Meet us on:
 
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "What is youth except a man or a woman before it is ready or fit to be seen?"
     

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Chapter 105

    • Rate it:
    • Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 28 ratings
    • 49 Favorites on Read Print
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 105
    Previous Chapter
    CHAPTER 105
    The Cemetery of Pere-la-Chaise.

    M. de Boville had indeed met the funeral procession which
    was taking Valentine to her last home on earth. The weather
    was dull and stormy, a cold wind shook the few remaining
    yellow leaves from the boughs of the trees, and scattered
    them among the crowd which filled the boulevards. M. de
    Villefort, a true Parisian, considered the cemetery of
    Pere-la-Chaise alone worthy of receiving the mortal remains
    of a Parisian family; there alone the corpses belonging to
    him would be surrounded by worthy associates. He had
    therefore purchased a vault, which was quickly occupied by
    members of his family. On the front of the monument was
    inscribed: "The families of Saint-Meran and Villefort," for
    such had been the last wish expressed by poor Renee,
    Valentine's mother. The pompous procession therefore wended
    its way towards Pere-la-Chaise from the Faubourg
    Saint-Honore. Having crossed Paris, it passed through the
    Faubourg du Temple, then leaving the exterior boulevards, it
    reached the cemetery. More than fifty private carriages
    followed the twenty mourning-coaches, and behind them more
    than five hundred persons joined in the procession on foot.

    These last consisted of all the young people whom
    Valentine's death had struck like a thunderbolt, and who,
    notwithstanding the raw chilliness of the season, could not
    refrain from paying a last tribute to the memory of the
    beautiful, chaste, and adorable girl, thus cut off in the
    flower of her youth. As they left Paris, an equipage with
    four horses, at full speed, was seen to draw up suddenly; it
    contained Monte Cristo. The count left the carriage and
    mingled in the crowd who followed on foot. Chateau-Renaud
    perceived him and immediately alighting from his coupe,
    joined him.

    The count looked attentively through every opening in the
    crowd; he was evidently watching for some one, but his
    search ended in disappointment. "Where is Morrel?" he asked;
    "do either of these gentlemen know where he is?"

    "We have already asked that question," said Chateau-Renaud,
    "for none of us has seen him." The count was silent, but
    continued to gaze around him. At length they arrived at the
    cemetery. The piercing eye of Monte Cristo glanced through
    clusters of bushes and trees, and was soon relieved from all
    anxiety, for seeing a shadow glide between the yew-trees,
    Monte Cristo recognized him whom he sought. One funeral is
    generally very much like another in this magnificent
    metropolis. Black figures are seen scattered over the long
    white avenues; the silence of earth and heaven is alone
    broken by the noise made by the crackling branches of hedges
    planted around the monuments; then follows the melancholy
    chant of the priests, mingled now and then with a sob of
    anguish, escaping from some woman concealed behind a mass of
    flowers.

    The shadow Monte Cristo had noticed passed rapidly behind
    the tomb of Abelard and Heloise, placed itself close to the
    heads of the horses belonging to the hearse, and following
    the undertaker's men, arrived with them at the spot
    appointed for the burial. Each person's attention was
    occupied. Monte Cristo saw nothing but the shadow, which no
    one else observed. Twice the count left the ranks to see
    whether the object of his interest had any concealed weapon
    beneath his clothes. When the procession stopped, this
    shadow was recognized as Morrel, who, with his coat buttoned
    up to his throat, his face livid, and convulsively crushing
    his hat between his fingers, leaned against a tree, situated
    on an elevation commanding the mausoleum, so that none of
    the funeral details could escape his observation. Everything
    was conducted in the usual manner. A few men, the least
    impressed of all by the scene, pronounced a discourse, some
    deploring this premature death, others expatiating on the
    grief of the father, and one very ingenious person quoting
    the fact that Valentine had solicited pardon of her father
    for criminals on whom the arm of justice was ready to fall
    -- until at length they exhausted their stores of metaphor
    and mournful speeches.

