It is the way of weakened minds to see everything through a back cloud. The soul forms its own horizons.
What follows is a complete summary of The Count of Monte Cristo. I made a summary as I read each chapter. For those daunted by the length of the book, the summary might be a way to familiarise yourself with the story. Others might wish to use it as a tool to help guide them in their own reading.
The story begins at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and spans over twenty years. It is the story of Edmund Dantes, wrongly imprisoned for political reasons, who escapes prison, finds a fortune bequeathed to him by a fellow prisoner, uses that fortune to adopt a new identity as the Count of Monte Cristo, and then seeks revenge upon those who did him wrong. That’s the whole plot in two sentences. But if you’re interested in the details, you can read below.
Use the Chapter Menu on the left to quickly navigate to chapters.
SPOILER WARNING. What appears below gives away all key aspects of the plot.
Edmond Dantes (Captain of The Pharaon), M.Morrel (Owner of The Pharaon), Captain Leclere (Former captain of The Pharaon. Dead by fever), Danglars (Agent of The Pharaon)
Dantes brings The Pharaon into harbour after a trading voyage. The ship’s captain, Leclere has died of fever and Dantes has taken command of the ship as required. He is shown to be competent. Morrel, an owner of the ship, expresses his pleasure at Dantes’ command and promises to speak with his business partner to have Dantes permanently appointed to the position. As Dante attends to various tasks, Danglars speaks with Morrel, suggesting first, that Dante acted inappropriately by delaying their trip at the island of Elba where Napoleon is in exile. Dantes reveals it had been Leclere’s dying wish he do so to deliver a package to Marshal Bertrand. Next, Danglars suggests Dantes holds a letter for Morrel from Captain Leclere, suggesting that Dantes is withholding it. Dantes denies any letter and politely refuses an invitation to dine with Morrel on the excuse that he must see his father and will later want to see his girl, Mercedes.
Edmond Dantes, Danglars
Caderousse (Neighbour; a tailor), Senior Dantes (Edmond Dantes’ father)
Dantes returns home to find his father in a poor state. He has lived on only 60 francs for three months since Caderousse demanded repayment of 140 francs owed by Dantes. Dantes tells his father and Caderousse of his (assumed) captaincy and speaks of his desire to see Mercedes. Caderousse plants some doubt in his mind, saying that Mercedes is also pursued by other men. When Dantes leaves, we find that Caderousse is reporting back to Danglars and is not well disposed to Dantes. Caderousse confirms Dantes’ ambition to be the captain of The Pharaon and his desire to marry Mercedes.
Edmond Dantes, Danglars, Caderousse
Mercedes (Edmond Dantes’ girlfriend), Fernand (A suitor to Mercedes)
Mercedes awaits the return of Dantes from his voyage. Meanwhile, Fernand presses her to be his lover. He has pursued her for ten years but she has never given him any encouragement. She tells him he must only ever think of himself as a friend or brother. Dantes arrives and she is overjoyed to see him. She introduces Fernand as a friend who appears gloomy and threatening instead. Mercedes declares she will kill herself if anything ever happens to Dantes to put out of Fernand’s mind the implicit threat in his behaviour. Fernand flees the house and meets Caderousse and Danglars, who tease him about his unrequited desire. They suggest that he not allow Dantes to have Mercedes without a fight and also tell of Dantes’ likely promotion to the rank of captain. When the lovers leave the house, Caderousse points them out to Fernand as they hold each other tight. Caderousse addresses Mercedes as Madame Dantes and Danglars addresses Dantes as captain. Both reject these premature titles saying it would be bad luck to accept them. Dantes announces he must go to Paris to finalise Captain Leclere’s business by delivering a letter he received from Marshal Bertrand on the island of Elba.
Fernand, Danglars, Caderousse
Danglars attempts to persuade Fernand that the only way he can have Mercedes is by killing Dantes. Fernand doesn’t dare do it because he believes Mercedes will then carry out her threat to kill herself. Caderousse, who is mostly drunk by now, declares he doesn’t want to kill Dantes because he is his friend. Realising he cannot get past this, Danglars decides to implicate Dantes in a plot involving Napoleon, based on Dantes’ brief stop at Elba where he met Napoleon. He reasons to Fernand that Dantes in prison will serve Fernand’s ends. He does not openly reveal his own motives for getting rid of Dantes: the issue over the captaincy of The Pharaon. Danglars writes the note in his left hand to disguise his identity, so that Dantes will have no cause for revenge against them when he is finally out of prison. However, he makes a show of crumpling the letter and tossing it in the corner when concern is raised about the plan.
Edmond Dantes, Senior Dantes, Mercedes, Fernand, Danglars, Caderousse, M. Morrel
A dinner gathering to celebrate the betrothal of Dantes and Mercedes. However, Dantes announces during the dinner that he and Mercedes will be married within the next 90 minutes after he clears all legal issues prior to that. However, the merriment is soon cut short when a magristrate appears at the door with orders to arrest Dantes. Dantes quietly goes with the officer, assuming it is a mere technicality over the shipment he brought in the day before. Morrel leaves to find out what the specific problem is. Caderousse challenges Danglars to explain what has happened, since Caderousse is well disposed towards Dantes. Danglars feigns ignorance, saying he did not go ahead with their plan, and implicates Fernand who has momentarily left the room. Morrel returns to tell them Dantes has been implicated as an agent of Napoleon. Now Danglars becomes more aggressive with Caderousse, saying that the charges may well be true, since certain facts do support them (eg landing at Elba). Now Danglars is offered the captaincy of The Pharaon, at least temporarily until Dantes is released. And he reiterates that he believes Fernand is responsible for handing the letter to the authorities. So Danglars has Dantes in prison, has the captaincy of The Pharaon, at least for the moment, and he has a scapegoat for his plan.
Marquis de Saint-Meran (old man who opposed Bonaparte), Marquise de Saint-Meran (old woman: wife who also opposes revolutionaries and the losses of the aristocracy), Compte de Salvieux (Old friend to Saint-Meren), Gerard de Villefort (a young magistrate and betrothed to Renee), Renee (Betrothed to Villefort, daughter of Compte de Salvieux)
At the same time as that of Dantes and Mercedes, another marriage feast is being celebrated in an aristocratic mansion for M. Villefort and Renee. The subject of discussion turns to politics, with the Saint-Merans voicing their disapproval of the revolutionaries. They characterise the followers of Napoleon as fanatics. However, Villefort speaks in favour of forgetting the past and moving on, while at the same time asserting his willingness to prosecute any revolutionaries who would break the law. Renee expresses a desire to see a court case, but Villefort warns her that unlike theatre, the reality of the court might be distressing for her. Then Villefort is briefly called away. Upon his return he informs the company that he has been assigned the case of Dantes whom he says has been implicated in a Bonaparte conspiracy. Renee begs him to be merciful. Villefort promises to be as merciful as he can, but he will not hesitate to ask for the death penalty if the case justifies it.
Edmond Dantes, M. de Villefort, M. Morrel
M. Morrel meets Villefort and speaks of Dantes’ good character. At first Villefort’s suspicions are aroused by Morrel, whom he suspects is a conspirator, but when he meets Dantes he changes his mind. Dantes is young and Villefort reacts to the fact that they had both been celebrating their betrothals that day. Added to this, he believes Dantes’ story about Leclere’s dying wishes and how Dantes went to Elba to honour them. Villefort goes so far as to show the letter of accusation to Dantes, hoping he would recognise the handwriting, since he believes (quite rightly) that Dantes’ accusation is the result of jealousy from his early success and/or betrothal. Vilefort asks to see the letter given to Dantes on Elba to take to Paris. It is addressed to Monsieur Noirtier, Rue Coq-Heron, Paris. This is Villefort’s father who has had a chequered political past that Villefort worries will destroy his own career. Without telling Dantes this he burns the letter and makes Dante swear he will not speak of its existence. From this moment Villefort is really acting to protect his own interests, but he says Dantes must be held a little while longer until everything is cleared up.
Edmond Dantes, Mercedes
Dantes is temporarily put in a prison cell, but then is moved by Gendarmes who escort him to a boat at night. He does not know where he is going and the gendarmes are forbidden to tell him. Eventually, he persuades them to talk to him and they indicate they are rowing to the Château d’If, a notorious prison on an island for political prisoners. The conditions here are much harsher. Dantes spends the night standing without sleep. He regrets not having escaped, knowing he might have been able to start his life anew abroad. The next morning when his gaoler comes, he demands to see the prison governor. The gaoler says it is not allowed. Dantes refuses any comforts the gaoler says are available to him and continues to press to see the governor. When the gaoler refuses, Dantes asks him to get a message to Mercedes. The gaoler says it is not worth the risk to him. Dantes threatens violence if he does not help. The gaoler returns with a corporal and four soldiers who escort Dantes to the dungeon below.
M.Villefort, Marquis de Saint-Meran, Marquise de Saint-Meran, Renee, Mercedes, Fernand, M.Morrel, Caderousse, Danglars
Villefort returns to Saint-Meran’s place to find the guests in the salon. He advises the Marquis to sell all his funds at once and then asks him to procure a letter of introduction to the king from M.de Salvieux to speed things up and ensure no one else gets to deliver his news. He then leaves to return home but finds Mercedes waiting for him. She begs news of Dantes but Villefort tells her he no longer knows where he is and that Dantes is a criminal. Then Villefort suffers a pang of conscience that he is condemning an innocent man because of his own father’s crimes. Meanwhile, Fernand has met Mercedes as she returns home and insinuates himself with her as he tries to comfort her. Both Morrel and Caderousse are disturbed by news of Dantes’s arrest. Caderousse is getting drunk again. Meanwhile, Danglars is pleased with how things have gone.
Danglars was one of those men born with a pen behind the ear, and an inkstand in place of a heart. Everything with him was multiplication and subtraction. The life of a man was to him of far less value than a numeral, especially when, by taking it away, he could increase the sum of his own desires.
- page 69
King Louis XVIII, Duke Blacas [M. de Blacas], Baron M. Dandre (Chief of Police)
Blacas has received the letter of introduction from M. de Salvieux recommending Villefort to the king. He is concerned that Villefort’s presence means a new threat from Bonaparte is looming. He tries to convince the king of this, but when Dandre arrives the king encourages him to tell Blacas that he is needlessly alarmed. Dandre and the king paint a portrait of Napoleon wiling away his days in boredom and impotence; of a man given up on ambition who has allowed some of his key supporters to return to France to start anew. Blacas assures the king that his messenger is in earnest, having travelled 220 leagues in only three days to deliver his intelligence. When Blacas tells the king Villefort’s name, Louis suddenly takes him more seriously, having heard of Villefort. He knows of Villefort’s father and his desire to rise above that history. Villefort is brought in and he exaggerates the danger. He suggests that Napoleon is advanced in a conspiracy to overthrow the king, and that this intelligence comes from Dantes, whom he has interrogated. Even so, the king assures Villefort that Napoleon will have little support no matter where he escapes to, and presents little threat. But Dandre returns pale and trembling, suggesting he has terrible news.
King Louis XVIII, Duke Blacas [M. de Blacas], Baron M. Dandre (Chief of Police)
Germain (Villefort’s servant), M. Noirtier (Villefort’s father)
Dandre tells them that Napoleon has escaped from Elba about four days ago and has been gathering forces. Louis shows his contempt for Dandre: Villefort, he argues, has no telegraph or intelligence agency, yet he was able to get news of Dantes’ alleged conspiracy to him sooner. He spares Blacas his anger because Blacas had supported Villefort’s suspicions prior to this news. Villefort diplomatically attributes his success to luck to try to win Dandre over. Louis speculates that this has something to do with the murder of General Quesnel, after leaving a Bonapartist club while keeping an appointment there with a man of about fifty, who wore a rosette of the Legion of Honor. Villefort is horrified to hear of this description. He is excused by the king who first asks whether he will be seeing his father. Villefort says he will not. Louis admires his loyalty and tells him to expect support in his career in the future, and makes him an officer. When Villefort returns home his servant says there is a man waiting for him. It turns out to be his father, fitting exactly the description of the man who is suspected of murdering General Quesnel.
Villefort, M. Noirtier
Villefort questions his father about his associations with the Bonapartist club. His father admits the association. Villefort tells his father he knew of Bonaparte’s plans when he intercepted the letter from Elba meant for him. He burned the letter to protect his father. Villefort tells him of General Quesnel’s murder at the club. His father quibbles about whether it was murder, and suggests it is something else when done for the purpose of politics. Quesnel had listened to all their plans then revealed himself a royalist. They did not trust the oath he swore not to reveal what he knew. Noirtier assures his son that Napoleon has far more support in France than the Royalist think and assures him Napoleon will have their support. He then changes his appearance because of the description the police have of him. Before he leaves he suggests Villefort should go home and stay out of the struggle to come so that when the Bonapartist win he can be saved, and if they lose, he will also be safe. Villefort allows him to leave, but then heads to Marseilles, himself, still full of ambition.
M.Morrel, M.Villefort, Louis XVIII, Napoleon, Danglars, Fernand, Mercedes, Caderousse, Senior Dantes
Napoleon regains power swiftly after his escape from Elba. This means that the crime for which Dantes was accused is no longer a crime. Morrel visits Villefort to ask for help in getting Dantes released. Villefort feigns difficulty in remembering the case, at first. But he knows if he doesn’t help, Morrel will go to someone else for help and the matter will pass out of his hands, potentially placing himself in danger. He states that many political prisoners have no records kept for them since they were supposed to disappear. He encourages Morrel to write a petition to the minister which he will support. By doing this this he means to delay progress. He suspects Napoleon will be defeated and Louis XVIII reinstated, thereby removing the issue of Dantes’ freedom. Meanwhile, Danglars fears Dantes’ return and so leaves Morrel’s service and is seen no more. Fernand decides to join Napoleon’s army, as does Caderousse. Mercedes tells Fernand to be careful, since she will be left alone if he dies. This gives him some hope for the future. Finally, Dantes’ father dies five months after Dantes’ imprisonment.
Edmond Dantes [Prisoner No.34]
Inspector-general of prisons, Governor, Antoine [turnkey], Abbe Faria [Prisoner No.27]
The inspector-general of prisons arrives a year after Louis XVIII’s restoration to check on the conditions of the prison. He is introduced to Dantes whom he is told is dangerous. Dantes pleads to know what his crime is, to be put to trial and if found guilty, shot, or else released. He is told he has been in prison for 17 months. The inspector promises Dantes he will inspect Villefort’s notes after Dantes naively informs him that Villefort had no reason to bear him a grudge. Next, the inspector is introduced to the Abbe Faria. Faria also does not know why he is in prison, but he claims to have a large fortune which he promises to share with the government and the inspector if he is set free. He even promises to reveal the place his treasure is buried and wait in prison for them to ascertain the truth of his story. Unfortunately, the governor has already anticipated Faria’s story for the inspector, having heard it many times. Faria is dismissed as being mad. The narrative points out that it is not in a government’s interest to have the victims of persecution reappear in society. In this case, the inspector does check Villefort’s notes, but they describe Dantes as political and violent, and the inspector is content to leave Dantes in prison. Another year passes with Dantes’ false hope of release slowly dwindling. The governor leaves the prison during this time and a new governor is appointed who does not learn their names, only their numbers.
Gaoler, Abbe Faria [Prisoner No.27], Edmond Dantes [Prisoner No.34]
Turnkey [a new one since last chapter]
Dantes falls into despair after another few years in the prison and resolves to kill himself. He considers two methods, whether to hang himself with his handkerchief or to starve himself. Having seen men hanged in the past he resolves to starve and begins to throw his food away. Four days after he begins to starve himself, he hears a sound in the wall and instantly thinks it is another prisoner trying to escape. He makes a noise with a rock, reasoning that a prisoner would be cautious and wait a long time before resuming their digging. He appears to be right. Dantes then smashes a jug and later causes the gaoler to step on his plate at the door to break it. The gaoler, too lazy to remove the pieces immediately, leaves Dantes with the tools he needs to loosen the mortar in the wall. Dantes speaks to another prisoner who introduces himself only as No.27. He has been imprisoned four years longer than Dantes. Dantes gains his trust. No.27 asks him to fill in the hole in the wall and await his signal. When Dantes next hears from him the prisoner completes his burrowing and the floor collapses beneath Dante.
Abbe Faria [Prisoner No.27], Dantes [Prisoner No.34]
Dantes questions Faria as to how he managed to dig into his cell. Faria explains he had been attempting to escape but had not calculated his position correctly. He had spent years making tools to help him dig, using his bed and implements. He explains that he was imprisoned for a plan to alter the political face of Italy in 1811. Faria hears of the reinstatement of royalty in France. Faria is quite sanguine about his failed escape. In his conversation he reveals himself to be a man of enormous intellectual powers. He describes his detailed knowledge of ancient writers as well as his own writings he has conducted on clothing, using ink and a quill fashioned from soot and wine, and fish bones. Dantes admires Faria and finds his own spirits lifted, believing that if this man of twice his age could achieve what he has, then Dantes feels he, himself, could exert himself even better and that his prospects of escape would also be good. Dantes suggests digging into a corridor and killing a guard to escape, but Faria rejects the idea of harming someone else for his liberty. Dantes expresses a desire to see Faria’s cell and his writings. Faria invites Dantes to follow him back.
Abbe Faria [Prisoner No.27], Edmond Dantes [Prisoner No.34]
The Abbe Faria and Dantes return to Faria’s cell via the tunnel Faria has excavated. Faria displays the achievements he has made over his many years of imprisonment: his written history, his writing implement, his knife and the ladder he has constructed from materials, all carefully hidden by various means in his cell. Next, Dantes recounts the events that led to his imprisonment for Faria. Faria suggests Dantes might logically work out who was responsible for his imprisonment by considering who benefitted from it. So, he cross examines Dantes and through Dantes story works out that Danglars and Fernand both had motives to have Dantes imprisoned. When he is told the name of the intended recipient of the letter Dantes was carrying and his prosecutor, Faria realises it is the son of the man implicated in the letter that had Dantes imprisoned, most likely to protect his father. Over the next year Dantes and Faria form a close relationship. Faria becomes Dantes mentor, teaching him several languages, mathematics and science. Then Faria has an idea for escape but insists that Dantes does not hurt the guard to achieve it. The plan is that they will dig a cavity under the gallery where the guard patrols and cause a stone upon which he steps to collapse beneath him, causing him to fall into the cavity. They will tie him up and then use the ladder Faria has constructed to escape. They dig for 15 months but just before they are about to enact their plan Faria has an attack which leaves him incapacitated. He explains that it is a malady that runs in his family and he fears the next attack will end his life. He urges Dantes to make the escape without him, but Dantes refuses to. So Faria asks Dantes to fill in the cavity so that it does not lead to their detection.
Abbe Faria [Prisoner No.27], Edmond Dantes [Prisoner No.34]
The day after Faria’s collapse Dantes returns to his cell. Faria wants to tell Dantes about a treasure he wishes to share now that he has convinced himself that he trusts Dantes. Dantes at first believes this is he Faria’s madness which has been suppressed until now and is reluctant to talk about it, but Faria produces a text about a treasure with each line missing one half. Faria tells Dantes of his connection to a once-wealthy family as secretary to Cardinal Spada. He explains that Spada’s ancestor bought one of two new cardinal positions from Pope Alexander VI, who created them to help raise money after the wars of Romagna and defend against Louis XII of France. Once they came to Rome the pope invited them to dinner, often a sign that the invitee was about to be poisoned. Cardinal Spada wrote a will bequeathing his books and a breviary to his nephew. Then he and his fellow Cardinal Rospiliosi were indeed poisoned, but the pope and his son Cesare could not find any record of wealth among Spada’s papers. The centuries rolled on and the Spada family slipped into obscurity. When Faria was employed by the present Cardinal Spada he was asked to look for evidence of wealth in the family papers but found none. Before Spada died he bequeathed his books and papers and anything else he owned to Faria. Early one morning Faria discovered that one of the papers contained invisible ink which reappeared when he lit it. The paper was damaged by the fire, leaving only half of each line. But Faria was able to peace together the instructions over time, which revealed the first Cardinal Spada had hidden a huge treasure in a cave on the island of Monte Cristo before he was poisoned. Faria had intended to take Dantes to the island upon their escape and share the fortune, but now he wants Dantes to take him there, or go himself if Faria dies first, and retrieve the treasure for himself.
Abbe Faria [Prisoner No.27], Edmond Dantes [Prisoner No.34], Governor, Turnkey
Dantes makes plans with Faria for their escape, but a part of the prison is rebuilt which cuts off access to their former escape route. Nevertheless, Faria continues to give instructions to Dantes until one night he is again overcome by an attack of the malady that partially paralysed him before. Faria is convinced he will die this time, but allows Dantes to administer the medicine which saved him last time. Faria dies, nevertheless. Dantes retreats to his own cell knowing that the turnkey will soon come with their dinners. Dantes moves back into their connecting tunnel between the cells to listen to what is happening after his own food is delivered. He hears the turnkey’s discovery of the body and the conversation between the governor and doctor as the doctor pronounces Faria dead. The governor, not wishing to take chances, has a brazier brought into the cell and a hot iron placed against Faria's ankle to make sure he is dead. The governor is then convinced. Faria’s body is to be left in the cell until his burial. No religious mass will be said in his honour since the prison chaplain has taken a leave of absence. When they have left, Dantes once again enters Faria’s cell.
Dantes returns to Faria’s cell and contemplates his corpse. He is briefly overcome with a sense of despair and considers suicide or a violent end with the guards. Then he has the idea of swapping places with Faria’s corpse. He removes the corpse to the bed in his own cell where he disguises it, then sews himself from the inside into Faria’s winding sheet. When the gravediggers come they haul him outside, but instead of burying him they throw him into the sea where it is the custom to dispose of corpses from the prison.
Jacopo, Ship Captain
Dantes manages to cut himself free of the winding sheet and lead balls weighting his feet before he drowns. He swims for over an hour and lands on the island of Tiboulen. As he shelters on the island, he sees a ship sunk nearby by the storm. Later, when he sees a Genoese trading ship passing near the island, he strikes out again using a timber from the sunken ship to keep him afloat. Just as he is about to sink, he is rescued by the crew members. Dantes asks to be taken in, at least to give him passage to Leghorn. He tells them he is a Maltese sailor, the only survivor from the ship that sunk nearby. He also demonstrates his skill as a sailor by sailing the ship closer to the wind and clearing an island with fewer tacks. Meanwhile, the report of a gun is heard from the Chateau d’If. Dantes boldly explains that a prisoner has probably escaped. The captain is willing to believe that Dantes is not the prisoner, but privately considers Dantes too good a sailor to pass up. Dantes is told the year is 1829. He has been in prison for fourteen years and he is now 33 years old. His mind now turns to the three men responsible for his incarceration – Danglars, Fernand and Villefort – and he remembers an oath of vengeance he swore.
Edmond Dantes, Ship Captain, Jacopo
At first the captain of The Young Amelia fears Dantes might be a customs officer in disguise because the boat was used for smuggling goods past customs in various countries in the Mediterranean. But his fears are soon allayed and he begins to trust Dantes. Dantes is given an advance on wages and has a hair cut and shave in Leghorn. He realises that the years in prison have changed his appearance a great deal. Dantes begins a three-month contract as a sailor on The Young Amelia and during that time they sail past the island of Monte Cristo many times. During one trip their boat is chased by a customs ship and shots are exchanged. The customs officer is killed and Dantes is wounded in the shoulder. Jacopo saves Dantes and helps him recover from the wound. Dantes offers him a cut of his pay as thanks but Jacopo declines the offer. So, in return, Dantes begins to teach Jacopo naval navigation with the idea that he might one day be more than just a sailor. Maybe a captain of a ship. Meanwhile, Dantes thinks about the island of Monte Cristo and determines to secretly visit the island after his three-month contract is over to look for the treasure. One problem, however, is that he will need to trust someone else to help him. Then he attends a meeting in a tavern where plans to smuggle goods are made. The island of Monte Cristo is chosen as a neutral ground to trade goods, and Dantes’ hopes rise when he realises he will finally have an excuse to visit the island.
Edmond Dantes, Ship Captain Baldi, Jacopo
Dantes has a disturbed night’s sleep before they set sail for Monte Cristo, dreaming of failure. When they land on the island the following night, he is faced with the problem of how to search for the caves talked of by Faria without raising suspicion. When he chances to mention caves, Jacopo says he knows of no caves on the island. Dantes concludes that Faria may have had the entrance deliberately concealed. He proposes to go and hunt goats for food and Jacopo accompanies him. They kill a goat and Dantes asks Jacopo to take it back to camp to have it cooked while he continues to hunt. He will return to them, he says, at the firing of a gun, used to mark that the goat is ready for dinner. Left alone, Dantes continues to look for signs of a hiding place and eventually comes across some markings which he thinks might have been left by Faria. When the gun goes off Dantes is in sight of his fellow sailors and begins to head towards them quickly, then seems to slip into a crevice. When his companions find him, he appears to have broken ribs and he says he is in too much pain to move. He asks them to leave him for the moment, since they must leave the island soon, and return for him in a week. With some persuading he makes them agree, even Jacopo, who is willing to stay with him. Once the boat is out of sight, Dantes climbs to his feet. He is not hurt at all. His fall was a ruse to get time alone to explore the island.
Dantes returns to where he saw the markings on the rock, follows a creek and finds a large rock that looks like it has been moved into place in the past. He is becoming paranoid, constantly checking that he is alone. Unable to move the rock with leverage, he uses gun powder to shift the rock, then levers it away. He enters a cavern, but begins to believe that the treasure Faria spoke of was either fictitious or long since stolen. He imagines Cesare Borgia coming not long after the treasure was hidden to claim it for his own. Nevertheless, curiosity takes Dantes further into the cave. He finds a section in the wall that seems to have been filled, so he uses his pick to dislodge the rocks and enters a second cavern where he begins to dig according to the instructions he received from Faria. He unearths an iron and wooden chest. He forces the lock and finds three compartments inside. The first is full of gold coin, the second of unpolished gold ingots and the third of diamonds, pearls and rubies. Dantes runs out outside, mad with delight, then spends a restless night at the entrance to the caverns.
Edmond Dantes, Jacopo, Former crew mate from The Pharaon
The next day Dantes fills his pockets with gems and then seals the entrance to the cave and disguises any evidence of his having been there. He waits for The Young Amelia to return six days later. When he gets back to Leghorn he sells his jewels and buys a new boat for Jacopo. He pretends he is from a rich family and has been a sailor from a whim to spite his family. He asks Jacopo to sail to Marseilles to check on his father and Mercedes. He gives money to the crew of The Young Amelia and then departs, his contract now over. He goes to Genoa where he purchases himself a yacht and has the builder install three hidden compartments in the cabin. He then returns to Monte Cristo where he removes the rest of the treasure to the secret compartments of his boat. He then sails about the island for a week waiting for the return of Jacopo. Jacopo tells him that his father has died and that Mercedes has disappeared. He decides to return to Marseilles himself where he bumps into an old shipmate from the Pharaon. As expected, the man does not recognise Dantes now. Dantes returns to his father’s apartment, the Allees de Meillan, to find that a newly-wed couple now occupies it. He makes an inquiry about Caderousse but is told Caderousse got into financial difficulty and now stays at a small inn on the route from Bellegrade to Beaucaire. Next, Dante finds out where the owner of the Allees de Meillan lives and visits him to offer a price well in excess of its worth. Having bought the residence, he asks the married couple to take their choice of any of the best rooms in the house for no extra rent, as long as Dantes can have their rooms, the rooms of his late father. Yet Dantes does not remain there. He leaves Marseilles by the Port d’Aix almost immediately.
Edmond Dantes (disguised as an Abbe)
Madeleine Radelle (La Carconte, Wife of Caderousse), Trinette (Chambermaid), Pecaud (Hostler)
The scene changes to a small roadside inn, the Pont du Gard, which is run by Caderousse and his wife, Madeleine. The inn has fallen on hard times since passing traffic has declined after a nearby canal has been employed for shipping goods, in preference to stage coaches. A priest turns up, evidently Dantes in disguise, who establishes Caderousse’s identity and explains that he was called to Dantes’ prison cell to administer last rights. He says that it was Dantes’ dying wish that his friends and father divide the wealth of a valuable diamond given to him by a rich man he befriended in prison. The ‘priest’ begins to asks questions of Caderousse, clearly trying to find out as much as he can. He ascertains that his father starved to death a year after he was imprisoned, according to Caderousse. Caderousse, upon learning that the diamond is to be divided equally in its value to the remaining four beneficiaries – himself, Danglars, Mercedes and Fernand – sees there is profit in it for him if he can disqualify Danglars and Fernand because they were not the friends that the supposedly dead Dantes believed them to be. His wife, however, is suspicious of the ‘priests’ motives, and warns her husband to say nothing. However, her intransigence is softened when the ‘priest’ shows her the diamond which is to be sold to fund the inheritance. So she withdraws upstairs, leaving Caderousse to speak. Caderousse promises to tell the ‘priest’ a story about Dantes’ supposed friends.
Edmond Dantes (disguised as an Abbe), Gaspard Caderousse, Madeleine Radelle (La Carconte)
Caderousse is reassured that his story will not pass beyond the ‘abbe’ but will be treated like a confession. First he tells of the grief of Dantes’ father after the arrest. Inconsolable, his health deteriorated, and after a doctor diagnosed bowel trouble and recommended a reduced diet, it gave him the excuse to refuse food. After nine days he starved to death. Next, Caderousse speaks of Fernand and Danglars, both of whom have made their fortune since Edmond was arrested. Caderousse speaks of the writing of the incriminating letter and bemoans his failure to grasp their full intent, since he was drunk at the time. M.Morrel, who was entirely unaware of the plot against Dantes, has fallen on bad times. Morrel had attended the dying father and had left his purse with which to pay his debts and funeral. Now, after losing five ships in two years, he is on the edge of ruin. Meanwhile, Danglars and Fernand are rich. Danglars was employed in the commissariat of the French army during the war with Spain, made a fortune through speculation, married a banker’s daughter and then later became a baron when he married Madame de Nargonne, daughter of M. de Servieux, the king’s chamberlain. He is now a millionaire. Fernand was drafted into the army and his fortunes rose after the Battle of Ligny when he accompanied a general on a mission to meet with the English. He rose to the rank of captain in the Spanish War of 1823, and was eventually made colonel for his part against the royalists. He was also left money by Ali Pasha after he was killed, for his services in Greece in the rank of Instructor General. He later returned to Mercedes to persuade her to marry him. She held out for eighteen months, hoping Dantes would return, but she eventually relented. They were married and Fernand and Mercedes left Marseilles, although Caderousse met Mercedes once more and knows she had a son, Albert. Later, when Caderousse asked for financial aid he was turned away by both Danglars and Fernand, but Mercedes dropped a purse with money from a window to him. Of Villefort, Caderousse knows nothing, except that he was married to Mademoiselle de Saint-Meren and they left Marseilles. Having heard the story, the ‘abbe’ judges that Caderousse was the only one who was a true friend to Dantes and gives him the diamond. When the ‘abbe’ leaves, Madeleine remains sceptical, saying the diamond is probably a fake used to get Caderousse’s story from him for nothing. Caderousse resolves to consult a jeweller at a fair in Beaucaire to determine the worth of the diamond.
Edmond Dantes (disguised as an Englishman, Chief Clerk of the house of Thomas and French, Rome)
Mayor of Marseilles, M. de Boville (Inspector of Prisons)
Dantes visits the mayor of Marseilles dressed as an Englishman representing a trading firm. He inquires after M.Morrel. The mayor will not disclose Morrel’s financial situation but tells Dantes Morrel is an honourable man. The mayor advises Dantes to speak to M. de Boville, inspector of prisons, who has invested 200,000 francs in a shipment of Morrel’s. M. de Boville confirms that Morrel is in dire financial straits, and that the money he invested was for his daughter’s dowry. He now fears it lost. Dantes offers to buy the investment for the full value, despite the risk, saying he merely represents a firm whose motives he does not fully understand. As commission, Dantes asks only to view the prison records from the Château d’If, saying that Abbé Faria had educated him as a child. M. de Boville tells Dantes the story of Faria’s death, the passage between his and Dantes’s cell and of Dantes’s escape, whom he calls a dangerous Bonapartist. He confirms that Dantes’ is officially believed to be dead, drowned in his escape attempt. M. de Boville allows Dantes to view the prison records in private. Dantes discovers the accusing letter written by Danglars and Fernand. He removes it from the records. He also finds in Villefort’s handwriting a marginal note stating that he was “an inveterate Bonapartist” and was to be kept in strict confinement.
Edmond Dantes (disguised as an Englishman Chief Clerk of the house of Thomas and French, Rome), M.Morrel, M. de Boville (Inspector of Prisons)
Cocles (Morrel’s one-eyed clerk, secretly in love with Julie, Julie (Morrel’s daughter), Emmanuel (Employee of Morrel), Penelon (Old seaman off The Pharaon)
Still in disguise, Dantes visits Morrel, his former employer and owner of The Pharaon. Morrel’s business is obviously in decline with few employees left. The one-eyed Cocles, the cashier, is one of them. Dantes is conducted to Morrel’s room, where he finds Morrel visibly older. He explains to Morrel that he has bought all Morrel’s debts and that Morrel now owes the house of Thomas and French 287,500 francs. Morrel explains that he awaits the return of The Pharaon which will give him liquidity once again to pay his debts, but if the ship sinks, which is already a month late, he will be ruined. At this moment there is a cry and Morrel’s daughter, Julie, enters the room to inform her father that The Pharaon has indeed sunk and that her crew were brought into port by La Gironde which has just arrived. Penelon, an old sailor, represents the ship’s crew since the captain is sick and cannot attend. He tells the story of the ship facing a huge storm in which she was damaged and took on water faster than the crew could pump it out. Eventually they had to abandon ship and they floated for three days before rescue. Morrel offers to pay the crew with what money he has left. The crew are willing to wait for a new boat to be built, but Morrel reveals he has no further money of his own to invest. The crew is reluctant to take the money, but Morrel assures them he will contact them in better times. Once Dantes and Morrel are alone again, Dantes agrees to extend the payment date by three months, making the payment date the 5th September. Ominously, Morrel says,
I shall expect you … and I will pay you – or I shall be dead. The last remark is said too low for Dantes to hear. Dantes leaves after encouraging Julie that she and Emmanuel will one day marry, and asks Penelon to accompany him so they can talk further alone. He also tells Julie she will one day receive a letter from ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ and asks her to promise she will do whatever the letter bids her to do.
