The Count of Monte Cristo

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"Alexandre Dumas's novel of justice, retribution, and self-discovery - one of the most enduringly popular adventure tales ever written - appears here in a newly revised translation." "This novel tells the story of Edmond Dantes, wrongfully imprisoned for life in the supposedly impregnable sea fortress the Chateau d'If. After a daring escape, and after unearthing a hidden treasure revealed to him by a fellow prisoner, he devotes the rest of his life to tracking down and punishing the enemies who wronged him." "This newly edited version of the

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The Count of Monte Cristo

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Overview

"Alexandre Dumas's novel of justice, retribution, and self-discovery - one of the most enduringly popular adventure tales ever written - appears here in a newly revised translation." "This novel tells the story of Edmond Dantes, wrongfully imprisoned for life in the supposedly impregnable sea fortress the Chateau d'If. After a daring escape, and after unearthing a hidden treasure revealed to him by a fellow prisoner, he devotes the rest of his life to tracking down and punishing the enemies who wronged him." "This newly edited version of the original nineteenth-century English translation speeds the narrative flow while retaining all the essential details of Dumas's intricately plotted and thrilling masterpiece." The classic nineteenth-century translation has been revised and updated by Peter Washington, with an introduction by novelist Umberto Eco.

Sent to prison on a false accusation in 1815, Edmond Dantes escapes many years later and finds a treasure which he uses to exact his revenge.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A piece of perfect storytelling.” —Robert Louis Stevenson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582018204
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/1/1991
  • Series: Longman Classics Series
  • Pages: 74

Meet the Author

Alexandre Dumas could have been a character from one of his novels. A true romantic, he was the son of Napoleon's famous General Dumas, a prolific writer of over 277 volumes, a revolutionary and a man of tremendous appetites. He was born on July 24, 1802 and died penniless but happy on December 5, 1870, a refugee from his own excesses.

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Count of Monte Cristo

CHAPTER I

Marseilles—The Arrival

On the 24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.

The usual crowd of curious spectators immediately filled the quay of Fort Saint-Jean, for at Marseilles the arrival of a ship is always a great event, especially when that ship, as was the case with the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden in the dockyard of old Phocaea and belongs to a shipowner of their own town.

Meanwhile the vessel drew on, and was approaching the harbour under topsails, jib, and foresail, but so slowly and with such an air of melancholy that the spectators, always ready to sense misfortune, began to ask one another what ill-luck had overtaken those on board. However, those experienced in navigation soon saw that if there had been any ill-luck, the ship had not been the sufferer, for she advanced in perfect condition and under skilful handling; the anchor was ready to be dropped, the bowsprit shrouds loose. Beside the pilot, who was steering the Pharaonthrough the narrow entrance to the port, there stood a young man, quick of gesture and keen of eye, who watched every movement of the ship while repeating each of the pilot's orders.

The vague anxiety that prevailed among the crowd affected one of the spectators so much that he could not wait until the ship reached the port; jumping into a small boat, he ordered the boatman to row him alongside the Pharaon, which he reached opposite the creek of La Reserve.

On seeing this man approach, the young sailor left his post beside the pilot, and, hat in hand, leant over the ship's bulwarks. He was a tall, lithe young man of about twenty years of age, with fine dark eyes and hair as black as ebony; his whole manner bespoke that air of calm resolution peculiar to those who, from their childhood, have been accustomed to face danger.

"Ah, is that you, Dantès!" cried the man in the boat. "You are looking pretty gloomy on board. What has happened?"

"A great misfortune, Monsieur Morrel," replied the young man, "a great misfortune, especially for me! We lost our brave Captain Leclère off Civita Vecchia."

"What happened to him?" asked the shipowner. "What has happened to our worthy captain?"

"He died of brain-fever in dreadful agony. Alas, monsieur, the whole thing was most unexpected. After a long conversation with the harbourmaster, Captain Leclère left Naples in a great state of agitation. In twenty-four hours he was in high fever, and died three days afterwards. We performed the usual burial service. He is now at rest off the Isle of El Giglio, sewn up in his hammock, with a thirty-six pounder shot at his head and another at his heels. We have brought home his sword and his cross of honour to his widow. But was it worth his while," added the young man, with a sad smile, "to wage war against the English for ten long years only to die in his bed like everybody else?"

"Well, well, Monsieur Edmond," replied the owner, whoappeared more comforted with every moment, "we are all mortal, and the old must make way for the young, otherwise there would be no promotion. And the cargo ...? "

"Is all safe and sound, Monsieur Morrel, take my word for it. It has been a voyage that will bring you in a good twenty-five thousand francs!"

As they were just past the Round Tower the young man shouted out: "Ready there! Lower topsails, foresail, and jib!"

