Finally finished the book – the first I’ve read in French. Ended up with more than 400 pages of notes!!! It was a tour de force for my kindle. Alongside The Magus, they are on the top of my list.
Count of Monte Cristo
The wisdom of Abbé Faria
This is by far one of the best chapters of The Count of Monter-Cristo. Read Chapter 17. The Abbe’s Chamber. or, the French version, La chambre de l’abbé.
Here’s a quote from the chapter:
“What are you thinking of?” asked the abbe smilingly, imputing the deep abstraction in which his visitor was plunged to the excess of his awe and wonder.
“I was reflecting, in the first place,” replied Dantes, “upon the enormous degree of intelligence and ability you must have employed to reach the high perfection to which you have attained. What would you not have accomplished if you had been free?”
“Possibly nothing at all; Continue reading
A coaching session with Abbé Faria – English version
This passage is too good, so here is the English version of Abbé Faria coaching Edmond Dantès.
“Come,” said the abbe, closing his hiding-place, and pushing the bed back to its original situation, “let me hear your story.”
Dantes obeyed, and commenced what he called his history, but which consisted only of the account of a voyage to India, and two or three voyages to the Levant until he arrived at the recital of his last cruise, with the death of Captain Leclere, and the receipt of a packet to be delivered by himself to the grand marshal; his interview with that personage, and his receiving, in place of the packet brought, a letter addressed to a Monsieur Noirtier—his arrival at Marseilles, and interview with his father—his affection for Mercedes, and their nuptual feast—his arrest and subsequent examination, his temporary detention at the Palais de Justice, and his final imprisonment in the Chateau d’If. From this point everything was a blank to Dantes—he knew nothing more, not even the length of time he had been imprisoned. His recital finished, the abbe reflected long and earnestly. Continue reading
A coaching session with Abbé Faria
Here’s a passage from the Count of Monte Cristo – in French. I came across it and thought to be an eloquent example of a coaching session. Abbé Faria reads between the lines of the story of Edmond Dantès and succeeds to unravel the truth of his imprisonment.
—Voyons, dit l’abbé en refermant sa cachette et en repoussant son lit à sa place, racontez-moi donc votre histoire.»
Dantès alors raconta ce qu’il appelait son histoire, et qui se bornait à un voyage dans l’Inde et à deux où trois voyages dans le Levant; enfin, il en arriva à sa dernière traversée, à la mort du capitaine Leclère au paquet remis par lui pour le grand maréchal, à l’entrevue du grand maréchal, à la lettre remise par lui et adressée à un M. Noirtier; enfin à son arrivée à Marseille, à son entrevue avec son père, à ses amours avec Mercédès, au repas de ses fiançailles, à son arrestation, à son interrogatoire, à sa prison provisoire au palais de justice, enfin à sa prison définitive au château d’If. Arrivé là, Dantès ne savait plus rien, pas même le temps qu’il y était resté prisonnier.
Le récit achevé, l’abbé réfléchit profondément. Continue reading