M.Morrel, Julie, Maximilian Morrel, Emmanuel, Cocles, Wife, Penelon, Edmond Dantes
Maximilian Morrel (Morrel’s son), Captain Guamard (Captain of The Pharaon who was too sick to attend Morrel in the previous chapter)
Morrel feels some relief at the extension to pay his debts, but wonders whether it has been done for altruistic or practical reasons. In the meantime, business continues with Cocles able to pay small bills that fall due before the 5th of December. Morrel meets Penelon and Captain Guamard who has recovered, and sees that Penelon has a new outfit. He is happy the sailor is finding other employment. On the 1st September Morrel goes to Paris to ask help of Danglars, but Danglars refuses any help. Julie and her mother decide to write to Maximilian, the son of Morrel, who has a military career, asking him to return home. In the meantime, mother and daughter are kept awake at night by Morrel’s pacing in his study. They also observe him writing what they take to be his will. Julie is also perturbed because Morrel has asked her to return the key to Morrel’s study, but she pretends not to have it. The next day Maximilian arrives home. At the same time a man arrives with a note for Julie from ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ directing her to go alone to retrieve a red silk purse from a house at the Allees de Meillan. Meanwhile, Maximilian finds Morrel preparing to end his own life with a pistol. He at first tries to talk his father out of doing it, but Morrel explains his financial situation and the shame that will attend the family if he goes on living, appearing as a rogue who cares little about his creditors, rather than an honourable man who was forced to the wall. Maximilian at first declares he will die with his father, but Morrel tells him he must live, look after the family and return the family name to its former reputation. Maximilian agrees and leaves his father to end his own life. With only minutes to go before the agent of Thomas and French is at the door demanding money, Morrel is about to kill himself when Julie bursts in to stop him. She has retrieved the silk purse which contains a large diamond and the receipt of the bill that Morrel owes. At that moment there is also a call from the harbour ushering in The Pharaon. They go down to the harbour where they find a boat which is the replica of the old boat, laden with the cargo The Pharaon was meant to have brought back to Marseilles, with Morrel’s old crew sailing it. Observing all this from a hidden place is Edmond Dantes who takes pleasure in the good he has done, but now resolves to turn his mind to thoughts of revenge.
Edmond Dantes (as Sinbad the Sailor)
Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Captain Gaetano, ‘Sentinel’
The year is now 1838. Morcerf and Franz decide to attend the carnival in Rome, but before departing Morcerf starts for Naples while Franz decides to take an excursion to the island of Elba. He hires a crew and he hunts partridges on the island, but he is dissatisfied with the hunt. Captain Gaetano suggests he land on the island of Monte Cristo where there are many goats to hunt. He advises that the island is uninhabited but it is frequented by pirates and smugglers. Gaetano admits to sometimes smuggling to help make ends meet. Franz agrees to go to the island, but as they approach in darkness, they see a fire on the shore positioned out of sight of the mainland. Gaetano wades to shore to investigate and returns to say he knows the sailors who are at the fire – four of them – who are accompanied by two Corsican bandits. Nevertheless, he still encourages Franz to go ashore and Franz agrees, not wishing to look cowardly. They are stopped by a sentinel and escorted to the fire where the sailors are cooking a goat. Franz is tempted by the goat and asks whether he can join in supper. Franz is granted permission to attend a luxurious cavern on the island where he may eat on the condition that he remain blindfolded until instructed to take it off. Gaetano advises that he knows the host and his reputation, which is both good and negative. Franz agrees to the blindfold and is led to a luxurious cavern, alone, where he is instructed to remove the blindfold. His host, who introduces himself as Sinbad the Sailor, says the blindfold was necessary to protect his hideaway that he might escape from the world whenever he pleases. Franz is invited to use a nom de guerre and he selects ‘Aladdin’. ‘Sinbad’ and ‘Aladdin’ are attended by a man who has no tongue. Sinbad/Dantes explains that he rescued Ali from execution after he was sentenced first to have his tongue removed, his hand the next day and his life the day after that. A curtain is pulled back and Franz is led into a sumptuous dining hall where he is treated to an excellent dinner. Franz, in appraising Sinbad, assumes he is a man who has known suffering and seeks revenge. Sinbad/Dantes disagrees, explaining that he has a freedom greater than most men’s and sees himself as a philosopher. He plans, he says, to one day go to Paris and make his name as a philosopher. Sinbad/Dantes introduces Franz to
the ambrosia which Hebe served at the table of Jupiter. Sinbad/Dantes makes some hefty claims about the effects of the ambrosia – that it will take all cares away, make any objective seem possible etc. Franz learns upon questioning that the ‘ambrosia’ is a kind of pure hashish. Franz eats the ambrosia after Sinbad/Dantes has some. At first, he does not like it, but then he begins to experience strange feelings, like he has wings growing from his back, and is then treated to a vision in which female statues come to life to treat him with unimagined sexual favours. It is not clear whether these are real women or just a vision at this point.
Giovanni (Sailor), Signor Pastrini (Hotelier)
Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Captain Gaetano, Edmond Dantes (as Sinbad the Sailor)
Franz awakens on the island to find himself laying in a grotto. For a time he reflects with pleasure of the company and visions of the night before, not entirely sure it was real. But then he finds Gaetano and the other sailors. Gaetano explains that Sinbad had to leave early to return to Malagna. Franz looks through a telescope to see Sinbad’s yacht in the distance. Sinbad/Dantes waves to him and a cannon is fired as a farewell. Franz tries to find the entrance to Sinbad’s cavern but fails and so finishes his time on the island by hunting a few goats. It does not bring him pleasure. Franz looks out to sea again and sees that Sinbad’s ship is not heading to Malagna. Gaetano explains that Sinbad has to drop the Corsican brigands at Porto-Vecchio. He says Sinbad does not fear the authorities and has friends everywhere who will support and protect him. They leave the island of Monte Cristo. Franz returns to Rome where he meets Albert de Morcerf, son of M. de Morcerf, formerly known as Fernad, who married Mercedes. They make their way to the hotel of Signor Pastrini but are initially told by the staff there is no room for them. Pastrini appears and sorts out the misunderstanding. He explains a rich Sicilian or Maltese gentlemen had booked the rest of the floor. When they ask to be supplied with a carriage for the following days Pastrini tells them there are none available. He says there are no horses available either. Pastrini promises to try to help. Franz is concerned but Morcerf is content to wait, believing that the right amount of money will solve the problem.
Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Signor Pastrini
Luigi Vampa (Bandit), Teresa (Grew up with Luigi Vampa and is his betrothed), Cucumento (Bandit),Carlini (Cucumento’s man), Rita (Carlini’s girl), Diovolaccio (Bandit), Rita's Father
The next day Pastrini tells Morcerf and Franz that carriages will be available until Sunday, it now being Thursday. They hope to rent a room with a window also, but a Russian prince has let the whole fifth floor. They visit St Peter’s Basilica with the carriage then decide that they will see the Colosseum at night and approach it by first exiting the city gates and skirting the city before entering again to avoid other sights along the way. Pastrini warns against it, saying they will likely be attacked by the bandit, Luigi Vampa, if they try it. Franz jokes that they will take weapons and capture Vampa, and will be rewarded by the Pope if they do. Pastrini says it is best not to fight back against bandits. Pastrini claims to have known Vampa since he was a boy. He says Vampa is only 22 years old and once held him up. However, Vampa gave him an expensive watch when he recognised Pastrini. Pastrini now begins to tell Vampa’s story:
Vampa was an orphan who was taught to read and write by the curate of Palestrina. He met Teresa, a girl a year younger, who tended sheep in Palestrina. They became close and grew up together. While Vampa remained aloof from others, Teresa had influence over him. Vampa was given a gun after a wolf was spotted near the flock. He carved his own stock for it and he devoted much of his time to learning to use the gun. He later killed the wolf. Vampa’s reputation grew as did Teresa’s beauty.
Pastrini’s story now digresses to a bandit, Cucumento, who was gaining a reputation at this time. He abducted a girl, Rita, who was the daughter of the surveyor of Frosinone. It turned out she was the lover of one of the young men in Cucumento’s troop, Carlini. He persuaded Cucumento to ask a ransom from her father rather than let the troop defile her. Cucumento agreed, but when Carlini came back after negotiating this with her father he found Cucumento raping Rita. He restrained himself from attacking Cucumento. Cucumento told Carlini that the men would draw lots for Rita that night before she was returned to her father. Diovolaccio won the draw but when he returned he was holding Rita’s lifeless body. She had been stabbed in the heart. Carlini had killed her. He now demanded the body. At midnight Rita’s father arrived. Carlini told him how she died and that he had killed Rita to save her honour. He invited her father to kill him in turn, but the father refused, believing Carlini did the right thing. The band decided to leave the forest, but the next morning before leaving, Carlini found Rita’s father hanging from a tree. Carlini vowed revenge, but Carlini was killed two days later in a skirmish with Roman carbineers. However, it was clear that Cucumento shot him from behind while the exchange took place.
Pastrini says this is a subject often spoken about by Vampa and Teresa, who, as they grew, agreed to marry when she was 19 and he was 20. Then, one day, Cucumento crossed their paths. He was fleeing Roman carbineers. They hid Cucumento and didn’t betray him to the carbineers despite a good reward on offer for his capture. Vampa offered them a purse of gold which Vampa refused, but which was a temptation to Teresa. Cucumento is compared to the serpent in Eden and Teresa to Eve as the chapter closes.
Count of San-Felice, Carmela (Daughter to the Count), a Cavalier
Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Signor Pastrini, Luigi Vampa, Teresa, Cucumento
Pastrini continues his story of Luigi Vampa and Teresa. He narrates how during carnival time Count San-Felice held a grand masked ball. Teresa and Vampa attended. They both wore their best clothes. During a dance Teresa was called upon to dance in Carmela’s group to form a quadrille. A cavalier who danced with her showed interest in Teresa. Luigi was insanely jealous and after the dance forced Teresa away. He wanted to know what she was thinking as she danced, and Teresa admitted she was thinking she would
give half my life for a costume like the one Carmela wore. Luigi says she would have it. That night there was a fire next to Carmela’s bedroom and she was rescued through the window by a stranger – Luigi of course. An entire wing of the villa was destroyed and no one from the villa saw him afterwards. Luigi had used the confusion to steal Carmela’s dress, pearl necklace and diamond pins. The next day he presented them to Teresa on the border of the forest and asked her to change into Carmela’s clothes in a grotto. While she changed Luigi saw a traveller who seemed lost. He offered to ride a short way with the man to show him the way. The traveller offered a gift of Venetian sequins in thanks and introduced himself as Sinbad the Sailor.
At this point Franz interrupts Pastrini’s narrative to ask about the man, but is unwilling to tell of his own encounter with a man calling himself Sinbad the Sailor.
Pastrini resumes his narrative. He tells how, as Luigi returned to Teresa, he saw a man carrying her off. The man had too much of a head start for Luigi to catch them, so Luigi shot him dead. It turned out it was Cucumento who had followed them and had now used Luigi’s brief absence to abduct Teresa. Luigi now dressed in Cucumento’s clothes. When Teresa saw him dressed thus, she was full of admiration and swore to follow him wherever he led. He led her into the forest where they were stopped by a sentry of Cucumento’s bandits. The sentry agreed to lead them to Rocca Bianca, their hideout. Luigi announced to the bandits that he not only wished to join their gang, he wished to lead them. He told them how he acquired Teresa’s dress and how he now wore the cloths of the dead Cucumento. They agreed to accept him as their leader.
With the story over, Albert declares he believes it a myth and still wants to skirt outside the city walls at night to get to the Colosseum. Franz, however, is not so sure, and insists they approach the Colosseum by the streets, staying within the city walls.
Edmond Dantes (‘Sinbad the Sailor’, also the Count of Monte Cristo), Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Signor Pastrini, Luigi Vampa
Franz and Albert approach the Colosseum via a route that passes no other ancient monuments. As they travel, Franz considers the story Pastrini has told them of Vampa and Teresa. At the Colosseum Albert is escorted about the ruin by a guide while Franz rests by a column. As he waits a man descends the stairs and is met by a second man. Franz hears talk of executions that will occur at the start of the carnival. One is for a priest killer, but the second is a shepherd, Peppino, whose crime is to have given supplies to the second man and his gang [Vampa]. Vampa, as yet unnamed, is determined to rescue Peppino by force. The other man (Dantes, as yet unidentified) persuades him to only act if his own plan fails. He suggests he will bribe an official to get a stay of execution for Peppino and then will give further bribes to break him from prison. He will hang yellow and red damasks from the windows of the Café Rospoli if he succeeds in the first part of this plan. A priest will then carry the reprieve to the executioner. The men agree to his plan. As they leave Franz is sure the man advocating the bribe is ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ – Dantes.
Franz and Albert attend the opera. Albert is frustrated because he had had hopes of engaging in several love affairs while in Italy, but has found all Italian women faithful to their partners. He hopes the carnival period will relax their restraint and has hired an expensive opera box from where he hopes to be noticed and excite the interest of a young lady. At the opera he notices a beautiful woman enter another box. It turns out she is Countess G. and Franz has some acquaintance with her. She waves to Franz. Albert insists on being introduced, so during interval they go to meet her. While Albert speaks to the Countess, Franz examines the audience with opera glasses. He sees a beautiful foreign woman, attended by a man, whom he asks the Countess about. The Countess does not know her. When the next act ends the man stands to applaud and Franz realises it is ‘Sinbad the Sailor’. Franz asks the Countess about the man but she again knows nothing. However, it is her opinion, based on books she has read, that the man looks like a vampire, since his skin is pale. He looks to her like he is returned from death. She insists Franz does not approach the man while in her company, and in fact, she also insists that Franz escort her home on the pretext that she will have visitors that night. Franz escorts her home where he realises she has no visitors. She just wanted to get away from the man at the opera. She asks that Franz does not seek the man out that night based upon a superstitious belief that through Franz she will be connected to him, Franz only having just left her. So, Franz returns to Albert who is surprised to see him. Franz reminds him of the fidelity of Italian women; that the reputation of the Countess will remain free from scandal since Italian women live their lives publicly, not in secret. Albert believes the man at the opera looked well dressed and considered his pale skin to be aristocratic in appearance.
Albert explains he has asked Pastrini to hire a cart and oxen for them to appear in the carnival parade, since no amount of money can procure a carriage. He intends that they dress as Neapolitan reapers, with the Countess joining them in their peasant garb. But Pastrini has returned to tell them that the Count of Monte Cristo, who has hired the rest of the hotel floor, has offered them the use of a carriage and a view of the executions from his rooms at Palazzo Raspoli. This reminds Franz of the plan to rescue Peppino and the signal to be given from those windows. So he asks Pastrini about the executions and is shown a tavolletes – a wooden sign used to announce the details of executions. It confirms all the details Franz overheard at the Colosseum. Franz realises that ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ is behind the plans for rescue. Franz requests that he and Albert be able to meet the Count of Monte Cristo to thank him for his generosity. Pastrini arranges for this to happen. They are led into a sumptuous apartment, full of riches, where they meet the Count. Franz is shocked to find that the Count is also ‘Sinbad the Sailor’: the man he saw at the Colosseum and at the opera.
Edmond Dantes (‘Sinbad the Sailor’, also the Count of Monte Cristo), Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Signor Pastrini
Bertuccio (Count’s steward. In a previous chapter he took Franz into the cavern on the isle of Monte Cristo), Peppino (Prisoner to be beheaded), Andrea (Prisoner to be executed)
The Count welcomes Franz and Albert into his apartment. Unsure whether the Count was the man at the Colosseum, Franz decides to not mention their previous meetings. The Count rings for his steward, Monsieur Bertuccio, whom Franz recognises as the man who took him to the chamber on the island of Monte Cristo. The Count asks him for a copy of the tavoletta for information on the executions, but Franz offers him the copy he made. The Count tells Franz there has been a reprieve for Peppino, and suggests that it would be good for Franz to witness a beheading at some stage even though he will miss out today. The Count speaks of principles of revenge and expresses his feeling that the guillotine or killing a man in a duel is too quick a death to satisfy the needs of revenge. He advocates the principle of an eye for an eye. If the crime has inflicted slow and torturous pain, that is what must be administered in return. The Count treats them to breakfast but does not eat. Franz is reminded of Countess G.’s belief that the Count is a vampire. Franz suggests he no longer wishes to see the executions, but the Count argues that he must experience as much of life as possible when he travels, and death is of the greatest interest to the living. Albert is determined to witness the execution so Franz relents. Franz wishes to walk through the Corso to the execution, and as they approach, he asks which windows they have to view it. The Count confirms they have the three windows with yellow and white damask, thus confirming in Franz’s mind that the Count was the man he saw at night in the Colosseum. As they sit to wait for the execution a large man who is almost naked – the executioner – leads two prisoners out. Franz questions the Count about the reprieve for Peppino, but the Count is still confident it will arrive. And it does. When the priest brings Peppino’s reprieve, Andrea, the other prisoner, flies into a rage. He is not content to die alone and sees injustice in the situation. He struggles and the executioner is forced to deliver him several blows with a mace and a knife to kill him. Meanwhile, the Count revels in the spectacle, seeming to feel that it confirms a belief he has about human nature; that people care little for one another and are happier when others also suffer. Franz feels that the Count’s laughter at the spectacle and his response shows he must have once suffered horribly himself.
Edmond Dantes (the Count of Monte Cristo), Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Signor Pastrini, Countess G.
Peppino has escaped during the confusion of Andrea’s execution. The Count moralises on dying men, suggesting that the true quality of a man is not judged by how he lives, but how he dies. He has a low opinion of Andrea’s behaviour before he was killed. But now the carnival officially begins. They put on their costumes and descend to the street where they join other revellers. It is a great melting pot of different races and people, dressed up and all vying for attention and fun. Albert and Franz have the use of the Count’s carriage and they use it to mingle with the other carriages being driven up and down. Albert flirts with a woman dressed as a peasant who rides in another carriage, and she eventually gives him a bunch of violets. At the end of the day Albert is resolved not to pursue the woman unless she pursues him. Nevertheless, Albert and Franz ask Pastrini to have peasant costumes made for their next day of revels. Pastrini says this will not be possible to do, but promises to procure some from another source. The Count offers them the use of his theatre box, so they attend another opera production where they are seen by Countess G. in the Count’s box. She is disturbed by this. She questions them about the Count and they tell her of the windows they shared with him to witness the execution the previous day. She suggests he must be enormously wealthy since those windows would have cost thousands of Roman crowns to hire. Yet the island from which he takes his name produces nothing of value. Later, the Count gives Franz and Albert the use of his carriage for the rest of the carnival since he has others. As they eat, he impresses them with his erudition on a range of subjects. The next day they return to the carnival in peasant outfits and discover that the woman and her company have now adopted harlequin costumes similar to their own of the day before. Albert catches a fresh spray of violets and pins them on. Albert flirts with the woman all day. That evening Franz receives an invitation for an audience with the Pope, which he has long sought. So, he does not accompany Albert the following day when Albert discovers that the woman has reverted to peasant costume, yet turns out to be an aristocrat. He asks to be alone again the next day and Franz agrees. He returns that night with a letter from the woman with instructions for an assignation on the next Tuesday, involving costumes and instructions to follow a girl who will take his candle. Franz advises caution, suggesting that the woman might be of a lower class who is tricking him into an affair. Albert dismisses this, and points to the evident level of education apparent in the note she gave him as proof of her breeding. Albert says he is in love. The Count offers them the use of his theatre box again, and Franz and Albert compare him to Byron – a dark, mysterious, passionate and intelligent man. On the last day of the carnival Albert dresses as a harlequin. There are fireworks and horse races, and the carnival ends with a game of Moccoletto, in which thousands light candles and attempt to extinguish the candles of others while protecting their own. Towards the end of this two hours of revelry Albert makes his way towards the church of San Giacomo, as the letter instructed. His candle is taken from him by a girl dressed as a peasant, and Franz disappears into the crowd with her. The bell then rings that signals the end of the carnival.
Edmond Dantes (‘Sinbad the Sailor’, also the Count of Monte Cristo), Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay, Signor Pastrini, Duke of Bracciano, Countess G., Peppino, Luigi Vampa
Ali (The Count’s carriage driver and recognised by Franz as mute slave in the grotto at Monte Cristo).
The sudden end of the carnival brings an air of melancholy and Franz returns alone to the Hotel de Londres for dinner. He then decides to go to the house of the Duke of Bracciano for the night, since he has a letter of introduction. The Duke expresses concern that Albert has gone off with an unknown woman in the streets of Rome after dark, and his concern soon proves justified. A message is sent from the hotel saying a man awaits Franz. Franz finds him in the street and is given a letter to which the man expects a reply, but he will not come into Franz’s room. The letter is a ransom note for 4000 piastres, to be delivered by 6 o’clock the next morning, or Albert will be killed. Franz discovers he is 800 piastres short of the total. He then has an idea to see the Count. He is admitted into the Count’s rooms and he reveals he knows it was the Count who had Peppino saved. He believes the Count has the influence to also save Albert. The Count calls Albert’s messenger into his apartment, who turns out to be Peppino. Peppino describes how the woman Albert flirted with was Teresa and her driver had been Vampa. When Albert went to the appointed place to meet it was Beppo he met who lured him out of town and then Albert was overpowered by five men. The Count proposes that they leave immediately for the Catacombs of St Sebastian where Albert is being held. They are driven there by Ali, the mute slave from the grotto at Monte Cristo. When they arrive, they are greeted by guards and Franz and the Count are led into the catacombs by Peppino. They find Vampa among his bandits, reading at an old church alter. The Count reminds Vampa of his promise never to interfere with his friends, and says the man he kidnapped was a friend. Vampa agrees to release Albert immediately. Albert has been sleeping, having a nice dream and is annoyed to be roused from it. He does not seem to be distressed at his ordeal. He offers the Count his hand, and Franz notices that the Count shudders when he takes it. Before they leave, Franz asks Vampa what he had been reading. Vampa says he was reading Caesar’s Commentaries, his favourite book. Franz and Albert then return to the Duke’s house, where they are in time to join the late-night dance with the Duke’s other guests.
Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo), Vicomte Albert de Morcerf, Baron Franz d’Epinay,
The morning after Albert’s rescue he visits the Count with Franz and thanks him for his intervention. Albert offers to serve the Count a good deed in return, offering his own or his family’s services. The Count eagerly takes up the offer and asks to be introduced into Parisian society. He explains that he has never been to Paris and has no connections there. Albert is happy to help. Albert will soon be returning to Paris as he has received a letter from his father concerning a marriage alliance between himself and a woman with an influential family. The Count says he will visit Albert in Paris in exactly three months’ time at 10:30am. Franz, however, intends to remain in Italy for another year or two. After their meeting, Franz expresses an uneasy feeling about Albert’s deepening involvement with the Count. In attempting to explain his feeling he admits he has previously met the Count at the Island of Monte Cristo where he was accompanied by bandits, and how he overheard his conversation with Vampa at the Colosseum. Albert will hear no ill of the Count, however, and surmises that a man of his wealth would naturally travel a lot, possess property and mix in a wide circle. Also, he feels that Corsican bandits are not morally bad but in reality, are more accurately to be described as political refugees. He also refuses to be concerned about the Count’s influence over Vampa since it saved his life, nor is he troubled by the mystery of the Count’s background or source of wealth. In fact, he supposes that the Count must be travelling to Paris to compete for the Monthyon Prize, awarded for those who advance virtue and humanity. Despite the Count’s reassurance that he would be punctual in his visit in three months’ time, Albert sends him a card to remind him of the date, time and place.
Vicomte Albert de Morcerf
John (Vicomte Albert de Morcerf’s groom), Germain (Vicomte Albert de Morcerf’s valet),M.Lucien Debray, Beauchamp
The chapter begins with a long description of Albert’s residence which seems masculine and designed for a young single man. His mother lives somewhere in the residence, but the layout of the residence assures privacy to her adult son. Albert is soon to be married but he eats alone this morning. It is the morning of the 21 May before 10am, the morning the Count promised to visit him. Albert is preparing to have breakfast when M.Lucien Debray turns up, hungry and bored, wanting to be entertained. He is evidently influential in government since he has just received the order of Charles III after he successfully drove Don Carlos from Spain, or as he puts it, having taken him
to the other side of the French frontier, and offered him the hospitality of Bourges. Debray is amazed at how quickly it was known throughout Paris the day before, and that M.Danglars
made a million with his quick intelligence on the matter. Debray later cynically remarks that Don Carlos, far from being punished, will somehow manage to marry his son off to the queen. Debray seems world-weary and wishes he had Albert’s leisure, but Albert chides him, saying Debray wouldn’t know what to do with his time without work. He offers to introduce Debray to an interesting man, the Count, whom he still believes might turn up at 10:30am. Beauchamp, who is a newspaper editor, turns up and Albert suggests Debray go argue with him in the next room while they await the Count’s arrival. The friendly banter has already started before the chapter ends, with Debray suggesting Beauchamp should enter politics while Beauchamp says he will whenever a minister manages to stay in their job longer than six months.
M de Château-Renaud
Albert de Morcerf, Lucien Debray, Beauchamp, John, Germain, Maximillian Morel, Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo)
Albert explains to his guests he is set to wed Mlle.Eugene Danglars, daughter of M.Danglars, now a government minister (who plotted against Edmond Dantes). He is set to give a speech in the Chamber of Deputies that day. Beauchamp intends to report on the speech. Debray says Albert will be marrying money, not quality; that his own social position is too high for her. Danglars is only recently elevated to his position. Two men arrive, M.de Château-Renaud and M.Maximillian Morel (who had tried to have Dantes released from prison). Château-Renaud introduces Morrel to Albert and the other guests as captain of the Spahis, a French cavalry unit in Africa. He says Morrel saved his life, although Morrel is modest about it. Albert warns against them telling a long story, since he is expecting a visit from the Count at 10:30am, but Château-Renaud nevertheless begins to tell how he went to the Holy Land to fight Arabs. His Arabian Horse died during a siege after bad weather. He had been set upon by two Arabs after his horse died and had fought them, but they were on the verge of killing him when he was saved by Morrel, who had vowed to save the life of a man that day to honour the anniversary – September 5 – of his father being saved [See Chapter 30, in which his business is saved by Dantes’ secret intervention just before the father is about to kill himself].
Now Albert tells his own history with the Count of Monte Cristo, especially the Count’s intervention with Vampa’s bandits, and speculates upon the Count’s origin. He assumes the Count may have been a fisherman risen up in the world who has bought a title. He tells his friends of his wealth which he believes is hidden in a secret chamber, and once again it is speculated as to whether the Count is a vampire. His friends mock Albert, not believing the story of the Count, but then the Count arrives at the door precisely at 10:30am as he promised. The Count is introduced to the guests, and he has a moment of unguarded reaction when he hears hears Morrel’s name. Albert tells the count of Morrel’s brave deed in saving Château-Renaud and the Count acknowledges him to be a ‘noble heart’. Beauchamp and Debray are immediately impressed by the Count and agree between themselves that he is a great man. As he settles to the company the Count asks to be forgiven for any ways that seem foreign since he has travelled widely but never been to Paris before. Albert, uncertain about the breakfast he has to offer, is assured by the Count that he has had to eat a great variety of food in many places and he is, besides, hungry, since he hasn’t eaten for 24 hours, due to a detour he took to Nimes seeking information. The Count describes to Albert’s guests the sleeping pills he manufactures himself from hashish and opium, and shows them the emerald casket in which he keeps them. He hollowed it out himself and has presented the Pope and Sultan with similar emeralds. Albert is eager for his friends to believe his story about bandits in Italy, and so asks the Count to corroborate it. The Count explains he gained Vampa’s trust and placed him in the Count’s debt after he tried to capture the Count, but the Count captured him instead. Instead of turning Vampa over to the authorities he let him go with the promise that Vampa would never disturb him or his friends. The Count explains he does not work for the good of society, but is merely neutral to it. He looks out only for his own interests. Albert disagrees, calling him a philanthropist, but the Count insists he acted only on his own principles when he saved Albert, and he expects to benefit from the acquaintance in Paris. Albert says Paris is prosaic compared to the life the Count has led and the Count will find it boring, but promises to help the Count any way he can, except to offer accommodation, since he soon expects to be married. The Count appears to know something of Albert’s future father-in-law, M.Danglars, but when questioned he insists they have never met. He only knows of him since they have a line of credit through several houses in Europe, he says, including Thompson & French in Rome. Morrel says he would be interested in the Count’s help in contacting that house, since he knows they had something to do with the mysterious financial help his family received, even though they have denied it. Morrel tells the Count that his sister has now been happily married nine years to Emmanual Herbert. Offers are now made to the Count for accommodation in Paris, but he says he has arranged for accommodation already. Ali, his mute Nubian servant has been in Paris a week to furnish his new accommodation, and M.Bertuccio, his steward, is also with him. Château-Renaud jokes that all he now needs is a mistress, but the Count says he has a slave woman who fulfils that role. They tell him she becomes free when she enters France, but the Count explains no one can tell her that since she only speaks Romaic. The Count then ominously says that everyone who serves him is free to quit his service, but after that they ‘no longer have need of me or anyone else’. Albert’s guests are all impressed by the Count. Beauchamp wants to write a newspaper article about him. Then they leave and Albert is left alone with the Count.
Albert de Morcerf, Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo), Count Morcerf (Albert’s father and former competitor for Mercedes’s hand with Edmond, Fernand), Countess Morcerf (Mercedes)
Once the other visitors are gone Albert gives the Count a tour of his residence and the many fine artworks he possesses. The Count displays his great knowledge of art as he is shown about. Finally, he is shown a picture painted by Leopold Robert in which he takes great interest. Albert says it is a picture of his mother, but he has it since his father dislikes the work. The Count takes further interest in the family coat of arms, which he questions Albert over, establishing that the family lineage must be traced back at least to the Crusades and the thirteenth century. Albert extends an invitation for the Count to visit his parents, who are keen to meet him since he rescued their son. He is introduced to the Count of Morcerf (Fernand) who shows no evidence that he recognises the Count. Morcerf talks of his time in the army and how he resigned after the July Revolution. He has now entered industry. The Count praises him for his achievements and adaptability. When Albert’s mother appears, she seems taken aback by the appearance of the Count, but she quickly dismisses her reaction, saying that she was overcome by meeting the saviour of her son. The Count takes his leave but the Countess asks him to visit them another time. Albert offers the Count the use of his own coupe to return the favour the Count did him and Franz in Rome, but the Count’s man, M.Bertuccio, has already acquired a carriage. The Count assures Albert he is welcome to visit any time after the next day, to allow him time to get his accommodation in order. As he leaves, the Count sees Countess Morcerf peeking out the window at him. When Albert returns to his mother, he expresses concern about her health, but she reassures him that she has just been bothered by the scent of the flowers. Albert has them removed. The Countess next questions Albert concerning the Count of Monte Cristo’s character. Albert says he believes the Count to be of an ancient family, disinherited, who has made his own way in the world. However, his mother primarily wants to know if Albert trusts him. Albert does. Next, she questions him as to the Count’s age. Albert believes, given what the Count has told him and his general appearance, that the Count is no more than 35 years old. The Countess believes him to be older. It is obvious that the Countess – Mercedes – has recognised the Count to be Edmond, or suspects he might be her former lover, and is concerned about his intentions.
Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo), M.Bertuccio, A Notary
The Count returns to his new town residence where he meets his steward, M.Bertuccio. Bertuccio informs him that his new cards have been printed and one has been sent to Baron Danglars as he was ordered to do. A notary awaits the Count to complete the sale of a house outside the city. The notary is surprised to find the Count knows nothing of the house or where it is. The notary informs him the house is at Auteuil, near the outskirts of Paris. The Count comments that he thought the house was a country house, as was advertised, but when the notary offers to look for another house for him, the Count completes the purchase and even gives him a generous tip for his troubles. The Count tells Bertuccio that he intends to travel to Auteuil to inspect his new house and expects Bertuccio to accompany him. Bertuccio seems reluctant. It is apparent that the location holds some significance for him which makes him uneasy. Nevertheless, he agrees to accompany the Count.
Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo), M.Bertuccio
When they arrive at 28 Rue de la Fonatine, Bertuccio initially refuses to get out of the carriage, but then agrees to knock at the door. It is answered by a steward who welcomes them. The steward tells the Count that the house was formerly owned by the Marquis of Saint-Meran. He explains Saint-Meran had had a daughter who married M. de Villefort. The daughter died twenty-one years ago.
The Count dismisses the Steward and asks Bertuccio to help him explore the house with a lantern. Bertuccio reveals a knowledge of the house when he says a staircase goes to the garden. He is evidently reluctant to go there. Bertuccio initially refuses to go further, expressing distress that the Count should have purchased this particular property. The Count understands Bertuccio may have a shady past, but he now becomes suspicious about Bertuccio. He can no longer tolerate Bertuccio’s behaviour when he stops at a clump of trees. Bertuccio cries,
Move away, I entreat you; you are in the exact spot. The Count recalls to Bertuccio that the Abbe Busoni had recommended him, and says he might write to Busoni. The Count says that the Abbe had told the Count that Bertuccio had a heavy burden on his conscience, but the Count had assumed that he meant Bertuccio had been a thief. Now, the Count is concerned Bertuccio has committed a crime which may bring them trouble in France. He suspects Bertuccio has committed murder. Bertuccio confirms this is true, and that he did it in the very spot where the Count now stands. What is more, his victim buried his child only two paces away. Bertuccio is afraid there is some kind of divine providence that has led him back to the spot. The Count wants to hear the story, but Bertuccio tells him it is only fit to be told in confession. The Count then dismisses Bertuccio from his service, not wishing to employ a servant who will be spooked in the house, or draw the attention of the law. At that, Bertuccio agrees to tell the Count the whole story, honestly, including details not given to his confessor, the Abbe Busoni. Bertuccio begins by telling him his victim was M. de Villefort. He tells the Count that he was a villain, although the Count denies it. Bertuccio says he once had evidence of it. Curious, the Count agrees to listen to his version of events.
Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo), M.Bertuccio (Stewart), Gaspard Caderousse, Madeleine Radelle (La Carconte)
Benedetto, Assanta (sister to M. Bertuccio), Joannes (Jeweller)
Bertuccio’s story begins with an account of his brother, a soldier loyal to Bonaparte, returning from the war. He sent a letter requesting money be left for him with an innkeeper at Nimes. Eager to see his brother again, Bertuccio decided to take the money to him in person. However, his brother had fallen victim to massacres of Bonaparte loyalists before Bertuccio’s arrival. Bertuccio, feeling responsible for his brother’s widow, sought help for her – a pension – from Villefort, as well as justice. Villefort refused to give him either, saying Bertuccio’s request came at the wrong time, since his brother fought for the wrong side. Angered, Bertuccio swore a vendetta against him. Villefort took precautions to avoid Bertuccio after that, and Bertuccio was careful not to be too brash: he could not afford to be caught for murder since he still felt responsible for his brother’s widow. However, he tracked Villefort to the house at Auteuil, where Bertuccio decided to lay in wait for him. That night, as he waited in the garden, he heard moaning, and eventually Villefort emerged with a small box, which he proceeded to bury. Bertuccio then attacked Villefort, stabbing him in the chest. He then dug up the box, thinking it treasure, and escaped to a river. When he opened the box, he discovered a new-born baby, seemingly dead but still warm. The child was wrapped in linen. The linen was embroidered with a H and N, and a baron’s coronet. He resuscitates the child and took it to an asylum, saying he found the child. He tore the linen in two and kept half before handing the baby over. When he told his sister, Assunta, what he did, she told him he should have brought the child home with him.
Bertuccio began smuggling again. When he returned home one day, he discovered a cradle. Assunta had tracked down the child, now almost eight months old. She had convinced his wards to allow her to take the boy, using the half of the linen they possessed and knowledge of its provenance to convince them. She called the boy Benedetto. Unfortunately, Bertuccio judged that Benedetto had an inherently bad character. As a child he stole and soon associated with criminals. Bertuccio failed to persuade him to take up smuggling. Benedetto said Assunta gave him money so he has no need. He also stole from her. And Bertuccio felt incapable of punishing a child whose father he had killed. Benedetto knew he wouldn't be touched. So Bertuccio planned on trapping Benedetto on a ship to force him to become a ship’s clerk. But before he could undertake this plan his ship was raided by customs officers in the Gulf of Lyons and he was forced to escape. He made it to the tavern owned by Caderousse and Madeleine Radelle (La Carconte), who was clearly ill. Before he revealed himself, Bertuccio overherd a transaction between them and a jeweller, Joannes.
Caderousse and La Carconte were negotiating the sale of a diamond. They wanted to sell it for 50,000 francs which the Abbe Busoni told them it was worth. Joannes did not entirely trust them. They had a valuable gem but they were clearly poor. He asked La Carconte to repeat to story of its provenance, which Caderousse had already told him while she was not present. She told the same story: that it was bequeathed to Edmond Dantes by a man he looked after in prison, who in turn bequeathed it to them through the agency of the Abbe. Satisfied, Joannes agreed to buy the diamond for 45,000 francs. They were reluctant to sell at that price. Joannes pointed out that there were many risks in not selling. They might never meet the Abbe again to confirm their story for others, they might be accused of theft, their diamond might be seized, and even if it was returned it might be switched with a cheap imitation. They decided to sell. They were paid in notes and coin. They counted their money thoroughly. Meanwhile a storm had begun. Yet Joannes had to return to Beaucaire. But Caderousse encouraged him to stay for the night. Joannes left, nevertheless. La Carconte admonished Caderousse for letting him leave. Like Lady Macbeth, she implied they might have killed him. Caderousse was shocked by her suggestion. But at that moment there was a knock at the door. It was Joannes. The storm was too severe and he had decided to accept their hospitality, after all. The chapter ends with La Conconte ominously double locking the door.
Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo and Abbe Busoni), M.Bertuccio (Stewart), Gaspard Caderousse, Madeleine Radelle (La Carconte), Joannes (Jeweller), Benedetto, Assanta
Haidee (Companion to Count of Monte Cristo)
Bertuccio continues the story of Joannes after he returns to the tavern. Joannes was determined not to inconvenience Caderousse and his wife, but he was offered their bed for the night as well as their dinner. He assured them that he would leave if the storm abated. After dinner Caderousse encouraged him to leave, saying the storm was over, yet it was clearly not. Bertuccio, outside the tavern but underneath the bedroom quarters, fell asleep and was awoken by a shot. He then saw Caderousse descend the stairs, covered in blood, holding the case in which the diamond had been placed. He disappeared into the night. Bertuccio then felt something dripping on him from the floorboards above, which he soon realised was blood after he discovered the body of La Carconte on the stairs. She has been shot through the neck. In the bedroom, Joannes lay bleeding to death with three stab wounds and the knife buried in his chest. Bertuccio descended the stairs where he was caught by custom house officials and gendarmes who had tracked him after his escape from the ship. Covered in blood from where it had dripped on him, he was immediately suspected of the murder and arrested. Luckily, in the months that followed, the judge assigned to Bertuccio’s case was diligent enough to make enquiries concerning Abbe Busoni, who Bertuccio had named to support his story. Busoni came to the prison and believed Bertuccio’s story and confirmed its details. Next, Bertuccio confessed his murder of Villefort to the Abbe. The Abbe (really the Count in disguise) gave Bertuccio a letter of recommendation and advised him to seek employment with the Count. In the months that followed, Caderousse was caught, confessed his crime and Bertuccio was released. He took the Abbe’s advice.
But not all went well. First, he returned to Corsica where he discovered that his sister, Assanta was dead. Benedetto had attempted to persuade her to tell him where her money was, and next had two friends help him torture her to learn its whereabouts. In the course of doing this they accidentally set her on fire and she died. They ransacked her house, found the money, and no more had been seen of Benedetto, since. Bertuccio believes everything that has happened since his killing of Villefort, like the death of his sister, is a punishment for his own crime. The Count assures Bertuccio that Villefort deserved his fate. His one crime was not to return the baby to its real mother. Bertuccio confesses his failure in this was partly out of cowardice as to its consequences.
Despite everything he has heard, the Count is not superstitious and does not fear the garden which was the site of Bertuccio’s crime: that it might be haunted. Instead, he views it as a tranquil and beautiful place. Late that night he and Bertuccio take the carriage back to his house in the Champs-Élysées. He tells his servant, Ali, upon their return, that Haidee, his companion from Italy, will be arriving soon and that she should be merely greeted by the French attendants as a courtesy, but not questioned as to any other needs. She will be tired. When she arrives, the Count greets her with affectionate courtesy and they retire to separate quarters. The chapter ends with a suggestion that not everyone sleeps after the lights of the house are extinguished.
Count of Monte Cristo, Baron Danglars, Bertuccio, Ali, M. Baptistin (the Count’s valet)
Groom of Baron Danglars
Baron Danglars arrives in his calèche and instructs his groom to enquire whether the Count is in. He has arrived because his bank has received instructions to give the Count unlimited credit. He is curious to meet the Count. But Danglars is turned away. The Count is not taking visitors this day. Meanwhile, the Count observes Danglars from his window and expresses his opinion that Danglars is unpleasant looking. But he has noticed the Baron’s horses and asks Bertuccio why they are as good as his own when the Count asked Bertuccio to buy the best horses. Bertuccio explains they had not been available for sale at the time. The Count orders him to offer double what Danglars paid for them and have them available by the evening. He instructs Ali to offer his current horses to the young lady staying with them. He next calls upon Monsieur Baptistin, his valet, who has been in his service a year. He reminds Baptistin of the good benefits and conditions of his job, but warns him to cease skimming money off the top of all purchases for the household or he will be fired. The Count explains that he puts aside money for his employees for each year of their service, to be paid if the Count should die. Baptistin risks losing his share if he is fired. Baptistin promises his loyalty and says he will take Ali as his model. The Count points out that Ali is a slave and would be killed rather than sacked if he were disloyal.
Bertuccio turns up with the horses newly purchased from Danglars. The Count says he will use them to visit Danglars. In the meantime, he instructs Bertuccio to buy a seaside property in Normandy where he can dock his corvette. He ascertains that his yacht is at Martigues and his steamboat is at Chalons. He instructs Bertuccio that once the property is purchased in Bertucicio’s name, he must have relays of horses set ten leagues apart between the property in the north and their current position. He clearly intends to be able to move at speed between Paris and his new property in Normandy.
When the Count arrives, Danglars explains to men in a meeting that he had tried to visit the Count but was rebuffed. Danglars questions whether he can be considered a real Count because he is so rich, and wonders at the wisdom of allowing him unlimited credit. When he meets the Count, Danglars apologises for not calling him Count when they first meet, since using titles is not always sensible in revolutionary France. The Count suggests that Dangars tries to appear all things the all men, switching his own titles – ‘lord’, ‘monsieur’, ‘citizen’ – with whomever he speaks to. Danglars is intimidated by the Count’s quick-wittedness. Next, Danglars questions the Count over his unlimited credit. The Count asks whether he disputes the wisdom of Thomas & French, the Roman bank who approved the credit line. Danglars cannot, so he asks how much money the Count might require. The Count points out that that is the point of an unlimited credit, since he is not sure. Danglars suggests a million, but the Count says he wouldn’t have bothered setting up the line of credit for so little: the amount he might carry in his pocket. He then produces two treasury orders for a million francs from his pocket. He also produces two letters, one from Arstein & Eskeles in Vienna, the other from Baring of London, which also extend him unlimited credit. Danglars is convinced of their authenticity and becomes sycophantic, promising to do the Count’s bidding. The Count suggests he might need as much as 6 million francs for his first year in France, but asks for 500,000 francs in gold and banknotes by the following day. The Count explains that his money has been in the family for a long time and has only recently been released for use. Danglars offers to show the Count his art works and to introduce him to his wife. She is currently entertaining M.Lucien Debray. The Count tells Danglars that he met Debray in Italy. Danglars has heard stories of Debray’s adventures there, and of Albert de Morcerf being captured by bandits and a miraculous escape.
Count of Monte Cristo, Baron Danglars, Ali, Baptistin (the count’s valet), Madame Hermine Danglars, Lucien Debray, Heloise de Villefort
Edward de Villefort
The Count is introduced to Madame Danglars in her chamber. She is impressed by his wealth and anticipates that he might spend it on entertainments in Paris, because she finds the Parisian summer so boring. Their conversation is interrupted by a maid who informs Madame Danglars that her dappled gray horses have been sold. Her husband tries to placate her by reasoning that the horses were too young and spirited, and therefore presented a danger to her. He promises to get her replacement horses with more suitable temperaments. He even offers her some of the money from the sale of the horses, sold to a
madman or fool for 16,000 francs. As he tells her this, Debray looks out the window and sees the horses attached to the Count’s carriage. The Count feigns surprise, saying that they had been purchased by a servant for 30,000 francs. Nothing is made of the discrepancy between the reported prices. Debray, realising an argument is imminent, makes an excuse to leave. Likewise, the Count leaves, pleased with the discord he has sown. He looks forward to meeting Eugene Danglars next, their daughter, who is engaged to marry Vicomte Albert de Morcerf.
The Count later returns the horses to Madame Danglars, with the addition of large diamonds placed in the rosettes adorning each of the horses’ heads.
The Count questions Ali over his ability with a lasso. Ali has extensive experience hunting with a lasso, even lions. The next morning the Count tells Ali to wait on the street and instructs him on what to do. After some time, the carriage of Heloise de Villefort appears. The horses, the dappled grays belonging to Madame Danglars, are out of control. Ali lassos one of the horses and brings them both to a stop and subdues them. Heloise de Villefort’s son, Edward, faints in the excitement, but the Count revives him with an ointment to the lips from a casket. Heloise de Villefort is naturally grateful. She has borrowed the horses because she had heard how magnificent they were. Now she wants to reward Ali for his heroic rescue but the Count won’t allow it. He says Ali is a slave, indebted to him after he saved Ali’s life. She next attempts to make her son thank Ali, but he refuses, saying Ali is too ugly. This hurts Ali’s feelings. The Count offers them a new carriage to return home, drawn by the same horses, but under the control of Ali, himself. Ali returns them home without incident. The horses are placid, even subdued. Heloise de Villefort writes a letter to Madame Danglars about the incident and can’t praise the Count enough. She says she will send her husband to see the Count. Meanwhile, news of the incident spreads around Paris and people want to meet with Madame Danglars to hear all about it.
Count of Monte Cristo, M. de Villefort
This chapter begins by giving us an impression of how powerful and influential M. de Villefort has become in French society as the King’s attorney. Normally, his wife deals with any social contacts, so receiving a visit from him should be considered a big deal. Villefort arrives with all the pomp that someone in his position might employ. The Count is curious to watch him. Villefort even affects a magisterial tone as he begins to speak to the Count. The Count immediately expresses his pleasure at having the opportunity to have saved his wife and son, which the Count suggests was more pleasurable than Villefort’s visit. Villefort, a little put off by this, thinks the Count uncultured. To make conversation, he refers to a map of Asia the Count has been examining. The Count explains he likes to study the human race in the way Villefort, as a magistrate, studies individuals, suggesting Villefort is in some way narrower in experience and thinking than he is. Villefort counters that if he had as much leisure time as the Count, he could also afford to do something more pleasurable. Instead, he must study law and deal in its practical application. The Count says he studies the laws of any country he enters and has studied many varied systems, suggesting he is, in fact, busier and more learned than Villefort. He suggests that the law of retaliation – of revenge – is that which is closest to God. Villefort asks why the Count has studied all this law. The Count says that Villefort’s understanding of the world is limited to the material and vulgar – merely pragmatic and utilitarian – and is blind to the wider picture of humanity and history. He speaks of Attila the Hun and the Angel Raphael, who had to announce their true significance to the world to be understood. The Count compares himself to these two figures: an exceptional being made visible to the eye of humanity. The Count feels Villefort lacks the critical insight to judge a character such as his. Unlike Villefort, who is bound in his identity and society by France and its laws, the Count says:
The dominions of kings are limited either by mountains or rivers, or a change of manners, or an alteration of language. My kingdom is bounded only by the world, for I am not an Italian, or a Frenchman, or a Hindu, or an American, or a Spaniard – I am a cosmopolite. In seeking to achieve his aims in life, he says he is limited only by time and distance. Of course, his speech is coded here to remind the reader that he seeks revenge. He says he will not be limited by old age because he will achieve his goals before he is old:
Unless I die, I shall always be what I am… Villefort says the Count is subject to French laws while in France, but the Count replies that he will study the laws and know them better than Villefort. Villefort, rather than being offended by all this, is excited by the level of conversation, but warns the Count of pride against God. This is relevant to a story he will soon tell about his father. The Count says he sets pride aside in God’s presence, because it was God who raised him from nothing. But he explains his ambition is to have the power of Providence, which is normally reserved for God. He tells a story of doing a deal with the devil to gain this power, which also gives him the power to recompense and punish, as they are part of Providence. Villefort warns the Count that beyond death, old age and madness, there are other maladies that could strike him down. He tells the story of his father, M. Noirtier, who was an important revolutionary leader, but was infantilised by a stroke (apoplexy). He feels this happened because his father committed some wrong which was outside the purview of human law to punish, and so was punished by God. He feels Valentine, daughter to his first wife, and Edward, are compensations from God. Villefort invites the Count to speak to him at his own home in the future, because he has enjoyed this philosophical conversation. He feels he has made an
eternal friend. When he leaves, the Count is clearly not so happy with Villefort –
Enough of this poison – and decides to visit his lover.
Count of Monte Cristo, Haidee
This chapter marks the first time we get to see Haidee in any detail. We first see her at the end of Chapter 46 when she arrives from Italy and the Count spends the night with her. The Count is in high spirits as he anticipates visiting Maximillian Morel and his daughter Julie, now residing at Rue Meslay. But he has set aside an hour to see Haidee.
Haidee is living separately in her own apartment provided by the Count with three French maids and one Greek maid. Her apartment is exotically decorated in an Oriental manner. She reclines on cushions like an Oriental woman and is seductively dressed. She is not yet twenty years old. The Count arrives and asks permission to see her. Haidee asks why he seeks permission, and the Count responds that now she is in France she is a free woman and can do as she please. She can leave him and seek the company of other men if she wants. He does not presume to have ready access to her. But Haidee insists that the Count and her father are the only men she has ever loved. The Count says she can go anywhere and do anything she wants, but must remember never to reveal her true identity to anyone, or speak of her past. He advises her to adjust to her current culture and climate, and says that she must understand that he will soon be old while she will still be young for a long time to come. He understands it is natural for her to seek another. But Haidee is adamant that she will not leave him. While her father is now dead, she insists she would die if the Count were to die. The Count is content and kisses her hand.
He leaves Haidee and travels to see the Morrel family in his carriage.
Count of Monte Cristo, Monsieur and Madame Herbault (ie Emmanuel and Julie), Maximilian Morrel, Cocles, Penelon
The discussion in this chapter refers back to Chapter 30, in which the fortunes of the Morrel family are saved when Julie is directed to find a purse with a diamond and letter from ‘Sinbad the Sailor’. The Morrels are now evidently doing well at No.7 Rue Meslay. Emmanuel has purchased the whole property and divided the garden with a wall to hide his workshop from view. Their house also has a study and music room. The Count is greeted by Cocles at the gate and Maximilian enthusiastically brings him to Julie in the garden. She instructs Maximilian to take him to the salon, and instructs the old sailor, Penelon, now turned gardener, to take Emmanuel there to meet him. Maximilian tells the Count of their happiness. He tells the Count that both Julie and he inherited 250,000 francs from their father’s estate. When Julie married Emmanuel, he vowed he would earn just as much in his business as a merchant before he retired. It took him six years, and the day he had achieved his goal he wound up his business. He even refrained from selling the business so that M.Morrel’s good name would never be associated with any negative publicity or future failing. They now live modestly on 25,000 francs a year. When Julie returns with Emmanuel, the Count expresses his happy mood, which has been lifted by observing their happiness. But Julie assures him that they have also known hardship, from which they were delivered by the hand of an ‘angel’. She refers, of course, to the purse the Count anonymously directed her to years before. She feels sure the Count cannot understand how important this has been to them, born as he is (as they assume) to wealth. In fact, the Count has to hide the emotion he feels as she tells him her story. She shows him the purse and speaks of the diamond and letter signed ‘Sinbad the Sailor’. They want nothing more than to be able to express their gratitude to their benefactor in person. The Count suggests they don’t have to speak of it to him, but they are happy to have the excuse to talk about it. Maximilian and Julie describe how Penelon saw the man who called upon their father, whom they believe responsible for their good fortune, embarking a ship in 1829. Julie is beginning to put the clues together. She has realised that this man was represented by Thomas & French at Rome, as is the Count. She thinks to herself that the Count’s voice seems familiar. The Count points out that Thomas & French have denied involvement in the affair, and deflects by suggesting Lord Wilmore, a man he describes as eccentric, may have been the responsible ‘angel’. Unfortunately, Lord Wilmore has gone on a lone trip from which he may never return, the Count explains. Maximilian tells the Count that their father had had a superstitious belief that their benefactor was Edmond Dantes, arisen from the dead. This hits too close to home for the Count, since he is, of course, Edmond Dantes. He suddenly makes excuses to leave. He assures them of his friendship and his desire to occasionally visit in the future. They think him strange but good hearted, and Julie is left with the lingering impression that the Count’s voice seems familiar.
Maximilian Morrel, M de Villefort, Danglers, M Noirtier
Valentine de Villefort
The author describes an imposing mansion with a garden that has been neglected. The main part of the garden has been walled off and sold, and its current owner, having intended to develop a new street, found that the development failed. He has taken to renting out the patch of land until more favourable selling conditions exist. An old gate connecting this property to the remains of the garden on the other side exists, rusting and now bordered up.
Vallentine, daughter of M de Villefort, and Maximilian have been meeting either side of this gate, just like the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe. Valentine is miserable. She feels her father neglects her – is indifferent to her – and her step mother despises her and makes her life miserable. It is clear that her meetings with Maximilian are a small pleasure that she fears will be discovered by her father, since she has been engaged to marry M.Franz Epinay who is currently away, at least for another year. She is concerned that Maximilian will be caught trespassing on the land to gain access to her, but he assures Valentine that he has rented the land and now poses as a gardener, so that he might gain access to her without fear of arrest. Maximilian speaks to Valentine in all the typical lovers’ tropes. Valentine takes pleasure in his avowal of his love, but expresses concern that either of them could succumb to their passions. Maximilian assures her that he can be trusted, and points out that he has not tried to come through the gate or follow her. He can be trusted. But Valentine says his restraint is also from self-interest, because had he pushed the matter everything would have come to a head and their relationship, such as it is, would have already ended. She says that what she needs right now is the love of a brother, since her home life is so emotionally barren. Apart from her emotionally distant father and hateful step mother, her grandfather, M. Noirtier, is paralysed and cannot speak. She asks for pity. Maximilian promises to control his ardour, but since M.Franz Epinay is not back for another year he insists on maintaining a hope that circumstances might change. He also complains that Valentine is expressing no thoughts about a future together with him, and seems too content in his eyes to accept the marriage arranged for her. Maximilian is seeking assurance of her love. But Valentine is emotionally fragile and she tells Maximilian so. She describes how the world thinks she lives an ideal life with a loving father, and having gained another mother after losing her own, whereas the reality is the opposite. She attributes her step mother’s enmity towards her to her overweening love for her son, Edward, and her lack of a personal fortune, whereas Valentine has inherited money from her mother and is heir to M and Mme de Saint Moren’s money when they die. Besides, she believes her father to be too powerful to cross – his influence extends to the King, even – and she fears what would happen to Maximilian should her father find out about them. But Maximilian believes he is worthy of Valentine’s hand. He cites his rising position in the army, which is a respectable occupation, and since the revolution there is not such a rigid class structure that would prevent him marrying her. He has a modest sum of money and a good family name. Valentine feels she would cope better with the situation if her mother were alive to give her comfort and support, but Maximilian believes she wouldn’t have turned to him if her mother was still alive.
Maximilian now asks if there was any source of misunderstanding between their fathers. Valentine tells him a story of an incident that happened when Maximilian was appointed the Legion of Honour. She was reading the newspaper to her grandfather when she came upon the story. She hesitated to read it, but then thought it would look strange if she didn’t. When her father, Villefort, heard Maximilian’s name he turned to Danglars who was present, to recall that Morrel was a Bonapartist, and wondered if this is the same family. Danglars recalled Morrel was the old shipowner. Her father then expressed his contempt by saying that they were good for nothing but being shot with cannon. Valentine recalls that she thought her grandfather became emotional. At first she thought him unhappy, but then she asked him whether he was pleased and he was able to signal that he was. But not by what Villefort had said. He was pleased by the news of Maximilian’s appointment.
At that moment in the telling of the story, Valentine is called inside by a servant who tells her that the Count of Monte Cristo is visiting, and her step mother requests her presence. She goes, and Maximilian is left wondering what the Count is doing there and what his connection is with M de Villefort.
Count of Monte Cristo, Mme de Villefort, Valentine, Edward
The Count is received by Mme de Villefort who informs him that her husband is absent, meeting with the chancellor. Mme de Villefort tells Edward to fetch his sister. The Count enquires after Valentine and Edward says she is melancholy. Mme de Villefort explains that Valentine is the daughter of her husband’s first marriage. Edward says she is out in the garden, but she comes in without his having looked for her. She is described in detail for the first time – chestnut hair, blue eyes, elegant and 19 years of age. Mme de Villefort introduced her to the Count and Edward mockingly introduces the Count to his sister as the King of China. Edward is a mischievous child who doesn’t show a lot of respect.
The Count ignores the rudeness and tells Mme de Villefort that he thinks they may have met before. He goes through the motions of pretending to recall her, and prompted by a guess from Mme de Villefort, he ‘realises’ they have met in Italy. He recalls speaking to her while she was waiting for horses and Edward was chasing a peacock. He recalls to her that she spoke to a man she took to be a doctor. It was, in fact, the Count, who had gained a reputation as a healer after he nursed his valet and landlord back to health from fever and jaundice. He admits that he is not a doctor, merely interested in chemistry and the natural sciences. Mme de Villefort admits that she now remembers him and appears a little uneasy. She sends Valentine away to check on her grandfather, but denies she is perturbed by the memory. The Count asks after M.Noirtier, but Mme de Villefort turns the conversation back to the Count’s skills as a chemist. He denies being a skilled chemist, but says he follows in the example of Mithridates rex Ponticus. Edward immediately understands what he means. King Mithridates was understood to have built up an immunity to poisons by taking small doses regularly. Mme de Villefort is upset at her son’s interruption and tells him to go to his sister. He tears up a photo album angrily as he leaves. The Count observes that Edward is highly intelligent, but his comment that Mme de Villefort is too harsh on him seems ironic.
Mme de Villefort wants to know whether the Count believes in the efficacy of taking poison for prophylactic purposes. He says he does, and claims that doing so has saved his life from poisoners three times so far. He claims that poisons have greater potency in different regions, owing to climate, and explains how one would gradually increase doses of a poison over time to build up an immunity. He tells her that his two favourite studies when younger were botany and minerology. In the Orient, he says, people use these studies for a range of purposes, from wooing lovers to killing enemies. People in the East know so much about poisons, the Count assures her, that it would stupefy a Western doctor. Mme de Villefort is familiar with tales of the exotic East, and her impression is that rulers there rule through subterfuge and ingenuity rather than the rule of law. The Count disagrees, saying that law enforcement in the East is strict, thereby requiring any would-be poisoner to know their craft well. In Europe, he says, those who poison are usually inept and get caught. They use too much poison directly in food and take measures to evade arrest, like sourcing their poison from multiple sources, which merely increases their chances of being caught. They are too influenced by theatre, he feels, which represents poisoning as a swift death easily administered. And attempts to cure a patient by a doctor are just as likely to do harm as not, since not all poisons work the same. The Count dismisses famous stories of poisoning, like that of the Borgias, as inflated works of art. Whereas skilled poisoners, like Abbe Adelmonte, practise poisoning like a science. He tells how Adelmonte would begin with a lettuce leaf which he would poison, then feed it to a rabbit, the rabbit would die, and then be fed to another animal, and so on for up to five different animals, before the meat was finally served to a victim. By that stage, the prognosis upon death would be of some natural cause.
Mme de Villefort tries to steer the conversation to a moral perspective, saying that no matter how skilful the poisoner, even if not caught, they cannot escape the judgment of God. But the Count is not moved by this. He feels that a skilled poisoner, killing at such a remove, does not disturb the order of society. It is merely
an ‘elimination;’ you merely and simply remove from your path the individual who is in your way. Mme de Villefort asserts that the killer cannot escape their conscience. But the Count dismisses this. Conscience, he argues, is what allows people to create horrible justifications for the actions they wish to perform, like Richard III, accused of killing the Princes in the tower, or Lady Macbeth. Mme de Villefort says the Count is a
terrible reasoner but must be a good chemist, for she recalls the elixir the Count gave to her son to revive him from his fit (Chapter 48). The Count agrees that the drop he gave Edward was efficacious, but that if he increased the dose, it would eventually harm him, and too much would kill him. In other words, the elixir – he dismisses the word ‘poison’ now – is neither good nor bad, merely a tool. Mme de Villefort agrees with this, and reflects upon the medicine she has for her fainting fits which she suspects is not as good as the elixir produced by Adelmonte. The Count offers to get her some, but warns of the danger of excessive use, pointing out that the elixir would be just as effective as a poison administered to someone’s drink. And it would have no taste.
When the Count leaves, Mme de Villefort decides that the Abbe Adelmonte is really the Count, himself. The Count is pleased as he leaves her. He believes he has sown the seed of an idea in fruitful soil. Clearly, he hopes Mme de Villefort’s having the elixir will serve his own purposes. The next morning, he sends her the prescription.
Count of Monte Cristo, Haidee, Albert Morcerf, Mme Danglars, Chateau-Renaud, Lucien Debray, Count Morcerf
The chapter title refers to the opera attended by the characters in this chapter. The minister Levasseur is ill and has made his opera box available to Lucien Debray. Debray, in turn has offered it to Albert de Morcerf, who invited M Danglars to use the box. Danglars thinks it would be wrong for him to be seen in the minister’s box, but his wife is determined to go with her daughter, and asks Lucien Debray to act as escorts for them. As the opera begins Albert and Chateau-Renaud are in Albert’s box. Albert spots Countess G. in the audience. They talk about the races held the day before, much to the annoyance of those about them, who ask them to be quiet. They speak anyway. They are interested in the race won by a newcomer, Vampa, ridden by Job. Upon hearing the name, Albert claims to know the owner of the horse. Meanwhile, Mme Danglars and her daughter Eugenie arrive (it is fashionable to be late for the opera). Chateau-Renaud asks Albert’s opinion of Eugene. He is not attracted to her. He thinks her too masculine and she has a large mole near her mouth. Even her education he considers too masculine – linguistics, art, poetry, music composition, assisted by Mademoiselle Louise d’Armilly, a singer. When Act I finishes Mme Danglars expects him to come to their box, but he instead visits Countess G. She was also at the races the day before and is interested in knowing who the owner of Vampa is. She says that when she got back to her apartment building the jockey, Job, was leaving, and she found the prize cup from the race in her apartment with a note from ‘Lord Ruthven’. Albert points out that the bandit who kidnapped him in Italy was called Vampa, and connects Lord Ruthven to the Count of Monte Cristo, whom Countess G. likens to a vampire again because of his pale skin. Albert suggests he sent her the cup because they had spoken and she had taken an interest in the Count’s successes. Countess G. is slightly perturbed by the Count’s attention, but Chateau-Renaud and Albert assure her he is not to be feared. In fact, he is now the talk of Paris after presenting the horses to Mme Danglars and rescuing Mme de Villefort. Now, he is also the owner of the winning horse in the Jockey Club race. They advise Countess G. not to try to return the cup.
The bell signalling the beginning of the second act is wrung and the Count and Haidee appear in the theatre. They occupy the Russian ambassador’s box. The audience is now distracted throughout Act II by their presence and the impressive jewellery Haidee is wearing. Mme Danglars signals Albert to visit her at the end of Act II. When he arrives at her box he is told Debray has been useless because he is unable to tell her anything about the Count. Debray is not interested in the Count. He sees the Count’s only merit being that he is twice as rich as a nabob. Mme Danglars says no nabob would have sent her the horses with diamond head pieces, and tells them he has an unlimited line of credit. Eugenie asks about Haidee but Albert knows nothing except that she is Greek and plays music. Mme Danglars wants to persuade her husband to invite the Count to their place so that they might receive an invitation in return. Debray points out that the Count is unmarried and visiting him might be unseemly. Mme Danglars points to Haidee as evidence that he is, but Debray points out that she is a slave. Mme Danglars thinks she looks like a princess with all her jewellery but Eugenie thinks her look is overdone. Mme Danglars requests that Albert ask the Count to their box but Eugenie doesn’t want to meet him. Albert is hesitant to go to the Count since he has never been introduced to Haidee, and says the Count will probably visit once he leaves them. Just then, the Count bows to Mme Danglars from across the theatre. Albert leaves Mme Danglars box and the Count leaves his own box to take Albert by the arm as he passes. He expresses his surprise at the interest shown by the audience in Ali. The Count presumes this is because he is Nubian, but Albert says it is because Ali is his servant and the Count is now the talk of the town. Albert says Mme Danglars wishes to see him, while the Count congratulates him on his engagement to Eugenie. Albert changes the subject by asking the Count how he is enjoying the music, but he hardly seems to have been taking notice of it. He prefers, he says, the music of his dreams and hashish, which he promises to provide Albert when he comes to visit. The Count says he will visit Mme Danglars later.
The third act begins and Count Morcerf, Albert’s father, arrives at the theatre and goes to Mme Danglar’s box. As the third act ends the Count visits Mme Danglars in her box. She thanks him for saving her friend, Mme de Villefort, but he dismisses it, saying Ali saved her. But the Count of Morcerf reminds him that he saved his son Albert, which the Count is quick to dismiss. Mme Danglars introduces the Count of Monte Cristo to her daughter and asks about Haidee: is she his daughter? she asks. He says she is an unfortunate girl under his care. Mme Danglars asks the Count of Morcerf whether he ever saw a girl more beautiful at the Court of Tepelena. Count Morcerf explains that he was general of the pasha’s troops and made his fortune under him. At that moment, Haidee looks up at them and appears to faint. The Count of Monte Cristo leaves them to attend to her. She has been taken by surprise when she recognised the Count of Morcerf. She tells the Count of Monte Cristo that it was Count Morcerf who sold her father to the Turks. That is how he made his fortune. The Count tells her he wishes to hear all the details of this story.
Count of Monte Cristo, Albert de Morcerf, Lucien Debray, Baptistin, Bertuccio
Albert de Morcerf and Lucien Debray visit the Count at his house in Champ-Élysées. Albert repeats Mme Danglars thanks to the Count. The Count perceives that Lucien’s presence is to satisfy Mme Danglar’s curiosity, but he does not reveal he has guessed. The Count confirms that Albert is in constant communication with M.Danglars. Albert says his father and M.Danglars served in the army in Spain together, where his father repaired his fortunes and M.Danglars came into his. The Count comments on Eugenie’s beauty, but Albert admits (out of hearing of Lucien who is looking about the room) that her beauty is not to his taste. The Count is surprised since he judges her to be beautiful and rich, and Albert is of sufficient wealth and possessing a good name from the nobility to make it a good match. Albert says his father is in favour of the marriage, but that his mother does not support it. He believes she dislikes the Danglars or is against the marriage because they were not born to nobility. Albert is torn between pleasing his mother or his father. Lucien has been poking around and now comments on some calculations he sees on a piece of paper. The Count admits he has been calculating the profit the Danglars must have made on a rise in Haiti bonds. Albert says that they made a profit of 300, 000 francs from a trade in stock the day before, but had they waited until today they would have lost money. The Count sees that the trades are akin to gambling based on rumour and news, and that it is dangerous. Lucien says that it is, in fact, Mme Danglars who likes to play the stock market. Albert suggests Lucien should try to discourage her, since he holds the position of secretary to the minister. But Lucien complains that he can’t, since her husband can’t stop her. Albert suggests he should use his position to put out news that would cause her to lose enough money to make her consider the risks she takes. Lucien is embarrassed that Albert should suggest this.
The talk turns to Albert and his intended marriage to Eugenie Danglars. The Count tells Albert that he intends to invite the Danglars and Villeforts to dinner at his country house in Auteuil. But he thinks that if he invited Albert and his parents it would look like the Count was arranging a matrimonial meeting, which would displease Albert’s mother, and the Count values her good opinion of him. Yet the Count also knows that if he does not invite the Morcerfs then the Danglars will also be angry with him. Albert agrees his own mother would be upset to be invited and his father not to be, but he doesn’t want to attend the dinner, either. The Count advises him to have a good excuse which he can prove to be true. Albert decides to take his mother to the seaside for a few days, since she has expressed her desire to go. It is now Tuesday and the dinner would be Saturday. He will leave the next day. But he invites the Count to his own home for dinner with his mother that night – his father will be busy. But the Count cannot come that night. Albert jokingly asks him for the proof, since the Count said he must have proof of his own excuse. So the Count calls Baptistin, who says that the Count has plans to meet with Major Bartolomeo Cavalcanti and his son that night. The Count explains he knows the major fleetingly from his travels, but feels obliged to meet with him based on their slim acquaintance. The major wants the Count to act as a mentor for his son.