The order was executed as promptly as on board a man-of-war.

"Lower away! and brail all!"

At this last order, all the sails were lowered and the ship moved on almost imperceptibly.

"And now, Monsieur Morrel," said Dantès, "here is your purser, Monsieur Danglars, coming out of his cabin. If you will step on board he will furnish you with every particular. I must look after the anchoring and dress the ship in mourning."

The owner did not wait to be invited twice. He seized a rope which Dantès flung to him, and, with an agility that would have done credit to a sailor, climbed up the ladder attached to the side of the ship, while the young man, returning to his duty, left the conversation to the individual whom he had announced under the name of Danglars, and who now came toward the owner. He was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six, of unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to his subordinates; and besides the fact that he was the purser—and pursers are always unpopular on board—he was personally as much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantès was beloved by them.

"Well, Monsieur Morrel," said Danglars, "you have heard of the misfortune that has befallen us?"

"Yes, yes, poor Captain Leclère! He was a brave and honest man!"

"And a first-rate seaman, grown old between sky and ocean, as a man should be who is entrusted with the interestsof so important a firm as that of Morrel and Son," replied Danglars.

"But," replied the owner, watching Dantès at his work, "it seems to me that a sailor need not be so old to understand his business; our friend Edmond seems to understand it thoroughly, and to require no instructions from anyone."

"Yes," said Danglars, casting a look of hatred on Dantès, "yes, he is young, and youth is never lacking in self-confidence. The captain was hardly dead when, without consulting anyone, he assumed command of the ship, and was the cause of our losing a day and a half off the Isle of Elba instead of making direct for Marseilles."

"As captain's mate, it was his duty to take command, but he acted wrongly in losing a day and a half off Elba unless the ship was in need of repair."

"The ship was as right as I am and as I hope you are, Monsieur Morrel; it was nothing more than a whim on his part, and a fancy for going ashore, that caused the delay off Elba."

"Dantès," called the owner, turning toward the young man, "just step this way, will you?"

"One moment, monsieur," he replied, "and I shall be with you." Then turning to the crew, he called out: "Let go!"

The anchor was instantly dropped and the chain ran out with a great rattle. In spite of the pilot's presence Dantès remained at his post until this last task was accomplished, and then he added: "Lower the flag and pennant to half-mast and slope the yards!"

"You see," said Danglars, "he already imagines himself captain."

"And so he is," said his companion. "Why should we not give him the post? I know he is young, but he seems to be an able and thoroughly experienced seaman."

A cloud passed over Danglars's brow.

"Your pardon, Monsieur Morrel," said Dantès, approaching. "Now that the boat is anchored, I am at your service. I believe you called me."

Danglars retreated a step or two.

"I wished to know the reason of the delay off Elba."

"I am unaware of the reason, monsieur; I only followed the last instructions of Captain Leclère, who, when dying, gave me a packet for the Maréchal Bertrand."

"And did you see the Maréchal?"

"Yes."

Morrel glanced around him and then drew Dantès on one side.

"How is the Emperor?" he asked eagerly.

"Very well, so far as I could see. He came into the Maréchal's room while I was there."

"Did you speak to him?"

"It was he who spoke to me, monsieur," said Dantès, smiling. "He asked me some questions about the ship, about the time of her departure for Marseilles, the route she had followed and the cargo she carried. I believe that had she been empty and I the master, he would have bought her; but I told him I was only the mate and that the ship belonged to the firm of Morrel and Son. 'Ah, ah,' said he. 'I know the firm. The Morrels have all been shipowners for generations, and there was a Morrel who served in the same regiment with me when I was garrisoned at Valance.'"

"Quite true! Quite true!" Monsieur Morrel exclaimed, delighted. "It was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who afterwards became a captain. Dantès, you must tell my uncle that the Emperor still remembers him and you will see tears of joy in the old soldier's eyes. Well, well!" he added, giving Dantès a friendly tap on the shoulder, "you were quite right in carrying out Captain Leclère's instructions and putting in at the Isle of Elba, though if it were known that you delivered a packet to the Maréchal and talked with the Emperor you might get into trouble."

"How so?" said Dantès. "I don't even know what the packet contained, and the Emperor merely made such inquiries as he would of any newcomer. But excuse me,monsieur, for one moment, here are the medical and customs officers coming on board."

As the young man departed Danglars approached.

"Well," said he, "it would seem that he has given you good reasons for dropping anchor off Porto Ferrajo?"

"Most satisfactory ones, dear Monsieur Danglars."

"So much the better," replied the purser, "for it is never pleasant to see a comrade neglect his duty."

"Dantès certainly did his, and there is nothing more to be said on the matter. It was Captain Leclère who ordered him to call at Elba."

