Frascati: vinho branco italiano, procedente da região de mesmo nome
mazzolata: também mazzatello. Punição capital extremamente cruel empregada pela Igreja no século XVIII. A arma usada pelo carrasco era um enorme martelo ou um machado. O executor, no caso da 1ª arma, embalava a arma para pegar impulso no único golpe que desferia e acertava na cabeça do condenado, que se não morria caía desmaiado no chão e depois tinha a garganta cortada. Reservado a crimes hediondos.
singlestick: foi modalidade olímpica em 1904
“I have a partner, and you know the Italian proverb – Chi ha compagno ha padrone – <He who has a partner has a master.>”
“<but you were right to return as soon as possible, my boy.>
<Because Mercedes is a very fine girl, and fine girls never lack followers; she particularly has them by dozens.>
<Really?> answered Edmond, with a smile which had in it traces of slight uneasiness.”
“Believe me, to seek a quarrel with a man is a bad method of pleasing the woman who loves that man.”
“Why, when a man has friends, they are not only to offer him a glass of wine, but moreover, to prevent his suwallowing 3 or 4 pints [2 litros] of water unnecessarily!”
“<Well, Fernand, I must say,> said Caderousse, beginning the conversation, with that brutality of the common people in which curiosity destroys all diplomacy, <you look uncommonly like a rejected lover;> and he burst into a hoarse laugh”
“<they told me the Catalans were not men to allow themselves to be supplanted by a rival. It was even told me that Fernand, especially, was terrible in his vengeance.>
Fernand smiled piteously. <A lover is never terrible,> he said.”
“pricked by Danglars, as the bull is pricked by the bandilleros”
“<Unquestionably, Edmond’s star is in the ascendant, and he will marry the splendid girl – he will be captain, too, and laugh at us all unless.> – a sinister smile passed over Danglars’ lips – <unless I take a hand in the affair,> he added.”
“happiness blinds, I think, more than pride.”
“That is not my name, and in my country it bodes ill fortune, they say, to call a young girl by the name of her betrothed, before he becomes her husband. So call me Mercedes if you please.”
“We are always in a hurry to be happy, Mr. Danglars; for when we have suffered a long time, we have great difficulty in believing in good fortune.”
“<I would stab the man, but the woman told me that if any misfortune happened to her betrothed, she would kill herself>
<Pooh! Women say those things, but never do them.>”
“<you are 3 parts drunk; finish the bottle, and you will be completely so. Drink then, and do not meddle with what we are discussing, for that requires all one’s wit and cool judgement.>
<I – drunk!> said Caderousse; <well that’s a good one! I could drink four more such bottles; they are no bigger than cologne flanks. Pere Pamphile, more wine!>”
and Caderousse rattled his glass upon the table.”
“Drunk, if you like; so much the worse for those who fear wine, for it is because they have bad thoughts which they are afraid the liquor will extract from their hears;”
“Tous les mechants sont beuveurs d’eau; C’est bien prouvé par le deluge.”
“Say there is no need why Dantes should die; it would, indeed, be a pity he should. Dantes is a good fellow; I like Dantes. Dantes, your health.”
“<Absence severs as well as death, and if the walls of a prison were between Edmond and Mercedes they would be as effectually separated as if he lay under a tombstone.>
<Yes; but one gets out of prison,> said Caderousse, who, with what sense was left him, listened eagerly to the conversation, <and when one gets out and one’s name is Edmond Dantes, one seeks revenge>-“
“<I say I want to know why they should put Dantes in prison; I like Dantes; Dantes, our health!>
and he swallowed another glass of wine.”
“the French have the superiority over the Spaniards, that the Spaniards ruminate, while the French invent.”
“Yes; I am supercargo; pen, ink, and paper are my tools, and whitout my tools I am fit for nothing.” “I have always had more dread of a pen, a bottle of ink, and a sheet of paper, than of a sword or pistol.”
“<Ah,> sighed Caderousse, <a man cannot always feel happy because he is about to be married.>”
“Joy takes a strange effect at times, it seems to oppress us almost the same as sorrow.”
“<Surely,> answered Danglars, <one cannot be held responsible for every chance arrow shot into the air>
<You can, indeed, when the arrow lights point downward on somebody’s head.>”
“<That I believe!> answered Morrel; <but still he is charged>-
<With what?> inquired the elder Dantes.
<With being an agent of the Bonapartist faction!>
Many of our readers may be able to recollect how formidable such and accusation became in the period at which our story is dated.”
“the man whom 5 years of exile would convert into a martyr, and 15 of restoration elevate to the rank of a god.”
“glasses were elevated in the air à l’Anglais, and the ladies, snatching their bouquets from their fair bossoms, strewed the table with their floral treasures.”
“yes, yes, they could not help admitting that the king, for whom we sacrificed rank, wealth and station was truly our <Louis the well-beloved,> while their wretched usurper has been, and ever wil be, to them their evil genius, their <Napoleon the accursed.>”
“Napoleon is the Mahomet of the West and is worshipped as the personification of equality.”
“one is the quality that elevantes [Napoleon], the other is the equality that degrades [Robespierre]; one brings a king within reach of the guillotine, the other elevates the people to a level with the throne.”
9 Termidor: degolação de Robespierre, num 27/7
4/4/14 – Queda de Napoleão
“<Oh, M. de Villefort,>, cried a beautiful young creature, daughter to the Comte de Salvieux, and the cherished friend of Mademoiselle de Saint-Meran, <do try and get up some famous trial while we are at Marseilles. I never was in a law-cout; I am told it is so very amusing!>
<Amusing, certainly,> replied the young man, <inasmuch as, instead of shedding tears as at a theatre, you behold in a law-court a case of real and genuine distress – a drama of life. The prisoner whom you there see pale, agitated, and alarmed, instead of – as is the case when a curtain falls on a tragedy – going home to sup peacefully with his family, and then retiring to rest, that he may recommence his mimic woes on the morrow, – is reconducted to his prison and delivered up to the executioner. I leave you to judge how far your nerves are calculated to bear you through such a scene. Of this, however, be assured, that sould any favorable apportunity present itself, I will not fail to offer you the choice of being present.>”
“I would not choose to see the man against whom I pleaded smile, as though in mockery of my words. No; my pride is to see the accused pale, agitated and as though beaten out of all composure by the fire of my eloquence.”
“Why, that is the very worst offence they could possibly commit, for, don’t you see, Renée, the king is the father of his people, and he who shall plot or contrive aught against the life and safety of the parent of 32 millions of souls, is a parricide upon a fearfully great scale.>”
“It was, as we have said, the 1st of March, and the prisoner was soon buried in darkness.” 01/03/16
“But remorse is not thus banished; like Virgil’s wounded hero, he carried the arrow in his wound, and, arrived at the salon, Villefort uttered a sigh that was almost a sob, and sank into a chair.”
“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 or 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 total of his own desires. He went to bed at his usual hour, and slept in peace.”
A BARCA DO INFERNO QUE ARCA COM AS CONSEQÜÊNCIAS DO PE(S)CADO
desejos desejados no mar infinito
despojos desejosos de ser entregues aos derrotados
que a maré a leve
para o fundo
proa perdeu o lume
popa nasceu sem gume
mastro adubado de petróleo
apagado e insolente
eu sou experiente, experimente!
um louco que está sempre no lucro
das questões eu chego ao fulcro
por mais que não seja inteligente,
seja só uma compulsão demente
se ver como herdeiro
de uma civilização
legada ao esquecimento
o trem metafísico e seu lote de vagãos pagãos
levando à conclusão
de que o choque é elétrico
nada de milagre nada de intangível
só cobramos e debitamos o crível
“said Louis XVIII, laughing; <the greatest captains of antiquity amused themselves by casting pebbles [seixos] into the ocean – see Plutarch’s Scipio Africanus.>”
“<So then,> he exclaimed, turning pale with anger, <seven conjoined and allied armies overthrew that man. A miracle of heaven replaced me on the throne of my fathers after five-and-twenty years of exile. I have, during those 5-&-20 years, spared no pains to understand the people of France and the interests which were confided to me; and now when I see the fruition of my wishes almost within reach, the power I hold in my hands bursts, and shatters me to atoms!>”
“Really impossible for a minister who has an office, agents, spies, and fifteen hundred thousand [1,5 million] francs for secret service money, to know what is going on at 60 leagues from the coast of France!”
“Why, my dear boy, when a man has been proscribed by the mountaineers, has escaped from Paris in a hay-cart, been hunted over the plains of Bordeaux by Robespierre’s bloodhounds, he becomes accustomed to most things.”
“<Come, come,> said he, <will the Restoration adopt imperial methods so promptly? Shot, my dear boy? What an idea! Where is the letter you speak of? I know you too well to suppose you would allow such a thing to pass you.>”
“Quando a polícia está em débito, ela declara que está na pista; e o governo pacientemente aguarda o dia em que ela vem para dizer, com um ar fugitivo, que perdeu a pista.”
“The king! I thought he was philosopher enough to allow that there was no murder in politics. In politics, my dear fellow, you know, as well as I do, there are no men, but ideas – no feelings, but interests; in politics we do not kill a man, we only remove an obstacle, that is all. Would you like to know how matters have progressed? Well, I will tell you. It was thought reliance might be placed in General Quesnel; he was recommended to us from the Island of Elba; one of us went to him, and visited him to the Rue Saint-Jacques, where he would find some friends. He came there, and the plan was unfolded to him for leaving Elba, the projected landing, etc. When he had heard and comprehended all to the fullest extent, he replied that he was a royalist. Then all looked at each other, – he was made to take an oath, and did so, but with such an ill grace that it was really tempting Providence to swear him, and yet, in spite of that, the general allowed to depart free – perfectly free. Yet he did not return home. What could that mean? why, my dear fellow, that on leaving us he lost his way, that’s all. A murder? really, Villefort, you surprise me.”
<The people will rise.>
<Yes, to go and meet him.>
“Ring, then, if you please, for a second knife, fork, and plate, and we will dine together.”
“<Eh? the thing is simple enough. You who are in power have only the means that money produces – we who are in expectation, have those which devotion prompts.>
<Devotion!> said Villefort, with a sneer.
<Yes, devotion; for that is, I believe, the phrase for hopeful ambition.>
And Villefort’s father extended his hand to the bell-rope to summon the servant whom his son had not called.”
“Say this to him: <Sire, you are deceived as to the feeling in France, as to the opinions of the towns, and the prejudices of the army; he whom in Paris you call the Corsican ogre, who at Nevers is styled the usurper, is already saluted as Bonaparte at Lyons, and emperor at Grenoble. You think he is tracked, pursued, captured; he is advancing as rapidly as his own eagles. The soldiers you believe to be dying with hunger, worn out with fatigue, ready to desert, gather like atoms of snow about the rolling ball as it hastens onward. Sire, go, leave France to its real master, to him who acquired it, not by purchase, but by right of conquest; go, sire, not that you incur any risk, for your adversary is powerful enough to show you mercy, but because it would be humiliating for a grandson of Saint Louis to owe his life to the man of Arcola Marengo, Austerlitz.> Tell him this, Gerard; or, rather, tell him nothing. Keep your journey a secret; do not boast of what you have come to Paris to do, or have done; return with all speed; enter Marseilles at night, and your house by the back-door, and there remain quiet, submissive, secret, and, above all, inoffensive”
“Every one knows the history of the famous return from Elba, a return which was unprecedented in the past, and will probably remain without a counterpart in the future.”
“Napoleon would, doubtless, have deprived Villefort of his office had it not been for Noirtier, who was all powerful at court, and thus the Girondin of ‘93 and the Senator of 1806 protected him who so lately had been his protector.” “Villefort retained his place, but his marriage was put off until a more favorable opportunity.” “He made Morrel wait in the antechamber, although he had no one with him, for the simple sreason that the king’s procureur always makes every one wait, and after passing a quarter of an hour in reading the papers, he ordered M. Morrel to be admitted.”
Villefort would probably have rather stood opposite the muzzle of a pistol at five-and-twenty paces than have heard this name spoken; but he did not blanch.”
“<Monsieur,> returned Villefort, <I was then a royalist, because I believed the Bourbons not only the heirs to the throne, but the chosen of the nation. The miraculous return of Napoleon has conquered me, the legitimate monarch is he who is loved by his people.>”
“<There has been no arrest.>
<It is sometimes essential to government to cause a man’s disappearance without leaving any traces, so that no written forms or documents may defeat their wishes.>
<It might be so under the Bourbons, but at present>-
<It has always been so, my dear Morrel, since the reign of Louis XIV. The emperor is more strict in prison discipline than even Louis himself>”
“As for Villefort, instead of sending to Paris, he carefully preserved the petition that so fearfully compromised Dantes, in the hopes of an event that seemed not unlikely, – that is, a 2nd restoration. Dantes remained a prisoner, and heard not the noise of the fall of Louis XVIII’s throne, or the still more tragic destruction of the empire.” “At last there was Waterloo, and Morrel came no more; he had done all that was in his power, and any fresh attempt would only compromise himself uselessly.”
“But Fernand was mistaken; a man of his disposition never kills himself, for he constantly hopes.”
“Old Dantes, who was only sustained by hope, lost all hope at Napoleon’s downfall. Five months after he had been separated from his son, and almost at the hour of his arrest, he breathed his last in Mercedes’ arms.”
“The inspector listened attentively; then, turning to the governor, observed, <He will become religious – he is already more gentle; he is afraid, and retreated before the bayonets – madmen are not afraid of anything; I made some curious observations on this at Charenton.> Then, turning to the prisoner, <What is it you want?> said he.”
“<My information dates from the day on which I was arrested,> returned the Abbé Faria; <and as the emperor had created the kingdom of Rome for his infant son, I presume that he has realized the dream of Machiavelli and Caesar Borgia, which was to make Italy a united kingdom.>
<Monsieur,> returned the inspector, <providence has changed this gigantic plan you advocate so warmly.>
<It is the only means of rendering Italy strong, happy, and independent.>
<Very possibly; only I am not come to discuss politics, but to inquire if you have anything to ask or to complain of.>
<The food is the same as in other prisons, – that is, very bad, the lodging is very unhealthful, but, on the whole, passable for a dungeon; but it is not that which I wish to speak of, but a secret I have to reveal of the greatest importance.>
<It is for that reason I am delighted to see you,> continued the abbé, <although you have disturbed me in a most important calculation, which, if it succeded, would possibly change Newton’s system. Could you allow me a few words in private.>”
“<On my word,> said the inspector in a low tone, <had I not been told beforehand that this man was mad, I should believe what he says.>”
“A new governor arrived; it would have been too tedious to acquire the names of the prisoners; he learned their numbers instead. This horrible place contained 50 cells; their inhabitants were designated by the numbers of their cell, and the unhappy young man was no longer called Edmond Dantes – he was now number 34.”
Prisioneiros de segurança máxima não devem adoecer – que bactéria ou vírus cosmopolita os visitaria? Que mudança que fosse mais forte e sensível que o supertédio?
“he addressed his supplications, not to God, but to man. God is always the last resource. Unfortunates, who ought to begin with God, do not have any hope in him till they have exhausted all other means of deliverance.”
“Dantes spoke for the sake of hearing his own voice; he had tried to speak when alone, but the sound of his voice terrified him.”
“in prosperity prayers seem but a mere medley of words, until misfortune comes and the unhappy sufferer first understands the meaning of the sublime language in which he invokes the pity of heaven!”
“<Yes, yes,> continued he, <’Twill be the same as it was in England. After Charles I, Cromwell; after Cromwell, Charles II, and then James II, and then some son-in-law or relation, some Prince of Orange, a stadtholder¹ who becomes a king. Then new concessions to the people, then a constitution, then liberty. Ah, my friend!> said the abbé, turning towards Dantes, and surveying him with the kindling gaze of a prophet, <you are young, you will see all this come to pass.>”
¹ Magistrado de província holandesa
“<But wherefore are you here?>
<Because in 1807 I dreamed of the very plan Napoleon tried to realize in 1811; because, like Napoleon, I desired to alter the political face of Italy, and instead of allowing it to be split up into a quantity of petty principalities, each held by some weak or tyrannical ruler, I sought to form one large, compact and powerful empire; and lastly, because I fancied I had found Caesar Borgia in a crowned simpleton, who feigned to enter into my views only to betray me. It was the plan of Alexander VI, but it will never succeed now, for they attempted it fruitlessly, and Napoleon was unable to complete his work. Italy seems fated to misfortune.> And the old man bowed his head.
Dantes could not understand a man risking his life for such matters. Napoleon certainly he knew something of, inasmuch as he had seen and spoken with him; but of Clement VII and Alexander VI he knew nothing.
<Are you not,> he asked, <the priest who here in the Chateau d’If is generally thought to be – ill?>
<Mad, you mean, don’t you?>
<I did not like to say so,> answered D., smiling.”
“In the 1st place, I was 4 years making the tools I possess, and have been 2 years scraping and digging out earth, hard as granite itself; then what toil and fatigue has it not been to remove huge stones I should once have deemed impossible to loosen.”
“Another, other and less stronger than he, had attempted what he had not had sufficient resolution to undertake, and had failed only because of an error in calculation.”
“<When you pay me a visit in my cell, my young friend,> said he, <I will show you an entire work, the fruits of the thoughts and reflections of my whole life; many of them meditated over in the Colosseum at Rome, at the foot of St. Mark’s columm at Venice, little imagining at the time that they would be arranged in order within the walls of the Chateau d’If. The work I speak is called ‘A Treatise on the Possibility of a General Monarchy in Italy,’ and will make one large quarto volume.>”
“I had nearly 5.000 volumes in my library at Rome; but after reading them over many times, I found out that with 150 well-chosen books a man possesses if not a complete summary of all human knowledge, at least all that a man need really know. I devoted 3 years of my life to reading and studying these 150 volumes, till I knew them nearly by heart; so that since I have been in prison, a very slight effort of memory has enabled me to recall their contents as readily as though the pages were open before me. I could recite you the whole of Thucidides, Xenophon, Plutarch, Titus Livius, Tacitus, Strada, Jornandes [Jordanes], Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Spinoza, Machiavelli, and Bossuet.”
“Yes, I speak 5 of the modern tongues – that is to say, German, French, Italian, English and Spanish; by the aid of ancient Greek I learned modern Greek – I don’t speak so well asI could wish, but I am still trying to improve myself.” “Improve yourself!” repeated Dantes; “why, how can you manage to do so?”
“This last explanation was wholly lost upon Dantes, who had always imagined, from seeing the sun rise from behind the mountains and set in the Mediterranean, that it moved, and not the earth. A double movement of the globo he inhabited, and of which he could feel nothing, appeared to him perfectly impossible.”
“Should I ever get out of prison and find in all Italy a printer courageous enough to publish what I have composed, my literary reputation is forever secured.”
“What would you not have accomplished if you had been free?”
“Possibly nothing at all; the overflow of my brain would probably, in a state of freedom, have evaporated in a 1,000 follies; misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasure of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder. Captivity has brought my mental faculties to a focus”
“<if you visit to discover the author of any bad action, seek first to discover the person to whom the perpetration of that bad action could be in any way advantageous. Now, to apply it in your case, – to whom could your disappearance have been serviceable?>
<To no one, by heaven! I was a very insignificant person.>
<Do not speak thus, for your reply evinces neither logic nor philosophy; everything is relative, my dear young friend, from the king who stands in the way of his successor, to the employee who keeps his rival out of a place. Now, in the event of the king’s death, his successor inherits a crown, – when the employee dies, the supernumerary steps into his shoes, and receives his salary of 12.000 livres. Well, these 12.000 livres are his civil list, and are as essential to him as 12.000.000 of a king. Every one, from the highest to the lowest degree, has his place on the social ladder, and is beset by stormy passions and conflicting interests, as in Descartes’ theory of pressure and impulsion.” efeito borboleta parte I “But these forces increase as we go higher, so that we have a spiral which in defiance of reason rests upon the apex and not on the base.”
“<Simply because that accusation had been written with the left hand, and I have noticed that> –
<That while the writing of different persons done with the right hand varies, that performed with the left hand is invariably uniform.>”
“That is in strict accordance with the Spanish character; an assassination they will unhesitatingly commit, but an act of cowardice never.”
“Pray ask me whatever questions you please; for, in good truth, you see more clearly into my life than I do myself.”
“<About six or seven and twenty years of age, I should say.>
<So,> anwered the abbé. <Old enough to be ambitious, but too young to be corrupt. And how did he treat you?>”
“<That alters the case. Tis man might, after all, be a greater scoundrel than you have thought possible>
<Upon my word,> said Dantes, <you make me shudder. Is the world filled with tigers and crocodiles?>
<Yes; and remember that two-legged tigers and crocodiles are more dangerous than the others.>”
“Had a thunderbolt fallen at the feet of D., or hell opened its yawining gulf before him, he could not have been more completely transfixed with horror than he was at the sound of these unexpected words. Starting up he clasped his hands around his head as though to prevent his very brain from bursting, and exclaimed, <His father! his father!>”
“D. was at lenght roused from his revery by the voice of Faria, who, having also been visited by his jailer, had come to invite his fellow-sufferer to share his supper. The reputation of being out of his mind though harmlessly and even amusingly so, had procured for the abbé unusual privileges. He was supplied with bread of a finer whiter quality than the usual prison fare, and even regaled each Sunday with a small quantity of wine.”
“The elder prisoner was one of those persons whose conversation, like that of all who have experienced many trials, contained many usefel and important hints as well as sound information; but it was never egotistical, for the unfortunate man never alluded to his own sorrows. D. listened with admiring attention to all he said; some of his remarks corresponded with what he already knew, or applied to the sort of knowledge his nautical life had enabled him to acquire.”
“I can well believe that so learned a person as yourself would prefer absolute solitude to being tormented with the company of one as ignorant and uninformed as myself.”
“The abbé smiled: <Alas, my boy,> said he, <human knowledge is confined within very narrow limits; and when I have taught you mathematics, physics, history, and the 3 or 4 modern languages with which I am acquainted, you will know as much as I do myself. Now, it will scarcely require 2 years for me to communicate to you the stock of learnings I possess.>”
“<Not their application, certainly, but their principles you may; to learn is not to know; there are the learners and the learned. Memory makes the one, philosophy the other.>
<But cannot one learn philosophy?>
<Philosophy cannot be taught; it is the application of the sciences to truth; it is like the golden cloud in which the Messiah went up into heaven.>”
“An that very evening the prisoners sketched a plan of education, to be entered upon the following day. D. possessed a prodigious memory, combined with an astonishing quickness and readiness of conception; the mathematicla turn of his mind rendered him apt at al all kinds of calculation, while his naturally poetical feelings threw a light and pleasing veil over the dry reality of arithmetical computation, or the rigid severity of geometry. He already knew Italian, and had also picked up a little of the Romaic dialect during voyages to the East; and by the aid of these 2 languages he easily comprehended the construction of all the others, so that at the end of 6 months he began to speak Spanish, English, and German. In strict accordance with the promise made to the abbé, D. spoke no more of escape. Perhaps the delight his studies afforded him left no room for such thoughts; perhaps the recollection that he had pledged his word (on which his sense of honor was keen) kept him from referring in any way to the possibilities of flight. Days, even months, passed by unheeded in one rapid and instructive course. At the end of a year D. was a new man. D. observed, however, that Faria, in spite of the relief his society afforded, daily grew sadder; one thought seemed incessantly to harass and distract his mind. Sometimes he would fall into long reveries, sigh heavily and involuntarily, then suddenly rise, and, with folded arms, begin pacing the confined space of his dungeon. One day he stopped all at once, and exclaimed, <Ah, if there were no sentinel!>”
“Esse tesouro, que deve corresponder a dois… de coroas romanas no mais afastado a… da segunda abertura co… declara pertencer a ele som… herdeiro. <25 de Abril, 149-”
“Eu ouvi freqüentemente a frase <Tão rico como um Spada.>” “Ali, no 20º capítulo de a Vida do Papa Alexandre VI, constavam as seguintes linhas, que jamais poderei esquecer: – <As grandes guerras da Romagna terminaram; César Bórgia, que completou suas conquistas, precisava de dinheiro para adquirir a Itália inteira. O papa também precisava de dinheiro para liquidar seus problemas com Luís XII, Rei da França, que ainda era formidável a despeito de seus recentes reveses; e era necessário, portanto, recorrer a algum esquema rentável, o que era um problema de grande dificuldade nas condições de pauperização de uma exausta Itália. Sua santidade teve uma idéia. Ele resolveu fazer dois cardeais.
Ao escolher duas das maiores personagens de Roma, homens especialmente ricos – esse era o retorno pelo qual o pai santíssimo esperava. Primeiramente, ele poderia vender as grandes posições e esplêndidos ofícios que os cardeais já possuíam; e depois ele teria ainda dois chapéus para vender. Havia um terceiro ponto em vista, que logo aparecerá na narrativa. O papa e César Bórgia primeiro acharam os dois futuros cardeais; eles eram Giovanni Rospigliosi, que portava 4 das mais altas dignidades da Santa Sé; e César Spada, um dos mais nobres e ricos da nobreza romana; ambos sentiram a alta honraria de tal favor do papa. Eles eram ambiciosos, e César Bórgia logo encontrou compradores para suas posições. O resultado foi que Rospigliosi e Spada pagaram para ser cardeais, e 8 outras pessoas pagaram pelos ofícios que os cardeais tinham ante sua elevação; destarte 800.000 coroas entraram nos cofres dos especuladores.
É tempo agora de proceder à última parte da especulação. O papa encheu Rospigliosi e Spada de atenções, conferiu-lhes a insígnia do cardinalato, e os induziu a organizar seus negócios de forma a se mudarem para Roma. É aí que o papa e César Bórgia convidam os dois cardeais para jantar. Esse era um problema de disputa entre o santo pai e seu filho. César pensava que eles poderiam se utilizar de um dos meios que ele sempre tinha preparado para os amigos, i.e., em primeiro lugar, a famosa chave que era dada a certas pessoas com o pedido de que fossem e abrissem o armário equivalente. Essa chave era dotada de uma pequena ponta de ferro, – uma negligência da parte do chaveiro. Quando ela era pressionada a fim de abrir-se o armário, do qual a fechadura era complicada, a pessoa era picada por essa pontinha, e morria no dia seguinte. Havia também o anel com a cabeça de leão, que César usava quando queria cumprimentar seus amigos com um aperto de mão. O leão mordia a mão do assim favorecido, e ao cabo de 24h, a mordida se mostrava mortal. César propôs ao seu pai, que ou eles deveriam pedir aos cardeais para abrir o armário, ou apertar suas mãos; mas Alexandre VI respondeu: <Quanto aos valongos cardeais, Spada e Rospigliosi, convidemo-los para jantar, algo me diz que conseguiremos esse dinheiro de volta. Além disso, esquece-te, ó César, que uma indigestão se declara imediatamente, enquanto uma picada ou uma mordida ocasionam um atraso de um dia ou dois.> César recuou de tão convincente raciocínio, e os cardeais foram conseqüentemente chamados para jantar.
