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by Alexandre Dumas, Pere

Chapter 1. Marseilles - The Arrival.

On the 24th of February, 1815, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde
signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and

As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If,
got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island.

Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean
were covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles for a
ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharaon, has
been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an
owner of the city.

The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic
shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled
Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but
so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is
the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have
happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly
that if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself,
for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the
anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and standing by
the side of the pilot, who was steering the Pharaon towards the narrow
entrance of the inner port, was a young man, who, with activity and
vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each
direction of the pilot.

The vague disquietude which prevailed among the spectators had so much
affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of the
vessel in harbor, but jumping into a small skiff, desired to be pulled
alongside the Pharaon, which he reached as she rounded into La Reserve

When the young man on board saw this person approach, he left his
station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over the ship's bulwarks.

He was a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with
black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven's wing; and his whole appearance
bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accustomed from
their cradle to contend with danger.

"Ah, is it you, Dantes?" cried the man in the skiff. "What's the matter?
and why have you such an air of sadness aboard?"

"A great misfortune, M. Morrel," replied the young man, - "a great
misfortune, for me especially! Off Civita Vecchia we lost our brave
Captain Leclere."

"And the cargo?" inquired the owner, eagerly.

"Is all safe, M. Morrel; and I think you will be satisfied on that head.
But poor Captain Leclere - "

"What happened to him?" asked the owner, with an air of considerable
resignation. "What happened to the worthy captain?"

"He died."

"Fell into the sea?"

"No, sir, he died of brain-fever in dreadful agony." Then turning to the
crew, he said, "Bear a hand there, to take in sail!"

All hands obeyed, and at once the eight or ten seamen who composed the
crew, sprang to their respective stations at the spanker brails and
outhaul, topsail sheets and halyards, the jib downhaul, and the topsail
clewlines and buntlines. The young sailor gave a look to see that his
orders were promptly and accurately obeyed, and then turned again to the

"And how did this misfortune occur?" inquired the latter, resuming the
interrupted conversation.

"Alas, sir, in the most unexpected manner. After a long talk with the
harbor-master, Captain Leclere left Naples greatly disturbed in mind.
In twenty-four hours he was attacked by a fever, and died three days
afterwards. We performed the usual burial service, and he is at his
rest, sewn up in his hammock with a thirty-six pound shot at his head
and his heels, off El Giglio island. We bring to his widow his sword and
cross of honor. It was worth while, truly," added the young man with a
melancholy smile, "to make war against the English for ten years, and to
die in his bed at last, like everybody else."

"Why, you see, Edmond," replied the owner, who appeared more comforted
at every moment, "we are all mortal, and the old must make way for the
young. If not, why, there would be no promotion; and since you assure me
that the cargo - "

"Is all safe and sound, M. Morrel, take my word for it; and I advise you
not to take 25,000 francs for the profits of the voyage."

Then, as they were just passing the Round Tower, the young man shouted:
"Stand by there to lower the topsails and jib; brail up the spanker!"

The order was executed as promptly as it would have been on board a

"Let go - and clue up!" At this last command all the sails were lowered,
and the vessel moved almost imperceptibly onwards.

"Now, if you will come on board, M. Morrel," said Dantes, observing the
owner's impatience, "here is your supercargo, M. Danglars, coming out of
his cabin, who will furnish you with every particular. As for me, I must
look after the anchoring, and dress the ship in mourning."

The owner did not wait for a second invitation. He seized a rope which
Dantes flung to him, and with an activity that would have done credit to
a sailor, climbed up the side of the ship, while the young man, going
to his task, left the conversation to Danglars, who now came towards
the owner. He was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, of
unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to
his subordinates; and this, in addition to his position as responsible
agent on board, which is always obnoxious to the sailors, made him as
much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantes was beloved by them.

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

"Yes - yes: poor Captain Leclere! He was a brave and an honest man."

"And a first-rate seaman, one who had seen long and honorable service,
as became a man charged with the interests of a house so important as
that of Morrel & Son," replied Danglars.