"Talking of Captain Leclére, hasn't Dantès given you a letter from him?"

"No, was there one for me?"

"I think that, in addition to the packet, Captain Leclère gave him a letter."

"What packet do you mean, Danglars?"

"The one Dantès delivered at Porto Ferrajo."

"How do you know that he had a packet for Porto Ferrajo?"

Danglars turned red.

"I was passing the captain's door, which was ajar, and saw him give Dantès the packet and the letter."

"He has not mentioned a letter to me, but if he has one I have no doubt he will give it to me."

"Then, Monsieur Morrel, pray don't mention it to Dantès. Perhaps I am mistaken."

Just then the young man returned and Danglars retreated as before.

"Well, Dantès, have you finished now?"

"Yes, monsieur."

"Then you can come and dine with us?"

"I beg you to excuse me, Monsieur Morrel. I owe my first visit to my father. All the same, I greatly appreciate the honour you pay me."

"You are quite right, Dantès. I know you are a good son."

"And do you know if my father is quite well?" he asked with some hesitation.

"Oh, I believe so, my dear Edmond, but I have not seen him lately. At any rate I am sure that he has not wanted for anything during your absence."

Dantès smiled. "My father is proud, monsieur, and even had he been in want of everything, I doubt whether he would have asked anything of anybody except God."

"Well, then, after this first visit has been paid, may we count on you?"

"Once more I must ask you to excuse me, Monsieur Morrel. There is yet another visit which I am most anxious to pay."

"True, Dantès; I had forgotten that there is at the Catalans someone who is awaiting you with as much impatience as your father—the fair Mercédès."

Dantès smiled.

"Well! well!" said the shipowner. "Now I understand why she came to me three times for news of the Pharaon. Upon my word, Edmond, you are to be envied: she is a handsome girl. But don't let me keep you any longer. You have looked after my affairs so well that it is but your due that you should now have time to look after your own. Are you in need of money?"

"No, thank you, monsieur, I have all my pay from the voyage; that is nearly three months' salary."

"You are a careful fellow, Edmond."

"Say rather that I have a poor father."

"Yes, yes, I know you are a good son. Off you go to your father. I too have a son, and I should be very angry with anyone who kept him away from me after a three months' voyage."

"I have your leave, monsieur?" said the young man, saluting.

"Yes, if you have nothing more to say to me. By the way, before Captain Leclère died, did he not give you a letter for me?"

"He was unable to write, monsieur. But that reminds me, I shall have to ask you for a fortnight's leave."

"To get married?"

"First of all, and then for a journey to Paris."

"Very well, take what time you need. It will take us quite six weeks to unload the cargo, and we shall not be ready to put to sea again for another three months. But you must be back in three months, for the Pharaon cannot sail without her captain," he added, patting the young sailor on the back.

"Without her captain, did you say?" cried Dantès, his eyes sparkling with joy. "Oh! if you really mean that, monsieur, you are touching on my fondest hopes. Is it really your intention to make me captain of the Pharaon?"

"If it depended on me alone, my dear Dantès, I should give you my hand saying, 'It is settled,' but I have a partner, and you know the Italian proverb, Chi ha compagne ha padrone. But half the battle is won since you already have my vote. Leave it to me to get my partner's for you. Now, off you go; I shall remain here awhile and go over the accounts with Danglars. By the by, were you satisfied with him on the voyage?"

"That depends on what you mean by that question. If you mean as comrade I must say no, for I do not think he has been my friend ever since the day I was foolish enough to propose to him that we should stop for ten minutes at the Isle of Monte Cristo to settle a little dispute. I never ought to have made the suggestion, and he was quite right in refusing. If you mean as purser I have nothing to say against him, and I think you will be satisfied with the way in which he has discharged his duties."

Thereupon the young sailor jumped into the boat, seated himself in the stern and ordered the oarsmen to put him ashore at the Cannebière. With a smile on his lips M. Morrel glanced after him till he saw him jump ashore. There he was immediately lost in the motley crowd that, from five o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock in the evening, collects in that famous street of the Cannebière, ofwhich the modern Phocaeans are so proud that they say in all seriousness, and with that peculiar accent which lends so much character to what they say, "If Paris owned the Cannebière she would be a little Marseilles."

On turning round the shipowner saw Danglars standing behind him. The latter, who appeared to be awaiting his orders, was in reality, like him, following the movements of the young sailor. But how different was the expression in the eyes of each of these two men as they gazed after Dantes' retreating figure!

