What is the family motto on the coat of arms of the Montresors in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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Posted on (Answer #1)

As they traverse the narrow labryinth of the Montresor family catacombs, Fortunato asks about the Montresor coat of arms when Montresor remarks that his family was prolific and the vaults are extensive.

"I forget your arms."
"A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure, the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are embedded in the heel."

The motto on this coat of arms is in Latin--Nemo me impune lacessit--which means that no one will attack a Montresor without being punished.  So, of course, Montresor wants Fortunato to envision this coat of arms since the avenger is following exactly what is inscribed on the family crest. For, in the first paragraph Montresor as narrator has said that a wrong is

unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

Clearly, Montresor tries subtly to make himself known.


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