"But," replied the owner, glancing after Dantes, who was watching the
anchoring of his vessel, "it seems to me that a sailor needs not be so
old as you say, Danglars, to understand his business, for our friend
Edmond seems to understand it thoroughly, and not to require instruction
from any one."

"Yes," said Danglars, darting at Edmond a look gleaming with hate. "Yes,
he is young, and youth is invariably self-confident. Scarcely was the
captain's breath out of his body when he assumed the command without
consulting any one, and he caused us to lose a day and a half at the
Island of Elba, instead of making for Marseilles direct."

"As to taking command of the vessel," replied Morrel, "that was his duty
as captain's mate; as to losing a day and a half off the Island of Elba,
he was wrong, unless the vessel needed repairs."

"The vessel was in as good condition as I am, and as, I hope you are,
M. Morrel, and this day and a half was lost from pure whim, for the
pleasure of going ashore, and nothing else."

"Dantes," said the shipowner, turning towards the young man, "come this

"In a moment, sir," answered Dantes, "and I'm with you." Then calling to
the crew, he said - "Let go!"

The anchor was instantly dropped, and the chain ran rattling through the
port-hole. Dantes continued at his post in spite of the presence of the
pilot, until this manoeuvre was completed, and then he added, "Half-mast
the colors, and square the yards!"

"You see," said Danglars, "he fancies himself captain already, upon my

"And so, in fact, he is," said the owner.

"Except your signature and your partner's, M. Morrel."

"And why should he not have this?" asked the owner; "he is young, it is
true, but he seems to me a thorough seaman, and of full experience."

A cloud passed over Danglars' brow. "Your pardon, M. Morrel," said
Dantes, approaching, "the vessel now rides at anchor, and I am at your
service. You hailed me, I think?"

Danglars retreated a step or two. "I wished to inquire why you stopped
at the Island of Elba?"

"I do not know, sir; it was to fulfil the last instructions of Captain
Leclere, who, when dying, gave me a packet for Marshal Bertrand."

"Then did you see him, Edmond?"


"The marshal."


Morrel looked around him, and then, drawing Dantes on one side, he said
suddenly - "And how is the emperor?"

"Very well, as far as I could judge from the sight of him."

"You saw the emperor, then?"

"He entered the marshal's apartment while I was there."

"And you spoke to him?"

"Why, it was he who spoke to me, sir," said Dantes, with a smile.

"And what did he say to you?"

"Asked me questions about the vessel, the time she left Marseilles, the
course she had taken, and what was her cargo. I believe, if she had not
been laden, and I had been her master, he would have bought her. But I
told him I was only mate, and that she belonged to the firm of Morrel &
Son. 'Ah, yes,' he said, 'I know them. The Morrels have been shipowners
from father to son; and there was a Morrel who served in the same
regiment with me when I was in garrison at Valence.'"

"Pardieu, and that is true!" cried the owner, greatly delighted. "And
that was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who was afterwards a captain. Dantes,
you must tell my uncle that the emperor remembered him, and you will see
it will bring tears into the old soldier's eyes. Come, come," continued
he, patting Edmond's shoulder kindly, "you did very right, Dantes, to
follow Captain Leclere's instructions, and touch at Elba, although if
it were known that you had conveyed a packet to the marshal, and had
conversed with the emperor, it might bring you into trouble."

"How could that bring me into trouble, sir?" asked Dantes; "for I did
not even know of what I was the bearer; and the emperor merely made such
inquiries as he would of the first comer. But, pardon me, here are the
health officers and the customs inspectors coming alongside." And the
young man went to the gangway. As he departed, Danglars approached, and
said, -

"Well, it appears that he has given you satisfactory reasons for his
landing at Porto-Ferrajo?"

"Yes, most satisfactory, my dear Danglars."

"Well, so much the better," said the supercargo; "for it is not pleasant
to think that a comrade has not done his duty."

"Dantes has done his," replied the owner, "and that is not saying much.
It was Captain Leclere who gave orders for this delay."

"Talking of Captain Leclere, has not Dantes given you a letter from

"To me? - no - was there one?"

"I believe that, besides the packet, Captain Leclere confided a letter
to his care."