A mesa foi servida num vinhedo pertencente ao papa, perto de San Pierdarena, um retiro encantador que os cardeais conheciam de ouvir falar. Rospigliosi, bem disposto graças a suas novas dignidades, chegou com um bom apetite e suas maneiras mais obsequiosas. Spada, um homem prudente, e muito apegado a seu único sobrinho, um jovem capitão da mais alta promessa, pegou papel e caneta, e redigiu seu testamento. E depois mandou avisar o seu sobrinho para esperá-lo próximo ao vinhedo; mas aparentemente o servo não foi capaz de encontrá-lo.
Spada sabia o que esses convites significavam; desde a Cristandade, tão eminentemente civilizada, se alastrou por toda Roma, não era mais um centurião que vinha da parte do tirano com uma mensagem, <César quer que você morra.> mas era um núncio apostólico a latere, que vinha com um sorriso nos lábios para dizer, pelo papa, que <Sua santidade solicita sua presença num jantar.>
Spada se dirigiu lá pelas 2 a San Pierdarena. O papa o esperava. A primeira imagem a atrair a atenção de Spada foi a do seu sobrinho, todo paramentado, e César Bórgia cativando-o com as atenções mais marcadas. Spada empalideceu quando César o fitou com ar irônico, o que provava que ele havia antecipado tudo, e que a armadilha já estava em funcionamento.
Eles começaram a jantar e Spada foi capaz de indagar, somente, de seu sobrinho se ele tinha recebido sua mensagem. O sobrinho respondeu que não; compreendendo perfeitamente o significado da pergunta. Era tarde demais, já que ele já tinha tomado um copo de um excelente vinho, selecionado para ele expressamente pelo copeiro do papa. Spada testemunhou ao mesmo tempo outra garrafa, vindo a si, que ele foi premido a provar. Uma hora depois um médico declarou que ambos estavam envenenados por comer cogumelos. Spada morreu no limiar do vinhedo; o sobrinho expirou na sua própria porta, fazendo sinais que sua mulher não pôde compreender.
A seguir César e o papa se apressaram para botar as mãos na herança, sob o disfarce de estarem à procura de papéis do homem morto. Mas a herança consistia disso somente, um pedaço de papel em que Spada escreveu: -<Eu lego a meu amado sobrinho meus cofres, meus livros, e, entre outros, meu breviário com orelhas de ouro, que eu espero que ele preserve em consideração de seu querido tio.>
Os herdeiros procuraram em todo lugar, admiraram o breviário, se apropriaram dos móveis, e se espantaram grandemente de que Spada, o homem rico, era de fato o mais miserável dos tios – nenhum tesouro – e não ser que fossem os da ciência, contidos na biblioteca e laboratórios. Isso era tudo. César e seu pai procuraram, examinaram, escrutinaram, mas nada acharam, ou pelo menos muito pouco; nada que excedesse alguns milhares de coroas em prata, e aproximadamente o mesmo em dinheiro corrente; mas o sobrinho teve tempo de dizer a sua esposa, antes de morrer: <Procure direito entre os papéis do meu tio; há um testamento.>
Eles procuraram até mais meticulosamente do que os augustos herdeiros o fizeram, mas foi infrutífero. Havia dois palácios e um vinhedo atrás da Colina Palatina; mas nesses dias a propriedade da terra não tinha assim tanto valor, e os 2 palácios e o vinhedo continuaram com a família já que estavam abaixo da rapacidade do papa e seu filho. Meses e anos se passaram. Alexandre VI morreu, envenenado, – você sabe por qual erro. César, envenenado também, escapou desfolhando sua pele como a de uma cobra; mas a pele de baixo ficou marcada pelo veneno até se parecer com a de um tigre. Então, compelido a deixar Roma, ele acabou morto obscuramente numa escaramuça noturna; quase sem registros históricos. Depois da morte do papa e do exílio de seu filho, supôs-se que a família Spada voltaria ao esplendor dos tempos anteriores aos do cardeal; mas não foi o caso. Os Spada permaneceram em um conforto duvidoso, um mistério seguiu pairando sobre esse tema escuso, e o rumor público era que César, um político mais talentoso que seu pai, havia retirado do papa a fortuna dos 2 cardeais. Eu digo dos 2, porque o Cardeal Rospigliosi, que não tomara nenhuma precaução, foi completamente espoliado.”
“Eu estava então quase certo de que a herança não ficara nem para os Bórgias nem para a família, mas se mantivera sem dono como os tesouros das 1001 Noites, que dormiam no seio da terra sob os olhos do gênio.”
“esses caracteres foram traçados numa tinta misteriosa e simpática, que só aparecia ao ser exposta ao fogo; aproximadamente 1/3 do papel foi consumido pelas chamas.”
“<2 milhões de coroas romanas; quase 13 milhões, no nosso dinheiro.” [*]
[*] $2.600.000 em 1894.”
“Then an invincible and extreme terror seized upon him, and he dared not again press the hand that hung out of bed, he dared no longer to gaze on those fixed and vacant eyes, which he tried many times to close, but in vain – they opened again as soon as shut.”
“<They say every year adds half a pound to the weight of the bones,> said another, lifting the feet.”
“The sea is the cemetery of the Chateau d’If.”
“It was 14 years day for day since Dantes’ arrest.”
“At this period it was not the fashion to wear so large a beard and hair so long; now a barber would only be surprised if a man gifted with such advantages should consent voluntarily to deprive himself of them.”
“The oval face was lengthened, his smiling mouth had assumed the firm and marked lines which betoken resolution; his eyebrows were arched beneath a brow furrowed with thought; his eyes were full of melancholy, and from their depths ocasionally sparkled gloomy fires of misanthropy and hatred; his complexion, so long kept from the sun, had now that pale color which produces, when the features are encircled with black hair, the aristocratic beauty of the man of the north; the profound learning he had acquired had besided diffused over his features a refined intellectual expression; and he had also acquired, being naturally of a goodly stature, that vigor which a frame possesses which has so long concentrated all its force within himself.”
“Moreover, from being so long in twilight or darkness, his eyes had acquired the faculty of distinguishing objects in the night, common to the hyena and the wolf.”
“it was impossible that his best friend – if, indeed, he had any friend left – could recognize him; he could not recognize himself.”
“Fortunately, D. had learned how to wait; he had waited 14 years for his liberty, and now he was free he could wait at least 6 months or a year for wealth. Would he not have accepted liberty without riches if it had been offered him? Besides, were not those riches chimerical? – offspring of the brain of the poor Abbé Faria, had they not died with him?”
“The patron of The Young Amelia proposed as a place of landing the Island of Monte Cristo, which being completely deserted, and having neither soldiers nor revenue officers, seemed to have been placed in the midst of the ocean since the time of the heathen Olympus by Mercury, the god of merchants and robbers, classes of mankind which we in modern times have separated if not made distinct, but which antiquity appears to have included in the same category” Tal pai, tal filho: vejo que um Dumas citou o outro, cf. o destino me comandou saber, por estar lendo A Dama das Camélias em simultaneidade – Jr. dissera a dado ponto, também inicial, de sua narrativa que era bom e inteligente que ladrões e comerciantes possuíssem antigamente o mesmo Deus, e que isso não era simples contingência histórica… Até aí, pensava tratar-se de Mammon, comentando o espúrio estilo de vida judio.
“e qual solidão é mais completa, ou mais poética, que a de um navio flutuando isolado sobre as águas do mar enquanto reina a obscuridade da noite, no silêncio da imensidão, e sob o olhar dos Céus?”
“Nunca um viciado em jogo, cuja fortuna esteja em jogo num lance de dados, chegou a experimentar a angústia que sentiu Edmundo em meio a seus paroxismos de esperança.”
“<Em 2h,> ele disse, <essas pessoas vão partir mais ricas em 50 piastres cada, dispostas a arriscar novamente suas vidas só para conseguir outros 50; então retornarão com uma fortuna de 600 francos e desperdiçarão esse tesouro nalgum vilarejo, com aquele orgulho dos sultões e a insolência dos nababos.”
“a providência, que, ao limitar os poderes do homem, gratifica-o ao mesmo tempo com desejos insaciáveis.”
“<E agora,> ele exclamou, relembrando o conto do pescador árabe, que Faria relatou, <agora, abre-te sésamo!>”
“o pavor – aquele pavor da luz do dia que mesmo no deserto nos faz temer estarmos sendo vigiados e observados.”
“dentes brancos como os de um animal carnívoro”
“seu marido mantinha sua tocaia diária na porta – uma obrigação que ele executava com tanta mais vontade, já que o salvava de ter de escutar os murmúrios e lamentos da companheira, que nunca o viu sem dirigir amargas invectivas contra o destino”
“<And you followed the business of a tailor?>
<True, I was a tailor, till the trade fell off. It is so hot at Marseilles, that really I believe that the respectable inhabitants will in time go without any clothing whatever. But talking of heat, is there nothing I can offer you by way of refreshment?>”
“<Too true, too true!> ejaculated Caderousse, almost suffocated by the contending passions which assailed him, <the poor old man did die.>”
“Os próprios cães que perambulam sem abrigo e sem casa pelas ruas encontram mãos piedosas que oferecem uma mancheia de pão; e esse homem, um cristão, deviam permitir perecer de fome no meio de outros homens que se autodenominam cristãos? é terrível demais para acreditar. Ah, é impossível – definitivamente impossível!”
“Eu não consigo evitar ter mais medo da maldição dos mortos que do ódio dos vivos.”
“Hold your tongue, woman; it is the will of God.”
“Happiness or unhappiness is the secret known but to one’s self and the walls – walls have ears but no tongue”
“<Com isso então,> disse o abade, com um sorriso amargo, <isso então dá 18 meses no total. O que mais o mais devoto dos amantes poderia desejar?> Então ele murmurou as palavras do poeta inglês, <Volubilidade, seu nome é mulher.>”
“<no doubt fortune and honors have comforted her; she is rich, a countess, and yet–> Caderousse paused.”
Maneiras, maneiras de dizer asneiras…
Memorial de Buenos Aires
O aras à beira…
Bonaire de mademoiselle
Gastão amável que me acende o fogo!
ENCICLOPÉDIA DE UM FUTURO REMOTO
VANIGRACISMO [s.m., origem desconhecida; suspeita-se que guarde relação com vanitas, do latim <vaidade>]: espécie de atavismo do mal; inclinação ou tendência à reprise na crença de dogmas ultrapassados, como a pregação extremada do amor de Cristo ou o apego a regimes e práticas totalitários de forma geral. Duas faces do mesmo fenômeno. Nostalgia do Líder Supremo ou de coletivismos tornados impossíveis ou inexistentes nas democracias de massa, capitalismo avançado ou fase agônica do Ocidente.
Adeptos são identificados sob a alcunha de vanigra.
Os vanigras brasileiros da década de 10 desejavam a conclamação de Bolsonaro como o Pai Nacional.
O vanigra praguejou seu semelhante com a condenação ao Inferno no seu pós-vida, graças a suas condutas imorais.
vanigger – Corruptela de vanigra, utilizada para designar negros conservadores que insultavam a memória e o passado histórico de seus ancestrais escravos, ao professarem credos como os supracitados (cristianismo, fascismo, etc.), invenções do homem branco europeu.
* * *
“In business, sir, said he, one has no friends, only correspondents”
“the tenacity peculiar to prophets of bad news”
“It was said at this moment that Danglars was worth from 6 to 8 millions of francs, and had unlimited credit.”
“Her innocence had kept her in ignorance of the dangers that might assail a young girl of her age.”
“And now, said the unknown, farewell kindness, humanity and gratitude! Farewell to all the feelings that expand the heart! I have been heaven’s substitute to recompense the good – now the god of vengeance yields me his power to punish the wicked!”
“in 5 minutes nothing but the eye of God can see the vessel where she lies at the bottom of the sea.”
“He was one of those men who do not rashly court danger, but if danger presents itself, combat it with the most unalterable coolness.”
“The Italian s’accommodi is untranslatable; it means at once <Como, enter, you are welcome; make yourself at home; you are the master.>”
“he was condemned by the by to have his tongue cut out, and his hand and head cut off; the tongue the 1st day, the hand the 2nd, and the head the 3rd. I always had a desire to have a mute in my service, so learning the day his tongue was cut out, I went to the bey [governador otomano], and proposed to give him for Ali a splendid double-barreled gun which I knew he was very desirous of having.”
“I? – I live the happiest life possible, the real life of a pasha. I am king of all creation. I am pleased with one place, and stay there; I get tired of it, and leave it; I am free as a bird and have wings like one; my attendants obey my slightest wish.”
“What these happy persons took for reality was but a dream; but it was a dream so soft, so voluptuous, so enthralling, that they sold themselves body and soul to him who have it to them, and obedient to his orders as to those of a deity, struck down the designated victim, died in torture without a murmur, believing that the death they underwent was but a quick transtion to that life of delights of which the holy herb, now before you, had given them a slight foretaste.”
“<Then,> cried Franz, <it is hashish! I know that – by name at least.>
<That it is precisely, Signor Aladdin; it is hashish – the purest and most unadulterated hashish of Alexandria, – the hashish of Abou-Gor, the celebrated maker, the only man, the man to whom there should be built a palace, inscribed with these words, <A grateful world to the dealer in happiness.>”
“Nature subdued must yield in the combat, the dream must succeed [suck-seed] to reality, and then the dream reigns supreme, then the dream becomes life, and life becomes the dream.”
“When you return to this mundane sphere from your visionary world, you would seem to leave a Neapolitan spring for a Lapland winter – to quit paradise for earth – heaven for hell! Taste the hashish, guest of mine – taste the hashish.”
“Tell me, the 1st time you tasted oysters, tea, porter, truffles, and sundry other dainties which you now adore, did you like them? Could you comprehend how the Romans stuffed their pheasants [faisões] with assafoetida (sic – asafoetida) [planta fétida, mas saborosa], and the Chinese eat swallow’s nests? [ninhos de andorinhas] Eh? no! Well, it is the same with hashish; only eat for a week, and nothing in the world will seem to you equal the delicacy of its flavor, which now appears to you flat and distasteful.”
“there was no need to smoke the same pipe twice.”
“that mute revery, into which we always sink when smoking excellent tobacco, which seems to remove with its fume all the troubles of the mind, and to give the smoker in exchange all the visions of the soul. Ali brought in the coffee. <How do you take it?> inquired the unknown; <in the French or Turkish style, strong or weak, sugar or none, coal or boiling? As you please; it is ready in all ways.>”
“it shows you have a tendency for an Oriental life. Ah, those Orientals; they are the only men who know how to live. As for me, he added, with one of those singular smiles which did not escape the young man, when I have completed my affairs in Paris, I shall go and die in the East; and should you wish to see me again, you must seek me at Cairo, Bagdad, or Ispahan.”
“Well, unfurl your wings, and fly into superhuman regions; fear nothing, there is a watch over you; and if your wings, like those of Icarus, melt before the sun, we are here to ease your fall.”
o tempo é testemunha
The Count of Sinbad Cristo
“Oh, ele não teme nem Deus nem Satã, dizem, e percorreria 50 ligas fora de seu curso só para prestar um favor a qualquer pobre diabo.”
“em Roma há 4 grandes eventos todos os anos, – o Carnaval, a Semana Santa, Corpus Christi, o Festival de São Pedro. Durante todo o resto do ano a idade está naquele estado de apatia profunda, entre a vida e a morte, que a deixa parecida com uma estação entre esse mundo e o próximo”
“<Para São Pedro primeiro, e depois o Coliseu,> retorquiu Albert. Mas Albrto não sabia que leva um dia para ver [a Basílica de] S. Pedro, e um mês para estudá-la. O dia foi todo passado lá.”
“Quando mostramos a um amigo uma cidade que já visitamos, sentimos o mesmo orgulho de quando apontamos na rua uma mulher da qual fomos o amante.”
“mulher amantizada”, aliás (livro de Dumas Filho) é o melhor eufemismo de todos os tempos!
“<em Roma as coisas podem ou não podem ser feitas; quando se diz que algo não pode ser feito, acaba ali>
<É muito mais conveniente em Paris, – quando qualquer coisa não pode ser feita, você paga o dobro, e logo ela está feita.>
<É o que todo francês fala,> devolveu o Signor Pastrini, que acusou o golpe; <por essa razão, não entendo por que eles viajam.> (…)
<Homens em seu juízo perfeito não deixam seu hotel na Rue du Helder, suas caminhadas no Boulevard de Grand, e Café de Paris.>”
“<Mas se vossa excelência contesta minha veracidade> – <Signor Pastrini,> atalhou Franz, <você é mais suscetível que Cassandra, que era uma profetisa, e ainda assim ninguém acreditava nela; enquanto que você, pelo menos, está seguro do crédito de metade de sua audiência [a metade de 2 é 1]. Venha, sente-se, e conte-nos tudo que sabe sobre esse Signor Vampa.>”
“<O que acha disso, Albert? – aos 2-e-20 ser tão famoso?>
<Pois é, e olha que nessa idade Alexandre, César e Napoleão, que, todos, fizeram algum barulho no mundo, estavam bem detrás dele.>”
“Em todo país em que a independência tomou o lugar da liberdade, o primeiro desejo dum coração varonil é possuir uma arma, que de uma só vez torna seu dono capaz de se defender e atacar, e, transformando-o em alguém terrível, com freqüência o torna temido.”
“O homem de habilidades superiores sempre acha admiradores, vá onde for.”
MÁFIA: SEQÜESTRO, ESTUPRO, MORTE & A SUCESSÃO DO CLÃ
“As leis dos bandidos [dos fora-da-lei] são positivas; uma jovem donzela pertence ao primeiro que levá-la, então o restante do bando deve tirar a sorte, no que ela é abandonada a sua brutalidade até a morte encerrar seus sofrimentos. Quando seus pais são suficientemente ricos para pagar um resgate, um mensageiro é enviado para negociar; o prisioneiro é refém pela segurança do mensageiro; se o resgate for recusado, o refém está irrevogavelmente perdido.”
“Os mensageiros naturais dos bandidos são os pastores que habitam entre a cidade e as montanhas, entre a vida civilizada e a selvagem.”
“<Tiremos a sorte! Tiremos a sorte!> berraram todos os criminosos ao verem o chefe. Sua demanda era justa e o chefe reclinou a cabeça em sinal de aprovação. Os olhos de todos brilharam terrivelmente, e a luz vermelha da fogueira só os fazia parecer uns demônios. O nome de cada um incluído o de Carlini, foi colocado num chapéu, e o mais jovem do bando retirou um papel; e ele trazia o nome de Diovolaccio¹. Foi ele quem propôs a Carlini o brinde ao chefe, e a quem Carlini reagiu quebrando o copo na sua cara. Uma ferida enorme, da testa à boca, sangrava em profusão. Diovolaccio, sentindo-se favorecido pela fortuna, explodiu em uma gargalhada. <Capitão,> disse, <ainda agora Carlini não quis beber à vossa saúde quando eu propus; proponha a minha a ele, e veremos se ele será mais condescendente consigo que comigo.> Todos aguardavam uma explosão da parte de Carlini; mas para a surpresa de todos ele pegou um copo numa mão e o frasco na outra e, enchendo o primeiro, – <A sua saúde, Diavolaccio²,> pronunciou calmamente, e ele entornou tudo, sem que sua mão sequer tremesse. (…) Carlini comeu e bebeu como se nada tivesse acontecido. (…) Uma faca foi plantada até o cabo no peito esquerdo de Rita. Todos olharam para Carlini; a bainha em seu cinto estava vazia. <Ah, ah,> disse o chefe, <agora entendo por que Carlini ficou para trás.> Todas as naturezas selvagens apreciam uma ação desesperada. Nenhum outro dos bandidos, talvez, fizesse o mesmo; mas todos entenderam o que Carlini fez. <Agora, então,> berrou Carlini, levantando-se por sua vez, aproximando-se do cadáver, sua mão na coronha de uma de suas pistolas, <alguém disputa a posse dessa mulher comigo?> – <Não,> respondeu o chefe, <ela é tua.>”
¹ Corruptela de demônio em Italiano
² Aqui o interlocutor, seu inimigo desde o sorteio, pronuncia o nome como o substantivo correto: diabo, demônio.
“<Cucumetto violentou sua filha,> disse o bandido; <eu a amava, destarte matei-a; pois ela serviria para entreter a quadrilha inteira.> O velho não disse nada mas empalideceu como a morte. <Então,> continuou, <se fiz mal, vingue-a;>”
“Mas Carlini não deixou a floresta sem saber o paradeiro do pai de Rita. Foi até o lugar onde o deixara na noite anterior. E encontrou o homem suspenso por um dos galhos, do mesmo carvalho que ensombreava o túmulo de sua filha. Então ele fez um amargo juramento de vingança sobre o corpo morto de uma e debaixo do corpo do outro. No entanto, Carlini não pôde cumprir sua promessa, porque 2 dias depois, num encontro com carabineiros romanos, Carlini foi assassinado. (…) Na manhã da partida da floresta de Frosinone Cucumetto seguiu Carlini na escuridão, escutou o juramento cheio de ódio, e, como um homem sábio, se antecipou a ele. A gente contou outras dez histórias desse líder de bando, cada uma mais singular que a anterior. Assim, de Fondi a Perusia, todo mundo treme ao ouvir o nome de Cucumetto.”
“Cucumetto era um canalha inveterado, que assumiu a forma de um bandido ao invés de uma cobra nesta vida terrana. Como tal, ele adivinhou no olhar de Teresa o signo de uma autêntica filha de Eva, retornando à floresta, interrompendo-se inúmeras vezes sob pretexto de saudar seus protetores. Vários dias se passaram e nenhum sinal de Cucumetto. Chegava a época do Carnaval.”
“4 jovens das mais ricas e nobres famílias de Roma acompanhavam as 3 damas com aquela liberdade italiana que não tem paralelo em nenhum outro país.”
“Luigi sentia ciúmes! Ele sentiu que, influenciada pela sua disposição ambiciosa e coquete, Teresa poderia escapar-lhe.”
“Por que, ela não sabia, mas ela não sentia minimamente que as censuras de seu amado fossem merecidas.”
“<Teresa, o que você estava pensando enquanto dançava de frente para a jovem Condessa de San-Felice?> – <Eu estava pensando,> redargüiu a jovem, com toda a franqueza que lhe era natural, <que daria metade da minha vida por um vestido como o dela.>
“<Luigi Vampa,> respondeu o pastor, com o mesmo ar daquele que se apresentasse Alexandre, Rei da Macedônia.
<E o seu?> – <Eu,> disse o viajante, <sou chamado Sinbad, o Marinheiro.>
Franz d’Espinay fitou surpreso.”
“Sim, mas eu vim pedir mais do que ser vosso companheiro.> – <E o que poderia ser isso?> inquiriram os bandidos, estupefatos. – <Venho solicitar ser vosso capitão,> disse o jovem. Os bandidos fizeram uma arruaça de risadas. <E o que você fez para aspirar a essa honra?> perguntou o tenente. – <Matei seu chefe, Cucumetto, cujo traje agora visto; e queimei a fazenda San-Felice para pegar o vestido-de-noiva da minha prometida.> Uma hora depois Luigi Vampa era escolhido capitão, vice o finado Cucumetto.”
* * *
Minha casa não seria tão boa se o mundo lá fora não fosse tão ruim.
A vingança tem de começar nalgum lugar: a minha começa no cyberrealm, aqui.
“nem é possível, em Roma, evitar essa abundante disposição de guias; além do ordinário cicerone, que cola em você assim que pisa no hotel, e jamais o deixa enquanto permanecer na cidade, há ainda o cicerone especial pertencente a cada monumento – não, praticamente a cada parte de um monumento.”
“só os guias estão autorizados a visitar esses monumentos com tochas nas mãos.”
“Eu disse, meu bom companheiro, que eu faria mais com um punhado de ouro numa das mãos que você e toda sua tropa poderiam produzir com suas adagas, pistolas, carabinas e canhões incluídos.”
“E o que tem isso? Não está um dia dividido em 24h, cada hora em 60 minutos, e todo minuto em 60 segundos? Em 86.400 segundos muita coisa pode acontecer.”
“Albert nunca foi capaz de suportar os teatros italianos, com suas orquestras, de onde é impossível ver, e a ausência de balcões, ou camarotes abertos; todos esses defeitos pesavam para um homem que tinha tido sua cabine nos Bouffes, e usufruído de um camarote baixo na Opera.”
“Albert deixou Paris com plena convicção de que ele teria apenas de se mostrar na Itáia para ter todos a seus pés, e que em seu retorno ele espantaria o mundo parisiano com a recitação de seus numerosos casos. Ai dele, pobre Albert!”
“e tudo que ele ganhou foi a convicção dolorosa de que as madames da Itália têm essa vantagem sobre as da França, a de que são fiéis até em sua infidelidade.”
“mas hoje em dia ão é preciso ir tão longe quanto a Noé ao traçar uma linhagem, e uma árvore genealógica é igualmente estimada, date ela de 1399 ou apenas 1815”
“A verdade era que os tão aguardados prazeres do Carnaval, com a <semana santa> que o sucederia, enchia cada peito de tal forma que impedia que se prestasse a menor atenção aos negócios no palco. Os atores entravam e saíam despercebidos e ignorados; em determinados momentos convencionais, os expectadores paravam repentinamente suas conversas, ou interrompiam seus divertimentos, para ouvir alguma performance brilhante de Moriani, um recitativo bem-executado por Coselli, ou para aplaudir em efusão os maravilhosos talentos de La Specchia”
“<Oh, she is perfectly lovely – what a complexion! And such magnificent hair! Is she French?>
<And her name is–>
<Ah, I know her by name!> exclaimed Albert; <she is said to possess as much wit and cleverness as beauty. I was to have been presented to her when I met her at Madame Villefort’s ball.>”
“believe me, nothing is more fallacious than to form any estimate of the degree of intimacy you may suppose existing among persons by the familiar terms they seem upon”
“Por mais que o balé pudesse atrair sua atenção, Franz estava profundamente ocupado com a bela grega para se permitir distrações”
“Graças ao judicioso plano de dividir os dois atos da ópera com um balé, a pausa entre as performances é muito curta, tendo os cantores tempo de repousar e trocar de figurino, quando necessário, enquanto os dançarinos executam suas piruetas e exibem seus passos graciosos.”
“Maioria dos leitores está ciente [!] de que o 2º ato de <Parisina> abre com um celebrado e efetivo dueto em que Parisina, enquanto dorme, se trai e confessa a Azzo o segredo de seu amor por Ugo. O marido injuriado passa por todos os paroxismos do ciúme, até a firmeza prevalecer em sua mente, e então, num rompante de fúria e indignação, ele acordar sua esposa culpada para contar-lhe que ele sabe de seus sentimentos, e assim infligir-lhe sua vingança. Esse dueto é um dos mais lindos, expressivos e terríveis de que jamais se ouviu emanar da pena de Donizetti. Franz ouvia-o agora pela 3ª vez.”