Albert says he has had news from Franz in Italy. Franz still sees the Count as a mysterious and remarkable man. Albert confirms for the Count that Franz’s father was General d’Epinay, killed by Bonapartists in 1815. Albert tells the Count that Franz is engaged to marry Mademoiselle de Villefort, although he is just as reluctant as Albert, himself, to marry. As Albert prepares to take leave of the Count he compliments him on his polished manners and his high quality servants. Albert would happily employ Baptistin if he became available. And he jokingly offers to help the major’s son find a wife – it is unclear whether he would offer Eugenie – and says he wishes he could remain a bachelor for another ten years. Albert leaves.
The Count summons Bertuccio and tells him to have the house readied for dinner this coming Saturday. Bertuccio is surprised by the suddenness of the request and asks who will be coming. But the Count admonishes him for lacking confidence and initiative since they came to France, and says he doesn’t know who is coming to dinner.
The Count of Monte Cristo, Baptistin
Bertuccio leaves for Auteuil for the dinner preparations and two hours later Major Cavalcanti arrives. The Major is an insecure and forgetful man who feigns understanding and emotion to get through the conversation. To start with, he is uncertain whether he has the correct house and whether the Count is expecting him. The Count has to say the Major’s name and army rank to convince him he knows who he is. The Count asks the Major for a letter he carries from Abbe Busoni. The letter states that the Major has a half million franc fortune (the Major is surprised to hear this) and only requires the return of his son to him, missing since he was five years old, for his happiness. The Count tells the Major that it is within his power to do this. The Major points out that the letter has a post script. Busoni writes that he has given the Major 2000 francs travelling expenses, but he would like the Count to give the Major a further 48,000 francs, which the Count still owes Busoni. The Count confirms to the Major that he will do this. He offers the Major a drink and biscuit, and when Baptistin enters to hear the request, he tells the Count that the Major’s son has arrived and is in the drawing room, waiting. The Count returns to the Major and draws from him the story of his son. The son was born out of wedlock and the Major tried to hide this. The Count suggests the Major did not do this out of shame but to protect the mother, which the Major agrees was his purpose, now that it has been put like that. When the Major asks if the Count would like to know the woman’s identity, the Count reveals he already knows: Olivia Corsinari, a marchioness. He even knows the Major later married her against the wishes of her family.
The Count asks for the marriage and birth certificates from the Major, and insists they are indispensable, since they will be needed by the son, especially to make a good marriage match. But the Major is not aware he needed to bring them and looks perplexed. Again, the Count is prepared. He has had Busoni send them to him. The Count impresses on the Major how important it is not to lose them, but to give them to his son when they meet. The Major confirms for the Count that his wife has now been dead for ten years, and weeps for her briefly. The Count advises the Major not to tell people the real story of his son’s long absence – that he had been taken by gypsies – because it will not be believed. He advises, instead, that his son should be said to have been at a provincial finishing school. If anyone finds out the truth, he might say that an unfaithful tutor, bought over by the enemies of his family, took him.
The Count now reveals he has a surprise, the obvious nature of which the Major fails to glean, until he is told, and then says that he had guessed it. The Count assures the Major he will give him and his son privacy. But first, the Major asks for 8000 francs of the 48,000 promised. He has spent his travelling money. He offers a receipt but the Count says that between trustworthy gentlemen it won’t be needed until the entire amount is paid. The Count also advises the Major not to wear his current outfit in Paris, since it has been out of fashion for some time. He would be better served wearing his military uniform. The Count now withdraws to give the promised privacy for the Major’s meeting with his son.
Count of Monte Cristo, Major Cavalcanti
The Count finds Andrea Cavalcanti stretched out on his sofa in the drawing room. They introduce themselves and the Count asks for the letter of introduction Andrea carries. Andrea says he withheld the letter on account of its strange signature, Sinbad the Sailor. The Count explains it is a nom de guerre of his eccentric friend, Lord Wilmot. The Count asks Andrea to confirm his history, which Andrea repeats as though learned by rote: his parentage, his father’s income, his abduction by his tutor, his attempts to find his father and the letter which directed him to the Count. The Count tells Andrea that his father is in the next room. He explains that his father received a letter of ransom which he paid, and that Andrea was subsequently brought from Nice to Paris via a series of coaches. The Count says that his father is anxious to know whether he has been treated well, and whether he has maintained the high moral standards required by his social rank. The Count claims he has heard good things from Lord Wilmot on whose behalf he acts. Andrea assures the Count that his education and manners were well attended by his kidnappers in order to preserve his personal and hereditary worth. That is, so he was worth something to them. The Count warns Andrea not to spread his story about when he enters Parisian society. It is of a Romantic nature and will not be believed by some, which may give him a bad reputation and cause people to distrust him. Instead, he should focus on maintaining a good reputation and seeking honourable friendships which will help him overcome any prejudices that might exist against his past. The Count says he cannot play the role since he morally distrusts his best friends, and Lord Wilmot says Andrea has had a sometimes ‘stormy’ youth.
Andrea is to receive 50,000 livre a year while ever he remains in Paris. Andrea says he will never leave Paris. The Count warns him that ‘Man proposes, God disposes’ (echoing another phrase in Chapter 52: Pyramus and Thisbe concerning the plans of the buyer of the walled-off garden once belonging to the property of the Villeforts: ‘“man proposes,” “money disposes”’). The Count explains that the income will be paid by his father, but Lord Wilmot is security and has opened an account with 6000 francs on Andrea’s behalf at M.Danglar’s bank. The Count says Andrea’s father can only stay a few days in Paris since his duty requires him to return to Italy. Andrea barely suppresses his happiness at this news.
The Count directs Andrea to the next room and then opens a spy hole in a picture to watch and listen. Andrea speaks loudly and embraces the Major, so the Count may hear his affectionate greeting, but then he gets down to business. He asks the Major for the documents of marriage and birth he needs to prove his ancestry and carefully reads them over. He then asks the Major whether being condemned to the galleys is still a punishment in Italy. The Major is shocked at the question and asks why. Andrea tells him that false documents like these would send a man to jail in France. Andrea makes it plain: the Major is being paid to be his ‘father’ and he is being paid to be the Major’s ‘son’. He feels confident saying this because he believes them to be alone and they are speaking Italian. He asks whether the Major trusts the Count. The Major says he does and says they should continue to play their parts. They think the Count does not know the truth. Andrea asks if the Major received a letter from Abbe Busoni. He had and gives it to Andrea to read. The letter acknowledges the Major’s poverty and offers him a chance to become rich. It instructs him to go to the Count at their current time and place and to adopt the backstory of his having had a son to a Marchioness, and was abducted. Andrea, too, received a similar letter outlining the time and place of the meeting, his new identity, with promises of money and a letter of introduction.
They both suspect this ruse is meant to dupe somebody, but since the letter has led to the Count and the Count has conformed to and confirmed the claims made by the letter, they believe they are not the intended victims. They resolve, therefore, to maintain their charade.
The Count enters the drawing room and asks Andrea to detail his financial circumstances. Andrea currently has no money. The Count tells the Major he should pay his son money, but then slips the money to Andrea in front of the Major. He says it’s for expenses to settle in Paris and that it is from his father. Andrea begins to thank the Major but the Count says the Major does not wish him to know it comes from him. By this action, the Count seems to enter into their charade.
The Count says they will next be expected to appear for a dinner on Saturday at his country house in Auteuil. He tells the Major that his new banker, M.Danglars, will be there. He tells the Major to wear his full dress military uniform. The Count watches them through the window as they leave, both pretending to be father and son. The Count is disgusted by them, and decides to visit the Morrels.
Maximilian Morrel, Valentine de Villefort
Maximilian waits at the gate outside the de Villefort mansion. Valentine is late, but she has been held up by a visit from Eugenie. She brings Eugenie into the garden so Maximilian can see why she is delayed. Valentine comes to speak to Maximilian after Eugenie’s departure. Maximilian wonders what they have been speaking about, since they looked intimate. Valentine denies knowing Eugenie well, but they were speaking together upon their common situation, of being engaged to men they do not love. Maximilian wonders whether Eugenie loves another, but Valentine says she did not speak about that. She did say, however, that she would prefer to live alone as an artist.
Valentine cannot stay long. She has been summoned by Mme de Villefort on the matter of her fortune. Valentine says she would prefer to live in poverty and be left alone. She seeks reassurance that Maximilian would still love her if she was poor. He says he would; that she is the only woman he will ever love. Maximilian has bumped into Albert who has told him that Franz is returning from Italy. Valentine is concerned she will be pressured to marry, but feels confident the pressure will not come from her step mother. She says Mme de Villefort secretly objects to the marriage; to the idea of marriage herself. She tells Maximilian how a year before she had planned to enter a monastery. Mme de Villefort supported the decision, but Valentine changed her mind because her grandfather was so unhappy about it. Mme de Villefort supported it because Valentine would then be required renounce her fortune – she was heir to her mother and grandparents, and is heir to the Saint-Merans – which would revert to her father. Upon her father’s death, Edward, Mme de Villefort’s own son, would then benefit. Maximilian suggests just giving half her fortune to Edward, but Valentine says that is hard to do when Mme de Villefort pretends she is indifferent to it.
Maximilian points out that their love is entirely secret, and he would like to tell a friend, the Count of Monte Cristo. He admits he has not known the Count long, but has felt an instant understanding and empathy with the man that is rare. Valentine knows the Count is behind the saving of her step mother’s life and is distrustful of him, given his influence in her family. Maximilian feels the Count has the power to influence events: saving Albert in Italy; his gift to Mme Danglars; saving Mme de Villefort and Edward. Maximilian seems to have a bro crush on the Count. But Valentine feels the Count is not generous and has not noticed her unhappiness. She is nothing to him and has been ignored. She believes he would side against her in any matter of conflict within the family. So Maximilian promises not to confide in the Count over the matter of their love, but still feels a strong friendship with him he cannot explain.
Maximilian says he has been invited to dinner Saturday night at Count’s country house in Auteuil. He harbours the hope that the Count has guessed their love, anyway, and that the purpose of the dinner is to give Maximilian an opportunity to meet Mme de Villefort. Valentine is not so hopeful. She believes she can only rely upon herself and her sick grandfather. Maximilian tries to offer an anecdote to try to shift Valentine into the Count’s camp. He first speak of an instinct he believes has saved him many times in the battlefield. Valentine is unhappy he doesn’t equally attribute his survival to her prayers. He next tells the story of a horse he immediately liked but did not have the money for. That very night Chateau-Renaud, Lucien Debray and the Count, along with others, turned up at his house unannounced to play cards. He felt he couldn’t refuse, and in the course of the evening won enough money to buy the horse, Medeah. Maximilian believes the Count somehow knew of his desire and set about to furnish the means by which he could buy the horse. Valentine thinks the story fanciful, and that Maximilian will have difficulty living a life of ordinary love with her if he believes such things.
It is time for Valentine to go. Maximilian asks her to put a finger through the gate that he might kiss it goodbye. She puts a whole hand through and he kisses it passionately. She leaves him, frightened by her own desires.
M. de Villefort, Mme. De Villefort, Valentine, M. Noirtier de Villefort,
After the departure of Mme Danglars and her daughter, and while Valentine is in the garden with Maximilian, M. de Villefort and his wife enter M.Noirtier’s room. His condition is such that he can only see and hear. He cannot move. Despite this, M. de Villefort, Valentine and their long-time servant, Barrois, can communicate effectively with him through his blinking for no and shutting his eyes for yes, by his facial expressions, and other means. They tell Noirtier that they intend to marry Valentine to M.Franz de Quesnel, Baron of d’Epinay. Once they’re married, Noirtier will live with them so he can be with Valentine. Noirtier looks furious at this suggestion. M. de Villefort mockingly suggests the room is too hot and opens a window. Further, he makes Franz sound unsuitable: he has no living relatives, and since he was young he was left to his own devices with little discipline. Further still, M. de Villefort says that those responsible for the assassination of Franz’s father in 1815 would be happy to bestow a peace offering to Franz by way of a marriage to Valentine, thereby suggesting Villefort has knowledge of the killing. He next teases Noirtier by asking whether he would like to see Edward. Noirtier blinks to say no, but closes his eyes to agree to see Valentine. When she enters the room she can tell her grandfather is unhappy and through a series of questions ascertains that he is unhappy about her intended marriage to Franz and thinks she will be unhappy, too. Valentine admits that she does not love Franz, and explains that her intention to enter a monastery a year before a year before had been to escape the marriage. She wishes they could oppose her father together but believes it impossible. Yet Noirtier’s look suggests he thinks something could be done, which she gets him to affirm. She runs through the alphabet to ascertain that what he wants to effect a plan begins with the letter N, and by running her finger down a dictionary’s pages, he is able to convey that he wants a notary. Valentine calls for her father, M. de Villefort, who enters the room with Barrois. Valentine explains her grandfather’s desire to see a notary. M. de Villefort is suspicious as to his intentions, but Burrois decides they should summon a notary if he wants one. M. de Villefort agrees to it, but warns he will call into question his father’s state of health and mental capacity to act upon his own behalf.
M. de Villefort, Mme. De Villefort, Valentine, M. Noirtier de Villefort, Barrois
The notary arrives but he says he cannot execute a legal document on behalf of someone whose intentions he cannot ascertain for certain. He goes to leave but Valentine calls him back and says she can easily teach him how to communicate with her grandfather. The notary says her grandfather must also possess his mental faculties, but upon questioning Noirtier he becomes convinced he does. Even so, M. de Villefort tries to convince the notary that his father’s faculties are impaired. But by now the notary is more concerned about how to accurately ascertain Noirtier’s intentions. The grandfather wants to draw up a will. Valentine assures him that she can accurately ascertain what her grandfather wants, but M. de Villefort says his daughter has too much interest in the drawing up of the will for her to be trusted. But Noirtier signals he trusts Valentine. The notary says the will could be drawn up with seven witnesses and the aid of a second notary, to help ensure it will not be challenged. M. de Villefort sends for a second notary. When he arrives they begin by painstakingly questioning Noirtier to establish that his wealth is at 900,000 francs. A casket with bank scrip confirms his amount, which further confirms his mental faculties. When asked whom his heir will be, it is generally assumed to be Valentine, and Mme de Villefort gives voice to this assumption. But Noirtier indicates that she is not his heir. Valentine is shocked at her disinheritance, but she sees her grandfather’s expression, suggesting his love for her, and she is comforted by this. Mme de Villefort asks whether Edward, her son, will be heir. No. M. de Villefort? No. Valentine questions his intentions – why he is doing this – and he looks at her hand. She guesses it has something to do with her intended wedding. The notary further questions Noirtier, who confirms that Valentine would remain his heir if she were not to marry Franz. M. de Villefort says he is best to judge what is right for Valentine and says she shall marry Franz, regardless. The notary questions Noirtier about what he will do with his money if Valentine marries Franz, and discovers that Noirtier intends to give it to charity in that circumstance. The notary assumes he will give his son the minimum required by law so the will cannot be contested, but Noirtier intends to give all his money to charity. When the notary points out that he risks having the will contested, M. de Villefort resignedly says, no, he will not contest. What’s more, his father knows this. In his public position he cannot afford to be seen contesting a will that benefits poor people. M. de Villefort refuses to change his mind about the wedding and leaves. The will is drawn up and given to the family notary, M.Deschamps.
M. de Villefort, Mme. De Villefort, Count of Monte Cristo, Notaries (x2)
When M. de Villefort returns from his father’s room he finds the Count waiting for him. The Count sees he is in a bad mood and M. de Villefort admits it is on account of his father who, he says ‘destroyed my hopes and my fortune, and may blast the prospects of my child’. The Count is surprised since M.Noirtier cannot speak, but M. de Villefort says he can make himself understood. Mme de Villefort enters the room. She believes her husband will be able to overturn the terms of the will. M de Villefort says he does not play the patriarch in the family, but he cannot allow his father’s caprice to overthrow his plans to unite his daughter with the son of an old friend. Mme de Villefort speculates whether Valentine and M.Noirtier conspired to do this. Her husband thinks not, but she says it’s possible, given Valentine was willing to lose her entire fortune when she wanted to enter a convent. M de Villefort thinks his father has done this because he hates M d’Epinay (General de Quesnal, created Baron d’Epinay by Charles X), Franz’s father. M de Villefort does not know why his father might have hated Franz’s father. H resolves to continue to show respect to his father, but he will bear the financial loss and make Valentine marry Franz. He says his father was more a Jacobin than Bonapartist. His intention was to attack the Bourbons rather than serve Bonaparte. The Count points out that d’Epinay had royalist sympathies while serving Napoleon. Perhaps the two men had fallen out over politics. M. de Villefort says he had hoped to overcome the enmity between the two families through the marriage. He thinks the loss of the money is serious, but Valentine has money already and thinks Franz will hold them in higher esteem for taking the loss rather than revoking their agreement. Mme de Villefort adds that maybe Valentine has no reason to spend as much time with her grandfather anymore. The Count reasons that it is Edward who is the real loser in all this, since Valentine’s fortune is already established. But M de Villefort will take comfort knowing that he has done what he thinks is right. Mme de Villefort suggests that even so, they should give Franz the opportunity to withdraw from the agreement, under the circumstances. But M de Villefort argues that young women can get a bad reputation for broken engagements, and besides, he believes Franz is not motivated by the money. The Count, having noticed Mme de Villefort’s attempt to steer the situation towards nullifying the marriage, say he will try to encourage Franz not to change his mind. Mme de Villefort’s colour changes slightly at hearing this.
The Count prepares to take his leave of them. He says he was only visiting to remind them of their dinner engagement on Saturday night. Mme de Villefort is a bit terse. She says her husband has given his word he will be there and the Count has just witnessed how her husband keeps his word. But the Count wants to point out that the dinner is at his country house at Auteuil. M de Villefort had assumed it was at his city address, thereby justifying the Count’s intrusion. They establish that the Count has bought the old Saint-Merans house which stood empty for twenty years. Mme de Villefort says her husband would never live there. M de Villefort admits he does not like the house but assures the Count he will come.
The Count is now off to see a telegraph. He speaks of his fascination for the technology and his surprise that it is operated by ordinary men on fixed salaries. He intends to go to a small country station rather than the home department or observatorywhere its wonders will be explained, since he does not want it explained in detail. He wants to retain its mystery and the sense of wonder he has for it. As he leaves the house, he bumps into the two notaries who have just finished M.Noirtier’s will.
Count of Monte Cristo, M.Debray, Mme Danglars
The Count travels to the telegraph tower at Montlhery where he finds a small but immaculately kept garden behind a gate. Upon entering the garden he comes across the telegraph operator bent down harvesting strawberries. He is startled, thinking that the Count might be an inspector, but the Count assures him he is not. The man explains he was on a one hour break and must return to work in ten minutes. But he is preoccupied with his garden. He thinks some strawberries are missing and wonders if it was a local boy who stole them or whether dormice come to eat his crop. The Count expresses an interest in the telegraph and the man admits he is happy not to understand the signals he sends. He feels more a part of the machine, then, and not responsible for what is transmitted. ‘Is it possible that I have met with a man without ambition’ the Count muses to himself. ‘That would spoil my plans.’
It is time for the man to return to work and the Count asks him his personal circumstances as they return to the tower. He is 55 years old, receives 1000 francs a year, must work 25 years for a pension and has grown used to the monotony. He gardens during breaks and holidays. The Count thinks he is poorly remunerated for his work. He reaffirms that the man has no interest in the messages he sends. He next enquires how messages are send between telegraph towers, as well as how he would feel about owning a two acre garden. Naturally, the man would love that. And what would happen if he missed a signal? the Count asks. The man says he would be fined 100 francs: a tenth of his income. The Count asks what would happen if he altered a signal. The man says he would lose his job and pension. But the Count proposes he send a signal for him and ignore the incoming signal from the tower to his right. The Count offers 15,000 francs, 15 years pay, to do it. The man is reluctant, so the Count offers 10,000 francs more, which would buy him a small house with two acres to garden, as well as give him an income of 1000 francs a year from the money initially offered. The man agrees to transmit three signals for the Count, which go all the way to the Minister for the Interior.
Debray receives the message from the signals and drives to Danglar’s house to warn him that Don Carlos has escaped, has returned to Spain and is stirring up support. He should sell his Spanish bonds immediately at any cost. Danglars is not home but Mme Danglar sells all the bonds. Danglars loses 500,000 francs on the transaction. When the news spreads, Danglars is thought to have been lucky, but when an update arrives the following day, saying that the report of Don Carlos’s escape was false, the value of the bonds rebounds well beyond their former worth, meaning Danglars has also lost on the profit, too. Effectively, he has lost one million francs in total. Meanwhile, the Count cryptically tells Morrel, ‘I have just discovered how a gardener may get rid of the dormice that eat his peaches.’
Count of Monte Cristo, Bertuccio, Baptistin, M.Morrel, M.Debray, M. and Mme Danglars, M. and Mme de Villefort, M. de Chateau-Renaud, Major Cavalcanti, Andrea Cavalcanti
The Count’s house at Auteuil has been well-prepared by Bertuccio. Lawn has been laid, poplars planted and flowers decorate the house. The house has a library, conservatory, greenhouse and billiard table. The Count arrives at 5pm and inspects the house. He expresses his approval to Bertuccio. M.Morrel (Captain of Spahis) arrives an hour later. He is riding Medeah, his new horse he bought with money he ‘won’ from the Count and his friends. He has ridden fast to arrive first. He has outridden M.Debray and Mme Danglars who arrive shortly after. The Count observes a note passed surreptitiously between Mme Danglars and the minister’s secretary. Mme Danglars then asks Morrel if he would sell her his horse. The Count answers for Morrel. He tells her Morrel cannot sell the horse since he has wagered that he can tame the horse within six months. Keeping the horse is therefore a matter of honour. Besides, M.Danglars tells his wife, she has enough horses. The Count shows Mme Danglars some enormous porcelain pots in which plants grow. He says they were made centuries ago in China and lost at sea for two centuries before they were recovered. He shows M.Danglars some paintings which Danglars admits the government could not afford to buy for its museum.
Major Cavalcanti and his ‘son’ are announced by Baptistin. The major is wearing full dress uniform and Andrea has new clothes. Immediately there is criticism of their outfits. Chateau-Renaud says they look like they have never worn good clothes before. The Count says they are descended from princes and have an enormous fortune. The Count comments on Danglars mood to his wife. She says he lost money on speculation.
When Bertuccio sees Mme Danglars he is disturbed and upset. He recognises her as the woman in the garden waiting for M. de Villefort. Then he sees M. de Villefort in the company and looks like he’s seen Banquo’s ghost. He insists M. de Villefort is the man he killed.
The Count says he either didn’t do the job properly or merely dreamed the murder. When he next sees Andrea he exclaims “Benedetto?” The Count reprimands Bertuccio for being late with dinner. The Count conducts Mme de Villefort into the dining room and encourages M. de Villefort to conduct Mme Danglars.
Count of Monte Cristo, Bertuccio, Baptistin, M.Morrel, M.Debray, M. and Mme Danglars, M. and Mme de Villefort, M. de Chateau-Renaud, Major Cavalcanti, Andrea Cavalcanti
The Count and his guests enter the dining room. As they enter the Count notes that Mme Danglars and M de Villefort look self-conscious as he escorts her in. On the table is a sumptuous feast with food from all over the world. The Count explains that when a person gains a certain degree of wealth as he has, then the only things desirable are those things that are hard to acquire. He has fish on the table from Italy and Russia, not because they taste better than local fish, but because it is so difficult to transport them alive and at such an expense so they can be cooked fresh. It is a practice dating back to the Romans. Chateau-Renaud notes the changes in the house since the Count purchased it only six days ago. The gardens have been extensively refurbished and a door has even been repositioned. Chateau-Renaud thought it had been a melancholy house. Mme Villefort realises the house had previously belonged to the Saint-Merans. M de Villefort says it had been a part of Valentine’s marriage-portion, but the house would have fallen into ruin had it been left too much longer unoccupied. The Count boasts that there is a room upstairs hung with red damask that reminds him of a scene – like Desdemona’s chamber – where someone has been murdered. The guests all go upstairs to inspect the room. Mme de Villefort thinks the room frightful. Mme Danglars seems agitated and unable to talk. Danglars, himself, is not impressed by the supposed atmospehere of the room. The Count opens a door, hidden behind drapery, to reveal a hidden stairway. He asks his guests to imagine a murderer descending the stairs. Mme Danglars is overcome and half faints. Debray offers to take her into the garden to get some air, but she refuses. The Count seems to relent and suggests the room may have been occupied by a wholesome family and the staircase used by a doctor to quietly enter. But Mme Danglars is overcome, nevertheless, and faints. Mme de Villefort offers the Count some of the same tincture he used on Edward, and the Count restores Mme Danglars to consciousness with it. She tries to assure the Count she was merely overcome by her mood and the circumstances of the story he told. But the Count now returns to his story. He says he really believes a crime has been committed in the room, and since the king’s attorney is present, he will make a declaration. He takes his guests into the garden, under the plantain tree. Here, he says, his gardener dug up a box with the remains of an infant child inside. The Count feels Mme Danglars arm stiffen against him. M de Villefort says that that is no proof of a crime. The Count asserts the child was alive when buried. The garden is a secret place, not a cemetery where a dead infant would normally be buried. Danglars remarks to Cavalcanti, who has asked what the punishment is for infanticide, that it is death by beheading. The Count, who sees that Mme Danglars and M de Villefort have difficulty coping with the scene he has prepared for them, relents and suggests they return indoors. M. de Villefort quietly asks Mme Danglars to see him the next day at his office or at Court.
Andrea Cavalcanti [Benedetto Bossuet], Caderousse, Count of Monte Cristo, M. and Mme Danglars, M. and Mme de Villefort, Major Cavalcanti,
At his wife’s signal, M. de Villefort is the first to announce his departure from the dinner. He offers a seat in his landau to Mme Danglars. M. Danglars has been too busy talking to Major Cavalcanti to notice, but the Count has overheard the arrangement to meet the next day between M. de Villefort and Mme Danglars. Meanwhile, M. Danglars is enjoying the Major’s company. He is impressed that the Major could name the Count’s fish brought from Italy and he has become convinced that the Major is a man of culture and wealth like the Count. He assumes he has come to Paris to finish his son’s education. When he hears he is to be the Major’s banker their bond is even stronger, and M. Danglars looks forward to receiving the Major for business the following day. Major Cavalcanti agrees to ride back to Paris with M. Danglars. He says his son came separately to him.
Meanwhile, Andrea is berating a servant for delivering his horse and tilbury to the door instead of the steps, when he is tapped on the shoulder by a horrible looking beggar. The beggar tells the servant that he wishes to speak to Andrea about a commission he received from him a fortnight before. Andrea asks him what he wants, and the beggar asks to ride in his carriage while they talk. He is cold and tired. Andrea drives him out of the village and then stops to speak. He reveals that he recognises the beggar as Caderousse. Caderousse reveals he knows Andrea’s real identity – Benedetto – and says he is surprised to see him here because the last he knew he was heading to Tuscany. He is also surprised by his apparent wealth. He claims to have stopped him only because he wished to congratulate him. But when Andrea demands he stay away from the Count, Caderousse reveals he wishes to be paid for it. Andrea agrees to pay him 200 francs a month and immediately gives him that sum in cash. He tells him to seek the same amount from his servants each month after that. But Caderousse does not want to deal with servants. He insists on seeing Andrea, personally. Andrea maintains the story that he has come into money after he discovered his father, Major Cavalcanti. Andrea asks Caderousse what he now intends to do. He say he intends to live an easy life, with the approximate status of a retired baker. Andrea asks him to step out of the carriage, but Caderousse knows if he is arrested at the barriers of the city, looking as he does with the cash, he will be in a lot of trouble. He wants to return to Paris with Andrea. Andrea reaches in his pocket for a pistol, but Caderousse reaches for a knife. Andrea wisely removes his hand from his pocket. Caderousse takes a greatcoat left behind by a servant and Andrea’s hat as a disguise to hide his poverty, and they return to Paris together, where Caderousse alights. But he keeps the greatcoat and hat.
M. and Mme Danglars, M. and Mme de Villefort, Lucien Debray, Mademoiselle Cornelie (Maid)
Lucien Debray travels directly from the Count’s house in Auteuil and arrives at Danglar’s place shortly after they have arrived. He enters the house, clearly familiar with its layout, to speak to Mme Danglars. They speak in a personal tone. He uses her first name – Hermine – and she uses his. He wants to know what it was about the Count’s story that upset her so much. She dismisses her reaction, saying she had merely been in bad spirits. He is loath to press the matter since he interprets this as meaning she might be having her period. She enters her private apartment where she questions Mademoiselle Cornelie, her maid, about what her daughter has been doing during the evening, and undresses unseen inside the room while talking to Debray outside. She teases him about how Eugenie pays him no attention, but Debray points out that even Albert Morcerf, her fiancé, cannot get any attention from her. Mme Danglars says she is sure Eugenie will come to him at his study at some time to ask him to the opera. She dismisses Mademoiselle Cornelie and comes out of her room to sit next to Debray. He begins to ask her about her strange mood again but they are suddenly interrupted by the entrance of M. Danglars, surprising them both. Debray is disturbed but Mme Danglers is calm and asks him to read to her. But her husband tells Debray that he has some urgent business to discuss with his wife alone. He has been studying the latest stock market report in the paper.
Debray leaves. There is clearly animosity between husband and wife. Mme Danglars says he was brutal in his treatment of Debray. She tells him to vent his ill-humour on his clerks, but he says that they earn him money, and he intends only to be angry with those who lose him money. He accuses her of losing 700,000 francs on the Spanish loan. She says her first husband never spoke to her like this and that she finds counting and thinking about money odious.
But M. Danglars recalls several times in the past when she has passed information to him or given advice which has helped them earn money. From this she has always received a quarter share to do with as she likes. But now he has lost money over the false report that Don Carlos escaped. And since she had a quarter share in all his earnings in the past, he feels she should bear a quarter of the loss as well: 170,000 francs. He accuses her of furnishing money to Debray over a period of time. Their marriage has been a sham for four years, each pursuing their own interests with their own money. But Mme Danglars had grown bored with singing lessons and had taken an interest in diplomacy. All this seems like a veiled way of saying she has had an affair with Debray, perhaps even paying Debray for his ‘lessons’ in diplomacy. M. Danglars doesn’t seem to care about that, except now he suspects she is using his money to pay Debray. He says Debray can either give his lessons for free, or he is not to step foot in the house again. He even suspects that Debray, in concert with the minister, concocted the false telegram which cost him. Mme Danglars says this is not true: that the telegraph man made a mistake for which he was dismissed, and may even be charged. Danglars accuses her of trying to deceive him over the years but that he has always seen through her schemes and affairs. But this he will not put up with. He will not allow her to ruin him. She is perturbed when he mentions Villefort’s name, but he ignores her question as to why he brings up Villefort, and goes on to speak of her first husband, M de Nargonne, who had no money to launch a legal case and killed himself when he discovered her six months pregnant after he had been away for nine months. M. Danglars, on the other hand, lives for his money, and is determined that Debray will bear a large proportion of his loss: 250,000 livres. He doesn’t care if it bankrupts Debray. Mme Danglar cannot answer him, her mind now full of M. de Villefort and the scene at the dinner. She falls into a chair speechless, while M Danglars leaves her.
Count of Monte Cristo, M. Danglars
During this chapter it becomes apparent the Count is manipulating Danglars to consider marrying his daughter, Eugenie, to Andrea Cavalcanti. Of course, while Albert Morcerf’s fortune is smaller, he is said to have a good family name, while in reality, the pedigree of the Major and his son is a fiction concocted by the Count.
Danglars watches his wife leave the house and instead of going directly to work, awaits her return. She does not return. He goes to his chamber where he meets Major Cavalcanti at the appointed time. After that, he goes to the Count’s house where he is passed by a priest whom the Count says was Abbe Busoni. The Count notes Danglar’s bad mood and Danglars admits it is due to money concerns. Jacopi Manfredi, with whom he does business, has suspended payments to him. He also has bills of exchange due at the end of the month – only a day or so away – and his correspondent has disappeared. Added to this, the transaction on the Spanish bonds has cost him a total of 1,700,000 francs that month. He blames his wife’s irrational decision making, but the Count points out that false reports of Don Carlos’s escape did appear in the newspaper. The Count warns Danglars to be careful since he possesses what he calls a third rate fortune. First rate fortunes are based on mines and land, Second rate on manufacturing, and third rate upon speculation. For third rate fortunes, the Count argues, the nature of their speculation means they always appear larger than they really are, and that only another three or four months like this last month could potentially ruin Danglars. But Danglars brushes this aside. He says his fortune is diversified across businesses and countries, and much would have to go wrong – governments failing even – before he was affected so badly.
Danglars asks for the Count’s opinion of Major Cavalcanti. The Count portrays him as old money, but a miser, since his son’s allowance is only 5000 francs a month. He warns Danglar not to give Andrea any more than that or the Major will not repay him. He should stick to the agreement. Nevertheless, the Count trusts Cavalcanti and would advance him 6 million francs upon his signature alone. The Count says he thinks the Major is in Paris looking for a wife for his son. Danglars observes that the rich nobility like to amalgamate their fortunes through marriage. During the conversation the Count is always circumspect in his assertions about the Major: that what he says comes either from the Major or Busoni, so implicitly he can’t be held responsible for what he tells Danglars. The Count says he has actually only met the Major about three times. Even so, it is his belief that the Major would marry his son to the girl of an ordinary family if he liked the family, and would even give millions as a dowry. He asks Danglars if he is thinking of this as a possibility for Eugenie, even though he seems to dismiss the idea by saying that Albert Morcerf would be angry. But Danglars does not believe he would be concerned to lose Eugenie. He asks the Count why the Morcerf’s weren’t at the dinner. The Count says that Madame de Morcerf had to go to Dieppe for the sea air, which is the excuse Albert had come up with in Chapter 55. Danglars begins to seriously think about the possibility of Eugenie marrying Andrea. He says that ancient nobility has greater social standing than newly created nobility. The Count points out that Albert has an old family name but Danglars says Cavalcanti’s is better, since he knows that Albert Morcerf is really Fernand Mondego, originally a fisherman, who has made his fortune and been ennobled. The Count says he has heard this name in Greece in connection with the affairs of Ali Pasha. The Count suggests that Danglars write to a friend in Greece to ascertain what part Albert/Fernand played in the catastrophe of Ali Pasha, and to relate any scandal he finds out to the Count. Danglars agrees to do this.