"Of what packet are you speaking, Danglars?"

"Why, that which Dantes left at Porto-Ferrajo."

"How do you know he had a packet to leave at Porto-Ferrajo?"

Danglars turned very red.

"I was passing close to the door of the captain's cabin, which was half
open, and I saw him give the packet and letter to Dantes."

"He did not speak to me of it," replied the shipowner; "but if there be
any letter he will give it to me."

Danglars reflected for a moment. "Then, M. Morrel, I beg of you,"
said he, "not to say a word to Dantes on the subject. I may have been

At this moment the young man returned; Danglars withdrew.

"Well, my dear Dantes, are you now free?" inquired the owner.

"Yes, sir."

"You have not been long detained."

"No. I gave the custom-house officers a copy of our bill of lading; and
as to the other papers, they sent a man off with the pilot, to whom I
gave them."

"Then you have nothing more to do here?"

"No - everything is all right now."

"Then you can come and dine with me?"

"I really must ask you to excuse me, M. Morrel. My first visit is due to
my father, though I am not the less grateful for the honor you have done

"Right, Dantes, quite right. I always knew you were a good son."

"And," inquired Dantes, with some hesitation, "do you know how my father

"Well, I believe, my dear Edmond, though I have not seen him lately."

"Yes, he likes to keep himself shut up in his little room."

"That proves, at least, that he has wanted for nothing during your

Dantes smiled. "My father is proud, sir, and if he had not a meal
left, I doubt if he would have asked anything from anyone, except from

"Well, then, after this first visit has been made we shall count on

"I must again excuse myself, M. Morrel, for after this first visit has
been paid I have another which I am most anxious to pay."

"True, Dantes, I forgot that there was at the Catalans some one who
expects you no less impatiently than your father - the lovely Mercedes."

Dantes blushed.

"Ah, ha," said the shipowner, "I am not in the least surprised, for
she has been to me three times, inquiring if there were any news of the
Pharaon. Peste, Edmond, you have a very handsome mistress!"

"She is not my mistress," replied the young sailor, gravely; "she is my

"Sometimes one and the same thing," said Morrel, with a smile.

"Not with us, sir," replied Dantes.

"Well, well, my dear Edmond," continued the owner, "don't let me detain
you. You have managed my affairs so well that I ought to allow you all
the time you require for your own. Do you want any money?"

"No, sir; I have all my pay to take - nearly three months' wages."

"You are a careful fellow, Edmond."

"Say I have a poor father, sir."

"Yes, yes, I know how good a son you are, so now hasten away to see
your father. I have a son too, and I should be very wroth with those who
detained him from me after a three months' voyage."

"Then I have your leave, sir?"

"Yes, if you have nothing more to say to me."


"Captain Leclere did not, before he died, give you a letter for me?"

"He was unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I must ask your
leave of absence for some days."

"To get married?"

"Yes, first, and then to go to Paris."

"Very good; have what time you require, Dantes. It will take quite six
weeks to unload the cargo, and we cannot get you ready for sea until
three months after that; only be back again in three months, for the
Pharaon," added the owner, patting the young sailor on the back, "cannot
sail without her captain."

"Without her captain!" cried Dantes, his eyes sparkling with animation;
"pray mind what you say, for you are touching on the most secret wishes
of my heart. Is it really your intention to make me captain of the

"If I were sole owner we'd shake hands on it now, my dear Dantes,
and call it settled; but I have a partner, and you know the Italian
proverb - Chi ha compagno ha padrone - 'He who has a partner has a
master.' But the thing is at least half done, as you have one out of two
votes. Rely on me to procure you the other; I will do my best."

"Ah, M. Morrel," exclaimed the young seaman, with tears in his eyes,
and grasping the owner's hand, "M. Morrel, I thank you in the name of my
father and of Mercedes."

"That's all right, Edmond. There's a providence that watches over the
deserving. Go to your father: go and see Mercedes, and afterwards come
to me."

"Shall I row you ashore?"

"No, thank you; I shall remain and look over the accounts with Danglars.
Have you been satisfied with him this voyage?"

