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    Chapter 41

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    Chapter 41
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    CHAPTER 41
    The Presentation.

    When Albert found himself alone with Monte Cristo, "My dear
    count," said he, "allow me to commence my services as
    cicerone by showing you a specimen of a bachelor's
    apartment. You, who are accustomed to the palaces of Italy,
    can amuse yourself by calculating in how many square feet a
    young man who is not the worst lodged in Paris can live. As
    we pass from one room to another, I will open the windows to
    let you breathe." Monte Cristo had already seen the
    breakfast-room and the salon on the ground-floor. Albert led
    him first to his atelier, which was, as we have said, his
    favorite apartment. Monte Cristo quickly appreciated all
    that Albert had collected here -- old cabinets, Japanese
    porcelain, Oriental stuffs, Venetian glass, arms from all
    parts of the world -- everything was familiar to him; and at
    the first glance he recognized their date, their country,
    and their origin. Morcerf had expected he should be the
    guide; on the contrary, it was he who, under the count's
    guidance, followed a course of archaeology, mineralogy, and
    natural history. They descended to the first floor; Albert
    led his guest into the salon. The salon was filled with the
    works of modern artists; there were landscapes by Dupre,
    with their long reeds and tall trees, their lowing oxen and
    marvellous skies; Delacroix's Arabian cavaliers, with their
    long white burnouses, their shining belts, their damasked
    arms, their horses, who tore each other with their teeth
    while their riders contended fiercely with their maces;
    aquarelles of Boulanger, representing Notre Dame de Paris
    with that vigor that makes the artist the rival of the poet;
    there were paintings by Diaz, who makes his flowers more
    beautiful than flowers, his suns more brilliant than the
    sun; designs by Decamp, as vividly colored as those of
    Salvator Rosa, but more poetic; pastels by Giraud and
    Muller, representing children like angels and women with the
    features of a virgin; sketches torn from the album of
    Dauzats' "Travels in the East," that had been made in a few
    seconds on the saddle of a camel, or beneath the dome of a
    mosque -- in a word, all that modern art can give in
    exchange and as recompense for the art lost and gone with
    ages long since past.

    Albert expected to have something new this time to show to
    the traveller, but, to his great surprise, the latter,
    without seeking for the signatures, many of which, indeed,
    were only initials, named instantly the author of every
    picture in such a manner that it was easy to see that each
    name was not only known to him, but that each style
    associated with it had been appreciated and studied by him.
    From the salon they passed into the bed-chamber; it was a
    model of taste and simple elegance. A single portrait,
    signed by Leopold Robert, shone in its carved and gilded
    frame. This portrait attracted the Count of Monte Cristo's
    attention, for he made three rapid steps in the chamber, and
    stopped suddenly before it. It was the portrait of a young
    woman of five or six and twenty, with a dark complexion, and
    light and lustrous eyes, veiled beneath long lashes. She
    wore the picturesque costume of the Catalan fisherwomen, a
    red and black bodice, and golden pins in her hair. She was
    looking at the sea, and her form was outlined on the blue
    ocean and sky. The light was so faint in the room that
    Albert did not perceive the pallor that spread itself over
    the count's visage, or the nervous heaving of his chest and
    shoulders. Silence prevailed for an instant, during which
    Monte Cristo gazed intently on the picture.

    "You have there a most charming mistress, viscount," said
    the count in a perfectly calm tone; "and this costume -- a
    ball costume, doubtless -- becomes her admirably."

    "Ah, monsieur," returned Albert, "I would never forgive you
    this mistake if you had seen another picture beside this.
    You do not know my mother; she it is whom you see here. She
    had her portrait painted thus six or eight years ago. This
    costume is a fancy one, it appears, and the resemblance is
    so great that I think I still see my mother the same as she
    was in 1830. The countess had this portrait painted during
    the count's absence. She doubtless intended giving him an
    agreeable surprise; but, strange to say, this portrait
    seemed to displease my father, and the value of the picture,
    which is, as you see, one of the best works of Leopold
    Robert, could not overcome his dislike to it. It is true,
    between ourselves, that M. de Morcerf is one of the most
    assiduous peers at the Luxembourg, a general renowned for
    theory, but a most mediocre amateur of art. It is different
    with my mother, who paints exceedingly well, and who,
    unwilling to part with so valuable a picture, gave it to me
    to put here, where it would be less likely to displease M.
    de Morcerf, whose portrait, by Gros, I will also show you.
    Excuse my talking of family matters, but as I shall have the
    honor of introducing you to the count, I tell you this to
    prevent you making any allusions to this picture. The
    picture seems to have a malign influence, for my mother
    rarely comes here without looking at it, and still more
    rarely does she look at it without weeping. This
    disagreement is the only one that has ever taken place
    between the count and countess, who are still as much
    united, although married more than twenty years, as on the
    first day of their wedding."

