded by some son-in-law or relation, who became king ; then 
new concessions to the people, a constitution, and liberty ! Ah, my 
friend !" said the abbe, turning toward Dantes, and surveying him with 
the kindling gaze of a prophet, " mark what I say ! You are young, 
and may see my words come to pass, that such will be the case with 
France — you will see it, I say." 

"Probably, if ever I get out of prison ! " 

"True," replied Faria, " we are prisoners; but I forget this some- 
times, and there are even moments when my mental vision transports 
me beyond these walls, and I fancy myself at liberty." 

" But wherefore are you here ! " 

" Because in 1807 I meditated the very scheme Napoleon wished to 
realize in 1811 ; because, like Machiavel, I desired to alter the political 
face of Italy, and instead of allowing it to be split up into a quantity of 
petty principalities, each held by some weak or tyrannical ruler, I sought 
to form one large, compact, and powerful empire; and, lastly, because 
! fancied I had found my Csesar Borgia in a crowned simpleton, who 
feigned to enter into my views only to betray me. It was projected 
equally by Alexander VI. and Clement VII., but it will never succeed 
now, for they attempted it fruitlessly, and Napoleon was unable to 
complete his work. Italy seems fated to be unlucky.'' 

The old man uttered these last words in a tone of deep dejection, 
and his head fell listlessly on his breast. 

To Dantes all this was perfectly incomprehensible. In the first 



THE <'<> 1ST OF M0NTE-CBI8T0. 185 

place, he could not understand a man risking bis life and liberty for 
such. unimportant matters as the division of a kingdom; then, again, 
the persons referred to were wholly unknown to him. Napoleon cer- 
tainly he knew something of, inasmuch as he had seen and spoken with 
him; but the other individuals alluded to were strangers to him even 
by name. 

"Pray excuse my questions," said Dantes, beginning to partake of 
the jailer's opinion touching the state of the abbe's brain, "but are 
von not the priest who is considered throughout the Chateau d'lf — to 
— be— ill?" 

"Mad, you mean, don't you :'" 

" I did not like to say so," answered Dantes, smiling. 

" Well, then," resumed Faria, with abitter smile, " let me answer your 
question in full, by acknowledging that I am the poor, mad prisoner of 
the Chateau d'lf, for many years permitted to amuse tin.' different visit- 
ants to the prison with what is said to be myinsanity; and, in all prob- 
ability, i should be promoted to the honor of making sport for the 
children, if such innocent beings could be found in an abode devoted 
like this to suffering and despair." 

Dantes remained for a short time mute and motionless; at Length 
he said: 

" Then you abandon all hope of flight ? " 

"I perceive its utter impossibility; and I consider it impious to 
attempt that which the Almighty evidently does not approve." 

" Nay, be not discouraged. Would it not be expecting too much to 
hope to succeed at your first attempt t Why not try to rind an opening 
in another direction to that which had so unfortunately failed i"' 

" Alas ! it shows how little notion you can have of all I have done, if 
you talk of beginning over again. In the first place, 1 was four years 
making the tools I possess, and have been two years scraping and dig- 
ging out earth, hard as granite itself; then, what toil and fatigue has it 
not been to remove huge stones I should once have deemed impossible 
to loosen ! Whole days have I passed in these Titanic efforts, consider- 
ing my labor well repaid if by night-time I had contrived to carry away 
a square inch of this old cement, as hard as the stones themselves; then, 
to conceal the mass of earth and rubbish I dug up, I was compelled to 
break through a staircase and throw the fruits of my labor into the 
hollow part of it ; hut the well is now so completely choked up that I 
scarcely think it would be possible to add another handful of dust with- 
outleading to a discovery. Consider also that I fully believed I had 
accomplished the end and aim of my undertaking, for which I had so 
exactly husbanded my strength as to make it just hold out to the ter- 



186 THE cor XT OF MONTE -C BIS TO. 

urination of my enterprise; and, just at the moment when I reckoned 
upon success, my hopes are forever dashed from me. No, I repeat 
again, that nothing shall induce me to renew attempts to regain my 
liberty which the will of God has decreed I shall lose forever." 

Danies held down his bead, that his companion might not perceive 
thai the prospect of having a companion prevented him from sympa- 
thizing as lie ought with the disappointment of the prisoner. 

The abl >e sunk upon Edmond's bed, while Edinond himself remained 
standing, lost in a train of deep meditation. 

Flight had never once occurred to him. There are, indeed, some 
things which appear so impossible that the mind does not dwell on 
them. To undermine the ground for fifty feet — to devote three years 
to a labor which, if successful, would conduct you to a precipice over- 
hanging the sea — to plunge into the waves at a height of fifty or sixty 
I'eet — a hundred feet, perhaps — at the risk of being dashed to pieces 
against the rocks, should you have been fortunate enough to have 
escaped the balls from the sentinel's musket ; and even, supposing all 
these perils past, then to have to swim for your life a distance of at 
least three miles ere you could reach the shore — were difficulties so 
startling and formidable that Dairies had never even dreamed of such a 
scheme, but resigned himself to his fate. 

But the sight of an old man clinging to life with so desperate a 
courage gave a fresh turn to his ideas, and inspired him with new 
courage and energy. An instance was before him of one less adroit, as 
well as weaker and older, having devised a plan which nothing but an 
unfortunate mistake in geometrical calculation could have rendered 
abortive, and of having, with almost incredible patience and perse- 
verance, contrived to provide himself with tools requisite for so unpar- 
alleled an attempt. If, then, one man had already conquered the 
seeming impossibility, why should not he, Dantes, also try to regain 
his liberty f Faria had made his way through fifty feet of the prison ; 
Dantes resolved to penetrate through double that distance. Faria, at 
the age of fifty, had devoted three years to the task ; he, who was but 
half as old, would sacrifice six. Faria, a churchman and philosopher, 
had not shrunk from risking his life by trying to swim a distance of 
three miles to reach the isles of Daume, Eatonneau, or Lemaire ; should 
a hardy sailor, an experienced diver, like himself, shrink from a similar 
task ; should he, who had so often for mere amusement's sake plunged 
to the bottom of the sea to fetch up the bright coral-branch, hesitate to 
swim a distance of three miles ? He could do it in an hour, and how 
many times had he for pure pastime continued in the water for more 
than twice as long ! At once Dantes resolved to follow the example of 



THE col XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



W 



his companion, aud to remember thai what has once been done may be 
done again. 

After continuing some time in profound meditation, the young man 
suddenly exclaimed, "I have found what you were in search of!" 




Faria started. " Have you, indeed ?" cried he, raisin-- his head with 
quick anxiety; pray, let me know what it is you have discovered .'" 

"The corridor through which you have bored your way from the cell 
you occupy hero, extends in the same direction as the outer gallery, 

does it not '! " 



188 TEE COUNT OF M0NTE-CBI8T0. 

" It does ! " 

•• Ami is not above fifteen steps from it f 

- Ahout thai !" 

" Well, then, 1 will tell you what we must do. We must pierce a side 
opening about the middle of the corridor, as it were the top part of a 
cross. This time you will lay your plans more accurately; we shall get 
out into the gallery you have described, kill the sentinel who guards 
it, and make our escape. All we require to insure success is courage, 
ami that you possess, ami strength, which I am not deficient in; as for 
patience, you have abundantly proved yours — you shall now see me 
prove mine. 1 '' 

'■One instant, my dear friend," replied the abbe; "it is clear you do 
not understand the nature of the courage with which I am endowed, 
ami what use I intend making of my strength. As for patience, I con- 
sider I have abundantly exercised that on recommencing every morning 
the task of the overnight, and every night beginning again the task of 
the day. But, then, young man (and I pray of you to give me your 
full attention), then I thought I could not be doing anything displeas- 
ing to the Almighty in trying to set an innocent being at liberty, — one 
who had committed no offense and merited not condemnation." 

"And have your notions changed ?" asked Dantes with much sur- 
prise; "do you think yourself more guilty in making the attempt since 
yon have encountered me P 

" No; neither do I wish to incur guilt. Hitherto I have fancied myself 
merely waging war against circumstances, not men. I have thought it 
no sin to bore through a wall or destroy a staircase ; but I cannot so 
easily persuade myself to pierce a heart or take away a life." 
A slight movement of surprise escaped Dantes. 

" Is it possible," said he, " that where your liberty is at stake you can 
allow any such scruple to deter you from obtaining it ?" 

"Tell me," replied Faria, "what has hindered you from knocking 
down your jailer with a piece of wood torn from your bedstead, 
dressing yourself in his clothes, and endeavoring to escape J" 

" Simply that I never thought of such a scheme," answered Dantes. 

" Because," said the old man, " the natural repugnance to the com- 
mission of such a ciime prevented its bare idea from occurring to you ; 
and so it ever is with all simple and allowable things. Our natural 
instincts keep us from deviating from the strict line of duty. The 
tiger, whose nature teaches him to delight in shedding blood, needs 
hut the organ of smelling to know when his prey is within his reach; 
and by following this instinct he is enabled to measure the leap necessary 
to enable him to spring on his victim; but man, on the contrary, 



TEE COUNT OF MOXTE-CEISTO. 



189 



loathes the idea of blood; — not only the laws of social life, but the 
laws of his nature, recoil from murder." 

Dantes remained confused and sdent by this explanation of the 
thoughts which had unconsciously been working in his mind, or, rather, 




soul; for there are two distinct sorts of ideas,— those that proceed from 
the head and those that emanate from the heart. 

" Since my imprisonment," said Faria, "I have thought over all the 
most celebrated cases of escape recorded. Among the many that have 
faded, I consider there has been precipitation and haste. Those escapes 
that have been crowned with full success have been long meditated 
upon, and carefully arranged; such, for instance, as the escape of the 
Duke de Beaufort from the Chateau de Vincennes, that of the AM..'- 



L90 lilt: COUNT OF M0NTE-CBI8T0. 

Dubuquoi from For l'Eveque, and Latude's from the Bastile; chance, 
too, frequently affords opportunities we should never ourselves have 
though! of. Let us, therefore, wait patiently for some favorable 
moment, and take advantage of it." 

"Ah!" said Dantes, "you might well endure the tedious delay ; you 
were constantly employed in the task you set yourself, and when weary 
with toil, you had your hopes to refresh and encourage yon." 

"I assure you," replied the old man, "I did not turn to that sou ree 
for recreation or support." 

"What did you do then P 

" I wrote or studied." 

" Were you then permitted the use of pens, ink, and paper :'" 

"Oh, no!" answered the abbe; "I had none but what I made for 
myself." 

" Do yon mean to tell me," exclaimed Dantes, "that you could make 
all those things '. " 

"I do, indeed, truly say so." 
Dantes gazed with admiration on the abbe ; some doubt, however, 
still lingered in his mind, which was quickly perceived by Faria. 

" When you pay me a visit in my cell, my young friend,'" said he, " I 
will show you an entire work, the fruits of the thoughts and reflections 
of my whole life; many of them meditated over in the ruins of the 
Coliseum of Rome, at the foot of St. Mark's column at Venice, and on 
the borders of the Arno at Florence, little imagining at the time that 
they would be arranged in order within the walls of the Chateau d'If. 
The work I speak of is called A Treatise on the Practicability of forming 
Italy into one General Monarchy, and will make one large quarto volume." 

" And on what have you written this ?" 

" Ou two of my shirts. I invented a preparation that makes linen as 
smooth and as easy to write on as parchment." 

"You are, then, a chemist .' " 

" Somewhat ; I knew Lavoisier, and was the intimate friend of 
Cabanis." 

" But for such a work you must have needed books — had you any f " 

" I possessed nearly five thousand volumes in my library at Rome ; 
but, after reading them over many times, I found out that with one 
hundred and fifty well-chosen books a man possesses a complete 
analysis of all human knowledge, or at least all that is either useful 
or desirable to be acquainted with. I devoted three years of my life 
to reading and studying these one hunched and fifty volumes, till I 
knew them nearly by heart; so that since I have been in prison a 
very slight effort of memory has enabled me to recall their contents 
as readily as though the pages were open before me. I could recite 



77//: <<> 1ST OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 191 

you the whole of Thucydides, Xenophon, Plutarch, Livy, Tacitus, 
Strada, Jornandes, Dante, Montaigne, Shakspere, Spinosa, Machiavel, 

and Bossuet. Ohserve, I merely quote the most important name- and 
writers." 

"You are acquainted with a variety of languages .' " 

" Yes, I speak five of the modern tongues, — that is to say, German, 
French, Italian, English, and Spanish. By the aid of ancient Greek I 
learned modern Greek; I don't speak it well, but I am studying it now." 

"Studying!" repeated Dantes. 

"Why, I made a vocabulary of the words I knew; turned, re-turned, 
and arranged tliem, so as to enable me to express my thoughts through 
their medium. I know nearly one thousand words, which is all that is 
absolutely necessary, although I believe there are nearly one bundled 
thousand in the dictionaries. I cannot hope to be very fluent, but I 
certainly shall be understood; and that is all that is needed." 

Stronger grew the wonder of Dantes, who almost fancied he had to 
do with one gifted with supernatural powers. Still hoping to find some 
imperfection, he added, "Then, if you were not furnished with pens, 
how did you manage to write the work you speak of .'" 

"I made myself some excellent ones, which would be universally pre- 
ferred to all others if once known. You are aware what huge whitings 
are served to us on maigre days. Well, I selected the cartilages of the 
heads of these fishes, and you can scarcely imagine the delight with 
which I welcomed the arrival of each "Wednesday, Friday, and Satur- 
day, as affording me the means of increasing my stock of pens; for I 
will freely confess that my historical labors have been my greatest 
solace and relief. While retracing the past, I forget the present; and 
while following the free and independent course of historical record, I 
cease to remember that I am a prisoner." 

" But the ink," said Dantes ; " how have you procured that .' " 

"I wdl tell you," replied Faria. "There was formerly a fire-place in 
my dungeon, but closed up long ere I became an occupant of this 
prison. Still, it must have been many years in use, for it was thickly 
covered with a coating of soot; this soot I dissolved in a portion of the 
wine brought to me every Sunday, and 1 assure you a better ink cannot 
be desired. For very important notes, for which closer attention is 
required, I have pricked one of my fingers, and written the facts claim- 
ing notice in blood." 

"And when," asked Dantes, " will you show me all this .' " 

" Whenever you please," replied the abbe. 

"Oh, then, let it be directly!" exclaimed the young man. 

"Follow me, then," said the abbe, as he reentered the subterraneous 
passage, in which he soon disappeared, followed by Dantes. 




CHAPTER XVII 

THE ABBE'S CHAMBER 

FTER having passed, in a stooping position but with toler- 
able ease, through the subterranean passage, the two friends 
reached the farther end of the corridor, into which the cell 
of the abbe opened; from that point the opening became 
much narrower, barely permitting a man to creep through on his hands 
and knees. The floor of the abbe's cell was paved, and it had been by 
raising one of the stones in the most obscure corner that Faria had been 
able to commence the laborious task of which Dantes had witnessed the 
completion. 

As he entered the chamber of his friend, Dantes cast around a 
searching glance, but nothing more than common met his view. 

"It is well," said the abbe; "we have sonie hours before us — it is 
now just a quarter past twelve o'clock." 

Instinctively Dantes tinned round to observe by what watch or 
cluck the abbe had been able so accurately to specify the hour. 

"Look at this ray of light which enters by my window," said the 
abbe, " and then observe the lines traced on the wall. Well, by means 
of these lines, which are in accordance with the double motion of the 
earth, as well as the ellipse it descril »es round the sun, I am enabled to 
ascertain the precise hour with more minuteness than if I possessed a 
watch; for that might go wrong, while the sun and earth never vary." 

This last explanation was wholly lost upon Dantes, who had always 
imagined, from seeing the sun rise from behind the mountains and set in 
the Mediterranean, that it moved, and not the earth. A double movement 
in the globe he inhabited, and of which he could feel nothing, appeared 
to him perfectly impossible; still, each word that fell from his lips 
seemed fraught with the wonders of science, as admirably deserving 
of being brought fully to light as the mines of gold and diamonds he 



Till) COUNT OF MOHTTE-CRISTO. 



193 



could just recollect having visited during his earliest youth in a voyage 

he maili' to ( hizerai and ( rolconda. 

" Come," said he to the abbe, "show me the wonderful inventions you 
told me of." 




The abbe, proceeding to the fire-place, raised, by the help of his 
chisel, a stone, which had been the hearth, beneath which was a cavity 
of considerable depth, serving as a depository of the articles mentioned 
to Dautes. 

" What do you wish to sec first I " asked the abbe. 

"Oh! your great work on the monarchy of Italy! " 



194 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

Faria then drew forth from his hiding-place three or four rolls of 
linen, laid one over the other like the folds of papyrus. These rolls con- 
sisted of slips of eloth about four inches wide and eighteen long; they 
were all carefully numbered and closely covered with writing, so legible 
that Dantes could easily read it, as well as make out the sense — it being 
in Italian, a language he, as a Provencal, perfectly understood. "There!" 
.said he, " there is t he work complete — I wrote the word finis at the end 
of the sixty-eighth strip about a week ago. I have torn up two of my 
shirts, and as many handkerchiefs as I was master of, to complete the 
precious pages. Should I ever get out of prison, and find a printer to 
publish what I have composed, my reputation is secured." 

" I see," answered Dantes. " Now let me behold the curious pens with 
which you have written your work." 

" Look ! " said Faria, showing to the young man a slender stick about 
six inches long, and much resembling the size of the handle of a fine 
painting brush, to the end of which was tied, by a piece of thread, one 
of those cartilages of which the abbe had before spoken to Dantes; it 
was pointed, and divided at the nib like an ordinary pen. Dantes 
examined it with intense admiration, then looked around to see the 
instrument with which it had been shaped so correctly into form. 

" Ah, I see," said Faria. " My penknife i That was a master-piece ! 
I made it, as well as this knife, out of an old iron candlestick." 

The penknife was sharp and keen as a razor ; as for the other knife, 
it possessed the double advantage of being capable of serving either as 
a dagger or a knife. 

Dantes examined the various articles shown to him with the same 
attention he had bestowed on the curiosities and strange tools exhibited 
in the shops at Marseilles as the works of the savages in the South Seas, 
from whence they had been brought by the different trading vessels. 

" As fur the ink," said Faria," I told you how I managed; and I only 
just make it as I require it." 

" There is one thing puzzles me still," observed Dantes, " and that is 
how you managed to do all this by daylight." 

"I worked at night also," replied Faria. 

"Night! — why, for Heaven's sake, are your eyes like cats 1 , that you 
can see to work in the dark ? " 

" Indeed they are not ; but a beneficent Creator has supplied man with 
intelligence and ability to supply his wants. I furnished mvself with a 
light." 

" You did :' " 

" I separated the fat from the meat served to me, melted it, and made 
a sort of oil — here is my lamp." So saying, the abbe exhibited a sort 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GBI8T0. 



195 



of vessel very similar to those employed upon the occasion of public 
illuminations. 
•• But how do you procure a light .'" 

" ' >h, here are two fiiuts and a morsel of burnt linen. I feigned a 







disorder of the skin, and asked for a little sulphur, which was readily 
supplied." 

Dantes laid the different things he had been looking at gently on 
the table, and stood with his head drooping, as though overwhelm* 1 ' I by 
the persevering spirit of such a character. 



196 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"You have not seen all yet," continued Faria, "for I did not think it 
wise to trust all my treasures in the same hiding-place. Let us shut 
this one up." 

Dantes helped him to replace the stone ; the abbe sprinkled a little 
dust over it, rubbed his foot well on it to make it assume the same 
appearance as the other, and then, going toward his bed, he removed 
it from the spot it stood in. 

Behind the head of the bed, and concealed by a stone fitting in so 
closely as to defy all suspicion, was a hollow space, and in this space a 
ladder of cords, between twenty-five and thirty feet in length. 

Dantes closely and eagerly examined it; he found it firm, solid, and 
compact enough to bear any weight. 

" Who supplied you with the materials for making this wonderful 
work'" asked Dantes. 

" No one but myself. I tore up several of my shirts, and unraveled 
the sheets of my bed, during my three years' imprisonment at Fenes- 
trelle ; ami when I was removed to the Chateau d'lf, I managed to bring 
the ravelings with me, so that I have been able to finish my work here." 

" And was it not discovered that your sheets were unhemmed ?" 

" Oh, no ! for when I had taken out the thread I required, I hemmed 
the edges over again." 

" With what?" 

" With this needle!" said the abbe, as, opening his ragged vestments, 
he showed Dantes a long, sharp fish-bone, with a small, perforated eye 
for the thread, a small portion of which still remained in it. 

" T once thought," continued Faria, "of removing these iron bars, and 
letting myself down from the window, which, as you see, is somewhat 
wider than yours, although I should have enlarged it still more prepar- 
atory to my flight; however, I discovered that I should merely have 
dropped into a sort of inner court, and 1 therefore renounced the 
projecl altogether as too full of risk anil danger. Nevertheless, I care- 
fully preserved my ladder against one of those unforeseen opportunities 
of which I spoke just now, and which chance frequently brings about." 
While affecting to be deeply engaged in examining the ladder, the 
mind of Dantes was, in fact, busily occupied by the idea that a person 
so intelligent, ingenious, and clear-sighted as the abbe might probably 
he enabled to clear up the dark recesses of his own misfortunes, in 
which he had in vain sought to distinguish aught. 

" What are you thinking of?" asked the abbe smilingly, imputing 
the deep al ist raet ion in which his visitor was plunged to the excess of 
his awe and wonder. 

" I was reflecting, in the first place," replied Dantes, "upon the enor- 



THE cor XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 197 

inous degree of intelligence you must have employed to reach the high 
perfection to which you have attained. What would you not have 
accomplished free ? " 

" Possibly nothing at all ; the overflow of my brain would have evap- 
orated in follies; it needs trouble to hollow out various mysterious 
mines of human intelligence. Pressure is required, you know, to crush 
the beam: captivity has collected into one single focus all the floating 
faculties of my mind; they have come into close contact in the narrow 
space ; and you are well aware that from the collision of clouds electricity 
is produced — from electricity the lightning, from whose flash we have 
light." 

"Alas, no!" replied Dantes. "I know not that these things follow 
in such natural order. Oh, I am very ignorant ! and you must be 
blessed indeed to possess the knowledge you have." 
The abbe smiled. 

"Well," said lie, "but you had another subject for your thoughts 
besides admiration for me; did you not say so just now .'" 

"I did!" 

" You have told me as yet but one of them, — let me hear the other." 

" It was this: that while you had related to me all the particulars of 
your past life, you were perfectly unacquainted with mine." 

"Your life, my young friend, lias not been of sufficient length to 
admit of any very important events." 

" It admits of a terrible misfortune which I have not deserved. I 
would fain know who has been the author of it, that I may no longer 
accuse Heaven, as I have done, but charge men with my woes." 

"Then you profess ignorance of the crime with which you are 
charged .' " 

" I do, indeed; and this I swear by the two beings most dear to me 
upon earth — my father ami Mercedes." 

" Come," said the abbe, closing his hiding-place, and pushing the bed 
back to its original situation, "let me hear your story." 

Dantes obeyed, and commenced what he called his history, but 
which consisted only of the account of a voyage to India, and two or 
three in the Levant, until he arrived at the recital of his last cruise, 
with the death of Captain Leclere, and the receipt of a packel to be 
delivered by himself to the grand-mareehal ; his interview with that 
personage, and his receiving, in place of the packet brought, a letter 
addressed to M. Noirtier; his arrival at Marseilles, ami interview with 
his father; his affection for Mercedes, and their nuptial fete; his 
arrest and subsequent examination in the temporary prison of the 
Palais de Justice, ending in his final imprisonment in the Chateau d'If. 



198 TUI-: cor XT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

From tin' period of his arrival there lie kuew nothing, not even the 
Length of time he had been imprisoned. His recital finished, the abbe 
reflected Long and earnestly. 

"There is," said he, at the end of his meditations, " a clever maxim, 
which bears upon what I was saying to you some little while ago, and 
that is, that unless wicked ideas take root in a naturally depraved mind, 
human nature revolts at crime. Still, from civilization have originated 
wants, vices, and false tastes, which occasionally stifle within us all 
good feelings, and lead us into guilt. From this view of things, then, 
comes the axiom 1 allude to — that if you wish to discover the author 
of any had action, discover the person to whom that bad action could 
he advantageous. Now, to whom could your disappearance have been 
serviceable .' " 

"To no breathing soul. Why, who could have cared about the 
removal of so insignificant a person as myself ?" 

" Do not speak thus, for your reply evinces neither logic nor philoso- 
phy ; everything is relative, my dear young friend, from the king who 
obstructs his successor's immediate possession of the throne, to the 
occupant of a place for which the supernumary to whom it has been 
promised ardently longs. Now, in the event of the king's death, his 
successor inherits a crown ; — wdien the placeman dies, the suj)ernumary 
steps into his shoes and receives his salary of twelve thousand livres. 
Well, these twelve thousand livres are his civil list, and are as essential 
to him as the twelve millions of a king. Every individual, from the 
highest to the lowest degree, has his place in the ladder of social life, 
and around hirn are grouped a little world of interests, composed of 
stormy passions and conflicting atoms, like the worlds of Descartes; 
hut let us return to your world. You say you were on the point of 
being appointed captain of the Pharaon f" 

" I was." 

" And about to become the husband of a young and lovely girl f " 

" True." 

" Now, could any one have had any interest in preventing the accom- 
plishment of these two circumstances ? But let us first settle the ques- 
tion as to its being the interest of any one to hinder you from being 
captain of the Pharaon. What say you i " 

" No ! I was generally liked on board ; and had the sailors possessed 
the right of electing a captain, their choice would have fallen on me. 
There was only one person among the crew who had any feeling of ill 
will toward me. I had quarreled with him some time previously, and 
had even challenged him to fight me ; but he refused." 

" Now we are getting on. And what was this man's name ? " 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 199 

" Danglars." 

" What rank did he hold on board ?" 

" He was supercargo." 

" And had you been captain, should you have retained him in his 
employment t " 

" Not if the choice had remained with me, for I had frequently observe* 1 
inaccuracies in his accounts." 

" Good again ! Now then, tell me, was any person present during 
your last conversation with Captain Leclere \ " 

" No ; we were quite alone." 

" Could your conversation be overheard by any one .' " 

"It might, for the cabin door was open; — and — stay; now I recol- 
lect, — Danglars himself passed. fey* just as Captain Leclere was giving 
me the packet for the grand-mareehal." 

" That will do," cried the abbe ; " now we are on the right scent. Did 
you take anybody with you when you put into the port of Elba ? " 

" Nobody." 

" Somebody there received your packet, and gave you a letter in place 
of it, I think':'" 

" Yes ; the grand-rnarechal did." 

" And what did you do with that letter \ " 

" Put it into my pocket-book." 

" Ah ! indeed ! You had your pocket-book with you, then X Now, 
how could a pocket-book, large enough to contain an official letter, find 
sufficient room in the pockets of a sailor ? " 

"You are right: I had it not with me, — it was left on board." 

" Then it was not till your return to the ship that you placed the 
letter in the pocket-book I " 

" No." 

" And what did you do with this same letter while returning from 
Porto-Ferrajo to your vessel t " 

" I carried it in my hand." 

"So that when you went on board the Pharaon, everybody could 
perceive you held a letter in your hand .' " 

" To be sure they could." 

" Danglars, as well as the rest ? " 

" Yes ; he as well as others." 

" Now, listen to me, and try to recall every circumstance attending 
your arrest. Do you recollect the words in which the information 
against you was couched ? " 

"Oh, yes! I read it over three times, and the words sank deeply into 
my memory." 



200 THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRI&TO. 

"Repeat it to me." 
Dantes paused a few instants, as though collecting his ideas, then 
said, "This is it, word for word: 'M. le Procureur du Roi is informed, 
by a friend to the throne and religion, that an individual, named 
Edmond Dantes, second in command on hoard the Pharaon, tins day 
arrived from Smyrna, after having touched at Naples and Porto-Fer- 

ni.jo, lias 1 n charged by Murat with a packet for the usurper; again, 

by the usurper, with a letter for the Bonapartist Club in Paris. This 
proof of liis guilt may he procured by his immediate arrest, as the letter 
will lie found cither about his person, at his father's residence, or in his 
cabin on hoard the Pharaon.^ 

The abbe shrugged up his shoulders. " The thing is clear as day," 
said lie ; "and you must have had a very unsuspecting nature, as well 
as a good heart, not to have suspected the origin of the whole affair." 

" Do you really think so .' All, that would indeed be the treachery 
of a villain !" 

"How did Danglars usually write .'" 

" Oh ! extremely well." 

" And how was the anonymous letter written :'" 

" All the wrong way — backward, you know." 
Again the abbe smiled. " In fact, it was a disguised hand .' " 

"I don't know; it was very boldly written, if disguised." 

"Stop a bit," said the abbe, taking up what he called his pen, and, 
after dipping it into the ink, he wrote on a morsel of prepared linen, 
with his left hand, the first two or three words of the accusation. 
Dantes drew hack, and gazed on the abbe with a sensation almost 
amounting to terror. 

"How very astonishing!" cried he at length. "Why, your writing 
exactly resembles that of the accusation!" 

"Simply because that accusation had been written with the left 
hand ; and I have always remarked one thing " 

" What is that?" 

"That whereas ah writing done with the right hand varies, that per- 
formed with the left hand is invariably similar." 

" You have evidently seen and observed everything." 

" Let us proceed." 

" ( >h ! yes, yes ! Let us go on." 

" Now, as regards the second question. Was there any person whose 
interest it was to prevent your marriage with Mercedes I " 

" Yes, a young man who loved her." 

" And his name was " 

" Fernand." 



THE COr XT OF MOXTE-CRISTO. 201 

" That is a Spanish name, I think '. " 

" He was a Catalan." 

" You imagine him capable of writing the letter ? " 

" Oh, no ! he would more likely have got rid of me by sticking a knife 
into me." 

" That is in strict accordance with the Spanish character ; an assassi- 
nation they will unhesitatingly commit, but an act of cowardice, never." 

" Besides," said Dantes, " the various circumstances mentioned in the 
letter were wholly unknown to him." 

"You had never spoken of them yourself to any one?" 

"To no person whatever." 

"Not even to your mistress?" 

" No, not even to my betrothed bride." 

" Then it is Danglars, beyond a doubt." 

