The Count of Monte Cristo
"The practice of arbitrary imprisonments have been,
in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny." -
Alexander Hamilton"It drives me to despair," said
"Do you, then, love
"As long as I have known her - always."
"And you sit there, tearing your hair, instead of seeking to remedy
your condition; I did not think that was the way of your people."
would you have me do?" said Fernand.
"How do I know? Is it my affair? I
am not in love with Mademoiselle
Mercedes; but for you, in
the words of the gospel,
seek, and you shall find."
"I have found already. Pen, ink, and paper,"
"The honorable, the king's
attorney, is informed by a
friend of the throne and religion, that one Edmond Dantes, mate of the ship
Pharaon, arrived this morning
from Smyrna, after having touched at Naples and Porto-Ferrajo, has been
intrusted by Murat with a letter for the usurper, and by the usurper with a
letter for the Bonapartist committee in Paris.
Proof of this crime will
be found on arresting him, for the letter will be found upon him, or at his
father's, or in his cabin on board the Pharaon."
"No; captivity has
subdued me - I have been here so long."
"So long? - when were you
arrested, then?" asked the inspector.
"The 28th of February, 1815, at
half past two in the afternoon."
"Today is the 30th of July, 1816. Why
it is but seventeen months."
"Only seventeen months," replied Edmond
"Oh, you do not know what is seventeen months in prison! -
seventeen ages rather, especially to a man who, like me, had arrived at the
summit of his ambition - to a man, who, like me, was on the point of marrying a
woman he adored, who saw an honorable career opened before him, and who loses
all in an instant - who sees his prospects destroyed, and is
ignorant of the fate of his affianced wife, and
whether his aged father be still living!
Seventeen months captivity to
a sailor accustomed to the boundless ocean, is
a worse punishment than human
crime ever merited.
Have pity on me, then, and ask for me, not
intelligence, but a trial; not
pardon, but a verdict - a trial, sir, I
ask only for a trial; that, surely, cannot be denied to one who is
after escaping "Yes, monsieur, I believe so; for until now, no man has found
himself in a position similar to mine. The dominions of kings are limited
either by mountains or rivers, or a change of manners, or an alteration of
My kingdom is bounded only by the limits of the Earth, for I
am not an Italian, or a Frenchman, or a
Hindu, or an American, or a
Spaniard - I am a cosmopolite.
No country can say it saw my birth.
God alone knows what country will see me die.
I adopt all
customs, speak all languages.
You believe me to be a Frenchman, for I
speak French with the same facility and purity as yourself.
Nubian, believes me to be an Arab.
Bertuccio, my steward, takes me for
Haidee, my slave, thinks me a Greek.
therefore, comprehend, that being
of no country, asking no protection from any government, acknowledging no man
as my brother, not one of the scruples that arrest the powerful, or
the obstacles which
paralyze the weak, paralyzes or
I have only two adversaries - I will
not say two conquerors, for with perseverance I subdue
even them, - they are time and
There is a
third, the most terrible - that is my condition as a mortal being.
This alone can stop me in my onward career, before I
have attained the goal at which I aim, for all the
rest I have reduced to mathematical
What men call the
chances of fate - namely, ruin, change, circumstances -
I have fully anticipated, and
if any of these should overtake me,
yet it will not overwhelm
"I say, sir, that with the your eyes fixed on the social
organization of nations, you see only the springs of
the machine, and lose sight of
the sublime workman who makes them act.
I say that
you do not recognize before you and around you
any but those office holders whose commissions have been signed by a minister
or king; and that the
men whom God has put above those office holders, ministers, and kings, by
giving them a mission to follow out,
instead of a post to fill - I
say that they escape your
limited field of
"I am he whom
you sold and dishonored -
I am he whose betrothed you prostituted -
I am he upon whom you
trampled that you might
raise yourself to fortune -
I am he whose father you condemned to
die of hunger -
I am he whom you also condemned to starvation, and
who yet forgives you,
because he hopes to be forgiven -
I am Edmond
"Live, then, and be happy,
beloved children of my heart, and never forget that until
the day when God shall deign to reveal the
future to man, all human wisdom
is summed up in these two words, -
Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo
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