“<Talvez você jamais tenha prestado atenção nele?>
<Que pergunta – tão francesa! Não sabe você que nós italianas só temos olhos para o homem que amamos?>
<É verdade,> respondeu Franz.”
“<he looks more like a corpse permitted by some friendly grave-digger to quit his tomb for a while, and revisit this earth of ours, than anything human. How ghastly pale he is!>
<Oh, he is always as colorless as you now see him,> said Franz.
<Then you know him?> almost screamed the countess. <Oh, pray do, for heaven’s sake, tell us all about – is he a vampire, or a ressuscitated corpse, or what?>
<I fancy I have seen him before, and I even think he recognizes me.>”
“Vou dizer-lhe, respondeu a condessa. Byron tinha a mais sincera crença na existência de vampiros, e até assegurou a mim que os tinha visto. A descrição que ele me fez corresponde perfeitamente com a aparência e a personalidade daquele homem na nossa frente. Oh, ele é a exata personificação do que eu poderia esperar. O cabelo cor-de-carvão, olhos grandes, claros e faiscantes, em que fogo selvagem, extraterreno parece queimar, — a mesma palidez fantasmal. Observe ainda que a mulher consigo é diferente de qualquer uma do seu sexo. Ela é uma estrangeira – uma estranha. Ninguém sabe quem é, ou de onde ela vem. Sem dúvida ela pertence à mesma raça que ele, e é, como ele, uma praticante das artes mágicas.”
“Pela minha alma, essas mulheres confundiriam o próprio Diabo que quisesse desvendá-las. Porque, aqui – elas lhe dão sua mão – elas apertam a sua em correspondência – elas mantêm conversas em sussurros – permitem que você as acompanhe até em casa. Ora, se uma parisiense condescendesse com ¼ dessas coqueterias, sua reputação estaria para sempre perdida.”
“Ele era talvez bem pálido, decerto; mas, você sabe, palidez é sempre vista como uma forte prova de descendência aristocrática e casamentos distintos.”
“e, a não ser que seu vizinho de porta e quase-amigo, o Conde de Monte Cristo, tivesse o anel de Gyges, e pelo seu poder pudesse ficar invisível, agora era certo que ele não poderia escapar dessa vez.”
“O Conde de Monte Cristo é sempre um levantado cedo da cama; e eu posso assegurar que ele já está de pé há duas horas.”
“You are thus deprived of seeing a man guillotined; but the mazzuola still remains, which is a very curious punishment when seen for the 1st time, and even the 2nd, while the other, as your must know, is very simple.” [Ver glossário acima.]
“do not tell me of European punishments, they are in the infancy, or rather the old age, of cruelty.”
“As for myself, I can assure you of one thing, — the more men you see die, the easier it becomes to die yourself” opinion opium onion
“do you think the reparation that society gives you is sufficient when it interposes the knife of the guillotine between the base of the occiput and the trapezal muscles of the murderer, and allows him who has caused us years of moral sufferings to escape with a few moments of physical pain?”
“Dr. Guillotin got the idea of his famous machine from witnessing an execution in Italy.”
“We ought to die together. I was promissed he should die with me. You have no right to put me to death alone. I will not die alone – I will not!”
“Oh, man – race of crocodiles, cried the count, extending his clinched hands towards the crowd, how well do I recognize you there, and that at all times you are worthy of yourselves! Lead two sheep to the butcher’s, 2 oxen to the slaughterhouse, and make one of them understand that his companion will not die; the sheep will bleat for pleasure, the ox will bellow with joy. But man – man, whom God has laid his first, his sole commandment, to love his neighbor – man, to whom God has given a voice to express his thoughts – what is his first cry when he hears his fellowman is saved? A blasphemy. Honor to man, this masterpiece of nature, this king of creation! And the count burst into a laugh; a terrible laugh, that showed he must have suffered horribly to be able thus to laugh.”
“The bell of Monte Citorio, which only sounds on the pope’s decease and the opening of the Carnival, was ringing a joyous peal.”
“On my word, said Franz, you are wise as Nestor and prudent as Ulysses, and your fair Circe must be very skilful or very powerful if she succeed in changing you into a beast of any kind.”
“Come, observed the countess, smiling, I see my vampire is only some millionaire, who has taken the appearance of Lara in order to avoid being confounded with M. de Rothschild; and you have seen her?”
“without a single accident, a single dispute, or a single fight. The fêtes are veritable pleasure days to the Italians. The author of this history, who has resided 5 or 6 years in Italy, does not recollect to have ever seen a ceremony interrupted by one of those events so common in other countries.”
“Se alle sei della mattina le quattro mile piastre non sono nelle mie mani, alla sette il conte Alberto avra cessato di vivere.
“There were in all 6.000 piastres, but of these 6.000 Albert had already expended 3.000. As to Franz, he had no better of credit, as he lived at Florence, and had only come to Rome to pass 7 or 8 days; he had brought but a 100 louis, and of these he had not more than 50 left.”
“Well, what good wind blows you hither at this hour?”
“I did, indeed.”
“Be it so. It is a lovely night, and a walk without Rome will do us both good.”
“<Excellency, the Frenchman’s carriage passed several times the one in which was Teresa.>
<The chief’s mistress?>
<Yes. The Frenchman threw her a bouquet; Teresa returned it – all this with the consent of the chief, who was in the carriage.>
<What?> cried Franz, <was Luigi Vampa in the carriage with the Roman peasants?>”
“Well, then, the Frenchman took off his mask; Teresa, with the chief’s consent, did the same. The Frenchman asked for a rendez-vous; Teresa gave him one – only, instead of Teresa, it was Beppo who was on the steps of the church of San Giacomo.”
“<do you know the catacombs of St. Sebastian?>
<I was never in them; but I have often resolved to visit them.>
<Well, here is an opportunity made to your hand, and it would be difficult to contrive a better.>”
“remember, for the future, Napoleon’s maxim, <Never awaken me but for bad news;> if you had let me sleep on, I should have finished my galop [dança de salão], and have been grateful to you all my life.”
“<Has your excellency anything to ask me?> said Vampa with a smile.
<Yes, I have,> replied Franz; <I am curious to know what work you were perusing with so much attention as we entered.>
<Caesar’s ‘Commentaries,’> said the bandit, <it is my favorite work.>”
“não há nação como a francesa que possa sorrir mesmo na cara da terrível Morte em pessoa.”
“Apenas pergunte a si mesmo, meu bom amigo, se não acontece com muitas pessoas de nosso estrato que assumam nomes de terras e propriedades em que nunca foram senhores?”
“a vista do que está acontecendo é necessária aos homens jovens, que sempre estão dispostos a ver o mundo atravessar seus horizontes, mesmo se esse horizonte é só uma via pública.”
“foils, boxing-gloves, broadswords, and single-sticks – for following the example of the fashionable young men of the time, Albert de Morcerf cultivated, with far more perseverance than music and drawing, the 3 arts that complete a dandy’s education, i.e., fencing [esgrima], boxing, and single-stick”
“In the centre of the room was a Roller and Blanchet <baby grand> piano in rosewood, but holding the potentialities of an orchestra in its narrow and sonorous cavity, and groaning beneath the weight of the chefs-d’oeuvre of Beethoven, Weber, Mozart, Haydn, Gretry, and Porpora.”
“There on a table, surrounded at some distance by a large and luxurious divan, every species of tobacco known, – from the yellow tobacco of Petersburg to the black of Sinai, and so on along the scale from Maryland and Porto-Rico, to Latakia, – was exposed in pots of crackled earthenware [cerâmica] of which the Dutch are so fond; beside them, in boxes of fragrant wood, were ranged, according to their size and quality, pueros, regalias, havanas, and manillas; and, in an open cabinet, a collection of German pipes, of chibouques [cachimbo turco], with their amber mouth-pieces ornamented with coral, and of narghilés, with their long tubes of morocco, awaiting the caprice of the sympathy of the smokers.”
“after coffee, the guests at a breakfast of modern days love to contemplate through the vapor that escapes from their mouths, and ascends in long and fanficul wreaths to the ceiling.”
A única diferença entre Jesus Cristo e eu é que uma cruz o carregava – eu é que carrego a minha cruz.
“<Are you hungry?>
<Humiliating as such a confession is, I am. But I dined at M. de Villefort’s, and lawyers always give you very bad dinners. You would think they felt some remorse; did you ever remark that?>
<Ah, depreciate other persons’ dinners; you ministers give such splendid ones.>”
“<Willingly. Your Spanish wine is excellent. You see we were quite right to pacify that country.>
<Yes, but Don Carlos?>
<Well, Don Carlos will drink Bordeaux, and in years we will marry his son to the little queen.>”
“Recollect that Parisian gossip has spoken of a marriage between myself and Mlle. Eugenie Danglars”
“<The king has made him a baron, and can make him a peer [cavalheiro], but he cannot make him a gentleman, and the Count of Morcerf is too aristocratic to consent, for the paltry sum of 2 million francs to a mesalliance [‘desaliança’, casamento com um malnascido]. The Viscount of Morcerf can only wed a marchioness.>
<But 2 million francs make a nice little sum,> replied Morcerf.”
“<Nevermind what he says, Morcerf,> said Debray, <do you marry her. You marry a money-bag label, it is true; well but what does that matter? It is better to have a blazon less and a figure more on it. You have seven martlets on your arms; give 3 to your wife, and you will still have 4; that is 1 more than M. de Guise had, who so nearly became King of France, and whose cousin was emperor of Germany.>”
“além do mais, todo milionário é tão nobre quanto um bastardo – i.e., ele pode ser.”
“<M. de Chateau-Renaud – M. Maximilian Morrel,> said the servant, announcing 2 fresh guests.”
“a vida não merece ser falada! – isso é um pouco filosófico demais, minha palavra, Morrel. Fica bem para você, que arrisca sua vida todo dia, mas para mim, que só o fez uma vez—“
“<No, his horse; of which we each of us ate a slice with a hearty appetite. It was very hard.>
<The horse?> said Morcerf, laughing.
<No, the sacrifice,> returned Chateau-Renaud; <ask Debray if he would sacrifice his English steed for a stranger?>
<Not for a stranger,> said Debray, <but for a friend I might, perhaps.>”
“hoje vamos encher nossos estômagos, e não nossas memórias.”
“<Ah, this gentleman is a Hercules killing Cacus, a Perseus freeing Andromeda.>
<No, he is a man about my own size.>
<Armed to the teeth?>
<He had not even a knitting-needle [agulha de tricô].>”
“He comes possibly from the Holy Land, and one of his ancestors possessed Calvary, as the Mortemarts(*) did the Dead Sea.”
(*) Wiki: “Anne de Rochechouart de Mortemart (1847-1933), duchess of Uzès, held one of the biggest fortunes in Europe, spending a large part of it on financing general Boulanger’s political career in 1890. A great lady of the world, she wrote a dozen novels and was the 1st French woman to possess a driving licence.”
Motto: “Avant que la mer fût au monde, Rochechouart portait les ondes”
“<he has purchased the title of count somewhere in Tuscany?>
<He is rich, then?>
<Have you read the ‘Arabian Nights’?>
<What a question!>”
“he calls himself Sinbad the Sailor, and has a cave filled with gold.”
“<Pardieu, every one exists.>
<Doubtless, but in the same way; every one has not black salves, a princely retinue, an arsenal of weapons that would do credit to an Arabian fortress, horses that cost 6.000 francs apiece, and Greek mistresses.>”
“<Did he not conduct you to the ruins of the Colosseum and suck your blood?> asked Beauchamp.
<Or, having delivered you, make you sign a flaming parchment, surrendering your soul to him as Esau did his birth-right?>”
“The count appeared, dressed with the greatest simplicity, but the most fastidious dandy could have found nothing to cavil [escarnecer] at in his toilet. Every article of dress – hat, coat, gloves, and boots – was from the 1st makers. He seemed scarcely five-and-thirty. But what struck everybody was his extreme resemblance to the portrait Debray had drawn.”
“Punctuality,> said M. Cristo, <is the politeness of kings, according to one of your sovereings, I think; but it is not the same with travellers. However, I hope you will excuse the 2 or 3 seconds I am behindhand; 500 leagues are not to be accomplished without some trouble, and especially in France, where, it seems, it is forbidden to beat the postilions [cocheiros].”
“a traveller like myself, who has successively lived on maccaroni at Naples, polenta at Milan, olla podrida¹ at Valencia, pilau at Constantinople, karrick in India, and swallow’s nests in China. I eat everywhere, and of everything, only I eat but little”
¹ olla podrida: cozido com presunto, aves e embutidos.a
a embutido: carne de tripa
“<But you can sleep when you please, monsieur?> said Morrel.
<You have a recipe for it?>
<An infallible one.>
<Oh, yes, returned M.C.; I make no secret of it. It is a mixture of excellent opium, which I fetched myself from Canton in order to have it pure, and the best hashish which grows in the East – that is, between the Tigris and the Euphrates.>”
“he spoke with so much simplicity that it was evident he spoke the truth, or that he was mad.”
“<Perhaps what I am about to say may seem strange to you, who are socialists, and vaunt humanity and your duty to your neighbor, but I never seek to protect a society which does not protect me, and which I will even say, generally occupies itself about me only to injure me; and thus by giving them a low place in my steem, and preserving a neutrality towards them, it is society and my neighbor who are indebted to me.>
(…) <you are the 1st man I ever met sufficiently courageous to preach egotism. Bravo, count, bravo!>” “vocês assumem os vícios que não têm, e escondem as virtudes que possuem.”
“France is so prosaic, and Paris so civilized a city, that you will not find in its 85 departments – I say 85, because I do not include Corsica – you will not find, then, in these 85 departments a single hill on which there is not a telegraph, or a grotto in which the comissary of polie has not put up a gaslamp.”
“<But how could you charge a Nubian to purchase a house, and a mute to furnish it? – he will do everything wrong.>
<Undeceive yourself, monsieur,> replied M.C.; <I am quite sure, that o the contrary, he will choose everything as I wish. He knows my tastes, my caprices, my wants. He has been here a week, with the instinct of a hound, hunting by himself. He will arrange everything for me. He knew, that I should arrive to-day at 10 o’clock; he was waiting for me at 9 at the Barrière de Fontainebleau. He gave me this paper; it contains the number of my new abode; read it yourself,> and M.C. passed a paper to Albert. <Ah, that is really original.> said Beauchamp.”
“The young men looked at each other; they did not know if it was a comedy M.C. was playing, but every word he uttered had such an air of simplicity, that it was impossible to suppose what he said was false – besides, why whould he tell a falsehood?”
“<Eu, em minha qualidade de jornalista, abro-lhe todos os teatros.>
<Obrigado, senhor,> respondeu M.C., <meu mordomo tem ordens para comprar um camarote em cada teatro.>
<O seu mordomo é também um núbio?> perguntou Debray.
<Não, ele é um homem do campo europeu, se um córsico for considerado europeu. Mas você o conhece, M. de Morcerf.>
<Seria aquele excepcional Sr. Bertuccio, que entende de reservar janelas tão bem?>
<Sim, você o viu o dia que eu tive a honra de recebê-lo; ele tem sido soldado, bandido – de fato, tudo. Eu não teria tanta certeza de que nesse meio-tempo ele não teve problemas com a polícia por alguma briguinha qualquer – uma punhalada com uma faca, p.ex.>”
“Eu tenho algo melhor que isso; tenho uma escrava. Vocês procuram suas mulheres em óperas, o Vaudeville, ou as Variedades; eu comprei a minha em Constantinopla; me custa mais, mas não tenho do que reclamar.”
“It was the portrait of a young woman of 5-or-6-and-20, with a dark complexion, and light and lustrous eyes, veiled beneath long lashes. She wore the picturesque costume of the Catalan fisher-women, a red and black bodice and golden pins in her hair. She was looking at the sea, and her form was outlined on the blue ocean and sky. The light was so faint in the room that Albert did not perceive the pallor that spread itself over the count’s visage, or the nervous heaving of his chest and shoulders. Silence prevailed for an instant, during which M.C. gazed intently on the picture. § <You have there a most charming mistress, viscount,> said the count in a perfectly calm tone”
“Ah, monsieur, returned Albert, You do not know my mother; she it is whom you see here. She had her portrait painted thus 6 or 8 years ago. This costume is a fancy one, it appears, and the resemblance is so great that I think I still see my mother the same as she was in 1830. The countess had this portrait painted during the count’s absence.”
“The picture seems to have a malign influence, for my mother rarely comes here without looking at it, weeping. This disagreement is the only one that has ever taken place between the count and countess, who are still as much united, although married more than 20 years, as on the 1st day of their wedding.”
“Your are somewhat blasé. I know, and family scenes have not much effect on Sinbad the Sailor, who has seen so much many others.”
“These are our arms, that is, those of my father, but they are, as you see, joined to another shield, which has gules, a silver tower, which are my mother’s. By her side I am Spanish, but the family of Morcerf is French, and, I have heard, one of the oldest of the south of France.”
“<Yes, you are at once from Provence and Spain; that explains, if the portrait you showed me be like, the dark hue I so much admired on the visage of the noble Catalan.> It would have required the penetration of Oedipus or the Sphinx to have divined the irony the count concealed beneath these words, apparently uttered with the greatest politeness.”
“A gentleman of high birth, possessor of an ample fortune, you have consented to gain your promotion as an obscure soldier, step by step – this is uncommon; then become general, peer of France, commander of the Legion of Honor, you consent to again commence a 2nd apprenticeship, without any other hope or any other desire than that of one day becoming useful to your fellow-creatures”
“Precisely, monsieur, replied M.C. with ne of those smiles that a painter could never represent or a physiologist analyze.”
“He was even paler than Mercedes.”
“<And what do you suppose is the coun’s age?> inquired Mercedes, evidently attaching great importance to this question.
<35 or 36, mother.>
<So young, – it is impossible>”
“The young man, standing up before her, gazed upon her with that filial affection which is so tender and endearing with children whose mothers are still young and handsome.”
“I confess, I am not very desirous of a visit from the commisary of police, for, in Italy, justice is only paid when silent – in France she is paid only when she speaks.”
“he has smitten with the sword, and he has perished by the sword”
“while he stamped with his feet to remove all traces of his occupation, I rushed on him and plunged my knife into his breast, exclaiming, – <I am Giovanni Bertuccio; thy death for my brother’s; thy treasure for his widow; thou seest that my vengeance is more complete than I had hoped.> I know not if he heard these words; I think he did not for he fell without a cry.”
“that relaxation of the laws which always follows a revolution.”
“he who is about to commit an assassination fancies that he hears low cries perpetually ringing in his ears. 2 hours passed thus, during which I imagined I heard moans repeatedly.”
“too great care we take of our bodies is the only obstacle to the success of those projects which require rapid decision, and vigorous and determined execution.”
“No, no; but philosophy at half-past ten at night is somewhat late; yet I have no other observation to make, for what you say is correct, which is more than can be said for all philosophy.”
“<heaven will bless you.>
<This, said M.C., is less correct than your philosophy, – it is only faith.>”
“red is either altogether good or altogether bad.”
“I do not like open doors when it thunders.”
“the ocean called eterny”
“For all evils there are 2 remedies – time and silence.”
“Eu não tenho medo de fantasmas, e nunca ouvi falar de mortos terem causado tanto dano em 6 mil anos quanto os vivos num só dia.”
“<It seems, sir steward,> said he <that you have yet to learn that all things are to be sold to such as care to pay the price.>
<His excellency is not, perhaps, aware that M. Danglars gave 16.000 francs for his horses?>
<Very well. Then offer him double that sum; a banker never loses an opportunity of doubling his capital.>”
“you have been in my service 1 year, the time I generally give myself to judge of the merits or demerits of those about me.”
“I am rich enough to know whatever I desire to know, and I can promise you I am not wanting in curiosity.”
“<I assure your excellency,> said he, <that at least it shall be my study to merit your approbation in all things, and I will take M. Ali as my model.>
<By no means,> replied the count in the most frigid tones; <Ali has many faults mixed with most excellent qualities. He cannot possibly serve you as a pattern for your conduct, not being, as you are, a paid servant, but a mere slave – a dog, who, should he fail in his duty towards me, I should not discharge from my service, but kill.> Baptistin opened his eyes with astonishment.”
“<Does the sum you have for them make the animals less beautiful,> inquired the count, shrugging his shoulders.”
“I see; to your domestics you are <my lord,> the journalists style you <monsieur,> while your constituents call you <citizen>. These are distinctions very suitable under a constitutional government. I understand perfectly.”
“I have acquired the bad habit of calling peorsons by their titles from living in a country where barons are still barons by right of birth.”
“<My dear sir, if a trifle [ninharia] like that could suffice me, I should never have given myself the trouble of opening an account. A million? Excuse my smiling when you speak of a sum I am in the habit of carrying in my pocket-book or dressing-case.> And with these words M.C. took from his pocket a small case cantaining his visiting-cards and drew forth 2 orders on the treasury for 500.000 francs each, payable at sight to the bearer.”
“I must confess to you, count, said Danglars, that I have hitherto imagined myself acquainted with the degree of all the great fortunes of Europe, and still wealth such as yours has been wholly unknown t me. May I presume to ask whether you have long possessed it?”
“I have passed a considerable part of my life in the East, madame, and you are doubtless aware that the Orientals value only two things – the fine breeding of their horses and the beauty of their women.”
“a woman will often, from mere wilfulness, prefer that which is dangerous to that which is safe. Therefore, in my opinion, my dear baron, the best and easiest way is to leave them to their fancies, and allow them to act as they please, and then, if any mischief follows, why, at least, they have no one to blame but themselves.”
“Debray, who perceived the gathering clouds, and felt no desire to witness the explosion of Madame Danglars’ rage, suddenly recollected an appointment, which compelled him to take his leave”
“How grateful will M. de Villefort be for all your goodness; how thanfully will he acknowledge that to you alone he owes the existence of his wife and child!”
“hated by many, but warmly supported by others, without being really liked by anybody, M. de Villefort held a high position in the magistracy, and maintened his eminence like a Harley or a Mole.” “A freezing politeness, a strict fidelity to government principles, a profound comtempt for theories and theorists, a deep-seated hatred of ideality, – these were the elements of private and public life displayed by M. de Villefort.”
“<Finja pensar bem de si mesmo, e o mundo pensará bem de você,> um axioma 100x mais útil na sociedade hoje que aquele dos gregos, <Conhece-te a ti mesmo,> uma sabedoria que, em nosso dias, nós substituímos pela ciência menos complicada e mais vantajosa de conhecer os outros.”
“4 revoluções sucessivas construíram e cimentaram o pedestal sobre o qual sua fortuna se baseia”
“Ele deu bailes todos os anos, nos quais não aparecia por mais que ¼ de hora, – ou seja, 45min a menos do que o rei é visível em seus bailes. Nunca fôra visto em teatros, em concertos ou em qualquer lugar público de divertimento. Ocasionalmente, aliás raramente, chegava a jogar Whist, e ainda assim cuidado era tomado para selecionar os jogadores corretos – certas vezes se tratavam de embaixadores, outras, arcebispos; ou quem sabe um príncipe, ou um presidente, talvez alguma duquesa pensionista.”
“From being slender he had now become meagre; once pale he was now yellow; his deep-set eyes were hollow, and the gold spectacles shielding his eyes seemed to be an integral portion of his face.”
“<well sir, really, if, like you, I had nothing else to do, I should seek a more amusing occupation.>
<man is but an ugly caterpillar for him who studies him through a solar microscope; but you said, I think, that I had nothing else to do. Now, really, let me ask, sir, have you? – do you believe you have anything to do? or to speak in plain terms, do you really think that what you do deserves being called anything?>”
“It was a long time since the magisrate had heard a paradox so strong, or rather, to say the truth more exactly, it was the 1st time he had ever heard of it.”
“it is with the justice of all countries especially that I have occupied myself – it is with the criminal procedure of all nations that I have compared natural justice, and I must say, sir, that it is the law of primitive nations, that is, the law of retaliation, that I have most frequently found to be according to the law of God.” “The English, Turkish, Japanese, Hindu laws, are as familiar to me as the French laws, and thus I was right, when I said to you, that relatively (you know that everything is relative, sir) – that relatively to what I have done, you have very little to do; but that relatively to all I have learned, you have yet a great deal to learn.”
“I see that in spite of the reputation which you have acquired as a superior man, you look at everything from the material and vulgar view of society, beginning with man, and ending with man – that is to say, in the most restricted, most narrow view which it is possible for human understanding to embrace.”
“Tobias took the angel who restored him to light for an ordinary young man. The nations took Attila, who was doomed to destroy them, for a conqueror similar to other conquerors, and it was necessary for both to reveal their missions, that they might be known and acknowledged”
“It is not usual with us corrupted wretches of civilization to find gentlemen like yourself, possessors, as you are, of immense fortune – at least, so it is said – and I beg you to observe that I do not inquire, I merely repeat; – it is not usual, I say, for such privileged and wealthy beings to waste their time in speculations on the state of society, in philosophical reveries, intended at best to console those whom fate has disinherited from the goods of this world.”
“The domination 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. 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. Well, Ali, my Nubian, believes me to be an Arab; Bertuccio, my steward, takes me for a Roman; Haidée, my slave, thinks me a Greek. You may, 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 arrests me. I have only 2 adversaries – I will not say 2 conquerors, for with perseverance I subdue even them, – they are time and distance. There is a 3rd, and the most terrible – that is my condition asa 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 terms. What men call the chances of fate – namey, ruin, change, circumstances – I have fully anticipated, and if any of these should overtake me, yet it will not overwhelm me. Unless I die, I shall always be what I am, and therefore it is that I utter the things you have never heard, even from the mouths of kings – for kings have need, and oher persons have fear of you. For who is there who does not say to himself, in a society as incongruously organized as ours, <Perhaps some day I shall have to do with the king’s attorney>?”
“we no longer talk, we rise to dissertation.” Engraçada inversão de sentido em relação ao Prefácio da Enciclopédia francesa, que vê nisso o fato de um monólogo cego, nada nobre.
“Eu desejo ser a Providência eu mesmo, porque eu sinto que a coisa mais bela, nobre, mais sublime de todas no mundo, é recompensar e punir.”
“o filho de Deus é tão invisível quanto o pai.”
“<(…) Tudo o que eu posso fazer por você é torná-lo um dos agentes dessa Providência.> A barganha estava concluída. Devo sacrificar minh’alma, mas que importa afinal? Se fosse para fazer tudo de novo, faria de novo.” Villefort olhou o Conde de Monte Cristo admiradíssimo. “Conde, você tem parentes?”
“Não, senhor, estou só no mundo.”
“Oh, tanto pior.”