    Monte Cristo heard and saw nothing, or rather he only saw
    Morrel, whose calmness had a frightful effect on those who
    knew what was passing in his heart. "See," said Beauchamp,
    pointing out Morrel to Debray. "What is he doing up there?"
    And they called Chateau-Renaud's attention to him.

    "How pale he is!" said Chateau-Renaud, shuddering.

    "He is cold," said Debray.

    "Not at all," said Chateau-Renaud, slowly; "I think he is
    violently agitated. He is very susceptible."

    "Bah," said Debray; "he scarcely knew Mademoiselle de
    Villefort; you said so yourself."

    "True. Still I remember he danced three times with her at
    Madame de Morcerf's. Do you recollect that ball, count,
    where you produced such an effect?"

    "No, I do not," replied Monte Cristo, without even knowing
    of what or to whom he was speaking, so much was he occupied
    in watching Morrel, who was holding his breath with emotion.
    "The discourse is over; farewell, gentlemen," said the
    count. And he disappeared without anyone seeing whither he
    went. The funeral being over, the guests returned to Paris.
    Chateau-Renaud looked for a moment for Morrel; but while
    they were watching the departure of the count, Morrel had
    quitted his post, and Chateau-Renaud, failing in his search,
    joined Debray and Beauchamp.

    Monte Cristo concealed himself behind a large tomb and
    awaited the arrival of Morrel, who by degrees approached the
    tomb now abandoned by spectators and workmen. Morrel threw a
    glance around, but before it reached the spot occupied by
    Monte Cristo the latter had advanced yet nearer, still
    unperceived. The young man knelt down. The count, with
    outstretched neck and glaring eyes, stood in an attitude
    ready to pounce upon Morrel upon the first occasion. Morrel
    bent his head till it touched the stone, then clutching the
    grating with both hands, he murmured, -- "Oh, Valentine!"
    The count's heart was pierced by the utterance of these two
    words; he stepped forward, and touching the young man's
    shoulder, said, -- "I was looking for you, my friend." Monte
    Cristo expected a burst of passion, but he was deceived, for
    Morrel turning round, said calmly, --

    "You see I was praying." The scrutinizing glance of the
    count searched the young man from head to foot. He then
    seemed more easy.

    "Shall I drive you back to Paris?" he asked.

    "No, thank you."

    "Do you wish anything?"

    "Leave me to pray." The count withdrew without opposition,
    but it was only to place himself in a situation where he
    could watch every movement of Morrel, who at length arose,
    brushed the dust from his knees, and turned towards Paris,
    without once looking back. He walked slowly down the Rue de
    la Roquette. The count, dismissing his carriage, followed
    him about a hundred paces behind. Maximilian crossed the
    canal and entered the Rue Meslay by the boulevards. Five
    minutes after the door had been closed on Morrel's entrance,
    it was again opened for the count. Julie was at the entrance
    of the garden, where she was attentively watching Penelon,
    who, entering with zeal into his profession of gardener, was
    very busy grafting some Bengal roses. "Ah, count," she
    exclaimed, with the delight manifested by every member of
    the family whenever he visited the Rue Meslay.

    "Maximilian has just returned, has he not, madame?" asked
    the count.

    "Yes, I think I saw him pass; but pray, call Emmanuel."

    "Excuse me, madame, but I must go up to Maximilian's room
    this instant," replied Monte Cristo, "I have something of
    the greatest importance to tell him."

    "Go, then," she said with a charming smile, which
    accompanied him until he had disappeared. Monte Cristo soon
    ran up the staircase conducting from the ground-floor to
    Maximilian's room; when he reached the landing he listened
    attentively, but all was still. Like many old houses
    occupied by a single family, the room door was panelled with
    glass; but it was locked, Maximilian was shut in, and it was
    impossible to see what was passing in the room, because a
    red curtain was drawn before the glass. The count's anxiety
    was manifested by a bright color which seldom appeared on
    the face of that imperturbable man.

    "What shall I do!" he uttered, and reflected for a moment;
    "shall I ring? No, the sound of a bell, announcing a
    visitor, will but accelerate the resolution of one in
    Maximilian's situation, and then the bell would be followed
    by a louder noise." Monte Cristo trembled from head to foot
    and as if his determination had been taken with the rapidity
    of lightning, he struck one of the panes of glass with his
    elbow; the glass was shivered to atoms, then withdrawing the
    curtain he saw Morrel, who had been writing at his desk,
    bound from his seat at the noise of the broken window.