" I feel quite sure of it now." 

"Wait a little. Pray, was Danglars acquainted with Fernand .'" 

" No yes, he was. Now I recollect " 

" What I » 

" To have seen them both sitting at the table together beneath an 
arbor at Pere Pamphile's the evening before the day fixed for my wed- 
ding. They were in earnest conversation. Danglars was joking in a 
friendly way, but Fernand looked pale and agitated." 

" Were they alone ? " 

"There was a third person with them whom I knew perfectly well, 
and who had, in all probability, made their acquaintance ; he was a 
tailor named ( 'aderousse, but he was quite intoxicated. Stay ! — stay ! — 
How strange that it should not have occurred to me before ! Now I 
remember quite well, that on the table round which they were sitting 
were pens, ink, and paper. Oh ! the heartless, treacherous scoundrels ! " 
exclaimed Dantes, pressing his hand to his throbbing brows. 

" Is there anything else I can assist you in discovering, besides the 
villainy of your friends ? " inquired the abbe. 

"Yes, yes," replied Dantes, eagerly; " I would beg of you, who see so 
completely to the depths of things, and to whom the greatest mystery 
seems but an easy riddle, to explain to me how it was that I underwent 
no second examination, was never brought to trial, and, above all, my 
being condemned without ever having had sentence passed on me." 

" That is a more serious matter," responded the abbe. " The ways of 
justice are frequently too dark and mysterious to lie easily penetrated. 
All we have hitherto done in the matter has been child's play. On this 
matter, you must give me the most minute information on every point." 

" Gladly. So pray begin, my dear abbe, and ask me whatever ques- 



202 THE COl'XT OF MOXTE-CBISTO. 

tions you please; for you see my past life far 1 letter than I could do 
myself.' 1 

" In the first place, then, who examined you, — the procureur du roi, 
his deputy, or a magistrate!" 

"The deputy." 

" Was lie young or old .' " 

" About six or seven and twenty years of age, I should say." 

" To be sure," answered the abbe. " Old enough to be ambitious, but 
not sufficiently so to have hardened his heart. And how did he treat 
you .'" 

" With more of mildness than severity." 

" Did you tell him your whole story ?" 

" I did." 

" And did his conduct change at all in the course of your examination ?" 

"Yes; certainly he did appear much disturbed when he read the 
letter that had brought me into this scrape. He seemed quite overcome 
at the danger I was in." 

" You were in :'" 

" Yes; for whom else could he have felt any apprehensions ?" 

" Then you feel quite convinced he sincerely pitied your misfortune?" 

" Why, he pive me one great proof of his sympathy, at least." 

" And what was that?" 

" lie burned the sole proof that could at all have criminated me." 

" Do you mean the letter of accusation ?" 

" ( >h, no ! the letter I was intrusted to convey to Paris." 

"Are you sure he burned it?" 

"He ilid so before my eyes. 1 ' 

"Ay, indeed! that alters the case; this man might, after all, be a 
greater scoundrel than 1 at first believed." 

" Dpon my word," said Dantes, "you make me shudder. Is the world 
filled with tigers and crocodiles:' 11 

"Only remember that two-legged tigers and crocodiles are more 
dangerous than those that walk on four." 1 

" Never mind, let us go on." 

" With all my heart! You tell me he burned the letter in your 
presence ? " 

" He did ; saying at the same time, ' You see I thus destroy the only 
proof existing against you.' " 

" This action is somewhat too sublime to be natural." 

" You think so f" 

" I am sure of it. To whom was this letter addressed?" 

" To M. Noirtier, No. 13 Eue Coq-Heron, Paris." 



THE COUNT OF MOISTTE-CRISTO. 203 

" Now, can you conceive any interest your heroic deputy procureur 
could by possibility have had in the destruction of that letter .' " 

" Why, he might have had, for he made me promise several times 
never to speak of that letter to any one; and, more than this, In- 
insisted on my taking a solemn oath never to utter the name mentioned 
in the address." 

"Noirtier !" repeated the abbe; "Noirtier! — I knew a person of that 
name at the court of the queen of Etruria, — a Noirtier, who had been 
a Girondin during the Revolution ! What was your deputy called '. " 

" De Villefort ! " 
The abbe burst into a fit of laughter, while Dantes gazed on hirn 
in utter astonishment. " What ails you ? " said he, at length. 

" Do you see this ray of light ! " 

" I do." 

" Well ! I see my way more clearly than you discern that sunbeam. 
Poor fellow ! poor young man ! And this magistrate expressed 
sympathy for you I " 
' " He did ! " 

" And the worthy man destroyed your compromising letter f" 

" He burned it before me ! " 

"And then this purveyor for the scaffold made you swear never to 
utter the name of Noirtier!" 

" Certainly." 

"Why, you poor, short-sighted simpleton ! Can you not guess who 
this Noirtier was, whose very name he was so careful to keep concealed :' 
This Noirtier was his father ! " 

Had a thunderbolt fallen at the feet of Dantes, or hell opened before 
him, he could not have been more completely transfixed with horror 
than at the words so wholly unexpected. Starting up, he clasped his 
hands around his head as though to prevent his very brain from 
bursting, and exclaimed : 

" His father ! oh, no ! not his father, siuvly ! " 

"His own father, I assure you," replied the abbe; "his right name 
was Noirtier de Villefort ! " 

At this instant a bright light shot through the mind of Dantes, and 
cleared up all that had been dark and obscure before. The change that 
had come over Villefort during the examination; the destruction of the 
letter, the exacted promise, the almost supplicating tones of the magis- 
trate, who seemed rather to implore mercy than denounce punish- 
ment, — all returned to his memory. A cry of agony escaped his lips, 
and lie staggered like a drunken man; then he hurried to the opening 
conducting from the abb6's cell to his own, and said: 



204 THE COUNT <>F MONTE-CRISTO. 

" I must be alone, to think over all this." 
When hf regained his dungeon, he threw himself on his bed, where 
the turnkey found him at his evening visit, sitting with fixed gaze and 
contracted features, still and motionless as a statue; but, during these 
hours of deep meditation, which to him had seemed but as minutes, he 
had formed a fearful resolution, and bound himself to its fulfillment 
by a solemn oath. 

Dantes was at length roused from his reverie by the voice of Faria, 
who, having also been visited by his jailer, had come to invite his fel- 
low-sufferer to share his supper. The reputation of being out of his 
mind, though harmlessly and even amusingly so, had procured for the 
abbe greater privileges than were allowed to prisoners in general. He 
was supplied with bread of a finer, whiter description than the usual 
prison fare, and each Sunday with a small quantity of wine ; the pres- 
ent day chanced to be Sunday, and the abbe came, delighted at having 
such luxuries to offer his new friend. 

Dantes followed him; his features had lost their contraction, and 
now wore their usual expression; but there was that in his whole 
appearance that bespoke one who had come to a fixed resolve. Faria 
bent on him his penetrating eye. 

" I regret now," said he, " having helped you in your late inquiries, or 
having given you the information I did." 

" Why so ? " inquired Dantes. 

" Because it has instilled a new passion in your heart — that of 
vengeance." 

A bitter smile played over the features of the young man. " Let us 
talk of something else," said he. 

Again the abbe looked at him, then mournfully shook his head ; 
but, in accordance with Dantes' request, he began to speak of other mat- 
ters. The elder prisoner was one of those persons whose conversation, 
like that of all who have experienced many trials, contained many use- 
ful hints as well as sound information; but it was never egotistical, for 
the unfortunate man never alluded to his own sorrows. Dantes listened 
with admiring attention to all he said ; some of his remarks corresponded 
with what he already knew, or applied to the sort of knowledge his nau- 
tical life had enabled him to acquire. A part of the good abbe's words, 
however, were wholly incomprehensible to him ; but, like those aurora? 
boreales which light the navigators in northern latitudes, they sufficed 
to open to the inquiring mind of the listener fresh views and new hori- 
zons, illumined by the meteoric flash, enabling him justly to estimate 
the delight an intellectual mind would have in following tins towering 
spirit in all the giddiest heights of science, moral, social, or philosophical. 



THE COUNT OF MOXTE-Ch'ISTO. 205 

" You must teach me a small part of what you know," said Dantes, 
"if only to prevent your growing weary of me. I can well believe that 
you would prefer solitude to the company of one as ignorant and unin- 
formed as myself. If you will only agree to my request, I promise you 
never to mention another word about escaping." 
The abbe smiled. 

" Alas ! my child," said he, " human knowledge is confined within 
very narrow limits ; and when I have taught you mathematics, physics, 
history, and the three or four modern languages with which I am 
acquainted, you will know as much as I do myself. Now, it will scarcely 
require two years for me to communicate to you the stock of learning I 
possess." 

"Two years!" exclaimed Dantes; "do you really believe I can 
acquire all these things in so short a time '? " 

"Not their application, certainly, but their principles you may; to 
learn is not to know ; there are the learners and the learned. Memory 
makes the one, philosophy the other." 

" But can I not learn philosophy as well as other things ? " 

" My son, philosophy, as I understand it, is reducible to no rules by 
which it can be learned ; it is the amalgamation of all the sciences, the 
golden cloud on which Christ placed his feet to remount to heaven." 

" Well, then," said Dantes, " tell me what you shall teach me first ? 
When shall we commence ! " 

" Directly, if you will," said the abbe. 
And that very evening the prisoners sketched a plan of education, 
to be entered upon the following day. Dantes possessed a prodigious 
memory, an astonishing quickness of conception ; the mathematical 
turn of his mind rendered him apt at aU kinds of calculation, while his 
naturally poetical feelings corrected the dry reality of arithmetical com- 
putation or the rigid severity of lines. He already knew Italian, and a 
little of the Romaic dialect, picked up during his different voyages to 
the East; and by the aid of these two languages he easily comprehended 
the construction of all the others, so that at the end of six months lie 
began to speak Spanish, English, and German. 

In strict accordance with the promise made to the abbe, Dantes 
never even alluded to flight : it might have been that the delight his 
studies afforded him supplied the place of liberty; or, probably, the 
recollection of his pledged word (a point, as we have already seen, to 
which he paid rigid attention) kept him from reverting to any plan for 
escape; but, absorbed in the acquisition of knowledge, days, even 
months, passed by unheeded in one rapid and instructive course; time 
flew on, and at the end of a year Dantes was a new man. With Faria, 



206 THE cor XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

on the contrary, Dantes remarked that, spite of the relief his society 
afforded, he daily grew sadder; one thought seemed incessantly to 
harass and distract his mind. Sometimes he would fall into long rev- 
eries, sigh heavily and involuntarily, then suddenly rise, and, with 
folded arms, begin pacing the confined space of his dungeon. One 
day lie stopped all at once iu the midst of these so often-repeated 
promenades, and exclaimed: 

"Ah, if there were no sentinel!" 

" There shall not be one a minute longer than you please," said Dan- 
tes, who had followed the working of his thoughts as accurately as 
though his brain were inclosed in crystal. 

" I have already told you," answered the abbe, " that I loathe the idea 
of shedding blood." 

" Still, in our case, it would be a necessary step to secure our own 
personal safety and preservation." 

" X< > matter ! I could never agree to it." 

" Still, you have thought of it .'" 

" Incessantly, alas ! " cried the abbe. 

" And you have discovered a means of regaining our freedom, have 
you not ?" asked Dantes eagerly. 

" I have ; if it were only possible to place a deaf and blind sentinel in 
the gallery beyond us." 

" I will undertake to render him both," replied the young man, with 
an air of determined resolution that made his companion shudder. 

" No, no," cried the abbe ; " I tell you the thing is impossible ; name it 
no more !" 

In vain did Dantes endeavor to renew the subject; the abbe shook 
his head in token of disapproval, but refused any further conversation 
respecting it. Three months passed away. 

"Do you feel yourself strong ?" inquired the abbe of Dantes. The 
young man, in reply, took up the chisel, bent it into the form of a horse- 
shoe, ami then as readily straightened it. 

" And will you engage not to do any harm to the sentry, except as a 
last extremity .' " 

"I promise on my honor not to hurt a hair of his head, unless posi- 
tively obliged for our mutual preservation." 

" Then," said the abbe. " we may hope to put our design into execu- 
tion." 

" And how long shall we be in accomplishing the necessary work ? " 

" At least a year." 

"And shall we begin at once ? " 

" Directly." 



TUB COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 207 

" We have lost a year to no purpose ! " cried Dantes. 

" Do you consider the last twelve months as wasted .' " asked the abbe, 
in a tone of mild reproach. 

"Forgive me!" cried Edmond, blushing deeply; v * I am Indeed 
ungrateful to have hinted such a thing." 

" Tut, tut ! " answered the abbe" ; " man is but man at last, and you are 
about the liest 1 have ever known. Come, let me show you my plan." 

The abbe then showed Dantes the sketch he had made for their 
escape. It consisted of a plan of his own cell and that of Dantes, with 
the corridor which united them. In this passage he proposed to form a 
tunnel, such as is employedin mines; this tunnel would conduct the two 
prisoners immediately beneath the gallery where the sentry kept watch ; 
once there, a large excavation would be made, and one of the flag-stones 
with which the gallery was paved be so completely loosened that at the 
desired moment it would give way beneath the soldier's feet, who, fall- 
ing into the excavation below, woidd be immediately bound and gagged, 
ere, stunned by the effects of his fall, he had power to offer any resist- 
ance. The prisoners were then to make their way through one of the 
gallery windows, and to let themselves down from the outer walls by 
means of the abbe's ladder of cords. 

The eyes of Dantes sparkled with joy, and he rubbed his hands with 
delight at the idea of a plan so simple, yet apparently so certain to suc- 
ceed. That very day the miners commenced their labor, and that with 
so much more vigor, as it succeeded to a long rest from fatigue and was 
destined, in all probability, to carry out the dearest wish of the heart of 
each. Nothing interrupted the progress of their work except the neces- 
sity of returning to their respective cells against the hour in which their 
jailer was in the habit of visiting them; they had learned to distinguish 
the almost imperceptible sound of his footsteps as he descended toward 
their dungeons, and, happily, never failed being prepared f< >r bis c< >ming. 
The fresh earth excavated during their present work, and which would 
have entirely blocked up the old passage, was thrown, by degrees and 
with the utmost precaution, out of the window in either Faria's or Dantes' 
cell, the rubbish being first pulverized so finely that the night wind car- 
ried it far away without permitting the smallest trace to remain. 

More than a year had been consumed in this undertaking, the only 
tools for which had been a chisel, a knife, and a wooden lever; Faria 
still continuing to instruct Dantes by conversing with him, sometimes 
in <>ne language, sometimes in another; at others, relating to him the 
history of nations and great men who from time to time have Mi 
behind them one of those bright tracks called glory. The abb.' was a 
man of the world, and had, moreover, mixed in the first society of the 



208 THE cor XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

day; he had, too, that air of melancholy dignity which Dantes, thanks 
to the imitative powers bestowed on him by nature, easily acquired, as 
well as that outward politeness he had before been wanting in, and 
which is seldom possessed except by constant intercourse with persons 
of high birth and breeding. 

At the end of fifteen months the tunnel was made, and the excava- 
tion completed beneath the gallery, and the two workmen could dis- 
tinctly hear the measured tread of the sentinel as he paced to and fro 
over their heads. ( lompelled, as they were, to await a night sufficiently 
dark to favor their flight, they were obliged to defer their final attempt 
till that auspicious moment should arrive; their greatest dread now 
was lest the stone through which the sentry was doomed to fall should 
give way before its right time, and this they had in some measure pro- 
vided against by placing under it, as a kind of prop, a sort of bearer 
they had discovered among the foundations. Dantts was occupied in 
arranging this piece of wood when he heard Faria, who had remained 
in Edmond's cell for the purpose of cutting a peg to secure their rope 
ladder, call to him in accents of pain and suffering. Dantes hastened 
to his dungeon, where he found him standing in the middle of the 
room, pale as death, his forehead streaming with perspiration, and his 
hands clenched tightly. 

"Gracious heavens!" exclaimed Dantes, "what is the matter? what 
has happened .' " 

" Quick ! quick ! "' returned the abbe, "listen to what I have to say." 
Dantes looked at the livid countenance of Faria, whose eyes were 
circled by a halo of a bluish cast, his lips were white, and his very hair 
seemed to stand on end. In his alarm he let fall the chisel he held in 
his hand. 

" For God's sake ! " cried Dantes, " tell me what ails you ? " 

" Alas ! " faltered out the abbe, " all is over with me. I am seized 
with a terrible, perhaps mortal, illness ; I can feel that the paroxysm is 
fast approaching. I had a similar attack the year previous to my 
imprisonment. This malady admits but of one remedy; I will tell you 
what that is. Go into my cell as quickly as you can ; draw out one of 
the feet that support the bed; you will find it has been hollowed out; 
you will find there a small phial half filled witli a red-looking fluid. 
Bring it to me — or rather, no, no ! I may be found here ; therefore, 
help me back to my room while I have any strength. Who knows what 
may happen, or how long the fit may last ? " 

Spite of the magnitude of the misfortune, Dantes lost not his pres- 
ence of mind, but descended into the corridor, dragging his unfortunate 
companion with him ; then, half carrying, half supporting him, he man- 






-/*'/ , 



I 




THE COUNT OF M0NTH-CBI8T0. 211 

aged to reach the abbess chamber, when he immediately laid the sufferer 
on his bed. 

"Thanks!" said the i»>oi- abbe, shivering in every limb as though 
emerging from freezing water; "I am seized with a fit of catalepsy ; I 
may, probably, lie still and motionless, uttering neither sigh nor groan. 
I may fall into convulsions that cover my lips with foam and force from 
me piercing shrieks. Let no one hear my cries, for if they are heard I 
should he removed to another part of the prison, and we be separated 
forever. When I become quite motionless, cold, and rigid as a corpse, 
then, and not before, you understand, force open my teeth with a chisel, 
pom- from eight to ten drops of the liquor contained in the phial down 
my throat, and I may perhaps revive." 
" Perhaps ! " exclaimed Dantes in grief-stricken tones. 
"Help! help!" cried the abbe, "I — I — die — I " 

So sudden and violent was the fit, that the unfortunate prisoner was 
unable to complete the sentence begun; a cloud came over his brow, 
dark as a storm at sea, his eyes started from their sockets, his mouth 
was drawn on one side, his cheeks became purple, he struggled, foamed, 
and uttered dreadful cries, which Dantes deadeued by covering his head 
with the blanket. The fit lasted two hours; then, more helpless than an 
infant, and colder and paler than marble, more broken than a reed 
trampled under foot, he fell, stiffened with a last convulsion, and 
became livid. 

Edmond waited till life seemed extinct in the body <>f his friend; 
then, taking up the chisel, he with difficulty forced open the closely 
fixed jaws, carefully poured the appointed number of drops down the 
rigid throat, and anxiously awaited the result. An hour passed away 
without the old man's giving the least sign of returning animation. 
Dantes began to fear he had delayed too long ere he administered the 
remedy, and, thrusting his hands into his hair, continued gazing on his 
friend in an agony of despair. At length a slight color tinged the 
cheeks, consciousness returned to the dull, open eyeballs, a faint sigh 
issued from the lips, and the sufferer made a feeble effort to move. 
"He is saved ! he is saved !" cried Dantes, m a paroxysm of delight. 

The sick man was not yet able to speak, but he pointed with evi- 
dent anxiety toward the door. Dantes listened, and plainly distinguished 
the approaching steps of the jailer. It was therefore near seven o'clock ; 
bul Edmond's anxiety had put all thoughts of time out of his head. 

The young man sprang to the entrance, darted through it. carefully 
drawing the stone over the opening, and hurried to his cell. He had 
scan-civ done so before the door opened and disclosed to the jailer's 
inquisitorial gaze the prisoner seated as usual on the side of his lied. 



212 THE COUNT OF MOWTE-GRISTO. 

Almost before the key had turned in the lock, and before the steps of 
the jailer had died away in the corridor, Dantes, consumed by anxiety, 
without any desire to touch the food, hurried back to the abbe's cham- 
ber, and, raising the stone by pressing his head againsi it, was soon 
beside the sick man's conch. Faria had now fully regained his con- 
sciousness, but lie still lay helpless and exhausted on his miserable bed. 

" 1 did not expect to see you again," said he, feebly, to Dantes. 

"And why not .'" asked the young man. "Did you fancy yourself 
dying .' " 

"No, I had no such idea; "but, as all was ready for your flight, I 
considered you were gone." 

The deep glow of indignation suffused the cheeks of Dantes. 

" And did you really think so meanly of me," cried he, " as to believe 
1 would depart without you .'" 

"At least," said the abbe, "I now see how wrong such an opinion 
would have been. Alas, alas! I am fearfully exhausted and debilitated." 

"Be of good cheer," replied Dantes; "your strength will return." 
And as he spoke he seated himself on the bed beside Faria, and tenderly 
chafed his chilled hands. The abbe shook his head. 

"The former of these fits," said he, "lasted but half an hour, at the 
termination of which I experienced a sensation of hunger, and I rose 
from my bed without requiring help ; now I can neither move my right 
arm or lo«i*, and my head serins uncomfortable, proving a rush of blood 
to the brain. The next of these fits will either carry me off or leave 
me paralyzed for life." 

"No, no!" cried. Dantes; "you are mistaken — you will not die! 
And your third attack (if, indeed, you should have another) will find 
you at liberty. We shall save you another time, as we have done this, 
only with a better chance, because we shall be able to command every 
requisite assistance." 

" My good Edmond," answered the abbe, "be not deceived. The attack 
which has just passed away condemns me forever to the walls of a 
prison. None can fly from their dungeon but those who can walk." 

"Well, well, we can wait, say a week, a month, — two, if necessary; 
by that time you will be quite well and strong ; and as it only remains 
with us to fix the hour and minute, we will choose the first instant that 
you feel able to swim to execute our project." 

"I shall never swim again," replied Faria. "This arm is paralyzed; 
not for a time, but forever. Lift it, and judge by its weight if I am 
mistaken." 

'I'he young man raised the arm, which fell back by its own weight, 
perfectly inanimate and helpless. A sigh escaped him. 



Till: COUNT or M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



213 



"You are convinced now, Edmond, are you nol .'" asked the abbe. 
" Depend upon it, I know what I say. Since the first attack I experi- 
enced of this malady, I have continually reflected on it. Indeed, ] 
expected it, for it is a family inheritance, both my father and grand- 




father having been taken off by it. The physician who prepared for 
me the remedy was no other than the celebrated Cabanis, and he pre- 
dicted a similar end for me." 

"The physician may be mistaken ! " exclaimed Dantes. "And as for 



214 THE COUNT <>F MONTE-CRISTO. 

your poor arm, what difference will that make in our escape! I can 
take you oil my shoulders and swim for both of us." 

" My son." said the ahhe, " you, who are a sailor and a swimmer, must 
know as well as 1 do that a man so loaded would sink ere he had 
advanced fifty yards in the sea. Cease, then, to allow yourself to be 
duped by vain hopes that even your own excellent heart refuses to 
believe in. Here 1 shall remain till the hour of my deliverance arrives; 
and that, in all human 'probability, will be the hour of my death. As 
for you, who are young and active, delay not on my account, but fly — 
go — I give you hack your promise." 

"It is well," said Dantes. "And now hear my determination also." 
Then, rising and extending his hand with an air of solemnity over the 
old man's head, he slowly added : 

" Here 1 swear to remain with you so long as life is spared to you." 
Faria gazed fondly on his noble-minded but single-hearted young 
friend, and read in his honest, open countenance ample confirmation of 
truthfulness as well as sincere, affectionate, and faithful devotion. 

" Thanks, my child," murmured the invalid, extending the one hand 
of which he still retained the use. "Thanks for your generous offer, 
which I accept as frankly as it was made." Then, after a short pause, 
he added, " You may one of these days reap the reward of your disin- 
terested devotion. But, as I cannot, and you will not, quit this place, it 
becomes necessary to fill up the excavation beneath the soldier's gal- 
lery; lie might, by chance, find out the hollow sound above the exca- 
vated ground, and call the attention of his officer to the circumstance. 
We should be discovered and separated. Go, then, and set about this 
work, in which, unhappily, I can offer you no assistance; keep at it 
all night, if necessary, and do not return here to-morrow till after the 
jailer lias visited me. I shall have something of the greatest importance 
to communicate to you." 

Dantes took the hand of the abbe, who smiled encouragingly on 
him, and retired to his task, filled with a determination to discharge the 
vow which hound him to his friend. 



CHAPTER XVIII 



THE THE AS TEE 




HEX Dantes returned next morning to the chamber of his 
companion in captivity, he found Faria seated and Looking 
composed. In the ray of light which entered by the nar- 
row window of his cell, he held open in his left hand, of 
which alone, it will be recollected, he retained the use, a morsel of 
paper, which, from being constantly rolled into a small compass, had 
the form of a cylinder, and was not easily kept open. He did not speak, 
but showed the paper to Dantes. 

" What is that ? " he inquired. 

"Look at it," said the abbe, with a smile. 

" I have looked at it with all possible attention." said Dantes, "and 1 
only see a half-burned paper, on which are traces of Gothic characters, 
traced with a peculiar kind of ink." 

"This paper, my friend," said Faria, " I may now avow to you, since 
I have proved you — this paper is my treasure, of which, from this day 
forth, one-half belongs to you." 

A cold damp started to Dantes' brow. Until this day — and what a 
space of time! — he had avoided talking t<> Faria of this treasure, the 
source whence the accusation of madness against the poor abb£ was 
derived. With his instinctive delicacy Edmond had preferred avoiding 
any touch on this painful chord, and Faria had been equally silent. 
He had taken the silence of the old man for a return to reason, and 
now these few words uttered by Faria, after so painful a crisis, seemed 
to announce a serious relapse of mental alienation. 

" Your treasure :'" stammered Dantes. Faria smiled. 

" Yes," said he. " You are, indeed, a noble heart, Edmond, and 1 see 
by your paleness and your shudder what is passing in your heart at 
this moment. No; he assured, I am not mad. This treasure exist-. 



216 THE COUNT <)F MONTE-CRISTO. 

Dantes; and if I have not been allowed to possess it, you will. Yes — 
you. No one would listen to me or believe me, because they thought 
me mad; bid you, who must know that 1 am not, listen to me, and 
believe me afterward, if you will." 

"Alas!" murmured Edmond to himself, " this is a terrible relapse ! 
There was only this Mow wanting." 

Then he said aloud, "My dear friend, your attack has, perhaps, 
fatigued you; had you not better repose awhile? To-morrow, if you 
will, 1 will hear your narrative; but to-day I wish to nurse you care- 
fully. Besides," he said, "a treasure is not a thing we need hurry 
about." 

"On the contrary, we must hurry, Edmond!" replied the old man. 
" Who knows if to-morrow, or the next day after, the third attack may 
not come on '! and then must not all be finished '! Yes, indeed, I have 
often tin night with a bitter joy that these riches, which would make the 
wealth of a dozen families, will be forever lost to those men who perse- 
cute me. This idea was one of vengeance to me, and I tasted it slowly 
in the night of my dungeon and the despair of my captivity. But now 
I have forgiven the world for the love of you ; now I see you young and 
full of hope and prospect — now that I think of all that may result to 

you in the good fortui f such a disclosure, I shudder at any delay, 

and tremble lest I should not assure to one as worthy as yourself the 
possession of so vast an amount of hidden treasure." 
Edmond turned away liis head with a sigh. 

"You persist in your incredulity, Edmond," continued Faria. "My 
words have not convinced you. I see you require proofs. Well, then, 
read this paper, which I have never shown to any one." 

"To-morrow, my dear friend," said Edmond, desirous of not yielding 

to tl Id man's madness. "I thought it was understood that we should 

not talk of that till to-morrow." 

"Then we will not talk of it until to-morrow; but read this paper 
to-day." 

" I will not irritate him," thought Edmond, and taking the paper, of 
which half was wanting, having been burned, no doubt, by some acci- 
dent, he read : 

ul This treasure, which may amount t<> tiro 
of Roman crowns in the most distant « 
of the second opening wh 
declare 1<> belong to linn alo 
heir. 

lii 25th April, 149'" 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 217 

"Well!" said Faria, when the young man had finished reading it. 
"Why," replied Dantes, " I see nothing hut broken lines and uncon- 
nected words, which art' rendered illegible by fire." 

" Yes, to you, my friend, who read them for the first time; bul no! 
for me who have grown pah- over them by many nights' study, and 
have reconstructed every phrase, completed every thought." 

v- And do you believe you have discovered the concealed sense .'" 

"I am sure I have, and you shall judge for yourself; but,firs1 listen 
to the history of this paper." 
"Silence!" exclaimed Dantes. " Steps approach — I go — adieu!" 
Ami Dantes, happy to escape the history and explanation which 

could not fail to confirm to him his friend's malady, glided like a snake 
along the narrow passage; whilst Faria, restored by his alarm to a 
kind of activity, pushed with his foot the stone into its place, and 
covered it with a mat in order the more effectually to avoid discovery. 

It was the governor, who, hearing of Faria's accident from the 
jailer, had come in person to sec him. 

Faria sat up to receive him, and continued to conceal from the 
governor the paralysis that had already half stricken him with death. 
His fear was lest the governor, touched with pity, might order him to 
be removed to a prison more wholesome, and thus separate him from 
his young companion. But, fortunately, this was not the case, and the 
governor left him, convinced that the poor madman, for whom in his 
heart he fell a kind of affection, was only affected with a slight indis- 
position. 

During this time, Edmond, seated on his bed with his head in his 
hands, tried to colled his scattered thoughts. All was so rational, so 
grand, so logical with Faria, since he had known him, that he could 
not understand how so much wisdom on all points could be allied to 
madness in any one. Was Faria deceived as to his treasure, or was all 
the world deceived as to Faria .' 

Dantes remained in his cell all day, not daring to return to his 
friend, thinking thus to defer the moment when he should acquire the 
certainty that the abbe was mad — such a conviction would he so 
terrible ! 

But, toward the evening, after the usual visitation, Faria. not seeing 
the young man appear, tried to move and gel over the distance which 
separated them. Fdmond shuddered when he heard the painful efforts 
which the old man made to drag himself along; his leg was inert, and 
lie could no longer make use of one arm. Fdmond was compelled to 
draw him toward himself, for otherwise he could not enter hy the small 
aperture which led to Dantes' chamber. 



