100-ish Days of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo
June 1 – August 31, 2022

August 8, 2022, Chapters 86-90 (to be read August 6-9)

Next post: August 11, 2022, Chapters 91-94 (to be read August 10-12)

These chapters are heart wrenching… Haidee avenging her father… Mercedes pleading for her son… Albert coming to terms with the collapse of his world… Revenge is scorching the souls of all the characters who were close to Fernand… I present the following quotes with no further comments…

“Well, I fortunately recognize you! You are Fernand Mondego, the French officer who led the troops of my noble father! It is you who surrendered the castle of Yanina! It is you who, sent by him to Constantinople, to treat with the emperor for the life or death of your benefactor, brought back a false mandate granting full pardon! It is you who, with that mandate, obtained the pasha’s ring, which gave you authority over Selim, the fire-keeper! It is you who stabbed Selim. It is you who sold us, my mother and me, to the merchant, El-Kobbir! Assassin, assassin, assassin, you have still on your brow your master’s blood! Look, gentlemen, all!’”

“”Do you say so now, Mercedes?—then what would you say if you knew the extent of the sacrifice I make to you? Suppose that the Supreme Being, after having created the world and fertilized chaos, had paused in the work to spare an angel the tears that might one day flow for mortal sins from her immortal eyes; 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, Mercedes, you could not imagine what I lose in sacrificing my life at this moment.” Mercedes looked at the count in a way which expressed at the same time her astonishment, her admiration, and her gratitude. Monte Cristo pressed his forehead on his burning hands, as if his brain could no longer bear alone the weight of the weight of its thoughts. “Edmond,” said Mercedes, “I have but one word more to say to you.” The count smiled bitterly. “Edmond,” continued she, “you will see that if my face is pale, if my eyes are dull, if my beauty is gone; if Mercedes, in short, no longer resembles her former self in her features, you will see that her heart is still the same. Adieu, then, Edmond; I have nothing more to ask of heaven—I have seen you again, and have found you as noble and as great as formerly you were. Adieu, Edmond, adieu, and thank you.”

But the count did not answer. Mercedes opened the door of the study and had disappeared before he had recovered from the painful and profound revery into which his thwarted vengeance had plunged him. The clock of the Invalides struck one when the carriage which conveyed Madame de Morcerf away rolled on the pavement of the Champs-Elysees, and made Monte Cristo raise his head. “What a fool I was,” said he, “not to tear my heart out on the day when I resolved to avenge myself!””

Photos for August 8

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