    "I beg a thousand pardons," said the count, "there is
    nothing the matter, but I slipped down and broke one of your
    panes of glass with my elbow. Since it is opened, I will
    take advantage of it to enter your room; do not disturb
    yourself -- do not disturb yourself!" And passing his hand
    through the broken glass, the count opened the door. Morrel,
    evidently discomposed, came to meet Monte Cristo less with
    the intention of receiving him than to exclude his entry.
    "Ma foi," said Monte Cristo, rubbing his elbow, "it's all
    your servant's fault; your stairs are so polished, it is
    like walking on glass."

    "Are you hurt, sir?" coldly asked Morrel.

    "I believe not. But what are you about there? You were
    writing."

    "I?"

    "Your fingers are stained with ink."

    "Ah, true, I was writing. I do sometimes, soldier though I
    am."

    Monte Cristo advanced into the room; Maximilian was obliged
    to let him pass, but he followed him. "You were writing?"
    said Monte Cristo with a searching look.

    "I have already had the honor of telling you I was," said
    Morrel.

    The count looked around him. "Your pistols are beside your
    desk," said Monte Cristo, pointing with his finger to the
    pistols on the table.

    "I am on the point of starting on a journey," replied Morrel
    disdainfully.

    "My friend," exclaimed Monte Cristo in a tone of exquisite
    sweetness.

    "Sir?"

    "My friend, my dear Maximilian, do not make a hasty
    resolution, I entreat you."

    "I make a hasty resolution?" said Morrel, shrugging his
    shoulders; "is there anything extraordinary in a journey?"

    "Maximilian," said the count, "let us both lay aside the
    mask we have assumed. You no more deceive me with that false
    calmness than I impose upon you with my frivolous
    solicitude. You can understand, can you not, that to have
    acted as I have done, to have broken that glass, to have
    intruded on the solitude of a friend -- you can understand
    that, to have done all this, I must have been actuated by
    real uneasiness, or rather by a terrible conviction. Morrel,
    you are going to destroy yourself!"

    "Indeed, count," said Morrel, shuddering; "what has put this
    into your head?"

    "I tell you that you are about to destroy yourself,"
    continued the count, "and here is proof of what I say;" and,
    approaching the desk, he removed the sheet of paper which
    Morrel had placed over the letter he had begun, and took the
    latter in his hands.

    Morrel rushed forward to tear it from him, but Monte Cristo
    perceiving his intention, seized his wrist with his iron
    grasp. "You wish to destroy yourself," said the count; "you
    have written it."

    "Well," said Morrel, changing his expression of calmness for
    one of violence -- "well, and if I do intend to turn this
    pistol against myself, who shall prevent me -- who will dare
    prevent me? All my hopes are blighted, my heart is broken,
    my life a burden, everything around me is sad and mournful;
    earth has become distasteful to me, and human voices
    distract me. It is a mercy to let me die, for if I live I
    shall lose my reason and become mad. When, sir, I tell you
    all this with tears of heartfelt anguish, can you reply that
    I am wrong, can you prevent my putting an end to my
    miserable existence? Tell me, sir, could you have the
    courage to do so?"

    "Yes, Morrel," said Monte Cristo, with a calmness which
    contrasted strangely with the young man's excitement; "yes,
    I would do so."

    "You?" exclaimed Morrel, with increasing anger and reproach
    -- "you, who have deceived me with false hopes, who have
    cheered and soothed me with vain promises, when I might, if
    not have saved her, at least have seen her die in my arms!
    You, who pretend to understand everything, even the hidden
    sources of knowledge, -- and who enact the part of a
    guardian angel upon earth, and could not even find an
    antidote to a poison administered to a young girl! Ah, sir,
    indeed you would inspire me with pity, were you not hateful
    in my eyes."