All new material in this edition is copyright © 1998 by Tom Doherty Associates. LLC.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Chronology of Alexandre Dumas's Life and Work xvii
Historical Context of The Count of Monte Cristo xix
I Marseilles--The Arrival 1
II Father and Son 10
III The Catalans 15
IV The Betrothal Feast 23
V The Deputy Procureur du Roi 31
VI The Examination 36
VII The Chateau d'If 45
VIII Villefort and Mercedes 54
IX The Little Cabinet of the Tuileries 58
X The Ogre 64
XI The Hundred Days 68
XII Numbers 34 and 27 72
XIII An Italian Scholar 83
XIV The Treasure 100
XV The Third Attack 112
XVI The Cemetery of the Chateau d'If 118
XVII The Isle of Tiboulen 122
XVIII The Isle of Monte Cristo 133
XIX The Treasure Cave 138
XX The Stranger 145
XXI The Pont du Gard Inn 148
XXII Caderousse's Story 154
XXIII The Prison Register 165
XXIV Morrel and Son 171
XXV The Fifth of September 183
XXVI Roman Bandits 192
XXVII The Apparition 198
XXVIII The Carnival at Rome 208
XXIX The Catacombs of St Sebastian 221
XXX The Guests 237
XXXI The Presentation 254
XXXII Unlimited Credit 263
XXXIII The Pair of Dappled Greys 271
XXXIV Haydee 279
XXXV The Morrel Family 284
XXXVI Toxicology 290
XXXVII The Rise and Fall of Stocks 300
XXXVIII Pyramus and Thisbe 308
XXXIX M. Noirtier de Villefort 316
XL The Will 323
XLI The Telegraph 331
XLII The Dinner 337
XLIII A Conjugal Scene 348
XLIV Matrimonial Plans 355
XLV A Summer Ball 361
XLVI Mme de Saint-Meran 377
XLVII The Promise 383
XLVIII Minutes of the Proceedings 402
XLIX The Progress of Cavalcanti Junior 419
L Haydee's Story 426
LI The Report from Janina 444
LII The Lemonade 452
LIII The Accusation 463
LIV The Trial 468
LV The Challenge 479
LVI The Insult 484
LVII The Night 491
LVIII The Duel 498
LIX Revenge 502
LX Valentine 512
LXI The Secret Door 525
LXII The Apparition Again 531
LXIII The Serpent 537
LXIV Maximilian 542
LXV Danglars' Signature 550
LXVI Consolation 557
LXVII Separation 568
LXVIII The Judge 582
LXIX Expiation 591
LXX The Departure 597
LXXI The Fifth of October 611
Notes 621
Interpretive Notes 637
Critical Excerpts 647
Questions for Discussion 661
Suggestions for the Interested Reader 663
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First Chapter

Chapter I

ON FEBRUARY 24, 1815, the watchtower at Marseilles signaled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, coming from Smyrna, Trieste and Naples.

The quay was soon covered with the usual crowd of curious onlookers, for the arrival of a ship is always a great event in Marseilles, especially when, like the Pharaon, it has been built, rigged and laden in the city and belongs to a local shipowner.

Meanwhile the vessel was approaching the harbor under topsails, jib and foresail, but so slowly and with such an air of melancholy that the onlookers, instinctively sensing misfortune, began to wonder what accident could have happened on board. However, the experienced seamen among them saw that if there had been an accident, it could not have happened to the ship herself, for she had every appearance of being under perfect control. Standing beside the pilot, who was preparing to steer the Pharaon through the narrow entrance of the harbor, was a young man who, with vigilant eyes and rapid gestures, watched every movement of the ship and repeated each of the pilot's orders.

The vague anxiety hovering over the crowd affected one man so much that he could not wait until the ship entered the harbor: he leaped into a small boat and ordered the boatman to row him out to meet the Pharaon.

When he saw this man coming toward him, the young sailor left his post beside the pilot and walked over to the side of the ship, holding his hat in his hand. He was a tall, slender young man, no more than twenty years old, with dark eyes and hair as black as ebony. His whole manner gave evidence of that calmness and resolution peculiar to those who have been accustomed to facingdanger ever since their childhood.

"Ah, it's you, Dantès!" cried the man in the boat. "What's happened? Why does everything look so gloomy on board?"

"A great misfortune, Monsieur Morrel!" replied the young man. "We lost our brave Captain Leclère off Civitavecchia."

"What about the cargo?" asked the shipowner eagerly.

"It arrived safely, Monsieur Morrel, and I think you'll be satisfied on that score, but poor Captain Leclère--"

"What happened to him?" asked the shipowner, visibly relieved.

"He died of brain fever, in horrible agony. He's now at rest off the Isle of II Giglio, sewed up in his hammock with one cannon ball at his head and another at his feet." The young man smiled sadly and added, "How ironic-he waged war against the English for ten long years and then died in his bed like anyone else."

"Well, we're all mortal," said the shipowner, "and the old must make way for the young, otherwise there would be no promotion."

