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The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas père
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What are ten important quotes from The Count of Monte Cristo and what are their meanings?

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With Innocence and Revenge and the Strength of Love as dominant in this work, here are some passages:

1. The young first mate of the Pharaon returns to Marseille with its cargo. His assumption of the position of the dead captain has raised the envy of others.  While Morrel and Danglars watch Dantes, ..."how different was the expression in the eyes of each of these two men as they gazed after Dantes' retreating figure!"

2. At his betrothal feast, when congratulated on his good fortune, Dantes, who unknowingly senses fate, responds,

"....I cannot help thinking it is not man's lot to attain happiness so easily.  Good fortune is like the palaces of the enchanted isles, the gates of which were guarded by dragons.  Happiness could only be obtained by overcoming these dragons, and I, I know no  how I have deserved the honour of becoming Mercedes husband."

3. Insight into the politically desirous Villefort come after Dantes is arrested and taken to Prosecutor's office.  For, it seems that Edmund will be freed from any charges regarding his transport of a letter to Elba.  But, as a second thought, the Prosecutor, Monsieur de Villefort, asks him the address on the letter:

"To Monsieur Noirtier, Rue Coq Heron, Paris."

These words fell on Villefort's ears with the rapidity and unexpectedness of a thunerbolt.  He sank into his chair from which he had risen to reach the packet of letter, drew the fatal letter from the bundle and glanced over it with a look of inexpressible terror.

4. After writing the treacherous letter that causes Dantes to be arrested, the character of Danglars is indicated in this passage:

When Napoleon returned to France, Danglars understood the full significance of the blow he had struck at Dantes; his denunciation had been given some sort of justification and he called this extraordinary coincidence the Hand of Providence.  But when Napoleon reached Paris and his voice was once more heard, imperious and powerful, Danglars grew afraid...He went to Madrid and was heard of no more for a long time.

5.  After the prisoner Dantes meets the Abbe Faria, the priest unravels the mystery of how Dantes fell into such misfortune.  He tells Dantes, "You have a very noble heart and simple mind that you had not your suspicions from the very outset."  But, after disclosing the truth to his new friend, the priest regrets what he has done

"Because I have instilled into your heart a feeling that previously held no place there--vengeance."

6. After Dantes has discovered the treasure on Monte Cristo,

This night was for Edmond one of those delicious yet terrible nights, of which this man of astounding emotions had alread spent two or three in his lifetime.

7. As an agent of Providence, The Count of Monte Cristo effects an extension of time on Morrel's loan: seemed to the poor shipowner like one of those returns to good fortune which announce to man that fate has at last become weary of spending her fury on him.

8.  In Ch. 49, Monte Cristo tells de Villefort,

"I ...have been taken by Satan ...when there he said to me '...what wouldst thou have to make thee adore me?'..I replied, 'I wish to be Providence myself, for I feel...the most sublime thing is to recompense and punish."

9.  However, after he learns that Edward de Villefort has been killed, Dantes

...felt he had passed the bounds of vengeance, and that he could no longer say, "God is with me" 

10.  In his letter to Maxillan at the end of the novel, Monte Cristo writes,

Live and be happy,...and never forget that, until the day comes when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these words:  Waitand hope!                                                                                               

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