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Free Study Guide-The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 66 - Matrimonial Projects

Summary

The following day, Danglars goes to see the Count to relate his money problems which are currently numerous - a number of his business colleagues have recently defaulted on payments and he has lost 1,700,000 francs this month. The conversation turns to the Cavalcantis, and Danglars expresses interest in the familyís money, and asks whether Andrea is looking for a wife. The Count purposely says very little about his trust or knowledge of the Cavalcantis, and states he cannot be responsible for what he has heard concerning the family as he does not know them well. Danglars seems unconcerned by the Countís hesitation, and states he would like to marry Eugénie to Andrea as he prefers the Cavalcantisí more distinguished family history and name, and he does not really think Albert de Morcerf would mind. Danglars then confides to the Count that he somewhat dislikes Fernand de Morcerf because, while his own name has always been Danglars, the Count of Morcerf was originally a poor fisherman named Fernand Mondego. The Count appears to be very interested in this secret, and encourages Danglars to research rumors regarding Fernandís conduct in the Ali Pasha affair in Greece, as any scandalous information regarding the Morcerfs would allow Danglars to gracefully withdraw his offer of his daughterís hand in marriage to Albert.

Notes

Having gained Danglarsí trust, the Count is using their friendliness to gain a stronger insight into his financial situation, while at the same time using Danglarsí thirst for money to pique his interest in Andrea Cavalcanti. The Count suggests that Danglars research Fernandís history in Yanina in an attempt to "help" him extricate himself from the proposed marriage of his daughter to Albert, while at the same time correctly guessing that the information obtained will simultaneously ruin Fernand.


CHAPTER 67 - At the Office of the Kingís Attorney

Summary

The same afternoon, Madame Danglars goes to see Villefort, who tells her that despite what the Count said the night before, he cannot have discovered the buried child in his yard since Villefort searched for it years later and found it missing. After being attacked by the Corsican (Bertuccio) that night years ago, he had been taken to Versailles and then Marseilles to recover. Madame Danglars herself had been clinging to life and when Villefort next heard of her, she had married the Baron Danglars. Villefort believed that the child must have still been alive and saved by the Corsican. Madam Danglars is horrified to learn that the child may have been buried alive, and is even more horrified that the Count of Monte Cristo must somehow know their secret. Villefort had tracked the baby via its marked blanket to the hospital where the Corsican left it until his sister-in-law claimed it six months later, and then the child disappeared. Now, however, Villefort states his intention to renew his search for the child out of his fear of their secret being discovered, and remarks that of all the Count gave them for dinner, the Count himself touched nothing. Madame Danglars assures Villefort that she has never told anyone their secret, and Villefort vows to find out who the Count of Monte Cristo is.

Notes

In this chapter, Villefort launches into a speech to Madame Danglars, which sums up his own feeling about why men do the things they do and why women do the things they do. "Madame...you know that I am no hypocrite, or, at least, that I never deceive without a reason. If my brow be severe, it is because many misfortunes have clouded it; if my heart be petrified, it is that it might sustain the blows it has received...I am accustomed to brave difficulties, and, in the conflict, to crush those who, by their own free will, or by chance, voluntarily or involuntarily, interfere with me in my career. It is generally the case that what we most ardently desire is as ardently withheld from us by those who wish to obtain it, or from whom we attempt to snatch it. Thus, the greater number of a manís errors come before him disguised under the specious form o necessity; then, after error has been committed in a moment of excitement, of delirium, or of fear, we see that we might have avoided and escaped it....Women, on the contrary, are rarely tormented with remorse; for the decision does not come from you, your misfortunes are generally imposed upon you, and your faults the results of othersí crimes." While the speech implies that Villefort feels remorse for his actions, he denies that he could have, in the case of Dantès, corrected his error and made things right. He overstates his own difficulties in comparison to those suffered by Dantès, and it is this misunderstanding that will be corrected by the Count. His take on the roles of women, however, is suitable for this novelís female characters, particularly of Mercédès, who was as much a victim in the plot against Dantès as Dantès himself.

CHAPTER 68 - A Summer Ball

Summary

Upon returning from a short holiday in Tréport with his mother, Albert visits the Count to find out whether Monte Cristo was able to make any progress on his behalf regarding his impending marriage to Eugénie Danglars as the Count has said he would see what he could do. The Count tells Albert that Danglars had met Andrea Cavalcanti and is interested in breaking off the engagement between Albert and his daughter. Albert mentions that his father is having a ball that weekend, and that he would like both the Count and Andrea to come. Albert tells the Count that his mother particularly would like the Count to attend. The Count asks Albert to have Franz visit him when he returns to Paris in five or six days and Albert leaves, agreeing. The Count asks Bertuccio about Madame Danglars activities that morning, which Bertuccio has watched carefully and reports to the Count.

Notes

Following the chapter which describes the evil of men and the effect evil actions can have on others, this chapter reminds us of the pain and anger still felt by the Count. His heart is an "impassable barrier" as he trusts few people and as he states, "I love everyone as God commands us to love our neighbour, as Christians; but I thoroughly hate but a few." In speaking to Danglars, the Count disavows himself of any responsibility relating to the Cavalcantis, planning in advance to be blameless in the matter when Andreaís true identity is discovered.

CHAPTER 69 - The Enquiry

Summary

After writing to M. de Boville for information about the Count of Monte Cristo, Villefort learns that the Count is close to both Lord Wilmore and the Abbé Busoni, who he then investigates. He learns that the Abbé was recently in Paris for a month and was alone almost the entire time, and that Lord Wilmore is an English traveler who never speaks French. Villefort then sends an envoy to visit the Abbé, who he succeeds in seeing when he returns to visit the second time at an appointed hour. In response to the envoyís questions, the Abbé "confides" that the Countís name is actually M. Zaccone, and that he is the son of a rich Maltese shipbuilder. The Abbé further tells the envoy that the Count is likely a Lutheran who served in the navy, and that he is very charitable. The Countís only enemy, as far as the Abbé knows, is Lord Wilmore, and the Count bought the house at Auteuil to turn it into a charitable lunatic asylum. The envoy then goes to Villefortís home, and then to see Lord Wilmore, with whom he has an appointment. Lord Wilmore tells the envoy that he has known Zaccone since he was about ten years old, and says Zaccone spent time in the navy until he discovered a silver mine. Lord Wilmore believes the Count is in Paris to speculate in railways and telegraphy, and bought the house in Auteuil to turn it into a health spa. Lord Wilmore tells the envoy that he and the Count are enemies because Zaccone seduced the wife of one of his friends, and that the two have already fought three duels. The envoy leaves and turns out to have been Villefort all along. When the envoy/Villefort leaves, Lord Wilmore removes his disguise to reveal that he is actually the Count of Monte Cristo.

Notes

In this chapter, Dumas reveals for the first time that the Count is definitely both Busoni and Wilmore in disguise. It is evident by the intricate stories he has worked out for "Busoni" and "Wilmore" that his plans for revenge have been thoroughly thought out and that the Count is extremely patient. Further, while Villefort is clever enough to have assumed his own disguise, the Count is far more clever.

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