As they were passing the Round Tower, the young sailor called out, "Make ready to lower topsails, foresail and jib!" The order was executed as smartly as on board a man-of-war. "Lower away and brail all!" At this last order all the sails were lowered and the ship's speed became almost imperceptible.

"And now, if you'd like to come aboard, Monsieur Morrel," said Dantès, seeing the shipowner's impatience, "you can talk to your purser, Monsieur Danglars, who's just coming out of his cabin. He can give you all the information you want. As for myself, I must look after the anchoring and dress the ship in mourning."

The shipowner did not wait to be invited twice. He grasped the line which Dantès threw to him and, with an agility that would have done credit to a sailor, climbed up the ladder attached to the ship's side. Dantès returned to his duties, while Danglars came out to meet Monsieur Morrel. The purser was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six with a rather melancholy face, obsequious to his superiors and arrogant to his subordinates. He was as much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantès was liked by them.

"Well, Monsieur Morrel," said Danglars, "I suppose you've heard about our misfortune."

"Yes, I have. Poor Captain Leclère! He was a brave and honorable man."

"And an excellent seaman, too, grown old between the sky and the water, as a man should be when he's entrusted with the interests of such an important firm as Morrel and Son."

"But," said the shipowner, watching Dantès preparing to drop anchor, "it seems to me a man doesn't have to be old to do his work well, Danglars. Our friend Edmond there doesn't look as though he needs advice from anyone."

"Yes," said Danglars, casting Dantès a glance full of hatred, "he's young and he has no doubts about anything. As soon as the captain was dead he took command without consulting anyone, and he made us lose a day and a half at the Isle of Elba instead of coming straight back to Marseilles."

"As for taking command," said the shipowner, "it was his duty as first mate, but he was wrong to waste a day and a half at the Isle of Elba, unless the ship needed some sort of repairs."

"The ship was as sound as I am and as I hope you are, Monsieur Morrel. Wasting that day and a half was nothing but a whim of his; he just wanted to go ashore for a while, that's all."

"Dantès," said Morrel, turning toward the young man, "come here, please."

"Excuse me, sir, I'll be with you in a moment," said Dantès. Then, turning to the crew, he called out, "Let go!" The anchor dropped immediately and the chain rattled noisily. Dantès walked over to Morrel.

"I wanted to ask you why you stopped at the Isle of Elba."

"It was to carry out an order from Captain Leclère. As he was dying he gave me a package to deliver to Marshal Bertrand there."

"Did you see him, Edmond?"

"Yes."

Morrel looked around and drew Dantès off to one side. "How is the emperor?" he asked eagerly.

"He's well, as far as I could tell. He came into the marshal's room while I was there."

"Did you talk to him?"

"No, he talked to me," said Dantès, smiling.

"What did he say?"

"He asked me about the ship, when it had left for Marseilles, what route it had taken and what cargo it was carrying. I think that if the ship had been empty and I had been its owner he would have tried to buy it from me, but I told him I was only the first mate and that it belonged to the firm of Morrel and Son. 'I know that firm,' he said. 'The Morrels have been shipowners for generations and there was a Morrel in my regiment when I was garrisoned at Valence.' "

"That's true!" exclaimed Morrel, delighted. "It was Policar Morrel, my uncle. He later became a captain." Then, giving Dantès a friendly tap on the shoulder, he said, "You were quite right to follow Captain Leclère's instructions and stop at the Isle of Elba, although you might get into trouble if it became known that you gave the marshal a package and spoke to the emperor."

"How could it get me into trouble?" asked Dantès. "I don't even know what was in the package, and the emperor only asked me the same questions he would have asked any other newcomer. But excuse me for a moment, sir; I see the health and customs officers coming on board."

Danglars stepped up as the young man walked away. "Well," he said, "he seems to have given you some good reasons for his stopover."

"He gave me excellent reasons, Monsieur Danglars."

"That's good; it's always painful to see a friend fail to do his duty."

"Dantès did his duty well," replied the shipowner. "It was Captain Leclère, who ordered the stopover."

"Speaking of Captain Leclère, didn't Dantès give you a letter from him?"

"No. Was there one?"

"I thought Captain Leclère gave him a letter along with the package."

"What package, Danglars?"

"Why, the one Dantès delivered to the Isle of Elba."

"How do you know he delivered a package there?"

Danglars flushed. "The captain's door was ajar when I was passing by," he said, "and I saw him give Dantès a package and a letter."

"He didn't say anything to me about it, but if he has the letter I'm sure he'll give it to me."

Danglars was silent for a moment, then he said, "Monsieur Morrel, please don't mention it to Dantès; I must have been mistaken."

Just then Dantès returned and Danglars walked away.