    "Morrel" --

    "Yes; you tell me to lay aside the mask, and I will do so,
    be satisfied! When you spoke to me at the cemetery, I
    answered you -- my heart was softened; when you arrived
    here, I allowed you to enter. But since you abuse my
    confidence, since you have devised a new torture after I
    thought I had exhausted them all, then, Count of Monte
    Cristo my pretended benefactor -- then, Count of Monte
    Cristo, the universal guardian, be satisfied, you shall
    witness the death of your friend;" and Morrel, with a
    maniacal laugh, again rushed towards the pistols.

    "And I again repeat, you shall not commit suicide."

    "Prevent me, then!" replied Morrel, with another struggle,
    which, like the first, failed in releasing him from the
    count's iron grasp.

    "I will prevent you."

    "And who are you, then, that arrogate to yourself this
    tyrannical right over free and rational beings?"

    "Who am I?" repeated Monte Cristo. "Listen; I am the only
    man in the world having the right to say to you, 'Morrel,
    your father's son shall not die to-day;'" and Monte Cristo,
    with an expression of majesty and sublimity, advanced with
    arms folded toward the young man, who, involuntarily
    overcome by the commanding manner of this man, recoiled a
    step.

    "Why do you mention my father?" stammered he; "why do you
    mingle a recollection of him with the affairs of today?"

    "Because I am he who saved your father's life when he wished
    to destroy himself, as you do to-day -- because I am the man
    who sent the purse to your young sister, and the Pharaon to
    old Morrel -- because I am the Edmond Dantes who nursed you,
    a child, on my knees." Morrel made another step back,
    staggering, breathless, crushed; then all his strength give
    way, and he fell prostrate at the feet of Monte Cristo. Then
    his admirable nature underwent a complete and sudden
    revulsion; he arose, rushed out of the room and to the
    stairs, exclaiming energetically, "Julie, Julie -- Emmanuel,
    Emmanuel!"

    Monte Cristo endeavored also to leave, but Maximilian would
    have died rather than relax his hold of the handle of the
    door, which he closed upon the count. Julie, Emmanuel, and
    some of the servants, ran up in alarm on hearing the cries
    of Maximilian. Morrel seized their hands, and opening the
    door exclaimed in a voice choked with sobs, "On your knees
    -- on your knees -- he is our benefactor -- the saviour of
    our father! He is" --

    He would have added "Edmond Dantes," but the count seized
    his arm and prevented him. Julie threw herself into the arms
    of the count; Emmanuel embraced him as a guardian angel;
    Morrel again fell on his knees, and struck the ground with
    his forehead. Then the iron-hearted man felt his heart swell
    in his breast; a flame seemed to rush from his throat to his
    eyes, he bent his head and wept. For a while nothing was
    heard in the room but a succession of sobs, while the
    incense from their grateful hearts mounted to heaven. Julie
    had scarcely recovered from her deep emotion when she rushed
    out of the room, descended to the next floor, ran into the
    drawing-room with childlike joy and raised the crystal globe
    which covered the purse given by the unknown of the Allees
    de Meillan. Meanwhile, Emmanuel in a broken voice said to
    the count, "Oh, count, how could you, hearing us so often
    speak of our unknown benefactor, seeing us pay such homage
    of gratitude and adoration to his memory, -- how could you
    continue so long without discovering yourself to us? Oh, it
    was cruel to us, and -- dare I say it? -- to you also."

    "Listen, my friends," said the count -- "I may call you so
    since we have really been friends for the last eleven years
    -- the discovery of this secret has been occasioned by a
    great event which you must never know. I wish to bury it
    during my whole life in my own bosom, but your brother
    Maximilian wrested it from me by a violence he repents of
    now, I am sure." Then turning around, and seeing that
    Morrel, still on his knees, had thrown himself into an
    arm-chair, be added in a low voice, pressing Emmanuel's hand
    significantly, "Watch over him."

    "Why so?" asked the young man, surprised.