    Monte Cristo glanced rapidly at Albert, as if to seek a
    hidden meaning in his words, but it was evident the young
    man uttered them in the simplicity of his heart. "Now," said
    Albert, "that you have seen all my treasures, allow me to
    offer them to you, unworthy as they are. Consider yourself
    as in your own house, and to put yourself still more at your
    ease, pray accompany me to the apartments of M. de Morcerf,
    he whom I wrote from Rome an account of the services you
    rendered me, and to whom I announced your promised visit,
    and I may say that both the count and countess anxiously
    desire to thank you in person. You are somewhat blase I
    know, and family scenes have not much effect on Sinbad the
    Sailor, who has seen so many others. However, accept what I
    propose to you as an initiation into Parisian life -- a life
    of politeness, visiting, and introductions." Monte Cristo
    bowed without making any answer; he accepted the offer
    without enthusiasm and without regret, as one of those
    conventions of society which every gentleman looks upon as a
    duty. Albert summoned his servant, and ordered him to
    acquaint M. and Madame de Morcerf of the arrival of the
    Count of Monte Cristo. Albert followed him with the count.
    When they arrived at the ante-chamber, above the door was
    visible a shield, which, by its rich ornaments and its
    harmony with the rest of the furniture, indicated the
    importance the owner attached to this blazon. Monte Cristo
    stopped and examined it attentively.

    "Azure seven merlets, or, placed bender," said he. "These
    are, doubtless, your family arms? Except the knowledge of
    blazons, that enables me to decipher them, I am very
    ignorant of heraldry -- I, a count of a fresh creation,
    fabricated in Tuscany by the aid of a commandery of St.
    Stephen, and who would not have taken the trouble had I not
    been told that when you travel much it is necessary.
    Besides, you must have something on the panels of your
    carriage, to escape being searched by the custom-house
    officers. Excuse my putting such a question to you."

    "It is not indiscreet," returned Morcerf, with the
    simplicity of conviction. "You have guessed rightly. These
    are our arms, that is, those of my father, but they are, as
    you see, joined to another shield, which has gules, a silver
    tower, which are my mother's. By her side I am Spanish, but
    the family of Morcerf is French, and, I have heard, one of
    the oldest of the south of France."

    "Yes," replied Monte Cristo "these blazons prove that.
    Almost all the armed pilgrims that went to the Holy Land
    took for their arms either a cross, in honor of their
    mission, or birds of passage, in sign of the long voyage
    they were about to undertake, and which they hoped to
    accomplish on the wings of faith. One of your ancestors had
    joined the Crusades, and supposing it to be only that of St.
    Louis, that makes you mount to the thirteenth century, which
    is tolerably ancient."

    "It is possible," said Morcerf; "my father has in his study
    a genealogical tree which will tell you all that, and on
    which I made commentaries that would have greatly edified
    Hozier and Jaucourt. At present I no longer think of it, and
    yet I must tell you that we are beginning to occupy
    ourselves greatly with these things under our popular
    government."

    "Well, then, your government would do well to choose from
    the past something better than the things that I have
    noticed on your monuments, and which have no heraldic
    meaning whatever. As for you, viscount," continued Monte
    Cristo to Morcerf, "you are more fortunate than the
    government, for your arms are really beautiful, and speak to
    the imagination. Yes, you are at once from Provence and
    Spain; that explains, if the portrait you showed me be like,
    the dark hue I so much admired on the visage of the noble
    Catalan." It would have required the penetration of Oedipus
    or the Sphinx to have divined the irony the count concealed
    beneath these words, apparently uttered with the greatest
    politeness. Morcerf thanked him with a smile, and pushed
    open the door above which were his arms, and which, as we
    have said, opened into the salon. In the most conspicuous
    part of the salon was another portrait. It was that of a
    man, from five to eight and thirty, in the uniform of a
    general officer, wearing the double epaulet of heavy
    bullion, that indicates superior rank, the ribbon of the
    Legion of Honor around his neck, which showed he was a
    commander, and on the right breast, the star of a grand
    officer of the order of the Saviour, and on the left that of
    the grand cross of Charles III., which proved that the
    person represented by the picture had served in the wars of
    Greece and Spain, or, what was just the same thing as
    regarded decorations, had fulfilled some diplomatic mission
    in the two countries.