"Well, Dantès, have you finished now?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then will you come to dinner with us?"

"Please excuse me, Monsieur Morrel, but I think I owe my first visit to my father. Just the same, I'm grateful for the honor of your invitation."

"You're right, Dantès. You're a good son. But we'll be expecting you after you've visited your father."

"Excuse me again, Monsieur Morrel, but after that first visit there's another one that's equally important to me."

"Oh, yes; I was forgetting that there's someone who must be waiting for you as impatiently as your father-the beautiful Mercédès. You're a lucky man, Edmond, and you have a very pretty mistress."

"She's not my mistress, sir," said the young sailor gravely. "She's my fiancée."

"That's sometimes the same thing," said Morrel, laughing.

"Not with us, sir," replied Dantès.

"Well, I won't keep you any longer; you've taken care of my affairs so well that I want to give you as much time as possible to take care of your own. Do you have anything else to tell me?"

"No."

"Didn't Captain Leclère give you a letter for me before he died?"

"He was unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I must ask you for two weeks' leave."

"To get married?"

"First of all; and then to go to Paris."

"Very well, take as long as you like, Dantès. It will take at least six weeks to unload the cargo, and we won't be ready to put to sea again before another three months or so. But in three months you'll have to be here. The Pharaon," continued the shipowner, patting the young sailor on the shoulder, "can't leave without her captain."

"Without her captain!" cried Dantès, his eyes flashing with joy. "Do you really intend to make me captain of the Pharaon?"

"If I were alone, my dear Dantès, I'd shake your hand and say, 'It's done.' But I have a partner, and you know the Italian proverb, 'He who has a partner has a master.' The thing is at least half done, though, since you already have one vote out of two. Leave it to me to get you the other one; I'll do my best."

"Oh, Monsieur Morrel!" cried Dantès, grasping the ship-owner's hand with tears in his eyes. "I thank you in the name of my father and of Mercédès."

"That's all right, Edmond. Go see your father, go see Mercedes, then come back to see me."

"Don't you want me to take you ashore?"

"No, thanks; I'll stay on board and look over the accounts with Danglars. Were you satisfied with him during the trip?"

"That depends on how you mean the question, sir. If you're asking me if I was satisfied with him as a comrade, the answer is no; I think he's disliked me ever since the day we had a little quarrel and I was foolish enough to suggest that we stop for ten minutes at the Isle of Monte Cristo to settle it, a suggestion which I was wrong to make and which he was right to refuse. But if you're speaking of him as a purser, I think there's nothing to be said against him and that you'll be quite satisfied with the way he's done his work."

"If you were captain of the Pharaon, would you be glad to keep him?"

"Whether I'm captain or first mate, Monsieur Morrel," replied Dantès. "I'll always have great respect for those who have the confidence of my shipowners."

"Good, good, Dantès! I see you're a fine young man in every way. But don't let me hold you back any longer-I can see how anxious you are to leave."

"May I take your skiff?"

"Certainly."

"Good-bye, Monsieur Morrel, and thank you from the bottom of my heart."

The young sailor leaped into the skiff and sat down in the stern, giving orders to be rowed to the Canebière. Smiling, the shipowner watched him until he saw him jump ashore, after which he was immediately swallowed up in the crowd. When he turned around, Morrel saw Danglars standing behind him, also following the young sailor's movements. But there was a great difference in the expression of the two men as they both watched Edmond Dantès.

--


From the Paperback edition.

Copyright© 1984 by Alexandre Dumas
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1672 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1683 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2009

    Best Version I Have Seen

    I have noticed that most of the reviews for this edition speak about Dumas' work in general, but I have to make a point that Robin Buss makes in the beginning of the book: almost every other version of The Count of Monte Cristo in English is either an abridgment or the product of Victorian editing.

    This book has to be praised for the mere fact that Buss went back to the original French and translated it wonderfully, not abridging or altering the essential storyline.

    As of now, this is the only edition of such caliber that I know of, and for now, it is all I recommend that people buy.

    Avoid all other editions and publishers, or at least make sure whether the one you want is an abridgment or not.

    99 out of 108 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Abridged Versions Dont tell the whole story

    I had purchased a copy of this book because I love the story of the Count of Monte Cristo and wanted a version in hard back. It was only after I was reading through it when I noticed stuff different from my penguin soft back version did I flip to the front to discover the book was abridged. Who ever edited this book had to have been stupid because they did a horrible job of editing. I could understand cutting material which isn't critical to the story. Examples from the unabridged version included 'How to rescue a gardener from dormice who are eating his peaches' and 'the road for Belgium.' However to deliberately omit major portions which are critical to the whole of the story is wrong and causes the whole story to be misrepresented. Major portions which were omitted included the the final judgment of Danglars at the hands of Vampa, and also the story of Andrea Cavalcanti and how he ties to both Villefort and Danglars. Even the comic book version of the story I read as a kid managed to included all of these. This abridged version of this book isnt worth the paper it is written on. I am extremely disappointed at Barnes and Noble for putting their name on crap like this. Don't waste your money, go get yourself a penguin classics version instead and read the whole story.