“há algo que temer além da morte, da velhice e da loucura. P.ex., existe a apoplexia – aquele raio que atinge-o mas sem destruir, mas que de certo modo leva tudo a um fim.” “a ruptura de uma veia no lobo cerebral destruiu tudo isso, não num dia, não numa hora, mas num segundo. Noirtier, que, na noite anterior, era o velho jacobino, o velho senador, o velho Carbonaro, gargalhando à guilhotina, ao canhão, e à adaga – este Noirtier, jogando com revoluções – Monsieur Noirtier, para quem a França era um vasto tabuleiro de xadrez, de onde peões, bispos, cavaleiros e rainhas eram contìnuamente varridos, até o xeque-mate do rei – M.N., o formidável, era, na manhã seguinte, <o pobre N.,> o velho frágil, sob os ternos cuidados da mais fraca das criaturas da casa, i.e., sua neta, Valentina” Nunca chame uma mulher de fraca antes d’a vingança estar completada!
“Cem escriores desde Sócrates, Sêneca, St. Agostinho,e Gall, fizeram, em verso e prosa, a comparação que você fez, e ainda assim eu posso mui bem deduzir que os sofrimentos paternos devem causar grandes transformações na mente de um filho.”
“Valentina, a filha do meu primeiro casamento – com senhorita Renée de St.-Meran – e Eduardo, o garoto que você hoje salvou.”
“<Meu palpite é,> respondeu V., <que meu pai, conduzido por suas paixões; cometeu algumas faltas desconhecidas para a justiça humana, mas marcadas na justiça de Deus. Esse Deus, desejoso em sua misericórdia de punir uma pessoa e mais ninguém, fez justiça nele tão-somente.> O Conde de Monte Cristo, com um sorriso nos lábios, emitiu, das profundezas de sua alma, um grunhido que teria feito V. voar se ao menos tivesse escutado.”
“Sua atitude, embora natural para uma mulher oriental, seria, numa européia, confundida com algo emanando luxúria demais.” “E, para completar o quadro, Haidée se encontrava em plena primavera e no auge dos charmes da juventude – ela ainda não tinha ultrapassado os 20 verões.”
“Nunca vi ninguém que eu preferisse a você, e nunca amei qualquer um, exceto você e meu pai.”
“não é a árvore que abandona a flor – é a flor que cai da árvore.”
“Meu pai tinha uma grande barba branca, mas eu o amava; ele tinha 60, mas para mim era mais bonito que qualquer jovem que já tivesse contemplado.”
“Acredite: quando 3 grandes paixões, tristeza, amor e gratidão, preenchem o coração, ennui não tem lugar.”
“Juventude é a flor da qual amor é o fruto; feliz é aquele que, depois de assistir seu silencioso crescimento, é o felizardo a pegar o fruto e chamá-lo seu.” Píndaro
“Havia um estúdio para Emmanuel, que nunca estudava, e uma sala de concertos para Júlia, que nunca tocava.”
“Morrel, ao morrer, deixou 500 mil francos, que foram partilhados entre mim e minha irmã, seus únicos descendentes.”
“Oh, it was touching superstition, monsieur, and although I did not myself believe it, I would not for the world have destroyed my father’s faith. How often did he muse over it and pronounce the name of a dear friend – a friend lost to him forever; and on his death-bed, when the near approach of eternity seemed to have illumined his mind with supernatural light, this thought, which had until then been but a doubt, became a conviction and his last words were, <Maximilian, it was Edmond Dantes!> At these words the count’s paleness, which had for some time been increasing, became alarming; he could not speak”
“M. Franz is not expected to return home for a year to come, I am told; in that time many favorable and unforeseen chances may befriend us.”
“Valentine, while reproaching me with selfishness, think a little what you have been to me – the beautiful but cold resemblance of a marble Venus. What promise of future reward have you made me for all the submission and obedience I have evinced? – none whatever.”
“The general remark is, <Oh, it cannot be excepcted that one of so stern a character as M. Villefort could lavish the tenderness some fathers do on their daughters. What though she has lost her own mother at a tender age, she has had tha happiness to find a 2nd mother in Madame de Ville.” “my father abandons me from utter indifference, while my mother-in-law detests me with a hatred so much the more terrible because it is veiled beneath a continual smile.”
“I do not know; but, though unwilling to introduce money matters into our present conversation, I will just say this much – that her extreme dislike to me has its origin there; and I much fear she envies me the fortime I enjoy in right of my mother, and wich will be more than doubled at the death of M. and Mme. de Saint-Meran, whose sole heiress I am.”
“no one could oppose him; he is all-powerful even with the king; he would crush you at a word.”
“I am, for many reasons, not altogether so much beneath your alliance. The days when such distinctions were so nicely weighed and considered no longer exist in France, and the 1st families of the monarchy have intermarried with those of the empire. The aristocracy of the lance has allied itself with the nobility of the cannon.”
“Don’t speak of Marseilles, I beg of your, Maximilian; that one word brings back my mother to my recollection – my angel mother, who died too soon for myself, and all who knew her.”
“<Tell me truly, Maximilian, wether in former days, when our fathers dwelt at Marseilles, there was ever any misunderstanding between them?>
<Not that I am aware of,> replied the young man, <unless; indeed, any ill-feeling might have arisen from their being of opposite parties – your father was, as you know, a zealous partisan of the Bourbons, while mine was wholly devoted to the emperor>”
“How singular, murmured Maximilian; your father hates me, while your grandfather, on the contrary – What strange feelings are aroused by politics.”
“<And Monsieur de Monte Cristo, King of China, Emperor of Cochin-China,> said the young im[p][ertinent]”
“And that is the case, observed Count of Monte Cristo. I have seen Russians devour, without being visibly inconvenienced, vegetable substances which would infallibly have killed a Neapolitan or an Arab.”
“Well, supose that this poison was brucine, and you were to take a milligramme the 1st day, 2mg the 2nd, and so on. Well, at the end of 10 days you would have taken a centigramme [+40mg, cumulativamente], at the end of 20 days, increasing another mg, you would have taken 300 centigrammes [?]; that is to say, a dose which you would support without inconvenience, and which would be very dangerous for any other person who had not taken the same precautions as yourself. Well, then, at the end of a month, when drinking water from the same carafe, you would kill the person who drank with you, without your perceiving, otherwise than from slight inconvenience, that there was any poisonous substance mingles with this water.”
“<I have often read, and read again, the history of Mithridates,> said Mme. de Villefort in a tone of reflection, <and had always considered it a fable.>
<No, madame, contrary to most history, it is true (…)>
<True, sir. The 2 favorite studies of my youth were botany and mineralogy, and subsequently when I learned the use of simple frequency explained the whole history of a people, and the entire life of individuals in the East, as flowers betoken and symbolize a love affair, I have regretted, that I was not a man, that I might have been a Flamel¹, a Fontana², or a Cabanis³.>
<And the more, madame,> said Counf of Monte Cristo, <as the Orientals do not confine themselves, as did Mithridates, to make a cuirass [escudo; proteção; couraça] of the poisons, but they also made them a dagger.>”
¹ Alquimista dos séc. XIV-XV.
² Médico italiano do séc. XVIII, autor, nas décadas 60, 70 e 80, de tratados pioneiros em toxicologia, como Ricerche fisiche sopra il veleno della vipera.
³ Médico e filósofo francês, contemporâneo de Fontana. De saúde frágil, era um médico que pesquisava muito e não clinicava, sendo portanto quase um metafísico da fisiologia. Suas idéias podem ser consideradas de uma amplitude tal que é, ainda, um psicólogo pré-Psicologia. Seu conceito de Vontade vital influenciaria fortemente Schopenhauer. Magnum opus: Lettre sur les causes premières (1824).
“With opium, belladonna, brucaea, snake-wood¹, and the cherry-laurel², they put to sleep all who stand in their way. There is not one of those women, Egyptian, Turkish, or Greek, whom here you call <good women>, who do not know how, by means of chemistry, to stupefy a doctor, and in psychology to amaze a confessor.”
¹ Planta do gênero acácia comum em desertos do Oriente Médio e Austrália.
² Planta originária da vegetação costeira do Mar Morto.
“the secret dramas of the East begin with a love philtre and end with a death potion – begin with paradise and end with – hell. There are as many elixirs of every kind as there are caprices and peculiarities in the physical and moral nature of humanity”
“A man can easily be put out of the way there, then; it is, indeed, The Bagdad and Bassora of the <Thousand and One Nights>.”
“at your theatres, by what at least I could judge by reading the pieces they play, they see persons swallow the contents of a phial, or suck the button of a ring, and fall dead instantly. 5 minutes afterwards the curtain falls, and the spectators depart. They are ignorant of the consequences of the murder; they see neither the police commissary with his badge of office, nor the corporal with his 4 men; and so the poor fools believe that the whole thing is as easy as lying. But go a little way from France – go either to Aleppo or Cairo, or only to Naples or Rome, and you will see people passing by you in the streets – people erect, smiling, and fresh-colored, of whom Asmodeus, if you were holding on by the skirt of his mantle, would say, <That man was poisoned 3 weeks ago; he will be a dead man in a month.>”
“Ah, but madame, does mankind ever lose anything? The arts change about and make a tour of the world; things take a different name, and the vulgar do not follow them (…) Poisons at particularly on some organ or another – one on the stomach, another on the brain, another on the intestines. Well, the poison brings on a cough, the cough an inflammation of the lungs, or some other complaint catalogued in the book of science, which, however, by no means precludes it from being decidedly mortal; and if it were not, would be sure to become so, thanks to the remedies applied by foolish doctors, who are generally bad chemists, and which will act in favor of or against the malady, as you please; and then there is a human being killed according to all the rules of art and skill, and of whom justice learns nothing, as was said by a terrible chemist of my acquaintance, the worthy Abbé Adelmonte of Taormina, in Sicily, who has studied these national phenomena very profoundly.”
“I thought, I must confess, that these tales, were inventions of the Middle Ages.”
“What procureur has ever ventured to draw up an accusation against M. Magendie or M. Flourens², in consequence of the rabbits, cats, and guinea-pigs they have killed? – not one. So, then, the rabbit dies, and justice takes no notice. This rabbit dead, the Abbé Adelmonte has its entrails taken out by his cook and thrown on the dunghill; on this dunghill is a hen, who, pecking these intestines, is in her turn taken ill, and dies next day. At the moment when she is struggling in the convulsions of death, a vulture [espécie de urubu ou abutre] is flying by (there are a good many vultures in Adelmonte’s country); this bird darts on the dead fowl, and carries it away to a rock, where it dines off its prey. Three days afterwards, this poor vulture, which has been very much indisposed since that dinner, suddenly feels very giddly while flying aloft in the clouds, and falls heavily into a fish-pond. The pike, eels, and carp eat greedily always, as everybody knows – well, they feast on the vulture. Now suppose that next day, one of these eels, or pike, or carp, poisoned the fourth remove, is served up at your table. Well, then, your guest will be poisoned at fifth remove, and die, at the end of 8 or 10 days, of pains in the intestines, sickness, or abscess of the pylorus [piloro; músculo entre o estômago e o duodeno]. The doctors open the body and say with an air of profound learning, <The subject has died of a tumor on the liver, or of typhoid fever!>”
¹ Médico do XIX, vivisseccionista célebre pela radicalidade de seus experimentos, que chocaram até mesmo a comunidade científica de um período ainda não tão eticamente regulamentado quanto hoje.
² Médico do XIX especialista em anestesia; diferente de Gall, seu precursor em frenologia, utilizou animais como cobaias para fazer detalhadas comprovações.
“But, she exclaimed, suddenly, arsenic is indelible, indestructible; in whatsoever way it is absorbed it will be found again in the body of the victim from the moment when it has been taken in sufficient quantity to cause death.”
“<The fowl has not been poisoned – she had died of apoplexy. Apoplexy is a rare disease among fowls, I believe, but very commong among men.> Madame de Villefort appeared more and more thoughtful.
<It is very fortunate,> she observed, <that such substances could only be prepared by chemists; otherwise, all the world would be poisoning each other.>
<By chemists and persons who have a taste for chemistry,> said the Count of Monte Cristo caressly.”
“The Orientals are stronger than we are in cases of conscience, and, very prudently, have no hell – that is the point.”
“O lado ruim do pensamento humano vai ser sempre definido pelo paradoxo de Jean Jacques Rousseau – você deve saber, – o mandarim que é morto a 200km de distância por erguer a ponta do dedo. A vida inteira o homem passa fazendo essas coisas, e seu intelecto se exaure refletindo sobre elas. Você achará pouquíssimas pessoas que irão e enfiarão uma faca brutalmente no coração de seu companheiro ou irmão, ou que administrariam nele, para fazê-lo sumir da face da terra tão animada de vida, essa quantidade de arsênico de que falamos agora há pouco. Uma coisa dessas está realmente fora do normal – é excêntrico ou estúpido. Para chegar a esse ponto, o sangue deve ferver a 36º, o pulso deve estar, pelo menos, a 90, e os sentimentos, excitados além do limite ordinário.”
“Thus Richard III, for instance, was marvellously served by his conscience after the putting away of the 2 children of Edward IV; in fact, he could say, <These 2 children of a cruel and persecuting king, who have inherited the vices of their father, which I alone could perceive in their juvenile propensities – these 2 children are impediments in my way of promoting the happiness of the English people, whose unhappiness they (the children) would infallibly have caused.> Thus was Lady Macbeth served by her conscience, when she sought to give her son, and not her husband (whatever Shakespeare may say), a throne. Ah, maternal love is a great virtue, a powerful motive – so powerful that it excuses a multitude of things, even if, after Duncan’s death, Lady Macbeth had been at all pricked by her conscience.”
“Madame de Villefort listened with avidity to these appaling maxims and horrible paradoxes, delivered by the count with that ironical simplicity which was peculiar to him.”
“As for me, so nervous, and so subject to fainting fits, I should require a Dr. Adelmonte to invent for me some means of breathing freely and tranquilizing my mind, in the fear I have of dying some fine day of suffocation.”
“Only remember 1 thing – a small dose is a remedy, a large one is poison. 1 drop will restore life, as you have seen; 5 or 6 will inevitably kill, and in a way the more terrible inasmuch as, poured into a glass of wine, it would not in the slightest degree affect its flavor.”
“He is a very strange man, and in my opinion is himself the Adelmonte he talks about.”
* * *
“To no class of persons is the presentation of a gratuitous opera-box more acceptable than to the wealthy millionaire, who still hugs economy while boasting of carrying a king’s ransom in his waistcoat pocket.”
“No, for that very ressemblance affrights me; I should have liked something more in the manner of the Venus of Milo or Capua; but this chase-loving Diana continually surrounded by her nymphs gives me a sort of alarm lest she should some day bring on me the fate of Acteon.” “she was beautiful, but her beauty was of too marked and decided a character to please a fastidious taste; her hair was raven black, but its natural waves seemed somewhat rebellious; her eyes of the same color as her hair, were surmounted by well-arched bows, whose great defect, however, consisted in an almost habitual frown, while her whole physiognomy wore that expression of firmness and decision so little in accordance with the gentler attributes of her sex”
“But that which completed the almost masculine look Morcerf found so little to his taste, was a dark mole, of much larger dimensions than these freaks of nature generally are, placed just at the corner of her mouth” “She was a perfect linguist, a 1st-rate artist, wrote poetry, professed to be entirely devoted, following it with an indefatigable perseverance, assisted by a schoolfellow” “It was rumored that she was an object of almost paternal interest to one of the principal composers of the day, who excited her to spare no pains in the cultivation of her voice, which might hereafter prove a source of wealth and independence.”
“Why, said Albert, he was talked about for a week; then the coronation of the queen of England took place, followed by the theft of Mademoiselle Mars’ diamonds; and so people talked of something else.”
“He seems to have a mania for diamonds, and I verily believe that, like Potenkin, he keeps his pockets filled, for the sake of strewing them along the road, as Tom Thumb did his flint stones.”
“No, no! exclaimed Debray; that girl is not his wife: he told us himself she was his slave. Do you not recollect, Morcerf, his telling us so at your breakfast?”
“Ah, essa música, como produção humana, cantada por bípedes sem penas, está boa o bastante, para citar o velho Diógenes”
“<quando eu desejo ouvir sons mais requintadamente consoantes com a melodia do que o ouvido mortal seria capaz de escutar, eu vou dormir.>
<Então durma aqui, meu querido conde. As condições são favoráveis; para o que mais inventaram a ópera?>
<Não, obrigado. Sua orquestra é muito barulhenta. Para dormir da maneira de que falo, calma e silêncio absolutos são precisos, e ainda certa preparação>–
<Eu sei – o famoso haxixe!>
<Precisamente. Destarte, meu querido visconde, sempre que quiser ser regalado com música de verdade, venha e jante comigo.>”
“Haidée, cujo espírito parecia centrado nos negócios do palco, como todas as naturezas sem sofisticação, se deliciava com qualquer coisa que se insinuasse aos olhos ou aos ouvidos.”
“Você observou, disse a Condessa G—— a Albert, que voltou para o seu lado, esse homem não faz nada como as outras pessoas; ele escuta com grande devoção o 3º ato de <Robert le Diable>, e quando começa o 4º ato, sai de contínuo.”
“desinteresse é o raio mais rilhante em que uma espada nobre pode refletir.”
“Ah, Haitians, – that is quite another thing! Haitians are the écarte of French stock-jobbing. We may like bouillote, delight in whist, be enraptured with boston, and yet grow tired of them all; but we always come back to écarte – it’s not only a game, it is a hors-d’oeuvre! M. Danglars sold yesterday at 405, and pockets 300.000 francs. Had he but waited till to-day, the price would have fallen to 205, and instead of gaining 300.000 francs, he would have lost 20 or 25.000.”
“Você sabe que com banqueiros nada a não ser um documento escrito será válido.”
“é cansativo bancar sempre o Manfredo. Eu desejo que minha vida seja livre e aberta.”
“Você ouviu – Major Bartolomeo Cavalcanti – um homem que figura entre os nobres mais antigos de Itália, cujo nome foi celebrado no 10º canto do <Inferno> por Dante”
“The acquaintances one makes in travelling have a sort of claim on one, they everywhere expect to receive the attention which you once paid them by chance, as though the civilities of a passing hour were likely to awaken any lasting interest in favor of the man in whose society you may happen to be thrown in the course of your journey.”
“<Yes, he is to marry Mademoiselle de Villefort.>
<And you know I am to marry Mademoiselle Danglars,> said Albert, laughing.
<Why do you do so?>
<I smile because there appears to me to be about as much inclination for the consummation of the engagement in question as there is for my own. But really, my dear count, We are talking as much of women as they do of us; it is unpardonable>”
“My servants seem to imitate those you sometimes see in a play, who, because they have only a word to say, aquit themselves in the most awkward manner possible.”
“I should like you 100x better if, by your intervention, I could manage to remain a bachelor, even were it only for 10 years.”
“Lucullus dines with Lucullus” ou o banquete-para-um.
“Você deve saber que na França são muito particulares nesses pontos; não é o bastante, como na Itália, ir até o padre e dizer <Nós amamos 1 ao outro, e queremos que você nos case.> Casamento é um negócio civil na França, e a fim de se casar da maneira ortodoxa você precisa de papéis que estabeleçam inegavelmente sua identidade.”
“<But what shall I wear?>
<What you find in your trunks.>
<In my trunks? I have but one portmanteau [mala].>
<I dare say you have nothing else with you. What is the use of losing one’s self with so many things? Besides an old soldier always likes to march with as little baggage as possible.>”
“<Exactly so. Now, as I have never known any Sinbad, with the exception of the one celebrated in the ‘1001 Nights’>–
<Well, it is one of his descendants, and a great friend of mine; he is a very rich Englishman, eccentric almost to insanity, and his real name is Lord Wilmore.>”
“I have, therefore, received a very good education, and have been treated by those kidnappers very much as the slaves were treated in Asia Minor, whose masters made them grammarians, doctors, and philosophers, in order that they might fetch a higher price in the Roman market.”
“Você não pode controlar as circunstâncias, meu caro; <o homem propõe, e Deus dispõe>.”
“<Does Mademoiselle Danglars object to this marriage with Monsieur de Morcerf on account of loving another?>
<I told you I was not on terms of strict intimacy with Eugenie.>
<Yes, but girls tell each other secrets without being particularly intimate; own, now, that you did question her on the subject. Ah, I see you are smiling.>”
“She told me that she loved no one, said Valentine; that she disliked the idea of being married; that she would infinitely prefer leading an independent and unfettered life; and that she almost wished her father might lose his fortune; that she might become an artist, like her friend, Mademoiselle Louise d’Armilly.”
“I never saw more simple tastes united to greater magnificence. His smile is so sweet when he addresses me, that I forget it ever can be bitter to others. Ah, Valentine, tell me, if he ever looked on you with one of those sweet smiles?”
“Has the sun done anything for me? No, he warms me with his rays, and it is by his light that I see you – nothing more. Has such and such a perfume done anything for me? No; its odors charms one of my senses – that is all I can say when I am asked why I praise it. My friendship for him is as strange and unaccountable as his for me.”
“A man who accustoms himself to live in such a world of poetry and imagination must find far too little excitement in a common, every-day sort of attachment such as ours.”
“O que você está me dizendo? 900 mil francos? Essa é uma soma que poderia ser lamentada mesmo por um filósofo!”
“Flora, a jovial e sorridente deusa dos jardineiros”
“O Conde de Monte Cristo tinha visto o bastante. Todo homem tem uma paixão arrebatadora em seu coração, como cada fruta tem seu verme; a do homem-do-telégrafo era a horticultura.”
“these Italians are well-named and badly dressed.”
“I have only heard that an emperor of China had an oven built expressly, and that in this oven 12 jars like this were successively baked. 2 broke, from the heat of the fire; the other 10 were sunk 300 fathoms deep into the sea. The sea, knowing what was required of her, threw over them her weeds, encircled them with coral, and encrusted them with shells; the whole was cemented by 200 years beneath these almost impervious depths, for a revolution carried away the emperor who wished to make the trial, and only left the documents proving the manufacture of the jars and their descent into the sea. At the end of 200 years the documents were found, and they thought of bringing up the jars. Divers descended in machines, made expressly on the discovery, into the bay where they were thrown; but of 10 3 only remained, the rest having been broken by the waves.”
“<Stop! You are in a shocking hurry to be off – you forget one of my guests. Lean a little to the left. Stay! look at M. Andrea Cavalcanti, the young man in a black coat, looking at Murillo’s Madonna; now he is turning.> This time Bertuccio would have uttered an exclamation had not a look from the Count of Monte Cristo silenced him. <Benedetto?> he muttered; <fatality!>”
“you will admit that, when arrived at a certain degree of fortune, the superfluities of life are all that can be desired; and the ladies will allow that, after having risen to a certain eminence of position, the ideal alone can be more exalted.”
“For example, you see these 2 fish; 1 brought from 50 leagues beyond St. Petersburg, the other 4 leagues from Naples. Is it not amusing to see them both on the same table?”
“<Exactly: 1 comes from the Volga, and the other from Lake Fusaro.>
<Impossible!> cried all the guests simultaneously.
<Well, this is just what amuses me,> said the Count of Monte Cristo. <I am like Nero – cupitor impossibilium; and that is what is amusing you at this moment. This fish which seems so exquisite to you is very likely no better than perch or salmon; but it seemed impossible to procure it, and here it is.>”
“<Pliny relates that they sent slaves from Ostia to Rome, who carried on their heads fish which he calls the muslus, and which, from the description, must probably be the goldfish. It was also considered a luxury to have them alive, it being an amusing sight to see them die, for, when dying, they chance color 3 or 4 times, and like the rainbow when it disappears, pass through all the prismatic shades, after which they were sent to the kitchen. Their agony formed part of their merit – if they were not seen alive, they were despised when dead.>
<Yes,> said Debray, <but then Ostia is only a few leagues from Rome.>
<True,> said the Count of Monte Cristo; <but what would be the use of living 18×100 years after Lucullus, if we can do no better than he could?>”
“Elisabeth de Rossan, Marquise de Ganges, was one of the famous women of the court of Louis XIV where she was known as <La Belle Provençale>. She was the widow of the Marquise de Castellane when she married de Ganges, and having the misfortune to excite the enmity of her new brothers-in-law, was forced by them to take poison; and they finished her off with pistol and dagger.”
“<Can you imagine>, said the Count of Monte Crisato, <some Othello or Abbé de Ganges, one stormy night, descending these stairs step by step, carrying a load, which he wishes to hide from the sight of man, if not from God?> Madame Danglars half fainted on the arm of Villefort, who was obliged to support himself against the wall.”
“<What is done to infanticides in this country?> asked Major Cavalcanti innocently.
<Oh, their heads are soon cut off>, said Danglars.
<Ah, indeed?> said Cavalcanti.
<I think so, am I not right, M. de Villefort?> asked the Count of Monte Cristo.
<Yes, count>, replied Villefort, in a voice now scarcely human.”
“Melancholy in a capitalist, like the appearance of a comet, presages some misfortune to the world.”
“She dreamed Don Carlos had returned to Spain; she believes in dreams. It is magnetism, she says, and when she dreams a thing it is sure to happen, she assures me.”
“I make three assortments in fortune—first-rate, second-rate, and third-rate fortunes. I call those first-rate which are composed of treasures one possesses under one’s hand, such as mines, lands, and funded property, in such states as France, Austria, and England, provided these treasures and property form a total of about a hundred millions; I call those second-rate fortunes, that are gained by manufacturing enterprises, joint-stock companies, viceroyalties, and principalities, not drawing more than 1,500,000 francs, the whole forming a capital of about fifty millions; finally, I call those third-rate fortunes, which are composed of a fluctuating capital, dependent upon the will of others, or upon chances which a bankruptcy involves or a false telegram shakes, such as banks, speculations of the day—in fact, all operations under the influence of greater or less mischances, the whole bringing in a real or fictitious capital of about fifteen millions. I think this is about your position, is it not?”
“We have our clothes, some more splendid than others,—this is our credit; but when a man dies he has only his skin; in the same way, on retiring from business, you have nothing but your real principal of about five or six millions, at the most; for third-rate fortunes are never more than a fourth of what they appear to be, like the locomotive on a railway, the size of which is magnified by the smoke and steam surrounding it. Well, out of the five or six millions which form your real capital, you have just lost nearly two millions, which must, of course, in the same degree diminish your credit and fictitious fortune; to follow out my s[i]mile, your skin has been opened by bleeding, and this if repeated three or four times will cause death—so pay attention to it, my dear Monsieur Danglars. Do you want money? Do you wish me to lend you some?”
“I have made up the loss of blood by nutrition. I lost a battle in Spain, I have been defeated in Trieste, but my naval army in India will have taken some galleons, and my Mexican pioneers will have discovered some mine.”
“to involve me, three governments must crumble to dust.”
“Well, such things have been.”
“That there should be a famine!”
“Recollect the seven fat and the seven lean kine.”
“Or, that the sea should become dry, as in the days of Pharaoh, and even then my vessels would become caravans.”
“So much the better. I congratulate you, my dear M. Danglars,” said Monte Cristo; “I see I was deceived, and that you belong to the class of second-rate fortunes.”