    "I cannot explain myself; but watch over him." Emmanuel
    looked around the room and caught sight of the pistols; his
    eyes rested on the weapons, and he pointed to them. Monte
    Cristo bent his head. Emmanuel went towards the pistols.
    "Leave them," said Monte Cristo. Then walking towards
    Morrel, he took his hand; the tumultuous agitation of the
    young man was succeeded by a profound stupor. Julie
    returned, holding the silken purse in her hands, while tears
    of joy rolled down her cheeks, like dewdrops on the rose.

    "Here is the relic," she said; "do not think it will be less
    dear to us now we are acquainted with our benefactor!"

    "My child," said Monte Cristo, coloring, "allow me to take
    back that purse? Since you now know my face, I wish to be
    remembered alone through the affection I hope you will grant
    me.

    "Oh," said Julie, pressing the purse to her heart, "no, no,
    I beseech you do not take it, for some unhappy day you will
    leave us, will you not?"

    "You have guessed rightly, madame," replied Monte Cristo,
    smiling; "in a week I shall have left this country, where so
    many persons who merit the vengeance of heaven lived
    happily, while my father perished of hunger and grief."
    While announcing his departure, the count fixed his eyes on
    Morrel, and remarked that the words, "I shall have left this
    country," had failed to rouse him from his lethargy. He then
    saw that he must make another struggle against the grief of
    his friend, and taking the hands of Emmanuel and Julie,
    which he pressed within his own, he said with the mild
    authority of a father, "My kind friends, leave me alone with
    Maximilian." Julie saw the means offered of carrying off her
    precious relic, which Monte Cristo had forgotten. She drew
    her husband to the door. "Let us leave them," she said. The
    count was alone with Morrel, who remained motionless as a
    statue.

    "Come," said Monte-Cristo, touching his shoulder with his
    finger, "are you a man again, Maximilian?"

    "Yes; for I begin to suffer again."

    The count frowned, apparently in gloomy hesitation.

    "Maximilian, Maximilian," he said, "the ideas you yield to
    are unworthy of a Christian."

    "Oh, do not fear, my friend," said Morrel, raising his head,
    and smiling with a sweet expression on the count; "I shall
    no longer attempt my life."

    "Then we are to have no more pistols -- no more despair?"

    "No; I have found a better remedy for my grief than either a
    bullet or a knife."

    "Poor fellow, what is it?"

    "My grief will kill me of itself."

    "My friend," said Monte Cristo, with an expression of
    melancholy equal to his own, "listen to me. One day, in a
    moment of despair like yours, since it led to a similar
    resolution, I also wished to kill myself; one day your
    father, equally desperate, wished to kill himself too. If
    any one had said to your father, at the moment he raised the
    pistol to his head -- if any one had told me, when in my
    prison I pushed back the food I had not tasted for three
    days -- if anyone had said to either of us then, 'Live --
    the day will come when you will be happy, and will bless
    life!' -- no matter whose voice had spoken, we should have
    heard him with the smile of doubt, or the anguish of
    incredulity, -- and yet how many times has your father
    blessed life while embracing you -- how often have I myself"
    --

    "Ah," exclaimed Morrel, interrupting the count, "you had
    only lost your liberty, my father had only lost his fortune,
    but I have lost Valentine."

    "Look at me," said Monte Cristo, with that expression which
    sometimes made him so eloquent and persuasive -- "look at
    me. There are no tears in my eyes, nor is there fever in my
    veins, yet I see you suffer -- you, Maximilian, whom I love
    as my own son. Well, does not this tell you that in grief,
    as in life, there is always something to look forward to
    beyond? Now, if I entreat, if I order you to live, Morrel,
    it is in the conviction that one day you will thank me for
    having preserved your life."

    "Oh, heavens," said the young man, "oh, heavens -- what are
    you saying, count? Take care. But perhaps you have never
    loved!"

    "Child!" replied the count.

    "I mean, as I love. You see, I have been a soldier ever
    since I attained manhood. I reached the age of twenty-nine
    without loving, for none of the feelings I before then
    experienced merit the apellation of love. Well, at
    twenty-nine I saw Valentine; for two years I have loved her,
    for two years I have seen written in her heart, as in a
    book, all the virtues of a daughter and wife. Count, to
    possess Valentine would have been a happiness too infinite,
    too ecstatic, too complete, too divine for this world, since
    it has been denied me; but without Valentine the earth is
    desolate."

