The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

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Overview

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
Naples.
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
basin.
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The Count of Monte Cristo
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
owner.
"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
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The Count of Monte Cristo
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
man-of-war.
"Let go--and clue up!" ...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014467575
Publisher: All classic book warehouse
Publication date: 06/01/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 1235
Sales rank: 262,339
File size: 1 MB

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The Count of Monte Cristo 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great tale and details of French history of the early 1800,s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This appears  the 1846 anonymous translation first published by Chapman & Hall. The reason for the 5 Star rating is that being 167 years old the language is a little flowery which I find fascinating. But if you want something in more modern English try:- Harper Collins pub. 2008,  or The Penguin Classics (Robin Buss) pub. 1996