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

CHAPTER 40 - The Breakfast

Summary

The men discuss politics, and Albert mentions that he is supposed to marry Eugénie Danglars, the daughter of Baron Danglars, a very rich and politically influential man. M. Château- Renaud and Maximilien Morrel arrive, and Château-Renaud introduces Morrel as a captain who recently saved his life from an Arab during a trip to Africa. Morrel modestly notes that the event occurred on September 5th , the anniversary of his father also being saved by a man. Albert tells the men of his meeting the Count of Monte Cristo, who saved his life three months earlier. Albert describes the Countís riches and lifestyle as similar to that in the Arabian Nights, to which Morrel mentions that he has heard of such a man from an old sailor.

The Count arrives and slightly falters when he sees Morrel. The men are impressed by the Countís manners and strange customs, and note particularly a large emerald that contains pills (a mixture of opium and hashish) which the Count uses to sleep at any time. Regarding Albertís kidnapping, the Count only says that he has known Luigi Vampa since he was a child, having met him when he was once a shepherd and the Count had become lost. Some years afterward, Vampaís band attempted to kidnap the Count and was surprised when the Count captured his band instead and let them go. Albert repeats his promise to help the Count while he is in Paris, and the Count appears interested to learn that Albert may soon be marrying Eugénie Danglars. The Count mentions that he will be banking with Danglars via Thomson & French, a name which surprises Morrel, and who then asks the Count to assist him in some research into a kind deed that the house of Thomson & French once rendered his family but now denies having rendered. The Count learns that Morrelís sister Julie has been happily married in Paris for the last nine years to Emmanuel. The Count leaves for his newly purchased house in Paris. Debray, Beauchamp, Château-Renaud and Morrel leave Albert with the Count.


Notes

In this chapter, we are further introduced to Château-Renaud and the younger Morrel, last seen at his fatherís in Marseilles years earlier. It is clear that Morrel has grown into a heroic and moral man, who was greatly affected by the rescue of his father years earlier by the "stranger". The myth surrounding the character and resources of the Count begins to grow here, among men who already wield considerable influence in Paris. This ensures the Countís acceptance in Parisian society.

CHAPTER 41 - The Presentation

Summary

The Count tours Albertís apartment, which is separated from that of his parents, particularly noticing a painting of Albertís mother, which makes him pale. Albert introduces the Count to his father, the Count of Morcerf (Fernand), who thanks the Count for saving his son. The Count of Morcerf left the army to join politics some years before. Albertís mother Mercédès is introduced to the Count and appears to be struck by his appearance. Albertís father leaves for the government chamber and when the Count also leaves, Albert notices his mother appears very ill. Mercédès asks her son if Fernand noticed how nervous she was. Mercédès asks her son a number of questions regarding the Count, who replies that his title (Count) was purchased. Mercédès warns her son to be careful of the Count and asks whether Albert believes the Count is as he appears.

Notes

The Count is now in the home of one of his biggest enemies, and is visibly affected by being in the house occupied by Fernand and Mercédès. The Count had learned that despite Fernandís low birth, he arrived at an elevated station in life by having purchased a title, and (although not yet known), by betraying Ali Tepelini. It appears to the Count that Fernand is pretending to be a member of the nobility, and it is this realization that determines, in part, how the Count will punish Fernand. He will reveal his humble roots and the manner by which he actually gained his title. We know by Mercédès behavior in this chapter that she recognizes something about the Count, although she does not let on.

CHAPTER 42 - Monsieur Bertuccio

Summary

The Count of Monte Cristo arrives at his new home in Paris and meets M. Bertuccio, his hired steward, who informs him that his new cards are ready, the first having already been delivered to Baron Danglars as requested. A notary is waiting with a deed to a house being purchased by the Count just outside of Paris at Auteuil. Bertuccio appears nervous at the mention of Auteuil and immediately offers to find the Count another house when the Count appears to be disappointed by the fact that his "country house" is closer to the city than he had imagined. The Count decides to keep the house and later verifies the information on the deed by comparing its details to some of his other documents, and is evidently pleased to have purchased the "correct" house. He asks a reluctant but obedient Bertuccio to accompany him to the new house in Auteuil.

Notes

We become more acquainted with the Countís plans and methods of action for his revenge. His servant, M. Bertuccio, will play an intrinsic part in his plans, although he does not yet know it.

CHAPTER 43 - The House at Auteuil

Summary

Arriving at the house, the Count is told by the resident caretaker that his employer, the Marquis of Saint-Méran (see chapter 6) had rarely used the house in the past five years. The Count asks about the Saint-Mérans, learning that the family were followers of the Bourbon monarchy and that the coupleís only daughter had married M. de Villefort, the Kingís attorney at Nimes and then at Versailles. Villefortís wife had died some 21 years ago. Bertuccio is very nervous when the Count insists Bertuccio accompany him on a tour of the house and then collapses in fear, admitting that he knows the house. Bertuccio had been recommended to the Count by the Abbé Busoni who was, according to Bertuccio, the only man he had ever told his story to while he was in prison. The Count demands that Bertuccio tell him the story and Bertuccio finally agrees, telling the Count that in pursuing a vendetta, he had killed a man at the Auteuil house. Bertuccio tells the Count that M. de Villefort was a villain and that he once had proof of this, which interests the Count as he prepares to listen.

Notes

The Count has bought the house once lived in by Villefort, and in which Bertuccio once attempted to kill Villefort. As such, Bertuccio has damning evidence against Villefort that the Count will use. However, the Count does not let on that he was aware of Bertuccioís history with the house and Villefort, and we learn that Bertuccio was sent to the Count by "the Abbé Busoni", the man to whom he originally told his story and history with the house. Busoni was, of course, the Count in disguise years ago. This illustrates the Countís patience, to have hired Bertuccio years ago with the intention of using this information when it became useful.

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