218 THE cot ST OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" line I am, pursuing you remorselessly," he said, with a benignant 
smile. "You thought to escape my munificence, but it is in vain. 
Listen to inc." Edmond saw there was no escape, and, placing the old 
man on his bed, he seated himself on the stool beside him. 

" You know," said the abbe, " that I was the secretary and intimate 
friend of Cardinal Spada, the last of the princes of that name. I owe 
to this worthy lord all the happiness I ever knew. He was not rich, 
although the wealth of his family had passed into a proverb, and I 
heard the phrase very often, 'As rich as a Spada.' But he, like public 
rumor, lived on this reputation for wealth. His palace was my para- 
dise; I instructed his nephews, who are dead; and wdien he was alone 
in the world, I returned to him, by an absolute devotion to his will, all 
he had done for me during ten years. The house of the cardinal had 
no secrets for me. I had often seen my noble patron annotating ancient 
volumes, and eagerly searching amongst dusty family manuscripts. 
One day when I was reproaching him for his unavailing searches, and 
the kind of prostration of mind that followed them, he looked at me, 
and, smiling bitterly, opened a volume relating to the History of the 
City of Rome. There, in the twenty-ninth chapter of the Life of Pope 
Alexander VI., were the following lines, which I can never forget : 

" ' The great wars of Romagna had ended; Caesar Borgia, who had completed his con- 
quest, had need of money to purchase all Italy. The pope had also need of money to 
conclude with Louis XII. of France, formidable still, in spite of his recent reverses ; and 
it was necessary, therefore, to have recourse to some profitable speculation, which was a 
matter of great difficulty in exhausted Italy. His Holiness had an idea. He determined 
to make two cardinals.' 

" By choosing two of the greatest personages of Rome, especially rich 
men — this was the return the Holy Father looked for from his specula- 
tion. In the first place, he had to sell the great appointments and 
splendid offices which the cardinals already held; and then he had the 
two hats to sell besides. There was a third view in the speculation, 
which will appear hereafter. 

" The pope and Caesar Borgia first found the two future cardinals ; 
they were Juan Rospigliosi, who held four of the highest dignities of 
the holy seat, and Caesar Spada, one of the noblest and richest of the 
Roman nobility ; both felt the high honor of such a favor from the pope. 
They were ambitious; and these found, Caesar Borgia soon found pur- 
chasers for their appointments. The result was, that Rospigliosi and 
Spada paid for being cardinals, and eight other persons paid for the 
offices the cardinals held before their elevation, and thus eight hundred 
thousand crowns entered into the coffers of the speculators. 

" It is time now to proceed to the last part of the speculation. The 



T II /: CO IX 7 <> /■' .1/ o N T E -CB1 8 TO. 



219 



pope, having almost smothered Rospigliosi and Spada with caresses, 
having bestowed upon them the insignia of cardinal, and induced them 
to realize their fortunes, and lix themselves at Rome, the pope and < laasar 
Borgia invited the two cardinals to dinner. This was a matter of con- 




Marco Spada. 



test between the Holy Father and his son. CsBsar thought they could 
make use of one of the means which he always had ready for his friends; 
that is to say, in the first place the famous hey with which they requested 
certain persons to go and open a particular cupboard. This key was 



220 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

furnished with a small iron point,— a negligence on the part of the lock- 
smith. When this was pressed to effect the opening of the cupboard, of 
which the lock was difficult, the person was pricked by this small point, 
and died next day. Then there was the ring with the lion's head, which 
Caesar wore when he meant to give certain squeezes of the hand. The 
lion liit the hand thus favored, and at the end of twenty-fonr hours the 
bite was mortal. 

"Caesar then proposed to his father, either to ask the cardinals to 
open the cupboard, <>r to give each a cordial squeeze of the hand; hut 
Alexander VI. replied to him: 'Whilst we are thinking of those 
worthy cardinals, Spada and Rospigliosi, let us ask both of them to a, 
dinner. Something tells me that we shall regain this money. Besides, 
you forget, Caesar, an indigestion declares itself immediately, whilst a 
prick <>r a bite occasions a day or two's delay.' Caesar gave way before 
such cogent reasouing ; and the cardinals were consequently invited to 
dinner. 

•• The table was laid in a vineyard belonging to the pope, near Saint 
Peter ad Vincula, a charming retreat which the cardinals knew very 
well by report. Rospigliosi, quite giddy with his dignity, prepared his 
stomach, and assumed his best looks. Spada, a prudent man, and 
greatly attached to his only nephew, a young captain of highest prom- 
ise, took paper and pen, and made Ins will. He then sent to his nephew 
to await him in the vicinity of the vineyard ; but it appeared the servant 
did not find him. 

" Spada knew the nature of these invitations; since Christianity, so 
eminently civilizing, had made progress in Rome, it was no longer a 
centurion who came from the tyrant with a message, 'Csesar wills that 
yon die,' hut it was a legate a latere, who came with a smile on his lips 
to say from the pope, 'His Holiness requests you will dine with him.' 

"Spada set out about two o'clock to Saint Peter ad Vincula. The 
pope awaited him. The first figure that struck the eyes of Spada was 
that <>f his nephew, in full costume, and Caesar Borgia paying him most 
marked attentions. Spada turned pale, as Caesar looked at him with an 
ironical air, which proved that he had anticipated all, and that the snare 
was well spread. 

"They began dinner, and Spada was only able to inquire of his 
nephew if he had received his message. The nephew replied no, per- 
fectly comprehending the meaning of the question. It was too late, 
for he had already drunk a glass of excellent wine, placed for him 
expressly by the pope's butler. Spada at the same moment saw another 
bottle approach him, which he was pressed to taste. An hour afterward 
a physician declared they were both poisoned through eating mush- 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 221 

rooms. Spada died on the threshold of tin- villa; the nephew expired 
at his own door, making signs which his wife could not comprehend. 

" Then Caesar and the pope hastened to lay hands on the heritage, 
under pretense of seeking for the papers of the dead man. But the 
Inheritance consisted in this only, a scrap of paper on which Spada had 
written : 

"' I bequeath to my beloved nephew my coffers, my books, and, amongst other, my 
breviary with gold corners, which I beg he will preserve in remembrance of his affec- 
tionate uncle.' 

"The heirs sought everywhere, admired the breviary, laid hands on 
the furniture, and were greatly astonished that Spada, the rich man, 
was really the most miserable of uncles — no treasures — unless they 
were those of science, composed in the library and laboratories. This 
was all: Caesar and his father searched, examined, scrutinized, but 
found nothing, or, at least, very little — not exceeding a few thousand 
crowns in plate, and about the same in ready rnoney; but the nephew 
had time to say to his wife before he expired : 
"' Look well among my uncle's papers; there is a will.' 

" They sought even more thoroughly than the august heirs had done, 
but it was fruitless. There were two palaces and a villa behind the 
Palatine Hill; but in these days landed property had not much value, 
and the two palaces and the villa remained to the family as beneath the 
rapacity <>f the pope and his son. Months and years rolled on. Alex- 
ander VI. died poisoned, — you know by what mistake. ( laesar, poisoned 
at the same time, escaped with changing his skin like a snake, and 
assumed a new cuticle, on which the poison left spots, like those we see 
on the skin of a tiger; then, compelled to quit Rome, he went and got 
himself killed in obscurity in a night skirmish, scarcely noticed in 
history. 

" After the pope's death and his son's exile, it was supposed the Spada 
family would again make the splendid figure they had before the cardi- 
nal's time; but this was not the case. The Spadas remained in doubt- 
ful ease; a mystery hung over this dark affair, and the public rumor 
was thai Caesar, a better politician than his father, had carried off from 
the pope the fortune of the cardinals. I say the two, because Cardi- 
nal Rospigliosi, who had not taken any precaution, was completely 
despoiled. 

"Up to this time," said Faria, interrupting the thread of his narra- 
tive, " this seems to you very ridiculous, uo doubt, eh .' " 

"Oh, my friend," cried Dantes, "on the contrary, it seems as if I were 
reading a most interesting narrative; go on, I pray of you." 

"I will. The family began to feel accustomed to this obscurity. Years 



THE co I' XT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

rolled on, and amongst the descendants some were soldiers, others diplo- 
matists; some churchmen, some bankers; some grew rich, and some were 
ruined. I conic now to the last of the family, whose secretary I was — 
the Oomte de Spada. \ had often heard him complain of the disproportion 

of his rank with Ins fortune ; and I advisee) him to sink all he had in an 
annuity, lie did so, and thus doubled Ins income. The celebrated 
breviary remained in the family, and was in Ins possession. It had been 
handed down from father to son ; for the singular clause of the only will 
that had been found had rendered it a real relique, preserved in the 
family with superstitions veneration. It was an illuminated book, with 
beautiful Gothic characters, and so weighty with gold that a servant 
always carried it before the cardinal on days of great solemnity. 

"At the sight of papers of all sorts, — titles, contracts, parchments, 
which were kept in the archives of the family, all descending from the 
poisoned cardinal, — I, like twenty servitors, stewards, secretaries before 
me, in my turn examined the immense bundles of documents; but in 
spite of the most accurate researches, I found — nothing. Yet I had 
read, 1 had even written a precise history of the Borgia family, for the 
sole purpose of assuring myself whether any increase of fortune had 
occurred to them on the death of the Cardinal Caesar Spada; but could 
only trace the acquisition of the property of the Cardinal Rospigliosi, 
his companion in misfortune. 

" I was then almost assured that the inheritance had neither profited 
the Borgias nor the family, but had remained unpossessed like the treas- 
ures of the Arabian Nights, which slept in the bosom of the earth under 
the eyes of a genie. I searched, ransacked, counted, calculated a thou- 
sand and a thousand times the income and expenditure of the family for 
three hundred years. It was useless. I remained in my ignorance, and 
the Comte de Spada in his poverty. 

"My patron died. He had reserved from his annuity his family 
papers, his library, composed of five thousand volumes, and his famous 
breviary. All these he bequeathed to me, with a thousand Roman 
crowns, which he had in ready money, on condition that I would have 
said anniversary masses for the repose of his soul, and that I would 
draw up a genealogical tree and history of his house. All this I did 
scrupulously. Be easy, my dear Edmond, we are near the conclusion. 

" In 1807, a month before I was arrested, and fifteen days after the 
death of Comte de Spada, on the 2.1th of December (you will see pres- 
ently how the date became fixed in my memory), I was reading, for 
the thousandth time, the papers I was arranging, for the palace was sold 
to a stranger, and I was going to leave Rome and settle at Florence, 
intending to take with me twelve thousand francs I possessed, my 



THE COUNT OF MOXTE-C 1{ IS TO. 



223 



library, and famous breviary, when, tired with myconstanl Labor al the 
same thing, and overcome by a heavy dinner I had eaten, my head 
dropped on my hands, and I fell asleep about three o'clock in the after- 
noon. 

- gg££9M!KtaaMltMta. 




"I awoke as the clock was striking six. I raised my head ; all was in 
darkness. I rang for a light, but, as no one came, I determined to find 

one for myself. It was ind 1 the habit of a philosopher which I should 

soon be under the necessity of adopting. I took a wax-candle in one 
hand, and with the other groped about for a ]>i >t' paper (my match- 



224 THE COUNT OF MONTF-GRISTO. 

box being empty), with which I proposed to produce a Light from the 
small flame still playing on the embers, Fearing, however, to make use 
of any valuable piece of paper, 1 hesitated for a moment, then recol- 
Lected that I had seen in the famous breviary, which was on the table 
beside me, an old paper quite yellow with age, and which had served as 
a marker for centuries, kept there by the superstition of the heirs. I felt 
for it, found it, twisted it up together, and, putting it into the expiring 
flame, sel lighl to it. 

"But beneath my fingers, as if by magic, in proportion as the fire 
ascended, I saw yellowish characters appear on the paper. I grasped it 
in my hand, put out the flame as quickly as I could, lighted my taper in 
the lire itself, and opened the crumpled paper with inexpressible emo- 
tion, recognizing, when 1 had done so, that these characters had been 
traced in mysterious and sympathetic ink, only appearing when exposed 
to the fire: nearly one-third of the paper had been consumed by the 
flame. It was that paper you read this morning; read it again, Dantes, 
and then I will complete for you the incomplete words and unconnected 

sense." 

Faria, with an air of triumph, offered the paper to Dantes, who this 
time read the following words, traced with an ink of a color which 
most nearly resembled rust : 

'"This 2f>th day of April, 1498, be . . . 
Alexander VI. and fearing that not . . . 
he nidi/ desire to become my heir, and re . . . 
a in/ Bentivoglio, who ire re poisoned . . . 

mi/ sole heir, Unit / linre Im . . . 

ami has visited with me, thai is in . . . 
island of 'Monte -Cristo all I poss . . . 
jewels, diamonds, gems ; that I alone . . . 
may amount fn near/// two mil . . . 
will find mi raising the twentieth ro . . . 
creek In the east in a right line. Tiro open . . . 
in these cures: the treasure is in the furthest <t . . . 
which treasure I bequeath ami leave en . . . 
ns nnj sole heir. 
" l 25th April, 14! is. "'Cass . . . 

" And now," said the abbe, " read this other paper." And he presented 
to Dantes a second leaf with fragments of lines written on it, which 
Edmond read as follows: 



THE COT XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 227 

'". . . ing invited to dine by his Holiness 

. . . content with making me pay for my hat 

. . . serves for me the fate of Cardinals Caprara 

. . . I declare to my nephew Ghiido Spada 

. . . ried in a place he knows 

. . . the caves of the small 

. . . essed of ingots, gold, money ', 

. . . know of the existence of this treasure, which 

. . . Vniiis of Roman crowns, and which he 

. . . ckfrom the sum 1 1 

. . . iin/s linn been made 

. . . ngle in the second; 

. . . tin- fa lii in 

. . . ar f Sjniiln.'" 

Faria followed him with excited looks. 

"Ami now," he said, when he saw Dantes had read the last line, "put 

the two fragments together, and judge for yourself." Dantes obeyed, 

and the conjoined pieces gave the following: 

" This i'5th day of April, 1498, be . . . ing invited to dine by his Holiness 
Alexander VI., and fearing that not . . . content with making me pay for 
my hat, he may desire to become my heir, and re ...serves for me the 
fate of Cardinals Caprara and Bentivoglio, who were poisoned,...] 

declare to my nephew, Guido Spada, my sole heir, that I have bu . . . ried 
in a place he knows, and has visited with me, that is, in . . . the eaves of 
the small island of Monte-Cristo, all I poss . . . essed of ingots, gold, 
money, jewels, diamonds, gems ; that I alone . . . know of the existence of 
this treasure, which may amount to nearly two mil ...lions of Roman 
crowns, and which he will find on raising the twentieth ro . . . ck from the 
small creek to the east in a right line. Two open . . . ings have been made 
in these caves; the treasure is in the furthest a ... ngle in the second: 
which treasure I bequeath and leave en ... tire to him as my sole heir. 
" 25th April, 1498. " I '/ek . . . ar f Spada." 

"Well, do you comprehend now ! " inquired Faria. 

"It is the declaration of Cardinal Spada, and the will so long sought 
for," replied Edmond, still incredulous. 

" Of course ; what else could it be .' " 

"And who completed it as it now is :' " 

" I did. Aided by the remaining fragment, 1 guessed the rest; meas- 
uring the length of the lines by those of the paper, and divining the 



228 THE cor XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

hidden meaning by means of what was in part revealed, as we are 
guided in a cavern by the small ray of light above us." 

■• A n,l what did you do when you arrived at this conclusion?" 

- I resolved to set out, and did set out, that very instant, carrying 
with me the beginning of my great work on the unity of Italy; but for 
some time the imperial police (who at this period, quite contrary to 
what Napoleon desired so soon as he had a son born to him, wished for 
a partition of provinces) had their eyes on me; and my hasty depart- 
ure, the cause of which they were unable to guess, having aroused their 
suspicions, I was arrested at the very moment I was leaving Piombino. 

" Now," continued Faria, addressing Dantes with an almost paternal 
expression ; " now, my dear fellow, you know as much as I do myself. 
If we ever escape together, half this treasure is yours; if I die here, 
and you escape alone, the whole belongs to you." 

" But," inquired Dantes, hesitating, " has this treasure no more 
legitimate possessor in this world than ourselves?" 

" No, no, be easy on that score ; the family is extinct. The last 
Comte de Spada, moreover, made me his heir ; bequeathing to me this 
symbolic breviary, he bequeathed to me all it contained: no, no, make 
your mind satisfied on that point. If we lay hands on this fortune, we 
may enjoy it without remorse." 

" And you say this treasure amounts to " 

" Two millions of Roman crowns; nearly thirteen million francs of 
our money." 

" Impossible !" said Dantes, staggered at the enormous amount. 

"Impossible! and why? "asked the old man. "The Spada family 
was one of the oldest and most powerful families of the fifteenth cen- 
tury; and in these times, when all specidatiou and occupation were 
wanting, those accumulations of gold and jewels were by no means 
rare ; there are at this day Roman families perishing of hunger, though 
possessed of nearly a million in diamonds and jewels, handed down as 
heirlooms, and which they cannot touch." 

Edmond thought he was in a dream — he wavered between incredu- 
lity and joy. 

" I have only kept this secret so long from you," continued Faria, 
"that I might prove you, and then surprise you. Had we escaped 
before my attack of catalepsy, I should have conducted you to Monte- 
Cristo ; now," he added, with a sigh, " it is you who will conduct me 
t hit her. " Well ! Dantes, you do not thank me 1 " 

" This treasure belongs to you, my dear friend," replied Dantes, " and 
to you only. I have no right to it, I am no relation of yours." 

"You are my son, Dantes," exclaimed the old man. "You are the 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 229 

child of my captivity. My profession condemns me to celibacy. God 
has sent you to me to console, at one and the same time, the man who 
could not be a father and the prisoner who could not get free." 

And Faria extended the arm of which alone the use remained to 
him to the young man, who threw himself around his neck and wept 
bitterly. 



CHAPTER XIX 



THE THIKD ATTACK 




OW that this treasure, which ha<l so long been the object of 
the abbe's meditations, could insure the future happiness of 
him whom Faria really loved as a sou, it had doubled its 
value in his eyes, and every day he expatiated on the amount, 
explaining to Dantes all the good which, with thirteen or fourteen mil- 
lien- of francs, a man could do in these days to his friends; and then 
Dantes' countenance be< ame gloomy, for the oath of vengeance he had 
taken recurred to his memory, and he reflected how much ill, in these 
times, a man with thirteen or fourteen millions could do to his enemies. 
The abbe did not know the isle of Monte-Cristo ; but Dantes knew 
it, and had often passed it, situated twenty-five miles from Pianosa, 
between Corsica and the isle of Elba, and had once touched at it. This 
island was, always had been, and still is, completely deserted. It is a 
rock of almost conical form, which seems as though elevated by some 
volcanic effort from the depth to the surface of the ocean. 

Dantes traced a plan of the island to Faria, and Faria gave Dantes 
advice as to the means he should employ to recover the treasure. But 
Dantes was far from being as enthusiastic and confident as the old man. 
It was past a question now that Faria was not a lunatic, and the way 
in which he had achieved the discovery, which had given rise to the 
suspicion of his madness, increased the young man's admiration of 
him; but at the same time he could not believe that that deposit, sup- 
posing it had ever existed, still existed; and though he considered the 
treasure as by no means chimerical, he yet believed it was no longer 
there. 

However, as if fate resolved on depriving the prisoners of their last 
chance, and making them understand that they were condemned to per- 
petual imprisonment, a new misfortune befell them: the gallery on the 



THE COCXT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 23] 

sea side, which had long been in ruins, was rebuilt. They had repaired 
it completely, and stopped up with vast masses of stone the hole Dantes 
had partly filled in. But for this precaution, which, it will be remem- 
bered, the abbe had suggested to Edmund, the misfortune would have 

I ii still greater, for their attempt to escape would have been detected, 

and they would unfortunately have been separated. Thus a fresh and 
even stronger door was closed upon them. 

"You see," said the young man, with an air of sorrowful resignation, 
to Faria, "that God deems it right to take from me even what you call 
my devotion to you. I have promised to remain forever with you. and 
now I could not break my promise if I would. I shall no more have the 
treasure than you, and neither of us will quit this prison. But my real 
treasure is not that, my dear friend, which awaits me beneath the som- 
ber rocks of Monte-Cristo, but it is your presence, our living together 
five or six hours a day, in spite of our jailers ; it is those rays of intelli- 
gence you have poured into my brain, the languages you have implanted 
in my memory, and which spring there with all their philological rami- 
fications. These different sciences that you have made so easy tome by 
the depth of the knowledge you possess of them, and the clearness of 
the principles to which you have reduced them — this is my treasure, 
my beloved friend, and with this you have made me rich and happy. 
Believe me, and take comfort, this is better forme than tons of gold and 
cases of diamonds, even were they not as problematical as the clouds we 
see in the morning floating over the sea, which we take for terra Jirma, 
and which evaporate and vanish as we draw near to them. To have 
you as long as possible near me, to hear your eloquent voice, which 
embellishes my mind, strengthens my soul, and makes my whole frame 
capable of great and terrible things, if 1 should ever be free, so fills my 
whole existence, that the despair to which 1 was just on the point of 
yieldingwhen I knew you, has no longer any hold over me; and this — 
this is my fortune — not chimerical, but actual. I owe you my real 
good, my present happiness; and all the sovereigns of the earth, were 
they Ca-sar Borgias, could not deprive me of this." 

Thus, if not actually happy, yet the days these two unfortunates 
passed together went quickly. Faria, who for so long a time had kept 
silence as to the treasure, now perpetually talked of it. As he had said, 
he remained paralyzed in the right arm and the left ley, and had given 
up all hope of ever enjoying it himself. But he was continually think- 
ing over some means of escape for his young companion, and he enjoyed 
it for him. For fear the letter might be some day lost or abstracted, he 
compelled Dantes to learn it by heart; and he thus knew it from one 
end to the other. Then he destroyed the second portion, assured that 



232 THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

if the first were seized, no one would be able to penetrate its real mean- 
ing. Whole hours sometimes passed whilst Faria was giving instruc- 
tions to Dantes — instructions which were to serve him when he was at 
liberty. Then, once free, from the day and hour and moment when he 
w.-is so, he could have but one only thought, which was, to gain Monte- 
' 'risto by sonic means, and remain there alone under some pretext which 
would give no suspicions; and once there, to endeavor to find the won- 
derful caverns, and search in the appointed spot. The appointed spot, 
be it remembered, being the farthest angle in the second opening. 

In the meanwhile the hours passed, if not rapidly, at least tolerably. 
Faria, as we have said, without having recovered the use of his hand 
and foot, had resumed all the clearness of his understanding; and had 
gradually, besides the moral instructions we have detailed, taught his 
youthful companion the patient and sublime duty of a prisoner, who 
learns to make something from nothing. They were thus perpetually 
employed, — Faria, that he might not see himself grow old ; Dantes, for 
fear of recalling the almost extinct past which now only floated in his 
memory like a distant light wandering in the night. All went on as if 
in existences in which misfortune has deranged nothing, and which glide 
on mechanically and tranquilly beneath the eye of Providence. 

But beneath this superficial calm there were in the heart of the young 
man, and perhaps in that of the old man, many repressed desires, many 
stifled sighs, which found vent when Faria was left alone, and when 
Edmund returned to his cell. 

One night Edmond awoke suddenly, believing he heard some one 
calling him. He opened his eyes and tried to pierce through the gloom. 
His name, or rather a plaintive voice which essayed to pronounce his 
nann>, reached him. He sat up, the sweat of anguish on his brow, and 
listened. Beyond all doubt the voice came from the cell of his comrade. 
" Alas ! " murmured Edmond, " can it be f " 

He moved his bed, drew up the stone, rushed into the passage, and 
reached the opposite extremity; the secret entrance was open. By the 
light of the wretched and wavering lamp, of which we have spoken, 
Dantes saw the old man, pale, but yet erect, clinging to the bedstead. 
His features were writhing with those horrible symptoms which he 
already knew, and which had so seriously alarmed him wdien he saw 
them for the first time. 

" Alas ! my dear friend," said Faria in a resigned tone, "you under- 
stand, do you not ; and I need not attempt to explain to you ? " 

Edmond uttered a cry of agony, and, quite out of his senses, rushed 
toward the door, exclaiming, — " Help ! help ! " 

Faria had just sufficient strength to retain him. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 233 

" Silence !" he said, " or you are lost. Think now of yourself; only, 

my dear friend, act so as to render your captivity supportable or your 
flight possible. It would require years to renew only what I have done 
here, and which would be instantly destroyed if our jailers knew we had 
communicated with each other. Besides, be assured, my dear Edmond, 
the dungeon I am about to leave will not long remain empty; some 
other unfortunate being will soon take my place, and to him you will 
appear like an angel of salvation. Perhaps he will be young, strong, 
and enduring, like yourself, and will aid you in your escape; whilst 1 
have been but a hindrance. You will no longer have half a dead body 
tied to you to paralyze all your movements. At length Providence has 
done something for you; he restores to you more than lie takes away, 
and it was time I should die." 

Edmond could only clasp his hands and exclaim, — "Oh, my friend ! 
my friend! speak not thus!" and then resuming all his presence of 
mind, which had for a moment staggered under this blow, and his 
strength, which had failed at the words of the old man, he said : 

"Oh ! I have saved you once, and I will save you a second time." 
And raising the foot of the bed, he drew out the phial, still a third 
filled with the red liquor. 

" See ! " he exclaimed, " there remains still some of this saving draught. 
Quick, quick! tell me what I must do this time, — are there any fresh 
instructions I Speak, my friend, I listen." 

" There is not a hope," replied Faria, shaking his head ; "but no mat- 
ter, God wills it that man, whom he has created, and in whose heart he 
has so profoundly rooted the love of life, should do all in his power to 
preserve that existence, which, however painful it may be, is yet always 
so dear." 

"Oh ! yes, yes!" exclaimed Dantes, "and I tell you you shall yet be 
saved!" 

"Well, then, try. The cold gains upon me. I feel the blood flowing 
toward my brain. This horrible trembling, which makes my teeth 
chatter, and seems to dislocate my bones, begins to pervade my whole 
frame ; in five minutes the malady will reach its height, and in a quarter 
of an hom* there will be nothing left of me but a corpse." 

" Oh ! " exclaimed Dantes, his heart wrung with anguish. 

" Do as you did before, only do not wait so long. All the springs of 
life are now exhausted in me, and death," he continued, looking at his 
paralyzed arm and leg, "has but half its work to do. If, after having 
made me swallow twelve drops instead of ten, you see that 1 do not 
recover, then pour the rest down my throat. Now lift me on my bed, 
for I can no longer support myself." 



234 



TEE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



Edmond took the old man in his arms, and laid him on the bed. 
"And n<»\v, my dear friend," said Faria, "sole consolation of my 
wretched existence,— you whom Heaven gave me somewhat late, but 
.-till gave me, a priceless gift, and for which I am most grateful, at the 
moment of separating from you forever, 1 wish yon all the happiness 
and all the prosperity you so well deserve. My son, I bless thee!" 

The young man cast himself on his knees, leaning his head against 
the old man's bed. 

" Listen, now, to what I say in this my dying moment. The treasure 
of the Spadas exists. Gk>d -rants me that there no longer exists for me 
distance or obstacle. I see it in the depths of the inner cavern. My 
eyes pierce the inmost recesses of the earth, and are dazzled at the sight 
of so much riches. If yon do escape, remember that the poor abbe, 
whom all the world called mad, was not so. Hasten to Monte-Cristo — 
avail yourself of the fortune — for yon have indeed suffered long 
enough." 

A violent shock interrupted the old man. Dantes raised his head 
and saw Faria's eyes injected with blood. It seemed as if a liow of 
blood had ascended from the chest to the head. 

"Adieu! adieu!" murmured the old man, clasping Edmond's hand 
convulsively — "adieu!" 

"Oh, no — no, not yet," he cried; "do not forsake me ! Oh! succor 
him! Eelp! help! help!" 

"Hush! hush!" murmured the dying man, "that they may not 
separate us if yon save me!" 

"Yon are right. Oh, yes, yes! be assured I shall save you! Besides, 
although yon suffer much, yon do not seem in such agony as before." 

"Do not mistake! I suffer less because there is in me less strength 
to endure it. At your age we have faith in life; it is the privilege of 
youth to believe and hope, but old men see death more clearly. <>h! 
'tis here — 'tis here — 'tis over — my sight is gone — my reason escapes! 
Your hand, Dantes ! Adieu! adieu!" 

And raising himself by a final effort, in which he summoned all his 
faculties, he said: "Monte-Cristo! forget not Monte-Cristo !" and fell 
hack in his bed. 

The crisis was terrible; his twisted limbs, his swollen eyelids, a foam 
of blood and froth in his lips, a frame quite rigid, was soon extended on 
this bed of agony, in'place of the intellectual being who was there but 
so lately. 

Dantes took the lamp, placed it on a projecting stone above the bed, 
whence its tremulous light fell with strange and fantastic ray on this 
discomposed countenance and this motionless and stiffened body. With 



THE COUNT OF M0JSTTE-CBI8T0. 



235 



fixed eyes he awaited boldly the moment for administering the hoped- 
for restorative 

When he believed the instant had arrived, he took the knife, unclosed 
the teeth, which offered less resistance than before, counted, one after 




the other, twelve droits, and watched; the phial contained, perhaps, 
twice as much mure. He waited ten minutes, a quarter of an hour, half 
an hour; nothing moved. Trembling, his hair erect, hi- brow bathed 
with perspiration, he counted the seconds by the beatings of his heart. 
Then he thought it was time to make the last trial, and he put the phial 
to the violet lijis of Faiia, and without having occasion to force open 
his jaws, which had remained extended, he poured the whole of the 
liquid down his throat. 



236 THE COUNT OF MOWTE-GBISTO. 

The draught produced a galvanic effect, a violent trembling per- 
vaded the old man's limbs, his ryes opened until it was fearful to gaze 
upon them, he heaved a sigh which resembled a shriek, and then all 
this vibrating frame returned gradually to its state of immobility, only 
the eyes remained open. 

Half an hour, an hour, an hour and a half elapsed, and during this 
time of anguish, Edmond leaned over his friend, his hand applied to his 
heart, and felt the body gradually grow cold, and the heart's pulsa- 
tion become more and more deep and dull, until at length all stopped ; 
the last movement of the heart ceased, the face became livid, the eyes 
remained open, but the look was glazed. 