“the sickly moons which bad artists are so fond of daubing into their pictures of ruins.”
“But all the Italians are the same; they are like old Jews when they are not glittering in Oriental splendor.”
“my opinion, I say, is, that they have buried their millions in corners, the secret of which they have transmitted only to their eldest sons, who have done the same from generation to generation; and the proof of this is seen in their yellow and dry appearance, like the florins of the republic, which, from being constantly gazed upon, have become reflected in them.”
“Oh, that depends upon circumstances. I know an Italian prince, rich as a gold mine, one of the noblest families in Tuscany, who, when his sons married according to his wish, gave them millions; and when they married against his consent, merely allowed them thirty crowns a month. Should Andrea marry according to his father’s views, he will, perhaps, give him one, two, or three millions. For example, supposing it were the daughter of a banker, he might take an interest in the house of the father-in-law of his son; then again, if he disliked his choice, the major takes the key, double-locks his coffer, and Master Andrea would be obliged to live like the sons of a Parisian family, by shuffling cards or rattling the dice.”
“Well, when I was a clerk, Morcerf was a mere fisherman.”
“And then he was called——”
“You are sure?”
“Pardieu! I have bought enough fish of him to know his name.”
“Then, why did you think of giving your daughter to him?”
“Because Fernand and Danglars, being both parvenus, both having become noble, both rich, are about equal in worth, excepting that there have been certain things mentioned of him that were never said of me.”
“Ah, yes; what you tell me recalls to mind something about the name of Fernand Mondego. I have heard that name in Greece.”
“In conjunction with the affairs of Ali Pasha?”
“This is the mystery,” said Danglars. “I acknowledge I would have given anything to find it out.”
“It would be very easy if you much wished it?”
“Probably you have some correspondent in Greece?”
“I should think so.”
“Well, write to your correspondent in Yanina, and ask him what part was played by a Frenchman named Fernand Mondego in the catastrophe of Ali Tepelini.”
“You are right,” exclaimed Danglars, rising quickly, “I will write today.”
“business-like persons pay very little attention to women, and Madame Danglars crossed the hall without exciting any more attention than any other woman calling upon her lawyer.”
“it is true that every step in our lives is like the course of an insect on the sands;—it leaves its track! Alas, to many the path is traced by tears.”
“Besides the pleasure, there is always remorse from the indulgence of our passions, and, after all, what have you men to fear from all this? the world excuses, and notoriety ennobles you.”
“It is generally the case that what we most ardently desire is as ardently withheld from us by those who wish to obtain it, or from whom we attempt to snatch it. Thus, the greater number of a man’s errors come before him disguised under the specious form of necessity; then, after error has been committed in a moment of excitement, of delirium, or of fear, we see that we might have avoided and escaped it. The means we might have used, which we in our blindness could not see, then seem simple and easy, and we say, <Why did I not do this, instead of that?> Women, on the contrary, are rarely tormented with remorse; for the decision does not come from you,—your misfortunes are generally imposed upon you, and your faults the results of others’ crimes.”
“Chance?” replied Villefort; “No, no, madame, there is no such thing as chance.”
“Oh, the wickedness of man is very great,” said Villefort, “since it surpasses the goodness of God. Did you observe that man’s eyes while he was speaking to us?”
“But have you ever watched him carefully?”
“did you ever reveal to anyone our connection?”
“Never, to anyone.”
“You understand me,” replied Villefort, affectionately; “when I say anyone,—pardon my urgency,—to anyone living I mean?”
“Yes, yes, I understand very well,” ejaculated the baroness; “never, I swear to you.”
“Were you ever in the habit of writing in the evening what had transpired in the morning? Do you keep a journal?”
“No, my life has been passed in frivolity; I wish to forget it myself.”
“Do you talk in your sleep?”
“I sleep soundly, like a child; do you not remember?” The color mounted to the baroness’s face, and Villefort turned awfully pale.
“It is true,” said he, in so low a tone that he could hardly be heard.
“It was a strange thing that no one ever appeared to advance a step in that man’s favor. Those who would, as it were, force a passage to his heart, found an impassable barrier.”
“And what is the news?”
“You should not ask a stranger, a foreigner, for news.”
“One may forsake a mistress, but a wife,—good heavens! There she must always be”
“You are difficult to please, viscount.”
“Yes, for I often wish for what is impossible.”
“What is that?”
“To find such a wife as my father found.” Monte Cristo turned pale, and looked at Albert, while playing with some magnificent pistols.
“For any other son to have stayed with his mother for four days at Tréport, it would have been a condescension or a martyrdom, while I return, more contented, more peaceful—shall I say more poetic!—than if I had taken Queen Mab or Titania as my companion.”
“That is what I call devoted friendship, to recommend to another one whom you would not marry yourself.”
“I love everyone as God commands us to love our neighbor, as Christians; but I thoroughly hate but a few. Let us return to M. Franz d’Epinay. Did you say he was coming?”
“those who remain in Paris in July must be true Parisians.”
“That is very well before one is over forty. No, I do not dance, but I like to see others do so.”
“One of his peculiarities was never to speak a word of French, which he however wrote with great facility.”
“I am told it is a delightful place?”
“It is a rock.”
“And why has the count bought a rock?”
“For the sake of being a count. In Italy one must have territorial possessions to be a count.”
“Are you not his confessor?”
“No, sir; I believe he is a Lutheran.”
“He is a Quaker then?”
“Exactly, he is a Quaker, with the exception of the peculiar dress.”
“Has he any friends?”
“Yes, everyone who knows him is his friend.”
“But has he any enemies?”
“What is his name?”
A investigação circular de Monsieur Villefaible…
“Now, sir, I have but one question more to ask, and I charge you, in the name of honor, of humanity, and of religion, to answer me candidly.”
“What is it, sir?”
“Do you know with what design M. de Monte Cristo purchased a house at Auteuil?”
“Certainly, for he told me.”
“What is it, sir?”
“To make a lunatic asylum of it, similar to that founded by the Count of Pisani at Palermo. Do you know about that institution?”
“As the envoy of the prefect of police arrived ten minutes before ten, he was told that Lord Wilmore, who was precision and punctuality personified, was not yet come in, but that he would be sure to return as the clock struck.” (*) [VIDE MARCA POUCO ALÉM]
“But as Lord Wilmore, in the character of the count’s enemy, was less restrained in his answers, they were more numerous; he described the youth of Monte Cristo, who he said, at ten years of age, entered the service of one of the petty sovereigns of India who make war on the English. It was there Wilmore had first met him and fought against him; and in that war Zaccone had been taken prisoner, sent to England, and consigned to the hulks, whence he had escaped by swimming. Then began his travels, his duels, his caprices; then the insurrection in Greece broke out, and he had served in the Grecian ranks. While in that service he had discovered a silver mine in the mountains of Thessaly, but he had been careful to conceal it from everyone. After the battle of Navarino, when the Greek government was consolidated, he asked of King Otho a mining grant for that district, which was given him. Hence that immense fortune, which, in Lord Wilmore’s opinion, possibly amounted to one or two millions per annum,—a precarious fortune, which might be momentarily lost by the failure of the mine.”
Hatred evidently inspired the Englishman, who, knowing no other reproach to bring on the count, accused him of avarice. “Do you know his house at Auteuil?”
“What do you know respecting it?”
“Do you wish to know why he bought it?”
“The count is a speculator, who will certainly ruin himself in experiments. He supposes there is in the neighborhood of the house he has bought a mineral spring equal to those at Bagnères, Luchon, and Cauterets. He is going to turn his house into a Badhaus, as the Germans term it. He has already dug up all the garden two or three times to find the famous spring, and, being unsuccessful, he will soon purchase all the contiguous houses. Now, as I dislike him, and hope his railway, his electric telegraph, or his search for baths, will ruin him, I am watching for his discomfiture, which must soon take place.”
“I have already fought three duels with him,” said the Englishman, “the first with the pistol, the second with the sword, and the third with the sabre.”
“Lord Wilmore, having heard the door close after him, returned to his bedroom, where with one hand he pulled off his light hair, his red whiskers, his false jaw, and his wound, to resume the black hair, dark complexion, and pearly teeth of the Count of Monte Cristo. It was M. de Villefort, and not the prefect, who returned to the house of M. de Villefort. (*) [???] He himself was the <envoy> [solução do miséterio], although the prefect was no more than an envoy of the King’s Attorney… Champsfort, consequently, continued his circularity with perfection & avidity…
“You know that he has another name besides Monte Cristo?”
“No, I did not know it.”
“Monte Cristo is the name of an island, and he has a family name.”
“I never heard it.”
“Well, then, I am better informed than you; his name is Zaccone.”
“It is possible.”
“He is a Maltese.”
“That is also possible.”
“The son of a shipowner.”
“Many men might have been handsomer, but certainly there could be none whose appearance was more significant, if the expression may be used. (…) Yet the Parisian world is so strange, that even all this might not have won attention had there not been connected with it a mysterious story gilded by an immense fortune.”
“Albert,” she asked, “did you notice that?”
“That the count has never been willing to partake of food under the roof of M. de Morcerf.”
“Yes; but then he breakfasted with me—indeed, he made his first appearance in the world on that occasion.”
“But your house is not M. de Morcerf’s,” murmured Mercédès
“Count,” added Mercédès with a supplicating glance, “there is a beautiful Arabian custom, which makes eternal friends of those who have together eaten bread and salt under the same roof.”
“I know it, madame,” replied the count; “but we are in France, and not in Arabia, and in France eternal friendships are as rare as the custom of dividing bread and salt with one another.”
“How can you exist thus without anyone to attach you to life?”
“It is not my fault, madame. At Malta, I loved a young girl, was on the point of marrying her, when war came and carried me away. I thought she loved me well enough to wait for me, and even to remain faithful to my memory. When I returned she was married. This is the history of most men who have passed twenty years of age. Perhaps my heart was weaker than the hearts of most men, and I suffered more than they would have done in my place; that is all.” The countess stopped for a moment, as if gasping for breath. “Yes,” she said, “and you have still preserved this love in your heart—one can only love once—and did you ever see her again?”
M. Count Comtempt
“instead of plunging into the mass of documents piled before him, M. Villefort opened the drawer of his desk, touched a spring, and drew out a parcel of cherished memoranda, amongst which he had carefully arranged, in characters only known to himself, the names of all those who, either in his political career, in money matters, at the bar, or in his mysterious love affairs, had become his enemies. § Their number was formidable, now that he had begun to fear, and yet these names, powerful though they were, had often caused him to smile with the same kind of satisfaction experienced by a traveller who from the summit of a mountain beholds at his feet the craggy eminences, the almost impassable paths, and the fearful chasms, through which he has so perilously climbed. When he had run over all these names in his memory, again read and studied them, commenting meanwhile upon his lists, he shook his head.
“No,” he murmured, “none of my enemies would have waited so patiently and laboriously for so long a space of time, that they might now come and crush me with this secret. Sometimes, as Hamlet says—
‘Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes;’
Sujos feitos erguer-se-ão,
Muito embora toda a terra os soterre,
aos olhos dos homens
“—he cared little for that mene, mene, tekel upharsin, which appeared suddenly in letters of blood upon the wall;—but what he was really anxious for was to discover whose hand had traced them.” Referência bíblica. Segue explicação:
“Daniel reads the words, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN, and interprets them for the king: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed and found wanting; and PERES, the kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. <Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed in purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made … that he should rank third in the kingdom; [and] that very night Belshazzar the Chaldean (Babylonian) king was killed, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom.> (…) As Aramaic was written with consonants alone, they may have lacked any context in which to make sense of them. Daniel supplies vowels in two different ways, first reading the letters as nouns, then interpreting them as verbs. § The words Daniel reads are monetary weights: a mena, equivalent to a Jewish mina or 60 shekels, (several ancient versions have only one mena instead of two), a tekel, equivalent to a shekel, and parsin, meaning <half-pieces>. The last involves a word-play on the name of the Persians, suggesting not only that they are to inherit Belshazzar’s kingdom, but that they are two peoples, Medes and Persians. § Having read the words as nouns Daniel then interprets them as verbs, based on their roots: mina is interpreted as meaning <numbered>, tekel, from a root meaning to weigh, as meaning <weighed> (and found wanting), and peres, the singular form of dual parsin, from a root meaning to divide, as meaning the kingdom is to be <divided> and given to the Medes and Persians. (A curious point is that the various weights — a mina or sixty shekels, another shekel, and two half-shekels — add up to 62, which is noted in the last verse as the age of Darius the Mede).” RESUMO: “Seus dias estão contados…”
“I cannot cry; at my age they say that we have no more tears,—still I think that when one is in trouble one should have the power of weeping.”
“nothing frightens old people so much as when death relaxes its vigilance over them for a moment in order to strike some other old person.”
“A stepmother is never a mother, sir. But this is not to the purpose,—our business concerns Valentine, let us leave the dead in peace.”
“that theatrical formality invented to heighten the effect of a comedy called the signature of the contract”
“It is an every-day occurrence for a gambler to lose not only what he possesses but also what he has not.”
“I will, then, wait until the last moment, and when my misery is certain, irremediable, hopeless, I will write a confidential letter to my brother-in-law, another to the prefect of police, to acquaint them with my intention, and at the corner of some wood, on the brink of some abyss, on the bank of some river, I will put an end to my existence, as certainly as I am the son of the most honest man who ever lived in France.”
“He shut himself in his room, and tried to read, but his eye glanced over the page without understanding a word, and he threw away the book, and for the second time sat down to sketch his plan (…) The garden became darker still, but in the darkness he looked in vain for the white dress, and in the silence he vainly listened for the sound of footsteps. The house, which was discernible through the trees, remained in darkness, and gave no indication that so important an event as the signature of a marriage-contract was going on. Morrel looked at his watch, which wanted a quarter to ten; but soon the same clock he had already heard strike two or three times rectified the error by striking half-past nine. § This was already half an hour past the time Valentine had fixed. It was a terrible moment for the young man. The slightest rustling of the foliage, the least whistling of the wind, attracted his attention, and drew the perspiration to his brow; then he tremblingly fixed his ladder, and, not to lose a moment, placed his foot on the first step. Amidst all these alternations of hope and fear, the clock struck ten. <It is impossible,> said Maximilian, <that the signing of a contract should occupy so long a time without unexpected interruptions. I have weighed all the chances, calculated the time required for all the forms; something must have happened.> And then he walked rapidly to and fro, and pressed his burning forehead against the fence. Had Valentine fainted? or had she been discovered and stopped in her flight? These were the only obstacles which appeared possible to the young man. (…) He even thought he could perceive something on the ground at a distance; he ventured to call, and it seemed to him that the wind wafted back an almost inarticulate sigh. (…) A light moved rapidly from time to time past three windows of the second floor. These three windows were in Madame de Saint-Méran’s room. Another remained motionless behind some red curtains which were in Madame de Villefort’s bedroom. Morrel guessed all this. So many times, in order to follow Valentine in thought at every hour in the day, had he made her describe the whole house, that without having seen it he knew it all.”
“grief may kill, although it rarely does, and never in a day, never in an hour, never in ten minutes.”
“Did you notice the symptoms of the disease to which Madame de Saint-Méran has fallen a victim?”
“I did. Madame de Saint-Méran had three successive attacks, at intervals of some minutes, each one more serious than the former. When you arrived, Madame de Saint-Méran had already been panting for breath some minutes; she then had a fit, which I took to be simply a nervous attack, and it was only when I saw her raise herself in the bed, and her limbs and neck appear stiffened, that I became really alarmed. Then I understood from your countenance there was more to fear than I had thought. This crisis past, I endeavored to catch your eye, but could not. You held her hand—you were feeling her pulse—and the second fit came on before you had turned towards me. This was more terrible than the first; the same nervous movements were repeated, and the mouth contracted and turned purple.”
“And at the third she expired.”
“At the end of the first attack I discovered symptoms of tetanus; you confirmed my opinion.”
“Yes, before others,” replied the doctor; “but now we are alone——“
“What are you going to say? Oh, spare me!”
“That the symptoms of tetanus and poisoning by vegetable substances are the same.” M. de Villefort started from his seat, then in a moment fell down again, silent and motionless.
“Madame de Saint-Méran succumbed to a powerful dose of brucine or of strychnine, which by some mistake, perhaps, has been given to her.”
“But how could a dose prepared for M. Noirtier poison Madame de Saint-Méran?”
“Nothing is more simple. You know poisons become remedies in certain diseases, of which paralysis is one. For instance, having tried every other remedy to restore movement and speech to M. Noirtier, I resolved to try one last means, and for three months I have been giving him brucine; so that in the last dose I ordered for him there were six grains. This quantity, which is perfectly safe to administer to the paralyzed frame of M. Noirtier, which has become gradually accustomed to it, would be sufficient to kill another person.”
“were you a priest I should not dare tell you that, but you are a man, and you know mankind.”
“It cannot be wondered at that his mind, generally so courageous, but now disturbed by the two strongest human passions, love and fear, was weakened even to the indulgence of superstitious thoughts. Although it was impossible that Valentine should see him, hidden as he was, he thought he heard the shadow at the window call him; his disturbed mind told him so. This double error became an irresistible reality, and by one of the incomprehensible transports of youth, he bounded from his hiding-place, and with two strides, at the risk of being seen, at the risk of alarming Valentine, at the risk of being discovered by some exclamation which might escape the young girl, he crossed the flower-garden, which by the light of the moon resembled a large white lake, and having passed the rows of orange-trees which extended in front of the house, he reached the step, ran quickly up and pushed the door, which opened without offering any resistance. Valentine had not seen him. Her eyes, raised towards heaven, were watching a silvery cloud gliding over the azure, its form that of a shadow mounting towards heaven. Her poetic and excited mind pictured it as the soul of her grandmother. (…) Morrel was mad.”
“A heart overwhelmed with one great grief is insensible to minor emotions.”
“The weak man talks of burdens he can raise, the timid of giants he can confront, the poor of treasures he spends, the most humble peasant, in the height of his pride, calls himself Jupiter.”
“It is said to have been a congestion of the brain, or apoplexy, which is the same thing, is it not?”
“You bend because your empire is a young stem, weakened by rapid growth. Take the Republic for a tutor; let us return with renewed strength to the battle-field, and I promise you 500,000 soldiers, another Marengo, and a second Austerlitz. Ideas do not become extinct, sire; they slumber sometimes, but only revive the stronger before they sleep entirely.” M. Noirtier a Napoleão
“But tell me, said Beauchamp, what is life? Is it not a halt in Death’s anteroom?”
“A moment later, Madame de Villefort entered the drawing-room with her little Edward. It was evident that she had shared the grief of the family, for she was pale and looked fatigued. She sat down, took Edward on her knees, and from time to time pressed this child, on whom her affections appeared centred, almost convulsively to her bosom.”
“Old age is selfish, sir, and Mademoiselle de Villefort has been a faithful companion to M. Noirtier, which she cannot be when she becomes the Baroness d’Epinay. My father’s melancholy state prevents our speaking to him on any subjects, which the weakness of his mind would incapacitate him from understanding, and I am perfectly convinced that at the present time, although, he knows that his granddaughter is going to be married, M. Noirtier has even forgotten the name of his intended grandson.”
“He was then informed of the contents of the letter from the Island of Elba, in which he was recommended to the club as a man who would be likely to advance the interests of their party. One paragraph spoke of the return of Bonaparte and promised another letter and further details, on the arrival of the Pharaon belonging to the shipbuilder Morrel, of Marseilles, whose captain was entirely devoted to the emperor.”
“there was something awful in hearing the son read aloud in trembling pallor these details of his father’s death, which had hitherto been a mystery. Valentine clasped her hands as if in prayer. Noirtier looked at Villefort with an almost sublime expression of contempt and pride.”
“The general fell, then, in a loyal duel, and not in ambush as it might have been reported. In proof of this we have signed this paper to establish the truth of the facts, lest the moment should arrive when either of the actors in this terrible scene should be accused of premeditated murder or of infringement of the laws of honor.”
“<tell me the name of the president of the club, that I may at least know who killed my father.> Villefort mechanically felt for the handle of the door; Valentine, who understood sooner than anyone her grandfather’s answer, and who had often seen two scars upon his right arm, drew back a few steps. <Mademoiselle,> said Franz, turning towards Valentine, <unite your efforts with mine to find out the name of the man who made me an orphan at two years of age.> Valentine remained dumb and motionless.”
“M, repeated Franz. The young man’s finger, glided over the words, but at each one Noirtier answered by a negative sign. Valentine hid her head between her hands. At length, Franz arrived at the word MYSELF.”
“what is required of a young man in Paris? To speak its language tolerably, to make a good appearance, to be a good gamester, and to pay in cash.”
“As for his wife, he bowed to her, as some husbands do to their wives, but in a way that bachelors will never comprehend, until a very extensive code is published on conjugal life.”
“The two young ladies were seen seated on the same chair, at the piano, accompanying themselves, each with one hand, a fancy to which they had accustomed themselves, and performed admirably. Mademoiselle d’Armilly, whom they then perceived through the open doorway, formed with Eugénie one of the tableaux vivants of which the Germans are so fond. She was somewhat beautiful, and exquisitely formed—a little fairy-like figure, with large curls falling on her neck, which was rather too long, as Perugino sometimes makes his Virgins, and her eyes dull from fatigue. She was said to have a weak chest, and like Antonia in the Cremona Violin, she would die one day while singing. Monte Cristo cast one rapid and curious glance round this sanctum; it was the first time he had ever seen Mademoiselle d’Armilly, of whom he had heard much. <Well,> said the banker to his daughter, <are we then all to be excluded?> He then led the young man into the study, and either by chance or manœuvre the door was partially closed after Andrea, so that from the place where they sat neither the Count nor the baroness could see anything; but as the banker had accompanied Andrea, Madame Danglars appeared to take no notice of it.”
“<Then you are wrong, madame. Fortune is precarious; and if I were a woman and fate had made me a banker’s wife, whatever might be my confidence in my husband’s good fortune, still in speculation you know there is great risk. Well, I would secure for myself a fortune independent of him, even if I acquired it by placing my interests in hands unknown to him.> Madame Danglars blushed, in spite of all her efforts. <Stay,> said Monte Cristo, as though he had not observed her confusion, <I have heard of a lucky hit that was made yesterday on the Neapolitan bonds.>”
“<Yes,> said Monte Cristo, <I have heard that; but, as Claudius said to Hamlet, ‘it is a law of nature; their fathers died before them, and they mourned their loss; they will die before their children, who will, in their turn, grieve for them.’>”
“How extraordinary! And how does M. de Villefort bear it?”
“As usual. Like a philosopher.” Danglars returned at this moment alone. “Well,” said the baroness, “do you leave M. Cavalcanti with your daughter?”
“And Mademoiselle d’Armilly,” said the banker; “do you consider her no one?” Then, turning to Monte Cristo, he said, “Prince Cavalcanti is a charming young man, is he not? But is he really a prince?”
HIERARQUIA DOS TÍTULOS DA NOBREZA-BURGUESIA OU CALEIDOSCÓPIO DA CLASSE ARISTOPLUTOCRÁTICA EUROPÉIA DOS “SÉCULOS DE OURO”:
Conde > Visconde > Duque > Barão > Baronete
OBS: A acepção Latina de <barão> é depreciativa.
“it is so delightful to hear music in the distance, when the musicians are unrestrained by observation.”
“He is a musician.”
“So are all Italians.”
“Come, count, you do not do that young man justice.”
“Well, I acknowledge it annoys me, knowing your connection with the Morcerf family, to see him throw himself in the way.” Danglars burst out laughing.
“What a Puritan you are!” said he; “that happens every day.”
“But you cannot break it off in this way; the Morcerfs are depending on this union.”
“Oh, my dear count, husbands are pretty much the same everywhere; an individual husband of any country is a pretty fair specimen of the whole race.”
“Haydée—what an adorable name! Are there, then, really women who bear the name of Haydée anywhere but in Byron’s poems?”
“Certainly there are. Haydée is a very uncommon name in France, but is common enough in Albania and Epirus; it is as if you said, for example, Chastity, Modesty, Innocence,—it is a kind of baptismal name, as you Parisians call it.”
“Oh, that is charming,” said Albert, “how I should like to hear my countrywomen called Mademoiselle Goodness, Mademoiselle Silence, Mademoiselle Christian Charity! Only think, then, if Mademoiselle Danglars, instead of being called Claire-Marie-Eugénie, had been named Mademoiselle Chastity-Modesty-Innocence Danglars; what a fine effect that would have produced on the announcement of her marriage!”
“How was it that Dionysius the Tyrant became a schoolmaster? The fortune of war, my dear viscount,—the caprice of fortune; that is the way in which these things are to be accounted for.”
“Monte Cristo turned to Albert. <Do you know modern Greek,> asked he.
<Alas! no,> said Albert; <nor even ancient Greek, my dear count; never had Homer or Plato a more unworthy scholar than myself.>
“Monte Cristo turned to Haydée, and with an expression of countenance which commanded her to pay the most implicit attention to his words, he said in Greek,—<Tell us the fate of your father; but neither the name of the traitor nor the treason.> Haydée sighed deeply, and a shade of sadness clouded her beautiful brow.”
“that unsophisticated innocence of childhood which throws a charm round objects insignificant in themselves, but which in its eyes are invested with the greatest importance.”
“things which in the evening look dark and obscure, appear but too clearly in the light of morning, and sometimes the utterance of one word, or the lapse of a single day, will reveal the most cruel calumnies.”
“the breaking off of a marriage contract always injures the lady more than the gentleman.”
“one must never be eccentric. If one’s lot is cast among fools, it is necessary to study folly.” “alguém nunca deve ser excêntrico. Se a alguém couber a mesma sorte que a dos loucos, é preciso estudar a loucura.”
“Supposing the assertion to be really true?”
“A son ought not to submit to such a stain on his father’s honor.”
“Ma foi! we live in times when there is much to which we must submit.”
“That is precisely the fault of the age.”
“And do you undertake to reform it?”
“Yes, as far as I am personally concerned.”
“Well, you are indeed exacting, my dear fellow!”
“Ah, but the friends of today are the enemies of tomorrow”
“When you wish to obtain some concession from a man’s self-love, you must avoid even the appearance of wishing to wound it.”
“It was a gloomy, dusty-looking apartment, such as journalists’ offices have always been from time immemorial.
“I have heard it said that hearts inflamed by obstacles to their desire grew cold in time of security”
“People die very suddenly in your house, M. de Villefort.”
“Well, sir, you have in your establishment, or in your family, perhaps, one of the frightful monstrosities of which each century produces only one. Locusta and Agrippina, living at the same time, were an exception, and proved the determination of Providence to effect the entire ruin of the Roman empire, sullied by so many crimes. Brunhilda and Fredegund were the results of the painful struggle of civilization in its infancy, when man was learning to control mind, were it even by an emissary from the realms of darkness. All these women had been, or were, beautiful. The same flower of innocence had flourished, or was still flourishing, on their brow, that is seen on the brow of the culprit in your house.”