    "I have told you to hope," said the count.

    "Then have a care, I repeat, for you seek to persuade me,
    and if you succeed I should lose my reason, for I should
    hope that I could again behold Valentine." The count smiled.
    "My friend, my father," said Morrel with excitement, "have a
    care, I again repeat, for the power you wield over me alarms
    me. Weigh your words before you speak, for my eyes have
    already become brighter, and my heart beats strongly; be
    cautious, or you will make me believe in supernatural
    agencies. I must obey you, though you bade me call forth the
    dead or walk upon the water."

    "Hope, my friend," repeated the count.

    "Ah," said Morrel, falling from the height of excitement to
    the abyss of despair -- "ah, you are playing with me, like
    those good, or rather selfish mothers who soothe their
    children with honeyed words, because their screams annoy
    them. No, my friend, I was wrong to caution you; do not
    fear, I will bury my grief so deep in my heart, I will
    disguise it so, that you shall not even care to sympathize
    with me. Adieu, my friend, adieu!"

    "On the contrary," said the count, "after this time you must
    live with me -- you must not leave me, and in a week we
    shall have left France behind us."

    "And you still bid me hope?"

    "I tell you to hope, because I have a method of curing you."

    "Count, you render me sadder than before, if it be possible.
    You think the result of this blow has been to produce an
    ordinary grief, and you would cure it by an ordinary remedy
    -- change of scene." And Morrel dropped his head with
    disdainful incredulity. "What can I say more?" asked Monte
    Cristo. "I have confidence in the remedy I propose, and only
    ask you to permit me to assure you of its efficacy."

    "Count, you prolong my agony."

    "Then," said the count, "your feeble spirit will not even
    grant me the trial I request? Come -- do you know of what
    the Count of Monte Cristo is capable? do you know that he
    holds terrestrial beings under his control? nay, that he can
    almost work a miracle? Well, wait for the miracle I hope to
    accomplish, or" --

    "Or?" repeated Morrel.

    "Or, take care, Morrel, lest I call you ungrateful."

    "Have pity on me, count!"

    "I feel so much pity towards you, Maximilian, that -- listen
    to me attentively -- if I do not cure you in a month, to the
    day, to the very hour, mark my words, Morrel, I will place
    loaded pistols before you, and a cup of the deadliest
    Italian poison -- a poison more sure and prompt than that
    which has killed Valentine."

    "Will you promise me?"

    "Yes; for I am a man, and have suffered like yourself, and
    also contemplated suicide; indeed, often since misfortune
    has left me I have longed for the delights of an eternal
    sleep."

    "But you are sure you will promise me this?" said Morrel,
    intoxicated. "I not only promise, but swear it!" said Monte
    Cristo extending his hand.

    "In a month, then, on your honor, if I am not consoled, you
    will let me take my life into my own hands, and whatever may
    happen you will not call me ungrateful?"

    "In a month, to the day, the very hour and the date are
    sacred, Maximilian. I do not know whether you remember that
    this is the 5th of September; it is ten years to-day since I
    saved your father's life, who wished to die." Morrel seized
    the count's hand and kissed it; the count allowed him to pay
    the homage he felt due to him. "In a month you will find on
    the table, at which we shall be then sitting, good pistols
    and a delicious draught; but, on the other hand, you must
    promise me not to attempt your life before that time."

    "Oh, I also swear it!" Monte Cristo drew the young man
    towards him, and pressed him for some time to his heart.
    "And now," he said, "after to-day, you will come and live
    with me; you can occupy Haidee's apartment, and my daughter
    will at least be replaced by my son."

    "Haidee?" said Morrel, "what has become of her?"

    "She departed last night."

    "To leave you?"

    "To wait for me. Hold yourself ready then to join me at the
    Champs Elysees, and lead me out of this house without any
    one seeing my departure." Maximilian hung his head, and
    obeyed with childlike reverence.
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 105
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a Alexandre Dumas pere essay and need some advice, post your Alexandre Dumas pere essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Finished
    Want to read
    Abandoned

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?