"That is according to the sense you attach to the question, sir. Do you
mean is he a good comrade? No, for I think he never liked me since the
day when I was silly enough, after a little quarrel we had, to propose
to him to stop for ten minutes at the island of Monte Cristo to settle
the dispute - a proposition which I was wrong to suggest, and he quite
right to refuse. If you mean as responsible agent when you ask me the
question, I believe there is nothing to say against him, and that you
will be content with the way in which he has performed his duty."

"But tell me, Dantes, if you had command of the Pharaon should you be
glad to see Danglars remain?"

"Captain or mate, M. Morrel, I shall always have the greatest respect
for those who possess the owners' confidence."

"That's right, that's right, Dantes! I see you are a thoroughly good
fellow, and will detain you no longer. Go, for I see how impatient you

"Then I have leave?"

"Go, I tell you."

"May I have the use of your skiff?"


"Then, for the present, M. Morrel, farewell, and a thousand thanks!"

"I hope soon to see you again, my dear Edmond. Good luck to you."

The young sailor jumped into the skiff, and sat down in the stern
sheets, with the order that he be put ashore at La Canebiere. The two
oarsmen bent to their work, and the little boat glided away as rapidly
as possible in the midst of the thousand vessels which choke up the
narrow way which leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of
the harbor to the Quai d'Orleans.

The shipowner, smiling, followed him with his eyes until he saw him
spring out on the quay and disappear in the midst of the throng, which
from five o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at night, swarms
in the famous street of La Canebiere, - a street of which the modern
Phocaeans are so proud that they say with all the gravity in the world,
and with that accent which gives so much character to what is said, "If
Paris had La Canebiere, Paris would be a second Marseilles." On turning
round the owner saw Danglars behind him, apparently awaiting orders,
but in reality also watching the young sailor, - but there was a great
difference in the expression of the two men who thus followed the
movements of Edmond Dantes.

Chapter 2. Father and Son.

We will leave Danglars struggling with the demon of hatred, and
endeavoring to insinuate in the ear of the shipowner some evil
suspicions against his comrade, and follow Dantes, who, after having
traversed La Canebiere, took the Rue de Noailles, and entering a small
house, on the left of the Allees de Meillan, rapidly ascended four
flights of a dark staircase, holding the baluster with one hand, while
with the other he repressed the beatings of his heart, and paused before
a half-open door, from which he could see the whole of a small room.

This room was occupied by Dantes' father. The news of the arrival of the
Pharaon had not yet reached the old man, who, mounted on a chair, was
amusing himself by training with trembling hand the nasturtiums and
sprays of clematis that clambered over the trellis at his window.
Suddenly, he felt an arm thrown around his body, and a well-known voice
behind him exclaimed, "Father - dear father!"

The old man uttered a cry, and turned round; then, seeing his son, he
fell into his arms, pale and trembling.

"What ails you, my dearest father? Are you ill?" inquired the young man,
much alarmed.

"No, no, my dear Edmond - my boy - my son! - no; but I did not expect you;
and joy, the surprise of seeing you so suddenly - Ah, I feel as if I were
going to die."

"Come, come, cheer up, my dear father! 'Tis I - really I! They say joy
never hurts, and so I came to you without any warning. Come now, do
smile, instead of looking at me so solemnly. Here I am back again, and
we are going to be happy."

"Yes, yes, my boy, so we will - so we will," replied the old man; "but
how shall we be happy? Shall you never leave me again? Come, tell me all
the good fortune that has befallen you."

"God forgive me," said the young man, "for rejoicing at happiness
derived from the misery of others, but, Heaven knows, I did not seek
this good fortune; it has happened, and I really cannot pretend to
lament it. The good Captain Leclere is dead, father, and it is probable
that, with the aid of M. Morrel, I shall have his place. Do you
understand, father? Only imagine me a captain at twenty, with a hundred
louis pay, and a share in the profits! Is this not more than a poor
sailor like me could have hoped for?"

"Yes, my dear boy," replied the old man, "it is very fortunate."