    42 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Illegible, not worth the price. RUN AWAY!

    On a Nook, the search did not describe this book as one of several volumes. It starts on chapter XLVII. The scan of the book is horrible, rendering the story illegible. For example, it starts with this sentence, reproduced exactly as it appears on a Nook; "~F the Count of Moiito-Oristo harl lived for a very long time ill Parisian society, lie would liavo fully appreciated the value of the stej* wluflh M. do ViUefort had taken." I'm not going to waste any time on this book. I'm not going to waste any more time on reviewing this junk.

    25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION

    This is an abridged version -- an incomplete story -- and a terrible abridged version. There are several key parts of the story missing, which significantly change the story. It is an offense to Dumas and readers.

    23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    As Much About Revenge As It Is About A Count

    I must say that this is one of the best books - if not the best book - I've ever read in my entire life. I do not say this lightly. From the very beginning, I fell in love with the character, Edmound Dantes, and cheered him on throughout his struggles. But my admiration turned to awe when I saw what he was capable of, and upon seeing the carefully plotted, fatal revenges he planned for his enemies had me stunned. Even so, it was the fact that he was a complex character, composed with both good and evil, that really fascinated me and makes me say, without a doubt, that Edmound Dantes is the best character I've ever seen, and the Count of Monte Cristo the most thrilling book I've ever read. I highly recommmend it, and will be reading it again in the near future.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    Although this timeless classic may seem to be printed in its entirety, be warned. I recently purchesed this novel hoping to delve into a 19th century classic but found myself faced with an abridged novel. How can one fully appreciate an author's talent when part of his work has been removed? Furthermore, who is to say what should be taken out or not. The cover says nothing about being abridged, therefore decieving the general public. If you want the Sparknotes version of a classic, or don't have enough time to enjoy Dumas' amazing literature, then this is a book for you.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    such a fun book!

    I loved this book! I loved all 600+ pages. I read a review somewhere that said "It's harder to stop reading this book than it is to start." I agree with that. It was difficult for me to initially pick it up because it is so HUGE, but once I did it was was even harder to put down. The characters are well developed and it moves easily from one adventure to another. I would (and have) highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read a good adventure.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    Thrilling!

    I loved this book. I am beginning to read 'The Classics', a daunting task, nontheless. But this book could be appreciated without a backround of classical literature. The plot was thrilling and unique, the writing style original and captivating, and nothing will be written like it again. It had everything a book should have: romance, revenge, action, adventure, heartbreak. I think that is what has made it one of the best books I have ever read.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    The writing style and story-telling of Dumas is fantastic and compelling. While one may think he knows the tale of Edmond Dantes, he doesn't until he starts to turn the pages of this 1400-plus page book.

    Dumas weaves a beautiful tale of revenge and compassion that makes The Count of Monte Cristo one of the finest works of fiction of the past two hundred years. Classics Illustrated certainly opened this story to me as a pre-adolescent but nothing beats reading the book.

    The characters develop slowly and the reader has no doubt about the honesty and integrity of the few 'good' people and knows the dark side of the 'baddies'. This book is all meat and potatoes and the dessert comes in the final 150 pages.

    Do yourself a favor and pick this classic up for a wonderful reading experience.

    Now, on to The Three Musketeers.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    For those who are stuck on one page

    I got stuck on the first page on my nook. But after i closed the book, opened another, and then returned to this one, i was able to turn the pages with ease. I dont know if it will always work, but its just a suggestion since youve already spent your time and money on this. Happy reading!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    An old age book for new age readers