It was six o'clock in the morning, the dawn was just breaking, and 
its weak ray came into the dungeon, and paled the ineffectual light of 
the lamp. Singular shadows passed over the countenance of the dead 
man, which at times gave it the appearance of life. Whilst this strug- 
gle between day and night lasted, Dantes still doubted; but as soon as 
the daylight gained the preeminence, he saw that he was alone with a 
corpse. Then an invincible and extreme terror seized upon him, and 
In dared not again press the hand that hung out of bed, he dared no 
longer to gaze on those fixed and vacant eyes which he tried many times 
to close, but in vain — they opened again as soon as shut. He extin- 
guished the lamp, carefully concealed it, and then went away, closing as 
well as he could the entrance to the secret passage by the large stone as 
he descended. 

It was time, for the jailer was coming. On this occasion he began 
his rounds at Danes' cell, and on leaving him he went on to Faria's 
dungeon, where he was taking breakfast and some linen. Nothing 
betokened that the man knew anything of what had occurred. He went 
on his way. 

Dantes was then seized with an indescribable desire to know what 
was going on in the dungeon of his unfortunate friend. He therefore 
returned by the subterraneous gallery, and arrived in time to hear the 
exclamations of the turnkey, who called out for help. Other turnkeys 
came, and then was heard the regular tramp of soldiers even when not 
on duty — behind them came the governor. 

Edmond heard the noise of the bed in which they were moving the 
corpse, heard the voice of the governor, who desired them to throw 
water on the face; and seeing that, in spite of this application, the 
prisoner did not recover, sent for the doctor. The governor then went 
out, and some words of pity fell on Dantes' listening ears, mingled with 
brutal laughter. 

"Well! well!'' said one, "the madman has gone to look after his 
treasure. Good journey to him ! " 



THE COUNT OF MONTE -GBI8T0. 



■i:\: 



" With all his millions, hewillnot have enough to pay for his shroud ! " 

said another. 

" Oh ! " added a third voice, " the shrouds of the Chat. 'an d'li are qo1 

dear!" 




"Perhaps," said one of the previous speakers, "as he was a church- 
man, they may go to some expense in his behalf." 

•• They may give him the honors of the sack." 
Bdmond did not lose a word, hut comprehended very little of what 
was said. The voices soon ceased, and it seemed to I. mi as it the per- 
sons had all left the cell. Still he dared not to enter, as they might 



238 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

have left sonic turnkey to watch the 'lead. He remained, therefore, 
mute and motionless, restraining even his respiration. At the end of 
an hour, lie heard a faint noise, which increased. It was the governor, 
who returned, followed by the doctor and other attendants. There was 
a moment's silence, — il was evident that the doctor was examining the 
dead body. The inquiries soon commenced. 

The doctor analyzed the symptoms of the malady under which the 
prisoner had sunk, and declared he was dead. Questions and answers 
followed in a manner that made Dantes indignant, for he felt that all 
the world should experience for the poor abbe the love he bore him. 

"1 am very sorry for what you tell," said the governor, replying to 
the assurance of the doctor, "that the old man is really dead; for he was 
a quiet, inoffensive prisoner, happy in his folly, and required no watch- 
ing." 

" All !" added the turnkey, "there was no occasion for watching him; 
he would have stayed here fifty years, I'll answer for it, without any 
attempt to escape." 

"Still," said flic governor, "I believe, it will be requisite, notwith- 
standing your certainty, and not that I doubt your science, hut for my 
own responsibility's sake, that we should lie perfectly assured that the 
prisoner is dead." 

There was a moment of complete silence, during which Dantes, still 
listening, felt assured that the doctor was examining and touching the 
corpse a second time. 

"You may make your mind easy," said the doctor; "he is dead. I 
will answer for that." 

"You know, sir, 1 ' said the governor, persisting, "that we are not con- 
tent in such cases as this with such a simple examination. In spite of 
all appearances, be so kind, therefore, as to finish your duty by fulfilling 
the formalities prescribed by law." 

"Let the irons he heated," said the doctor; '"11111 really it is a useless 
precaution." 

This order to heat the irons made Dantes shudder. He heard hasty 
steps, the creaking of a door, people going and coming, and some minutes 
afterward a turnkey entered, saying: 

"Here is the brazier, lighted." 
There was a moment's silence, and then was heard the noise made 
by burning flesh, of which the peculiar and nauseous smell penetrated 
even behind the wall where Dantes was listening horrified. At this 
smell of human flesh carbonized, the damp came over the young man's 
brow, and In' felt as if he should faint. 

" Yui see, sir, he is really dead," said the doctor; "this burn in the 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



239 



heel is decisive. The poor fool is cured of his folly, and delivered from 
his captivity." 

"Wasn't his name Faria f inquired one of the officers who accompa- 
nied the governor. 




" Yes, sir; and, as he said, it was an ancient name. He was, too, very 
learned, and rational enough <>n all points which did not relate to his 
treasure; but on that, indeed, he was obstinate." 

"It is the sort of malady which we call monomania." said the doctor. 



240 THE COUNT OF M02TTE-GRIST0. 

"You had never anything to complain of?" .said the governor to the 
jailer who had charge of the abbe. 

" Never, sir," replied the jailer, " never ; on the contrary, he sometimes 
amused me very much by telling me stories. One day, too, when my 
wife was ill, he gave me a prescription which cured her." 

" Ah, ah !" said the doctor, "I was ignorant that I had a colleague; 
but I hope, M. Le G-ouverneur, that you will show him all proper respect 
in consequence." 

"Yes, yes, make your mind easy; he shall be decently interred in the 
newest sack we can find. Will that satisfy you!" 

".Must we do this last formality in your presence, sir?" inquired a 
turnkey. 

"Certainly. But make haste — I cannot stay here all day." Fresh 
footsteps, going and coming, were now heard, and a moment afterward 
the noise of cloth being rubbed reached Dantes' ears, the bed creaked on 
its hinges, and the heavy foot of a man who lifts a weight resounded on 
the floor; then the bed again creaked under the weight deposited upon it. 

"In the evening!" said the governor. 

" Will there be any mass f " asked one of the attendants. 

" That is impossible," replied the governor. The chaplain of the chateau 
came to me yesterday to beg for leave of absence, in order to take a trip 
to Hyeres for a week. I told him I would attend to the prisoners in his 
absence. If the poor abbe had not been in such a hurry, he might 
have had his requiem." 

" Pooh ! pooh ! " said the doctor, with the accustomed impiety of per- 
sons of his profession, "he is a churchman. God will respect his pro- 
fession, and not give the devil the wicked delight of sending him a 
priest." A shout of laughter followed this brutal jest. During this time 
the operation of putting the body in the sack was going on. 

" This evening," said the governor, when the task was ended. 

"At what o'clock t " inquired a turnkey. 

" Why, about ten or eleven o'clock." 

" Shall we watch by the corpse ? " 

" Of what use would it be ? Shut the dungeon as if he were alive — 
that is all." 

Then the steps retreated, and the voices died away in the distance ; 
the noise of the door, with its creaking hinges and bolts, ceased, and a 
silence duller than any solitude ensued — the. silence of death, which 
pervaded all, and struck its icy chill through the young man's whole 
frame. 

Then he raised the flag-stone cautiously with his head, and looked 
carefully round the chamber. It was empty ; and Dantes, quitting the 

passage, entered it. 




CHAPTER XX 

THE CEMETEKY OF THE CHATEAU D'lF 

N the bed, at full length, and faintly lighted by the pale ray 
that penetrated the window, was visible a saek of coarse 
cloth, under the large folds of which were stretched a long 
and stiffened form; it was Faria's last winding-sheet — 
a winding-sheet which, as the turnkey said, cost so little. All, then, 
was completed. A material separation had taken place between Dantes 
and his old friend; he could no longer see those eyes which had 
remained open as if to look even beyond death; he could no longer 
clasp that hand of industry which had lifted for him the veil that had 

concealed hidden and obscure tilings. Faria, the useful and the g I 

companion, with whom he was accustomed to live so intimately, no 
longer lived but in his memory. He seated himself on the edge of that 
terrible bed, and fell into a melancholy and gloomy reverie. 

Alone! — he was alone again! — again relapsed into silence! — he 
found himself once again in the presence of nothingness ! Alone ! — no 
longer to see, no longer to hear the voice of the only human being who 
attached him to life! Was it not 1 letter, like Faria, to seek the pres- 
ence of his Maker, and learn the enigma of life at the risk of passing 
through the mournful gate of intense suffering '! 

The idea of suicide, driven away by his friend, and forgotten in his 
presence whilst living, arose like a phantom before hini in presence of 
his dead body. 

"If I coidd die," he said, "I should go where he goes, and should 
assuredly find him again. But how to die? It is very easy," he con- 
tinued, with a smile of bitterness; "I will remain here, rush on the 
first person that opens the door, will strangle him, and then they will 
guillotine me." 

But as it happens that in excessive griefs, as in great tempests, the 



242 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO: 

abyss is found between the tops of the loftiest waves, Dantes recoiled 
Erom the idea of this infamous death, and passed suddenlyfrom despair 
to an ardenl desire for life and liberty. 

•• Die! oh, no," be exclaimed— "nol die now, after having lived and 
suffered so long and so much! Die! yes, had I died years since; but 
now it would be, indeed, to give way to my Litter destiny. No, I desire 
to live; I desire to struggle to the very last; I wish to reconquer the 
happiness of which I have been deprived. Before I die I must not for- 
gel that 1 have my executioners to punish; and perhaps, too— who 
knows .' — some friends to reward. Yet they will forgel me here, and 1 
shall die iii my dungeon like Faria." 

Av he said this, he remained motionless, his eyes fixed like a man 
struck with a sudden idea, hut whom this idea fills with amazement. 
Suddenly he rose, lifted his hand to his brow as if his brain were giddy, 
paced twice or thrice round his chamber, and then paused abruptly at 
the bed. 

"Ah! ah!" he muttered, "who inspires me with this thought! Is 
it thou, gracious God? Since none but the dead pass freely from this 
dungeon, let me assume the place of the dead !" 

Without giving himself time to reconsider his decision, and, indeed, 
that he might not allow his thoughts to be distracted from his desperate 
resolution, he bent over the appalling sack, opened it with the knife 
which Faria had made, drew the corpse from the sack, and transported 
it along the gallery to his own chamber, laid it on his couch, passed 
round its head the rag he wore at night round his own, covered it with 
his counterpane, once again kissed the ice-cold brow, and tried vainly 
to close the resisting eyes, which glared horribly; turned the head 
toward the wall, so that the jailer might, when he brought his evening 
meal, believe that he was asleep, as was his frequent custom; returned 
along the gallery, pushed the lied against the wall, returned t<> the other 
cell, took from the hiding-place the needle and thread, Mum;- off his rags, 
that they might feel naked flesh only beneath the coarse sackcloth, and 
getting inside the sack, placed himself in the posture in which the dead 
body had Keen laid, and sewed up the month of the sack withinside. 

The beating of his heart mighl have been heard, if by any mischance 
the jailers had entered at that moment. Dantes might have waited 
until the evening visit was over, hut he was afraid the governor might 
change his resolution, and order the dead body to be removed earlier. 
In that case his last hope would have been destroyed. 

Now bis project was settled under any circumstances, and he hoped 
thus to carry it into effect. If during the time he was being conveyed 
the grave-diggers should discover that they were conveying a live 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



243 



instead of a dead body, Dantes did not intend to give them time to 
recognize him, but, with a sudden cut of the knife, he meant to open 
the sack from top to bottom, aud, profiting by their alarm, escape; if 
they tried to catch him, he would use his knife. 




If they conducted him to the cemetery aud laid him in the grave, he 
would allow himself to be covered with earth, and then, as it was night, 
the grave-diggers could scarcely have turned their backs, ere he would 
have worked his way through the soft soil and escape, hoping that the 
weight would not be too heavy for him to support. If he was deceived 



•J44 THE cor XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

in this, and the earth proved too heavy, he would be stifled, and then, so 
much the better, — all would be over, 

Dantes had not eater since the previous evening, but he had not 
thought of hunger or thirst, nor did he now think of it. His position 
was too precarious to allow him even time to reflect on any thought 

llllt our. 

The first risk that Dantes van was, that the jailer, when he brought 
him his supper at seven o'clock, mighl perceive the substitution he had 
effected: fortunately, twenty times at least, from misanthropy or 
fatigue, Dantes had received his jailer in lied, and then the man placed 
his bread and soup <>n the table, and went away without saying a word. 
This time the jailer might not be silent as usual, but speak to Dantes, 
ami seeing that he received no reply, go to the bed, and thus discover all. 
When seven o'clock came, Dantes' agony really commenced. His 
hand placed upon his heart was unable to repress its throbbings, whilst, 
with the other, he wiped the perspiration from his temples. From time 
to time shudderings ran through his whole frame, and compressed his 
heart as if it were in an icy vise. Then he thought he was going to die. 
Yet the hours passed on without any stir in the chateau, and Dantes felt 
he had escaped the first danger: it was a good augury. 

At length, about the hour the governor had appointed, footsteps 
were heard on the stairs. Edmond felt that the moment had arrived, 
and summoning up all his courage, held his breath, happy if at the 
same time he coidd have repressed in like manner the hasty pulsa- 
tion of his arteries. They stopped at the door — there were two steps, 
and Dantes guessed it was the two grave-diggers who came to seek 
him. This idea was soon converted into certainty, when he heard the 
noise they made in putting down the hand-bier. 

The door opened, and a dim light reached Dantes' eyes through the 
coarse sack that covered him; he saw two shadows approach his bed, a 
third remaining at the door with a torch in his hand. Each of these 
two men, approaching the ends of the bed, took the sack by its 
extremities. 

" He's heavy, though, for an old and thin man," said one, as he raised 
the head. 

" They say every year adds half a pound to the weight of the bones," 
said another, lifting the feet. 

" Have you tied the knot ? " inquired the first speaker. 

" What would be the use of carrying so much more weight ? " was the 
reply ; " I can do that when we get there." 

" Yes, you're right," replied the companion. 

" What's the knot for ?'' thought Dantes. 



THE COr XT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 245 

They deposited the supposed corpse on the bier. Edmond stiffened 
himself in order to play his part of a dead man, and then the party. 
lighted by the man with the torch, who went first, ascended the stairs. 
Suddenly he felt the fresh and sharp night air, and Dantes recognized 
the Mistral. It was a sudden sensation, at the same time replete with 
delight and agony. 

The bearers advanced twenty paces, then stopped, putting their bier 
down on the ground. One of them went away, and Dantes heard his 
shoes on the pavement. 

" Where am I then?" he asked himself. 

" Really, he is by no means a light load ! " said the other bearer, sit- 
ting on the edge of the hand-barrow. 

Dantes' first impulse was to escape, but fortunately he did not 
attempt it. 

" Light me, you sir," said the other bearer, " or I shall not find what I 
am looking for." 

The man with the torch complied, although not asked in the most 
polite terms. 

" What can he be looking for?" thought Edmond. ''The spade, 
perhaps." 

An exclamation of satisfaction indicated that the grave-digger had 
found the object of his search. " Here it is at last," he said. " not 
without some trouble, though." 

" Yes," was the answer, " but it has lost nothing by waiting." 
As he said this, the man came toward Edmond, who heard a heavy 
and sounding substance laid down beside him, and at the same moment 
a cord was fastened round his feet with sudden and painfid violence. 

" Well, have you tied the knot ?" inquired the grave-digger, who was 
looking on. 

" Yes, and pretty tight too, I can tell you," was the answer. 

" Move on, then." And the bier was lifted once more, and they 
proceeded. 

They advanced fifty paces farther, and then stopped to open a door, 
then went forward again. The noise of the waves dashing against the 
rocks on which the chateau is built reached Dantes' ear distinctly as 
they ] irogressed. 

" Bad weather !" observed one of the bearers; "not a pleasant nighl 
for a dip in the sea." 

" Why, yes, the abbe runs a chance of being wet," said the other; and 
then there was a burst of brutal laughter. 

Dantes did not comprehend the jest, but his hair stood erect on his 
head. 



246 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CBI8T0. 

" Well, here we are at last," said one of them. 

•• A little farther— a little farther," said the other. " You know very 
well that the last was stopped on his way, dashed oil the rocks, and the 
governor told us next day that we were careless fellows." 

They ascended five or six more steps, and then Dantes felt that they 
took him on.' by the head and the other by the heels, and swung him to 
and fro. 

" One ! " said the grave-diggers, " two ! three, and away ! " 
And at the same instant Dantes felt himself flung into the air like a 
wounded bird, falling, falling, with a rapidity that made his blood 
curdle. Although drawn downward by the same heavy weight which 
hastened his rapid descent, it seemed to him as if the time were a cent- 
ury. At last, with a terrific dash, he entered the ice-cold water, and as 
he did so he uttered a shrill cry, stifled in a moment by his immersion 
beneath the waves. 

Dantes had been flung into the sea, into whose depths he was dragged 
by a thirty-six pound shot tied to his feet. 

The sea is the cemetery of the Chateau d'If. 



I§f:%: *j| 




CHAPTER XXI 



THE ISLE OF TIBOULEX 




ANTES, although giddy and almost suffocated, had yet suffi- 
cient presence of mind to hold his breath ; and as his right 
hand (prepared as he was for every chance) held his knife 
open, he rapidly ripped up the sack, extricated his arm, and 
then his body ; but, in spite of all his efforts to free himself from the 
bullet, he felt it dragging him down still lower. He then bent his body, 
and by a desperate effort severed the cord that bound his legs, at the 
moment he was suffocating. With a vigorous spring he rose to the sur- 
face of the sea, whilst the bidlet bore to its depths the sack that had so 
nearly become his shroud. 

Dantes merely paused to breathe, and then dived again, in order to 
avoid being seen. When he arose a second time, he was fifty paces 
from where he had first sunk. He saw overhead a black and tempestu- 
ous sky, over which the wind was driving the fleeting vapors that occa- 
sionally suffered a twinkling star to appear; before him was the vast 
expanse of waters, somber and terrible, whose waves foamed and roared 
as if before the approach of a storm. Behind him, blacker than the 
sea, blacker than the sky, rose, like a threatening phantom, the giant of 
granite, whose projecting crags seemed like arms extended to seize 
their prey; and on the highest rock was a torch that lighted two 
figures. 

He fancied these two forms were looking at the sea: doubtless 
these strange grave-diggers had heard his cry. Dantes dived again, 
and remained a long time beneath the water. This manoeuvre was 
already familiar to him, and usually attracted a crowd of spectators in 
the bay before the lighthouse at Marseilles who, with one accord, pro- 
nounced him the best swimmer in the port. When he re-appeared the 
light had disappeared. 



250 THE COUNT OF MONTE.-CRISTO. 

It was necessary to lay out a course. Ratonneau and Pomegue are 
the nearest isles of all those that surround the Chateau d'lf ; but Raton- 
neau and Pomegue are inhabited, together with the Islet of Daume; 
Tiboulen or Lemaire were the most secure. The isles of Tiboulen and 
Lemaire are a League from the Chateau d'lf; Dantes, nevertheless, 
determined to make for them. But how could he find his way in the 
darkness of the night .' 

At this moment he saw before him, like a brilliant star, the light- 
house of Planier. By swimming straight to this light, he kept the isle 
of Tiboulen a little on the left; by turning to the left, therefore, he 
would find it. But, as we have said, it was at least a league from the 
Chateau d'lf to this island. Often in prison Faria had said to him, 
when he saw him idle and inactive: 

"Dantes, yon must not give way to this listlessness ; you will be 
drowned if you seek to escape, and your strength has not been properly 
exercised and prepared for exertion." 

These words rang in Dantes' ears, even beneath the waves; he 
hastened to cleave his way through them to see if he had not lost his 
strength. He found with pleasure that his captivity had taken away 
nothing of his power, and that he was still master of that element on 
whose bosom he had so often sported as a boy. 

Fear, that relentless pursuer, doubled Dantes 1 efforts. He listened 
if any noise was audible; each time that he rose over the waves his 
looks scanned the horizon, and strove to penetrate the darkness. 
Every wave seemed a boat in his pursuit, and he redoubled exertions 
that increased his distance from the chateau, but the repetition of which 
weakened his strength. He swam on still, and already the terrible 
chateau had disappeared in the darkness. He could not see it, but he 
felt its presence. 

An hour passed, during which Dantes, excited by the feeling of free- 
dom, continued to cleave the waves. 

" Let us see," said he, " 1 have swum above an hour, but, as the wind 
is against me, that has retarded my speed; however, if I am not mis- 
taken, I must he close to the isle of Tiboulen. But what if I were 
mistaken ?" 

A shudder passed over him. He sought to tread water, in order to 
rest himself; hut the sea was too violent, and he felt that he could not 
make use of this means of repose. 

" Well," said he, "1 will swim on until I am worn out, or the cramp 
seizes me, and then I shall sink." And he struck out with the energy 
of despair. 

Suddenly the sky seemed to him to become darker and more dense, 



THE (OF XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 25] 

and compact clouds lowered toward him; at the same time he felt a 
violent pain in his knee. His imagination, with its inconceivable rapidity, 
told him a ball had struck him, and that in a moment he would hear the 
report; but he heard nothing. Dantes put out his hand, and felt resist- 
ance; he then drew up his leg, and felt the land, and in an instant 
guessed the nature of the object he had taken for a cloud. 

Before him rose a mass of strangely formed rocks, that resembled 
nothing so much as a vast tire petrified at the moment of its most fer- 
vent combustion. It was the isle of Tiboulen. Dantes rose, advanced a 
few steps, and, with a fervent prayer of gratitude, stretched himself on 
the granite, which seemed to him softer than down. Then, in spite of 
the wind and rain, he fell into the deep sweet sleep of those worn out 
by fatigue ; whose soul is still awake with the consciousness of unex- 
pected good fortune. At the expiration of an hour Edmond was 
awakened by the roar of the thunder. The tempest was unchained and 
let loose in all its fury; from time to time a flash of lightning stretched 
across the heavens like a fiery serpent, lighting up the clouds that rolled 
on like the waves of an immense chaos. 

Dantes with his sailor's eye had not been deceived — he had reached 
the first of the two isles, which was, in reality, Tiboulen. He knew that 
it was barren and without shelter ; but when the sea became more calm, 
he resolved to plunge into its waves again, and swim to Lemaire, equally 
arid, but larger, and consequently better adapted for concealment. 

An overhanging rock offered him a temporary shelter, and scarcely 
had he availed himself of it when the tempest burst forth in all its fury. 
Edmond felt the rock beneath which he lay tremble ; the waves, dashing 
themselves against the granite rock, wetted him with their spray. In 
safety, as he was, he felt himself become giddy in the midst of this war 
of the elements and the dazzling brightness of the lightning. It seemed 
to him that the island trembled to its base, and that it would, like a 
vessel at anchor, break her moorings, and bear him off into the center 
of the storm. 

He then recollected that he had not eaten or drunk for four and 
twenty hours. He extended his hands, and drank greedily of the rain- 
water that had lodged in a hollow of the rock. As he rose, a flash of 
lightning, that seemed as if the whole of the heavens were opened, 
illumined the darkness. By its light, between the isle of Lemaire and 
• 'ape Croiselle, a quarter of a league distant, Dantes saw, like a specter, 
a fishing-boat driven rapidly on by the force of the winds and waves. A 
second after, he saw it again, approaching nearer with terrible speed. 
Dantes cried at the top of his voice t<> warn them of their danger, bui 
they saw it themselves. Another flash showed him four men clinging 



252 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

to the shattered mast and the rigging, while a fifth clung to the broken 
rudder. The men be beheld saw bim, doubtless, for their cries were car- 
ried i" his cars by the wind. Above the splintered mast a sail renl to 
tatters was flapping; suddenly the ropes that still held it gave way, and 
it disappeared in the darkness of the night like a vast sea-bird. 

At the same moment a violent crash was heard, and cries of distress. 
Perched like a sphinx on the summit of the rock, Dantes saw, by the 
lightning, the vessel in pieces; and amongst the fragments were visible 
the agonized features of the unhappy sailors. Then all became dark again. 
The dreadful spectacle had lasted only the time of the lightning-flash. 

Dantes ran down the rocks at the risk of being himself dashed to 
pieces; lie listened, he strove to examine, but he heard and saw nothing 
— all human cries had ceased, and the tempest alone continued to rage 
and foam. By degrees the wind abated, vast gray clouds rolled toward 
the west, and the blue firmament appeared studded with bright stars. 
Soon a red streak toward the east became visible in the horizon, the waves 
whitened, a light played over them, and gilded their foaming crest with 
gold. It was day. 

Dantes stood silent and motionless before this vast spectacle, as if 
he saw it for the first time, for since his captivity he had forgotten it. 
He turned toward the fortress, and looked both at the sea and the land. 
The gloomy building rose from the bosom of the ocean with that impos- 
ing majesty of inanimate objects that seems at once to watch and to 
command. It was about five o'clock. The sea continued to grow calmer. 
"In two or three hours," thought Dantes, "the turnkey will enter my 
chamber, find the body of my poor friend, recognize it, seek for me in 
vain, and give the alarm. Then the passage will be discovered; the 
men who cast me into the sea, anil who must have heard the cry I 
uttered, will be questioned. Then boats filled "with armed soldiers will 
pursue flic wretched fugitive. The cannon will warn every one to 
refuse shelter to a man wandering about naked and famished. The 
police of .Marseilles will be on the alert by land, whilst the governor 
I mrsues me by sea. I am cold, I am hungry. I have lost even the 
knife that saved me. I am at the mercy of the first boor who would 
like to make twenty francs by giving me up; I have neither strength, 
ideas, nor courage. O my God ! 1 have suffered enough, surely. Have 
pity on me, and do for me what I am unable to do for myself." 

As Dantes (his eyes turned in the direction of the Chateau d'lf) 
uttered this prayer in a kind of delirium, he saw appear, at the extrem- 
ity of the isle of Pomegue, like a bird skimming over the sea, a small 
bark, with its lateen sail, that the eye of a sailor alone could recognize 
as a Genoese tartan. She was coming out of Marseilles harbor, and 



THE COf XT OF MOXTE-CEISTO. 253 

was standing out to .sea vapidly, her sharp prow cleaving through the 
waves. 

"Oh !" cried Edmond, "to think that in half an hour I could join 
her, did I not fear being questioned, detected, and conveyed back to 
Marseilles! What can I dol "What story can I invent.' Under pre- 
text of trading along the coast, these men, who are in reality smugglers, 
will prefer selling me to doing a good action. I must wait. But I can- 
not — I am starving. In a few hours my strength will be utterly 
exhausted; besides, perhaps I have not been missed at the fortress; 
the alarm has not been given. I can pass as one of the sailors wrecked 
last night. This story will pass current, for there is no one left to 
contradict me." 

As he spoke, Dantes looked toward the spot where the fishing vessel 
had been wrecked, and started. The red cap of one of the sailors hung 
to a point of the rock, and some beams that had formed part of the 
vessel's keel floated at the foot of the crags. In an instant Dantes' 
plan was formed. He swam to the cap, placed it on his head, seized one 
of the beams, and struck out so as to cross the line the vessel was 
taking. 

" I am saved ! " murmured he. And this conviction restored his 
strength. 

He soon perceived the vessel, which, having the wind right ahead, 
was tacking between the Chateau d'lf and the tower of Planier. For 
an instant he feared lest the bark, instead of keeping in shore, should 
stand out to sea, as she would have done if bound for Corsica or Sar- 
dinia; but he soon saw by her manoeuvres that she wished to pass, 
like most vessels hound for Italy, between the islands of Jaros and 
Calaseraigne. 

However, the vessel and the swimmer insensibly neared one another, 
and in one of its tacks the bark approached within a quarter of a mile of 
him. He rose on the waves, making signs of distress ; but no one on 
board perceived him, and the vessel stood on another tack. Dantes 
would have cried out, but he reflected that the wind and the dash of the 
waves would drown his voice. 

It was then he rejoiced at his precaution in taking the beam, for 
without it he would have been unable, perhaps, to reach the vessel — 
certainly to return to shore, should he lie unsuccessful in attracting 
attention. 

Dantes, although almost sure as to what course the bark would lake. 

had yet watched it anxiously until it tacked and si 1 toward him. 

Then he advanced; but before they had met, the vessel again changed 
her direction. By a violent effort he rose half out of the water, waving 



254 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CBISTO. 

his cap, and uttering a loud shout of distress peculiar to sailors, that 
seems the cry of some spirit of the deep. This time he was both seen 
and heard, and the tartan instantly steered toward him. At the same 
time, lie saw they vsare about to lower the boat. 

An instant after, the boat, rowed by two men, advanced rapidly 
toward him. Dantes abandoned the beam, which he thought now use- 
less, and swam vigorously to meet them. But he had reckoned too 
much upon his strength, and then he felt how serviceable the beam had 
been to him. His arms grew stiff, his legs had lest their flexibility, and 
he was almost breathless. 

He uttered a second cry. The two sailors redoubled their efforts, 
and one of them cried in Italian, " ( lourage ! " 

The word reached his ear as a wave which he no longer had the 
strength to surmount passed over his head. He rose again to the sur- 
face, supporting himself by one of those desperate efforts a drowning 
man makes, uttered a third cry, and felt himself sink again, as if the 
fatal bullet were again tied to his feet. The water passed over his head, 
and through it the sky seemed livid. A violent effort again brought 
him to the surface. He felt as if something seized him by the hair, but 
he saw and heard nothing. He had fainted. 

When he opened his eyes, Dantes found himself on the deck of the 
tartan. His first care was to see what direction they were pursuing. 
They were rapidly leaving the Chateau d'lf behind. Dantes was so 
exhausted that the exclamation of joy he uttered was mistaken for a 
sigh. 

As we have said, he was lying on the deck. A sailor was rubbing 
his limbs with a woolen cloth; another, whom he recognized as the one 
who had cried out " ( lourage ! " held a gourd full of rum to his mouth ; 
whilst the third, an old sailor, at once the pilot and captain, looked on 
with that egotistical pity men feel for a misfortune that they have 
escaped yesterday and which may overtake them to-morrow. 

A few drops of rum restored suspended animation, whilst the fric- 
tion of his limbs restored their elasticity. 

"Who are yon \ " said the pilot, in bad French. 