    Monte Cristo was engaged in examining this portrait with no
    less care than he had bestowed upon the other, when another
    door opened, and he found himself opposite to the Count of
    Morcerf in person. He was a man of forty to forty-five
    years, but he seemed at least fifty, and his black mustache
    and eyebrows contrasted strangely with his almost white
    hair, which was cut short, in the military fashion. He was
    dressed in plain clothes, and wore at his button-hole the
    ribbons of the different orders to which he belonged. He
    entered with a tolerably dignified step, and some little
    haste. Monte Cristo saw him advance towards him without
    making a single step. It seemed as if his feet were rooted
    to the ground, and his eyes on the Count of Morcerf.
    "Father," said the young man, "I have the honor of
    presenting to you the Count of Monte Cristo, the generous
    friend whom I had the good fortune to meet in the critical
    situation of which I have told you."

    "You are most welcome, monsieur," said the Count of Morcerf,
    saluting Monte Cristo with a smile, "and monsieur has
    rendered our house, in preserving its only heir, a service
    which insures him our eternal gratitude." As he said these
    words, the count of Morcerf pointed to a chair, while he
    seated himself in another opposite the window.

    Monte Cristo, in taking the seat Morcerf offered him, placed
    himself in such a manner as to remain concealed in the
    shadow of the large velvet curtains, and read on the
    careworn and livid features of the count a whole history of
    secret griefs written in each wrinkle time had planted
    there. "The countess," said Morcerf, "was at her toilet when
    she was informed of the visit she was about to receive. She
    will, however, be in the salon in ten minutes."

    "It is a great honor to me," returned Monte Cristo, "to be
    thus, on the first day of my arrival in Paris, brought in
    contact with a man whose merit equals his reputation, and to
    whom fortune has for once been equitable, but has she not
    still on the plains of Metidja, or in the mountains of
    Atlas, a marshal's staff to offer you?"

    "Oh," replied Morcerf, reddening slightly, "I have left the
    service, monsieur. Made a peer at the Restoration, I served
    through the first campaign under the orders of Marshal
    Bourmont. I could, therefore, expect a higher rank, and who
    knows what might have happened had the elder branch remained
    on the throne? But the Revolution of July was, it seems,
    sufficiently glorious to allow itself to be ungrateful, and
    it was so for all services that did not date from the
    imperial period. I tendered my resignation, for when you
    have gained your epaulets on the battle-field, you do not
    know how to manoeuvre on the slippery grounds of the salons.
    I have hung up my sword, and cast myself into politics. I
    have devoted myself to industry; I study the useful arts.
    During the twenty years I served, I often wished to do so,
    but I had not the time."

    "These are the ideas that render your nation superior to any
    other," returned Monte Cristo. "A gentleman of high birth,
    possessor of an ample fortune, you have consented to gain
    your promotion as an obscure soldier, step by step -- this
    is uncommon; then become general, peer of France, commander
    of the Legion of Honor, you consent to again commence a
    second apprenticeship, without any other hope or any other
    desire than that of one day becoming useful to your
    fellow-creatures; this, indeed, is praiseworthy, -- nay,
    more, it is sublime." Albert looked on and listened with
    astonishment; he was not used to see Monte Cristo give vent
    to such bursts of enthusiasm. "Alas," continued the
    stranger, doubtless to dispel the slight cloud that covered
    Morcerf's brow, "we do not act thus in Italy; we grow
    according to our race and our species, and we pursue the
    same lines, and often the same uselessness, all our lives."

    "But, monsieur," said the Count of Morcerf, "for a man of
    your merit, Italy is not a country, and France opens her
    arms to receive you; respond to her call. France will not,
    perhaps, be always ungrateful. She treats her children ill,
    but she always welcomes strangers."

    "Ah, father," said Albert with a smile, "it is evident you
    do not know the Count of Monte Cristo; he despises all
    honors, and contents himself with those written on his
    passport."