    In the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, a French sailor runs into some hard times. It all started when his captain on his ship got brain fever and dies. The Captain's last request is that Edmond goes to the Isle of Elba to deliver a letter and take whatever is received and deliver that also. When Edmond returns to Marseilles and prepares to deliver his letter. He decides he will travel to Paris after he marries his beautiful fiancée Mercedes. Also along with the great joy of about to become a married man Edmond is told by the ship owner that he will become the new captain of the ship. With all of this good news Edmond makes some rivals unknowingly. These rivals conspire together to write an anonymous letter to the public prosecutor telling of how Edmond had a letter from Napoleon to the Bonapartist party of Paris.Due to this letter Edmond was arrested and sent to the public prosecutor. While there the deputy public prosecutor, Villefort, interrogates Edmond, discovers that Edmond was innocent and is about to release him when he finds out the letter from Napoleon was to his father. Villefort does not want to be one day blackmailed with this information so he sends Edmond to a prison at the Chateau d'If to die without ever knowing what put him in there.
    Edmond spends fourteen years in this prison during which he meets a priest who holds the secret to a hidden treasure. The priest teaches Edmond many things in exchange for his help on a tunnel which is to be their escape. But the priest does not escape with Edmond instead dies allowing Edmond a unique opportunity for escape. Edmond does escape and find the treasure the priest told him about and then uses the fortune he receives to extract revenge from the people who stole fourteen years of his life; Danglars the second mate, Fernand the jealous friend, and Villefort who accused him wrongly. The rest of the book explains how Edmond creates and executes his great revenge.
    The best part of this book was the plot. Dumas does a great job of weaving a tangled web that becomes unraveled by the Count of Monte Cristo's (Edmond) revenge. The complex way the Count using this entire web to fit his purpose makes for an intoxicating read. The worst part of this book was the changes that Edmond had to go through to achieve his revenge. Edmond went from enjoying all that life had given him to becoming a cruel, vindictive man who revels in the demise of his enemies. Edmond became the Count of Monte Cristo who knows no bounds and cannot be stopped by anyone other than God. The Count made his self into a person who smiled at the most terrible sights. All the Count had was his revenge and what that revenge had made him into.
    This book was a great read due to the involved plot. Edmond used all his resources in unique ways and provided interesting outlooks on life due to his altered personality. Also Dumas made it so all of Edmond's enemies had great schemes with each other so if you took one down the others followed quickly. Edmond's revenge would not have been as great if the other characters had not left themselves in positions that if uncovered would ruin them. These subtle turns in the book add suspense and extra umph to an already interesting book.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    To the kid in honors english, can honestly say this is one of the greatest novels ever written. I am a guy though and dumas tended to favor a more male point of view when he wrote. But i personally think this book is for all ages and genders, i have read it more than 20 times that should put a better perspective on how much i enjoy reading this novel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2011

    Disappointed

    I wouldn't recommend downloading this copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. There were very few illustrations - I remember seeing only 3 or 4 in the whole book (or maybe they just didn't show up as there were several pages that had large amounts of blank space in them). The book also froze my Nook up a lot (i.e. pages wouldn't turn, took a long time to open). None of my other books on my Nook ever freeze like this one did.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    The Count of Monte Cristo is a fantasic book full of a thrilling plot of revenge and reward. Great book for anyone to read, even if you don't read books. This book will definately keep your attention.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    great book

    the story of Edmund Dantes is amazing.First betrayed then rises out of the ashes and gets revenge. Alexandre Dumas is a great author and very imaginative

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    do not buy!

    at first ok but then every third page brings up error message and gradually every page.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    John Stacy

    This is a masterfully written piece of literature that explores the fundamental nature of man and his propensity towards grace and savagery regardless of class; though the backbone of the storyline is Edmond Dantes' quest for vengeance, vengeance per se is not the ultimate theme.
    At a little over 3,000 pages, it takes awhile for the real action to pick up, but once it does you won't be able to put it down. The way Dumas brings multiple plot lines together is ingenious and would be extremely difficult to repliccate on the silver screen without losing something significant. Like a finely crafted wine it takes awhile for the various elements of this plot to ferment into a perfection that is unpredictable and surprisingly inspirational.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Best book ever

    I am a tru lover of classics, i love to sit down with sherlock holmes,les mis, and other great masterpieces like such. As i read this book, i was completley captivated. The book revovles around edmond dantes, who must take his vengeance on those that have wronged him terribly.the way he does this will keep you reading. There are inspirational quotes in this book. If you watched the movie, please erase that story from your mind,because the movie was so loosely related to the book. The book is much different. Usually movies are a little more in line with the book. I strongly urge you to read this amazing book. It was the BEST book have read in my entire life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Reading!

    I had no idea when I purchased this book that it was abridged; however, that did not cause me to enjoy this novel any less! I was engrossed with the story from about the 5th page! This book has it all, jealousy, love and retribution. What an excellent introduction for me to the world of Dumas! I can see why The Count of Monte Cristo has been one of the most popular books in Europe. I wish I had picked up this wonderful classic earlier!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Whole Package.

    This book contains mysteries and hidden secrets inscribed in every page. It just touches up on every kind of situation on person could possibly be in. Such as love, revenge, betrayl, murder, and oh there is so much more entertiwned within one book. Hey, don't let the thickness of it fool you, it's what you read that makes it a classic for over a century. Future readers I recommend it highly,the plot line is a unique one, and it'll keep your eyeballs glued to the pages.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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