" I am," replied Dantes, in bad Italian, "a Maltese sailor. We were 
coming from Syracuse laden with grain. This storm of last night over- 
took us at Cape Morgiou, and we were wrecked on these rocks." 

" Where do you come from :'" 

" From these rocks that I had the good luck to cling to whilst our 
captain was lost, My three comrades are drowned, and I am the sole 
survivor. I saw your ship, and fearful of being left to perish on the 
desolate island, I swam off on a fragment of the vessel in order to try 



THE COUNT OP MOXTIJ-CL'I.STO. 255 

and gain your bark. Yon have saved my life, and I thank you," con- 
tinued Dantes. "I was lost when one of your sailors caught hold of 
my hair." 

"It was I," said a sailor of a frank and manly appearance; "and if 
was time, for yo* were sinking." 

"Yes," returned Dantes, holding out Ins hand, "I thank you again." 

"I almost hesitated though," replied the sailor; "you looked more 
like a brigand than an honest man, with your beard six inches and your 
hair a foot long." 

Dantes recollected that his hair and beard had not been cut all the 
time he was at the Chateau d'If. 

" Yes," said he, " I made a vow to our Lady del Pie de la Grotto not 
to cut my hair or beard for ten years if I were saved in a moment of 
danger; but to-day the vow expires." 

" Now, what are we to do with you I " said the captain. 

"Alas! anything you please. My captain is dead; I have barely 
escaped; but I am a good sailor. Leave me at the first port you make ; 
I shall be sure to find employment." 

" Do you know the Mediterranean ? " 

" I have sailed over it since my childhood." 

" You know the best harbors \ " 

" There are few ports that I could not enter or leave with my eyes 
blinded." 

" I say, captain," said the sailor who had cried " Courage!" to Dantes, 
" if what he says is true, what hinders his staying with us :'" 

" If he says true," said the captain doubtingly. " But in his present 
condition he will promise anything, and take his chance of keeping it 
afterward." 

" I will do more than I promise," said Dantes. 

" We shall see," returned the other, smiling. 

" Where are you going to ?" asked Dantes. 

" To Leghorn." 

"Then, why, instead of tacking so frequently, do you not sail nearer 
the wind ?" 

"Because we should run straight on to the island of Rion." 

" You shall pass it by twenty fathoms." 

" Take the helm, and let us see what you know." 
The young man took the helm, ascertaining by a slight pressure if 
the vessel answered the rudder, and seeing that, without being a first- 
rate sailer, she yet was tolerably obedient. 

" To the braces," said he. The four seamen, who composed the crew, 
obeyed, whilst the pilot looked on. " Haul taut." 



256 TEE COUNT OF KONTE-CRISTO. 

They obeyed. 
"Belay." This order was also executed; and the vessel passed, as 
Dantes had predicted, twenty fathoms to the right. 

"Bravo!" said the captain. 

"Bravo!" repeated the sailors. And they all regarded with aston- 
ishment I his man, whose eye had recovered an intelligence and his body 
a vigor they were far from suspecting. 

" You see," said Dantes, quitting the helm, " I shall be of some use to 
you, at least, during the voyage. If you do not want me at Leghorn, 
you can leave me there ; and I will pay yon out of the first wages I get, 
for my food and the clothes you lend me." 

" Ah," said the captain, " we can agree very well, if you are reason- 
able." 

" Give me what you give the others, and all will he arranged," 
returned Dantes. 

"That's not fair," said the seaman who had saved Dantes; "for you 
know more than we do." 

" What is that to you, Jacopo ? " returned the captain. " Every one 
is free to ask what he pleases." 

" That's true," replied Jacopo ; " I only made a remark." 

'• Well, you would do much better to lend him a jacket and a pair of 
trousers, if you have them." 

" No," said Jacopo ; "but I have a shirt and a pair of trousers." 

" That is all I want," interrupted Dantes. Jacopo dived into the hold 
and soon returned with what Edmond wanted. 

" Now, then, do you wish for anything else ? " said the patron. 

" A piece of bread and another glass of the capital rurn I tasted, for 
I have not eaten or drunk for a long time." He had not tasted food for 
forty hours. A piece of bread was brought, and Jacopo offered him the 
gourd. 

" Port your helm," cried the captain to the steersman. Dantes glanced 
to the same side as he lifted the gourd to his mouth; but his hand 
stopped. 

" Halloa ! what's the matter at the Chateau d'lf ? " said the captain. 
A small white cloud, which had attracted Dantes' attention, crowned 
the summit of the bastion of the Chateau d'lf. At the same moment 
the faint report of a gun was heard. The sailors looked at one 
another. 

" What is this .' " asked the captain. 

" A prisoner has escaped from the Chateau d'lf ; and they are firing 
the alarm gun," replied Dantes. 

The captain glanced at him; but he had lifted the rum to his lips, 



I fill ^A'lili, 




HW^rZM 4 



mmmm 



mm>)i JJ ;3» 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRIBTO. 



259 



and was drinking it with so much composure, that his suspicions, if he 
had any, died away. 

" Pretty strong rum!" said Dantes, wiping Ins brow with Ins sleeve. 

" At any rate," murmured the captain, "if it 1m., bo much the better, I'm 
I have made a rare acquisition." 




Jacoj 



Under pretense of being fatigued, Dantes asked to take the helm; 
tlic steersman, enchanted to he relieved, looked at the captain, and the 
latter by a sign indicated that he might abandon it to his uew comrade. 
Dantes could thus keep his eyes on Marseilles. 



260 THE COT XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

'• What is the day of the month .'" asked he of Jacopo, who sat down 
beside him. 
"The 28th of February!" 

'• In w hal year .' " 

" In what year! you ask me in what year?" 

" Yes," replied the young man, "I ask yon in what year ?" 

"Yon have forgotten, then .'" 

" I have been so frightened last night," replied Dantes, smiling, "that 
I have almost lost my memory. I ask you what year is it ?" 

"The year 1829," returned Jacopo. 
It was fourteen years, day for day, since Dantes' arrest. He was 
nineteen when he entered the Chateau d'lf ; he was thirty-three when 
he escaped. A sorrowful smile passed over his face ; he asked himself 
what had become of Mercedes, who must believe him dead. Then his 
eyes lighted up with hatred as he thought of the three men who had 
caused him so long and wretched a captivity. He renewed against 
Danglars, Fernand, and Villefort the oath of implacable vengeance he 
bad made in his dungeon. 

This oath was no longer a vain menace; for the fastest sailer in the 
Mediterranean would have been unable to overtake the little tartan 
that, witli every stitch of canvas set, was flying before the wind to 
Leghorn. 



CHAPTER XXII 



THE SMUGGLERS 




ANTES had not been a day on board before he had an Lnsighl 
into the persons with whom he sailed. "Without having been 
in the school of the Abbe Faria, the worthy master of La 
Jeune Amelie (the name of the Genoese tartan) knew a 
smattering of all the tongues spoken on the shores of that large lake 
called the Mediterranean, from the Arabic to the Provencal ; and this, 
whilst it spared him interpreters, persons always troublesome and fre- 
quently indiscreet, gave him great facilities of communication, either 
with the vessels he met at sea, with the small barks sailing along the 
coast, or with those persons without name, country, or apparent calling 
who are always seen on the quays of seaports, and who live by those 
hidden and mysterious means which we must suppose come in a right 
line from Providence, as they have no visible means of existence. We 
may thus suppose that Dantes was on board a smuggling lugger. 

In the first instance the master had received Dantes on board with a 
certain degree of mistrust. He was very well known to the custom- 
house officers of the coast; and as there was between these worthies 
and himself an exchange of the most cunning stratagems, he had at first 
thought that Dantes might be an emissary of these illustrious executors 
of rights and duties, who employed this ingenious means of penetrating 
some of the secrets of his trade. But the skillful manner in which Dan- 
tes had manoeuvred the little bark had entirely re-assured him ; and then, 
when he saw the light smoke floating like a plume above the bastion of 
the Chateau dTf, and heard the distant explosion, he was instantly struck 
with the idea that he had on board his vessel one for whom, like the 
goings in and comings out of kings, they accord salutes of cannons. 
This made him less uneasy, it must be owned, than if the new-comer 
had proved a custom-house officer; but this latter supposition also dis- 



262 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

appeared Like the first, when be beheld the perfect tranquillity of his 
recruit. 

Edmond thus bad the advantage of knowing whal the owner was, 
withoul the owner knowing who he was; and however the old sailor 
and bis crew tried to "pump"him, they extracted nothing more from 
him ; giving accurate descriptions of Naples and Malta, which he knew 
as well as .Marseilles, and persisting stoutly in his first statement. Thus 
the Genoese, subtle as be was, was duped by Edmond, in whose favor 
bis mild demeanor, his nautical skill, and his admirable dissimulation 
pleaded. Moreover, if is possible thai the Genoese was one of those 
shrewd persons who know nothing but what they should know, and 
believe nothing but what they should believe. 

It was thus, in this reciprocal position, that they reached Leghorn. 
Eere Edmond was to undergo another trial; it was to see if be should 
recognize himself, never having beheld his own features for fourteen 
years, lie had preserved a tolerably good remembrance of what the 
youth had been, and was now to find what the man had become. His 
comrades believed that his vow was fulfilled. As he had twenty times 
touched at Leghorn before, he remembered a barber in the Rue Saint- 
Ferdinand; he went there to have his beard and hair cut. The barber 
gazed in amazement at this man with the long hair and beard, thick 
and Mack as it was, and resembling one of Titian's glorious heads. At 
this period it was not the fashion to wear so large a beard and hair so 
long; now a barber would only be surprised if a man gifted with such 
advantages should consent voluntarily to deprive himself of them. The 
Leghorn barber went to work without a single observation. 

When the operation was concluded, when Edmond felt his chin was 
completely smooth, and his hair reduced to its usual length, he requested 
a looking-glass in which he might see himself. He was now, as we have 
said, three-and-thirty years of age, and his fourteen years' imprisonment 
had produced a great moral change in his appearance. 

Dantes had entered the Chateau d'lf with the round, open, smiling 
face of a young and happy man with whom the early paths of life have 
been smooth, and who relies on the future as a natural deduction of the 
past. This was now all changed. His oval face was lengthened, his 
smiling mouth had assumed the firm and marked lines which betoken 
resolution; his eyebrows were arched beneath a large and thoughtful 
wrinkle; his eyes were full of melancholy; and from their depths occa- 
sionally sparkled gloomy fires of misanthropy and hatred; his com- 
plexion, so long kept from the sun, had now that pale color which 
produces, when the features are encircled with black hair, the aristo- 
cratic beauty of the man of the north; the deep learning he had acquired 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



■2<\:\ 



had besides diffused over his features the rays of extreme intellect ; and 
he had also acquired, although previously a tall man, that vigor -which 
a frame possesses which has so long concentrated all its force within 
itself. 




To the elegance of a nervous and slight form had succeeded the 
solidity of a rounded and muscular figure. As to his voice, prayers, 
sobs, and imprecations had changed it now into a sofl and singularly 
touching tone, and now into a sound rude and almost hoarse. 

Moreover, being perpetually in twilight or darkness, his eyes had 
acquired that singular faculty of distinguishing objects in the nighl 
common to the hyena and the wolf. Edniond smiled when he beheld 



2( ;4 THE cor -V T F M <> S T E -C BIS TO. 

himself; it was impossible that his best friend — if, indeed, he had any 
friend left — could recognize him ; he could not recognize himself. 

The master of La Jeune Amelie, who was very desirous of retaining 
amongsl his crew a man of Edmond's value, had offered to him some 
advances out of his future profits, which Edmond had accepted. His 
next care on leaving the barber's who had achieved his first metamor- 
phosis was to enter a shop and buy a complete sailor's suit — a garb, as 
we all know, very simple, and consisting of white trousers, a striped 
shirt, and a cap. 

It was in this costume, and bringing back to Jacopo the shirt and 
trousers he had lent him, that Edmond re-appeared before the patron of 
La Jeune Amelie, who had made him tell his story over and over again 
before he could believe him, or recognize in the neat and trim sailor 
the man with thick and matted beard, his hair tangled with sea-weed, 
and his body soaking in sea-brine, whom he had picked up naked and 
nearly drowned. Attracted by his prepossessing appearance, he renewed 
his offers of an engagement to Dantes; but Dantes, who had his own 
projects, would not agree for a longer time than three months. 

La Jeune Amelie had a very active crew, very obedient to their 
captain, who lost as little time as possible. He had scarcely been a 
week at Leghorn before the hold of his vessel was filled with painted 
muslins, prohibited cottons, English powder, and tobacco on which the 
crown had forgotten to put its mark. The master was to get all this 
out of Leghorn free of duties, and land it on the shores of Corsica, 
w heir certain speculators undertook to forward the cargo to France. 

They sailed; Edmond was again cleaving the azure sea which Vfad 
been the first horizon of bis youth, and winch he had so often dreamed 
of in prison. He left Grorgone on his right and La Pianosa on his left, 
and went toward the country of Paoli and Napoleon. 

The next morning going on deck, which he always did at an early 
hour, the patron found Dantes leaning against the bulwarks gazing with 
intense earnestness at a pile of granite rocks, which the rising sun 
tinged with rosy light. It was the isle of Monte-Cristo. 

La Jeune Amelie left it three-quarters of a league to the larboard 
and kept on for Corsica. Dantes thought, as they passed thus closely 
the island whose name was so interesting to him, that he had only to 
leap into the sea and in half an hour he would be on the promised land. 
Bui then what could he do without instruments to discover his treasure, 
without arms to defend himself? Besides, what would the sailors say \ 
What would the patron think ? He must wait. 

Fortunately, Dantes had learned how to wait; he had waited four- 
teen years for his liberty, and now he was free he could wait at least 



THE COUNT OF MOXTE-CRISTO. 



265 



six months or a year for wealth. Would he not have accepted liberty 
without riches if it had been offered to him? Besides, were not those 
riches chimerical? — offspring of the diseased brain of the poor Abb! 
Faria, had they not died with him? It is true, this letter of the Cardinal 




Spada was singularly circumstantial, and Dantes repeated to himself, 
from one end to the other, the letter, of which he had not forgotten 
a word. 

The evening came on, and Edmond saw the island pass through 
every change of tint that twilight brings with it, and disappear in the 



266 THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

darkness from all eyes; but he, with las gaze accustomed to the gloom 
of a prison, continued to see it after all the others, for he remained last 
upon deck. Thr 11. '\t morn broke off the coast of Aleria; all Way they 
coasted, and in the evening saw some fires lighted on laud; by the 
arrangement of these fires they no doubt recognized the signals for 
landing, for a ship's lantern was hung up at the mast-head instead of 
the streamer, and they neared the shore within gunshot. Dantes 
remarked that at this time, too, the patron of La Jeune Ann'Tir had. as 
he neared the land, mounted two small culverines, which, without mak- 
ing much noise, can throw a hall, of four to the pound, a thousand 
paces or so. 

But on this occasion the precaution was superfluous, and everything 
proceeded with the utmost smoothness and politeness. Four shallops 
came off with very little noise alongside the bark, which, no doubt, in 
acknowledgment of the compliment, lowered her own shallop into the 
sea, and the rive boats worked so well that by two o'clock in the morn- 
ing all the cargo was out of La Jeune Amelie and safe on shore. The 
same night, such a man of regularity was the master of La Jeune Amelie 
that the profits were shared out, and each man had a hundred Tuscan 
livres, or about fifteen dollars. 

But the voyage was not ended. They turned the bowsprit toward 
Sardinia, where they intended to take in a cargo, which was to replace 
what had been discharged. The second operation was as successful as 
the first. La Jeune Amelie was in luck. This new cargo was destined 
for the coast of the Duchy of Lucca, and consisted almost entirely of 
Eavana cigars, sherry, and Malaga wines. 

There they had a bit of a skirmish with the custom-house ; the 
gabelle was, in truth, the everlasting enemy of La Jeune Amelie. A cus- 
tom-house officer was laid low, and two sailors were wounded; Dantes 
was one of the latter, a ball having touched him in the left shoulder. 
Dantes was almost glad of this affray, and almost pleased at being 
wounded, for they were rude lessons which taught him with what eye 
he could view danger, and with what endurance he could bear suffering. 

He had contemplated danger with a smile, and when wounded 
had exclaimed with the great philosopher, "Pain, thou art not an 
evil." 

He had, moreover, looked upon the custom-house officer wounded to 
denth, and, whether from heat of blood produced by the rencontre, or 
the chill of human sentiment, this sight had made but slight impression 
upon him; Dantes was on the way he desired to follow, and was mov- 
ing toward the end he wished to achieve; his heart was in a fair way of 
petrifying in his bosom. Jacopo, seeing him fall, had believed him 



THE (>>r XT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 267 

killed, and rushing toward him raised him up, and then attended to 
him with all the kindness of an attached comrade. 

This world was not then so good as Voltaire's Doctor Pangloss 
believed it, neither was it so wicked as Dantes thought it, since this 
man, who had nothing to expect from his comrade but the inheritance 
of his share of the prize-money, testified so much sorrow when he saw 
him fall. Fortunately, as we have said, Edmond was only wounded, 
ai id with certain herbs gathered at certain seasons, and sold to the 
smugglers by the old Sardinia women, the wound soon closed. Edmond 
then resolved to try Jacopo, and offered him in return for Ms attention 
a share of his prize-money, but Jacopo refused it indignantly. 

It resulted, therefore, from this kind of sympathetic devotion which 
Jacopo had bestowed on Edmond from the first time he saw him, that 
Edmond felt for Jacopo a certain degree of affection. But this sufficed 
for Jacopo, who already instinctively felt that Edmond had a right to 
superiority of position — a superiority which Edmond had concealed 
from all others. And from this time the kindness which Edmond 
showed him was enough for the brave seaman. 

Then in the long days on board ship, when the vessel, gliding on 
with security over the azure sea, required nothing, thanks to the favor- 
able wind that swelled her sails, but the hand of the helmsman, Edmond, 
with a chart in his hand, became the instructor of Jacopo, as the poor 
Abbe Faria had been his tutor. He pointed out to him the bearings of 
the coast, explained to him the variations of the compass, and taught 
him to read in that vast book opened over our heads which they call 
heaven, and where God writes in azure with letters of diamonds. 

And when Jacopo inquired of him, "What is the use of teaching 
all these things to a poor sailor like me?" Edmond replied: "Who 
knows? You may one day lie the captain of a vessel. Your fellow- 
countryman, Bonaparte, became emperor." We had forgotten to say 
that Jacopo was a Corsieau. 

Two months and a half elapsed in these trips, and Edmond had 
become as skillful a coaster as he had been a hardy seaman; he had 
formed an acquaintance with all the smugglers on the coast, and learned 
all the masonic signs by which these half-pirates recognize each other. 
He had passed and repassed his isle of Monte-Cristo twenty times, but 
not once had he found an opportunity of landing there. 

He then formed a resolution. This was, as soon as his engagement 
with the master of Lit Jeune Amelie ended, he would hire a small hark 
on his own account — for in his several voyages he had amassed a hun- 
dred piastres — and under some pretext land at theisleof Monte-Cristo. 
Then he would be free to make his researches, not perhaps entirely at 



268 THE ('Or XT OF MOFTE-CBISTO. 

liberty, tor he would be doubtless watched by those who accompanied 
him. But iu this world we must risk something. Prison had made 
Edmond prudent, and he was desirous of running- no risk whatever. 
Bui in vain did he rack his imagination ; fertile as it was, he could not 
devise any plan for reaching the wished-for isle without being accom- 
panied thither. 

Dantes was tossed about on these doubts and wishes, when the 
skipper, who bad great confidence in him, and was very desirous of 
retaining him in his service, took hhn by the arm one evening and led 
him to a tavern on the Via del' Oglio, where the leading smugglers of 
Leghorn used to congregate. It was here they discussed the affairs of 
the roast. Already Dantes had visited this maritime bourse two or 
three times, and seeing all these hardy free-traders, who supplied the 
whole coast for nearly two hundred leagues in extent, he had asked 
himself what power might not that man attain who should give the 
impulse of his will to all these contrary and diverging links. This time 
it was a great matter that was under diseussion, connected with a vessel 
laden with Turkey carpets, stuffs of the Levant, and cashmeres. It 
was requisite to find some neutral ground on which an exchange could 
be made, and then to try and land these goods on the coast of France. 
If successful, the profit would be enormous ; there would be a gain of 
fifty or sixty piastres each for the crew. 

The master of La Jeune Amelie proposed as a place of landing the 
isle of Monte-Cristo, which, being completely deserted, and having nei- 
ther soldiers nor revenue officers, seemed to have been placed in the 
midst of the ocean since the time of the heathen Olympus by Mercury, 
tlie god of merchants and robbers, classes which we in modern times 
have separated, if not made distinct, but which antiquity appears to 
have included in the same category. 

At the mention of Monte-Cristo Dantes started with joy; he rose, 
to conceal his emotion, and took a turn round the smoky tavern, where 
all the languages of the known world were jumbled in the lingua franca. 

When he again joined the two persons who had been discussing, it 
had been decided that they should touch at Monte-Cristo, and set out 
on the following night. Edmond, being consulted, was of opinion that 
the island offered every possible security, and that great enterprises to 
be well done should be done quickly. 

Nothing then was altered in the plan arranged, and orders were 
given to get under weigh next night, and, wind and weather permitting, 
to gain, the day after, the waters of the neutral isle. 




«7J* 



THE ISLE OF MONTE-CBISTO. 



CHAPTER XXIII 



THE ISLE OF M0NTE-CRIST0 




HITS, at length, by one of those pieces of unlooked-for good 
fortune which sometimes occur to those on whom misfort- 
une has for a long time pressed heavily, Dantes was aboul 
to arrive at his wished-for opportunity by simple and natural 
means, and land in the island without incurring any suspicion. One 
night only separated him from his departure so ardently wished for. 

The night was one of the most feverish that Dantes had ever passed, 
and during its progress all the charms, good and evil, passed in turn 
through his brain. If he closed his eyes, he saw the letter of Cardinal 
Spada written on the wall in characters of flame; if he slept for 
a moment, the wildest dreams haunted his fancy. He descended into 
grottoes paved with emeralds, with panels of rubies, and the roof glowing 
with diamond stalactites. Pearls fell drop by drop, as subterranean 
waters filter in their caves. Edmund, amazed, wonderstruck, filled liis 
pockets with the radiant gems and then returned to daylight, when he 
discovered that his prizes were all converted into common pebbles. He 
then endeavored to reenter these marvelous grottoes, bul then beheld 
them only in the distance; and now the way wound in endless spirals, 
and then the entrance became invisible, and in vain did he tax his mem- 
ory for the magic and mysterious word which opened the splendid 
caverns of Ali Baba to the Arabian fisherman. All was useless; the 
treasure disappeared, and had again reverted to the genii from whom 
for a moment he had hoped to cany it off. 

The day came at length, and was almost as feverish as the oighl had 
been, but it brought reason to aid his imagination, and Dantes was then 
enabled to arrange a plan which had hitherto been vague and unsettled 
in his brain. Night came, and with it the preparation for departure, and 
these preparations served to conceal Dantes' agitation. He had by 



272 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

degrees assumed such authority over his companions that he was almost 
like a commander on board; and as his orders were always clear, dis- 
i met, and easy of execution, his comrades obeyed him with promptitude 
and pleasure. 

The old captain did not interfere, for he too had recognized the 
superiority of Dantes over the crew and himself. He saw in the young 
man his natural successor, and regretted that he had not a daughter, 
thai he might have bound Edmond to him by a distinguished alliance. 

At seven o'clock in the evening all was ready, and at ten minutes 
past seven they doubled the lighthouse just as the beacon was kindled. 
The sea was calm, and, with a fresh breeze from the south-east, they 
sailed beneath a bright blue sky, in which God also lighted up in turn 
his beacon-lights, each of which is a world. Dantes told them that all 
hands might turn in, and he would take the helm. When the Maltese 
(for so they called Dantes) had said this, it was sufficient, and all went 
to their cots contentedly. 

This frequently happened. Dantes, flung back from solitude into 
the world, frequently experienced a desire for solitude; and what soli- 
tude is at the same time more complete, more poetical, than that of a 
hark floating isolated on the sea during the obscurity of the night, in 
the silence of immensity, and under the eye of Heaven! 

Now, on this occasion the solitude was peopled with his thoughts, 
the night lighted up by his illusions, and the silence animated by his 
anticipations. When the master awoke, the vessel was hurrying on 
with all her canvas set, and every sail full with the breeze. They 
were making nearly ten knots an hour. The isle of Monte-Cristo 
loomed large in the horizon. Edmond resigned the bark to the mas- 
ter's care, and went and lay down in his hammock; but, in spite of a 
sleepless night, he could not close his eyes for a moment. 

Two hours afterward he came on deck, as the boat was about to 
double the isle of Elba. They were just abreast of Mareeiana, and 
beyond the flat but verdant isle of La Pianosa. The peak of Monte- 
<Yisto, reddened by the burning sun, was seen against the azure sky. 
Dantes desired the helmsman to put down his helm, in order to leave 
La Pianosa on the right hand, as he knew that he should thus decrease 
the distance by two or three knots. About five o'clock in the evening 
the island was quite distinct, and everything on it was plainly percep- 
tible, owing to that clearness of the atmosphere which is peculiar to the 
light which the rays of the sun cast at its setting. 

Edmond gazed most earnestly at the mass of rocks, which gave out 
all the variety of twilight colors, from the brightest rose to the deepest 
I ilue ; and from time to time his cheeks flushed, his brow became purple, 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 273 

and a mist passed over his eyes. Never did gamester whose whole fort- 
une is staked on one cast of the die experience the anguish which 
Edmond felt in his paroxysms of hope. 

Night came, and at ten o'clock they anchored. La Jeune Amelie 
was the first at the rendezvous. In spite of his usual command over 
himself, Dantes could not restrain his impetuosity. He was the first 
who jumped on shore; and had he dared, he would, like Lucius Brutus, 
have " kissed his mother earth." It was dark ; but at eleven o'clock the 
moon rose in the midst of the ocean, whose every wave she silvered, and 
then, " ascending high," played in floods of pale light on the rocky hills 
of this second Pelion. 

The island was familiar to the crew of La Jeme Amelie, — it was one 
of her halting-places. As to Dantes, he had passed it on his voyages to 
and from the Levant, but never touched at it. He questioned Jacopo. 

" Where shall we pass the night ! " he inquired. 

" Why, on board the tartan," replied the sailor. 

" Should we not be better in the grottoes." 

" What grottoes ? " 

" Why, the grottoes — caves of the island." 

" I do not know of any grottoes," replied Jacopo. 
A cold damp sprang to Dantes' brow. 

" What ! are there no grottoes at Monte-Cristo f " he asked. 

" None." 
For a moment Dantes was speechless; then he remembered that 
these caves might have been filled up by some accident, or even stopped 
up, for the sake of greater security, by Cardinal Spada. The point was, 
then, to discover the lost opening. It was useless to search at night, and 
Dantes therefore delayed all investigation until the morning. Besides, 
a signal made hall a league out at sea, to which La Jeune Amelie replied 
by a similar signal, indicated that the moment had arrived for business. 
The boat that now arrived, assured by the answering signal that all 
was right, soon came in sight, white and silent as a phantom, and cast 
anchor within a cable's length of shore. 

Then the landing began. Dantes reflected as he worked on the 
shout of joy which, with a single word, he could produce from amongst 
all these men, if he gave utterance to the one unchanging thought that 
was whispering in his ear and in his heart ; but, far from disclosing this 
precious secret, he almost feared that he had already said too much, 
and by his restlessness and continual questions, his minute observa- 
tions and evident preoccupation, had aroused suspicions. Fortunately, 
as regarded this circumstance at least, with him the painful past 
reflected on his countenance an indelible sadness; and the glimmer- 



>_> 7 4 THE COUNT OF MOJSTTE-CRISTO. 

ings of gayety seen beneath this cloud were indeed but transitory 
Bashes. 

No one had the slightesl suspicion; and when next day, taking- a 
fowling-piece, powder, and shot, Dantes testified a desire to go and 
kill sonic of the wild ii>>ats that were seen springing from rock to rock, 
his excursion was construed into a love of sport or a desire for solitude. 
However, J acopo insisted on following him; and Dantes did not oppose 
this, fearing if he did so that he might incur distrust. Scarcely, how- 
ever, had lie gone a quarter of a league than, having killed a kid, he 
begged Jacopo to lake it to liis comrades, and request them to cook it, 
and when ready to let him know by firing a gun. This and some dried 
fruits, and a flask of the wine of Monte Pulciano, was the bill of fare. 

Dantes went forward, looking behind and round about him from 
time to time. Having readied the summit of a rock, he saw, a thousand 
feet beneath him, his companions, whom Jacopo had rejoined, and who 
were all busy preparing the repast which Edmond's skill as a marks- 
man had augmented with a capital dish. 

Edmond looked at them for a moment with the sad and soft smile 
of a man superior to his fellows. 

"In two hours' time," said he, "these persons will depart richer by 
fifty piastres each, to go and risk their lives again by endeavoring to 
gain fifty more such pieces; then they will return with a fortune of six 
hundred francs, and waste this treasure in some city with the pride of 
sultans and the insolence of nabobs. At this moment Hope makes me 
despise their riches, which seem to me contemptible. Yet perchance 
to-morrow deception will so act on me, that I shall, on compulsion, con- 
sider such a contemptible possession as the utmost happiness. Oh, 
no ! " exclaimed Edmond, " that will not be. The wise, unerring Faria 
could not be mistaken in this 0m 1 thing. Besides, it were better to die 
than to continue to lead this low and wretched bfe." 

Thus Dantes, who but three months before had no desire but 
liberty, had now not liberty enough, and panted for wealth. The cause 
was not in Dantes, but in Providence, who, whilst limiting the power 
of man, has filled him with boundless desires. 

Meanwhile, by a way between two walls of rock, following a path 
worn by a torrent, and which, in all probability, human foot had never 
before trod, Dantes approached the spot where he supposed the grottoes 
must have existed. Keeping along the coast, and examining the small- 
est objeel with serious attention, lie thought he could trace on certain 
rocks marks made by the hand of man. 

Time, which incrusts all physical substances with its mossy mantle, 
as it invests all things moral with its mantle of forgetfulness, seemed to 



THE cor XT OF MOXTTE-CRISTO. 