Mme Danglars, M de Villefort
This chapter picks up the action from the beginning of the previous chapter, where Mme Danglars leaves her house watched by her husband. She goes to see M de Villefort for their agreed upon meeting, somewhat hiding her identity from anyone who might see her. Villefort receives her and expresses regret that it has been so long since they have spoken privately. He speaks regretfully of things done in youth which might have been avoided. How traces of the past seem unavoidable. He feels a sense of regret for this, which he believes women cannot know as fully, since so much of the decisions in their lives are not in their own hands. He speaks of the Count’s revelation about the buried child during the dinner at Auteuil. He fears what was meant by the Count’s remarks and what might come of them. Mme Danglars tries to dismiss the whole incident as mere chance working against them, but Villefort disagrees. He does not believe the Count’s story. He believes nothing was buried there for the Count to find. That is not to say Villefort didn’t bury the body. He describes in detail how he placed the baby in the chest and buried it. But just as he finished it he was attacked and stabbed, then left for dead. At the time they had to hide their affair, so neither of them could speak publically about it. It took him six months to recover from the wound. After his recovery he heard that Mme Danglar’s husband, M de Nargonne, had died, and she had married M. Danglars.
Fearing that there would be evidence at the house at Auteuil, along with the child’s body that could expose them, and not trusting the Corsican who attacked him [Bertuccio] to leave Mme Danglars alone, he paid out the tenant of nine years and then travelled to Auteuil. He waited until night to dig for the casket, but found no casket where it had been buried. Considering that the Corsican would have dug it up, thinking it treasure, and instead finding a baby, he reasons that he may have buried it in some other part of the garden. So Villefort dug all about but found nothing. He finally realised that the Corsican may have dug up the child and found it alive, and decided to save it. Mme Danglars is distraught at the thought Villefort may have buried her child alive. But Villefort is thinking more practically. He believes that if this was, indeed, the scenario, it would mean someone knows their secret, and the Count’s performance at the dinner makes him Villefort’s prime suspect. He describes how he attempted to search for the child, and discovered that a baby had been delivered to a nearby foundling hospital on the 20th September that year with a torn napkin which displayed half of a crown and the letter H. Mme Danglars recognises the described napkin as the style used by her and her first husband. The H stands for ‘Hermine’, her first name. Villefort tells her that a woman bearing the matching other half of the napkin claimed the child six months later. He tried to track the woman but his final intelligence of her was at Chalon. He does not know who she was. Over the years he has made efforts to find the child and woman, but in the last three years his efforts have waned. He now resolves to put all his energy into solving the mystery. He is also suspicious of the Count’s intentions. He now thinks, given what he now knows, that the Count had sometimes been looking at them with malice. Villefort questions Mme Danglars as to whether she told anyone or kept a journal about their secret. She says she has not. Within the next week, he tells her, he is resolved to find out everything he can about the Count and his interest in the disinterred child.
Count of Monte Cristo, Albert de Morcerf, Bertuccio
Albert returns from Treport with his mother and takes her home. He then immediately goes to see the Count. He approaches the Count with open arms, but realises the Count never becomes emotionally close with anyone. Albert shakes his hand and enquires how the dinner went at Auteuil. He says that M. Danglars dined with them and met Andrea Calvalcanti. Albert refers Andrea as the ‘Italian Prince’, but the Count corrects him, saying Andrea claims only to be a count. Again, the Count is distancing himself from what he says by claiming he reports what others say. The Count says the dinner went off as planned. He says no one spoke of Albert during the dinner. Eugenie was not there. Albert expresses his desire that his engagement with Eugenie could be ended and believes she would desire the same. She would be fine as a mistress, but not as a wife for life, he says. Instead, he wishes he could find a wife like his mother. He spent four days in Treport with her and enjoyed it the entire time. He has written to Franz to encourage him to take an interest in Eugenie, but he will not break his engagement, despite his unhappiness with Valentine. Albert remarks that the Count doesn’t like Franz, but the Count assures him he likes everyone, except a few specific people whom he hates. Albert says Franz is trying to fit in with Valentine’s family, despite his feelings, and will soon arrive in France, at M. de Villefort’s request, to marry Valentine, immediately.
Albert returns to his own troubles. He would pay 100,000 francs to be rid of Eugenie, he says. The Count assures him that M. Danglars would pay twice the amount to be rid of Albert. Danglars will say he is proud, selfish and vain, but the truth is that he has found another for his daughter.
Albert says his father is holding a summer ball and asks the Count to invite Andrea. The Count says he cannot since he barely knows him; he only met him a few days before. He invited the Cavalcantis to his dinner, he says, on the advice of Abbe Busoni, who may be wrong about their character. Besides, the Count does not want to be thought to be placing Andrea in Eugenie’s way, especially if they end up marrying. The Count says he, himself, cannot come to the ball. But Albert asks him to do so for his mother’s sake, whom he says, spoke of the Count constantly while they were away. She thinks he is a mystery. The Count relents and accepts the invitation. Danglars will be there, Albert says, and his father has extended an invitation to the d’Aguesseau (ie Chancellor of France under Louis XV), M de Villefort, but he has little hope of seeing him there.
As Albert prepares to leave he says he feels he has spoken too opening about Danglars to the Count. The Count says he hasn’t, and hopes he will continue to speak to him frankly. The Count asks Albert to bring Franz to see him as soon as he arrives in France. Albert leaves. Bertuccio appears and tells the Count that ‘she’ [Mme Danglars] went to the Palais and was there half an hour. The Count now directs Bertuccio to go to Normandy to purchase a small estate there.
Count of Monte Cristo (as Abbe Busoni and Lord Wilmore), M. de Villefort (as police officer)
M. de Villefort makes an enquiry about the Count to M. de Boville, former inspector of prisons. Boville investigates for two days and reports that the Count is an acquaintance of Abbe Busoni and Lord Wilmore. Villefort asks for further information about these two people. Boville replies that that the Abbe was in Paris a month where he lived behind Saint-Sulpice, leading a simple life of study and receiving few visitors. Lord Wilmore was a traveller who spent a lot of money. He doesn’t speak French but writes it perfectly.
The next day a man (we later learn it is Villefort, but it is easy to suspect him) visits Busoni’s residence, only to be turned away. He leaves his card and asks to see Busoni that night. When he returns he is admitted. Busoni (whom we know to be the Count in disguise) remains in poor light with a cowl over his head, in the manner of a priest. He asks if the man is with the police. The man hesitantly says yes, and claims to be there on behalf of public safety. He asks Busoni if he knows the Count, and Busoni says he does. His name is Monsieur Zaccone and was the son of a Maltese shipbuilder. Upon questioning, the Abbe reveals the following: that he knew the Count as a child growing up; that the Count bought the rock island of Monte Cristo to qualify for a title; that he may not be as rich as he appears, perhaps 200,000 francs per annum, which would give him a capital of 4 million francs; that he is not the Count’s confessor; that he believes the Count to be Lutheran; that he is charitable, having been made a Knight of Jesus Christ by the Pope (strange thing for a Lutheran!); that he is a Quaker; that Lord Wilmore is an enemy, now residing somewhere in Chaussee de Antin, Paris; that he has never been to France before; that he bought Auteuil to turn it into a lunatic asylum.
The man offers alms for the poor before leaving but the Abbe refuses, saying he helps the poor from his own resources, and that the man might do the same. The man – Villefort – travels back to Villefort’s place, and leaves an hour later for an appointed meeting with Lord Wilmore. He arrives ten minutes early. Wilmore arrives exactly at the appointed time. Wilmore explains he can’t speak French but can understand it, while the man says he understands English well enough. Upon being questioned, Lord Wilmore reveals the following about the Count: that he served a petty sovereign in India where Wilmore first met the Count, fighting against him; that he had been captured and sent to England where he was imprisoned in a hulk; that he escaped by swimming; that he served in the Grecian ranks during the insurrection in Greece; that he discovered a silver mine in Thessaly which he told no one about; that he asked for a mining grant after the battle of Navarro; that he made his fortune from the mine – one to two million a year – although if the mine failed his fortunes might be reversed; that he came to France to speculate on the railways and a new type of telegraph; that he is a miser, spending only 5-600,000 francs a year; that he bought Auteuil in the hope of discovering mineral springs, which is why he has been digging there. During his questioning, Lord Wilmore has also used the name used by Abbe Busoni for the Count: Monsieur Zaccone. Lord Wilmore says he hates the Count because he seduced the wife of a friend. He has fought three duels with him. The first time his arm was broken by the Count, the second time he received a chest wound and the third time he received a nasty wound on the arm. He displays the scar. The man – Villefort – takes leave of Lord Wilmore and returns home. Lord Wilmore removes his disguise – hair, whiskers, false teeth and wound – to become the Count of Monte Cristo once more.
Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes), Albert de Morcerf, M. Danglars, Mme Danglars, Mme de Villefort, Maximilian Morrel, Count of Monte Cristo
Early on the Saturday of the de Morcerf ball M. de Villefort’s carriage happens upon Mme Danglars. She tells him she is too ill to attend the ball, but he insists she must, suggesting that doing so is somehow important. She agrees to go.
Later in the evening, Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes) has personally organised the servants and decorations for the occasion. A tent has been set up in the garden for the guests to dine. Once the servants have been organised she re-enters the house to begin greeting guests. Mme Danglars arrives looking very good. Mercedes takes her son, Albert, to meet her. He greets her but is looking about. He admits he is looking for Mme Danglars daughter. Mme Danglars, however, is interested in the Count. Albert says she is the seventeenth person to ask after him. The Count is the talk of the town and very fashionable. She says he was at the opera the day before where he threw a bouquet with a ring attached to one of the ballet dancers. She says the Count’s Greek mistress is not expected at the ball. She encourages Albert to speak to Mme de Villefort who is trying to attract his attention. He thinks she wants to ask him about the Count. Instead, she asks him about Franz. He tells her he has left on his journey for France. She is then eager to speak about the Count. Unbidden, she tells Albert everything her husband found out about the Count from Abbe Busoni and Lord Wilmore. She wants him to spread this information discretely while talking to other guests. She anticipates the Count’s arrest. Albert says the Count should be warned. Albert tries to introduce Mme de Villefort to Maximilian Morcerf, but she says she already met him at Auteuil and then rudely snubs him. But Maximilian doesn’t really notice because he has just then spotted Valentine across the room.
The Count arrives and all eyes turn to him. He bows politely to Mercedes and then begins a conversation with Albert. They talk about people in the room. They talk mockingly about two scientists who have been elevated for minor discoveries, and an academic who is likely to be made an ambassador, having merely written an opera and a few articles. The Count doesn’t want to be introduced to any of them. Just then Danglars joins them and the Count greets him as ‘Baron’. Danglars says he prefers not to use his title, but Albert says he uses his title because it’s virtually all he has. The Count remarks that titles, unlike wealth, are for life. He gives the example of two millionaires who have just become bankrupts. Danglars laments that he had just lent them 200,000 francs, which is now obviously lost.
Mercedes notices that the Count has refused all offers of food made to him in her house, so far. She is bothered by this and asks Albert when she sees him to encourage the Count to eat. But the Count refuses Albert, even the offer of an ice when he has complained about the stifling heat. Mercedes has the blinds thrown open to let air into the room, and then approaches the Count. She offers him her arm to be escorted into the cooler garden. The Count seems surprised and momentarily fixes his eyes upon Mercedes before accepting her offer.
Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes), Count of Monte Cristo, Albert de Morcerf, M. Danglars, Mme Danglars, Mme de Villefort, Maximilian Morrel
As he is led into the garden the Count agrees that it had been hot inside and it was a good idea to come out into the garden. The Count feels Mercedes’s hand tremble as he speaks. She leads him to the greenhouse where she picks grapes and offers them. But the Count refuses, saying he never eats Muscatel grapes. She picks a peach and offers that, but he again refuses. Mercedes says that in Arabian custom two people eating bread and salt under the same roof become eternal friends. The Count says they are not in Arabia but France where eternal friendship is as rare as the custom she describes. She asks if they are friends and he replies, “Certainly we are friends … Why should we not be?” She asks if he is a happy man. He replies that he is as happy now as he was once miserable. Is he married? No. When she asks about Haidee, seen at the opera with him, he replies that Haidee is a slave whom he has adopted as a daughter. He had intended to marry in Malta before he was taken away by the war. He had expected his fiancée would wait for him, but he found she was married when he returned from service. He has forgiven her, but he has never returned to Malta since. Mercedes, possibly feeling that his confiding in her has softened him, offers him grapes again, but he again refuses. “Inflexible man!” she murmurs.
Albert interrupts them. There has been a misfortune. M de Villefort has arrived to fetch his wife and daughter. Madame Saint-Meran has arrived in Paris with news that her husband has died. Valentine has fallen senseless at this news. M. Saint-Meran was Mme Villefort’s maternal grandfather. He was coming to Paris to hasten the marriage between Franz and Valentine. Now the marriage will be delayed. Albert wonders why he wasn’t also the grandfather to Mme Danglars, but his mother tells him he has spoken amiss. Mercedes takes the Count’s hand and Albert’s and asks the Count if they are friends. He does not presume to call himself that, he says, but he is always her respectful servant. Mercedes leaves and Albert asks whether there has been a disagreement between the Count and his mother. The Count points out that his mother had said they were friends. Valentine, Mme de Villefort and Morrel have already gone by the time they return to the dining room.
M. de Villefort, Mme Saint-Meran, Valentine, Mme de Villefort, Maximilian Morrel, M. de Noirtier, Barrois, Maximilian
(Dr) M. de Avigny
After Mme de Villefort and Valentine had departed for the ball, M. de Villefort had sat in his study to contemplate the events of the past two weeks and to consider documents related to all those people that he considers to be known enemies. Upon thinking about it, he cannot believe any of his known enemies would have been this patient to wait so long to do him harm. But he believes the Count has heard the story of the dead child somewhere, maybe from Abbe Busoni through the Corsican. But he is convinced he has no prior association with the Count, and is perplexed as to the Count’s interest in the matter. As he considers this he hears a carriage in the yard and Mme Saint-Meran enters, crying, saying that her husband is dead. She explains how he died shortly after eating his usual lozenges. He shrieked and when she got to him he was dead already. She called a doctor, nevertheless, but it was too late. The doctor said he died of an apoplectic stroke. It was her M. Saint-Meran’s wish that his body would be returned to Paris if he ever died away from the city. She has come ahead of his body, which is being transported in a lead coffin. She is anxious to speak to Valentine. Villefort, rather than say Valentine is at a ball, sends Mme Saint-Meran to rest. Meanwhile, he takes a carriage to the ball, where Valentine faints when she realises the news. They return home and Valentine visits her grandmother while Mme de Villefort leaves them alone. Meanwhile, Barrois goes to see her grandfather, Noirtier, who communicates that he wishes to see Valentine before she goes to bed. She does this and they express the importance of each to the other.
The next morning Mme Saint-Meran wants to speak to Villefort about Valentine’s marriage. She asks whether M. de Epinay approves of his son marrying the granddaughter of a Jacobin. Villefort replies that that sort of thing no longer matters, and Noirtier would be treated with civility, at least, by Valentine’s in-laws. He argues that Franz is a good match for Valentine. Mme Saint-Meran decides, based upon this, that Valentine should be married as soon as possible because she, herself, is convinced she will die soon. She rejects Valentine’s objection to a speedy marriage merely for the sake of her dead grandfather. Mme Saint-Meran argues that she married while her mother was on her deathbed. Her certainty that she will die is based on an experience while asleep in Mme de Villefort’s room. She thought her soul hovered above her body, and that she saw a white figure whom she thought to be her dead husband take a glass away.
Mme Saint-Meran says she wishes to be informed when M. de Epinay arrives. In the meantime, she also wishes to see a notary, presumably about her will. Valentine says she needs a doctor, not a notary. As Valentine waits beside her grandmother, she feels unhappy that her grandmother is not an ally against the marriage. She believes, given her grandmother’s belief in the nobility, she would never approve of Maximilian. The notary arrives and Mme Saint-Meran sends Valentine out. She meets M. de Avigny in the dining room. She tells the doctor about her grandfather’s death and her grandmother’s state: that she believes she will die based upon her supernatural vision. The doctor thinks she has been hallucinating. He agrees to see Mme Saint-Meran. Valentine, meanwhile, walks into the garden for respite, and soon discovers that Maximilian is waiting at their secret meeting place.
Valentine de Villefort, Maximilian Morrel, M. de Villefort, Dr. de Avigny, Barrois, M. Noirtier
Valentine tells Maximilian that she is to be married the day after Franz d’Epinay arrives in Paris. Maximilian tells her that he was talking to the Count at his residence when a carriage arrived with Albert de Morcerf and Franz d’Epinay. This means she will probably be married the next day. Maximilian asks if she is willing to put up a struggle against the intended marriage. Valentine says she cannot disobey her father or go against her sick grandmother’s wishes. Maximilian says it is correct that she take this position. She does not know how to interpret his tone or what he has said and asks what else she can do. Maximilian suggests she secretly marry him, instead, and escape overseas until a family reconciliation can be effected. She feels she cannot. Maximilian presses her, suggesting that in that case she will marry Franz d’Epinay not just through a contract, but by a matter of her own will. She asks what he would do if his sister was made such a proposition. But he speaks only of his feelings for her. He has pinned his hopes of happiness upon her from the moment they met. But because she is resolved to marry Franz d’Epinay, he will leave her so she may have some peace of mind in her marriage. Valentine is concerned by the way he speaks and demands to know what he will do. He assures her he will simply leave her. He will not approach or challenge d’Epinay. He does not know the man, nor does d’Epinay know him, and he has no personal animosity towards him, or intention to punish him. Valentine asks who would be punished. Maximilian says he, alone, should be punished, being the only guilty person. “My life has been entwined with yours … in losing you I lose my life”, he says. But he will not kill himself straight away. Instead, he will wait until the moment she is married, because he still holds hope that something might happen in his favour before the contract is signed. He says to Valentine, “You have your duty and your conscience will be at rest” [Note: all this is very manipulative by modern standards, but I suspect that Maximilian is meant to represent a Romantic type. Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther was a huge influence on the notion of suicide as a response to unrequited love in the 18th and 19th centuries] Valentine relents and agrees to do as Maximilian proposes. He says that when they are married her grandfather, M. Noirtier, can live with them. Valentine promises to refuse to marry Franz d’Epinay, no matter what: to hold out until their plan can take effect. Until then, they will not see each other or do anything to arouse suspicion. Valentine will send the notary M.Deschamps to Maximilian with a signal she is ready. Their plan is that Valentine will then come to the garden wall, Maximilian will help her over, and they will escape to his sister’s house. For the moment, they depart.
The day after the next day Maximilian receives a letter. In it Valentine says she has failed to argue her way out of the marriage. She will meet him that night at the garden gate as planned. She is full of regret because her grandmother, Mme Saint-Meran, has become worse. She is delirious. Maximilian prepares a horse and carriage and acquires two ladders to help get Valentine over the wall. He waits outside the garden that night but Valentine doesn’t come. After an hour and three quarters past the appointed meeting time he jumps the fence and finds the house almost completely dark: not what one would have expected from a marriage, at least. He hears voices and hides. M de Villefort and Dr d’Avrigny walk into the garden.
Villefort is mourning someone who has just died. Maximilian is momentarily afraid it is Valentine, but realises Mme Saint-Meran has died. Villefort thinks she died of grief for her husband. The doctor, while saying it is possible to do so, does not believe she did. She had three successive fits and died after the third. The doctor thinks she may have been poisoned with either brucine or strychnine, possibly given to her by mistake. He can’t be sure. Could Barrois, he wonders have mixed up the brucine used for Noirtier’s condition (which he has become used to) with Mme Saint-Meran’s medicine? Villefort says he suspects no foul play. There might have been an error. The doctor suggests getting another doctor to help him examine the body to help determine whether it was foul play or an accident. Villefort is reluctant. The presence of a second doctor would require an inquest, which would be public. It would cause a scandal detrimental to his position as King’s attorney. It would also give pleasure to his enemies to see him in that position. The doctor agrees to refrain from this course of action and says he will take the blame for negligence if anything is said in the future. Nevertheless, he recommends that Villefort be wary of a possible enemy. They leave the garden.
Maximilian sees a window open in the house and thinks he hears sobbing. A shadow appears at the window and he thinks he hears himself being called. He enters the house, climbs the stairs, follows the sound of the sobbing and enters a room where he finds the corpse of Mme Saint-Meran, covered, with Valentine next to it, sobbing. He tells Valentine how he climbed into the garden and heard voices. He lies and says it was servants he heard speaking. She says it was her grandmother’s last wish, thinking to protect her, that she should marry as soon as possible. The signing of the contract was delayed when her grandmother died. She says Maximilian should leave. She says the safest route out will be through her grandfather’s room. She takes him there and has Barrois stand guard outside the door. Valentine presents Maximilian to her grandfather. She declares her love for Maximilian, explains who he is, his good name, and how Noirtier liked the Morrel family. She says she would rather die than marry anyone else. Maximilian tells Valentine to return to her vigil beside her dead grandmother. Meanwhile, he opens the dictionary to show he understands how Valentine and her grandfather communicate. He tells Noirtier of his love for Valentine and how they met. He also explains the plan they had intended to enact that night. Noirtier indicates his disapproval of the plan. Maximilian, searching for another solution, suggests that he could speak to Franz d’Epinay. D’Epinay might stand aside for them. If he did not, Maximilian could challenge him to a duel. If d’Epinay was killed, Maximilian could marry Valentine. If Maximilian was killed, Valentine wouldn’t go ahead with the marriage, anyway. Again, Noirtier indicates his disapproval with this course of action. Instead, he indicates that Maximilian should wait and place his trust in Noirtier to come up with another solution. Maximilian doesn’t understand what Noirtier could do, paralysed as he is, but Noirtier assures him the marriage will not go ahead. Maximilan swears he will abide by Noirtier’s directives not to act, and to trust him. Noirtier asks him to leave the premises without returning to Valentine. Maximilan embraces Noirtier and kisses him on the forehead as Valentine had done. He is then conducted back to the garden by Barrois, where he finds the gate, again, and leaves.
M. de Villefort, Mme Villefort, Valentine Villefort, Franz d’Epinay, Maximilian Morrel, M. Noirtier, Beachamp, Lucien Debray, Raoul de Chateau Renaud, Albert de Morcerf, Edward, Notary
Two days later mourners assemble outside the residence of M de Villefort. Among them is the carriage bearing the body of M. de Saint-Meran, just arrived in Paris. Permission is sought and obtained from authorities for a double funeral. The Saint-Merans represent the old aristocracy of Louis XVIII and King Charles X. Beachamp, Debray and Chateau-Renaud are at the funeral. They speculate upon the cause of Mme Saint-Meran’s death – grief/apoplexy – and remark that Franz will now be marrying into a fortune of 80,000 livres per year; twice that when M.Noirtier dies. Franz rides in the front carriage of the procession with M. de Villefort. Chateau-Renaud recognises Maximilian Morrel and asks how he knows the family. He replies that he knew Mme Saint-Meran. Albert introduces Maximilian to Franz. Maximilian feels hypocritical for being civil to Franz, but remembers the promise he made Noirtier and keeps his peace. The coffins are placed in the family vault of the Villeforts (the Saint-Merans were Mme de Villefort’s parents). When the funeral is ended, Maximilian watches Franz enter the carriage with M. de Villefort once more, and imagines some evil being concocted between them.
Franz and Villefort return to Villefort’s study without visiting the rest of the family first. Villefort reminds Franz of his obligation to marry Valentine as soon as possible. Franz assures him of his good intentions, but suggests that now is not a good time while the family is in mourning. Villefort dismisses the idea, saying that Valentine will be happy to fulfil her grandmother’s dying wish. He says the contract should be signed this day, since the intention had been to sign it three days before. The civil ceremony can take place three months hence, after the official mourning period is ended, at Mme de Villefort’s newly inherited Saint-Meran estate. Franz agrees to sign the contract, and they arrange to meet half an hour later after Franz has had an opportunity to find and return with Albert de Morcerf and Raoul de Chateau-Renaud to act as witnesses. Valentine is conducted to the drawing room by her father, and half an hour later the notary arrives, along with Franz, Albert and Chateau-Renaud. Mme de Villefort looks after Edward during this scene, remaining quiet. The mood of the scene is sombre, not joyous. The notary informs the gathering that Noirtier has disinherited Valentine as he said he would, but notes that the will cannot withstand a legal challenge. Nevertheless, Villefort reaffirms his intention not to challenge the will. Franz says he is not interested in the money. His only hope is to be happy. Villefort assures Franz that Noirtier would have acted in the same manner no matter who Valentine was to marry. She has become important to him in his infirmity and he is acting selfishly, Villefort assumes. In fact, Noirtier has probably even forgotten Franz’s name, he tells Franz.
It is at that moment that Barrois enters, announcing that his master, Noirtier, wishes to speak to M. Franz de Quesnel, Baron d’Epinay, using his full name and title to show Noirtier knows exactly with whom he is dealing. Everyone is amazed. Villefort asks Valentine to go see what this is about, but Franz insists he wishes to meet with Noirtier and introduce himself. He wants the opportunity to win Noirtier’s favour. Franz leaves the room to go see Noirtier, and Villefort follows him.
M. de Villefort, Valentine Villefort, Franz d’Epinay, M. Noirtier, Barrois
As Villefort enters Noirtier’s room he whispers to Valentine that she must not understand anything her grandfather communicates if it will delay her marriage to Franz. Villefort then introduces Franz to Noirtier. Noirtier indicates to Valentine that he wishes her to open drawers in his secretary desk. She finds the correct drawer but he is not interested in any of the papers it contains. Using the dictionary and guided by Valentine’s questioning, Noirtier is able to communicate that there is a secret spring in the secretary desk that Barrois knows about. Barrois is called in and asked to open the secret drawer. Hidden inside are papers Noirtier indicates he wishes Franz to read. It is entitled:
Extract from the Report of a meeting of the Bonapartist Club in the Rue Saint-Jacques, held February 5th, 1815.
Franz remembers that this was the day of his father’s death, murdered after leaving that club. General Flavien de Quesnal, Franz’s father, had served Napoleon from 1804 to 1814, but had recently received the title of baron from Louis XVIII. A note had arrived from the island of Elba where Napoleon was in exile, requesting the General’s presence at a meeting on the 5th of November: the next day. He was considered to be a possible ally. The President of the club arrived to take him to the meeting. He was required to wear a blindfold on his journey. When he arrived at the meeting the General was asked to remove the blindfold. He was surprised by some of the prominent people at the meeting. He was asked where his loyalty lay. The General said the letters just arrived from Elba should tell them. He was told that the letter recommended him as an ally, and that further instructions would arrive on the boat, Pharaon, belonging to Morrel, whose captain was devoted to the emperor. The General refused to swear fealty to Napoleon – he had only recently sworn fealty to the king – and he reasserted his loyalty to his new oath. The General was told that having come blindfolded to the meeting, he should have realised their intent. Still he refused to swear loyalty. At this point he was told he must die. But the president assured him that his death would be their last resort. He must assure them that their secret will remain with him. He remained silent, but when the doors were ominously closed he stepped forward, saying he had a son and should hear what they demanded of him. He was asked merely to swear his silence about what he had learned that night. He swore this oath. The president of the assembly and three others took the General to a coach and asked where he should be taken. The General insulted the President by saying he wanted to go anywhere away from him, and by suggesting they were cowards to intimidate him, four against one.
The President stopped the carriage and challenged the General to a duel, one on one. The President had only a cane sword without a guard. The President received two wounds on his arm during the duel, but he defeated the General, who died. The report ends by stating that the General was therefore killed honourably, and not in an ambush. Signed, Beaurepaire, Deschamps and Lecharpal.
Franz demands to know who the President was so he might kill him. Valentine immediately understands the significance of the scars on her grandfather’s arm. Villefort tries to discourage Franz, saying the identity was secret in the document and there will be no way of discovering it. But Noirtier indicates he can tell Franz the identity of the President. Using the dictionary he spells out the word MYSELF. He confirms it was him who killed Franz’s father. Franz slumps into a chair. Villefort leaves the room with the idea of killing Noirtier.
Count of Monte Cristo, Major Cavalcanti, Andrea Cavalcanti, M.Danglars, Mme Danglars, Eugenie Danglars, Albert de Morcerf, Mademoiselle Louise d’Armilly (singing teacher)
The outcome of this chapter is that Andrea Cavalcanti is increasingly favoured as a fiancée by Danglars.
We begin with news that Major Cavalcanti is now living the high life and enjoying himself gambling. Andrea, meanwhile, has his papers that ‘prove’ his parentage and has been accepted into Parisian society where he is thought to have a good fortune and name. Some even claim to know the quarries upon which his family fortune is built.
The Count visits Mme Danglars. She is uneasy about him now when she thinks about his possible ill intentions, but when she sees the Count, with his good manners and brilliant eyes, it is difficult for her to think any evil of him. When he arrives Andrea Cavalcanti is with Mme Danglars looking at drawings, presumably Eugenie’s. Eugenie escapes to her study to play piano and sing with her singing teacher, Mademoiselle d’Amilly. As the Count speaks to Mme Danglars he notices that Andrea is distracted by the music from the other side of the door. Danglars enters and encourages Andrea to join him and the the ladies in Eugenie’s study, where Andrea begins to accompany them singing. Mme Danglars speaks to the Count of her husband’s strength of mind, since he has lost 400,000 francs that morning but has maintained his equanimity. The Count assures her that her husband’s fortunes shall return, but advises her to secure her own fortune in the meantime. He speaks of some Neapolitan bonds that are doing well. She is reluctant to talk about money matters, and switches the conversation to the Villeforts’ misfortunes and how Franz has now broken his promise to marry Valentine.
M Danglars re-enters from the study and Mme Danglars admonishes him for leaving their daughter alone with Andrea when her fiancée has not been given this privilege yet. He points out that they are with Mademoiselle d’Armilly, and he doesn’t care what Albert de Morcerf would think, since he seems disinterested in their daughter. He is rarely there to see her. He praises Prince Cavalcanti to the Count. The Count questions whether he is a prince and questions Danglars as to how much he really knows about Andrea.
Albert de Morcerf’s arrival is announced. Danglars prevents his wife from extracting Andrea from her daughter’s study. When Albert enters, Danglars tells him Eugenie is in her study with Andrea. They are singing. Albert says that Andrea’s tenor voice suits her soprano. Danglars agrees that Andrea and Eugenie suit each other. Albert says his own voice would never go well with soprano. Albert asks to see Eugenie but Danglars wants to wait until they finish their song. So Albert insists they hear another song after that before he is announced. Danglars, taking the Count aside, says to him that Albert is too cool and proud, without any outward feeling for his daughter. The Count defends Albert while Danglars praises Andrea. Again, the Count questions how much Danglars knows about Andrea. Given that Danglars has reason to mistrust the Count now, this is a good strategy to make Danglars become stubborn in his choice. It is now Danglars who asserts his belief that Andrea is of good family and fortune. The Count argues against breaking off the marriage with Albert de Morcerf. He says the family is counting on the marriage, and he wonders at Danglars’ lack of concern when he is clearly a good friend of Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes) since they spoke for an hour together in the garden at the ball. Danglars resolves to speak to M. de Morcerf, Albert’s father, and ascertain once and for all if the marriage should go ahead.
Meanwhile, Albert has been praising the music and has applauded when it finishes. The study door is opened. Andrea leaps from the chair where he has been sitting next to Eugenie, and looks embarrassed. Albert does not appear disturbed by this.
They have begun to take tea when Danglars returns, agitated, with a message from Greece. Albert asks after King Otho. Danglars gives him a suspicious look. The Count feigns pity to Danglars. Albert remarks privately to the Count about the look Danglars gave him. The Count denies any knowledge concerning the message from Greece.
As they prepare to leave, Danglars takes the Count aside and says that he was right about the history of the names Fernand and Yanina. He then asks the Count to take Albert away, since he can’t stand the sight of him. Meanwhile, Albert is indifferent to the evident contempt Eugenie displays for his attempt to praise a cameo of her. The Count reiterates his advice to Mme Danglars to seek a private fortune as they leave. Andrea remains in the house after they are gone.
Count of Monte Cristo, Albert de Morcerf, Haidee, Ali, Baptistin, Myrtho
Ali Tepelana and Vasiliki (Haidee’s parents), unnamed French officer (Albert’s father), Serasker Koorshid, Selim
As they leave the Danglar’s residence in the Count’s carriage Albert laughs. He feels the Count’s plot to set Andrea up with Eugenie has worked well. The Count denies such an intention. Albert is certain Andrea wants Eugenie and believes they will soon be married. But the Count says he has been asked by Danglars to press Albert’s father to have the matter of the marriage decided quickly. He wishes to stay on good terms with everyone, he says. Albert speculates upon the nature of the quarrel between his father and Danglars.
When they arrive at the Count’s residence he invites Albert inside. Albert marvels at the speed with which the Count’s servants answer his needs. He explains they know his habits well and can therefore anticipate his desires. The Count says Haidee will be playing the guzla, so they will have music. He tells Albert that she is a slave but was originally a rich princess. She lost her position due to the misfortunes of war. He asks Albert if he knows of the Pasha of Yanin, Ali Tepelana. Albert recalls it was in his service that his father made his fortune. The Count says that Ali Tepelana and his wife, Vasiliki, were Haidee’s parents. Albert asks to meet Haidee. The Count agrees to introduce her if Albert promises never to speak of the meeting to anyone else, and not to tell Haidee the identity of his father. Albert is taken into Haidee’s room. The door is guarded by three French attendants commanded by Myrtho. The Count addresses Haidee in Romaic and tells her that Albert is a friend. She asks with which language she should speak to Albert. Albert can’t speak Greek, so she is asked to speak in Italian, a language she is not as fluent in. They sit to take tea and smoke chibouques. Albert speaks enthusiastically of the Eastern atmosphere in the room. He asks can he question Haidee about the East. She speaks of her memories from early childhood. Of seeking alms for the poor with her mother. She left Greece when she was 5 years old. Albert asks to hear her history, hoping she will mention his father. The Count, in Greek, tells her to speak of her father’s fate, but not the name of the traitor or treason.
Haidee recalls memories of her father ruling and passing sentence on prisoners. Apart from that her memories are sorrowful. She recalls the events of the night they escaped from the Palace Yanina, led by their father, to a boat which was guarded on the beach by loyal Palikares (Greek militia). The garrison had been approached by Serasker Koorshid on behalf of the sultan to have Ali Tepelana taken into custody. Ali had sent a trusted French officer to negotiate with the sultan. In the meantime, he decided to flee to an island he had prepared for this kind of circumstance. Albert interrupts the story to ask of the French officer’s name, but the Count gives a signal to Haidee, who says she does not remember.