“<Seek whom the crime will profit,> says an axiom of jurisprudence.”
“Doctor,” cried Villefort, “alas, doctor, how often has man’s justice been deceived by those fatal words.
<Oh, man,> murmured d’Avrigny, <the most selfish of all animals, the most personal of all creatures, who believes the earth turns, the sun shines, and death strikes for him alone,—an ant cursing God from the top of a blade of grass!>
“no one knows, not even the assassin, that, for the last twelve months, I have given M. Noirtier brucine for his paralytic affection, while the assassin is not ignorant, for he has proved that brucine is a violent poison.”
“for when crime enters a dwelling, it is like death—it does not come alone. (…) What does it signify to you if I am murdered? Are you my friend? Are you a man? Have you a heart? No, you are a physician!”
“Ah, Caderousse,” said Andrea, “how covetous you are! Two months ago you were dying with hunger.”
“The appetite grows by what it feeds on,” said Caderousse, grinning and showing his teeth, like a monkey laughing or a tiger growling.
“That Count of Monte Cristo is an original, who loves to look at the sky even at night.”
“those thieves of jewellers imitate so well that it is no longer worthwhile to rob a jeweller’s shop—it is another branch of industry paralyzed.”
“From his past life, from his resolution to shrink from nothing, the count had acquired an inconceivable relish for the contests in which he had engaged, sometimes against nature, that is to say, against God, and sometimes against the world, that is, against the devil.”
“The count felt his heart beat more rapidly. Inured as men may be to danger, forewarned as they may be of peril, they understand, by the fluttering of the heart and the shuddering of the frame, the enormous difference between a dream and a reality, between the project and the execution.” “and one might distinguish by the glimmering through the open panel that he wore a pliant tunic of steel mail, of which the last in France, where daggers are no longer dreaded, was worn by King Louis XVI, who feared the dagger at his breast, and whose head was cleft with a hatchet.”
“So you would rob the Count of Monte Cristo?” continued the false abbé.
“Reverend sir, I am impelled——”
“Every criminal says the same thing.”
“Pshaw!” said Busoni disdainfully; “poverty may make a man beg, steal a loaf of bread at a baker’s door, but not cause him to open a secretary desk in a house supposed to be inhabited.”
“Ah, reverend sir,” cried Caderousse, clasping his hands, and drawing nearer to Monte Cristo, “I may indeed say you are my deliverer!”
“You mean to say you have been freed from confinement?”
“Yes, that is true, reverend sir.”
“Who was your liberator?”
“What was his name?”
“I know him; I shall know if you lie.”
“Ah, reverend sir, I tell you the simple truth.”
“Was this Englishman protecting you?”
“No, not me, but a young Corsican, my companion.”
“What was this young Corsican’s name?”
“Is that his Christian name?”
“He had no other; he was a foundling.”
“Then this young man escaped with you?”
“In what way?”
“We were working at Saint-Mandrier, near Toulon. Do you know Saint-Mandrier?”
“In the hour of rest, between noon and one o’clock——”
“Galley-slaves having a nap after dinner! We may well pity the poor fellows!” said the abbé.
“Nay,” said Caderousse, “one can’t always work—one is not a dog.”
“So much the better for the dogs,” said Monte Cristo.
“While the rest slept, then, we went away a short distance; we severed our fetters with a file the Englishman had given us, and swam away.”
“And what is become of this Benedetto?”
“I don’t know.”
“You ought to know.”
“No, in truth; we parted at Hyères.” And, to give more weight to his protestation, Caderousse advanced another step towards the abbé, who remained motionless in his place, as calm as ever, and pursuing his interrogation. “You lie,” said the Abbé Busoni, with a tone of irresistible authority.
“You lie! This man is still your friend, and you, perhaps, make use of him as your accomplice.”
“Oh, reverend sir!”
“Since you left Toulon what have you lived on? Answer me!”
“On what I could get.”
“You lie,” repeated the abbé a third time, with a still more imperative tone. Caderousse, terrified, looked at the count. “You have lived on the money he has given you.”
“True,” said Caderousse; “Benedetto has become the son of a great lord.”
“How can he be the son of a great lord?”
“A natural son.”
“And what is that great lord’s name?”
“The Count of Monte Cristo, the very same in whose house we are.”
“Benedetto the count’s son?” replied Monte Cristo, astonished in his turn.
“Well, I should think so, since the count has found him a false father—since the count gives him 4.000 francs a month, and leaves him 500.000 francs in his will.”
“Ah, yes,” said the factitious abbé, who began to understand; “and what name does the young man bear meanwhile?”
“Is it, then, that young man whom my friend the Count of Monte Cristo has received into his house, and who is going to marry Mademoiselle Danglars?”
“And you suffer that, you wretch—you, who know his life and his crime?”
“Why should I stand in a comrade’s way?” said Caderousse.
“You are right; it is not you who should apprise M. Danglars, it is I.”
“Do not do so, reverend sir.”
“Because you would bring us to ruin.”
“And you think that to save such villains as you I will become an abettor of their plot, an accomplice in their crimes?”
“Reverend sir,” said Caderousse, drawing still nearer.
“I will expose all.”
“To M. Danglars.”
“By heaven!” cried Caderousse, drawing from his waistcoat an open knife, and striking the count in the breast, “you shall disclose nothing, reverend sir!” To Caderousse’s great astonishment, the knife, instead of piercing the count’s breast, flew back blunted. At the same moment the count seized with his left hand the assassin’s wrist, and wrung it with such strength that the knife fell from his stiffened fingers, and Caderousse uttered a cry of pain. But the count, disregarding his cry, continued to wring the bandit’s wrist, until, his arm being dislocated, he fell first on his knees, then flat on the floor. The count then placed his foot on his head, saying, “I know not what restrains me from crushing thy skull, rascal.”
“Ah, mercy—mercy!” cried Caderousse. The count withdrew his foot. “Rise!” said he. Caderousse rose.
“What a wrist you have, reverend sir!” said Caderousse, stroking his arm, all bruised by the fleshy pincers which had held it; “what a wrist!”
“Silence! God gives me strength to overcome a wild beast like you; in the name of that God I act,—remember that, wretch,—and to spare thee at this moment is still serving him.”
“Oh!” said Caderousse, groaning with pain.
“Take this pen and paper, and write what I dictate.”
“I don’t know how to write, reverend sir.”
“You lie! Take this pen, and write!” Caderousse, awed by the superior power of the abbé, sat down and wrote:—
Sir,—The man whom you are receiving at your house, and to whom you intend to marry your daughter, is a felon who escaped with me from confinement at Toulon. He was Nº 59, and I Nº 58. He was called Benedetto, but he is ignorant of his real name, having never known his parents.
“Sign it!” continued the count.
“But would you ruin me?”
“If I sought your ruin, fool, I should drag you to the first guard-house; besides, when that note is delivered, in all probability you will have no more to fear. Sign it, then!”
Caderousse signed it.
“And you did not warn me!” cried Caderousse, raising himself on his elbows. “You knew I should be killed on leaving this house, and did not warn me!”
“No; for I saw God’s justice placed in the hands of Benedetto, and should have thought it sacrilege to oppose the designs of Providence.”
“God is merciful to all, as he has been to you; he is first a father, then a judge.”
“Do you then believe in God?” said Caderousse.
“Had I been so unhappy as not to believe in him until now,” said Monte Cristo, “I must believe on seeing you.” Caderousse raised his clenched hands towards heaven.
“Help!” cried Caderousse; “I require a surgeon, not a priest; perhaps I am not mortally wounded—I may not die; perhaps they can yet save my life.”
“Your wounds are so far mortal that, without the three drops I gave you, you would now be dead. Listen, then.”
“Ah,” murmured Caderousse, “what a strange priest you are; you drive the dying to despair, instead of consoling them.”
“I do not believe there is a God,” howled Caderousse; “you do not believe it; you lie—you lie!”
“No,” said Caderousse, “no; I will not repent. There is no God; there is no Providence—all comes by chance.—”
“Monte Cristo took off the wig which disfigured him, and let fall his black hair, which added so much to the beauty of his pallid features. <Oh?> said Caderousse, thunderstruck, <but for that black hair, I should say you were the Englishman, Lord Wilmore.>
<I am neither the Abbé Busoni nor Lord Wilmore,> said Monte Cristo; <think again,—do you not recollect me?> There was a magic effect in the count’s words, which once more revived the exhausted powers of the miserable man. <Yes, indeed,> said he; <I think I have seen you and known you formerly.>
<Yes, Caderousse, you have seen me; you knew me once.>
<Who, then, are you? and why, if you knew me, do you let me die?>
<Because nothing can save you; your wounds are mortal. Had it been possible to save you, I should have considered it another proof of God’s mercy, and I would again have endeavored to restore you, I swear by my father’s tomb.>
<By your father’s tomb!> said Caderousse, supported by a supernatural power, and half-raising himself to see more distinctly the man who had just taken the oath which all men hold sacred; <who, then, are you?> The count had watched the approach of death. He knew this was the last struggle. He approached the dying man, and, leaning over him with a calm and melancholy look, he whispered, <I am—I am——>
And his almost closed lips uttered a name so low that the count himself appeared afraid to hear it. Caderousse, who had raised himself on his knees, and stretched out his arm, tried to draw back, then clasping his hands, and raising them with a desperate effort, <O my God, my God!> said he, <pardon me for having denied thee; thou dost exist, thou art indeed man’s father in heaven, and his judge on earth. My God, my Lord, I have long despised thee!>”
“<One!> said the count mysteriously, his eyes fixed on the corpse, disfigured by so awful a death.”
“Bertuccio alone turned pale whenever Benedetto’s name was mentioned in his presence, but there was no reason why anyone should notice his doing so.”
“the attempted robbery and the murder of the robber by his comrade were almost forgotten in anticipation of the approaching marriage of Mademoiselle Danglars to the Count Andrea Cavalcanti.”
“some persons had warned the young man of the circumstances of his future father-in-law, who had of late sustained repeated losses; but with sublime disinterestedness and confidence the young man refused to listen, or to express a single doubt to the baron.”
“With an instinctive hatred of matrimony, she suffered Andrea’s attentions in order to get rid of Morcerf; but when Andrea urged his suit, she betrayed an entire dislike to him. The baron might possibly have perceived it, but, attributing it to a caprice, feigned ignorance.”
“in this changing age, the faults of a father cannot revert upon his children. Few have passed through this revolutionary period, in the midst of which we were born, without some stain of infamy or blood to soil the uniform of the soldier, or the gown of the magistrate. Now I have these proofs, Albert, and I am in your confidence, no human power can force me to a duel which your own conscience would reproach you with as criminal, but I come to offer you what you can no longer demand of me. Do you wish these proofs, these attestations, which I alone possess, to be destroyed? Do you wish this frightful secret to remain with us?”
“he never interrogates, and in my opinion those who ask no questions are the best comforters.”
“My papers, thank God, no,—my papers are all in capital order, because I have none”
“do you come from the end of the world?” said Monte Cristo; “you, a journalist, the husband of renown? It is the talk of all Paris.”
“Silence, purveyor of gossip”
“Mademoiselle Eugénie, who appears but little charmed with the thoughts of matrimony, and who, seeing how little I was disposed to persuade her to renounce her dear liberty, retains any affection for me.”
“I have told you, where the air is pure, where every sound soothes, where one is sure to be humbled, however proud may be his nature. I love that humiliation, I, who am master of the universe, as was Augustus.”
“But where are you really going?”
“To sea, viscount; you know I am a sailor. I was rocked when an infant in the arms of old Ocean, and on the bosom of the beautiful Amphitrite” “I love the sea as a mistress, and pine if I do not often see her.”
“<Woman is fickle.> said Francis I; <woman is like a wave of the sea,> said Shakespeare; both the great king and the great poet ought to have known woman’s nature well.”
“Woman’s, yes; my mother is not woman, but a woman.”
“my mother is not quick to give her confidence, but when she does she never changes.”
“You are certainly a prodigy; you will soon not only surpass the railway, which would not be very difficult in France, but even the telegraph.”
“Precisely,” said the count; “six years since I bought a horse in Hungary remarkable for its swiftness. The 32 that we shall use tonight are its progeny; they are all entirely black, with the exception of a star upon the forehead.”
“M. Albert. Tell me, why does a steward rob his master?”
“Because, I suppose, it is his nature to do so, for the love of robbing.”
“You are mistaken; it is because he has a wife and family, and ambitious desires for himself and them. Also because he is not sure of always retaining his situation, and wishes to provide for the future. Now, M. Bertuccio is alone in the world; he uses my property without accounting for the use he makes of it; he is sure never to leave my service.”
“Because I should never get a better.”
“Probabilities are deceptive.”
“But I deal in certainties; he is the best servant over whom one has the power of life and death.”
“Do you possess that right over Bertuccio?”
There are words which close a conversation with an iron door; such was the count’s “yes.”
“There, as in every spot where Monte Cristo stopped, if but for two days, luxury abounded and life went on with the utmost ease.”
“Poor young man,” said Monte Cristo in a low voice; “it is then true that the sin of the father shall fall on the children to the third and fourth generation.”
“Five minutes had sufficed to make a complete transformation in his appearance. His voice had become rough and hoarse; his face was furrowed with wrinkles; his eyes burned under the blue-veined lids, and he tottered like a drunken man. <Count,> said he, <I thank you for your hospitality, which I would gladly have enjoyed longer; but I must return to Paris.>
<What has happened?>
<A great misfortune, more important to me than life. Don’t question me, I beg of you, but lend me a horse.>
<My stables are at your command, viscount; but you will kill yourself by riding on horseback. Take a post-chaise or a carriage.>”
“The Count of Morcerf was no favorite with his colleagues. Like all upstarts, he had had recourse to a great deal of haughtiness to maintain his position. The true nobility laughed at him, the talented repelled him, and the honorable instinctively despised him. He was, in fact, in the unhappy position of the victim marked for sacrifice; the finger of God once pointed at him, everyone was prepared to raise the hue and cry.”
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity,—they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”
“He thought himself strong enough, for he mistook fever for energy.”
“I, El-Kobbir, a slave-merchant, and purveyor of the harem of his highness, acknowledge having received for transmission to the sublime emperor, from the French lord, the Count of Monte Cristo, an emerald valued at 800.000 francs; as the ransom of a young Christian slave of 11 years of age, named Haydée, the acknowledged daughter of the late lord Ali Tepelini, pasha of Yanina, and of Vasiliki, his favorite; she having been sold to me 7 years previously, with her mother, who had died on arriving at Constantinople, by a French colonel in the service of the Vizier Ali Tepelini, named Fernand Mondego. The above-mentioned purchase was made on his highness’s account, whose mandate I had, for the sum of 400.000 francs.
Given at Constantinople, by authority of his highness, in the year 1247 of the Hegira.
“I am ignorant of nothing which passes in the world. I learn all in the silence of my apartments,—for instance, I see all the newspapers, every periodical, as well as every new piece of music; and by thus watching the course of the life of others, I learned what had transpired this morning in the House of Peers, and what was to take place this evening; then I wrote.”
“Then,” remarked the president, “the Count of Monte Cristo knows nothing of your present proceedings?”—“He is quite unaware of them, and I have but one fear, which is that he should disapprove of what I have done. But it is a glorious day for me,” continued the young girl, raising her ardent gaze to heaven, “that on which I find at last an opportunity of avenging my father!”
“Gentlemen,” said the president, when silence was restored, “is the Count of Morcerf convicted of felony, treason, and conduct unbecoming a member of this House?”—“Yes,” replied all the members of the committee of inquiry with a unanimous voice.
“leave Paris—all is soon forgotten in this great Babylon of excitement and changing tastes. You will return after 3 or years with a Russian princess for a bride, and no one will think more of what occurred yesterday than if it had happened 16 years ago.”
“Yes; M. Danglars is a money-lover, and those who love money, you know, think too much of what they risk to be easily induced to fight a duel. The other is, on the contrary, to all appearance a true nobleman; but do you not fear to find him a bully?”
“I only fear one thing; namely, to find a man who will not fight.”
The count had, indeed, just arrived, but he was in his bath, and had forbidden that anyone should be admitted. “But after his bath?” asked Morcerf.
“My master will go to dinner.”
“And after dinner?”
“He will sleep an hour.”
“He is going to the Opera.”
“You know, mother, M. de Monte Cristo is almost an Oriental, and it is customary with the Orientals to secure full liberty for revenge by not eating or drinking in the houses of their enemies.”
“Well,” cried he, with that benevolent politeness which distinguished his salutation from the common civilities of the world, “my cavalier has attained his object. Good-evening, M. de Morcerf.”
“Display is not becoming to everyone, M. de Morcerf.”
“Wild, almost unconscious, and with eyes inflamed, Albert stepped back, and Morrel closed the door. Monte Cristo took up his glass again as if nothing had happened; his face was like marble, and his heart was like bronze. Morrel whispered, <What have you done to him?>”
“listen how adorably Duprez is singing that line,—
<O Mathilde! idole de mon âme!>”
“I was the first to discover Duprez at Naples, and the first to applaud him. Bravo, bravo!” Morrel saw it was useless to say more, and refrained.
“Doubtless you wish to make me appear a very eccentric character. I am, in your opinion, a Lara, a Manfred, a Lord Ruthven; then, just as I am arriving at the climax, you defeat your own end, and seek to make an ordinary man of me. You bring me down to your own level, and demand explanations! Indeed, M. Beauchamp, it is quite laughable.”
“the Count of Monte Cristo bows to none but the Count of Monte Cristo himself. Say no more, I entreat you. I do what I please, M. Beauchamp, and it is always well done.”
“It is quite immaterial to me,” said Monte Cristo, “and it was very unnecessary to disturb me at the Opera for such a trifle. In France people fight with the sword or pistol, in the colonies with the carbine, in Arabia with the dagger. Tell your client that, although I am the insulted party, in order to carry out my eccentricity, I leave him the choice of arms, and will accept without discussion, without dispute, anything, even combat by drawing lots, which is always stupid, but with me different from other people, as I am sure to gain.”
“the music of William Tell¹ is so sweet.”
¹ Herói lendário, ligado à formação da Suíça. Está mais para um Robin Hood que para um Aquiles, no entanto.
“Monte Cristo waited, according to his usual custom, until Duprez had sung his famous <Suivez-moi!> then he rose and went out.”
“Edmond, you will not kill my son?” The count retreated a step, uttered a slight exclamation, and let fall the pistol he held.
“Fernand, do you mean?” replied Monte Cristo, with bitter irony; “since we are recalling names, let us remember them all.”
“Listen to me, my son has also guessed who you are,—he attributes his father’s misfortunes to you.”
“Madame, you are mistaken, they are not misfortunes,—it is a punishment.”
“What are Yanina and its vizier to you, Edmond? What injury has Fernand Mondego done you in betraying Ali Tepelini?”
“Ah, sir!” cried the countess, “how terrible a vengeance for a fault which fatality made me commit!—for I am the only culprit, Edmond, and if you owe revenge to anyone, it is to me, who had not fortitude to bear your absence and my solitude.”
“But,” exclaimed Monte Cristo, “why was I absent? And why were you alone?”
“Because you had been arrested, Edmond, and were a prisoner.”
“And why was I arrested? Why was I a prisoner?”
“I do not know,” said Mercédès.
“You do not, madame; at least, I hope not. But I will tell you. I was arrested and became a prisoner because, under the arbor of La Réserve, the day before I was to marry you, a man named Danglars wrote this letter, which the fisherman Fernand himself posted.”
Monte Cristo went to a secretary desk, opened a drawer by a spring, from which he took a paper which had lost its original color, and the ink of which had become of a rusty hue—this he placed in the hands of Mercédès. It was Danglars’ letter to the king’s attorney, which the Count of Monte Cristo, disguised as a clerk from the house of Thomson & French, had taken from the file against Edmond Dantes, on the day he had paid the two hundred thousand francs to M. de Boville. Mercédès read with terror the following lines:—
“The king”s attorney is informed by a friend to the throne and religion that one Edmond Dantes, second in command on board the Pharaon, this day arrived from Smyrna, after having touched at Naples and Porto-Ferrajo, is the bearer of a letter from Murat to the usurper, and of another letter from the usurper to the Bonapartist club in Paris. Ample corroboration of this statement may be obtained by arresting the above-mentioned Edmond Dantès, who either carries the letter for Paris about with him, or has it at his father’s abode. Should it not be found in possession of either father or son, then it will assuredly be discovered in the cabin belonging to the said Dantes on board the Pharaon.”
“You well know, madame, was my arrest; but you do not know how long that arrest lasted. You do not know that I remained for fourteen years within a quarter of a league of you, in a dungeon in the Château d’If. You do not know that every day of those fourteen years I renewed the vow of vengeance which I had made the first day; and yet I was not aware that you had married Fernand, my calumniator, and that my father had died of hunger!”
“Can it be?” cried Mercédès, shuddering.
“That is what I heard on leaving my prison fourteen years after I had entered it; and that is why, on account of the living Mercédès and my deceased father, I have sworn to revenge myself on Fernand, and—I have revenged myself.”
“besides, that is not much more odious than that a Frenchman by adoption should pass over to the English; that a Spaniard by birth should have fought against the Spaniards; that a stipendiary of Ali should have betrayed and murdered Ali. Compared with such things, what is the letter you have just read?—a lover’s deception, which the woman who has married that man ought certainly to forgive; but not so the lover who was to have married her.”
“Not crush that accursed race?” murmured he; “abandon my purpose at the moment of its accomplishment? Impossible, madame, impossible!”
“Revenge yourself, then, Edmond,” cried the poor mother; “but let your vengeance fall on the culprits,—on him, on me, but not on my son!”
“It is written in the good book,” said Monte Cristo, “that the sins of the fathers shall fall upon their children to the third and fourth generation. Since God himself dictated those words to his prophet, why should I seek to make myself better than God?”
“Listen; for ten years I dreamed each night the same dream. I had been told that you had endeavored to escape; that you had taken the place of another prisoner; that you had slipped into the winding sheet of a dead body; that you had been thrown alive from the top of the Château d’If, and that the cry you uttered as you dashed upon the rocks first revealed to your jailers that they were your murderers. Well, Edmond, I swear to you, by the head of that son for whom I entreat your pity,—Edmond, for ten years I saw every night every detail of that frightful tragedy, and for ten years I heard every night the cry which awoke me, shuddering and cold.”
“What I most loved after you, Mercédès, was myself, my dignity, and that strength which rendered me superior to other men; that strength was my life. With one word you have crushed it, and I die.”
“it is melancholy to pass one’s life without having one joy to recall, without preserving a single hope; but that proves that all is not yet over. No, it is not finished; I feel it by what remains in my heart. Oh, I repeat it, Edmond; what you have just done is beautiful—it is grand; it is sublime.”
“suppose that when everything was in readiness and the moment had come for God to look upon his work and see that it was good—suppose he had snuffed out the sun and tossed the world back into eternal night—then—even then, Mercédès, you could not imagine what I lose in sacrificing my life at this moment.”
“What a fool I was,” said he, “not to tear my heart out on the day when I resolved to avenge myself!”
MOMENT OF HESITATION
“what? this edifice which I have been so long preparing, which I have reared with so much care and toil, is to be crushed by a single touch, a word, a breath! Yes, this self, of whom I thought so much, of whom I was so proud, who had appeared so worthless in the dungeons of the Château d’If, and whom I had succeeded in making so great, will be but a lump of clay tomorrow. Alas, it is not the death of the body I regret; for is not the destruction of the vital principle, the repose to which everything is tending, to which every unhappy being aspires,—is not this the repose of matter after which I so long sighed, and which I was seeking to attain by the painful process of starvation when Faria appeared in my dungeon? What is death for me? One step farther” But now is time to set back once again…
“It is not God’s will that they should be accomplished.”
“Oh, shall I then, again become a fatalist, whom fourteen years of despair and ten of hope had rendered a believer in Providence? And all this—all this, because my heart, which I thought dead, was only sleeping; because it has awakened and has begun to beat again, because I have yielded to the pain of the emotion excited in my breast by a woman’s voice.”
“yet, it is impossible that so noble-minded a woman should thus through selfishness consent to my death when I am in the prime of life and strength; it is impossible that she can carry to such a point maternal love, or rather delirium. There are virtues which become crimes by exaggeration. No, she must have conceived some pathetic scene; she will come and throw herself between us; and what would be sublime here will there appear ridiculous.”
“I ridiculous? No, I would rather die.”
By thus exaggerating to his own mind the anticipated ill-fortune of the next day, to which he had condemned himself by promising Mercédès to spare her son, the count at last exclaimed, “Folly, folly, folly!—to carry generosity so far as to put myself up as a mark for that young man to aim at. He will never believe that my death was suicide; and yet it is important for the honor of my memory,—and this surely is not vanity, but a justifiable pride,—it is important the world should know that I have consented, by my free will, to stop my arm, already raised to strike, and that with the arm which has been so powerful against others I have struck myself. It must be; it shall be.” “She remembered that she had a son,” said he; “and I forgot I had a daughter.”
“and seeing that sweet pale face, those lovely eyes closed, that beautiful form motionless and to all appearance lifeless, the idea occurred to him for the first time, that perhaps she loved him otherwise than as a daughter loves a father.”
“I said to myself that justice must be on your side, or man’s countenance is no longer to be relied on.”
“But what has happened, then, since last evening, count?”
“The same thing that happened to Brutus the night before the battle of Philippi; I have seen a ghost.”
“And that ghost——”
“Told me, Morrel, that I had lived long enough.”
“Do I regret life? What is it to me, who have passed twenty years between life and death? (…) I know the world is a drawing-room, from which we must retire politely and honestly; that is, with a bow, and our debts of honor paid.”
“<I say, and proclaim it publicly, that you were justified in revenging yourself on my father, and I, his son, thank you for not using greater severity.>
Had a thunderbolt fallen in the midst of the spectators of this unexpected scene, it would not have surprised them more than did Albert’s declaration. As for Monte Cristo, his eyes slowly rose towards heaven with an expression of infinite gratitude. He could not understand how Albert’s fiery nature, of which he had seen so much among the Roman bandits, had suddenly stooped to this humiliation.”
“Next to the merit of infallibility which you appear to possess, I rank that of candidly acknowledging a fault. But this confession concerns me only. I acted well as a man, but you have acted better than man.”
“Providence still,” murmured he; “now only am I fully convinced of being the emissary of God!”
“nothing induces serious duels so much as a duel forsworn.”
“Mother,” said Albert with firmness. “I cannot make you share the fate I have planned for myself. I must live henceforth without rank and fortune, and to begin this hard apprenticeship I must borrow from a friend the loaf I shall eat until I have earned one. So, my dear mother, I am going at once to ask Franz to lend me the small sum I shall require to supply my present wants.”
“I know that from the gulf in which their enemies have plunged them they have risen with so much vigor and glory that in their turn they have ruled their former conquerors, and have punished them.”