    "That is the most just remark," replied the stranger, "I
    ever heard made concerning myself."

    "You have been free to choose your career," observed the
    Count of Morcerf, with a sigh; "and you have chosen the path
    strewed with flowers."

    "Precisely, monsieur," replied Monte Cristo with one of
    those smiles that a painter could never represent or a
    physiologist analyze.

    "If I did not fear to fatigue you," said the general,
    evidently charmed with the count's manners, "I would have
    taken you to the Chamber; there is a debate very curious to
    those who are strangers to our modern senators."

    "I shall be most grateful, monsieur, if you will, at some
    future time, renew your offer, but I have been flattered
    with the hope of being introduced to the countess, and I
    will therefore wait."

    "Ah, here is my mother," cried the viscount. Monte Cristo,
    turned round hastily, and saw Madame de Morcerf at the
    entrance of the salon, at the door opposite to that by which
    her husband had entered, pale and motionless; when Monte
    Cristo turned round, she let fall her arm, which for some
    unknown reason had been resting on the gilded door-post. She
    had been there some moments, and had heard the last words of
    the visitor. The latter rose and bowed to the countess, who
    inclined herself without speaking. "Ah, good heavens,
    madame," said the count, "are you ill, or is it the heat of
    the room that affects you?"

    "Are you ill, mother?" cried the viscount, springing towards
    her.

    She thanked them both with a smile. "No," returned she, "but
    I feel some emotion on seeing, for the first time, the man
    without whose intervention we should have been in tears and
    desolation. Monsieur," continued the countess, advancing
    with the majesty of a queen, "I owe to you the life of my
    son, and for this I bless you. Now, I thank you for the
    pleasure you give me in thus affording me the opportunity of
    thanking you as I have blessed you, from the bottom of my
    heart." The count bowed again, but lower than before; He was
    even paler than Mercedes. "Madame," said he, "the count and
    yourself recompense too generously a simple action. To save
    a man, to spare a father's feelings, or a mother's
    sensibility, is not to do a good action, but a simple deed
    of humanity." At these words, uttered with the most
    exquisite sweetness and politeness, Madame de Morcerf
    replied. "It is very fortunate for my son, monsieur, that he
    found such a friend, and I thank God that things are thus."
    And Mercedes raised her fine eyes to heaven with so fervent
    an expression of gratitude, that the count fancied he saw
    tears in them. M. de Morcerf approached her. "Madame," said
    he. "I have already made my excuses to the count for
    quitting him, and I pray you to do so also. The sitting
    commences at two; it is now three, and I am to speak."

    "Go, then, and monsieur and I will strive our best to forget
    your absence," replied the countess, with the same tone of
    deep feeling. "Monsieur," continued she, turning to Monte
    Cristo, "will you do us the honor of passing the rest of the
    day with us?"

    "Believe me, madame, I feel most grateful for your kindness,
    but I got out of my travelling carriage at your door this
    morning, and I am ignorant how I am installed in Paris,
    which I scarcely know; this is but a trifling inquietude, I
    know, but one that may be appreciated."

    "We shall have the pleasure another time," said the
    countess; "you promise that?" Monte Cristo inclined himself
    without answering, but the gesture might pass for assent. "I
    will not detain you, monsieur," continued the countess; "I
    would not have our gratitude become indiscreet or
    importunate."

    "My dear Count," said Albert, "I will endeavor to return
    your politeness at Rome, and place my coupe at your disposal
    until your own be ready."

    "A thousand thanks for your kindness, viscount," returned
    the Count of Monte Cristo "but I suppose that M. Bertuccio
    has suitably employed the four hours and a half I have given
    him, and that I shall find a carriage of some sort ready at
    the door." Albert was used to the count's manner of
    proceeding; he knew that, like Nero, he was in search of the
    impossible, and nothing astonished him, but wishing to judge
    with his own eyes how far the count's orders had been
    executed, he accompanied him to the door of the house. Monte
    Cristo was not deceived. As soon as he appeared in the Count
    of Morcerf's ante-chamber, a footman, the same who at Rome
    had brought the count's card to the two young men, and
    announced his visit, sprang into the vestibule, and when he
    arrived at the door the illustrious traveller found his
    carriage awaiting him. It was a coupe of Koller's building,
    and with horses and harness for which Drake had, to the
    knowledge of all the lions of Paris, refused on the previous
    day seven hundred guineas. "Monsieur," said the count to
    Albert, "I do not ask you to accompany me to my house, as I
    can only show you a habitation fitted up in a hurry, and I
    have, as you know, a reputation to keep up as regards not
    being taken by surprise. Give me, therefore, one more day
    before I invite you; I shall then be certain not to fail in
    my hospitality."