They escaped to the island where Haidee’s father had hidden a fortune, supplies and a huge cache of gunpowder. Selim, a trusted officer, was under instruction to blow everything up if Ali gave the order. Ali waited days to hear news if he had been pardoned. He planned to flee if he was not, or blow themselves up with the enemy if he couldn’t. After a few days four boats appeared. Ali ordered Vasiliki and Haidee into a cavern. Haidee gave her father a last kiss.
Albert is moved by Haidee’s version of these events.
Vasiliki held some hope that everything would be okay, since she had seen the trusted French officer on one of the boats before entering the cavern. She asked Selim the plan. He said that if he was sent Ali’s ring, then everything would be okay. If he was sent Ali’s poniard, he would light the gunpowder that would kill everyone. Vasiliki asked to be killed by her husband’s poniard, first, if it should come to that. But they next heard cries of joy. The French officer seemed to have brokered a peace with the emperor. A man approached the cavern door to say that Ali had been pardoned and fully reinstated. But Selim demanded to see the ring before they came out. The ring was left and Selim confirmed the ring’s authenticity. He extinguished the fire he held, at which point four soldiers of Serasker Koorshid approached and killed him. Vasiliki fled with Haidee into passageways and found another door back into the building. From there she heard her husband being told his enemies had an order to take his head. He thereupon shot two men and his Palikares leapt from the floor where they are being guarded and engaged in battle. Ali called to Selim during the melee to blow the powder, but Vasiliki, who could not open door, called to him that Selim was dead. Then there was an explosion as Koorshid’s men shot from beneath the floor. Ali was mortally wounded and his troops were killed. Then twenty soldiers impale Ali with their poniards.
Albert regrets asking for the story, but the Count says Haidee finds some solace in telling it. She says it is because it helps to remind her of the Count’s goodness to her. Albert wants to know how she came to be with the Count. She says she was given to a man who had served Koorshid and then sold to slave merchants. Haidee and her mother were taken to Constantinople where she saw her father’s head above the city gates. Her mother died at the sight of it. Haidee was eventually sold to Sultan Mahmood, who later sold her to the Count. He bought her with the emerald that was a match for the emerald inlaid into his hashish box.
Haidee reiterates how good the Count is to her. The Count says that the telling of the history is over.
Count of Monte Cristo, Albert de Morcerf, M. Danglars, Count de Morcerf, Franz d’Epinay, M. Villefort, Mme de Villefort, Beauchamp, Baptistin
Franz sends a note two hours after Noirtier has revealed the truth about killing Franz’s father, stating that the marriage cannot go ahead, and his shock that M. de Villefort knew about the circumstances all along. Villefort, as he reads the note, reflects to himself that M.Noirtier had told him nothing at all about the matter. Mme Villefort lies to those waiting, saying that the marriage has been postponed because M.Noirtier has had a fit. Meanwhile, Valentine escapes into the garden. Maximilian has been watching the comings and goings of the house and has guessed at what is happening. He waits at the gate for Valentine. Valentine tells him that they have been saved, but because the means by which this was done involves the secrets of others, she will decline to tell him the details until they are married. Mme Villefort visits M.Noirtier and tells him she has always been opposed to the marriage and since she is in no way affected by his will, she is the best person to ask that Valentine now be reinstated as his heir. He agrees, and the next day draws up a new will leaving his money to Valentine on the condition that she never leave him.
The Count de Morcerf visits M.Danglars and formally asks for the hand of Eugenie for his son, Albert. They have had an arrangement for eight years that their children will marry. Now, Danglars says he must reflect upon his decision due to unforeseen circumstances. Count de Morcerf refers to Danglars’s conversation with the Count of Monte Cristo, in which it was said that Morcerf was forgetful and neglectful of the engagement. Morcerf has come to show he isn’t. Danglars tries to be more conciliatory and says circumstances are beyond his control, and he has good reasons for his reticence. He is not annulling the engagement, merely suspending it. Morcerf demands to know why. Danglars warns that if Morcerf cannot be patient, the engagement will have to be called off. He assures Morcerf that the reasons are for no failing on his part, but his own, based upon things he knew when they made their agreement. Danglars argues that there is no harm in delaying since Eugenie is only 17 and Albert only 21 years old. Time may possibly clear things up or reveal new ‘calumnies’. Morcerf is angry that the use of this word is almost slanderous. Danglars reminds him it is best to wait and Morcerf leaves. The next day, Danglars peruses the newspapers and is delighted to find an article in the Impartial, published by Beauchamp, that speaks of the actions of a French officer at Yanina. He reflects that this will make any further explanations to Morcerf unnecessary.
Albert de Morcerf visits the Count’s residence but is told by Baptistin he is out. Albert decides to go for a walk until the Count is due to return, but discovers the Count’s carriage parked outside a shooting range. He enters and persuades a man, Philip, to let him see the Count. He informs the Count that he is going to fight that day over a matter of honour and would like the Count to be his second. The Count says they will speak in private. Before they leave, they examine playing cards the Count has been shooting at, so precisely aimed that he has given them new values with accurate bullet placements. They leave and talk in the Count’s carriage. Albert intends to fight Beauchamp over an article he believes implicates his father as an English traitor at Yanina in the early 1820s. The Count says Beauchamp will say the article does not directly implicate his father, and that Fernand is a common name. Albert is determined to have the article retracted, anyway. But the Count says Albert is in the wrong to challenge him. Albert points out the Count was practising duelling, but the Count dismisses that, saying he is aware some fool is likely to challenge him at some point in the future over some trifle. The Count advises Albert to seek more information, possibly from Haidee. But Albert refuses this idea. The Count then advises him to talk to Beauchamp alone, since taking two seconds with him would reveal the secret to two other people. Who knows if they will always remain friends? The Count will neither second Albert nor help to train him for the duel. He may tell him why at a later stage. Albert decides he will ask Franz and Chateau-Renaud to be his seconds.
Albert visits Beauchamp’s office. Beauchamp is totally unaware of the cause of Albert’s anger. He had no part in writing the article and did not know it had been published. After reading the article he points out that it is not possible to identify Albert’s father as the officer mentioned. Beauchamp says he will make a retraction when he has investigated it and is sure the report is false. But this is not good enough for Albert, and Beauchamp realises Albert is there to challenge him. Despite this, he will not retract the article unless it is false. Beauchamp refuses to duel Albert immediately, but says he will take three weeks to make his investigation. After that, if the article is false, he will retract, if not, they will fight. That day will be the 21st September.
Albert leaves Beauchamp’s office. In his carriage he sees Maximilian Morrel walking on the street and reflects that Morrel is a happy man.
Maximilian Morrel, Barrois, M. Villefort, Mme de Villefort, Valentine de Villefort, Dr. de Avrigny
Maximilian Morrel is in high spirits because he has been summoned by M.Noirtier. He has decided to walk and the 60 year old Barrois has difficulty keeping up with him. When they arrive at M.de Villefort’s house Valentine speaks for her grandfather, M.Noirtier. He intends to leave this house and seek another residence. Valentine will live close by him. She will seek permission from her father. If he refuses she will leave immediately, otherwise she will wait until she is of age. Maximilian will be able to visit her under more normal circumstances and they will determine whether they should proceed with their intended marriage. In the meantime, Maximilian is warned not to do anything rash or ill-advised that could jeopardise their arrangement, which is almost certain.
Barrois is hot after the walk and is offered some of the lemonade he has brought them. He gratefully accepts and goes outside the door to drink it quickly. The house bell rings. Valentine guesses it is the doctor, and that he will come into her grandfather’s room. She calls Barrois to let Maximilian out so he won’t be discovered, but when Barrois enters the room he collapses. Valentine cries out for the doctor’s help. Villefort enters the room and sees what is happening. When he does, Maximilian hides behind a curtain, unseen. Villefort, stupefied by Barrois’s fit, calls also for the doctor. Valentine cries out for her step mother. Mme de Villefort enters with smelling salts and says that the doctor is with Edward. She asks what Barrois has eaten and is told he has only had the lemonade. Villefort goes to fetch the doctor. Mme Villefort, realising Barrois will be bled, decides to leave, also. Maximilian emerges from behind the curtain and Valentine tells him he has to leave.
Villefort returns with the doctor as Barrois appears to start a recovery. The doctor orders Valentine out of the room as Barrois begins to describe the symptoms. He tells doctor about the lemonade. The doctor fetches the lemonade from the kitchen. Noirtier confirms he also took some of the lemonade and that it had a bitter taste. Barrois’s fit begins again. The doctor tries to keep his airway open and calls for an emetic. He questions Villefort, Noirtier and Barrois, and establishes that Barrois made the lemonade but had to leave it in the pantry when called away. Valentine brought the lemonade to the room. At this point, the emetic arrives, but Barrois’s airway is now too closed for him to drink it. He collapses. The doctor takes Barrois into the next room to bleed him, but he dies. The doctor speaks to Villefort about the death. He compares its swiftness to the death of Mme Saint-Meran. He reasserts his belief that poison was used against her. He tests the lemonade for a particular poison he suspects, and the test is positive. The obvious conclusion is that Barrois was poisoned.
M. Villefort, Mme de Villefort, Valentine de Villefort, Dr. de Avrigny
Dr de Avigny insists that M. de Villefort act to stem what is increasingly a trail of murders attached to his house. He says he suspects no-one, but that later is revealed to be untrue. His first concern is to convince Villefort to act like a man worthy of his position as the King’s Attorney. He tells Villefort to seek out who the crime benefited. But Villefort is fearful. He thinks the attack might have been intended to affect him in some way; that he might also be attacked. The doctor says that Barrois was obviously not the intended target; that the target was M. Noirtier. But Noirtier survived the poison because he has become inured to it after a long treatment with Brucine. No-one else knew of the treatment, meaning the killer did not know.
The doctor reasons that M.Saint-Meran must also have been a victim of the poisoner, given his symptoms. Then his wife. Now, there has been a third attack just after M.Noirtier just changed his will again. The murder would have prevented any further changes to the will. Villefort asks for mercy for his daughter, showing that he has understood the doctor’s implication. Now the doctor is open with his suspicions. Valentine, he says, can be connected to preparations made for M.Saint-Meran and his wife, as well as the lemonade that killed Barrois. He now formally denounces Valentine to Villefort, demanding he act against his daughter in his official role as the King’s Attorney. The doctor argues that if it had been only one or two deaths, he might have agreed to warn Valentine or send her to a nunnery for life. But three deaths requires that she face the scaffold. Villefort is concerned about the blow to his reputation and honour. He refuses to put Valentine in front of a tribunal, and says he would deny a crime had taken place if the doctor were to report it. As to leaving a murderer at large, he would prefer to be murdered than denounce his daughter.
The doctor agrees to stay silent, but informs Villefort he will no longer serve the family as their doctor. Before he leaves he announces in the servants’ hearing that Barrois died of apoplexy brought about by a sedentary life. Quietly to Villefort, he tells him to get rid of the evidence of the poisoning. That night all the servants of the house tender their resignations to Mme Villefort. As Villefort looks at Valentine, he perceives she cries with genuine grief. When he looks at his wife, it seems to him that “a slight gloomy smile had passed over her thin lips”.
Andrea Cavalcanti [Benedetto Bossuet], Caderousse, M.Danglars, Porter
A few hours after Count de Morcerf leaves M.Danglars’s place, Andrea Cavalcanti arrives and expresses his desire to marry Eugenie. Danglars admits he has been expecting this. They speak of practical matters – Andrea’s wealth and the dowry that Eugenie will receive – and then agree upon an engagement. Danglars wonders why the Count didn’t speak on Andrea’s behalf. Andrea says the Count never speaks for anyone, but he is not bothered. He says the Count came nearer to doing so for him than he has for anyone else. He says he hopes his father might give him his capital, not just interest as income, and the Count believes it is also likely he will. Andrea says he will need to draw 4000 francs from Danglars’s bank. Danglars says he will give him 80,000 the next day. Andrea collects the money the following day and leaves 200 francs for Caderousse. However, Caderousse’s porter later returns the 200 francs, saying Caderousse would not accept it. The porter hands Andrea a note from Caderousse asking him to come to his house at nine o’clock the following morning.
Andrea borrows livery from his servant as a disguise and spends the night at an inn before heading to see Caderousse the next morning. He finds Caderousse cooking breakfast with the table set for two. Andrea is irritable with Caderousse, but Caderousse assures him of his friendship. Andrea wants to know why he has been summoned. Caderousse points out the disparity in their situations, and his own uncertain future should Andrea’s circumstances change. He has already heard of Andrea’s engagement to Eugenie. He says Andrea should invite him to his wedding, as he invited Andrea to his. He says he has become bothered by his dependency on Andrea, and suggests he is remorseful and unhappy about the situation. He is looking for an alternative. He suggests that Andrea could give him six month’s payments upfront so he could buy a farm. Andrea suggests he take the money and retire to Brussels as a bankrupt. Caderousse thinks this is impractical. He has a plan. Abandoning his first suggestion, he says he wants Andrea to help him find some way of procuring 30,000 francs while at the same time increasing his allowance to 500 francs a month so he can employ a housekeeper. Caderousse ascertains that Andrea receives 5000 francs a month. Andrea says that, like Caderousse, he is trying to establish capital, but he must wait for the death of his benefactor, his ‘prince’. He says he is the heir to 500,000 livres. He believes that the Count of Monte Cristo is his father. He thinks this is why he paid Cavalcanti to be his father, since he cannot openly acknowledge Andrea. Caderousse is upset he wasn’t paid to play the part. Andrea says that the Count is so rich he doesn’t know how much money he has, and describes enormous sums of money brought to the Count at his residence. Caderousse asks where the Count lives and expresses a desire to visit him, maybe to ask for a job. He asks Andrea to describe the house. Andrea draws him a map of the house and garden. It is evident he understands Caderousse’s real intent, as he gives detailed descriptions, even down to details about the low walls and windows Caderousse could fit through, and the fact that the dog has been taken to Auteiul. He tells Caderousse that he warned the Count that he was vulnerable to burglary, since his security is lax, but the Count didn’t seem to care. Andrea describes a secretary desk on the first floor in which he believes the Count keeps money. He tells Caderousse that he is travelling to Auteuil the following day with the Count and they will be staying overnight. Caderousse asks Andrea to leave 500 francs with his porter before leaving for Auteuil. He also advises him to ‘leave’ his diamond ring with Caderousse, since it looks suspicious with the livery he is using as a disguise. Andrea leaves the ring. Caderousse wishes him well of his marriage. When Andrea leaves, Caderouuse returns to the plans that Andrea has given him of the Count’s residence.
Count of Monte Cristo (also disguised as Abbe Busoni), Caderousse, Baptistin, Ali
The next day the Count and Andrea ride to Auteuil. Bertuccio arrives from Normandy to inform the Count that the new house and sloop have been purchased and prepared as instructed. He has also placed horses along the route so the Count can ride there as quickly as possible. The Count says he does not intend to stay in Paris any more than a month more. Baptistin arrives at Auteuil with a letter that anonymously warns of a burglary that will take place at the Count’s Paris residence that night. It advises the Count to deal with the matter himself, rather than involve the police, advising that if the thief escapes, the tipster may not be able to warn the Count next time. The Count assumes that the real intent will be to assassinate him and decides to deal with the matter in person. He tells Baptistin to have the Parisian house staff sent to Auteuil, except the porter who lodges separate to the main house. The Count dines alone and then leaves with Ali to return to Paris. They sneak into the house without being seen by the porter. The Count double locks the secretary desk and removes the key. They arm themselves and then open a panel in the wall to watch the dressing room. After two hours the Count hears what sounds like glass being cut by a diamond. The window is removed and an arm enters to unlock the window. Ali points out that a man can be seen on lookout, standing in the street. The Count sees the intruder in the dressing room has skeleton keys and realises this is just a robbery, after all. He recognises the thief and tells Ali not to use his weapons. The Count disguises himself as the Abbe Busoni and silently enters the dressing room with a candle illuminating his face. He moves in front of the window to block escape.
Caderousse recognises the Abbe Busonu, even after ten years. ‘Busoni’ accuses him of being an assassin. Caderousse denies this, saying that that was proved by the court to be La Carconte. ‘Busoni’ remarks that Caderousse should still be in prison, nevertheless. Caderousse says he had help to escape. His tone is pleading and he tries to convince the Abbe that he is a victim of poverty, not a hardened criminal. But ‘Busoni’ says that Caderousse was paid 40,000 francs for a diamond given to him by ‘Busoni’, and then he murdered the jeweller who paid him to keep the diamond and money. ‘Busoni’ demands the truth from Caderousse in exchange for his freedom. Caderousse says that Lord Wilmore helped him escape with Benedetto, who was his real concern. They cut their fetters with a file supplied by Wilmore. Caderousse says he doesn’t know what has become of Benedetto. ‘Busoni’ calls out his lie: he knows they are in touch and that Benedetto pays him. Caderousse admits it and says that Benedetto has discovered he is the natural son of the Count of Monte Cristo. The Count is momentarily surprised, but Caderousse explains how Benedetto came to that conclusion: the false father and money paid to him. He says that Benedetto is going to marry the daughter of M. Danglars. ‘Busoni’ says he must warn Danglars against this marriage. Caderousse, who perceives his fortunes tied to that of Benedetto/Andrea, draws a knife on the Count and stabs him in the chest. But the Count is wearing armour underneath and the knife is damaged. The Count wrests the knife from Caderousse’s hand by twisting his wrist and arm. He then forces him to write a note to Danglars, exposing Benedetto/Andrea and himself. He then tells the fearful Caderousse, who believes ‘Busoni’ means to kill him, to leave via the window and ladder. ‘Busoni’ promises him an annuity if he leaves France. But as Caderousse reaches the street he is attacked and stabbed three times. As he lies dying he calls for help. The Count and Ali rush into the street with lights when they hear his calls.
Count of Monte Cristo (also disguised as Abbe Busoni), Caderousse, Ali, Porter, M. de Villefort, Surgeon
Ali and the Count carry Caderousse into the house. The Count asks Ali to tell the Porter to fetch a surgeon and then go fetch M. de Villefort. After Ali leaves Caderousse revives and says that it was Benedetto who stabbed him. He now believes Benedetto sent him on this mission hoping he would either kill the Count and Benedetto would be the Count’s heir, or that the Count would kill him. Caderousse is on the verge of collapse, so the Count administers a few drops from his phial we have previously seen him use to revive others. Caderousse asks the Count to record his deposition of Benedetto and let him sign it. The Count does this. He assures Caderousse he will tell the authorities everything he knows: of Benedetto’s other name, Andrea Cavalcanti, how he made plans of the Count’s house for Caderousse and how he followed and watched Caderousse perform the break-in. Caderousse realises from this that the Count knew the danger to him when he sent him back down the ladder, but didn’t warn him. The Count (as Abbe Busoni) says he saw God’s providence in Benedetto’s intentions. In other words, he feels Caderousse’s murder is divine justice, since Caderousse lived a life a life of idleness and drunkenness, rejected God, betrayed a friend, and when he had the opportunity to receive a fortune he committed murder to double that fortune. God has brought him to justice. Caderousse tells the Count that Benedetto will escape. The Count says that no-one can escape God’s justice. Caderousse reasons that the Count too, then, will suffer God’s justice because he did not do his duty to protect him, as a priest. The Count points out that Caderousse had tried to stab him, so he left him in God’s hands. Caderousse says he does not believe in God or providence; only chance. But the Count points out that he believes in God and lives a rich, happy and safe life. Caderousse wonders who he is. The way the Count speaks seems to make him wonder. The Count removes his disguise. Caderousse believes he looks upon Lord Wilmore. But the Count denies he is Lord Wilmore or Abbe Busoni. Caderousse, panicked, wonders who he is and why he will let him die. The Count says Caderousse is beyond saving, and then leans in to whisper his real identity in Caderousse’s ear. Caderousse is truly shocked and immediately begins to call on God for forgiveness. He dies.
The Count says, “One!”
The Surgeon, M. de Villefort, Ali and the porter arrive ten minutes later to find Abbe Busoni praying over the body of Caderousse.
Beauchamp, Albert de Morcerf, M de Villefort, Count of Monte Cristo, Andrea Cavalcanti, Eugenie Danglars, M. Danglars
After the murder of Benedetto there is a fruitless search to catch the killer. The Count’s cover story is that he was at Auteuil and that he heard the news from Abbe Busoni who had permission to be in the house that night to consult expensive books. Whenever Bertuccio hears Benedetto’s name, he seems to turn pale. News of the attempted robbery is the talk of Paris, but it is clear the Count has not revealed Andrea as being the real Benedetto as he promised Caderousse he would. For as three weeks passes the talk turns to Andrea’s marriage with Eugenie. Danglars is entrusted to invest 3 million livre for Andrea, who seems to ignore warnings about Danglars’s recent financial losses. Danglars looks forward to the wedding. He is much in favour of Andrea even though Eugenie clearly does not like him. She only encouraged his favours to rid herself of Albert de Morcerf.
No one has noticed the article that appeared in in the newspaper about the traitorous actions of a French officer at Yanina. Nevertheless, as the three weeks demanded by Beauchamp are expiring, Albert still looks forward to the duel. Beauchamp arrives at Albert’s place and Albert demands he either retract the article or face a duel. Beauchamp says it is not that simple. He has been to Yanina. It took a week to travel there, four days of quarantine, only two days to make investigations, before a week’s travel to return to Paris. He has found that the article was true. He has four written attestations that prove Albert’s father was the French officer who surrendered the castle for 2 million crowns. That is how his father made his money. Albert breaks down and cries, accepting the truth of the evidence. Beauchamp assures him that since the revolution, no son can be made to bear the sins of his father. But he offers to destroy the evidence and never to speak about it to anyone. Albert takes the evidence and burns it, and thanks Beauchamp for his friendship and honour. But he wonders how knowing what he knows will now affect his relationship with his father, and is distraught to think how the news would affect his mother if it was ever known. He also wonders who had the article printed and why. Beauchamp intimates there may be more trouble to come, but will not commit to knowing anything. Even so, he says he believes the matter of Albert’s wedding to Eugenie may have some connection to the article’s appearance. Albert tells him the wedding is cancelled and wonders if Beauchamp is implicating Danglars. Beauchamp says he is not implicating anyone. Beauchamp suggests going for a ride to revive Albert’s spirits, and once they are out he suggests a visit to the Count.
Beauchamp, Albert de Morcerf, Count of Monte Cristo, Bertuccio, Ali
Florentin (Albert de Morcerf’s valet de chambre)
Beauchamp and Albert arrive at the Count’s residence where Beauchamp tells the Count that the ‘absurd reports’ have died away. They find the Count arranging papers. He says they are for Andrea Cavalcanti who is marring Eugenie Danglars. Beauchamp is surprised to hear this news since he has been away. The Count assures Beauchamp that he had nothing to do with the arrangement, and Albert assures him that he is happy about it. The Count says he has warned Danglars about Andrea: he disappeared for ten years and it is not known what he did in that time. The Count has requested papers from Major Cavalcanti at Danglars’s request, which he is now arranging. The Count notices that Albert is in a poor mood. Albert assures him it is not for love of Eugenie, just a headache. The Count reveals he is also in a poor mood. M. de Villefort claims to have heard of Caderousse and Danglars believes he recognises him, so the police are paying close attention to the case. They keep sending suspected accomplices of Caderousse to the Count’s house in the hope that he may be able to identify them. The Count doesn’t like the thought of so many villains knowing the lay of his house. He suggests going on a trip to get away from their troubles. He proposes a sea voyage from Normandy. Beauchamp declines and tells Albert in an aside that he wishes to keep an eye on the newspaper and hopefully discover something about the writer of the article against Albert’s father. He leaves.
Albert says he will journey with the Count after he has informed his mother of his plans. He assures the Count that she will raise no objection. She holds the Count in high esteem and often talks about him. The Count tells Bertuccio to send word ahead to make sure his horses are ready at each appointed village for their journey.
As they journey Albert marvels at the speed of the horses. The Count says they were all bred from a common mother and he will command a high price for them when he no longer needs them. Albert reckons that the Count and Bertuccio must be the two richest men in Europe. The Count says that Bertuccio has no personal wealth. But he can be trusted because he has no family to support, he is given wide freedoms, has a secure position because he is the best at what he does, and because the Count has the power of life and death over him. Albert is shocked when the Count reaffirms this to be true. After an 8 hour journey they arrive at 2:30am.
After a night’s sleep they spend three days hunting and fishing. At the end of the third day Florentin, Albert’s valet de chambre, arrives riding swiftly. He bears a letter. When Albert begins to read he suddenly reacts badly. The Count seems to guess what it is about, making a comment about the sins of fathers. Albert says he must return to his mother immediately and asks for a horse. He does not wish to explain the matter to the Count, but hands him a news article which came with the letter. The Count reads the article as Albert leaves. It refers to the previous article from weeks before, except this time it explicitly names Albert’s father as the traitor at Yanina.
Beauchamp, Albert de Morcerf, Count de Morcerf, Haidee
President of Committee
Albert arrives in Paris at 8am the following morning. Beauchamp tells him that the latest article appeared in a government paper this time. Beauchamp knows the editor and spoke to him about it. The editor said the information proving the case against Count de Morcerf had arrived with a man from Yanina. After Beauchamp sent his valet de chambre with the news for Albert, his father entered the House of Peers without any knowledge of the article. Morcerf was not considered a real noble in the House and had few allies, generally due to his haughty nature. All had read the newspaper article. A rival of Morcerf’s read out the article in the House, and when finished said there should be an investigation to protect the reputation of the House and that of Count de Morcerf. Morcerf was shocked, but agreed to cooperate and supply any evidence he had on the matter. He had papers that he kept, suspecting the matter might one day be raised. He suggested the investigation should start that day. Eight o’clock in the evening was set as the appointed time. As Albert listens to Beauchamp’s recount, he wonders how it would be possible to defend himself when he is guilty.
Beauchamp says that rumours Morcerf had fled, possibly out of the country, abounded before the committee was to begin. But he turned up on time wearing his military uniform. Morcerf presented documents to the committee along with Ali Pasha’s official ring that suggested Morcerf had been trusted by the Vizier. He said that he was so well liked that Ali Pasha gave him his wife, Vasiliki and her daughter on his deathbed.
At this point in Beauchamp’s telling, Albert remembers Haidee’s story.
Beauchamp says that the President of the Committee asked what became of the mother and daughter. Morcerf said that they disappeared and he had had no means with which to make a search for them. He admitted that he had no-one to back up his story, but had pointed out that the Committee had his evidence and no-one had come forward to speak against him. This was unfortunate, since the President had been opening a letter he had just received. The letter purported to be from someone who witnessed Ali Pasha’s death and knew what became of Vasiliki and her daughter. They were waiting in the lobby to be heard. The Committee agreed to hear from this person. A woman, veiled, and her servant entered. The woman was asked to remove her veil. She was dressed in Grecian clothes.
Albert guesses that it was Haidee.
Haidee revealed who she was to the Committee and offered documents including a birth certificate, a baptism certificate and a record of sale bearing an imperial seal, which documented the sale of her and her mother by a French officer for 400,000 francs. An interpreter read from the Arabic: The sale documented that El-Kobbir bought them from Fernand Mondego and he was selling them to the Count of Monte Cristo. Haidee confirmed that this was the same Count of Monte Cristo residing in Paris, but she said he was currently in Normandy and had no knowledge of her actions. She was acting on her own, she said. She said she has harboured revenge in her heart for many years and she had access to newspapers. Morcerf denied knowing Haidee, but she shrieked angrily that she knew him: that he surrendered the castle at Yanina, offered a false pardon, obtained her father’s ring which persuaded Selim the firekeeper all was well, who stabbed Selim, who sold her and her mother, who raised her father’s head on a spike, and who bears the same scar on his right arm as that of Fernand Mondego. Morcerf instinctively tries to hide his hand. The mood of the committee had turned against him, when it had been in his favour before Haidee entered. The President of the Committee gave Morcerf the opportunity to defend himself against Haidee’s accusations. Morcerf said he had no reply. The President asked him if Haidee had told the truth. Instead of responding, Morcerf tore open his military coat and fled. The House unanimously voted him guilty.
Beauchamp, Albert de Morcerf, M. Danglars, Andrea Cavalcanti
While Beauchamp admits that the outcome for Albert’s father was bad, they can at least rest assured it was only Providence which brought about his fall, not unknown players. But Albert is not convinced. He believes a sinister hand is at work against his father, and he wants revenge. Beauchamp says he will help him if this is the path Albert wishes to take. In speculating about who is behind the matter, Beauchamp says that when speaking to a banker at Yanina, the name of M.Danglars was raised in connection to the affair. Albert has also spoken to a Parisian banker about Danglars. He is immediately convinced that Danglars is behind his father’s fall and is determined to kill him if he proves to be right. Beauchamp advises restraint.
They go to Danglar’s house and force their way into his study. Andrea is present. Albert decides that he will kill Andrea if Danglars refuses to fight. He just needs to fight someone. He challenges Danglars to a duel. Andrea tries to step between them and Albert threatens him. This makes Danglars think that this anger has been caused by the annulment of the marriage arrangement. Albert says it is not. Danglars says that if Albert presses the matter he will kill him. He assures Albert he had nothing to do with his father’s downfall. Albert accuses him of having written to Yanina to find out the details of his father’s history there. Danglars admits he did write, but only on advice, to seek assurances about Albert’s family, since they would be joined in marriage. He says the Count of Monte Cristo advised him to do this. He offers to show Albert the correspondence. He says once he knew the story behind his father’s part at Yanina he merely refused Count de Morcerf’s proposal that the wedding go ahead. He had no interest in the matter after that.
Albert begins to change his mind. He realises that the Count knew the history of Yanina. He had bought Haidee. He had advised Danglars to write the letter. He had allowed Albert to speak to Haidee and probably told her in Romaic not to reveal the identity of the French officer. And he took Albert to Normandy just as his father’s ruin was about to happen. Albert tells Danglars that he hasn’t yet finished with him, but he will go to the Count of Monte Cristo to ascertain the truth of the situation.
Count of Monte Cristo, Beauchamp, Albert de Morcerf, Maximilian Morrel, Chateau-Renaud, Lucien Debray, Mme Danglars (Mercedes), Baptistin
Beauchamp warns Albert that the Count of Monte Cristo is a different opponent to Danglars. Danglars is a banker who is given to caution. The Count is a nobleman who will possibly beat Albert. Albert says he does not fear dying for his family’s honour. Beauchamp says his mother might die of grief if he is killed. Albert says that would be better than dying of shame. They enter the Count’s residence and are met by Baptistin who tells them the Count has just returned and is having a bath, will have a short sleep after and then attend the opera. Albert decides to go to the opera to try to meet the Count. He asks Beauchamp to come, too, and asks him to get Franz, Debray and Morrel to also attend.
Albert visits his mother. She has locked herself away, full of grief and humiliation. At that moment his resolve for revenge weakens. He asks her if M. de Morcerf (not his father) has enemies. He says he asks her because she notices things, like the way the Count refused to eat at their ball. He says the Count has Oriental ways, and that Orientals will refuse hospitality in order to receive full liberty for revenge. Mercedes refuses to believe the Count is their enemy. Albert asks if his mother has a special reason for wanting conciliation with the Count. She dodges the question. Albert says he must go out that night, despite her not feeling well. When he leaves, Mercedes asks her footman to follow Albert.
Albert arrives early at the opera. Chateau-Renaud is already there. Beauchamp has told him what has happened. The Count doesn’t arrive until the beginning of the second act. He sees the angry glares of Albert during the act and decides to ignore him. At the end of the second act, Albert, Beauchamp and Chateau-Renaud go to the Count’s box. Albert says he has come to seek explanation. There is a heated exchange in which Albert almost throws his glove at the Count. The Count says he considers the glove to have been thrown and that he will return it with a bullet. Albert and his friends leave. Maximilian, who is with the Count, is confused, since he has not been apprised of the circumstances. The Count tells him that Albert is angry about Haidee’s part in his father’s downfall. Maximilian now realises why he was asked to the opera. The Count says he will kill Albert before 10am the next day and make him suffer.
At the end of the next scene Beauchamp returns to the Count’s box and apologises on his own behalf for what just happened. He suggests that the Count could give Albert some explanation about his connection to Yanina. The Count refuses any explanation. He doesn’t answer to anyone. And he is angry at Beauchamp for suggesting this. The Count tells him he will kill Albert the following morning, using any weapons Albert chooses at any place of his choosing. Beauchamp tells him it will be pistols at 8am at Bois de Vincennes. He leaves the Count, rattled by his confidence. The Count tells Maximilian that Albert does not know the real story behind his actions, but God knows and God would be on his side. He asks Maximilian to second him the next morning, and to bring his brother, Emanuel, if he can. He then returns to the pleasures of the opera.
Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond), Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes), Ali, Baptistin
When the Count returns from the opera he asks Ali for his pistols. He is inspecting them when Baptistin leads a veiled woman into his outer room. She sees him through the door with the pistols and rushes in. She reveals herself to be Mme de Morcerf, although she now calls herself Mercedes, and she uses the Count’s real name, Edmond. She says she recognised him long ago by his voice alone and has watched his actions with trepidation. She says she followed Albert to the opera and knows what happened there. She says Albert has guessed who the Edmond is, and that he attributes his father’s misfortunes to him. The Count denies being responsible. He attributes her husband’s misfortunes to Providence. That is, that God has taken some hand in his eventual punishment. The Count says he cares for nothing that happened at Yanina. His intended revenge is not against the Count de Morcerf, but the fisherman, Fernand. Mercedes tries to take the blame for everything: for having married out of loneliness when Edmond disappeared. The Count says he disappeared on the strength of a letter written by Danglars and posted by Fernand. He retrieves the letter from his secretary desk and shows Mercedes. As a result of the accusations in the letter he suffered 14 years of prison. Every day he swore revenge. The Count feels that he escaped prison to conduct justice on a man who has merely escaped justice for other crimes. Mercedes asks him to practise forgiveness instead, and not seek revenge by killing Albert. The Count reminds her of the Bible verse that says the sins of the father will be visited upon subsequent generations. Mercedes speaks of her own grief and suffering over those years. She heard stories of Edmond’s death, stories of his escape and prayed for him all those years. Finally, Mercedes’s pleas weaken Edmond’s resolve. He agrees he will not kill Albert. At this Mercedes feels Edmond has shown himself to have remained the man she has always loved. But Edmond says she has not long to love him. He cannot back out of the duel because he values his dignity. If Albert is to live, then Edmond is resolved to death. Mercedes is anguished at this, but convinces herself that if God has brought them back together He will also find a way to protect Edmond. Edmond says it is more than his life he will lose, since what he has promised her is a great sacrifice that destroys the meaning and purpose of his life. Mercedes leaves him, again praising his nobility. The Count is left alone, thinking himself a fool to have lived a long life for revenge, only to have given it up.
Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond), Maximilian Morrel, Albert de Morcerf, Franz, Lucien Debray, Beauchamp, Chateau-Renaud, Ali, Baptistin
The Count is gloomy after Mercedes leaves and he has a chance to reflect upon his situation. He does not fear death – he was willing to die in prison – but it is hard for him to accept that his years of planning and developing himself for his revenges will now amount to nothing. He also fears to be made look ridiculous if Mercedes should appear at the duel and intercede on his behalf. He also wants others to know that his death will have been his own decision. He writes about his plans for revenge at the bottom of his will and names Danglars, Villefort and Morcerf. Now it will be up to God, he writes, to dispense eternal punishment. Early in the morning he discovers Haidee asleep outside his door, where she evidently meant to see him before he left. He realises he cannot die without providing for her. He writes in his will that he gives 20 million to Maximilian Morrel. The bulk of the rest of his money he gives to Haidee, although he writes that he hopes Maximilian will be free to marry Haidee. Haidee questions why he has done this – does he intend to die? – and says she does not need his money. She tears up the will and then faints. He carries her back to her room for her servants to take care of and wonders for the first time if she sees him as more than a father. He recopies the torn will. Soon, Maximilian arrives with Emmanuel. Maximilian hasn’t slept. He says he was convinced of the Count’s just cause when he saw his resolve at the opera. He assures the Count that Albert is only an acquaintance, not a friend. The Count gives Ali his new will to take to the solicitor. Maximilian tells the Count that he has met with Beauchamp and Chateau-Renaud. They have refused the use of swords in the duel, owing to the Count’s reputed skill with them. They have approved the use of pistols. The Count demonstrates his skill with a pistol to Maximilian by shooting at a playing card. Maximilian entreats the Count not to kill Albert. Beauchamp and Chateau-Renaud have agreed that the Count will get the first shot since he was the challenged party. The Count assures Maximilian he will not kill Albert, but predicts his own death. He says he has seen a ghost during the night and he realises he has lived long enough.
They arrive at the duelling ground at 8am. A carriage with Beauchamp and Chateau-Renaud is already there. The Count asks Maximilian if he has a girl and is bitterly disappointed to hear that he has. Maximilian goes to speak with Beauchamp and Chateau-Renaud. He tells them that the Count agrees not to use his own pistols, and they show him pistols that Albert has never seen. Albert has not yet arrived. Franz and Lucien Debray turn up, both having been invited by Albert. Albert turns up 10 minutes late, galloping on a horse. He is red-eyed and hasn’t slept. He announces that he wishes to speak to the Count in the presence of all. Albert then formerly acknowledges that the Count had a right to seek revenge, if not upon Count de Morcerf, then certainly upon the fisherman Fernand Mondego, who caused him great misery and harm. Albert esteems the Count’s behaviour in this affair and is grateful that his revenge was so restrained. The Count is grateful of this outcome, realising that Mercedes has had a hand in it. He shakes Albert's hand. Albert declares his own apology has been accepted, and that he will answer anyone who suggests he was a coward for obeying his own conscience. Debray expresses to Franz that honour is still at stake, since the Count acted dishonourably against Morcerf. Meanwhile, the Count realises that Mercedes’s intervention would have required her to tell Albert things that may destroy his relationship with his father. The Count’s confidence is restored. He again believes he is the instrument of God’s Providence.
Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond), Maximilian Morrel, Albert de Morcerf, Franz, Lucien Debray, Beauchamp, Chateau-Renaud, Ali, Baptistin, Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes), Bertuccio
The Count leaves the duelling place with Maximilian and Emmanuel. Beauchamp congratulates Albert for this unexpected conclusion to the affair. But there is an air of embarrassment between the friends over what has just occurred. Chateau-Renaud says he would have been incapable of doing what Albert did. It is meant to sound like praise, but there is a clear undertone of criticism in what he says. The friends advise Albert to leave for Italy or Russia for a few years. It will be the best way to allow the affair to blow over and avoid frequent duels over questions of his honour. Albert agrees. The friends make their awkward goodbyes and Albert returns home.
Albert begins to arrange his possessions and makes an inventory. As he does this a servant interrupts to say he has been summoned by Count de Morcerf, who knows he witnessed what happened that morning. What should he say? Albert tells him to say that he apologised to the Count of Monte Cristo. The servant goes and Albert sees his father’s carriage leave a short while after. Albert now visits Mercedes in her room where he finds she is also arranging her possessions and sorting her keys. She tells Albert she is leaving and hopes he would come with her. He says he intends to leave and travel by himself. He will rely upon a small loan from Franz to begin with, because he intends to renounce all family wealth and title. He cannot use the name of his father which he now finds shameful. Mercedes encourages him to adopt her father’s name – Herrara – and build a reputation on that. As for herself, she feels her life has nothing more to offer her except her eventual death. Albert encourages her to leave while his father is out. She agrees. Bertuccio brings Albert a letter from the Count. It reveals he somehow knows of their plans to leave. It encourages Albert to seek a box with 150 Louis, buried in the Count’s father’s yard at Marseilles 24 years ago. The Count has recently checked that it is still there. The Count says that he originally saved the money to make a life with Mercedes, and feels it right she should have it, rather than rely on borrowings from others. Mercedes decides to accept the Count’s offer. She will use it as her dowry to retire into a convent.
Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond), Maximilian Morrel, Albert de Morcerf, Haidee, Baptistin, Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes), M. de Morcerf (Fernand), Bertuccio
After the aborted duel the Count drops Emmanuel home and Maximilian rides with him to the Champs-Elysées. They discuss Albert’s actions. The Count says Albert is not a coward. Maximilian acknowledges that Albert has fought two duels in the past, but he feels his actions were cowardly, nevertheless. The Count feels Albert is brave, but a more important concern stopped his hand. The Count offers breakfast to Maximilian but Maximilian says he is not hungry and must go. The Count guesses that he has a lover he is distracted by, but Maximilian declines to give him details. Nevertheless, the Count says he will help Maximilian in his affair should he ever encounter obstacles.
Upon arriving home Bertuccio reports that Mercedes and Albert are preparing to leave their house. The Count writes a letter (from the previous chapter) and sends it with Bertuccio for Albert. Haidee enters the room and is overjoyed to see the Count. The Count is again struck by romantic notions about Haidee, feeling like she is another Mercedes. Baptistin announces that Count de Morcerf has arrived. Haidee is concerned, fearing the Count might be injured in an encounter with him. The Count assures her he will be okay and gives her a kiss on the forehead to send her away.
Flashback: Morcerf had watched Mercedes packing through a window of her bedroom. He then went to a window to await the return of his son from the duel, but when Albert arrived he did not come to see his father. Wondering why, Morcerf sent for a servant to find out. After that, he left in his coach with a military cloak and two swords to go to the residence of the Count of Monte Cristo.
Morcerf questions the Count about the duel with his son. The Count tells him that Albert was not a coward, but he apologised because there was someone who was to blame more than Monte Cristo: Albert’s father. Morcerf declares the Count to be his enemy and challenges him to fight right then without any witnesses. The Count says they need no witnesses because they know each other so well. Morcerf disagrees with this, so the Count lists Morcerf’s infamies: that he was Fernand, a deserter, at the Battle of Waterloo; that he was Lieutenant Fernand, a spy to the French army in Spain; that he was Captain Fernand who betrayed Ali Pasha; and that he is Lieutenant General Count de Morcerf, peer of France. The Count’s litany not only accuses Morcerf, but suggests his social position is undeserved. Morcerf acknowledges that the Count has discovered his past, but he does not know who the Count really is. The Count suddenly disappears into a dressing room where he changes into a sailor’s outfit and lets down his hair. He returns and tells Morcerf that he shows him a face he must have dreamed of since he married Mercedes, his own betrothed. Morcerf is shocked as he recognises Edmond Dantes. He flees the room and tells his valet to get him back home. As he arrives home Albert and Mercedes are leaving. He hides as they pass and hears Albert say that this is no longer their home. As the coach takes them away, the sound of a pistol shot can be heard from the bedroom of Count de Morcerf.
Maximilian Morrel, Valentine de Villefort, M. Noirtier, Mme Danglers, Eugenie Danglars,
Maximilian heads to the Villefort household after leaving the Count. He has Noirtier’s permission to visit twice a week before the matter of his marriage with Valentine is decided. Valentine has waited uneasily, knowing about his role as second in the duel. She is happy to see Maximilian return safely. She tells him of her grandfather’s decision to find a place of his own. Maximilian notes that Valentine looks unwell and has been unwell for a fortnight. She says she has been taking some of her grandfather’s medicine, a spoonful to start with, and is now up to four. She says it is bitter and makes everything else seem bitter. She just had a glass of sugared water and left half because it tasted so bitter. For a moment, she complains she cannot see, which worries Maximilian, but she recovers. Mme Danglars and Eugenie arrive in a carriage. Valentine goes out to meet them. Noirtier spends some time to communicate to Maximilian that he wants him to retrieve Valentine’s glass from her room. Maximilian finds that it is empty. They question a servant who says she drank the remaining half on her way through to her mother’s apartment, where she was to meet Mme Danglars and Eugenie.
Mme Danglars announces that Eugenie and Prince Cavalcanti will be married in the next week. Eugenie admits she does not love him and would prefer to be an artist. But she is happy she has avoided a marriage with Albert de Morcerf, whose family is disgraced. Valentine questions whether a father’s shame carries on to the son. Eugenie says that in this case it does, and tells her of Albert’s apology to the Count. Mme Danglars asks Valentine what is wrong with her. She looks sick. Valentine admits to having a fever but dismisses it as nothing. Her mother encourages her to go rest and drink a glass of water. Valentine leaves but swoons at the top of the stairs. Maximilian finds her at the bottom of the stairs and takes her into her grandfather’s room. She again dismisses his concerns. She tells Noirtier and Maximilian of Eugenie’s coming wedding. Maximilian presses Valentine to get Noirtier to set a date for their own wedding. He is afraid of losing her. She laughs at this but suddenly collapses. Noirtier looks fearful. Maximilian rings a servant bell. The servants call for help. Mme Danglars and Eugenie hear the calls as they prepare to leave.
Maximilian Morrel, Count of Monte Cristo, M. de Villefort, Mme de Villefort, Valentine de Villefort, M. Noirtier, Dr Avrigny, Baptistin, Abbe Busoni
Maximilian hides in the closet as Villefort comes into Noirtier’s room to find out what has happened. When he sees Valentine’s state he heads out to call upon Dr Avrigny. Maximilian leaves to seek help from the Count. Dr Avrigny is not surprised there has been another poisoning, but is disturbed to hear Valentine is the victim. He agrees to come with Villefort. Meanwhile, Maximilian seeks help from the Count, who at first thinks he is speaking about Count de Morcerf when he says he has left a house where death has entered. The Count tells Maximilian of Morcerf’s suicide, and suggests it will be better for his family – blood washes away shame – now that he is gone. Maximilian asks if Baptistin can make enquiries for him, and he whispers his request into Baptistin’s ear. He then tells the Count the story of his hearing Dr Avrigny and Villefort in the garden at night after Mme Saint-Meran’s death, but he does not reveal of whom he speaks. He says this doctor believed the death was not natural, and now there will possibly be a fourth poisoning death attached to the house. The Count suggests that if God seeks to punish this household, Maximilian should not get involved. He says it is like the house of Atreidae from Greek myth, where the children were doomed to punishment due to the sins of the father. The Count reveals he knows of whom Maximilian speaks and fills in the details of his story with names. He says that this matter has nothing to do with Maximilian and he shouldn’t let it disturb his conscience. Maximilian realises that the Count knew all along what was happening in the house and he has done nothing. The Count asks why he should do anything. Maximilian reveals that he loves Valentine and wants the Count’s help to save her. The Count is distressed to hear this, saying Maximilian is an unhappy man to love a daughter of ‘an accursed race’. He is now grieved by what had formerly been a subject of interest. He assures Maximilian that if Valentine is not already dead, that she will not die. Maximilian is amazed at the Count, who seems superhuman to him. He leaves the Count, who says he will work upon the problem.
Meanwhile, Villefort returns home with Dr Avrigny, who establishes that Valentine still lives. The doctor notices that Noirtier is looking at him meaningfully and so sends Villefort for a servant. He asks if Noirtier has something to tell him. Noirtier indicates he has. Villefort returns with the maid and Mme de Villefort. Mme de Villefort suggests they take Valentine to her bed. Seeing an opportunity to be alone with Noirtier, the doctor agrees, and gives instructions that Valentine not be given anything except what he approves. He also sends Villefort out with a prescription. He now questions Noirtier, and their exchange reveals the following: that Noirtier had anticipated this poisoning; that he believes the person who killed Barrois had meant to kill Valentine and is the same person who has now poisoned her; that he hopes Valentine will recover; that he has been trying to build up an immunity against Brucine in Valentine’s system by giving her some of his medicine. The doctor believes this is the reason Valentine is now only violently ill, not dead. Villefort returns with the medicine. The doctor tastes the medicine himself and says he will give everyone strict instructions as to how to proceed.
Meanwhile, an Italian priest calling himself Il Signor Giacomo Busoni moves into the house adjoining Villefort’s, which has unsafe foundations. That very night carpenters and masons are called in to start to secure the foundations of the house.
M. Danglars, Eugenie Danglars
Etienne (Servant to Danglars)
The events of this chapter precede events in Chapter 94, in which Mme Danglars and Eugenie visit Mme de Villefort and Valentine to announce Eugenie’s marriage to Andrea Cavalcanti. Danglars had been irritated that he had been left to wait in the drawing room after his daughter had requested to meet with him there. He was irritated, also, that she simply didn’t come to his study. He sent his servant, Etienne, to find out what was keeping her. When Eugenie arrived she said she requested to meet in the dining room to remind him of his family – portraits hang in the dining room – and to remind him of a world outside banking. But primarily, she wanted to meet to say she does not wish to marry Andrea Cavalcanti. She had said nothing until now because she wished to be a dutiful daughter, but found she could no longer keep quiet. She did not refuse marriage based upon her feelings about love, but because she wished to live a free and independent life, unencumbered by others. Danglars called her an ‘unhappy girl’, but she responded by saying that she had good looks, wit, and the knowledge that by law her father could not disinherit her. Danglars said he would speak to her frankly, and she encouraged him to do so, approaching the conversation not as a daughter, but a verbal opponent. Danglars said he didn’t wish her to marry for family – he cared nothing for grandchildren – but because he had ‘commercial speculations’ which relied upon her marriage. He revealed that he was near to financial ruin. Eugenie initially responded by not caring. She said she had her talents by which to make her own money, independent of him, which she would prefer to do rather than receive an allowance sourly given by him, even if he were richer. She said that during her childhood she had received no love and now found she could not love another. She was also not concerned for her mother, who taught her independence, and she felt sure that her mother had provided financially for herself. Danglars told her that Andrea would entrust him with 3 million livres as his banker if the marriage went ahead. With that he would be able to invest in a railway that would potentially return him 10 million livres. He had other funds to draw upon as a banker, but given his recent losses, he could not risk using them in case there was a sudden request for withdrawals. That would ruin him. His share in the investment was due in a week. Her marriage to Andrea Cavalcanti would restore the confidence of others in him. Eugenie asked that if she married, would her father trade upon the new confidence placed in him and leave Andrea’s 3 million untouched? Danglars agreed to do this. She also asked if he had enough for the 500,000 franc dowry? He said he did. She also wanted to know if she would be left ‘entirely free in my person.’ Danglars said she would. Eugenie agreed to the marriage and said she would sign the contract in three days, as she had been asked to do. Horses were prepared so that Eugenie and Mme Danglars could visit the Villeforts to announce the wedding, as has been described in chapter 94.
Count of Monte Cristo, Andrea Cavalcanti, M. Danglars, Mme Danglars, Mme de Villefort, Eugenie Danglars
On the day of the wedding Andrea Cavalcanti finds the Count about to go out in his carriage. He asks to ride with the Count so that he can speak to him. The Count, not wanting to be seen publicly with Andrea, asks him to return to the drawing room, instead, to speak. Inside, Andrea asks the Count if he has had notice of the wedding. The Count says he has, but did not know the particulars. The Count congratulates Andrea on the match, saying that Eugenie is attractive and that the Count hears Danglars has a fortune greater than is known. Andrea stands to inherit it, since Eugenie is an only child. Andrea tries to thank the Count for the part he has played in promoting his social position and his cause in the marriage. But the Count insists this all has nothing to do with him. He does not know Andrea personally, but only knew his father through Abbe Busoni and Lord Wilmore. Andrea asks if his father really is as rich as he has been told. The Count says it appears to be so. Andrea asks the Count to play his father’s role at the wedding since his father’s health has prevented him returning to France. The Count refuses, saying his own ways are more Eastern and that he even owns a seraglio. It would not be appropriate in French society for him to play the part. He denies having introduced Andrea to Danglars (he says Andrea introduced himself at the Count’s house), and he denies having played matchmaker between Andrea and Eugenie. However, he will be happy to be a witness at the wedding. Andrea asks directly whether Eugenie really has a fortune of 500,000 livres. The Count answers by saying that that is what Danglars says. Andrea is uneasy about Danglars’s plan to invest the money in the railway. The Count says he hears it will return Danglars 10 million livres.
That night the Danglars’s house is fitted out sumptuously for the wedding, and Eugenie looks beautiful. Much of Parisian society is there. At 9pm precisely the Count makes his entrance and all eyes turn to him. The contract is read in silence and soon the signing begins. First Danglars signs, then Cavalcanti’s representative, then Mme Danglars. Mme Danglars comments to Mme de Villefort that it is a pity the incident at the Count of Monte Cristo’s house has prevented M. de Villefort from attending. The Count explains that the body of the murdered man outside his house had been searched. He was found to be wearing a waistcoat in which there was a letter addressed to M. Danglars. Because it was evidence, the Count turned it over to Villefort, as he is the King’s chief attorney. At this point, Andrea begins to move towards an exit. The Count explains that the murdered man was an old escaped galley slave called Caderousse. Upon hearing this, Danglars turns pale. They return to the matter of the wedding and ‘Prince’ Cavalcanti is called upon to sign. But there are suddenly soldiers entering the house and blocking the doors. An officer of the police approaches Danglars and asks for Andrea Cavalcanti. He says Andrea is a galley slave who escaped and murdered Caderousse. But Andrea is gone.
Eugenie, Danglars, Louise d’Armilly, M. Danglars, Mme Danglars
After the arrest of Andrea Cavalcanti the guests exit quickly from the Danglars’s residence. Danglars is left to give a statement to the officer of the gendarmes while the extra servants hired for the wedding stand about gossiping. Eugenie retires to her apartment with Mademoiselle Louise d’Armilly, her music teacher and friend. Eugenie is happy to have escaped another wedding with a second poor fiancé. Now, she intends to set off on the trip intended as her honeymoon, across Europe and eventually to Italy. This second disaster is her excuse to avoid a possible third marriage that might be arranged by her parents. Instead, she hopes to return to her dream of living the independent life of an artist. Louise informs Eugenie she has had a post chaise bought and made ready at a place indicated by Eugenie. They had clearly anticipated some kind of escape. Louise has also procured a passport in the name of a man for Eugenie, which states ‘he’ is travelling with a sister. They have 23,000 francs in cash and jewellery worth as much again between them: enough for two years. In addition, they hope to earn money on top of that. They pack to leave. Eugenie dresses as a man and cuts her hair short. Louise admires how she looks. Eugenie says she plans to head for Brussels first. They sneak into the yard with their luggage and make their way to a laundress whom Eugenie has promised 20 louis. Here the post chaise is readied and Eugenie gives the laundress 5 francs, a larger sum, hoping to buy her loyalty. Nevertheless, as they depart Eugenie gives the driver a false destination, just in case the laundress is later paid to betray them. She intends to give the driver an amended destination once they get going. Soon, they are leaving Paris.
Andrea Cavalcanti (Benedetto), Eugenie Danglars, Louise d’Armilly
This chapter begins with the moment the soldiers enter M.Danglars’s house and Andrea withdraws from the room. As he passes through another room where Eugenie’s bridal trousseau is displayed, he steals the most valuable jewellery, including diamonds, before leaving by the window and escaping on foot. He persuades a cab driver to drive him towards Louvres, supposedly in pursuit of a friend who has left him behind. He pays the driver 30 francs when they arrive and he then proceeds by foot. When he arrives at the Chapelle-en-Serval inn he hires a horse and gives a false identity. After three hours of riding he makes it to Campeigne. He goes to the Bell and Bottle inn, and gives a story that he has been lost in the woods to explain his late arrival. He asks for room 3 but a brother and sister have rented it, and he is give room 7, instead. He plans to get some sleep before leaving and adopting the disguise of a woodcutter the next morning, and then head to the nearest frontier, travelling by nights. He intends to sell his stolen diamonds which, along with some bank notes, will give him about 50,000 livres.
Andrea awakes to see a gendarme outside. He dresses, thinking to wait for the gendarme to leave before he goes outside. But by that time there are more gendarmes and he realises he is trapped. The gendarmes have been alerted to his possible presence by the telegraph. They have come to the Bell and Bottle since it is a major inn and there is news of a later arriver the night before. Andrea writes a note apologising for leaving at dawn, and leaves a pin in payment, saying that he can’t afford to pay. He leaves the note on a table and his door open, and then climbs into his chimney. Soon, the gendarmes enter his room and find the note. They search the room, nevertheless, and the gendarme in charge, a brigadier, lights a fire in case Andrea is hiding in the chimney. But Andrea has made it onto the roof. However, he will be visible to any gendarmes looking out of a window of the adjoining hotel. So he climbs down the chimney of room number 3. Meanwhile, the gendarmes, finally convinced that Andrea has fled, suddenly hear a scream and a bell ringing. Andrea has slipped in the chimney and fallen into the room of number 3. Quite by coincidence, Eugenie and Mademoiselle Louise d’Armilly are in the room, sleeping in one bed. The room has two beds. This is the closest Dumas has come to suggesting they have a romantic relationship. Andrea begs them not to give him away, but it is too late. A gendarme spies him through the keyhole and bursts through the door. Louise tells Andrea to run but Eugenie suggests he kill himself and die honourably. She seems disgusted when he surrenders. As he is arrested Andrea asks if she has any message for her father. Eugenie seems embarrassed or ashamed as she covers her face with her hands. Andrea is taken away. An hour later Eugenie and Louise both leave dressed as women and suffer the sneers of a curious crowd who have gathered. The next day, they arrive at the Hotel de Fandre in Brussels.
Mme Danglars, M. de Villefort, Lucien Debray
Most of French society speaks that night about the interrupted wedding at the Danglars’ place. Mme Danglars is unhappy about the failure of Eugenie’s marriage to Andrea. Besides the problem of the scandal, the marriage would have set her free of playing the role of parent/guardian to Eugenie, and she would not feel the obligation to try to live to a higher moral code to suit that role. Besides which, she thinks Eugenie has known for some time that her lover is Lucien Debray. She goes to see Debray, but Debray is in his apartment speaking with a friend. Mme Danglars waits outside while they talk. Debray’s friend suggests that Debray should marry Eugenie, and he is not adverse to the idea. Mme Danglars eventually tires of waiting and returns home. She questions a servant who says that Eugenie retired to her room with Mademoiselle d’Armilly. They are presumed asleep in the room. Mme Danglars retires to her room with thoughts that her family has been ruined. She wonders how to overcome their circumstances, and decides that M. de Villefort is best placed to help them, as the King’s attorney, and because he had advised against the marriage, which makes her trust him in this matter. She comes to believe that if Villefort could allow Andrea to escape, the affair would more quickly leave the public’s mind.
The next day she visits the Villefort household. She is stopped at the door by the concierge who refuses to acknowledge any personal connection and says no one is allowed in the house without Dr Avrigny’s approval. She is affronted but gives him her card and is soon admitted. She is taken to Villefort by the valet de chambre. The whole house seems gloomy, which stops her expressing her dissatisfaction at her treatment. But she is soon annoyed again when Villefort fails to express sympathy for her situation. He admits that his own recent suffering has made it difficult for him to empathise with the problems of others or see them as significant. Mme Danglars asks what will happen to the imposter, Andrea. Villefort says his name is Benedetto and he is an assassin. Mme Danglars asks Villefort to allow Andrea to escape, because his capture would only cause her family more pain. Villefort informs her that Andrea is already pursued. Mme Danglars asks that if he is captured, could he be kept in prison until Eugenie is married. Villefort tells her that justice has its formalities. He refers to his own problems and asks if she thinks his resolve lacks credibility when he can’t find the culprit in his own house. She admits it. He says that once he knows the culprit, they will die. So she has no right to question his pursuit of Andrea. She asks what he knows about Andrea and acts coquettishly, hoping to sway Villefort. He becomes angry and says that the law knows nothing of her grief or charms. The law strikes impartially, just as he has been struck by some awful fate. He admits that he is not perfect, but he seems to feel an injustice has been done to him personally. Every criminal he prosecutes convinces him that his own nature is not perverse. Therefore he must strike at wicked men. Mme Danglars still tries to plead for Andrea, saying that he is an orphan and has been abandoned. Villefort says that is all the better for there will be no-one to weep for his death. Mme Danglars says that he has no pity and that he tramples on the weak. She asks that he at least delay the trial until the next assize, six months away. But he refuses. The current session still has five days to sit. A message arrives that Andrea has been captured. Mme Danglars leaves. Villefort seems triumphant upon hearing the news.
Valentine de Villefort, Count of Monte Cristo
Valentine has survived for four days after her poisoning. She is carefully guarded by her parents, Dr d’Avrigny and a trusted nurse, and a strict routine is followed to take care of her. Her door is kept locked. At night she is delirious and sees visions of people entering her room: her stepmother approaching threateningly; Maximilian with his arms outstretched; even the Count of Monte Cristo. Valentine has come to see them as figments of her own imagination. On the fourth day she hears of the drama surrounding Eugenie’s aborted wedding, but she is too sick to be moved by it. That night, she once again thinks she sees something. The door to her library opens and a figure enters her room. She again assumes the figure is a figment of her imagination and reaches for her medicine left at her bedside, since she finds it helps dispel her visions. But the figure reacts to her movement and stays her hand. Instead, the person takes the medicine and drinks some of it. Valentine recognises that this is the Count and he is real. He allows her to drink the draught he just tested. The Count reassures her of his intentions and says he is weary, having watched over her for four days, hoping to protect her to fulfil the promise he made to Maximilian. He says he has watched from behind the library door. It connects to the house next door which he has now rented. Valentine is at first affronted by his intrusions, but he assures her he has only watched the comings and goings in her room and monitored what she has been given. He has seen further attempts to poison her and he has had to remove the poison and substitute his own draught to help her recover. He offers Valentine some new medicine and drinks half to allay her suspicion. Valentine realises he must have seen the person who has been trying to kill her. He admits that he has. Valentine also realises, now, why her grandfather made her drink some of his medicine, to fortify her against an attack he assumed was coming. The Count says this is true, but the dose four days ago could have been enough to kill her, anyway. Naturally, Valentine wants to know who is trying to kill her. The Count, rather than tell her, points out that it is midnight, an hour favoured by murderers. He suggests she lie in her bed pretending to be asleep and he will wait outside the library door to see if the murderer appears.
Valentine de Villefort, Count of Monte Cristo, Mme de Villefort
[Locusta was a first century Roman poisoner, who possibly helped in the assassinations of Claudius and Britannicus]
Valentine waits in the dark, pretending to sleep, wondering who has been trying to kill her and why. Eventually, the clock strikes half past twelve and she hears a floor creak in Edward’s room. Edward’s door opens. Someone whispers her name to ascertain if she is asleep. It is Mme de Villefort. In one hand she holds a phial. Valentine forces herself not to react, since she guesses her stepmother holds a knife in the other hand. Mme de Villefort pours the contents of her phial into Valentine’s glass. She leaves the room and the Count re-enters. He smells the liquid in the glass and confirms the poison has now been changed, which would negate the precautions taken by Valentine’s grandfather. The Count explains that Valentine has become a target because she is wealthy and stands in the way of her half-brother, Edward, inheriting her fortune through his father. By killing the Saint-Merans and by killing Valentine, the money would be left to Villefort and eventually to Mme de Villefort’s son, Edward. The Count says Valetine’s stepmother has been fomenting this plan ever since Valentine saw her with a man in a brown clock in the Hotel des Postes, Perugia. The Count tells Valentine she cannot run because she will always be in danger of assassination. The Count says that to survive, Valentine must trust him entirely and confide in no-one else. Valentine promises to do all she can to live for the sake of her grandfather and Maximilian. The Count tells her she must have hope, even if she awakes and finds herself in a vault or coffin (at this point it seems the Count’s plan is similar to the plot of Romeo and Juliet - to fake Valentine’s death) They each talk with endearments that liken the Count to a father (in effect, Villefort has failed to protect her): VALENTINE: “At this moment, a friend, a father, who lives for my happiness and that of Maximilian watches over me.” COUNT: “You are my own darling child, Valentine!...” He lifts the blankets, as a father might, up to her neck to cover her chest, which Dumas somewhat sexualises (“… the pulsations of her heart could be seen through the lace of her nightdress.”). The Count gives Valentine a pastille which she takes, and he watches her succumb to its effects. He then empties most of the glass into the fireplace and then departs the room.
Valentine de Villefort, Mme de Villefort, M. de Villefort, Dr d’Avrigny, M. Noirtier, Maximilian Morrel
Valentine’s nightlight continues to burn until its oil runs out. Eventually, Mme de Villefort re-enters the room and checks Valentine and her glass. She sees that the glass is now only a quarter full and that Valentine shows every sign that she is dead. Mme de Villefort empties the glass in the fire place. She leaves the room at half past four in the morning. Two hours later the nurse enters the room but assumes Valentine is asleep. She sits in the armchair to get some extra sleep herself and is awoken by the clock striking eight. She is concerned that Valentine has not moved and then realises she seems to be dead. She calls for help and Dr d’Avrigny and Villefort head to Valentine’s room where they find the servants already gathered about. Villefort asks for his wife to be called. He has trouble comprehending what has happened. Mme de Villefort enters the room to find the doctor checking Valentine’s glass. Mysteriously, the glass is again partially full of the same substance she placed in it earlier that night. When he realises that it is no longer brucine he tests the liquid with nitric acid. The liquid turns blood red. Mme de Villefort, seemingly overpowered with emotion, rushes back to her room and collapses. The doctor tells the nurse to assist her. Nothing can be done for Valentine he tells the nurse, because she is dead. Finally, the truth bears down on Villefort and he cries out ‘Dead – dead!” just as Maximilian enters the room.
Maximilian had gone to visit Noirtier that morning as he normally did. No servant appeared to conduct him to the room so he went up himself. Noirtier indicated to Maximilian that he wanted something from a servant, but no servant came when Maximilian rang the bell. Noirtier realised something might be wrong and conveyed his concern for Valentine to Maximilian. Maximilian then rushed to Valentine’s room just in time to hear Villefort’s anguished cry that his daughter was dead.
Valentine de Villefort, M. de Villefort, Dr d’Avrigny, M. Noirtier, Maximilian Morrel, Count of Monte Cristo (as Abbe Busoni)
Doctor of Death
Villefort orders Maximilian out of the room. Dr d’Avrigny escorts him out. But Maximilian returns a few minutes later carrying M.Noirtier, still sitting in his chair, up the stairs and into the room. He calls Noirtier ‘father’ and asks him to confirm that Valentine had been his betrothed. Noirtier confirms it. Maximilian falls to his knees in grief and clutches at Valentine’s hand. Villefort is now more conciliatory. He says that he did not know of the engagement, but he sees that Maximilian’s grief is real. He says that all that can be done now is to call a priest. Maximilian says Villefort can call the priest, but he will be Valentine’s avenger. He now addresses Villefort in his role as chief procurer, and says that Valentine was assassinated. He says that having reported this, it is now Villefort’s job to find the murderer. Villefort denies that Valentine was murdered. He says his family has merely been fated to ill-luck over the last few months. But Maximilian outlines the timeline of Valentine’s poisoning: how her grandfather tried to build her immunity to the poison, how the murderer increased the dose and then eventually changed the type of poison. He also reveals that he secretly heard the conversation between Dr d’Avrigny and Villefort in the garden concerning the deaths in the family. He calls for the doctor to admit it. The doctor, who has clearly been uncomfortable with Villefort’s denial, admits it and also calls for justice. At this point, Noirtier indicates that he wishes to communicate something and confirms that he knows the identity of the murderer. But he also indicates that he wishes to speak to Villefort about it alone. After fifteen minutes the doctor and Maximilian return to the room. They are asked by Villefort to swear that they will not reveal the identity of the murderer to anyone. It is a matter of family honour. Maximilian is not happy about this, but Villefort assures him of his intention to seek revenge, and calls upon Noirtier to confirm his resolve. He says that revenge will be carried out within three days. Noirtier reassures them of his support for Villefort’s plan. The doctor is instructed to go find the doctor of death. He returns to the house with this doctor, who takes a cursory look at Valentine and issues a death certificate. Next, Villefort wants the nearest priest brought to the house. The doctor who issued the certificate says he knows of a priest living next door to Villefort. This doctor and Dr d’Avrigny go outside and see the priest in the doorway of his house. The priest tells them that he heard what happened from the servants who fled the house. He has already said prayers for Valentine. Dr d’Avrigny asks him to return with him to watch over Valentine. When they enter Valentine’s room Noirtier catches the priest’s eye and decides to remain in the room with him. After Dr d’Avrigny leaves the room, the priest bolts the door behind him, as well as the door that leads into Mme de Villefort’s room.
Valentine de Villefort, M. de Villefort, Dr d’Avrigny, M. Noirtier, Lucien Debray, Chateau-Renaud, Beauchamp, Count of Monte Cristo (also as Abbe Busoni), M. Danglars
Undertaker (Villefort’s cousin), M de Boville
Valentine is prepared for her funeral, wrapped in a winding cloth. M. Noirtier returns to his room after spending time with Abbe Busoni, watching over her body. Noirtier seems more at ease and he sleeps remarkably well. Villefort, on the other hand, has barely slept in days and his nights are spent working, such as preparing the papers he has drawn up against Benedetto. The next morning the mourners gather for the funeral. The undertaker is a cousin of Villefort’s and Mme Villefort is spending the day with his wife. Lucien Debray, Chateau-Renaud and Beauchamp are at the funeral and discuss the Villefort’s fortunes. Beauchamp’s paper has printed an article, not by Beauchamp, criticising his lack of action over the deaths in his family. Debray is looking for the Count at the funeral. Beauchamp says he met him on the way to the funeral. He is visiting his banker, Danglars, and intends to leave Paris. Debray also wishes to see Maximilian, but he is also not present.