!75 



have respected these signs, traced with a certain regularity, and prob- 
ably with the design of leaving traces. Occasionally these marks dis- 
appeared beneath tufts of myrtle, which spread into large bushes laden 
with blossoms, or beneath parasitical lichen. It was thus requisite thai 




Edmund should push the branches on one side or remove the mosses in 
order to retrace the indicating marks which were to 1"' his guides in 
this labyrinth. These signs had renewed the besl hopes in Edmond's 
mind. Why should it not have been the cardinal who had first traced 



276 Till: COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

them, in order that they might, in the event of a catastrophe, which he 

could not foresee would have I n so complete, serve as a guide for his 

nephew .' This solitary place was precisely suited for a man desirous 
of burying a treasure. Only, might not these betraying marks have 
attracted oilier eyes than those for whom they were made? and had the 

dark and wondrous isle ind 1 faithfully guarded its precious secret :' 

It seemed, however, to Edmond, who was hidden from his comrades 
by the inequalities of the ground, that at sixty paces from the harbor the 
marks ceased; nor did they terminate at any grotto. A large round 
rock, placed solidly on its base, was the only spot to which they seemed 
to lead. Edmond reflected that perhaps instead of having reached the 
end he might have only touched on the beginning, and he therefore 

turned round and retraced his steps. 

During tins time his comrades had prepared the repast, had got 
some water from a spring, spread out the fruit and bread, and cooked 
the kid. .lust at the moment when they were taking it from the spit, 
they saw Edmond, who, light and daring as a chamois, was springing 
from rock to rock, and they tired a musket to give the signal agreed 
upon. The sportsman instantly changed his direction, and ran quickly 
toward them. But at the moment when they were all following with 
their eyes his agile hounds with a rashness which gave them alarm, 
Edmond's loot, as it' to justify their fears, slipped, and they saw him 
stagger on the edge of a rock and disappear. They all rushed toward 
him, fr >r all loved Edmond, in spite of his superiority ; yet Jacopo reached 
him first. 

He found Edmond stretched bleeding and almost senseless. He had 
rolled down a height of twelve or fifteen feet. They poured some drops 
of rum down his throat, and this remedy, which had before been so 
beneficial to him, produced the same effect as formerly. Edmond 
opened his eyes, complained of great pain in his knee, a feeling of 
heaviness in his head, and severe pains in his loins. They wished to 
carry him to the shore, hut when they touched him, although under 
Jacopo's directions, he declared, with heavy groans, that he could not 
hear to be moved. 

It may he supposed that Dantes did not now think of his dinner, 
hut he insisted that his comrades, who had not his reasons for fasting, 
should have their meal. As for himself, he declared that he had only 
need of a little rest, and that when they returned he should be easier. 
The sailors did not require much urging. They were hungry, and the 
smell of the roasted kid was very savory, and your tars are not very 
ceremonious. An hour afterward they returned. All that Edmond 
had been able to do was to drag himself about a dozen paces forward to 
lean against a moss-grown rock. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. i>77 

But, far from being easier, Dantes' pains had appeared to increase in 
violence. The old skipper, who was obliged to sail in the morning in 
order to land his cargo on the frontiers of Piedmont and Prance, 
between Nice and Frejus, urged Dantes to try and rise. Edmond 
made great exertions in order to comply; but at each effort he fell 
hack, moaning and turning pale 

" He has broken his ribs," said the commander, in a low voice. •• No 
matter; he is an excellent fellow, and we must not leave him. We will 
try and carry him on board the tartan." 

Dantes declared, however, that he would rather die where he was 
than undergo the agony caused by the slightest movement he made. 

" Well," said the master, " let what may happen, it shall never he said 
that we deserted a good comrade like you. We will not go till evening." 
This very much astonished the sailors, although not one opposed it. 
The master was so strict that this was the first time they had ever seen 
him give up an enterprise, or even delay an arrangement. Dantes would 
not allow that any such infraction of regular and proper rules should be 
made in his favor. 

" No, no," he said to the master, " I was awkward, and it is just that 
I pay the penalty of my clumsiness. Leave me a small supply of bis- 
cuit, a gun, powder, and balls to kill the kids or defend myself at need, 
and a pickaxe to build me something like a shed if you delay in coming 
back for me." 

" But you'll die of hunger," said the sailor. 

" I would rather do so," was Edmond's reply, " than suffer the inex- 
pressible agonies which the slightest motion brings on." 

The captain turned toward his vessel, which was undulating in the 
small harbor, and, with her sails partly set, was ready for sea when all 
her toilette should be completed. 

" What are we to do, Maltese ? " asked the captain. " We cannot lea ve 
you here so, and yet we cannot stay." 

" Gro, go ! " exclaimed Dantes. 

"We shall be absent at least a week," said the patron, " and then we 
must run out of our course to come here and take you up again." 

" Why," said Dantes, " if in two or three days you hail any fishing- 
boat, desire them to come here to me. I will pay twenty-five piastres 
for my passage back to Leghorn. If you do not come across one. return 
for me." The captain shook his head. 

"Listen, Captain Baldi; there's one way of settling this." said Jacopo. 
" Do you go, and I will stay and take care of the wounded num." 

" And give up your share of the venture," said Edmond. " to remain 
with me ? " 

"Yes," said Jacopo, "and without any hesitation." 



278 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

" Sou are a good fellow," replied Edmond, " and Heaven will recorn- 
pense you for your generous intentions; but I do not wish anyone to 
stay with me. A day or two's rest will set me up, and I hope I shall 
find amongsl the rocks certain herbs most excellent for contusions." 

A singular smile passed over Dantes' lips; he squeezed Jacopo's hand 
warmly; bul nothing could shake his determination to remain — and 
remain alone. 

The smugglers left with Edmond whal he had requested and se1 sail; 
bul not without turning about several times, and each time making 
signs of a cordial leave-taking, to which Edmond replied with his hand 
only, as if lie could not move the rest of his body. 

When they had disappeared, he said with a smile: '"Tis strange that 
ii should be amongst such men that we find proofs of friendship and 
devotion." Then lie dragged himself cautiously to the top of a rock, 
from which he had a full view of the sea, and thence he saw the tartan 
complete her preparations for sailing, weigh anchor, and, balancing her- 
self as gracefully as a water-fowl ere it takes to the wing, set sail. 

At the end of an hour she was completely out of sight; at least, it 
was impossible for the wounded man to see her any longer from the 
spot where he was. Then Dantes rose more agile and light than the kid 
amongsl the myrtles and shrubs of these wild rocks, took his gun in one 
hand, his pickaxe in the other, and hastened toward the rock on which 
the marks he had noted terminated. 

" And now," he exclaimed, remembering the tale of the Arabian fisher- 
man, which Faria had related to him, "now, Open Sesame!" 



CHAPTER XXIV 



THE SECRET CAVE 




HE sun had nearly reached the third of his course, and his 
warm and vivifying rays fell full on the rocks, which seemed 
themselves sensible of the heat. Thousands of grasshoppers, 
hidden in the bushes, chirped with a monotonous and con- 
tinuous note ; the leaves of the myrtle and olive trees waved and rustled 
in the wind. At every step that Edmond took on the burning granite, 
he disturbed the lizards glittering- with the hues of the emerald ; afar off 
he saw the wild goats, which sometimes attracted sportsmen, bounding 
from crag to crag. In a word, the isle was inhabited, yet Edmond felt 
himself alone, guided by the hand of God. 

He felt an indescribable sensation somewhat akin to dread — that 
dread of the daylight which even in the desert makes us fear we are 
watched and observed. 

This feeling was so strong, that at the moment when Edmond was 
about to commence his labor, he stopped, laid down his pickaxe, seized 
his gun, mounted to the summit of the highest rock, and from thence 
gazed round in every direction. 

But it was not upon poetic Corsica, the very houses of which he 
could distinguish; nor on almost unknown Sardinia; nor on the isle of 
Elba, with its historical associations; nor upon the imperceptible line 
that to the experienced eye of a sailor alone revealed the coast of Genoa 
the proud, and Leghorn the commercial, that he gazed. It was at the 
brigantine that had left in the morning, and the tartan that had just set 
sail, that Edmond fixed his eyes. 

The first was just disappearing in the straits of Bonifacio; the other, 
following an opposite direction, was about to round the island of ( lorsica. 

This sight re-assured him. lie then looked at the objects near him. 
He saw himself on the highest point of the cone-like isle, a statue mi 



280 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

this vasl pedestal,— on Land do1 a human being, on sea not a sail; whilst 
the blue ocean beat against the base of the island and covered it with a 
fringe of foam. Then he descended with cautious and slow step, for 
he dreaded lest an accident similar to that he had so adroitly feigned 
should happen in reality. 

Dantes, as we have said, had traced back the marks in the rock; 
and he had noticed that they led 1<> a small creek, hidden like the bath 
of some ancient nymph. This creek was sufficiently wide at its month, 
and dee]) in the center, to admit of the entrance of a small vessel of the 
speronare class, which woidd be perfectly concealed from observation. 

Then, following the clew that, in the hands of the Abbe Faria, had 
been so skiUfully used to guide him through the Da?daliau labyrinth 
of probabilities, he thought that the Cardinal Spada, anxious not to be 
watched, had entered the creek, concealed his little bark, followed the 
line marked by the notches in the rock, and at the end of it had buried 
his treasure. It was this idea that had brought Dantes back to the cir- 
cular rock. One thing only perplexed Edmond, and destroyed his 
theory. How could this rock, which weighed several tons, have been 
lilted to this spot without the aid of many men? 

Suddenly an idea flashed aci"oss his mind. Instead of raising it, 
thought he, they have lowered it. And he sprang upon the rock in order 
to look for the base on which it had formerly stood. 

He soon perceived that a slope had been formed, and the rock had 
slid along this until it stopped at the spot it now occupied. A stone of 
ordinary size had served as a wedge; flints and pebbles had been scat- 
tered around it, so as to conceal the break: this species of masonry had 
been covered with earth, and grass and weeds had grown there, moss 
had clung to the stones, myrtle-bushes had taken root, and the old rock 
seemed fixed to the earth. 

Dantes raised the earth carefully, and detected, or fancied he 
detected, the ingenious artifice. He attacked this wall, cemented by 
the hand of Time, with his pickaxe. After ten minutes' labor the wall 
gave way, and a hole large enough to insert the arm was opened. 

Dantes went and cut the strongest olive-tree he could find, stripped 
off its branches, inserted it in the hole, and used it as a lever. But the 
rock was too heavy and too firmly wedged to be moved by any one 
man, were he Hercules himself. Dantes reflected that he must attack 
this wedge. But howi 

He cast his eyes around, and saw the horn full of powder which his 
friend Jacopo had left him. He smiled; the infernal invention would 
serve him for this purpose. 

With the aid of his pickaxe Dantes dug, between the upper rock 



THE COUNT OF MOXTE-CR 1 8T0. 



281 



and the one that supported it, a mine similar to those formed by 
pioneers when they wish to spare human labor, filled it with powder, 
then made a fuse, by pulling threads from his handkerchief and rolling 
them in the powder. He lighted it and retired. 




The explosion was instantaneous : the upper rock was lifted from 

its base by the terrific for I the powder; the lower one flew into 

pieces; thousands of insects escaped from the aperture Dantes had 
previously formed, and a huge snake, like the guardian demon of the 



282 Tin: coiXT OF MOWTF-CEISTO. 

treasure, rolled himself along on his blue convolutions and disap- 
peared. Dantes approached the upper rock, which now, without any 
support, leaned toward the sea. The intrepid treasure-seeker walked 
round it, and, selecting the spol from whence it appeared most easy to 
attack it, placed his lever in one of the crevices, and strained every 
nerve to move the mass. 

The rock, already shaken by the explosion, tottered on its base. 
Dantes redoubled his efforts; he seemed like one of the ancient Titans, 
who uprooted the mountains to hurl against the father of the gods. 
The rock yielded, rolled, bounded, and finally disappeared in the ocean. 

On the spot it had occupied was visible a circular place, and which 
exposed an iron ring let into a square flag-stone. 

Dantes uttered a cry of joy and surprise; never had a first attempt 
been crowned with more perfect success. He would fain have continued, 
Imt his knees trembled, his heart beat so violently, and his eyes became 
so dim, that he was forced to pause. 

This feeling lasted but for the time of a flash. Edmond inserted 
his Lever in the ring, and exerting all his strength, the flag-stone 
yielded, and disclosed a kind of stair that descended until it was lost in 
the increasing obscurity of a subterraneous grotto. 

Any one else would have rushed on with a cry of joy. Dantes 
turned pale, hesitated, and reflected. 

"Come," said he to himself, "be a man. I am accustomed to adver- 
sity. I must not be cast down by the discovery that I have been 
deceived. What, then, would be the use of all I have suffered I The 
heart breaks when, after having been extravagantly elated by the warm 
breath of hope, it relapses into cold reality. Faria has dreamed this; 
the Cardinal Spada buried no treasure here; perhaps he never came 
here, or if he did, Caesar Borgia, the intrepid adventurer, the stealthy 
and indefatigable plunderer, has followed him, discovered his traces, 
pursued as \ have done, like me raised the stone, and descending before 
me, has left me nothing." 

He remained motionless ami pensive, his eyes fixed on the somber 
aperture that was open at his feet. 

"Now that I expect nothing, now that I no longer entertain the 
slightest hopes, the end of this adventure becomes a simple matter of 
curiosity." 

And he remained again motionless and thoughtful. 

"Yes, yes; this is an adventure worthy a place in the lights and 

shades of the life of this royal bandit, in the tissue of strange events 

that compose the checkered web of his existence; this fabulous event 

has formed Imt a link of a vast chain. Yes, Borgia has been here, a 



THE COUNT OF MONTE- CRISTO. 



283 



torch in one hand, a sword in the other, whilst within twenty paces, al 
the foot of this rock, perhaps two guards kept watch on land, sea, and 
sky, whilst their master descended as I am about to descend, dispelling 
the darkness before his terrible and flaming arm." 







" But what was the fate of these guards who thus possessed lii^ secrel .''* 
asked Dantes of himself. 

"The fate," replied he, smiling, "of those who buried Alaric, and were 
interred with the corpse." 



284 THE COUNT OF M <>.\ T /•; -GBI8T0. 

"Yet, had he come," thought Dantes, "lie would have found the treas- 
ure, and Borgia, he who compared Italy to an artichoke, which he could 
devour leaf by Leaf, knew too well the value of time to waste it in replac- 
ing this rock. I will go down." 

Then he descended — a smile on his lips, and murmuring that last 
word of human philosophy, "Perhaps!" 

Bui instead of the darkness and the thick and mephitic atmosphere 
he had expected to find, Dantes saw a dim and bluish light, which, as 
well as the air, entered, not merely by the aperture he had just formed, 
but by the interstices and crevices of the rock which were invisible from 
without, and through which he could distinguish the blue sky and the 
waving branches of the evergreen oaks, and the tendrils of the creepers 
that grew from the rocks. 

Alter having stood a few minutes in the cavern, the atmosphere of 
which was rather warm than damp, and free from earthy smell, Dantes' 
eve, habituated as it was to darkness, could pierce even to the remotest 
angles of the cavern, winch was of granite that sparkled like diamonds. 
" Alas ! " said Edmond, smiling, "these are the treasures the cardinal 
has left ; and the good abbe, seeing in a dream these glittering walls, has 
indulged in fallacious hopes." 

But he called to mind the words of the will, which he knew by heart : 
" In the farthest angle of the second opening," said the cardinal's will. 

He had only found the first grotto ; he had now to seek the second. 
Dantes commenced his search. He reflected that this second grotto 
must, doubtless, penetrate deeper into the isle; he examined the stones, 
and sounded one part of the wall where he fancied the opening existed, 
masked for precaution's sake. 

The pickaxe sounded for a moment with a dull sound that covered 
Dantes' forehead with large drops of perspiration. At last it seemed to 
him that one part of the wall gave forth a more hollow and deeper echo.; 
he eagerly advanced, and with the quickness of perception that no one 
but a prisoner possesses, saw that it was there, in all probability, that 
the opening must be. 

However, he, like < laesar Borgia, knew the value of time ; and, in 
order to avoid a fruitless toil, he sounded all the other walls with his 
pickaxe, struck the earth with the butt of his gun, and finding nothing 
thai appeared suspicious, returned to that part of the wall whence issued 
the consoling sound he had before heard. 

He again struck it, and with greater force. Then a singular sight 
presented itself. Ashe struck the wall, a species of stucco similar to 
that used as the ground of frescoes detached itself, and fell to the ground 
in flakes, ex] losing a large white stone like common ashlar. Theaperture 



THE COUNT OF MOXTE-CK J STO. 285 

of the rock had been closed with another sort of stones, then tins stucco 
had been applied, and painted to imitate granite. Dantes struck with 
the sharp end of his pickaxe, which entered some way between the 
interstices of the stone. 

It was there he must dig. 

But by some strange phenomenon of the human organization, in 
proportion as the proofs that Faria had not been deceived became 
stronger, so did his heart give way, and a feeling of discouragement 
steal over him. This last proof, instead of giving him fresh strength, 
deprived him of it; the pickaxe descended, or rather fell; he placed it 
on the ground, passed his hand over his brow, and remounted tie stairs, 
alleging to himself, as an excuse, a desire to be assured that no one was 
watching him, but in reality because he felt he was ready to faint. 

The isle was deserted, and the sun seemed to cover it with its fiery 
glance ; afar off a few small fishing-boats studded the bosom of the blue 
ocean. 

Dantes had tasted nothing, but he thought not of hunger at such a 
moment; he hastily swallowed a few drops of rum, and again entered 
the cavern. 

The pickaxe that had seemed so heavy, was now like a feather in 
his grasp; he seized it and attacked the wall. After several blows he 
perceived that the stones were not cemented, but merely placed one 
upon the other, and covered with stucco; he inserted the point of his 
pickaxe, and using the handle as a lever, soon saw with joy the stone 
turn as if on hinges, and fall at his feet. 

He had nothing more to do now, but with the iron tooth of the 
pickaxe to draw the stones toward him one by one. The first aperture 
was sufficiently large to enter, hut by waiting, he could still cling to 
hope, and retard the certainty of deception. At last, after fresh hesita- 
tion, Dantes entered the second grotto. 

The second grotto was lower and more gloomy than the former; 
the air that could only enter by the newly formed opening had that 
mephitic smell Dantes was surprised not to find in the first. He waited 
in order to allow pure air to revive this dead atmosphere, and then 
entered. 

At the left of the opening was a dark and deep angle. But to 
Dantes' eye there was no darkness. He glanced round this second 
grotto; it was, like the first, empty. 

The treasure, if it existed, was buried in this corner. The time had 
at length arrived ; two feet of earth to remove was all that remained 
for Dantes between supreme joy and supreme despair. 

He advanced toward the angle, and summoning all his resolution, 



286 THE cor XT OF MONTE-CBISTO. 

attacked the ground with the pickaxe. At the fifth or sixth blow the 
pickaxe struck against an iron substance. Never did funeral knell, 
never did alarm-hell produce a greater effect on the hearer. Had 
Dantes found nothing he could not have become more ghastly pale. 

Ee again struck his pickaxe into the earth, and encountered the 
same resistance, lmt not the same sound. 

'• It is a casket of wood hound with iron," thought he. 

At this moment a shadow passed rapidly before the opening; Dantes 
seized his gun, sprang through the opening, and mounted the stair. A 
wild goat had passed before the mouth of the cave, and was feeding- at 
a little distance. This would have been a favorable occasion to secure 
his dinner; but Dantes feared lest the report of his gun should attract 
attention. 

lie reflected an instant, cut a branch of a resinous tree, lighted it at 
tin' lire at which the smugglers had prepared their breakfast, and 
descended with this torch. 

lie wished to see all. He approached the hole he had formed with 
the torch, and saw that he was not deceived, and his pickaxe had in 
reality struck against iron and wood. 

In an instant a space three feet long by two feet broad was cleared, 
and Dantes could see an oaken coffer, bound with cut steel; in the 
midst of the lid he saw engraved on a silver plate, which was still untar- 
nished, the arms of the Spada family — viz., a sword, en pale, on an 
oval shield, like all the Italian armorial bearings, and surmounted by a 
cardinal's hat. 

Dantes easily recognized them, Faria had so often drawn them for 
him. There was no longer any doubt the treasure was there; no one 
would have been at such pains to conceal an empty casket. In an 
instant he had cleared every obstacle away, and he saw successively 
the lock, placed between two padlocks, and the two handles at each 
end. all carved as things were carved at that epoch, when art rendered 
the commonest metals precious. 

Dantes seized the handles, and strove to lift the coffer; it was 
impossible. 

lie sought to open it; lock and padlock were closed: these faithful 
guardians seemed unwilling to surrender their trust. 

Dantes inserted the sharp end of the pickaxe between the coffer and 
the lid, and, pressing with all his force on the handle, burst open the 
fastenings with a crash. The hinges yielded in their turn, and fell, still 
holding in their grasp fragments of the planks, and all was open. 

A vertigo seized Edmond; he cocked his gun and laid it beside 
him. He then closed his eyes as children do in order to perceive in the 



TEE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. >m 

shining night of their own imagination more stars than are visible in 
the firmament; then he re-opened them, and stood motionless with 
amazement. 

Three compartments divided the coffer. In the first, blazed piles of 
golden coin; in the second, bars of unpolished gold, which possessed 
nothing attractive save their value, wen- ranged; in the third, half-full, 
Edmond grasped handfuls of diamonds, pearls, and rubies, which as 
they fell on one another in a glittering cascade, sounded like hail 
against glass. 

After having touched, felt, examined these treasures of gold and 
gems, Edmond rushed through the caverns like a man seized with 
frenzy; he leaped on a rock, from whence he could behold the sea. He 
was alone. Alone with these countless, these unheard-of fabulous 
treasures! Was he awake, <>r was it but a dream .' Was it a transient 
vision, or was he face to face with reality .' 

He would fain have gazed upon his gold, and yet he felt that he 
had not strength enough ; for an instant he leaned his head in his 
hands as if to prevent his senses from leaving him, and then rushed 
madly about the rocks of Monte-Cristo without following — not a road, 
for there is no road in the island — any definite course, terrifying the 
wild goats and searing the sea-fowls with his wild cries and gestures; 
then he returned, and, still unable to believe the evidence of his senses, 
rushed through the first grotto into the second, and found himself before 
this mine of gold and jewels. 

This time he fell on his knees, and, clasping his hands convulsively, 
uttered a prayer intelligible to God alone. He soon felt himself calmer 
and more happy, for now only he began to credit his felicity. 

He then set himself to work to count his fortune. There were a 
thousand ingots of gold, each weighing from three pounds; then he piled 
up twenty-live thousand crowns, each worth about twenty dollars of 
our money, and bearing the effigies of Alexander VI. and his predeces- 
sors; and he saw that the compartment was not half empty. And 
he measured ten double-handfuls of precious stones, many of which, 
mounted by the most famous workmen, were valuable for their 
execution. 

Dantes saw the light gradually disappear ; and fearing to be sur- 
prised in the cavern, left it, his gun in his hand. A piece of biscuil and 
a small quantity of wine formed his supper; then he replaced the stone, 
stretched himself upon it, and snatched a few bouts' sleep, Lying over 
the mouth of the cave. 

This night was one of those delicious and yet terrible one-, of which 
this man of paralyzing emotions had already passed two or three in his 
lifetime. 



CHAPTER XXV 



THE UNKNOWN 




AYLIGHT, for which Dantes had so waited with open eyes, 

again dawned. With the first beams of day Dantes rose, 

climbed, as on the previous evening, up the most elevated 

precipices <>t' the island, to search the horizon around, but, 

as on previous evening, all was deserted. 

Returning to the entrance of the cave, he raised the stone, filled his 
pockets with precious stones, put the box together as well as he could, 
covered with earth which he trod down, sprinkled fresh sand over the 
spot to give it everywhere a similar appearance ; then, quitting the 
grotto, lie replaced the stone, heaping on it large and small rocks, filling 
the interstices with earth, into which he planted wild myrtle and 
flowering thorn; then carefully watering these new plantations, he 
scrupulously effaced every trace of foot-mark and impatiently awaited 
the return of his companions. To wait at Monte-Cristo for the purpose 
of watching, as a dragon watches a useless treasure, over the most incal- 
culable riches that had thus fallen into his possession satisfied not the 
cravings of his heart, which yearned to return to dwell among mankind, 
ami to assume the rank, power, and influence which wealth, the first 
and greatest force at the disposal of man, alone can bestow. 

( >n the sixth day the smugglers returned. From a distance Dantes 
recognized the cut and maimer of sailing of La Jeune Amelie, and drag- 
ging himself, like wounded I'hiloctetes, toward the landing-place, he 
met his companions with an assurance that, although considerably bet- 
ter, he still suffered. He then inquired how they had fared in their trip. 
The smugglers had. indeed, been successful in landing their cargo, but 
they had scarcely done so when they received intelligence that a guard- 
ship had just quitted the port of Tovdon, and was crowding all sail 
toward them ; this obliged them to fly with all speed; when they could 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



291 



but lament the absence of Dantes, whose superior skill in the manage- 
ment of a vessel would have availed them so materially. In fact, the 
chasing vessel had almost overtaken them when night came on, and, by 
doubling the Cape of Corsica, they eluded pursuit. Upon the whole. 




however, the trip had been sufficiently successful; while the crew, and 
particularly Jacopo, expressed regrets at Dantes nol having been with 

them so as to be an equal sharer with themselves in the profits, amount- 
ing to no less a sum than fifty piastres each. 

Edmond preserved his self-command, not even smiling at the enu- 



292 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

meration of all the benefits he would have reaped had he been able t<> qui! 
the isle; but, as La Jewne Amelie had merely come to Monte-Cristo to 
fetch him away, he embarked thai same evening, and proceeded with 
the ea plain to Leghorn. 

Arrived at Leghorn, lie repaired to the house of a Jew, a dealer in 
precious stones, to whom he disposed of four of his smallest diamonds, 
for five thousand francs each. The Jew might have asked how a sailor 
became possessor of such objects; but he took good care not to do so, 
as he made a thousand francs on each. 

The following day Dantes presented Jaeopo with an entirely new 
vessel, accompanying the gift by one hundred piastres, that he might 
provide himself with a crew, upon conditions of his going to Marseilles 
for the purpose of inquiring after an old man named Louis Dantes, 
residing in the Alices de Meilhan, and also a young female called Mer- 
cedes, an inhabitant of the Catalan village. 

Jaeopo could scarcely believe his senses, but Dantes told him that 
he had merely been a sailor from whim, because his family did not 
allow him the money necessary for his support; but that on his arrival 
at Leghorn he had come into possession of a large fortune, left him by 
an uncle, whose sole heir he was. The superior education of Dantes 
gave an air of such probability to this statement that it never once 
occurred to Jaeopo to doubt its accuracy. 

The term for which Edmond had engaged to serve on board La 
Jewne Amelie having expired, Dantes took leave of the captain, who 
at first tried to retain him as one of the crew, but, having been told the 
history of the legacy, he ceased to importune him further. 

The succeeding morning Jaeopo set sail for Marseilles, with direc- 
tions front Dantes to join him at the island of Monte-Cristo. 

The same day Dantes departed without saying where he was going; 
lie took leave of the crew of Ln Jewne Amelie after distributing a 
splendid gratuity, and of the captain with a promise to let him hear of 
him some day or other. Dantes went to Genoa. 

At the moment of his arrival a small yacht was being tried in the 
bay, by order of an Englishman, who, having heard that the Geno- 
ese were the best builders of the Mediterranean, wanted a yacht built 
there. The price agreed upon with the Englishman was forty thou- 
sand francs. Dantes offered sixty thousand francs, upon condition of 
being allowed to take immediate possession of it. The Englishman 
had gone upon a tour through Switzerland, and was not expected back 
in less than three weeks or a month, by which time the builder reckoned 
upon being able to complete another. Dantes led the builder to a Jew, 
retired to a small hack parlor, and the Jew counted out to the shipbuilder 
the sum of sixty thousand francs. 



TIHJ COUNT OF most /■:-(• l! I 8T0. 



293 



The builder then offered bis services in providing a crew, btrt this 
Dantes declined with many thanks, saying he was accustomed to cruise 
about quite aloue; the only thing the builder would oblige him in would 
be to contrive a secrel closel in the cabin at his bed's head, the closel to 




contain three divisions, so constructed as to be concealed from all but 
himself. He gave the size of these divisions, which were executed next 
day. 

Two hours afterward Dantes sailed from the porl of Genoa, amid 
the gaze of a crowd curious to see the Spanish nobleman who preferred 



294 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

managing his vessel himself. He acquitted himself admirably; without 
quitting the tiller, he made his little vessel perform every movement he 
chose to direct: his hark seemed, indeed, possessed of intelligence, so 
promptly did it obey the slightest impulse given; and Dantes confessed 
to himself thai the Genoese deserved their high reputation in the art 
of ship-building. 

The spectators followed the little vessel with their eyes so long as it 
remained visible; they then turned their conjectures upon her probable 
destination. Some insisted she was making for Corsica; others, the isle 
of Elba; others offered bets to any amount that she was bound for 
Spain ; others, to Africa; but no one thought of Monte-Cristo. 

lie arrived at the close of the second day; his bark had proved her- 
self a first-class sailer, and had come the distance from Genoa in thirty- 
five hours. Dantes had carefully noted the general appearance of the 
shore, and, instead of landing at the usual place, he dropped anchor in 
the little creek. The isle was utterly deserted, no oue seemed to have 
landed since he left it : his treasure was just as he had left it. 

On the following morning he commenced the removal of his riches, 
and deposited it in the secret compartments of his hidden closet. 

A week passed by. Dantes employed it in manoeuvring his yacbl 
round the island, studying it as a horseman studies his horse, till at 
the end of that time he was perfectly conversant with its good and 
bad qualities. The former Dantes proposed to augment, the latter to 
remedy. 

Upon the eighth day of his being on the island he discerned a 
small vessel crowding all sail toward Monte-Cristo. He recognized the 
bark of Jacopo. He immediately signaled it. His signal was returned, 
and in two hours afterward the bark lay beside his yacht. 

A mournful answer awaited each of Edmund's eager inquiries. Old 
Dantes was dead, and Mercedes had disappeared. 

Dantes listened to these tidings with calmness; hut, leaping ashore, 
he signified his desire to he quite alone. In a couple of hours he 
returned. Two of the men from Jacopo's bark came on board the yacht 
to assist in navigating it, and he commanded she should he steered 
dired to .Marseilles. For his father's death he was prepared; but what 
became of Mercedes ? 