    "If you ask me for a day, count, I know what to anticipate;
    it will not be a house I shall see, but a palace. You have
    decidedly some genius at your control."

    "Ma foi, spread that idea," replied the Count of Monte
    Cristo, putting his foot on the velvet-lined steps of his
    splendid carriage, "and that will be worth something to me
    among the ladies." As he spoke, he sprang into the vehicle,
    the door was closed, but not so rapidly that Monte Cristo
    failed to perceive the almost imperceptible movement which
    stirred the curtains of the apartment in which he had left
    Madame de Morcerf. When Albert returned to his mother, he
    found her in the boudoir reclining in a large velvet
    arm-chair, the whole room so obscure that only the shining
    spangle, fastened here and there to the drapery, and the
    angles of the gilded frames of the pictures, showed with
    some degree of brightness in the gloom. Albert could not see
    the face of the countess, as it was covered with a thin veil
    she had put on her head, and which fell over her features in
    misty folds, but it seemed to him as though her voice had
    altered. He could distinguish amid the perfumes of the roses
    and heliotropes in the flower-stands, the sharp and fragrant
    odor of volatile salts, and he noticed in one of the chased
    cups on the mantle-piece the countess's smelling-bottle,
    taken from its shagreen case, and exclaimed in a tone of
    uneasiness, as he entered, -- "My dear mother, have you been
    ill during my absence?"

    "No, no, Albert, but you know these roses, tuberoses, and
    orange-flowers throw out at first, before one is used to
    them, such violent perfumes."

    "Then, my dear mother," said Albert, putting his hand to the
    bell, "they must be taken into the ante-chamber. You are
    really ill, and just now were so pale as you came into the
    room" --

    "Was I pale, Albert?"

    "Yes; a pallor that suits you admirably, mother, but which
    did not the less alarm my father and myself."

    "Did your father speak of it?" inquired Mercedes eagerly.

    "No, madame; but do you not remember that he spoke of the
    fact to you?"

    "Yes, I do remember," replied the countess. A servant
    entered, summoned by Albert's ring of the bell. "Take these
    flowers into the anteroom or dressing-room," said the
    viscount; "they make the countess ill." The footman obeyed
    his orders. A long pause ensued, which lasted until all the
    flowers were removed. "What is this name of Monte Cristo?"
    inquired the countess, when the servant had taken away the
    last vase of flowers, "is it a family name, or the name of
    the estate, or a simple title?"

    "I believe, mother, it is merely a title. The count
    purchased an island in the Tuscan archipelago, and, as he
    told you to-day, has founded a commandery. You know the same
    thing was done for Saint Stephen of Florence, Saint George,
    Constantinian of Parma, and even for the Order of Malta.
    Except this, he has no pretension to nobility, and calls
    himself a chance count, although the general opinion at Rome
    is that the count is a man of very high distinction."

    "His manners are admirable," said the countess, "at least,
    as far as I could judge in the few minutes he remained
    here."

    "They are perfect mother, so perfect, that they surpass by
    far all I have known in the leading aristocracy of the three
    proudest nobilities of Europe -- the English, the Spanish,
    and the German." The countess paused a moment; then, after a
    slight hesitation, she resumed, -- "You have seen, my dear
    Albert -- I ask the question as a mother -- you have seen M.
    de Monte Cristo in his house, you are quicksighted, have
    much knowledge of the world, more tact than is usual at your
    age, do you think the count is really what he appears to
    be?"

    "What does he appear to be?"

    "Why, you have just said, -- a man of high distinction."

    "I told you, my dear mother, he was esteemed such."

    "But what is your own opinion, Albert?"

    "I must tell you that I have not come to any decided opinion
    respecting him, but I think him a Maltese."

    "I do not ask you of his origin but what he is."