The scene switches to Danglars’ office where the Count arrives. Danglars assumes the Count is there to offer him sympathy. He says he wished no ill to Morcerf, since those who wish ill receive it, but he has nevertheless suffered the dishonour over the affair with Benedetto, and now Eugenie has left. He believes she will be too proud to return. The Count says that at least Danglars is rich, which can mitigate many problems. Danglars guardedly agrees and says that he is rich. Danglars says that he is currently signing five French bonds payable to the bearer, each for 1 million. Danglars expresses pride in the French credit system and suggests the Count accompany his clerk to the bank to witness the transaction. The Count points out that he still has a line of credit with Danglars’ bank totally 5,100,000. He gives Danglars a receipt for that amount and takes the five bonds, saying he will see the workings of the system himself. Danglars is shocked. He says the bonds are for a charity, to be collected that morning. The Count returns the bonds, saying that he wanted to be able to say that Danglars paid the full amount the very minute it was asked of him. He says that at Rome he would have been paid that quickly on his receipt alone. Danglars is shamed into letting him keep the bonds. The Count points out that it will not matter how he pays the charity. As the Count is leaving, M de Boville arrives, for whom the bonds were made out. He is looking forward to helping widows and orphans with the money. The Count greets him on his way out. Danglars explains that the Count took the bonds against his line of credit, and that Boville will have to wait a day, even two, since it will look strange if he withdraws 10 million on the one day, alone. Danglars shows Boville the Count’s receipt. Boville is impressed by the Count’s wealth and his reputed charitable donations. He thinks to visit him later for a donation, and present the example of the Morcerfs to him. He tells Danglars that the Morcerfs have donated all their wealth to his charity, owing to the infamy of its provenance. Albert is joining the army and his mother is retiring to the countryside. Boville tells Danglars that he needs the money he would have received from the bonds by 2pm the next day. Danglars assures him he will get it, although at first he offers him the Count’s receipt, suggesting he could draw on that for a small fee. Boville rejects the idea, so Danglars assures him he will get his money the next day. Boville asks if Danglars is going to Valentine de Villefort’s funeral. He says no, because he feels embarrassed over the affair of the wedding. He says Eugenie is going into a nunnery as a result of it. When Boville leaves, Danglars burns some papers, takes 50,000 francs and writes his wife a letter. He intends to flee before he has to pay the money he has promised.
M. de Villefort, Lucien Debray, Chateau-Renaud, Beauchamp, Count of Monte Cristo, Maximilian Morrel, Julie, Emmanuel (husband to Julie and Maximilian’s brother)
The funeral procession makes its way out of Paris to the Cemetery of Pere-la-Chaise. Villefort has a family vault for the Saint-Meran and Villeforts where Valentine will be interred. Many younger people walk and express shock at Valentine’s death. The Count’s carriage pulls up and he gets out to walk as well. He is looking for Maximilian. He sees Maximilian among nearby trees. The Count tries to ascertain whether Maximilian has a weapon. Chateau-Renaud, Beauchamp and Lucien Debray notice Maximilian and wonder why he is there. They don’t know of his connection to Valentine, except that they remember he danced with her at the Morcerf ball. They see that he looks pale and agitated.
After the funeral everyone disperses and Maximilian approaches the tomb. He begins to pray but is interrupted by the Count. Maximilian says he wishes to pray alone and refuses a lift back to Paris. When he is done praying, he turns back to Paris. The Count follows him on foot. Maximilian returns home. The Count is admitted after him by Julie. He tells her that he has something urgent to tell Maximilian and runs up the stairs to his room. The door is locked and the curtains are drawn. The Count, fearful that a knock will result in Maximilian killing himself, pretends to stumble and breaks the window glass with his elbow. He then pushes back the curtain inside. He sees that Maximilian is writing at a table which has two pistols set upon it. The Count puts his arms through the broken window, opens the door and enters the room. He now speaks honestly and tells Maximilian that he fears Maximilian will kill himself. Maximilian says he is just writing before going on a journey. But the Count snatches the paper from the desk, which turns out to be a suicide note. Maximilian is angry at the Count. Maximilian says he has nothing to live for and that the Count has made him false promises. He is determined to kill himself and makes a lunge for the pistols. The Count prevents him and says he will not allow it. Maximilian asks rhetorically who the Count is to assume he can do this. The Count reveals himself to be Edmond Dantes, the same man who saved Maximilian’s father and sent the purse to their family. Maximilian rushes out the door and holds it shut while he calls out that the Count is their benefactor. The Count gets out of the room before Maximilian says his name. Julie rushes downstairs to retrieve the purse the Count once sent them. Emmanuel expresses his amazement that the Count kept the secret from them for so long. They are grateful to him. The Count tells Emmanuel to watch over Maximilian. Emmanuel sees the pistols. Julie returns with the purse. The Count asks if he may have the purse returned, so that they may now remember him for his good deed, alone. Julie is reluctant, since she knows he will one day leave them. The Count confirms that he intends to leave Paris within the week. He lets the matter of the purse drop, but asks to be left alone with Maximilian.
Maximilian assures the Count that he will no longer try to shoot himself. But he will die of grief, instead. The Count counsels him, citing his own despair and thoughts of suicide, as well as his father’s desire to take his own life. He says that hope remains. Even though Maximilian is distraught at the loss of Valentine, the Count tells him, he will one day thank the Count for sparing his life. Maximilian cannot imagine life without Valentine, but the Count again urges him to hope. The Count says that within a week they will leave France together. Maximilian is contemptuous of his plan – that a change of scenery can make things better – but the Count says he is confident that he can cure Maximilian, even that he might work a miracle. The Count asks Maximilian to wait a month. At the end of a month, if Maximilian does not feel that he is cured, the Count will supply him pistols and poison and not try to stop him committing suicide. He points out that this day is the 5th of September, ten years since he saved his father’s life. Maximilian promises not to kill himself before then. The Count says Maximilian must come to live with him. He can stay in Haidee’s apartment. Haidee has departed and awaits the Count to join her.
Mme Danglars, Lucien Debray, Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes), Albert de Morcerf, Count of Monte Cristo (‘a man’),
Mme Danglars and Lucien Debray have an apartment on Rue Saint-Germain-des-Pres, the same building where Albert de Morcerf has housed his mother. Mme Danglars and Debray have been discreetly conducting their affair in a second floor apartment in the building. The day after the Count spoke to Danglars, Mme Danglars arrives at the apartment and tells Debray that Danglars has left her. She shows Debray her husband’s letter. In it, Danglars tells her of the extra 5 million he was called upon to lend that day and how that has helped to make up his mind to leave. He does not know what has happened to all his money, but he intimates that he believes Mme Danglars knows. He believes that despite his impending bankruptcy, she is still rich. He implies knowledge of her affair with Debray. He says he leaves her as he found her, rich, but not respected. Mme Danglars is obviously hoping that when Debray reads this he will commit himself to her. But he remains detached, and instead advises her to travel. He explains that if she remains in Paris with money as the wife of a bankrupt, it will not look good. If she stays only two weeks before leaving, she will gain sympathy, but after that, no-one will know her financial situation. He turns to their accounts from 6 months of investing together and does an audit. While Mme Danglars is hopeful of a romantic response, Debray has all the passion of a bored accountant. He gives her certificates, bonds, cheques and cash amounting to about 1,500,000 francs. She puts these in her handbag. He explains this capital should bring her about 60,000 livre a year, but he says she can borrow from him if she ever needs to. Mme Danglars leaves the apartment, upset, but without a word, not even a goodbye. Debray adjusts his records for the money he has paid Mme Danglars and then considers his own fortune. He regrets the death of Valentine whom he would have loved to have married.
Mercedes and Albert de Morcerf are in the apartment directly above. This apartment is poorly maintained and cheaply decorated by the landlord. There is no fire to warm the room. Mercedes remembers simpler times with the Catalans in her fishing village when they had little but were happy. Albert reminds Mercedes of 3000 francs buried in the garden of the house at Allees de Meillan, Marseilles. He hopes to be able to use that money to build them a future. He does an account of the journey and determines that with 200 francs they can reach Marseilles. He has already sold some personal possessions and has 250 francs. He also has 1000 francs in a pocketbook which he received for selling himself as a substitute for another soldier in Africa. He will receive a further 1000 francs for his service in a year’s time. Mercedes worries that he will be killed, but he brushes it aside and says he chose his regiment for the great uniform. He says that with 4000 francs, she has enough money to live for 2 years. He intends to make officer in 6 months, which would give them security. If he is killed in the attempt, he acknowledges Mercedes may then be free to die. She sees no purpose in her life and this is desirable to her, anyway.
They leave the apartment and run into Debray on the stairs. He acknowledges Albert and says he would be willing to assist him. Albert rejects the offer and says they have plenty of money – 5000 francs – after they leave Paris. Debray reflects in his mind the difference between them and Mme Danglars who seemed discontented with her 1,500,000. The next day, Mercedes leaves for Marseilles. ‘A man’ watches her leave and wonders how he can restore the happiness to her that he has taken away.
Andrea (Benedetto), Bertuccio
Gaol Keeper, prisoners
Andrea has been imprisoned in the court of Saint-Bernard, otherwise known as the ‘Lion’s Den’, a prison division within the main prison of La Force. When Andrea arrives other prisoners comment on his clothes, his youth and haughty appearance. His clothes are clean and expensive, but the gaolers have deliberately torn them. Andrea asks a gaol keeper for a loan of 20 francs so he can buy a dressing gown to keep warm. He says he has rich relations and he will get his money back. The prisoners mock him and say he is obviously a gentleman. The gaoler tells them they can lend Andrea the money, but Andrea refuses to acknowledge himself as their comrade. The prisoners prepare to hurt him with cruel games, but they stop when Andrea gives them a secret signal taught to him by Caderousse. They back off. The keeper tries to work out why this has happened and begins examining Andrea’s hands, when there is a call for ‘Benedetto’ by the inspector, to be taken to the visitor’s room. This timely call convinces Andrea that he has a mysterious protector who will work to soon get him out. Bertuccio awaits him in the visitors’ room with an order that they be taken to a private room for their interview. This again reinforces Andrea’s belief in his protector. They go to the room. Bertuccio repeats Andrea’s crimes to him, but Andrea is not interested in discussing this. He wants to know who sent Bertuccio. Bertuccio says no-one did. When he saw Andrea on a horse in the Champs-Élysées, he recognised him. He is implying that he came of his own accord. Andrea wants to talk about the identity of his father. Bertuccio reminds Andrea that he is Andrea’s adopted father. But Andrea wants to talk about the person who raised him in Parisian society: the Count of Monte Cristo. Bertuccio warns Andrea against speaking of the Count and reminds him that he is in a vulnerable position if he makes trouble. But he agrees to tell Andrea who his real father is. Just at that moment there is an interruption. The examining magistrate has arrived to speak to Andrea. Bertuccio promises to come the next day to talk and will leave some money for Andrea at the gate to help meet his needs in prison.
M. de Villefort, Mme de Villefort, M. Noirtier, Edward,
M. Noirtier seems calm after the night he spent with Abbe Busoni. Villefort has mostly secluded himself in his room since then, preparing for the trial against Andrea/Benedetto. All the servants in the house have been replaced with new servants. Villefort has only seen Noirtier once since Valentine’s death. Villefort was in the garden and saw the old man looking out a window, staring intently with hatred at a place in the garden. Villefort realised he was staring at Mme de Villefort. She was playing with Edward. Noirtier then turned a judgmental eye upon Villefort. Villefort said to Noirtier through the window that he had only to wait one day more and then he would do what he said he would do.
The next day, Villefort anticipates the opening of the assizes, saying to himself, “justice must strike wherever there is guilt.” A valet bring him a hot chocolate, sent from his wife. He considers that he would rather die than do what he has to do, and he drinks the chocolate. It is not poisoned. Mme de Villefort sends word that she wishes to go to the trial that afternoon. Villefort goes to her room, orders Edward out and then demands to know where she keeps her poison hidden, used to kill members of the family. She does not answer. Villefort tells her how he came to realise she was a poisoner and that he now speaks as a judge, not as a husband. He wonders whether she has poison left for herself, because she will not escape hanging, otherwise. She is confused and upset. He makes it clear. He does not want her hanged because the trial and execution would bring disgrace upon him and Edward. He demands to know where the poison is. She begs for her life. He says if he finds her alive upon his return from the court he will arrest her and send her to prison. He says farewell and double locks the door against her. She faints.
Beauchamp, Lucien Debray, Chateau-Renaud, Mme Danglars (?)
Paris is highly interested in the trial of Andrea/Benedetto. Many assume his professed identity is essentially true and are still sympathetic to him. Some believe him to be the victim of a fallible legal system, others that there is a conspiracy against him, since it is not unheard of for the wealthy to be the victims of malicious campaigns. Lucien Debray, Beauchamp and Chateau-Renaud are in the court, waiting for proceedings to start. Debray expects Benedetto to be condemned. He doesn’t think Benedetto is as clever as people think. Beauchamp says he thought Benedetto played the part of a prince well. Debray says he knew Benedetto was no prince, since he knows a gentleman by instinct alone. Beauchamp says he hasn’t been able to speak to M. de Villefort, since he has been secluded. At that moment, he sees a woman in court whom he takes to be M. Danglars. He is amazed, since her daughter ran off ten days before and her husband was declared bankrupt only three days before. But the woman is veiled and he can’t be sure. Beauchamp wonders why Mme de Villefort is not in the court. Chateau-Renaud says he hates her. He isn’t sure why. Debray suggests it is instinctive. Beauchamp says he has heard there is an assassin in the Villefort household. He has heard from terrified servants that the assassin is the boy, Edward. He acquired some poison from his mother’s laboratory and has poisoned those who displease him or try to discipline him. He is said to have poisoned Valentine out of jealousy. Chateau-Renaud does not believe it. Beauchamp notices that the Count is also not present. Debray says he is tired, has been embarrassed because he was duped by Cavalcanti, and besides, is ‘an actor in the drama’, since the break-in and murder was at his residence. Beauchamp asks after Maximilian Morrel. Chateau-Renaud says he has not been seen for three days but is believed to be well. At the front of the court the bloodied waste coat worn by Benedetto that held the letter sits as a court exhibit. The court is called to session.
M. de Villefort, Andrea/Benedetto, Beauchamp, Lucien Debray, Chateau-Renaud, Mme Danglars
Judge, Sergeant at Arms
Andrea is led into court and Villefort reads the indictment against him. Then the judge asks for Andrea’s full name. Andrea asks for indulgence to answer this question in a different order, or he will not speak. So the judge moves on. He asks for Andrea’s age: 21 years old, he answers. Birthplace: Auteuil. Profession: Andrea says he was first a forger, then a thief, and lately has become an assassin. At this point Villefort acts strangely. He stands momentarily and wipes his brow as though fevered. When Andrea asks if he looks for something, Villefort sits back down. The judge now demands Andrea’s name. He is critical of Andrea for withholding it, as though it were a point of honour he wishes to precede with his crimes. Andrea agrees this is so, but says he doesn’t know his own name. He only knows the name of his father. He tells the court that the chief procurer, M de Villefort, is his father. The court erupts. Villefort sits bowed. Some people rush to console him. A woman faints and has to be revived with smelling salts. When the court settles, Andrea says he did not mean to disturb the court; that he was merely answering its questions. He assures the court he can prove his claim of paternity. He tells the court that he was born 27 September 1817 at 28 Rue de la Fontaine. He describes how his father told his mother that he was dead, and then buried him alive in the garden. He then tells how a man wishing for revenge stabbed Villefort and dug Andrea up, thinking he was buried treasure: how this man took him to the foundling asylum where Andrea was claimed three months later, and then taken to Corsica where he was raised. He realised when he was young that his nature was wicked, but his adopted father told him it was the fault of his real father. Andrea says that his mother thought him dead, so he does not blame her. At this point, the woman who formerly fainted now becomes hysterical and has to be removed from the court. Her veil falls off, revealing her to be Mme Danglars. Villefort is clearly shaken by these revelations. The judge asks for proof. Andrea says that the proof lies in Villefort’s reaction. Villefort admits that everything Andrea says is true. He says he will now be in the hands of whomever is his successor. He leaves the court. Andrea is escorted out by gendarmes. Chateau-Renaud thinks that Morcerf’s end was preferable to this. Debray reflects that he is glad he didn’t try to marry Valentine, and thinks she is probably better off dead. He asks the sergeant at arms what he thinks. The sergeant at arms believes there will be extenuating circumstances.
M. de Villefort, Mme de Villfort, Edward de Villefort, M.Noirtier, Count of Monte Cristo (Abbe Busoni, Edmond Dantes), Maximilian Morrel
The crowd, sensing his grief, parts for Villefort as he leaves. He returns to his carriage and tells his driver to take him home. He finds Mme de Villefort’s fan on the seat and is reminded that he demanded she kill herself. Even now she may be preparing to die. He has a change of heart. He now feels he has corrupted her with his own crime, and that she only acted in the interest of their son. While people know what happened in their house, her criminality is not public and the matter will eventually be forgotten. And anyone who pursues the matter, he decides, he will kill. So, he decides that he and his family will flee Paris together.
When he arrives home he passes M.Noirtier’s room and notes that someone is with him. Villefort goes to his wife’s room but she is not there. Edward’s room is locked and no-one answers, so he breaks open the door. Mme de Villefort stands before him. She looks pale and sickly. She says it is done, and then collapses in front of him. She is dead. Villefort looks for Edward. A servant says the boy was sent to his mother’s room. He returns to his wife’s room and sees his son, apparently asleep, on the sofa. But when he tries to wake the boy he realises he is also dead. When he moves the body a paper falls from his arms. The note says that Mme de Villefort had been a good mother and became a criminal for the boy. But she cannot leave without him. Villefort cries out “Still the hand of God.”
Villefort returns to Noirtier’s room and finds the Abbe Busoni talking to Noirtier. Villefort questions why the Abbe is there. The Abbe says he has finished praying for Valentine. Now he will pray for Villefort. Villefort realises the Abbe does not speak in his own voice. The Abbe removes his disguise to reveal the Count. But he also denies being the Count, and tells Villefort that he first heard his voice 23 years ago on his wedding day. Villefort realises the Count is an enemy, and that he must have done something that has caused him to seek revenge. The Count reveals himself to be Edmond Dantes. Villefort drags the Count upstairs where he shows him the bodies of his wife and son. The Count is anguished at the sight of Edward. He checks his pulse, looks into his eyes and then snatches the body. He takes it to Valentine’s room and locks the door. Meanwhile, Villefort stands, staring, his mind going. He runs downstairs. Half an hour later the Count emerges from Valentine’s room. He has failed to revive the boy. He places the boy’s body next to his mother’s. The Count finds Villefort in the garden, surrounded by servants, digging one hole after the other, his mind clearly gone, looking for his son. The Count is moved and now questions his own right to this vengeance which he clearly feels has gone too far. He decides there is one more person to try to save. He returns to the Morrel’s place and tells Maximilian that they will leave the next day. The next day they leave with Baptistin. Haidee has already gone with Ali. Bertuccio remains in Paris with Noirtier.
Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond Dantes), Maximilian Morrel, Emmanuel Morrel, Julie, Ali, Mme de Morcerf (Mercedes), Albert de Morcerf
Maximilian discusses recent events with Emmanuel and Julie. Julie thinks that what has happened to the Morcerfs, Danglars and Villeforts is like a story where a wicked fairy has brought vengeance to all. Emmanuel thinks that the Supreme Being would have determined there was nothing good in their past lives for this to have happened. Julie thinks this judgement is rash and reminds him of their father’s fate. He had been about to suicide but he was stopped. Emmanuel says that was because the Supreme Being sent someone to stop him.
The Count arrives to collect Maximilian. He tells Emmanuel and Julie that he and Maximilian are going to Marseilles. They are distraught at suddenly hearing this. The Count says he intends to cure Maximilian of his melancholy. Maximilian says they are heading to Italy and that he has agreed to place himself under the Count’s orders for a month. Julie tries to thank the Count for all he has done for them. The Count discourages her, saying he has already received thanks enough. The Count says he may not see them again. He leaves with Maximilian.
They meet Ali outside who has just returned from seeing M.Noirtier after delivering a letter from the Count. Ali says that Noirtier agreed with the terms in the letter. They leave in the Count’s carriage but stop on the road on a hill overlooking Paris. The Count looks across the city for the last time and reflects that his mission, watched over by God, is now over. Maximilian says he regrets leaving Paris where Valentine’s body now resides. The Count admonishes him. He says that those we love reside in our hearts. Only weak minds allow storm clouds to overcome them. For stronger minds “the soul forms its own horizons.”
The next morning they take the Count’s steamboat to Marseilles. When they arrive, Maximilian reflects that this is the port where his father brought the Pharon. They hear the loud cries of a woman’s grief and Maximilian recognises Albert de Morcert in a lieutenant’s uniform boarding a ship for Algiers. The Count leaves Maximilian and heads to his old house at Allees de Meillan, where he was known as Edmond Dantes. He has now given the house to Mme de Morcerf – Mercedes – for her use. She has already retrieved the money hidden there. The Count follows Mercedes from a distance back to the house from the port. He enters and finds her in the garden. He offers her consolation. He says that Albert would have been burdened by his life if he had found no purpose. Mercedes thanks the Count for bringing her back to the house. The Count says he does not deserve thanks since he is the cause of her misfortune. She says she does not hate him, but blames herself. When she thought Edmond dead she lacked courage, while Edmond kept his faith and trusted in God. She is aged beyond her years while Edmond remains young. She feels abandoned by God. She says she has pointlessly mourned for Edmond for years, she failed to support her husband when he became a traitor for her sake, and now she has said goodbye to her son. The Count tells her to steel herself for the future. He says that he was overcome by adversity, but God’s providence gave him the means to achieve justice, and the will and the character to become everything he needed to succeed. He intimates that he became God’s instrument. Mercedes says that she, alone, recognised him, and feels she understands him and what drove him. She believes him to be good. But now there is a gulf between them, like the gulf of time between the present and the long-ago past. And she lives between two great losses: the death of the Edmond Dantes she knew, and the death of her husband. The Count assures her that he will ensure Albert finds happiness, and says she needn’t have given all the money back, since at least half was hers due to her vigilance and economy. She understands that he means to offer her money, but refuses. He asks whether she, would accept the money if Albert were to accept it on her behalf. She says she would, but feels no power now, to act independently. The Count asks will they see each other again. Mercedes says they will meet again in heaven as a morbid sign that she still holds hope for herself. The Count leaves. Mercedes watches her son’s ship leaving port from the window while repeating the Count’s name over and over.
Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond Dantes), Maximilian Morrel
After he leaves Mercedes, the Count is wracked by self-doubt over the death of Edward. His mind mulls over the past. He wonders whether his course of action was justified and if he might have made an error in his planning. He returns to Rue de la Caisserie where guards took him 24 years before. He goes to the quay at Rue Saint-Laurent and hires a boat to take him back to the island of Chateau d’If. The prison is now decommissioned. Only one guard remains to prevent smuggling. The guard is happy to show the Count about. They come upon the Count’s old cell, and the guard tells the Count the story of Abbe Faria and a young prisoner who secretly communicated and had a tunnel between their cells. He tells how the young prisoner tried to escape after Faria died by swapping places with him. The guard believes the prisoner would have died from being thrown in the ocean. The prisoner is only known to him as No.34. The Count asks to also see Faria’s cell. The guard leaves the Count in the dark of his old cell while he goes to fetch the key. Now, he fully recalls the experience of his own imprisonment, during which time he worried about his father and held hopes for Mercedes. He recalls how he worried about losing his mind. The guard returns and shows him Faria’s cell. The guard speculates that the prisoners must have communicated for up to ten years. He expresses genuine pity for them. The Count gives him 2 gold pieces and insists he keep them. The guard is so pleased he tells the Count how he searched the cell and found a rope ladder (which he sold as a curiosity) and a book written by Faria on strips of cloth. He leaves Count while he retrieves it. Meanwhile, the Count prays to Faria at his bedside for a sign that will remove doubt about his course of action. The guard returns with Faria’s ‘book’. The Count reads the epigraph – “Thou shalt tear out the dragon’s teeth, and shall trample the lions underfoot, saith the Lord.” – and takes this as the sign he sought. He gives the guard a pocketbook with 10,000 francs, which he is not to open until the Count is gone.
The Count returns to the boat with renewed confidence. He is taken back to Marseilles. He goes to the cemetery where he finds Maximilian brooding over some graves. The Count says he needs to leave Maximilian for a while, but presses Maximilian to remember his promise not to kill himself. Maximilian is morose and inclined not to keep the promise. The Count says he knows of another who was unhappier than Maximilian, who managed to find happiness. Maximilian finds this hard to believe. “It is the infirmity of our nature always to believe ourselves much more unhappy than those who groan by our sides” the Count tells Maximillian. He briefly recounts his own story, without revealing that it is about him: of a man wrongly imprisoned for 14 years; how he lost his father and could not find his grave; how the woman he loved married one of his prosecutors. Maximilian sees that this man was more unfortunate than himself. The Count tells him to meet him at the island of Monte Cristo on the 5th of October, where their deal will end. The Count will either give him reason to live, or allow him to kill himself. Maximilian agrees to keep his word. The Count must now leave for Italy, he tells Maximilian. Within an hour he is on a steamer sailing away.
M. Danglars, Peppino, Pastrini, Luigi Vampa
M. Danglars enters Italy via Aquapendente. When he arrives in Rome he heads for Thomason & French. Peppino brings Danglars into the bank and informs the clerk that Danglars has come to withdraw money: five or six million on the receipt of the Count of Monte Cristo. Danglars is next provided with a coach and taken to Pastrini’s. The next day Danglars is delayed, waiting for his horse and carriage to be readied, and is unable to leave until 2pm. He intends to head for Venice. As he travels he reflects upon his wife, daughter and creditors, whose money he intends to spend, and his own good fortune, despite his bankruptcy. Night falls as they travel and Danglars anticipates a horse change. But when they stop for fresh horses, they are not in a town but outside some ruins. He is astonished when he is rudely pushed back into the carriage when he tries to emerge. They take off again. He tries to speak to the driver, to find out where he is being taken, but the driver does not speak French. As the moon arises he sees that a rider flanks the coach, either side. Danglars fears that he has been placed under arrest. As he watches the landscape pass he thinks he is being returned to Rome, but the vehicle then takes another route, and Danglars then begins to wonder whether he has been captured by bandits. He recalls details told to him by Albert de Morcerf of his own experience of being captured by Italian bandits. When the carriage stops he is confronted by several men and then led through paths by Peppino. They reach an encampment where Danglars is introduced to Luigi Vampa. Vampa instructs Peppino to take Danglars to his bed. Danglars understands this to mean he will be killed, but Peppino takes him to a cell that has a real bed. Danglars is relieved. Again, he remembers Albert de Morcerf’s stories, and imagines that this might be the very cell where Albert was held. It gives Danglars hope. Albert was ransomed for 4000 crowns. Believing himself to be more important than Albert, Danglars figures he might be ransomed for as much as 8000 crowns, but that would leave him with 5,050,000 francs, which would be enough to live on. Having reassured himself, Danglars manages to fall asleep.
M. Danglars, Peppino
Danglars awakes. Upon looking at his cell in the light of day he is convinced he is in the hands of the same bandits who kidnapped Albert de Morcerf. He checks his pockets and is relieved to find he has not been robbed while asleep. He still has a hundred louis in his pocket and the letter of credit for 5,050,000 francs. The day passes with various changes of guard outside his cell. As the hours pass Danglars is increasingly aware of his hunger, especially when a guard eats outside his cell. Danglars tries unsuccessfully to be given food from the man who appears not to understand him. Late in the day, Peppino begins his guard duty and prepares some food in front of Danglars. Danglars says he hasn’t eaten in twenty-four hours and asks for some food. Peppino says he can have whatever he wants. Danglars asks for a fowl and it is immediately brought to him. But Peppino says Danglars must pay before he eats. Danglars gives him a louis. Peppino says he still owes him 4,999 louis for the fowl. Danglars gives him another louis, but then refuses to pay any more money and the fowl is taken away. After another half an hour Danglars demands to know what is wanted of him. Peppino says that it is for Danglars to tell them what he wants and it will be given to him. He asks for some dry bread, reasoning to himself that it will be cheaper than the fowl. The bread is brought to him, but Peppino says he still owes 4,998 louis. No matter what Danglars asks to eat, that will be the price. Danglars says it is ridiculous to expect he has so much money on him, but Peppino reveals he knows about the letter of credit in his pocket. He says if Danglars gives him a draft for 4988 for the bank of Thomason and French, he can have the fowl. Danglars writes and signs the draft. Peppino gives him the fowl.
M. Danglars, Peppino, Luigi Vampa, Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond Dantes)
The next day Danglars plans not to spend any more money. He has saved half his fowl to eat. But he becomes thirsty and soon learns that either wine or water will only be supplied at an exorbitant price: 25,000 franc a bottle. Danglars demands to see the master. Vampa comes and confirms he is the chief. He tells Danglars that he can be ransomed for 5,000,000 francs. Danglars says that is all he has left and that they may as well kill him. Vampa says they are forbidden to kill him by another they obey. Vampa confirms that this other person has told them to treat Danglars this way. Danglars tries to negotiate a price for his release, but Vampa will not negotiate. Danglars says he would rather die than hand over all his money. Two days later his resolution breaks and he offers a million francs for some food. His line of credit lasts him twelve days, leaving him only 50,000 francs remaining. He becomes stubborn and begins to starve himself again rather than give over the last of his money. Another four days pass and he offers Peppino 1000 francs for some bread. Peppino ignores him. On the fifth day Danglars calls for Vampa. Danglars offers the rest of his money and asks only to be allowed to live with them. He says he has suffered cruelly. Vampa says others have suffered more; those who die of hunger. A voice behind Vampa asks if Danglars repents. The man is dressed in a cloak. Danglars says he repents. The man in the cloak forgives him and reveals himself. Danglars recognises the Count of Monte Cristo, but the Count tells him that he is really Edmond Dantes. He lists Danglars crimes against him: how Danglars sold and dishonoured him; how Danglar’s made his fortune from Edmond’s misery; how Danglar’s condemned his father to die of hunger and left Edmond to starve in prison. But the Count forgives Danglars. He says the 5,000,000 francs have been restored to the hospitals it was meant for. But he says Danglars can keep the 50,000 francs. The Count tells Vampa to let Danglars go after he has been fed. When Danglars is released on a road he waits until morning, not knowing where he is. When daylight comes he sees a stream and goes to it to drink. He sees in the water that his hair has turned entirely white.
Count of Monte Cristo (Edmond Dantes), Maximilian Morrel, Valentine de Villefort, Haidee, Jacabo (Now a yacht captain)
Maximilian arrives at the isle of Monte Cristo on the morning of 5th of October, as agreed upon with the Count. He meets the Count upon arrival and notes that the Count is visibly happier than he has seen him in the past. Maximilian is glad of this as he believes the Count’s mood will make it easier for him to allow Maximilian to die. The Count asks whether, after a month of waiting, if Maximilian is truly so much in grief still that he wishes to die, or is he just tired and worn out by waiting in hope. Maximilian says he has merely extended his suffering for another month by waiting. He admits that the Count instilled some sense of hope in him, but he never knew what it was he had to hope for. Maximilian says he has come to the island to die, as their agreement allows. He says that he could not do it in Julie’s presence, and Emmanuel would try to stop him. There is still three hours before the allotted time at midday before Maximilian is allowed to take his life, so the Count takes him back to his residence at the grotto. The surroundings are sumptuous. Maximilian says he always thought the Count was from a wiser, more advanced world. The Count says he is: from a world of grief. The Count says that death is either a benevolent release from suffering, or else a violent tearing of the soul from the body. He admits that he now longs for a peaceful death. Maximilian asks if the Count has brought him to the island to give him a peaceful death. The Count says yes. The Count asks Maximilian if he regrets anything. Maximilian says no. The Count asks if Maximilian regrets him, meaning to die and leave him. Maximilian does not answer. The Count suggests he should not leave the world if he has any regrets. In the Count’s mind, unspoken to Maximilian, he sees saving Maximilian as a counterbalance to the evils he has performed. But he wonders whether Maximilian has been unhappy enough to truly merit happiness. The Count begs Maximilian to live and offers him his own fortune – over a hundred million. But Maximilian is resolute. It is 11:30am. The Count unlocks a box and offers Maximilian a substance on a spoon. He then takes another spoon of the substance for himself. But Maximilian stays the Count’s hand – the Count should not take his own life – and then Maximilian quickly consumes the substance. He begins to lose consciousness. He believes he is dying. Before Maximilian totally loses consciousness, a door opens and he sees the figure of Valentine. He believes this is a vision of heaven opening. When Maximilian is unconscious the Count takes Valentine’s hand. He tells her he has saved both her and Maximilian and now they can be happy together. The Count says he feels that his saving them is an atonement to God. He hopes Valentine will reinforce this belief by showing her gratitude. Valentine says that if he doubts her gratitude, he should ask Haidee, whom she now calls ‘sister’. The Count is pleased that Valentine calls Haidee sister, and says he hopes she will acknowledge Haidee as such in public. He says he will be gone by tomorrow and Haidee will have her freedom once again. Haidee has entered the room to hear this. The Count asks Haidee to forget his name and be happy. While Haidee is obedient, Valentine points out that Haidee is clearly unhappy about this. Haidee admits that she loves her life with the Count and that she loves him. This changes everything for the Count. He feels that God has granted him happiness as his ending, rather than the suffering he anticipated. Haidee and the Count leave, while Valentine continues to wait by Maximilian’s side. In an hour, signs of life return to Maximilian and he awakes. He feels betrayed by the Count and before he sees Valentine he reaches for a knife to end his own life. Valentine stops him.
The next day, Maximilian and Valentine walk along the beach together. The Captain of the yacht, Jacabo, hands them a letter from the Count. The letter explains that the Count has left them a boat so they can return to France and marry. The Count has left his fortune to Maximilian to share with Valentine. The Count explains the secret of his conduct towards Maximilian:
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyment of living.
In the distance, across the water, they can see the sail of the Count and Haidee’s boat. They wonder if they will ever see them again. They decide that all they can do, as the Count’s letter urges, is ‘Wait and see’.