“You had friends, Albert; break off their acquaintance. But do not despair; you have life before you, my dear Albert, for you are yet scarcely 22 years old; and as a pure heart like yours wants a spotless name, take my father’s—it was Herrera.”
“Providence is not willing that the innocent should suffer for the guilty.”
“Oh,” said the count, “I only know two things which destroy the appetite,—grief—and as I am happy to see you very cheerful, it is not that—and love.”
“Every transport of a daughter finding a father, all the delight of a mistress seeing an adored lover, were felt by Haydée during the first moments of this meeting, which she had so eagerly expected. Doubtless, although less evident, Monte Cristo’s joy was not less intense. Joy to hearts which have suffered long is like the dew on the ground after a long drought; both the heart and the ground absorb that beneficent moisture falling on them, and nothing is outwardly apparent.
Monte Cristo was beginning to think, what he had not for a long time dared to believe, that there were two Mercédès in the world, and he might yet be happy.”
“We must explain this visit, which although expected by Monte Cristo, is unexpected to our readers.”
“you know the guilty do not like to find themselves convicted.”
“You call yourself, in Paris, the Count of Monte Cristo; in Italy, Sinbad the Sailor; in Malta, I forget what. But it is your real name I want to know, in the midst of your hundred names, that I may pronounce it when we meet to fight, at the moment when I plunge my sword through your heart.”
“he uttered the most dreadful sob which ever escaped from the bosom of a father abandoned at the same time by his wife and son.”
“Do you then really suffer?” asked Morrel quickly.
“Oh, it must not be called suffering; I feel a general uneasiness, that is all. I have lost my appetite, and my stomach feels as if it were struggling to get accustomed to something.” Noirtier did not lose a word of what Valentine said. “And what treatment do you adopt for this singular complaint?”
“A very simple one,” said Valentine. “I swallow every morning a spoonful of the mixture prepared for my grandfather. When I say one spoonful, I began by one—now I take four. Grandpapa says it is a panacea.” Valentine smiled, but it was evident that she suffered.
Maximilian, in his devotedness, gazed silently at her. She was very beautiful, but her usual pallor had increased; her eyes were more brilliant than ever, and her hands, which were generally white like mother-of-pearl, now more resembled wax, to which time was adding a yellowish hue.
“Noirtier raised his eyes to heaven, as a gambler does who stakes his all on one stroke.”
“since I am to be married whether I will or not, I ought to be thankful to Providence for having released me from my engagement with M. Albert de Morcerf, or I should this day have been the wife of a dishonored man.”
D’Avrigny’s look implied, “I told you it would be so.” Then he slowly uttered these words, “Who is now dying in your house? What new victim is going to accuse you of weakness before God?” A mournful sob burst from Villefort’s heart; he approached the doctor, and seizing his arm,—“Valentine,” said he, “it is Valentine’s turn!”
“Your daughter!” cried d’Avrigny with grief and surprise.
“a dead father or husband is better than a dishonored one,—blood washes out shame.”
“You say an exterminating angel appears to have devoted that house to God’s anger—well, who says your supposition is not reality?”
“Conscience, what hast thou to do with me?” as Sterne said.
“See,” said he, “my dear friend, how God punishes the most thoughtless and unfeeling men for their indifference, by presenting dreadful scenes to their view. (…) I, who like a wicked angel was laughing at the evil men committed protected by secrecy (a secret is easily kept by the rich and powerful), I am in my turn bitten by the serpent whose tortuous course I was watching, and bitten to the heart!”
“What does the angel of light or the angel of darkness say to that mind, at once implacable and generous? God only knows.”
“Oh, count, you overwhelm me with that coolness. Have you, then, power against death? Are you superhuman? Are you an angel?”
“To the world and to his servants Danglars assumed the character of the good-natured man and the indulgent father. This was one of his parts in the popular comedy he was performing,—a make-up he had adopted and which suited him about as well as the masks worn on the classic stage by paternal actors, who seen from one side, were the image of geniality, and from the other showed lips drawn down in chronic ill-temper. Let us hasten to say that in private the genial side descended to the level of the other, so that generally the indulgent man disappeared to give place to the brutal husband and domineering father.”
“Cavalcanti may appear to those who look at men’s faces and figures as a very good specimen of his kind. It is not, either, that my heart is less touched by him than any other; that would be a schoolgirl’s reason, which I consider quite beneath me. I actually love no one, sir; you know it, do you not? I do not then see why, without real necessity, I should encumber my life with a perpetual companion. Has not some sage said, <Nothing too much>? and another, <I carry all my effects with me>? I have been taught these two aphorisms in Latin and in Greek; one is, I believe, from Phædrus, and the other from Bias. (…) life is an eternal shipwreck of our hopes”
“The world calls me beautiful. It is something to be well received. I like a favorable reception; it expands the countenance, and those around me do not then appear so ugly. I possess a share of wit, and a certain relative sensibility, which enables me to draw from life in general, for the support of mine, all I meet with that is good, like the monkey who cracks the nut to get at its contents. I am rich, for you have one of the first fortunes in France. I am your only daughter, and you are not so exacting as the fathers of the Porte Saint-Martin and Gaîté, who disinherit their daughters for not giving them grandchildren. Besides, the provident law has deprived you of the power to disinherit me, at least entirely, as it has also of the power to compel me to marry Monsieur This or Monsieur That. And so—being, beautiful, witty, somewhat talented, as the comic operas say, and rich—and that is happiness, sir—why do you call me unhappy?”
“Eugénie looked at Danglars, much surprised that one flower of her crown of pride, with which she had so superbly decked herself, should be disputed.”
“I do not willingly enter into arithmetical explanations with an artist like you, who fears to enter my study lest she should imbibe disagreeable or anti-poetic impressions and sensations.”
“the credit of a banker is his physical and moral life; that credit sustains him as breath animates the body”
“as credit sinks, the body becomes a corpse, and this is what must happen very soon to the banker who is proud to own so good a logician as you for his daughter.” But Eugénie, instead of stooping, drew herself up under the blow. “Ruined?” said she.
“Yes, ruined! Now it is revealed, this secret so full of horror, as the tragic poet says. Now, my daughter, learn from my lips how you may alleviate this misfortune, so far as it will affect you.””
“Oh,” cried Eugénie, “you are a bad physiognomist, if you imagine I deplore on my own account the catastrophe of which you warn me. I ruined? and what will that signify to me? Have I not my talent left? Can I not, like Pasta¹, Malibran², Grisi³, acquire for myself what you would never have given me, whatever might have been your fortune, 100 or 150.000 livres per annum, for which I shall be indebted to no one but myself; and which, instead of being given as you gave me those poor 12.000 francs, with sour looks and reproaches for my prodigality, will be accompanied with acclamations, with bravos, and with flowers? And if I do not possess that talent, which your smiles prove to me you doubt, should I not still have that ardent love of independence, which will be a substitute for wealth, and which in my mind supersedes even the instinct of self-preservation? No, I grieve not on my own account, I shall always find a resource; my books, my pencils, my piano, all the things which cost but little, and which I shall be able to procure, will remain my own.”
¹ Giuditta Pasta, soprano italiana do século XIX.
² Maria Malibran, mezzo-soprano espanhola, foi contemporânea de G. Pasta, mas só viveu 28 anos.
³ Outra mezzo-soprano de família abastada e freqüente nas óperas de Rossini. Na verdade, a dúvida é se se trata de Giuditta ou Giulia, a caçula, ambas muito talentosas.
“From my earliest recollections, I have been beloved by no one—so much the worse; that has naturally led me to love no one—so much the better—now you have my profession of faith.”
“I do not despise bankruptcies, believe me, but they must be those which enrich, not those which ruin.”
“Five minutes afterwards the piano resounded to the touch of Mademoiselle d’Armilly’s fingers, and Mademoiselle Danglars was singing Brabantio’s malediction on Desdemona¹.
¹ Ou “Brabanzio”. Trata-se de uma cena do Otelo de Shakespeare.
“Without reckoning,” added Monte Cristo, “that he is on the eve of entering into a sort of speculation already in vogue in the United States and in England, but quite novel in France.”
“Yes, yes, I know what you mean,—the railway, of which he has obtained the grant, is it not?”
“Precisely; it is generally believed he will gain ten millions by that affair.”
“Ten millions! Do you think so? It is magnificent!” said Cavalcanti, who was quite confounded at the metallic sound of these golden words.
“Well, you must become a diplomatist; diplomacy, you know, is something that is not to be acquired; it is instinctive. Have you lost your heart?”
“This calm tone and perfect ease made Andrea feel that he was, for the moment, restrained by a more muscular hand than his own, and that the restraint could not be easily broken through.”
“What is it?”
“Be careful; advice is worse than a service.”
“An Academician would say that the entertainments of the fashionable world are collections of flowers which attract inconstant butterflies, famished bees, and buzzing drones.”
“At the moment when the hand of the massive time-piece, representing Endymion asleep, pointed to nine on its golden face, and the hammer, the faithful type of mechanical thought, struck nine times, the name of the Count of Monte Cristo resounded in its turn, and as if by an electric shock all the assembly turned towards the door.”
“Having accomplished these three social duties, Monte Cristo stopped, looking around him with that expression peculiar to a certain class, which seems to say, <I have done my duty, now let others do theirs.>”
“all were eager to speak to him, as is always the case with those whose words are few and weighty.”
“Mademoiselle Danglars’ charms were heightened in the opinion of the young men, and for the moment seemed to outvie the sun in splendor. As for the ladies, it is needless to say that while they coveted the millions, they thought they did not need them for themselves, as they were beautiful enough without them.”
“But at the same instant the crowd of guests rushed in alarm into the principal salon as if some frightful monster had entered the apartments, quærens quem devoret [procurando quem devorar]. There was, indeed, reason to retreat, to be alarmed, and to scream. An officer was placing two soldiers at the door of each drawing-room, and was advancing towards Danglars, preceded by a commissary of police, girded with his scarf.”
“What is the matter, sir?” asked Monte Cristo, advancing to meet the commissioner.
“Which of you gentlemen,” asked the magistrate, without replying to the count, “answers to the name of Andrea Cavalcanti?” A cry of astonishment was heard from all parts of the room. They searched; they questioned. “But who then is Andrea Cavalcanti?” asked Danglars in amazement.
“A galley-slave, escaped from confinement at Toulon.”
“And what crime has he committed?”
“He is accused,” said the commissary with his inflexible voice, “of having assassinated the man named Caderousse, his former companion in prison, at the moment he was making his escape from the house of the Count of Monte Cristo.” Monte Cristo cast a rapid glance around him. Andrea was gone.
“Oh, do not confound the two, Eugénie.”
“Hold your tongue! The men are all infamous, and I am happy to be able now to do more than detest them—I despise them.”
“Oh, I am done with considering! I am tired of hearing only of market reports, of the end of the month, of the rise and fall of Spanish funds, of Haitian bonds. Instead of that, Louise—do you understand?—air, liberty, melody of birds, plains of Lombardy, Venetian canals, Roman palaces, the Bay of Naples. How much have we, Louise?”
“that deep sleep which is sure to visit men of twenty years of age, even when they are torn with remorse.”
“The honorable functionary had scarcely expressed himself thus, in that intonation which is peculiar to brigadiers of the gendarmerie, when a loud scream, accompanied by the violent ringing of a bell, resounded through the court of the hotel. <Ah, what is that?> cried the brigadier.
<Some traveller seems impatient,> said the host. <What number was it that rang?>
“Andrea had very cleverly managed to descend two-thirds of the chimney, but then his foot slipped, and notwithstanding his endeavors, he came into the room with more speed and noise than he intended. It would have signified little had the room been empty, but unfortunately it was occupied. Two ladies, sleeping in one bed, were awakened by the noise, and fixing their eyes upon the spot whence the sound proceeded, they saw a man. One of these ladies, the fair one, uttered those terrible shrieks which resounded through the house, while the other, rushing to the bell-rope, rang with all her strength. Andrea, as we can see, was surrounded by misfortune.
<For pity’s sake,> he cried, pale and bewildered, without seeing whom he was addressing,—<for pity’s sake do not call assistance! Save me!—I will not harm you.>
<Andrea, the murderer!> cried one of the ladies.
<Eugénie! Mademoiselle Danglars!> exclaimed Andrea, stupefied.”
“The baroness had looked forward to this marriage as a means of ridding her of a guardianship which, over a girl of Eugénie’s character, could not fail to be rather a troublesome undertaking; for in the tacit relations which maintain the bond of family union, the mother, to maintain her ascendancy over her daughter, must never fail to be a model of wisdom and a type of perfection.”
“Sir, I do not deny the justice of your correction, but the more severely you arm yourself against that unfortunate man, the more deeply will you strike our family. Come, forget him for a moment, and instead of pursuing him, let him go.”
“Listen; this is his description: <Benedetto, condemned, at the age of 16, for 5 years to the galleys for forgery.> He promised well, as you see—first a runaway, then an assassin.”
“And who is this wretch?”
“Who can tell?—a vagabond, a Corsican.”
“Has no one owned him?”
“No one; his parents are unknown.”
“But who was the man who brought him from Lucca?”
“for heaven’s sake, do not ask pardon of me for a guilty wretch! What am I?—the law. Has the law any eyes to witness your grief? Has the law ears to be melted by your sweet voice? Has the law a memory for all those soft recollections you endeavor to recall?” “Has mankind treated me as a brother? Have men loved me? Have they spared me? Has anyone shown the mercy towards me that you now ask at my hands? No, madame, they struck me, always struck me!”
“Alas, alas, alas; all the world is wicked; let us therefore strike at wickedness!”
“While working night and day, I sometimes lose all recollection of the past, and then I experience the same sort of happiness I can imagine the dead feel; still, it is better than suffering.”
“Valentine, the hand which now threatens you will pursue you everywhere; your servants will be seduced with gold, and death will be offered to you disguised in every shape. You will find it in the water you drink from the spring, in the fruit you pluck from the tree.”
“But did you not say that my kind grandfather’s precaution had neutralized the poison?”
“Yes, but not against a strong dose; the poison will be changed, and the quantity increased.” He took the glass and raised it to his lips. “It is already done,” he said; “brucine is no longer employed, but a simple narcotic! I can recognize the flavor of the alcohol in which it has been dissolved. If you had taken what Madame de Villefort has poured into your glass, Valentine—Valentine—you would have been doomed!”
“But,” exclaimed the young girl, “why am I thus pursued?”
“Why?—are you so kind—so good—so unsuspicious of ill, that you cannot understand, Valentine?”
“No, I have never injured her.”
“But you are rich, Valentine; you have 200.000 livres a year, and you prevent her son from enjoying these 200.000 livres.”
“Edward? Poor child! Are all these crimes committed on his account?”
“Ah, then you at length understand?”
“And is it possible that this frightful combination of crimes has been invented by a woman?”
“Valentine, would you rather denounce your stepmother?”
“I would rather die a hundred times—oh, yes, die!”
“She tried to replace the arm, but it moved with a frightful rigidity which could not deceive a sick-nurse.”
“For some temperaments work is a remedy for all afflictions.”
“and the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré was filled with a crowd of idlers, equally pleased to witness the festivities or the mourning of the rich, and who rush with the same avidity to a funeral procession as to the marriage of a duchess.”
“but the article is not mine; indeed, I doubt if it will please M. Villefort, for it says that if four successive deaths had happened anywhere else than in the house of the king’s attorney, he would have interested himself somewhat more about it.”
“Do you know, count, that persons of our time of life—not that you belong to the class, you are still a young man,—but as I was saying, persons of our time of life have been very unfortunate this year. For example, look at the puritanical procureur, who has just lost his daughter, and in fact nearly all his family, in so singular a manner; Morcerf dishonored and dead; and then myself covered with ridicule through the villany of Benedetto; besides——”
“Oh, how happy you must be in not having either wife or children!”
“Do you think so?”
“Indeed I do.”
“Philosophers may well say, and practical men will always support the opinion, that money mitigates many trials; and if you admit the efficacy of this sovereign balm, you ought to be very easily consoled—you, the king of finance, the focus of immeasurable power.”
“<So rich, dear sir, that your fortune resembles the pyramids; if you wished to demolish them you could not, and if it were possible, you would not dare!> Danglars smiled at the good-natured pleasantry of the count.”
“It is a fine thing to have such credit; really, it is only in France these things are done. Five millions on five little scraps of paper!—it must be seen to be believed.”
“If a thunderbolt had fallen at the banker’s feet, he could not have experienced greater terror.”
“<I never joke with bankers,> said Monte Cristo in a freezing manner”
“Ah, true, I was writing. I do sometimes, soldier though I am.”
“Why do you mention my father?” stammered he; “why do you mingle a recollection of him with the affairs of today?”
“Because I am he who saved your father’s life when he wished to destroy himself, as you do today—because I am the man who sent the purse to your young sister, and the Pharaon to old Morrel—because I am the Edmond Dantes who nursed you, a child, on my knees.” Morrel made another step back, staggering, breathless, crushed; then all his strength give way, and he fell prostrate at the feet of Monte Cristo. Then his admirable nature underwent a complete and sudden revulsion; he arose, rushed out of the room and to the stairs, exclaiming energetically, “Julie, Julie—Emmanuel, Emmanuel!”
“<Live—the day will come when you will be happy, and will bless life!>—no matter whose voice had spoken, we should have heard him with the smile of doubt, or the anguish of incredulity,—and yet how many times has your father blessed life while embracing you—how often have I myself——”
“Ah,” exclaimed Morrel, interrupting the count, “you had only lost your liberty, my father had only lost his fortune, but I have lost Valentine.”
“in grief, as in life, there is always something to look forward to beyond (…) one day you will thank me for having preserved your life.”
“Come—do you know of what the Count of Monte Cristo is capable? do you know that he holds terrestrial beings under his control?”
“I do not know whether you remember that this is the 5th of September; it is 10 years today since I saved your father’s life, who wished to die.”
“Asmodeus—that diabolical personage, who would have been created by every fertile imagination if Le Sage had not acquired the priority in his great masterpiece—would have enjoyed a singular spectacle, if he had lifted up the roof of the little house in the Rue Saint-Germain-des-Prés, while Debray was casting up his figures.”
“Amongst the Catalans, Mercédès wished for a thousand things, but still she never really wanted any. So long as the nets were good, they caught fish; and so long as they sold their fish, they were able to buy twine for new nets.”
“Now I think we are rich, since instead of the 114 francs we require for the journey we find ourselves in possession of 250.”
“Silence,—be silent!” said Andrea, who knew the delicate sense of hearing possessed by the walls; “for heaven’s sake, do not speak so loud!”
“But I have always observed that poisoners were cowards. Can you be a coward,—you who have had the courage to witness the death of two old men and a young girl murdered by you?”
“What I require is, that justice be done. I am on the earth to punish, madame,” he added, with a flaming glance; “any other woman, were it the queen herself, I would send to the executioner; but to you I shall be merciful. To you I will say, <Have you not, madame, put aside some of the surest, deadliest, most speedy poison?>”
“Oh, pardon me, sir; let me live!”
“She is cowardly,” said Villefort.
“and one of the softest and most brilliant days of September shone forth in all its splendor.”
“Well, do you know why they die so multitudinously at M. de Villefort’s?”
“<Multitudinously> is good,” said Château-Renaud.
“My good fellow, you’ll find the word in Saint-Simon.”
“But the thing itself is at M. de Villefort’s; but let’s get back to the subject.”
“Talking of that,” said Debray, “Madame was making inquiries about that house, which for the last three months has been hung with black.”
“Who is Madame?” asked Château-Renaud.
“The minister’s wife, pardieu!”
“No, my dear fellow, it is not at all incredible. You saw the child pass through the Rue Richelieu last year, who amused himself with killing his brothers and sisters by sticking pins in their ears while they slept. The generation who follow us are very precocious.”
“I am 21 years old, or rather I shall be in a few days, as I was born the night of the 27th of September, 1817.” M. de Villefort, who was busy taking down some notes, raised his head at the mention of this date.
“<At Auteuil, near Paris.>” M. de Villefort a second time raised his head, looked at Benedetto as if he had been gazing at the head of Medusa, and became livid. As for Benedetto, he gracefully wiped his lips with a fine cambric pocket-handkerchief.”
“This is, indeed, the reason why I begged you to alter the order of the questions.” The public astonishment had reached its height. There was no longer any deceit or bravado in the manner of the accused. The audience felt that a startling revelation was to follow this ominous prelude.
“Well,” said the president; “your name?”
“I cannot tell you my name, since I do not know it; but I know my father’s, and can tell it to you.”
A painful giddiness overwhelmed Villefort; great drops of acrid sweat fell from his face upon the papers which he held in his convulsed hand.
“Repeat your father’s name,” said the president. Not a whisper, not a breath, was heard in that vast assembly; everyone waited anxiously.
“My father is king’s attorney,’ replied Andrea calmly.
“King’s attorney?” said the president, stupefied, and without noticing the agitation which spread over the face of M. de Villefort; ‘king’s attorney?”
“Yes; and if you wish to know his name, I will tell it,—he is named Villefort.” The explosion, which had been so long restrained from a feeling of respect to the court of justice, now burst forth like thunder from the breasts of all present; the court itself did not seek to restrain the feelings of the audience. The exclamations, the insults addressed to Benedetto, who remained perfectly unconcerned, the energetic gestures, the movement of the gendarmes, the sneers of the scum of the crowd always sure to rise to the surface in case of any disturbance—all this lasted five minutes, before the door-keepers and magistrates were able to restore silence.
“the procureur, who sat as motionless as though a thunderbolt had changed him into a corpse.”
“I was born in No. 28, Rue de la Fontaine, in a room hung with red damask; my father took me in his arms, telling my mother I was dead, wrapped me in a napkin marked with an H and an N, and carried me into a garden, where he buried me alive.”
A shudder ran through the assembly when they saw that the confidence of the prisoner increased in proportion to the terror of M. de Villefort. “But how have you become acquainted with all these details?” asked the president.
“The man carried me to the foundling asylum, where I was registered under the number 37. Three months afterwards, a woman travelled from Rogliano to Paris to fetch me, and having claimed me as her son, carried me away. Thus, you see, though born in Paris, I was brought up in Corsica.” “my perverse disposition prevailed over the virtues which my adopted mother endeavored to instil into my heart. I increased in wickedness till I committed crime.”
“<Do not blaspheme, unhappy child, the crime is that of your father, not yours,—of your father, who consigned you to hell if you died, and to misery if a miracle preserved you alive.> After that I ceased to blaspheme, but I cursed my father. That is why I have uttered the words for which you blame me; that is why I have filled this whole assembly with horror. If I have committed an additional crime, punish me, but if you will allow that ever since the day of my birth my fate has been sad, bitter, and lamentable, then pity me.”
“<My mother thought me dead; she is not guilty. I did not even wish to know her name, nor do I know it.>” Just then a piercing cry, ending in a sob, burst from the centre of the crowd, who encircled the lady who had before fainted, and who now fell into a violent fit of hysterics. She was carried out of the hall, the thick veil which concealed her face dropped off, and Madame Danglars was recognized.”
“Well, then, look at M. de Villefort, and then ask me for proofs.”
Everyone turned towards the procureur, who, unable to bear the universal gaze now riveted on him alone, advanced staggering into the midst of the tribunal, with his hair dishevelled and his face indented with the mark of his nails. The whole assembly uttered a long murmur of astonishment.
“Father,” said Benedetto, “I am asked for proofs, do you wish me to give them?”
“No, no, it is useless,” stammered M. de Villefort in a hoarse voice; “no, it is useless!”
“How useless?” cried the president, “what do you mean?”
“I mean that I feel it impossible to struggle against this deadly weight which crushes me. Gentlemen, I know I am in the hands of an avenging God! We need no proofs; everything relating to this young man is true.”
A dull, gloomy silence, like that which precedes some awful phenomenon of nature, pervaded the assembly, who shuddered in dismay.
“What, M. de Villefort,” cried the president, “do you yield to an hallucination? What, are you no longer in possession of your senses? This strange, unexpected, terrible accusation has disordered your reason. Come, recover.”
The procureur dropped his head; his teeth chattered like those of a man under a violent attack of fever, and yet he was deadly pale.
“I am in possession of all my senses, sir,” he said; “my body alone suffers, as you may suppose. I acknowledge myself guilty of all the young man has brought against me, and from this hour hold myself under the authority of the procureur who will succeed me.”
And as he spoke these words with a hoarse, choking voice, he staggered towards the door, which was mechanically opened by a door-keeper.
“Well,” said Beauchamp, “let them now say that drama is unnatural!”
“Ma foi!” said Château-Renaud, “I would rather end my career like M. de Morcerf; a pistol-shot seems quite delightful compared with this catastrophe.”
“And moreover, it kills,” said Beauchamp.
“And to think that I had an idea of marrying his daughter,” said Debray. “She did well to die, poor girl!”
“Many people have been assassinated in a tumult, but even criminals have rarely been insulted during trial.”
“Those who hear the bitter cry are as much impressed as if they listened to an entire poem, and when the sufferer is sincere they are right in regarding his outburst as sublime.
It would be difficult to describe the state of stupor in which Villefort left the Palais. Every pulse beat with feverish excitement, every nerve was strained, every vein swollen, and every part of his body seemed to suffer distinctly from the rest, thus multiplying his agony a thousand-fold.”
“The weight of his fallen fortunes seemed suddenly to crush him; he could not foresee the consequences; he could not contemplate the future with the indifference of the hardened criminal who merely faces a contingency already familiar.
God was still in his heart. <God,> he murmured, not knowing what he said,—<God—God!> Behind the event that had overwhelmed him he saw the hand of God.”
“During the last hour his own crime had alone been presented to his mind; now another object, not less terrible, suddenly presented itself. His wife! He had just acted the inexorable judge with her, he had condemned her to death, and she, crushed by remorse, struck with terror, covered with the shame inspired by the eloquence of his irreproachable virtue,—she, a poor, weak woman, without help or the power of defending herself against his absolute and supreme will,—she might at that very moment, perhaps, be preparing to die!” “Ah,” he exclaimed, “that woman became criminal only from associating with me! I carried the infection of crime with me, and she has caught it as she would the typhus fever, the cholera, the plague! And yet I have punished her—I have dared to tell her—I have—<Repent and die!> But no, she must not die; she shall live, and with me. We will flee from Paris and go as far as the earth reaches. I told her of the scaffold; oh, heavens, I forgot that it awaits me also! How could I pronounce that word? Yes, we will fly (…) Oh, what an alliance—the tiger and the serpent; worthy wife of such as I am!” “She loves him; it was for his sake she has committed these crimes. We ought never to despair of softening the heart of a mother who loves her child.” “she will live and may yet be happy, since her child, in whom all her love is centred, will be with her. I shall have performed a good action, and my heart will be lighter.”
“anxiety carried him on further.”
“Héloïse!” he cried. He fancied he heard the sound of a piece of furniture being removed. “Héloïse!” he repeated.
“It is done, monsieur,” she said with a rattling noise which seemed to tear her throat. “What more do you want?” and she fell full length on the floor.