Without divulging his secret, Dantes could not give sufficiently 
clear instructions to an agent. There were, besides, other particulars 
he was desirous of ascertaining, and those were of a nature he alone 
could investigate. His looking-glass had assured him, during his stay 
at Leghorn, that he ran no risk of recognition; added to which, he had 
now the means of adopting any disguise he thought proper. One fine 



THE COT'XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



295 



morning, then, his yacht, followed by the little bark, boldly entered the 
port of Marseilles, and anchored exactly opposite the memorable spot 
from whence, on a never-to-be-forgotten night, he had been put on 
board the boat for the Chateai: d'If. 






^ <v — ^OC"''' 







] (antes could not view without a shudder the gendarme who accom- 
panied the health officers; but with that perfect self-possession he had 
acquired, Dantes presented an English passporl he had obtained al Li g- 
horn, and, by means of this document, found no difficulty in landing. 

The first object that attracted the attention of Dantes, as he landed 
on the Cannebiere, was one of the crew belonging to the Pharaon. This 



296 THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 

man had served under him, and furnished a sure test of the change 
in his appearance. Going straight toward him, he commenced a variety 
of questions, to which the man replied without a word or look implying 
his having the slightest idea of ever having seen before the individual 
with whom he was then conversing. 

Giving the sailor a piece of money in return for his civility, Dantes 

proi led onward; bui ere lie had gone many steps lie heard the man 

loudly calling him to stop. 

Dantes instantly turned to meet hi m . 
"1 beg your pardon, sir," said the honest fellow, " but I believe you 
made a mistake : you intended to give me a two-franc piece, and see, you 
gave me a double Napoleon." 

"Thank you, my good friend. I see that I have made a mistake; but 
by way of rewarding your honest spirit, I give you another double 
Napoleon, that yon may drink to my health, with your messmates.'' 

So extreme was the surprise of the sailor, that lie was unable even 
to thank Edmond, whose receding figure he continued to gaze after, 
saying to himself, " Ah, that's one of those nabobs from India." 

Dantes, meanwhile, continued his route. Each step he trod 
oppressed his heart with fresh emotion: his first and most indelible 
recollections were there : not a corner, not a street, not a crossing that he 
passed hut seemed tilled with dear and cherished reminiscences. At the 
end of the Kiie de Noattles, a view of the Allees de Meilhan was obtained. 
At this spot his knees tottered under him, he had almost fallen beneath 
the wheels of a vehicle. Finally, he found himself at the door of the 
house in which his father had lived. 

The nasturtiums and other plants, which his parent hail delighted 
to train before his window, had all disappeared from the upper part of 

the house. 

Leaning against a tree, he remained long gazing on those windows, 
then he advanced to the door, and inquired whether there were any 
chambers t<> lie let. Though answered in the negative, he begged so 
earnestly to he permitted to visit those on the fifth floor, that the eon- 
cierge went up to the present possessors and asked permission for a gen- 
tleman to In. allowed to look at them. The tenants of the humble lodg- 
ing were a young couple who had been scarcely married a week, and 
the sight sent a pang through his heart. 

Nothing in the two small chambers recalled his father; the very 
paper was different, while the articles of antiquated furniture with which 
the rooms had been Idled in Edmond's time had all disappeared; the 
four walls alone remained as he had left them. 

The bed was i^la I as the former owner had been accustomed to 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO, 



297 



have his; and, spite of his efforts to prevenl it, the eyes of Edmond 
were suffused iu tears as lie reflected that on that spot his parenl had 
expired, calling for his son. 

The young couple gazed with astonishment at the sight of their 




visitor's emotion, and the large tears which streamed down his immov- 
able features; but they felt the sacredness of his grief, and kindly 
refrained from questioning him as to its cause, while, wit h instinctive 
delicacy, they left him to indulge his sorrow alone. When hemthdrew 
from the scene of his painful recollections, they both accompanied him 



298 THE COUNT <>F MONTE-CRISTO. 

<\<<w Q-stairs, telling him that he could conic again whenever he pleased, 
and that their poor dwelling should ever be open to hirn. 

As Edmond passed the door of similar rooms on the fourth floor, he 
paused to inquire whether Caderousse the tailor still dwelt there ; but he 
received for reply, that the man in question had got into difficulties, and 
al the present time kept a small inn on the route from Bellegarde to 
Beaucaire. 

Eaving obtained the address of the person to whom the house in the 
Alices de Meilhan belonged, Dantes next proceeded thither, and, under 
the name of Lord Wilmore (the same appellation as that contained in 
his passport), purchased the small dwelling for the sum of 25,000 francs, 
at least 10,(100 more than it was worth; but had its owner asked ten 
times the sum he did, it would unhesitatingly have been given. 

The very same day the occupants of the apartments on the fifth floor 
of the house were informed I >y the notary who had arranged the transfer, 
that the new landlord gave them their choice of any of the rooms in the 
house, without the least inci'ease of rent, upon condition of their giving 
him possession of the two chambers they inhabited. 

This strange event occupied for a whole week the inhabitants of the 
Allees de Meilhan, and caused a thousand guesses, not one of which came 
near the truth. But that which puzzled the brains of all was the cir- 
cumstance of the same stranger who had visited the Allees de Meilhan 
being seen in the evening walking in the little village of the Catalans, 
and afterward observed to enter a poor fisherman's hut, audio pass more 
than an hour in inquiring after persons who had either been dead or 
gone away for more than fifteen or sixteen years. 

Bui on the following day the family from whom all these particulars 
had been asked received a handsome present, consisting of an entirely 
new fishing-boat, with a full supply of excellent nets. 

The h< uiest fellows would gladly have poured out their thanks to their 
benefactor; but they had seen him, on quitting the hut, merely give 
some orders to a sailor, and then, springing lightly on horseback, quit 
Marseilles bv the Porte d'Aix. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE A.UBEBGE OF PONT DT' GABD 

S^jm UCH of rny readers as have made a pedestrian excursion to 
( ^^£- n Mill of France may perchance have noticed, midway 
Ik-.V^ 'i the tow ii of Beaucaire and the village of Bellegarde, 

£S*gg^ejJ a small roadside inn, from the front of which hung, creak- 
ing and flapping in the wind, a sheet of tin covered with a caricature 

resemblance of the Pont du (lard. This little inn st 1 mi the left-hand 

side of the grand route, turning its hack on the Rhone. It also boasted 
of what in Languedoc is styled a garden, consisting of a small plot of 
ground, a full view of which might be obtained from a door immedi- 
ately opposite the grand portal by which travelers were ushered in. 
In this garden the few dingy olives and stunted fig-trees spread their 
dusty foliage. Between them grew a scanty supply of garlic, tomatoes. 
and schalots; while, like a forgotten sentinel, a tall pine raised its melan- 
choly head in one of the corners, while its head, spreading out like a 
fan, was burned by the scorching sun of thirty degrees. 

All these trees, great or small, were turned in the direction to which 
the Mistral blows, one of the three curses of Provence, the others being 
the Durance and the Parliament. 

In the surrounding plain, which resembled a dusty lake, were scat- 
tered a few stalks of wheat, raised, no doubt, out of curiosity by the 
agriculturists, serving each one as a perch for a grasshopper, who fol- 
lows, with his shrill, monotonous cry the travelers lost in the desert. 

For nearly the last eight years the small auberge had been kept by 
a man and his wife, with two servants; one, answering to the name of 
Trinette, was the chambermaid, while the other, named Pecaud, was 
the stableman. This staff was quite large enough, for a canal recently 
made between Beauclaire and Aiguemortes superseded the heavy wag- 
ons by the towed barge, and the diligence by the packet-boat. And, as 



;;,)•_- THE COUNT OF M0NTH-GRI8T0. 

though to add to the daily misery which this prosperous canal inflicted 
on the unfortunate aubergiste, whose utter ruin it was fast accomplish- 
ing, it was situated not a hundred steps from the forsaken inn, of which 
we have given so faithful a description. 

The aubergiste himself was a man of fromfortyto fifty-five years of 
age, tall, strong, and bony, a perfect specimen of the natives of those 
southern latitudes. Ee had the dark, sparkling, and deep-sel eye, curved 
nose, and teeth while as those of a carnivorous animal; his hair, which, 
spite of the light touch time had as yet left on it, seemed as though it 
refused to assume any other color than its own, was like his beard, 
which he wore under his chin, thick and curly, and but slightly mingled 
with a few silvery threads. His naturally dark complexion had assumed 
a still further shade of brown from the habit the unfortunate man had 
acquired of stationing himself from morn till eve at the threshold of his 
door, in eager hope that some traveler, either equestrian or pedestrian, 
might bless las eyes; but his expectations were useless. Yet there he 
stood, day after day, exposed to the rays of the sun, with no other 
protection for his head than a red handkerchief twisted around it, 
after the manner of the Spanish muleteers. This aubergiste "was our 
old acquaintance Caderousse. 

His wife, on the contrary, whose maiden name had been Madeleine 
Radelle, was pale, meagre, and sickly-looking. Born in the neighbor- 
hood of Aries, she had shared in the beauty for which its females are 
proverbial; but that beauty had gradually withered beneath the influ- 
ence of one of those slow fevers so prevalent in the vicinity of the 
waters of the Aiguemortes and the marshes of Camargue. She remained 
nearly always sitting shivering in her chamber, situated on the first 
floor; either lolling in her chair, or extended on her lied, while her 
husband kept his daily watch at the door — a duty he performed with 
so much "renter willingness, since his helpmate never saw him without 
breaking out into bitter invectives against her lot, to all of which her 
husband would calmly return an unvarying reply, couched in these 
philosophic words : 
'•('ease to grieve about it, La Carconte. It is God's pleasure." 

The sobriquet of La Carconte had been bestowed on Madeleine 
Radelle from the circumstance of her having been born in a village so 
called, situated between Salon and Lanbese; and as a custom existed 
among the inhabitants of that part, of calling every one by a nickname 
in place of a name, her husband had bestowed on her the name of La 
Carconte in place of Madeleine, too sweet ami euphonious for him to 
pronounce. 

Still, let it not he supposed that amid this affected resignation to the 



THE COUNT OF WONTE-GRIBTO. 



303 



will of Providence, the unfortunate aubergiste did not writhe under the 
double misery of seeing the hateful canal carry off alike his customers 
and profits, and the daily implication of his peevish partner's murmurs 
and lamentations. 




Like other dwellers of the south, he was a man of sober habits and 
moderate desires, hul fond of external show. During the daysof his 
prosperity, not ajete, festivity, or ceremonial took place w ithout hims elf 
and wife being there in the picturesque costume of the men of the south 



:;o4 THE COUNT OF M0NTE-GRI8T0, 

of France, beariBg equal resemblance to the style of the Catalans and 
of the Andalusians ; while La Oarconte displayed the charming fash- 
ion prevalent among the females of Aries, a mode of attire borrowed 
equally from Greece and Arabia. But, by degrees, watch-ehains, neck- 
laces, many-colored scarfs, embroidered bodices, velvet vests, elegantly- 
worked stockings, striped gaiters, and silver buckles for the shoes, all 
disappeared; and Gaspard Caderousse, unable to appear abroad in his 
pristine splendor, had given up any further participation in these 
pomps and vanities, both for himself or wife, although a bitter feeling of 
envious discontent tilled his mind as the sound of mirth and merry music 
from the joyous revelers reached even the miserable hostelry to which 
he still clung, more for the shelter than the profit it afforded. 

On the present day, Caderousse was, as usual, at his place of obser- 
vation before the door, his eyes glancing listlessly from a piece of closely- 
shaven grass on which some fowls were pecking, to the deserted road, 
the two extremities of which pointed respectively north and south, 
when he was roused by the shrill voice of his wife. He proceeded, 
grumbling, to the floor above — taking care to set the entrance-door 
wide open, as it were, to invite travelers not to pass by. 

At the moment Caderousse went in, the road on which he so eagerly 
strained his sight was void and lonely as a desert at midday. There it 
lay stretched out, white and endless, and one could understand that no 
traveler, free to choose his own time, would venture into that frightful 
Sahara, with its sides bordered by meagre trees. 

Nevertheless, had Caderousse but retained his post a few minutes 
longer, lie might have seen approaching from the direction of Belle- 
garde a man and horse, between whom the kindest and most amiable 
understanding appeared to exist. The horse was of Hungarian breed, 
and ambled along with that easy pace peculiar to that race of animals. 
His rider was a priest, dressed in black, and wearing a three-cornered 
hat; and, spite of the ardent rays of a noonday sun, the pair came on 
at a tolerably smart trot. 

Having arrived before the door, the horse stopped, but whether for 
his own pleasure or that of his rider would have been difficult to say. 
In either case, the priest, dismounting, led his steed by the bridle, which 
lie prepared to hitch to a handle that projected from a half-fallen door; 
then with a red cotton handkerchief from his pocket he wiped away the 
perspiration that streamed from his brow, and, advancing to the door, 
struck thrice with the end of his iron-shod stick. 

At this unusual sound, a huge black dog came rushing to meet the 
daring assailant of his ordinarily tranquil abode, snarling and display- 
ing his sharp white teeth with a determined hostility that abundantly 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



305 



proved how little he was accustomed to society. At that momenl a 
heavy footstep shook the wooden staircase, down which the host, bow- 
ing and scraping, descended to the door where the priest stood. 
"You are welcome, sir," cried the astonished Caderousse. "Now, then, 




Margolin, will you be quiet ? Pray don't heed him, sir!— he only barks, 
he never bites! 1 make no doubt a glass of good wine would bea pi- 
able this dreadfully hot day!" Then perceiving for the firs! time the 
description of traveler he had to entertain, Caderousse hastily exclaimed: 

"A thousand pardons, your reverence ! I really did not observe whom I 



306 TEE COUNT OF M0NTE-GBI8TO. 

bad the honor to r Lve under my poor roof. Whal would yon please 

to have, M. L'Abbe? I am at your service." 

The priest gazed on him with a searching gaze— there even seemed 
a disposition to courl a similar scrutiny on the part of the aubergiste; 

then, remarking in tli untenance of the latter no other expression 

than surprise at receiving uo answer, he deemed it as well to termi- 
nate this dumb show, and therefore said, speaking with a strong Italian 
accenl : 

"You are, I presume, M. Caderousse ? " 

" Voiii- reverence is quite correct," answered the host, even more sur- 
prised al the question than he had been by the silence ; "I am Caspard 
( iaderousse, at your service." 

"Gaspard Caderousse!" rejoined the priest. "Yes, that agrees both 
with the baptismal appellation and surname of the individual I allude 
to. You formerly lived, 1 believe, in the Alleesde Meilhan, on the fourth 
floor of a small house situated there ! " 

-1 did." 

L Where you followed the business of a tailor?" 

"True, till the trade fell off. Then, it is so very hot at Marseilles, 
that people will end in not wearing clothes at all. But, talking of heat, 
is there nothing 1 can offer you by way of refreshment ?" 

" Yes, let me have a bottle of your best wine, and then, with your 
permission, we will resume our conversation where we left off." 

"As ymi please, M. 1'Abbe," said Caderousse, who, anxious not to lose 
the present opportunity of finding a customer for one of the few bottles 
of vin de ( lahors still remaining in his possession, hastily raised a trap- 
dooi in the floor of the apartment they were in, which served both as 
parlor and kitchen. 

I'pon his returning, al the expiration of five minutes, he found the 
abbe" sealed on a species of stool, leaning his elbow on a table, while 
Margotin, whose animosity seemed appeased by the traveler having pro- 
nounced the unusual command for refreshments, had crept up to him, 
his lone,-, skinny neck resting on his lap, while his dim eye was fixed on 
his face. 

"Are you quite alone?" inquired the guest, as Caderousse placed 
before him the bottle of wine and a, glass. 

"Quite, quite alone," replied the man — "or at least all but so, M. 
I'Abbe; for my poor wife, who is the only person in the house besides 
myself, is laid up with illness, and unable to render me the least assist- 
ance, poor thing!" 

" Yon are married, then ?" said the priest, with a species of interest, 
glancing round as he spoke at the scanty style of the fittings-up of 
the apartment. 



THE cot XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



:«)7 



"Ah, M. l'Ahlie," said Caderousse, witli a sigh, "it is easyto perceive 
I am not a rich man ; Imt in this world a man does not thrive the better 
for being honest." The abbe fixed on him a searching, penetrating glance. 

"I can say that," replied the aubergiste, sustaining the abbe's gaze, 




with one hand on his heart and nodding his head; "I can boast with 
truth of being an honest man ; and that is more than every one can say 
nowadays." 

"So much the better for you, if what yon assert be true." said the 
abbe; "for 1 am firmly persuaded that, sooner or later, the good will be 
rewarded, and the wicked punished." 

" Such words as those belong to your profession, M. l'Abbe," answered 



308 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

Caderousse, " and you do well to repeal them; but," added he, with a 
Wilier expression, "one is not for 1 to believe them, all the same." 

" You are wrong to speak thus," said the abbe ; "and perhaps I may, 
in my own person, be able to prove to you what I assert." 

" What mean you .' " inquired Caderousse, with a look of surprise. 

" In the first place, it is requisite I should be satisfied you are the per- 
son 1 am in search of." 

" What proofs do you require ?" 

"Did yon, in the year 1S14 or 1815, know a sailor named Edmond 

Dailies:'" 

" Did 1 :' I should think I did. Poor dear Edmond ! Why, Edmond 
Dantes and myself were intimate friends ! " exclaimed < !aderousse, whose 
countenance assumed an almost purple hue, as he caught the penetrat- 
ing gaze of the abbe fixed on him, while the clear, calm eye of the ques- 
tioner seemed to cover him with confusion. 

" Yes," said the priest, " the young man did hear the name of Edmond." 

"Bear the name!" repeated Caderousse, becoming excited and eager. 
" Why, he was so called as truly as 1 hear that of < raspard < !aderousse ; 
hut, M. l'Abbe, tell me, 1 pray, what has become of poor Edmond. Did 
you know him? Is he alive and at liberty? Is he prosperous and 
happy .'" 

"He died a more wretched, hopeless, heart-broken prisoner than the 
felons who pay the penalty of their crimes at the galleys of Toulon." 

A deadly paleness succeeded the deep suffusion which had before 
spread itself over the countenance of Caderousse, who turned away, and 
the priest observed him wiping away the tears from his eyes with the 
coiner of the red handkerchief twisted round his head. 

"Poor fellow! poor fellow!" murmured Caderousse. "Well, there, 
M. l'Abbe, is another proof that none hut the wicked prosper. Ah," 
continued Caderousse, speaking in the highly-colored language of the 
South, "the world grows worse and worse. Let heaven rain down two 
days of powder and one hour of lire, and let all he ended!" 

"Yon speak as though you had loved this young Dantes," observed 

the ahhe. 

,l And so I did," replied ( laderousse; "though once, I confess, I envied 
him his good fortune. But I swear to you, M. l'Abbe, I swear to you, 
by everything a man holds dear, I have, since then, deeply and sincerely 
lamented his unhappy fate." 

There was a brief silence, during which the fixed, searching eye of 
the ahhe was employed in scrutinizing the agitated features of I he 
aubergiste. 

"You knew the poor lad, then ?" continued Caderousse. 



THE COUNT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



309 



" I was merely called to sec him when on his dying-bed, that I mighl 
administer ti> him the consolations of religion." 

" Ami of what did he die ' " asked < 'aderousse in a ch< iking vi dee. 
" Of what, think you, do men die in prison, when thej die in their 




t 



thirtieth year, unless it he of the prison itself:'" Caderousse wiped 
away the large beads of perspiration that gathered on his brow. 

" But the strangest part of the story is," resumed the abbe, thai Dantes, 
even iii his dying moments, swore by hi* crucified Redeemer that he 
was utterly ignorant of the cause of his imprisonment." 

"And so he was." murmured Caderousse. -How should be have 



.Ilii THE cor. XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

Keen otherwise? All! M. I'Abbe, the poor fellow t<>l<l you the 
truth." 
"And for that reason, lie besoughl me to dear up the mystery he 

had never been al>le t<> peiiet rate, ami to rehabilitate his memory should 
any foul spot have fallen on it." 

And here the look of the abb6, becoming more and more fixed, 
semed id rest on the gloomy depression which spread over the coun- 
tenance of ( laderousse. 

"A rich Englishman," continued the abbe, "his companion in mis- 
fortune, who had been released from prison during the Second Restora- 
tion, was possessed of a diamond of immense value: this precious jewel 
he bestowed on Dantes upon quitting the prison, as a mark of his 
gratitude for the care with which Dantes had nursed him in a severe 
illness. Instead of employing this diamond in attempting to bribe his 
jailers, who might only have taken it and then betrayed him to the 
governor, Dantes carefully preserved it, for, in the event of his getting out 
of prison, the produce of such a diamond would have sufficed to make 
his fortune." 

" Then, I suppose," asked ( laderousse, with eager, glowing looks, " that 
it was a stone of immense value ?" 

"Why, everything is relative," answered the abbe. "To one in 

Edi id's position the diamond certainly was of great value. It was 

estimated at ."1(1,000 francs." 

"Fifty thousand francs !" exclaimed Caderousse, "why it must have 
been as large as a nut." 

" No," replied the abbe, "but you shall judge for yourself; I have 
it with me." 

The sharp gaze of Caderousse was instantly directed toward the 
priest's garments, as though hoping to discover the talked-of treasure. 

Calmly drawing forth from his pocket a small box covered with 
black shagreen, the abbe opened it, and displayed to the delighted eyes 
of Caderousse the sparkling jewel it contained, set in a ring of admi- 
rable workmanship. 

"And that diamond," cried Caderousse, "you say, is worth 50,000 
francs?" 

"It is, without the setting, which is also valuable," replied the abbe, 
as he closed the box, and returned it to his pocket, while its brilliant 
lines seemed to dance in Caderousse's imagination. 

"Bui how comes this diamond in your possession, M. I'Abbe ? Did 
Edmond make you his heir .'" 

"No, merely his testamentary executor. When dying, the unfortu- 
nate youth said to me, '1 once possessed three dear friends, besides 



THE COUNT OF MOXTTE-CRISTO. :;11 

the maiden to whom I was betrothed; and I feel convinced all four 
unfeignedly grieved over my loss. The nam.' of one of the four friends 
I allude to is Caderousse.'" The aubergiste shivered 

"' Another of the number,'" continued the abbe, withoul seeming to 
notice the emotion of Caderousse, "'is called Danglars; and the third, 
spite of being my rival, entertained a very sincere affection for me.'" 

A fiendish smile played over the features of Caderousse, who was 
about to break in upon the abbe's speech, when the latter, waving his 
hand, said : "Allowme to finish first, and then, if you have any observa- 
tions to make, you can do so afterward. 'The third of my friends, 
although my rival, was much attached to me, — his name was Fernand; 

that of my betrothed was ' Stay, stay," continued the abbe, "I 

have forgotten what he called her." 

"Mercedes." cried Caderousse. 

"True," said the abb6, with a stifled sigh, "Mercecles it was." 

"Go on," urged Caderousse. 

"Bring me a carafe of water," said the abbe. 
Caderousse quickly performed the stranger's bidding; and after 
pouring some into a glass and slowly swallowing its contents, the abbe 
said, as he placed his glass on the table: 

"Where did we leave off \ " 

"Oh, that the betrothed of Eclmond was called Mercedes." 

"To be sure. 'Well, then,' said Dantes, — for you understand, I 
repeat his words just as he uttered them — 'you will go to .Marseilles.' 
Do you understand ?" 

"Perfectly." 

"'For the purpose of selling this diamond: the produce of which you 
will divide into five equal parts, and give an equal portion to the only 
persons who have loved me upon earth.'" 

"But why into five parts.'" asked Caderousse; "you only mentioned 
four persons." 

"Because the fifth is dead, as I hear. The fifth sharer in Edmond's 
bequest was his own father." 

"Too true, too true!" ejaculated Caderousse, almost suffocated by 
the contending passions which assailed him, " the poor old man did die." 

"I learned so much at Marseilles," replied the abbe, making a strong 
effort to appear indifferent; "but from the length of time that has 
elapsed since the death of tlie elder Dantes, I was unable to obtain any 
particulars of his end. Do you know anything about his death .'" 

"I do not know who could if 1 could not," said Caderousse. " Why. 
J lived almost on the same floor with the poor old man. Ah, yes! 
about a year after the disappearance of his son the old man died." 



312 THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

"Of what did he die!" 

"Why, the doctors called his complaint an internal inflammation, I 
believe; his acquaintances say be died of grief; but I, who saw him in 

his dying moments, 1 say be died of " 

( laderousse paused. 

"Of what .'"' asked the priest, anxiously ami eagerly. 

" Why, of downright starvation." 

"Starvation!" exclaimed the abbe, springing from his seat. "Why, 
the vilest animals are not suffered to die by such a death as that. The 
very dogs that wander houseless and homeless in the streets Hud some 
pitying hand to cast them a mouthful of bread; and that a man, a 
Christian, should lie allowed to perish of hunger in the midst of other 
men equally Christians with himself, is too horrible for belief. Oh, it 
is impossible! — utterly impossible!" 

" What I have said, 1 have said," answered Caderousse. 

" And you are a fool for having said anything about it," said a voice 
from the top of the stairs. " Why should you meddle with what does 
not concern you .'" 

The two male speakers tinned round quickly, and perceived the 
sickly countenance of La Carconte Leaning over the rail of the stair- 
case; — attracted by the sound of voices, she had feebly dragged herself 
down the stairs, and, seated on the lower step, she had listened to the 
l'< iregoing conversation. 

" Mind your own business, wife," replied Caderousse, sharply. "This 
gentleman asks me for information, which common politeness will not 
permit me to refuse." 

"Prudence requires you to refuse," retorted La Carconte. " How do 
you know the motives that person may have for trying to extract all 
he ean from you '. " 

,- I assure you, madame," said the abbe, " that my intentions are good, 
and that your husband can incur no risk, provided he answers me 
candidly.*' 

"Ah, that's all very fine," retorted the woman. "Nothing is easier 
than to begin with fair promises and assurances of nothing to fear; 
then, some tine day trouble conies on the unfortunate wretches, without 
one knowing whence." 

" Nay, nay, my good woman. No evils will be occasioned by me, I 
promise you." 

Some inarticulate sounds escaped La Carconte, then letting her 
head, which she had raised, again droop on to her lap, she commenced 
her usual aguish trembling, leaving the two speakers to resume the 
conversation, hut still remaining herself so placed as to be able to hear 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRIBTO. 313 

every word. Again the abbe had been obliged to swallow a draught of 
water to calm his emotions. 

"It appears, then," he resumed, "that the miserable old man yon were 
telling me of was forsaken by every one, as he perished by so dreadful a 
death." 

"Why, I do not mean," continued Gaderousse, "that Mercedes the 
Catalan and M. Morrel forsook him; but somehow the poor old man 
had contracted a profound hatred of Fernand — the very person," 
added Caderousse, with a bitter smile, "that you named just now as 
being cue of Dantes' friends." 

"And was he not so .' " asked the abbe. 

"Gaspard! Gaspard!" murmured the woman, from her seat on the 
stairs, "mind what you are saying!" 

Caderousse made no reply to these words, hut addressing the abbe, 
said: 

"Can a man be faithful to another whose wife he covets.' Bu1 Dantes 
had a heart of gold; he believed everybody's professions of friendship. 
Poor Edmond! but it was a happy thing he never knew it, or he might 
have found it more difficult, when on his deathbed, to pardon them. 
And, whatever people may say," continued Caderousse, in his native 
language, which was not altogether devoid of rude poetry, "1 cannot 
help being more frightened at the idea of the malediction of the dead 
than the hatred of the living." 

" Weak-minded coward !" exclaimed La Carconte. 

"Do you, then, know in what manner Fernand injured Dantes.'" 
inquired the abbe of Caderousse. 

"Do I? No one better." 

"Speak old then; say what it was!" 

"Gaspard!" cried La Carconte, "do as you like, yon are the master; 
but, if you are guided by me, you will have nothing to say." 

" Well, well, wife," replied Caderousse, "I do not know but what you 
are right !" 

"Then you are determined to say nothing?" said the abbe." 

"Why, what good would it dot" asked Caderousse. "If the poor 
lad were nving, and came to me to beg I would candidly tell which 
were his true and which his false friends, why, perhaps I should not 
hesitate. But you tell me he is no more, and therefore can have noth- 
ing to do with hatred or revenge; so let all such feelings be buried with 
him." 

"You prefer, then," said the abbe, "allowing me to bestow on men 
you say are false and treacherous, the reward intended for faithful 
friendshipf" 



314 



THE cor. XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



"That is true enough," returned Caderousse ; "besides, what would it 
be l" them .' no more than a drop of water in the ocean." 

"And remember, husband," chimed in La Carconte, "that these two 
men could crush you with a wave of the hand!" 

" Bow so :'" inquired the abb6. "Are these persons, then, so rich and 
powerful .'" 

•• Do you not know their history :'" 

•• I do not. Pray relate it to me!" 
Caderousse seemed to reflect for a few instants, then said : 

"No, truly; it would take up too much time." 

"Well, my good friend," returned the abbe, in a tone that indicated 
utter indifference on his part, "just as you please; I respect your 
scruples, so let the matter end. I had a simple formality to discharge; 
I shall sell the diamond." 

So saying, the abbe again drew the small box from his pocket, 
opened it, and flashed the stone before the dazzled gaze of Caderousse. 

" Wife, wife!" cried he, in a hoarse voice, "come and see it," 

" Diamond!" exclaimed La Carconte, rising and descending to the 
chamber with a tolerably firm step; "what diamond are you talking 
about .'" 

" Why, did you not hear all we said I " inquired Caderousse. " It is a 
beautiful diamond left by poor Edmond Dantes, to be sold, and the 
money divided among his father, Mercedes, his betrothed bride, Fer- 
nand, Danglars, and myself. The jewel is worth at least 50,000 francs." 

" ( )h, what a splendid jewel ! " cried the astonished woman. 

"The fifth part of the produce of this stone belongs to us, then, does 
it not ? " asked Caderousse. 

" It does," replied the abbe; "with the addition of an equal division 
of that part intended for the elder Dantes, which I conceive myself at 
liberty to share equally with the four surviving persons." 

" And wherefore among us four ?" inquired Caderousse. 

