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In an abridged edition of Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, the presence of Ferdinand Mondego is felt mostly in the beginning chapters. For, he forms the third part of the classic love triangle. A fiery Catalan, descendant of the Spanish, Ferdinand is in love with the beautiful Mercedes, and deeply he desires her.
- As the chapter entitled "The Catalans" (III) opens, he sits on an old chair and watches Mercedes with "an air which betrayed both vexation and uneasiness."
- Reminding her that Easter is soon upon them, he reminds Mercedes that this season is an opportune time for a wedding. "Give me an answer, do!" he insists. When Mercedes reminds him that she has already refused him several times, Ferdinand, thinking only of himself, replies, "Yes, I know, Mercedes. I know that you have always been cruelly frank with me."
- Again, Ferdinand demands that she tell him again that he loves Edmond Dantes, but Ferdinand, in his selfishness, asks, "But if he is dead?"
Clearly, in this scene Ferdinand acts impulsively and reacts in a petulant and childish manner. It is only when Mercedes threatens to kill herself if Edmond should die, that Ferdinand relents.
- Later, as Caderousse and Danglars tease him, "Just listen to his sighs!" So distraught is he over losing Mercedes to Dantes that
Fernand closed his eyes, for they gave him a burning pain; he leapt against the table to save himself from falling, but in spite of his effort he could not restrain a groan, which, however, was lost amid the noisy congratulations of the company.
After these scenes, it is not until Chapter L that Ferdinand again enters the narrative as Haydee relates her history to the unsuspecting son of Ferdinand, Albert, Viscount de Morcerf. Shortly after this meeting, an article appears in the newspaper the Impartial, whose editor is a friend of Albert's. In this article, a report from Janina is made, stating that a certain French officer had betrayed Ali, Pashca of Janina (Haydee's father). "He is now styled as the Count of Morcerf and ranks among the peers [like Senators]." Shortly thereafter, Ferdinand, Count de Morcerf, is called in before the peers to answer the charges against him. In his usual self-serving manner, he defends himself eloquently and skillfully as he produced evidence that he had been in the Sultan's great confidence.
He said his mission had unfortunately failed, and, when he returned to defend his benefactor, he found him dead. So great was Ali Pasha's confidence in him, however, that before he died he had entrusted his favourite wife and his daughter to his care.
When asked if he knew the wife and daughter, de Morcerf replies that he saw them twenty times; then asked if he can produce witnesses, de Morcerf replies, "I believe I am the only one of my compatriots who survived that terrible war, testimony fabricated by Ferdinand in order to clear him of charges since he believes there will be no challenge to his words. But, when Haydee, still alive, enters and testifies that, among other atrocities, de Morcerf sold her and her mother into slavery for four thousand francs, de Morcerf turns pale and rushes out (Chapter LIV).
When Mercedes asks the Count of Monte Cristo why he has destroyed her husband (LVII), he tells of the selfish and exigent Ferdinand
"passed over to the English; a Spaniard by birth, he fought against the Spanish; a hireling of Ali's, he betrayed and assassinated Ali."
All of this, too, has been done for the selfish Ferdinand's own profit.
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