"Well, then, with the first money I touch, I mean you to have a small
house, with a garden in which to plant clematis, nasturtiums, and
honeysuckle. But what ails you, father? Are you not well?"

"'Tis nothing, nothing; it will soon pass away" - and as he said so the
old man's strength failed him, and he fell backwards.

"Come, come," said the young man, "a glass of wine, father, will revive
you. Where do you keep your wine?"

"No, no; thanks. You need not look for it; I do not want it," said the
old man.

"Yes, yes, father, tell me where it is," and he opened two or three

"It is no use," said the old man, "there is no wine."

"What, no wine?" said Dantes, turning pale, and looking alternately
at the hollow cheeks of the old man and the empty cupboards. "What, no
wine? Have you wanted money, father?"

"I want nothing now that I have you," said the old man.

"Yet," stammered Dantes, wiping the perspiration from his brow, - "yet I
gave you two hundred francs when I left, three months ago."

"Yes, yes, Edmond, that is true, but you forgot at that time a little
debt to our neighbor, Caderousse. He reminded me of it, telling me if
I did not pay for you, he would be paid by M. Morrel; and so, you see,
lest he might do you an injury" -


"Why, I paid him."

"But," cried Dantes, "it was a hundred and forty francs I owed

"Yes," stammered the old man.

"And you paid him out of the two hundred francs I left you?"

The old man nodded.

"So that you have lived for three months on sixty francs," muttered

"You know how little I require," said the old man.

"Heaven pardon me," cried Edmond, falling on his knees before his

"What are you doing?"

"You have wounded me to the heart."

"Never mind it, for I see you once more," said the old man; "and now
it's all over - everything is all right again."

"Yes, here I am," said the young man, "with a promising future and a
little money. Here, father, here!" he said, "take this - take it, and
send for something immediately." And he emptied his pockets on the
table, the contents consisting of a dozen gold pieces, five or six
five-franc pieces, and some smaller coin. The countenance of old Dantes

"Whom does this belong to?" he inquired.

"To me, to you, to us! Take it; buy some provisions; be happy, and
to-morrow we shall have more."

"Gently, gently," said the old man, with a smile; "and by your leave I
will use your purse moderately, for they would say, if they saw me buy
too many things at a time, that I had been obliged to await your return,
in order to be able to purchase them."

"Do as you please; but, first of all, pray have a servant, father. I
will not have you left alone so long. I have some smuggled coffee and
most capital tobacco, in a small chest in the hold, which you shall have
to-morrow. But, hush, here comes somebody."

"'Tis Caderousse, who has heard of your arrival, and no doubt comes to
congratulate you on your fortunate return."

"Ah, lips that say one thing, while the heart thinks another," murmured
Edmond. "But, never mind, he is a neighbor who has done us a service on
a time, so he's welcome."

As Edmond paused, the black and bearded head of Caderousse appeared at
the door. He was a man of twenty-five or six, and held a piece of cloth,
which, being a tailor, he was about to make into a coat-lining.

"What, is it you, Edmond, back again?" said he, with a broad
Marseillaise accent, and a grin that displayed his ivory-white teeth.

"Yes, as you see, neighbor Caderousse; and ready to be agreeable to you
in any and every way," replied Dantes, but ill-concealing his coldness
under this cloak of civility.

"Thanks - thanks; but, fortunately, I do not want for anything; and it
chances that at times there are others who have need of me." Dantes made
a gesture. "I do not allude to you, my boy. No! - no! I lent you money,
and you returned it; that's like good neighbors, and we are quits."

"We are never quits with those who oblige us," was Dantes' reply; "for
when we do not owe them money, we owe them gratitude."

"What's the use of mentioning that? What is done is done. Let us talk
of your happy return, my boy. I had gone on the quay to match a piece of
mulberry cloth, when I met friend Danglars. 'You at Marseilles?' - 'Yes,'
says he.

"'I thought you were at Smyrna.' - 'I was; but am now back again.'

"'And where is the dear boy, our little Edmond?'

"'Why, with his father, no doubt,' replied Danglars. And so I came,"
added Caderousse, "as fast as I could to have the pleasure of shaking

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