'• As being the four friends of Edmond." 

" 1 don't call those friends who betray and ruin you," murmured the 
wife, in her turn, in a low, muttering voice. 

" < )f course not ! " rejoined Caderousse, quickly ; " no more do I ; and 
that was what I was observing just uoav. It is a sacrilegious profana- 
tion to reward treachery, perhaps ciime." 

" Remember," answered the abbe, calmly, as he rejnaced the jewel in 
the pocket of his cassock, "it is your fault, not mine. You will have 
the goodness to furnish me with the address of both the friends of Ed- 
mond, in order that I may execute his last wishes." 

The agitation of Caderouse became extreme, and large drops of 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



315 



perspiration rolled from his heated brow. As he saw the abbe rise 
from his seat and go toward the door, as though to ascertain if liis 
horse were sufficiently refreshed to continue his journey, Caderousse 

and his wife exchanged looks of deep meaning with each other. 




"There, you see, wife," said theformer, " this splendid diamond mighl 
all be ours, if we chose ! " 

"Do you believe il .' " 

"Why, surely a man of his holy profession would not deceive as!" 

"Well," replied La Oarconte, "do as you like. For arj part, 1 wash 
my hands of the affair." 



316 THE COUNT OF M0WTE-CRI8T0. 

.So saying, she once more climbed the staircase leading to her cham- 
ber, all shivering, and her teeth rattling, spite of the intense heat of the 
weather. Arrived at the t<>]> stair, she turned round and called out in a 
warning tone, to her husband. " Gaspard, consider well what you are 
about to do !" 

" I have both reflected and decided," answered he. 
La Carconte then entered her chamber, the floor of which creaked 
beneath her heavy, uncertain tread, as she proceeded toward her arm- 
chair, into which she fell as though exhausted. 

" Well," asked the abbe, as he returned to the apartment below, "what 
have you made up your mind to do?" 

"To tell you all I know, 1 ' was the reply. 

" 1 certainly think you act wisely in so doing," said the priest. "Not 
because I have the least desire to learn anything you may desire to 
conceal from me, but simply if, through your assistance, 1 could distrib- 
ute the legacy according to the wishes of the testator, why, so much the 
better, — that is all." 

"I trust, indeed, such will he the case," replied ('aderousse, his 
eyes sparkling and his face Hushed with the hope of obtaining all 
himself. 

" Now, then, begin, if you please," said the abbe; " I am all attention." 

" Stop a minute," answered ('aderousse; "we might be interrupted 
in the most interesting part of my recital, which would be a pity; 
and it is as well that your visit hither should be made known oiil\ to 
ourselves." 

With these words he went stealthily to the door, which he closed, 
and by way of still greater precaution, bolted and barred it, as he was 
accustomed to do at night. 

During this time the abbe had chosen his place for listening to the 
tale. He removed his seat into a corner, where he himself would lie in 
deep shadow, while the light would be fully thrown on the narrator; 
then, with head bent down and hands clasped, or rather clenched 
together, he prepared to give his whole attention to Caderousse, who 
seated himself on the little stool, exactly opposite to him. 

" Remember, I did not urge you to this," said the trembling voice of 
La ( 'arconte, as though through the flooring of her chamber she viewed 
the scene that was enacting below. 

" Enough, enough!" replied ('aderousse; " say no more about it; I 
will take all the consequences upon myself." 
He then commenced as follows : 



CHAPTER XXVII 



TIIF. RECITAL 




ERST," said Caderousse, "sir, I must ask you to make me a 
promise." 

" What is that f" inquired the abbe. 
" Why, if you ever make use of the details I am about to 

give you, that you will never lei any one know that it was I who sup- 
plied them; for the persons of whom I am about to talk are rich and 
powerful, and if they only laid the tips of their fingers on me, I should 

break to pieces like glass." 

"Make yourself easy, my friend," replied the abbe. "I am a priest, 
and confessions die in my breast. Recollect, our only desire is to carry 
out, in a fitting manner, the last wishes of our friend. Speak, then, 
without reserve, as without hatred; tell the truth, the whole truth. I do 
not know, never may know, the persons of whom you are aboul to 
speak; besides, I am an Italian, and not a Frenchman, and belong to 
God, and not to man; and I retire to my convent, which I have only 
quitted to fulfill the last wishes of a dying- man." 

This last assurance seemed to give Caderousse courage. 

"Well, then, under these circumstances," said Caderousse, *' I will, 

indeed T ought to, undeceive you as to the friendship which j r Edmond 

believed so sincere and unquestionable." 

"Begin with his father, if you please," said the abb6; "Edmond 
talked to me a greal deal about the old man, for whom he had the 
deepest love." 

"The history is a sad one, sir," said Caderousse, shaking Ids head; 

"perhaps you know all the earlier pari of it .'" 

" Yes," answered the abbe; " Edmond related to me everything until 
the moment when he was arrested in a small cabarel dose to Mar- 
seilles." 



318 THE COUNT OF MOXTE-CRISTO. 

" At La Reserve ! Oh, yes! I can see it all before me this moment." 

" Was it not his betrothal feast :'" 

" It was; and the feast that began so gayly had a very sorrowful end- 
ing: a commissary of police, followed by four soldiers, entered, and 
Dantes was arrested." 

"Yes, and up to this point I know all," said the priest, "Dantes 
himself only knew that which personally concerned him, for he never 
beheld again the five persons I have named to you, nor heard mention 
of any one of them." 

" Well, when Dantes was arrested, M. Morrel hastened to obtain the 
particulars, and they were very sad. The old man returned alone to 
Ins home, folded up his wedding suit with tears in his eyes, and paced 
up and down his chamber the whole day, and would not go to bed at 
all, for T was underneath him and heard him walking the whole night; 
and for myself, I assure you I could not sleep either, for the grief of the 
poor father gave me great uneasiness, and every step he took went to 
my heart as really as if his foot had pressed against my breast. 

" The next day Mercedes came to implore the protection of M. de Ville- 
fort. She did not obtain it, however, and went to visit the old man ; — 
when she saw him so miserable and heart-broken, having passed a sleep- 
less night, and not touched food since the previous day, she wished him 
to go with her that she might take care of him; but the old man would 
in it consent, ' No,' was the old man's reply, ' I will not leave this house, 
for my poor dear boy loves me better than anything in the world; and 
if he gets out of prison he will come and see me the first thing, and 
what would he think if I did not wait here for him t ' I heard all this 
from the window, for I was anxious that Mercedes should persuade the 
old man to accompany her, for his footsteps over my head night and 
daj did not leave me a moment's repose." 

" But did you not go upstairs and try to console the poor old man :'" 

asked tile abbe. 

"Ah, sir," replied Caderousse, "we cannot console those who will not 
be consoled, and he was one of these ; besides, I know not why, but he 
seemed to dislike seeing me. One night, how T ever, I heard his sobs, and 
I could not resist my desire to go up to him, but when I reached his 
door he was no longer weeping, but praying. I cannot now repeat to 
you, sir, all the eloquent words and piteous supplications lie made use 
of ; it was more than piety, it was more than grief ; and I, who am no 
canter, and hate the Jesuits, said then to myself, ' It is really well that 
I am all alone, and I am very glad that I have not any children ; for if 
I were a father, and felt such excessive grief as the old man does, and 
did not find in my memory or heart all he is now saying, I should 
throw myself into the sea at once, for I could not bear it.' " 



TEE COUNT OF MONTE-GRIBTO. 319 

" Poor father !" mttrmured the priest. 

"From day today he lived on alone, and more and more solitary. 

Often M. Morrel and Mercedes came to see him, but his dour was closed; 
and, although 1 was certain he was at home, he would not make any an- 
swer. One day, when, contrary to his custom, he had admitted Mercedes, 
and the poor girl, in spite of her own grief and despair, endeavored to 
console him, he said to her. 'Be assured, my dear daughter, he is dead ; 
and instead of our awaiting him, it is he who is awaiting us; I am quite 
happy, for I am the oldest, and of course shall see him first.' 

" However well disposed a person may be, why, you see, we leave off 
after a time seeing persons who make one melancholy, and so at last 
old Dantes was left all to himself, and I only saw from time to time 
strangers go up to him and come down again with some bundle they 
tried to hide ; but I guessed what these bundles were, ami he sold by 

degrees what he had to pay for Ins subsistence. At length, the | r 

old fellow reached the end of all he had; he owed three-quarters' rent, 
and they threatened to turn him out; he begged for another week, 
which was granted to him. I know this, because the landlord came 
into my apartment when he left his. 

" For the three first days I heard him walking about as usual, but on 
the fourth I heard him no longer. I then resolved to go up to him, at 
all risks. The door was closed, but I looked through the keyhole, and 
saw him so pale and haggard, that believing him very ill, I went and 
told M. Morrel, and then ran on to Mercedes. They both came immedi- 
ately, M. Morrel bringing a doctor, and the doctor said it was an affec- 
tion of the stomach, and ordered him a limited diet. I was there too, 
and 1 never shall forget the old man's smile at this prescription. 

" From that time he opened his door; he had an excuse for not eating 
any more, as the doctor had put him on a diet." 
The abbe uttered a kind of groan. 

"The story interests you, does it not, sir ?" inquired Caderousse. 

" Yes," replied the abbe ; " it is very affecting." 

"Mercedes came again, and she found him so altered that she was 
even more anxious than before to have him taken to her own abode. 
This was M. Morrel's wish also, who would fain have conveyed the old 
man against his consent ; but the old man resisted, and cried so, that 
they were actually frightened. Mercedes remained, therefore, by his 
bedside, and M. Morrel went away, making a sign to the Catalane that 
he had left his purse on the chimney-piece; hid, availing himself of the 
doctor's order, the old man would not take any sustenance. At Length 
(after nine days' despair and fasting) the old man died, cursing those 
who had caused his misery, and saying to Mercedes. — ' If you ever see 
my Edmond again, tell him 1 die blessing him. 1 " 



32( I ill /•: CO IX T () F M OXTE- G HItiTO. 

The abbe rose from his chair, made two turns round the chamber, 
ami pressed his trembling hand against his parched throat. 

•• Ami yon believe he died " 

"Of hunger, sir, of hunger," said Caderousse. " I am as certain of it 
as that we two are Christians.'' 

The abbe, with a shaking hand, seized a glass of water that was 
standing by him half full, swallowed it at one gulp, and then resumed 
his seat with red eyes and pale cheeks. 

"This was, indeed, a horrid event," said he, in a hoarse voice. 

"The more so, sir, as it was men's and not God's doing." 

"Tell me of those men,'' said the abbe, "and remember too," he added, 
in a voice that was nearly menacing in its tone, "you have promised to 
tell me everything. Tell me, therefore, who are these men who have 
killed the son with despair, and the father with famine?" 

" Two men jealous of him, sir: one from love, and the other ambition, — 
Fernand and Danglars." 

" Say, how was this jealousy manifested I'" 

" They denounced Edmond as a Bonapartist agent." 

" Which of the two denounced him ? Which was the real delinquent !'" 

"Both, sir; one with a letter, and the other put it in the post." 

" And where was this letter written '. ? " 

" At La Reserve, the day before the festival of the betrothing." 

" 'Twas so, then — 'twas so, then," murmured the abbe. " Oh, Faria, 
Faria ! how well did you judge men and things ! " 

" What did you please to say, sir ?" asked Caderousse. 

"Nothing, nothing," replied the priest; "go on." 

" It was Danglars who wrote the denunciation with his left hand, that 
his writing might not be recognized, and Fernand who put it in the 

post." 

"But," exclaimed the abbe, suddenly, "you were there yourself." 

" I ! " said ( 'aderousse, astonished ; " who told you I was there '. " 
The abbe saw he had overshot the mark, and he added, quickly : 

"No one; but in order to have known everything so well, you must 
have been an eye-witness." 

" True, true! " said Caderousse, in a choking voice, " 1 was there." 

"And did you not remonstrate against such infamy if" asked the 
alilie; " if not, you were an accomplice." 

" Sir," replied ( 'aderousse, " they had made me drink to such an excess 
that 1 nearly lost all perception. I saw everything through a cloud. I 
sail I all that a man in such a state could say; but they both assured me 
that it was a jest they were carrying on, and a perfectly harmless jest." 

"Next day — next day, sir, you must have seen plain enough what 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 



::■_'! 



they had been doing ; yet yon said nothing, though you were presenl 
when Dantes was arrested." 

"Yes, sir, 1 was there, and very anxious to speak! bul Danglars 
restrained me. ' If he should really be guilty,' said he, 'and did really 




put in to the isle of Elba; if he is really charged with a letter for the 
Bonapartist committee at Paris, and if they find tins letter upon him, 
those who have supported him will pass for his accomplices.' 1 confess 
I had my fears of the police in the state in which polities then were, 



322 THE COUNT F M ON T E-C RISTO. 

and 1 confess that T held my tongue. It was cowardly, I confess, but it 
was qo1 criminal." 

"I comprehend— you allowed matters to take their course; that 
was all." 

" fes, sir," answered Caderousse, "and my remorse preys on me night 
and day. I often ask pardon of God, I swear to you, because this 
action, the only one with which I have seriously to reproach myself in 
nil my life, is no doubt the cause of my abject condition. I am expiat- 
ing a moment of selfishness, and thus it is I always say to my wife, 
when she complains, ' Hold your tongue, woman ; it is the will of God.'" 
And Caderousse bowed his head with every sign of real repent- 
ance. 

"Well, sir," said the abbe, " you have spoken unreservedly ; and thus 
to accuse yourself is to deserve pardon." 

" Unfortunately, Edmond is dead, and has not pardoned me." 

" He was ignorant," said the al >1 »e. 

" But he knows it all now," interrupted Caderousse; "they say the 
dead know everything." 

There was a brief silence. The abbe rose and paced up and down 
pensively, and then resumed his seat. 

"You have two or three times mentioned a M. Morrel," he said; 
" who was he?" 

" The owner of the I'lunaon, and patron of Dantes." 

" And what part did he play in this sad drama 1 " inquired the abbe. 

" The part of an honest man, full of courage and real regard. Twenty 
times he interceded for Edmond. When the emperor returned, he 
wrote, implored, threatened, and so energetically that on the second 
restoration he was persecuted as a Bonapartist. Ten times, as I told 
you, he came to see Dantes' father, and offered to receive him in his own 
house ; and the night or two before his death, as I have already said, he 
Lefi his purse on the mantelpiece, with which they paid the old man's 
debts, and buried him decently; and then Edmond's father died, as he 
had lived, without doing harm to any one. I have the purse still by 
me — a large one, made of red silk." 

"And," asked the abbe, "is M. Morrel still alive?" 

" Yes," replied Caderousse. 

" In this case," replied the abbe, "he should be a man blessed of (lod, 
rich, happy." 

Caderousse smiled bitterly. " Yes, happy as myself," sa id he. 

" What ! M. Morrel unhappy ! " exclaimed the abbe. 

" He is reduced almost to the last extremity — nay, he is almost at the 
point of dishonor." 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 323 

" How \ " 

"Yes," continued Caderousse, "and in this way, after five-and-twenty 
years of labor, after having acquired a most honorable name in the trade 
of Marseilles, M. Morrel is utterly ruined : he has lost five ships in two 

years, has suffered by the bankruptcy of three large houses, and his 
only hope now is in that very Pharaon which poor Dantes commanded, 
and which is expected from the Indies with a cargo of cochineal and 
indigo. If this ship founders, like the others, he is a ruined num." 

"And has the unfortunate man wife or children 1" inquired the abbe\ 

" Yes, he has a wife, who in all this behaved like an angel ; he has a 
daughter who was about to marry the man she loved, but whose family 
now will not allow him to wed the daughter of a ruined man ; he has, 
besides, a sou, a lieutenant in the army; and, as you may suppose, all 
this, instead of soothing, doubles his grief. If he were alone in the 
world he would blow out his brains, and there would be an end." 

" Horrible ! " ejaculated the priest. 

"And it is thus Heaven recompenses virtue, sir," added Caderousse. 
"You see, I, who never did a bad action but that I have told you of, 
am in destitution; after having seen my poor wife die of a fever, unable 
to do anything in the world for her, I shall die of hunger, as old Dantes 
did, whilst Fernaud and Danglars are rolling in wealth." 

" How is that I " 

"Because all then- malpractices have turned to luck, while honest 
men have been reduced to misery." 

" What has become of Danglars the instigator, and therefore the most 
guilty ? " 

"What has become of him? Why, he left Marseilles, and was taken, 
on the recommendation of M. Morrel, who did not know his crime, as 
cashier into a Spanish bank. During the war with Spain he was 
employed in the commissariat of the French army, and made a fortune; 
then with that money he speculated in the funds, and trebled or quad- 
rupled his capital; and, having first married his banker's daughter, who 
left him a widower, he has married a second time, a widow, a .Madame 
de Nargonne, daughter of M. de Salvieux, the king's chamberlain, who 
is iu high favor at court. He is a millionaire, and they have made him 
a count, and now he is Le Comte Danglars, with an hotel in the Rue de 
Mont Blanc, with ten horses in his stables, six footmen in his ante- 
chamber, and I know not how many hundreds of thousands in his 
strong-box." 

"Ah!" said the abbe, with a peculiar tone, "he is happy." 

"Happy! who can answer for that '! Happiness or unhappiness i- 
the secret known but to one's self and the walls— walls have ears, hut 



324 THE colXT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 

no tongue; but if a large fortune produces happiness, Danglars is 
happy." 

"And Fernanda 

"Fernand! why, that is another history." 

"But how could a poor Catalan fisher-boy, without education or 
resources, make a fortune } 1 confess this .staggers me." 

•• And it has staggered everybody. There must have been in his life 
some strange seerel no one knows." 

"But, then, by what visible steps has lie attained this high fortune or 
high position ?" 

» Both, sir — he has both fortune and position — both." 

" This must be impossible ! " 

" It would seem so; but listen, and you will understand. Some days 
before the return of the emperor, Fernand was drawn in the conscrip- 
tion. The Bourbons left him quietly enough at the Catalans, but 
Napoleon returned, an extraordinary muster was determined on, and 
Fernand was compelled to join. I went too; hut as I was older than 
Fernand, and had just married my poor wife, I was only sent to the 
coast. Fernand was enrolled in the active army, went to the frontier 
with his regiment, and was at the battle of Ligny. The night after that 
bat lie he was sentry at the door of a general who carried on a secret 
correspondence with the enemy. That same night the general was to 
go over to the English. He proposed to Fernand to accompany him ; 
Fernand agreed to do so, deserted his post, and followed the general. 

" That which would have brought Fernand to a court-martial if 
Napoleon remained on the throne served for his recommendation to the 
Bourbons. He returned to France with the epaulette of sub-lieutenant, 
and as the protection of the general, who is in the highest favor, was 
accorded to him, he was a captain in 1823, during the Spanish war; 
that is to say, at the time when Danglars made his early speculations. 
Fernand was a Spaniard, and being sent to Spain to ascertain the feel- 
ing of his fellow-countrymen, found Danglars there, became on very 
intimate terms with him, promised to his general to obtain support from 
the royalists of the capital and the provinces, received promises and 
made pledges on his own part, guided his regiment by paths known to 
himself alone in gorges of the mountains kept by the royalists, and, in 
fact, rendered such services in this brief campaign that, after the taking 
of the Trocadero, he was made colonel, and received the title of count 
ami the cross of an officer of the Legion of Honor." 

" Destiny! destiny !" murmured the abbe. 

"Yes, hut listen; this was not all. The war with Spain being ended, 
Fernand's career was checked by the long peace which seemed likely to 



77/A' cor XT OF M0NTE-CRI8T0. 



325 



endure throughout Europe. Greece only had risen againsl Turkey, and 
had begun her war of independence; all eyes were turned toward 
Athens — it was the fashion to pity and support the Greeks. The French 
Government, without protecting them openly, as you know, tolerated 




AtTnO," 



partial migrations. Pernand sought and obtained Leave to go and 
serve in Greece, still having his name kept, during his sojourn, in the 
ranks of the army. 
"Some time after, ii was stated that the Comte de Morcerf (this was 



326 THE COUNT OF M OXTE -CB1 STO. 

the oame he bore) had entered the service of Ali Pacha with the rank 
of instructor-general. Ali Pacha was killed, as you know; but before 
he died he recompensed the services of Fernand by leaving him a con- 
siderable sum, with which he returned to France, when his rank of 
lieutenant-general was confirmed." 

" So that now f" inquired the abbe\ 

"So that now," continued Caderousse, "he possesses a magnificent 
hotel, No. 27 Rue du Helder, Paris." 

The abbe opened his mouth, remained for a moment like a man 
who hesitates, then, making an effort over himself, he said: 

"And Mercedes — they tell me that she has disappeared :'" 

" Disappeared," said Caderousse, "yes, as the sun disappears, to rise 
the next day with still more splendor." 

" Has she made a fortune also?" inquired the abbe, with an ironical 
smile. 

"Mercedes is at this moment one of the greatest ladies in Paris," 
replied Caderousse. 

" Go on," said the abbe; "it seems as if I were hearing the recital of 
a dream. But I have seen things so extraordinary, that those you men- 
t ion to me seem less astonishing." 

"Mercedes was at first in the deepest despair at the blow which 
deprived her of Edmond. I have told you of her attempts to propitiate 
M. de Yillefort, and of her devotion to the father of Dautes. In the 
mil 1st of her despair, a fresh trouble overtook her. This was the 
departure of Fernand — of Fernand, whose crime she did not know, 
and whom she regarded as her brother. Fernand went, and Mercedes 
remained alone. 

" Three months passed and found her all tears, — no news of Edmond, 
no news of Fernand, nothing before her but an old man who was dying 
with despair. One evening, after having been seated, as was her 
custom, all day at the angle of two roads that lead to Marseilles from 
the Catalans, she returned to her home more depressed than ever; 
neither her lover nor her friend returned by either of these roads, and 
she had no intelligence of one or the other. Suddenly she heard a step 
she knew, turned round anxiously, the door opened, and Fernand, 
dressed in the uniform of a sub-lieutenant, stood before her. 

"It was not the half that she bewailed, but it was a portion of her 
past life that returned to her. 

" Mercedes seized Fernand's hands with a transport which he took for 
love, but which was only joy at being no longer alone in the world, and 
seeing at last a friend, after long hours of solitary sorrow. And then, 
it must be confessed, Fernand had never been hated — he was only not 



THE <'<>r XT OF MONTE-CRISTO. 327 

precisely loved. Another possessed all Mercedes' heart ; that other was 
absent, had disappeared, perhaps was dead. At this last idea Mercedes 
burst into a flood of tears, and wrung her hands in agony; but this 
idea, which she had always repelled before when it was su^ested to 
her by another, came now in full force upon her mind; and then, too, 
old Dantes incessantly said to her, 'Our Edmund is dead; if he were 
not, he would return to us. 1 

" The old man died, as I have told you; had he lived, Merceaes, per- 
chance, had not become the wife of another, for he would have been 
there to reproach her infidelity. Fernand saw this, and when he learned 
the old man's death, he returned. He was now a lieutenant. At his first 
coming he had not said a word of love to Mercedes; at the second he 
reminded her that he loved her. 

"Mercedes begged for six months more to expect and bewail Edmond." 

"So that," said the abbe, with a bitter smile, "that makes eighteen 
months in all. What more could the most devoted lover desire .' " 

Then he murmured the words of the English poet, " Frailty, thy 
name is woman ! " 

"Six months afterward," continued Caderousse, "the marriage took 
place in the Chiu-ch of Accoules." 

"The very church in which she was to have married Edmond," mm - 
mui'ed the priest. "There was a change of bridegroom, that was all." 

" Well, Mercedes was married," proceeded Caderousse ; "but although 
in the eyes of the world she appeared calm, she nearly tainted as she 
passed La Reserve, where, eighteen months before, the betrothal had 
been celebrated with him whom she would have seen that she still loved, 
bad she looked at the bottom of her heart. Fernand, more happy, but 
not more at his ease — for I saw at this time he was in constant dread 
of Edmond's return — Fernand was very anxious to get his wife away, 
and to depart himself. There were too many dangers ami recollections 
associated with the Catalans, and eight days after the wedding they left 
Marseilles." 

"Did you ever see Mercedes again .' " inquired the priest. 

"Yes, during the war of Spain, at Perpignan, where Fernand had left 
her; she was attending to the education of her son." 
The abbe started. " Her son .' " said he. 

"Yes," replied Caderousse; " little Albert." 

"But, then, to be able to instruct her child," continued the abbe, "she 
must have received an education herself. 1 understood from Edmond 
that she was the daughter of a simple fisherman, beautiful but uned- 
ucated." 

"Oh!"replied Caderousse, "did be know bo little of his betrothed! 



328 THE COT XT OF MOXTTE-CRISTO. 

Mercedes might have been a queen, sir, if the crown were to be placed 
on the bead of the loveliest and most intelligent Her fortune had 
already become great, and she became great with her fortune. She 
learned drawing, music — everything. Besides, I believe, between our- 
selves, she did this in order to distract her mind, that she might forget; 
and she only filled ber head thus in order to alleviate the weight on her 
heart. But now everything must be told," continued Caderousse; "no 
doubt fortune and honors have comforted ber; she is rich, a countess, 

and yet " 

Caderousse paused. 

"And yet what .'" asked the al.be. 

"Yet, I am sure she is not happy," said Caderousse. 

" What makes you believe this ! " 

" Why, when 1 have found myself very wretched, I have thought my 
old friends would perhaps assist me. So I went to Danglars, who 
would not even receive me. 1 called on Fernand, who sent me a hun- 
dred francs by his valet-de-chambre." 

"Then you did not see either of them :' " 

"No ; but Madame de Morcerf saw me." 

"How was that:'" 

"As I weid away, a purse fell at my feet — it contained five-and- 
twenty louis; I raised my bead quickly, and saw Mercedes, who shut 
the blind directly." 

"And M. de Yillefort !" asked the abbe. 

"Oh, he never was a friend of mine; 1 did not know him, and I had 
nothing to ask of him." 

"Do you not know what became of him, and the share he had in 
Edmond's misfortunes V 

" No ; I only know that some time after having arrested him, he mar- 
ried Mademoiselle de Saint-Meran, and soon after left Marseilles; no 
doubt he has been as lucky as the rest ; no doubt he is as rich as Dan- 
glars, as high in station as Fernand. 1 only, as you see, have remained 
poor, wretched, and forgotten.' 1 

"You are mistaken, my friend," replied the abbe; " (rod may seem 
sometimes to forget for a while, whilst his justice reposes, but there 
always comes a moment when he remembers — and behold! a proof." 

As he spoke, the abbe took the diamond from his pocket, and giving 
it to ( laderousse, said : 

" Here, my friend, take this diamond; it is yours." 

"What, for me only:'" cried Caderousse; "ah! sir, do not jest with 
me!" 

"This diamond was to have been shared amongst his friends. 



THE COUNT OF M02TTE-CRIST0. 



:;:;i 



Edmond had one friend only, and thus it cannoi be divided Take tin- 
diamond, then, and sell it: it is worth fifty thousand francs ($10,000), 
and I repeat my wish that this gum may suffice to release von from 
your wretchedness." 







"()h, sir," said Caderousse, putting out on.' hand timidly, and with 
the other wiping away the perspiration which bedewed his brow,— oh, 
sir, do not mako a jest of the happiness or despair of a man." 

"T know what happiness and what despair are, and I nevermakea 

jesl of such feelings. Take it. then, but in exchange " 

Caderousse, who touched the diamond, withdrew his hand 



332 THE COUNT OF MONTE-GBISTO. 

The abbe smiled. 
"In exchange," he continued, "give me the red silk purse that M. 
Morre] Left on old Dantes' chimney-piece, and which you tell me is still 
in your hands." 

Caderousse, more and more astonished, went toward a large oaken 
cupboard, opened it, and gave the abbe a long purse of faded red silk, 
round which were two copper rings that had once been gilt. 

The abbe took it, and in return gave Caderousse the diamond. 
"Oh! you arc a man of God, sir," cried Caderousse; "for no one 
knew thai Edmond had given you this diamond, and you might have 
kepi it." 

'• Which," said the abbe t<> himself, "you would have done, it seems." 

The abbe rose, took his hat and gloves. 
" Well," he said, "all you have told me is perfectly true, then, and I 
may believe it in every particular." 

"See, M. I'Abbe," replied Caderousse, "in this eorner is a crucifix in 

holy w I — here on this shelf is the Gospel of my wife; open this book, 

and 1 will swear upon it with my hand on the crucifix. I will swear to 
you by my soul's salvation, my faith as a Christian, I have told every- 
thing to you as it occurred, and as the angel of men will tell it to the 
ear of God at the day of the last judgment!" 

"'Tis well," said the abbe, convinced by his manner and tone that 
Caderousse spoke the truth. '"Tis well, and may this money profit you! 
Adieu! I go far from men who thus so bitterly injure each other." 

The abbe with difficulty got away from the enthusiastic thanks of 
Caderousse, opened the door himself, got out and mounted his horse, 
once more saluted the innkeeper, who kept uttering his loud farewells, 
and then returned by the road he had traveled in coming. 

When Caderousse turned round, he saw behind him La Carconte, 
paler and trend ding more than ever. 
" Is, then, all that I have heard really true?" she inquired. 
" W hat ! that he has given the diamond to us only V inquired Cade- 
rousse, half bewildered with joy. 
" Yes ! " 

"Nothing more time ! See ! here it is." 
The woman gazed at it a moment, and then said, in a gloomy voice, 
" Suppose it's false .' " 

Caderousse stalled, and turned pale. 
"False!" he muttered. "False! why should that man give me a 
false diamond ;' " 

"To possess your secret without paying for it, you blockhead ! " 
Caderousse remained for a moment aghast under the weight of such 
an idea. 



THE COUNT OF MONTE-GRISTO. 333 

"Oli !" he said, taking up his hat, which he placed on the red hand- 
kerchief tied round his head, "we will soon learn that.'' 

" In what way ? " 

"Why, it is the fair of Beaucaire; there are always jewelers from 
Paris there, and I will show it to them. Take care of the house, wife, 
and I shall be back in two hours." 

Caderousse left the house in haste, and ran rapidly in a direction 
contrary to that which the unknown had taken. 

" Fifty thousand francs ! " muttered La Carconte,when left alone ; " it 
is a large sum of money, but it is not a fortune." 



END OF VOLUME I. 



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