Villefort ran to her and seized her hand, which convulsively clasped a crystal bottle with a golden stopper. Madame de Villefort was dead. Villefort, maddened with horror, stepped back to the threshhold of the door, fixing his eyes on the corpse: “My son!” he exclaimed suddenly, “where is my son?—Edward, Edward!” and he rushed out of the room, still crying, “Edward, Edward!”
“his thoughts flew about madly in his brain like the wheels of a disordered watch.”
The unhappy man uttered an exclamation of joy; a ray of light seemed to penetrate the abyss of despair and darkness. He had only to step over the corpse, enter the boudoir, take the child in his arms, and flee far, far away.
Villefort was no longer the civilized man; he was a tiger hurt unto death, gnashing his teeth in his wound. He no longer feared realities, but phantoms. He leaped over the corpse as if it had been a burning brazier. He took the child in his arms, embraced him, shook him, called him, but the child made no response. He pressed his burning lips to the cheeks, but they were icy cold and pale; he felt the stiffened limbs; he pressed his hand upon the heart, but it no longer beat,—the child was dead.
A folded paper fell from Edward’s breast. Villefort, thunderstruck, fell upon his knees; the child dropped from his arms, and rolled on the floor by the side of its mother. He picked up the paper, and, recognizing his wife’s writing, ran his eyes rapidly over its contents; it ran as follows:—
“You know that I was a good mother, since it was for my son’s sake I became criminal. A good mother cannot depart without her son.”
Villefort could not believe his eyes,—he could not believe his reason; he dragged himself towards the child’s body, and examined it as a lioness contemplates its dead cub. Then a piercing cry escaped from his breast, and he cried,
“Still the hand of God.”
The presence of the two victims alarmed him; he could not bear solitude shared only by two corpses. Until then he had been sustained by rage, by his strength of mind, by despair, by the supreme agony which led the Titans to scale the heavens, and Ajax to defy the gods. He now arose, his head bowed beneath the weight of grief, and, shaking his damp, dishevelled hair, he who had never felt compassion for anyone determined to seek his father, that he might have someone to whom he could relate his misfortunes,—some one by whose side he might weep.
He descended the little staircase with which we are acquainted, and entered Noirtier’s room. The old man appeared to be listening attentively and as affectionately as his infirmities would allow to the Abbé Busoni, who looked cold and calm, as usual. Villefort, perceiving the abbé, passed his hand across his brow.
He recollected the call he had made upon him after the dinner at Auteuil, and then the visit the abbé had himself paid to his house on the day of Valentine’s death. “You here, sir!” he exclaimed; “do you, then, never appear but to act as an escort to death?”
Busoni turned around, and, perceiving the excitement depicted on the magistrate’s face, the savage lustre of his eyes, he understood that the revelation had been made at the assizes; but beyond this he was ignorant.
“I came to pray over the body of your daughter.”
“And now why are you here?”
“I come to tell you that you have sufficiently repaid your debt, and that from this moment I will pray to God to forgive you, as I do.”
“Good heavens!” exclaimed Villefort, stepping back fearfully, “surely that is not the voice of the Abbé Busoni!”
“No!” The abbé threw off his wig, shook his head, and his hair, no longer confined, fell in black masses around his manly face.
“It is the face of the Count of Monte Cristo!” exclaimed the procureur, with a haggard expression.
“You are not exactly right, M. Procureur; you must go farther back.”
“That voice, that voice!—where did I first hear it?”
“You heard it for the first time at Marseilles, 23 years ago, the day of your marriage with Mademoiselle de Saint-Méran. Refer to your papers.”
“You are not Busoni?—you are not Monte Cristo? Oh, heavens—you are, then, some secret, implacable, and mortal enemy! I must have wronged you in some way at Marseilles. Oh, woe to me!”
“Yes; you are now on the right path,” said the count, crossing his arms over his broad chest; “search—search!”
“But what have I done to you?” exclaimed Villefort, whose mind was balancing between reason and insanity, in that cloud which is neither a dream nor reality; “what have I done to you? Tell me, then! Speak!”
“You condemned me to a horrible, tedious death; you killed my father; you deprived me of liberty, of love, and happiness.”
“Who are you, then? Who are you?”
“I am the spectre of a wretch you buried in the dungeons of the Château d’If. God gave that spectre the form of the Count of Monte Cristo when he at length issued from his tomb, enriched him with gold and diamonds, and led him to you!”
“Ah, I recognize you—I recognize you!” exclaimed the king’s attorney; “you are——”
Monte Cristo became pale at this horrible sight; he felt that he had passed beyond the bounds of vengeance, and that he could no longer say, “God is for and with me.” With an expression of indescribable anguish he threw himself upon the body of the child, reopened its eyes, felt its pulse, and then rushed with him into Valentine’s room, of which he double-locked the door. “My child,” cried Villefort, “he carries away the body of my child! Oh, curses, woe, death to you!”
“In his arms he held the child, whom no skill had been able to recall to life. Bending on one knee, he placed it reverently by the side of its mother, with its head upon her breast.”
“you may pretend he is not here, but I will find him, though I dig forever!” Monte Cristo drew back in horror.
“Oh,” he said, “he is mad!” And as though he feared that the walls of the accursed house would crumble around him, he rushed into the street, for the first time doubting whether he had the right to do as he had done. “Oh, enough of this,—enough of this,” he cried; “let me save the last.”
“Indeed,” said Julie, “might we not almost fancy, Emmanuel, that those people, so rich, so happy but yesterday, had forgotten in their prosperity that an evil genius—like the wicked fairies in Perrault’s stories who present themselves unbidden at a wedding or baptism—hovered over them, and appeared all at once to revenge himself for their fatal neglect?”
“If the Supreme Being has directed the fatal blow,” said Emmanuel, “it must be that he in his great goodness has perceived nothing in the past lives of these people to merit mitigation of their awful punishment.”
“Do you not form a very rash judgment, Emmanuel?” said Julie.
“When he had fixed his piercing look on this modern Babylon, which equally engages the contemplation of the religious enthusiast, the materialist, and the scoffer,—
“Great city,” murmured he, inclining his head, and joining his hands as if in prayer, “less than 6 months have elapsed since first I entered thy gates. I believe that the Spirit of God led my steps to thee and that he also enables me to quit thee in triumph; the secret cause of my presence within thy walls I have confided alone to him who only has had the power to read my heart. God only knows that I retire from thee without pride or hatred, but not without many regrets; he only knows that the power confided to me has never been made subservient to my personal good or to any useless cause. Oh, great city, it is in thy palpitating bosom that I have found that which I sought; like a patient miner, I have dug deep into thy very entrails to root out evil thence. Now my work is accomplished, my mission is terminated, now thou canst neither afford me pain nor pleasure. Adieu, Paris, adieu!”
“Maximilian,” said the count, “the friends that we have lost do not repose in the bosom of the earth, but are buried deep in our hearts, and it has been thus ordained that we may always be accompanied by them. I have two friends, who in this way never depart from me; the one who gave me being, and the other who conferred knowledge and intelligence on me.”
“It is the way of weakened minds to see everything through a black cloud. The soul forms its own horizons; your soul is darkened, and consequently the sky of the future appears stormy and unpromising.”
“Morrel was not insensible to that sensation of delight which is generally experienced in passing rapidly through the air, and the wind which occasionally raised the hair from his forehead seemed on the point of dispelling momentarily the clouds collected there.
As the distance increased between the travellers and Paris, almost superhuman serenity appeared to surround the count; he might have been taken for an exile about to revisit his native land.—Marseilles, white, fervid, full of life and energy,—Marseilles, the younger sister of Tyre and Carthage, the successor to them in the empire of the Mediterranean,—Marseilles, old, yet always young.”
“Oh, heavens!” exclaimed Morrel, “I do not deceive myself—that young man who is waving his hat, that youth in the uniform of a lieutenant, is Albert de Morcerf!”
“Yes,” said Monte Cristo, “I recognized him.”
“How so?—you were looking the other way.”
The Count smiled, as he was in the habit of doing when he did not want to make any reply, and he again turned towards the veiled woman, who soon disappeared at the corner of the street. Turning to his friend,—“Dear Maximilian,” said the count, “have you nothing to do in this land?”
“See” (and she exposed her face completely to view)—“see, misfortune has silvered my hair, my eyes have shed so many tears that they are encircled by a rim of purple, and my brow is wrinkled. You, Edmond, on the contrary,—you are still young, handsome, dignified; it is because you have had faith; because you have had strength, because you have had trust in God, and God has sustained you.” “It often happens,” continued she, “that a first fault destroys the prospects of a whole life.”
“Why, having recognized you, and I the only one to do so—why was I able to save my son alone? Ought I not also to have rescued the man that I had accepted for a husband, guilty though he were? Yet I let him die! What do I say? Oh, merciful heavens, was I not accessory to his death by my supine insensibility, by my contempt for him, not remembering, or not willing to remember, that it was for my sake he had become a traitor and a perjurer? (…) like all renegades I am of evil omen to those who surround me!”
“God needed me, and I lived. Examine the past and the present, and endeavor to dive into futurity, and then say whether I am not a divine instrument. The most dreadful misfortunes, the most frightful sufferings, the abandonment of all those who loved me, the persecution of those who did not know me, formed the trials of my youth; when suddenly, from captivity, solitude, misery, I was restored to light and liberty, and became the possessor of a fortune so brilliant, so unbounded, so unheard-of, that I must have been blind not to be conscious that God had endowed me with it to work out his own great designs. (…) Not a thought was given to a life which you once, Mercédès, had the power to render blissful; not one hour of peaceful calm was mine; but I felt myself driven on like an exterminating angel.”
“I collected every means of attack and defence; I inured my body to the most violent exercises, my soul to the bitterest trials; I taught my arm to slay, my eyes to behold excruciating sufferings, and my mouth to smile at the most horrid spectacles. Good-natured, confiding, and forgiving as I had been, I became revengeful, cunning, and wicked, or rather, immovable as fate.”
“Like the gulf between me and the past, there is an abyss between you, Edmond, and the rest of mankind; and I tell you freely that the comparison I draw between you and other men will ever be one of my greatest tortures. No, there is nothing in the world to resemble you in worth and goodness!”
“Before I leave you, Mercédès, have you no request to make?” said the count.
“I desire but one thing in this world, Edmond,—the happiness of my son.”
“I approve of the deed, but I must pray for the dead.”
“I have no will, unless it be the will never to decide.”
“A man of the count’s temperament could not long indulge in that melancholy which can exist in common minds, but which destroys superior ones. He thought he must have made an error in his calculations if he now found cause to blame himself.”
“can I have been following a false path?—can the end which I proposed be a mistaken end?—can one hour have sufficed to prove to an architect that the work upon which he founded all his hopes was an impossible, if not a sacrilegious, undertaking? I cannot reconcile myself to this idea—it would madden me. The reason why I am now dissatisfied is that I have not a clear appreciation of the past. The past, like the country through which we walk, becomes indistinct as we advance. My position is like that of a person wounded in a dream”
“There had been no prisoners confined in the Château d’If since the revolution of July; it was only inhabited by a guard, kept there for the prevention of smuggling [tráfico]. A concierge waited at the door to exhibit to visitors this monument of curiosity, once a scene of terror. The count inquired whether any of the ancient jailers were still there; but they had all been pensioned, or had passed on to some other employment. The concierge who attended him had only been there since 1830. He visited his own dungeon. He again beheld the dull light vainly endeavoring to penetrate the narrow opening. His eyes rested upon the spot where had stood his bed, since then removed, and behind the bed the new stones indicated where the breach made by the Abbé Faria had been. Monte Cristo felt his limbs tremble; he seated himself upon a log of wood.
<Are there any stories connected with this prison besides the one relating to the poisoning of Mirabeau?> asked the count; <are there any traditions respecting these dismal abodes,—in which it is difficult to believe men can ever have imprisoned their fellow-creatures?>
<Yes, sir; indeed, the jailer Antoine told me one connected with this very dungeon.>
Monte Cristo shuddered; Antoine had been his jailer. He had almost forgotten his name and face, but at the mention of the name he recalled his person as he used to see it, the face encircled by a beard, wearing the brown jacket, the bunch of keys, the jingling of which he still seemed to hear.”
“he felt afraid of hearing his own history.”
“And which of them made this passage?”
“Oh, it must have been the young man, certainly, for he was strong and industrious, while the abbé was aged and weak; besides, his mind was too vacillating to allow him to carry out an idea.”
“Blind fools!” murmured the count.
“However, be that as it may, the young man made a tunnel, how or by what means no one knows; but he made it, and there is the evidence yet remaining of his work. Do you see it?”
“The result was that the two men communicated with one another; how long they did so, nobody knows. One day the old man fell ill and died. Now guess what the young one did?”
“Now this was his project. He fancied that they buried the dead at the Château d’If, and imagining they would not expend much labor on the grave of a prisoner, he calculated on raising the earth with his shoulders, but unfortunately their arrangements at the Château frustrated his projects. They never buried the dead; they merely attached a heavy cannon-ball to the feet, and then threw them into the sea. This is what was done. The young man was thrown from the top of the rock; the corpse was found on the bed next day, and the whole truth was guessed, for the men who performed the office then mentioned what they had not dared to speak of before, that at the moment the corpse was thrown into the deep, they heard a shriek, which was almost immediately stifled by the water in which it disappeared.” The count breathed with difficulty; the cold drops ran down his forehead, and his heart was full of anguish.
“No,” he muttered, “the doubt I felt was but the commencement of forgetfulness; but here the wound reopens, and the heart again thirsts for vengeance. And the prisoner,” he continued aloud, “was he ever heard of afterwards?”
“Oh, no; of course not.”
“Then you pity him?” said the count.
“Ma foi, yes; though he was in his own element.”
“What do you mean?”
“The report was that he had been a naval officer, who had been confined for plotting with the Bonapartists.”
“Great is truth,” muttered the count, “fire cannot burn, nor water drown it! Thus the poor sailor lives in the recollection of those who narrate his history; his terrible story is recited in the chimney-corner, and a shudder is felt at the description of his transit through the air to be swallowed by the deep.” Then, the count added aloud, “Was his name ever known?”
“Oh, yes; but only as No. 34.” #SugestãodeTítulodeLivro
“Oh, Villefort, Villefort,” murmured the count, “this scene must often have haunted thy sleepless hours!”
“Yes; No. 27.” repeated the count, who seemed to hear the voice of the abbé answering him in those very words through the wall when asked his name.
“I will leave you the torch, sir.”
“No, take it away; I can see in the dark.”
“Why, you are like No. 34. They said he was so accustomed to darkness that he could see a pin in the darkest corner of his dungeon.”
“He spent 14 years to arrive at that,” muttered the count.
The guide carried away the torch.
“O God!” he read, “preserve my memory!“
“Oh, yes,” he cried, “that was my only prayer at last; I no longer begged for liberty, but memory; I dreaded to become mad and forgetful. O God, thou hast preserved my memory; I thank thee, I thank thee!”
“Listen,” said the guide; “I said to myself, <Something is always left in a cell inhabited by one prisoner for 15 years,> so I began to sound the wall.”
“Ah,” cried Monte Cristo, remembering the abbé’s 2 hiding-places.
“After some search, I found that the floor gave a hollow sound near the head of the bed, and at the hearth.”
“Yes,” said the count, “yes.”
“I raised the stones, and found——”
“A rope-ladder and some tools?”
“How do you know that?” asked the guide in astonishment.
“I do not know—I only guess it, because that sort of thing is generally found in prisoners’ cells.”
“Yes, sir, a rope-ladder and tools.”
“And have you them yet?”
“No, sir; I sold them to visitors, who considered them great curiosities; but I have still something left.”
“What is it?” asked the count, impatiently.
“A sort of book, written upon strips of cloth.”
“Go and fetch it, my good fellow; and if it be what I hope, you will do well.”
“I will run for it, sir;” and the guide went out. Then the count knelt down by the side of the bed, which death had converted into an altar. “Oh, second father,” he exclaimed, “thou who hast given me liberty, knowledge, riches; thou who, like beings of a superior order to ourselves, couldst understand the science of good and evil”
“Remove from me the remains of doubt, which, if it change not to conviction, must become remorse!” The count bowed his head, and clasped his hands together.
“The manuscript was the great work by the Abbé Faria upon the kingdoms of Italy. The count seized it hastily, his eyes immediately fell upon the epigraph, and he read, <Thou shalt tear out the dragons’ teeth, and shall trample the lions under foot, saith the Lord.>
“Ah,” he exclaimed, “here is my answer. Thanks, father, thanks.”
“The name he pronounced, in a voice of tenderness, amounting almost to love, was that of Haydée.”
“Alas,” said Monte Cristo, “it is the infirmity of our nature always to believe ourselves much more unhappy than those who groan by our sides!”
“I knew a man who like you had fixed all his hopes of happiness upon a woman. He was young, he had an old father whom he loved, a betrothed bride whom he adored. He was about to marry her, when one of the caprices of fate,—which would almost make us doubt the goodness of Providence, if that Providence did not afterwards reveal itself by proving that all is but a means of conducting to an end,—one of those caprices deprived him of his mistress, of the future of which he had dreamed (for in his blindness he forgot he could only read the present), and cast him into a dungeon.”
“Fourteen years!” he muttered—“Fourteen years!” repeated the count. “During that time he had many moments of despair. He also, Morrel, like you, considered himself the unhappiest of men.”
“She was dead?”
“Worse than that, she was faithless, and had married one of the persecutors of her betrothed. You see, then, Morrel, that he was a more unhappy lover than you.”
“And has he found consolation?”
“He has at least found peace.”
“And does he ever expect to be happy?”
“He hopes so, Maximilian.” The young man’s head fell on his breast.
“Another proof that he was a native of the universal country was apparent in the fact of his knowing no other Italian words than the terms used in music, and which like the <goddam> of Figaro, served all possible linguistic requirements. <Allegro!> he called out to the postilions at every ascent. <Moderato!> he cried as they descended. And heaven knows there are hills enough between Rome and Florence by the way of Aquapendente! These two words greatly amused the men to whom they were addressed.
“What subject of meditation could present itself to the banker, so fortunately become bankrupt?
Danglars thought for ten minutes about his wife in Paris; another ten minutes about his daughter travelling with Mademoiselle d’Armilly; the same period was given to his creditors, and the manner in which he intended spending their money; and then, having no subject left for contemplation, he shut his eyes, and fell asleep.”
“where are we going?”
“Dentro la testa!“ answered a solemn and imperious voice, accompanied by a menacing gesture. Danglars thought dentro la testa meant, “Put in your head!” He was making rapid progress in Italian. He obeyed, not without some uneasiness, which, momentarily increasing, caused his mind, instead of being as unoccupied as it was when he began his journey, to fill with ideas which were very likely to keep a traveller awake, more especially one in such a situation as Danglars. His eyes acquired that quality which in the first moment of strong emotion enables them to see distinctly, and which afterwards fails from being too much taxed. Before we are alarmed, we see correctly; when we are alarmed, we see double; and when we have been alarmed, we see nothing but trouble.
“His hair stood on end. He remembered those interesting stories, so little believed in Paris, respecting Roman bandits; he remembered the adventures that Albert de Morcerf had related when it was intended that he should marry Mademoiselle Eugénie.”
“Is this the man?” asked the captain, who was attentively reading Plutarch’s Life of Alexander.
“The man is tired,” said the captain, “conduct him to his bed.”
“Oh,” murmured Danglars, “that bed is probably one of the coffins hollowed in the wall, and the sleep I shall enjoy will be death from one of the poniards I see glistening in the darkness.”
From their beds of dried leaves or wolf-skins at the back of the chamber now arose the companions of the man who had been found by Albert de Morcerf reading Cæsar’s Commentaries, and by Danglars studying the Life of Alexander. The banker uttered a groan and followed his guide; he neither supplicated nor exclaimed. He no longer possessed strength, will, power, or feeling; he followed where they led him. At length he found himself at the foot of a staircase, and he mechanically lifted his foot five or six times. Then a low door was opened before him, and bending his head to avoid striking his forehead he entered a small room cut out of the rock. The cell was clean, though empty, and dry, though situated at an immeasurable distance under the earth.
“Oh, God be praised,” he said; “it is a real bed!”
“Ecco!” said the guide, and pushing Danglars into the cell, he closed the door upon him. A bolt grated and Danglars was a prisoner. If there had been no bolt, it would have been impossible for him to pass through the midst of the garrison who held the catacombs of St. Sebastian, encamped round a master whom our readers must have recognized as the famous Luigi Vampa.
“Since the bandits had not despatched him at once, he felt that they would not kill him at all. They had arrested him for the purpose of robbery, and as he had only a few louis about him, he doubted not he would be ransomed. He remembered that Morcerf had been taxed at 4.000 crowns, and as he considered himself of much greater importance than Morcerf he fixed his own price at 8.000 crowns. Eight thousand crowns amounted to 48.000 livres; he would then have about 5.050.000 francs left. With this sum he could manage to keep out of difficulties.”
“His first idea was to breathe, that he might know whether he was wounded. He borrowed this from Don Quixote, the only book he had ever read, but which he still slightly remembered.”
“Two millions?—three?—four? Come, four? I will give them to you on condition that you let me go.”
“Why do you offer me 4.000.000 for what is worth 5.000.000? This is a kind of usury, banker, that I do not understand.”
“Take all, then—take all, I tell you, and kill me!”
“Come, come, calm yourself. You will excite your blood, and that would produce an appetite it would require a million a day to satisfy. Be more economical.”
“But you say you do not wish to kill me?”
“And yet you will let me perish with hunger?”
“Ah, that is a different thing.”
“For the first time in his life, Danglars contemplated death with a mixture of dread and desire; the time had come when the implacable spectre, which exists in the mind of every human creature, arrested his attention and called out with every pulsation of his heart, <Thou shalt die!>”
“he who had just abandoned 5.000.000 endeavored to save the 50.000 francs he had left, and sooner than give them up he resolved to enter again upon a life of privation—he was deluded by the hopefulness that is a premonition of madness. He who for so long a time had forgotten God, began to think that miracles were possible—that the accursed cavern might be discovered by the officers of the Papal States, who would release him; that then he would have 50.000 remaining, which would be sufficient to save him from starvation; and finally he prayed that this sum might be preserved to him, and as he prayed he wept.”
“Are you not a Christian?” he said, falling on his knees. “Do you wish to assassinate a man who, in the eyes of heaven, is a brother? Oh, my former friends, my former friends!” he murmured, and fell with his face to the ground. Then rising in despair, he exclaimed, “The chief, the chief!”
“Still, there have been men who suffered more than you.”
“I do not think so.”
“Yes; those who have died of hunger.”
Danglars thought of the old man whom, in his hours of delirium, he had seen groaning on his bed. He struck his forehead on the ground and groaned. “Yes,” he said, “there have been some who have suffered more than I have, but then they must have been martyrs at least.”
“Yes; you see I am as exact as you are. But you are dripping, my dear fellow; you must change your clothes, as Calypso said to Telemachus. Come, I have a habitation prepared for you in which you will soon forget fatigue and cold.”
“I have made an agreement with the navy, that the access to my island shall be free of all charge. I have made a bargain.”
Morrel looked at the count with surprise. “Count,” he said, “you are not the same here as in Paris.”
“You are wrong, Morrel; I was really happy.”
“Then you forget me, so much the better.”
“Yes; for as the gladiator said to the emperor, when he entered the arena, <He who is about to die salutes you.>”
“Why should we not spend the last three hours remaining to us of life, like those ancient Romans, who when condemned by Nero, their emperor and heir, sat down at a table covered with flowers, and gently glided into death, amid the perfume of heliotropes and roses?”
“Count,” said Morrel, “you are the epitome of all human knowledge, and you seem like a being descended from a wiser and more advanced world than ours.”
“There is something true in what you say,” said the count, with that smile which made him so handsome; “I have descended from a planet called grief.”
“I believe all you tell me without questioning its meaning; for instance, you told me to live, and I did live; you told me to hope, and I almost did so. I am almost inclined to ask you, as though you had experienced death, <is it painful to die?>”
Monte Cristo looked upon Morrel with indescribable tenderness. “Yes,” he said, “yes, doubtless it is painful, if you violently break the outer covering which obstinately begs for life. If you plunge a dagger into your flesh, if you insinuate a bullet into your brain, which the least shock disorders,—then certainly, you will suffer pain, and you will repent quitting a life for a repose you have bought at so dear a price.”
“Yes; I know that there is a secret of luxury and pain in death, as well as in life; the only thing is to understand it.”
“You have spoken truly, Maximilian; according to the care we bestow upon it, death is either a friend who rocks us gently as a nurse, or an enemy who violently drags the soul from the body. Some day, when the world is much older, and when mankind will be masters of all the destructive powers in nature, to serve for the general good of humanity; when mankind, as you were just saying, have discovered the secrets of death, then that death will become as sweet and voluptuous as a slumber in the arms of your beloved.”
“I am endeavoring,” he thought, “to make this man happy; I look upon this restitution as a weight thrown into the scale to balance the evil I have wrought. Now, supposing I am deceived, supposing this man has not been unhappy enough to merit happiness. Alas, what would become of me who can only atone for evil by doing good?”
Then he saw a woman of marvellous beauty appear on the threshold of the door separating the two rooms. Pale, and sweetly smiling, she looked like an angel of mercy conjuring the angel of vengeance.
“Is it heaven that opens before me?” thought the dying man; “that angel resembles the one I have lost.”
Monte Cristo pointed out Morrel to the young woman, who advanced towards him with clasped hands and a smile upon her lips.
“Valentine, Valentine!” he mentally ejaculated; but his lips uttered no sound, and as though all his strength were centred in that internal emotion, he sighed and closed his eyes. Valentine rushed towards him; his lips again moved.
“Without me, you would both have died. May God accept my atonement in the preservation of these two existences!” “Oh, thank me again!” said the count; “tell me till you are weary, that I have restored you to happiness; you do not know how much I require this assurance.”
“Because tomorrow, Haydée, you will be free; you will then assume your proper position in society, for I will not allow my destiny to overshadow yours. Daughter of a prince, I restore to you the riches and name of your father.”
“do you not see how pale she is? Do you not see how she suffers?”
“Oh, yes,” she cried, “I do love you! I love you as one loves a father, brother, husband! I love you as my life, for you are the best, the noblest of created beings!”
“Let it be, then, as you wish, sweet angel; God has sustained me in my struggle with my enemies, and has given me this reward; he will not let me end my triumph in suffering; I wished to punish myself, but he has pardoned me. Love me then, Haydée! Who knows? perhaps your love will make me forget all that I do not wish to remember.”
“What do you mean, my lord?”
“I mean that one word from you has enlightened me more than 20 years of slow experience; I have but you in the world, Haydée; through you I again take hold on life, through you I shall suffer, through you rejoice.”
Novas famílias curam das antigas!
“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, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living.” Indeed Zupamann!
“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,—<Wait and hope.> (Fac et spera)!—Your friend,
<Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo.>”