    "Ah, what he is; that is quite another thing. I have seen so
    many remarkable things in him, that if you would have me
    really say what I think, I shall reply that I really do look
    upon him as one of Byron's heroes, whom misery has marked
    with a fatal brand; some Manfred, some Lara, some Werner,
    one of those wrecks, as it were, of some ancient family,
    who, disinherited of their patrimony, have achieved one by
    the force of their adventurous genius, which has placed them
    above the laws of society."

    "You say" --

    "I say that Monte Cristo is an island in the midst of the
    Mediterranean, without inhabitants or garrison, the resort
    of smugglers of all nations, and pirates of every flag. Who
    knows whether or not these industrious worthies do not pay
    to their feudal lord some dues for his protection?"

    "That is possible," said the countess, reflecting.

    "Never mind," continued the young man, "smuggler or not, you
    must agree, mother dear, as you have seen him, that the
    Count of Monte Cristo is a remarkable man, who will have the
    greatest success in the salons of Paris. Why, this very
    morning, in my rooms, he made his entree amongst us by
    striking every man of us with amazement, not even excepting
    Chateau-Renaud."

    "And what do you suppose is the count's age?" inquired
    Mercedes, evidently attaching great importance to this
    question.

    "Thirty-five or thirty-six, mother."

    "So young, -- it is impossible," said Mercedes, replying at
    the same time to what Albert said as well as to her own
    private reflection.

    "It is the truth, however. Three or four times he has said
    to me, and certainly without the slightest premeditation,
    'at such a period I was five years old, at another ten years
    old, at another twelve,' and I, induced by curiosity, which
    kept me alive to these details, have compared the dates, and
    never found him inaccurate. The age of this singular man,
    who is of no age, is then, I am certain, thirty-five.
    Besides, mother, remark how vivid his eye, how raven-black
    his hair, and his brow, though so pale, is free from
    wrinkles, -- he is not only vigorous, but also young." The
    countess bent her head, as if beneath a heavy wave of bitter
    thoughts. "And has this man displayed a friendship for you,
    Albert?" she asked with a nervous shudder.

    "I am inclined to think so."

    "And -- do -- you -- like -- him?"

    "Why, he pleases me in spite of Franz d'Epinay, who tries to
    convince me that he is a being returned from the other
    world." The countess shuddered. "Albert," she said, in a
    voice which was altered by emotion, "I have always put you
    on your guard against new acquaintances. Now you are a man,
    and are able to give me advice; yet I repeat to you, Albert,
    be prudent."

    "Why, my dear mother, it is necessary, in order to make your
    advice turn to account, that I should know beforehand what I
    have to distrust. The count never plays, he only drinks pure
    water tinged with a little sherry, and is so rich that he
    cannot, without intending to laugh at me, try to borrow
    money. What, then, have I to fear from him?"

    "You are right," said the countess, "and my fears are
    weakness, especially when directed against a man who has
    saved your life. How did your father receive him, Albert? It
    is necessary that we should be more than complaisant to the
    count. M. de Morcerf is sometimes occupied, his business
    makes him reflective, and he might, without intending it" --

    "Nothing could be in better taste than my father's demeanor,
    madame," said Albert; "nay, more, he seemed greatly
    flattered at two or three compliments which the count very
    skilfully and agreeably paid him with as much ease as if he
    had known him these thirty years. Each of these little
    tickling arrows must have pleased my father," added Albert
    with a laugh. "And thus they parted the best possible
    friends, and M. de Morcerf even wished to take him to the
    Chamber to hear the speakers." The countess made no reply.
    She fell into so deep a revery that her eyes gradually
    closed. The young man, standing up before her, gazed upon
    her with that filial affection which is so tender and
    endearing with children whose mothers are still young and
    handsome. Then, after seeing her eyes closed, and hearing
    her breathe gently, he believed she had dropped asleep, and
    left the apartment on tiptoe, closing the door after him
    with the utmost precaution. "This devil of a fellow," he
    muttered, shaking his head; "I said at the time he would
    create a sensation here, and I measure his effect by an
    infallible thermometer. My mother has noticed him, and he
    must therefore, perforce, be remarkable." He went down to
    the stables, not without some slight annoyance, when he
    remembered that the Count of Monte Cristo had laid his hands
    on a "turnout" which sent his bays down to second place in
    the opinion of connoisseurs. "Most decidedly," said he, "men
    are not equal, and I must beg my father to develop this
    theorem in the Chamber of Peers."
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