There are people who are willing to suffer and swallow their tears at leisure, and God will not doubt reward them in heaven for their resignation; but those who have the will to struggle strike back at fate in retaliation for the blows they receive. Do you intend to fight back at fate, Valentine? That's what I came here to ask you. -Maximilien Morrel
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Look, look, ' cried the count, seizing the young man's hands - "look, for on my soul it is curious. Here is a man who had resigned himself to his fate, who was going to the scaffold to die - like a coward, it is true, but he was about to die without resistance. Do you know what gave him strength? - do you know what consoled him? It was, that another partook of his punishment - that another partook of his anguish - that another was to die before him. Lead two sheep to the butcher's, two oxen to the slaughterhouse, and make one of them understand that his companion will not die; the sheep will bleat for pleasure, the ox will bellow with joy. But man - man, who God created in his own image - man, upon whom God has laid his first, his sole commandment, to love his neighbour - man, to whom God has given a voice to express his thoughts - what is his first cry when he hears his fellowman is saved? A blasphemy. Honour to man, this masterpiece of nature, this king of the creation!
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Pain anguish and suffering in human life are always in proportion to the strength with which a man is endowed. We will not pretend to say that Heaven always apportions to a man's capability of endurance the anguish with which he afflicts him... Suffering is in proportion to the strength which has been accorded in other words the weak suffer more where the trial is the same than the strong.
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So, preferring death to capture, I accomplished the most astonishing deeds, and which, more then once, showed me that the too great care we take of our bodies is the only obstacle to the sucess of those projects which require rapid decision, and vigorous and determined execution. In reality, when you have once devoted your life to your enterprises, you are no longer the equal of other men, or, rather, other men are no longer your equals, and whosoever has taken this resolution, feels his strength and resources doubled.
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The King! I thought him enough of a philosopher to realize that there is no such thing as murder in politics. You know as well as I do, my dear boy, that in politics there are no people, only ideas; no feelings, only interests. In politics, you don't kill a man, you remove an obstacle, that's all.
What!" cried he, in an accent of greater astonishment than beforem "your second witness is Monsieur Aramis?" "Doubtless! Are you not aware that we are never seen one without the others, and that we are called among the Musketeers and the Guards, at the court and in the city, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, or the Three Inseparables?
Perhaps what I am about to say will appear strange to you gentlemen, socialists, progressives, humanitarians as you are, but I never worry about my neighbor, I never try to protect society which does not protect me - indeed, I might add, which generally takes no heed of me except to do me harm - and, since I hold them low in my esteem and remain neutral towards them, I believe that society and my neighbor are in my debt.
This sometimes happened: from time to time, Dante¨s, driven out of solitude into the world, felt an imperative need for solitude. And what solitude is more vast and more poetic than that of a ship sailing alone on the sea, in the darkness of night and the silence of infinity, under the eye of the Lord?
There are some situations which men understand by instinct, by which reason is powerless to explain; in such cases the greatest poet is he who gives utterance to the most natural and vehement outburst of sorrow. Those who hear the bitter cry are as much impressed as if they listened to an entire poem, and when th sufferer is sincere they are right in regarding his outburst as sublime.
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You see that God deems it right to take from me any claim to merit for what you call my devotion to you. I have promised to remain forever with you, and now I could not break my promise if I would. The treasure will be no more mine than yours, and neither of us will quit this prison. But my real treasure is not that, my dear friend, which awaits me beneath the somber rocks of Monte Cristo, it is your presence, our living together five or six hours a day, in spite of our jailers; it is the rays of intelligence you have elicited from my brain, the languages you have implanted in my memory, and which have taken root there with all of their philological ramifications. These different sciences that you have made so easy to me by the depth of the knowledge you possess of them, and the clearness of the principles to which you have reduced them - this is my treasure, my beloved friend, and with this you have made me rich and happy. Believe me, and take comfort, this is better for me than tons of gold and cases of diamonds, even were they not as problematical as the clouds we see in the morning floating over the sea, which we take for terra firma, and which evaporate and vanish as we draw near to them. To have you as long as possible near me, to hear your eloquent speech, - which embellishes my mind, strengthens my soul, and makes my whole frame capable of great and terrible things, if I should ever be free, - so fills my whole existence, that the despair to which I was just on the point of yielding when I knew you, has no longer any hold over me; this - this is my fortune - not chimerical, but actual. I owe you my real good, my present happiness; and all the sovereigns of the earth, even Caesar Borgia himself, could not deprive me of this.
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To wait at Monte Cristo for the purpose of watching like a dragon over the almost incalculable richs that had thus fallen into his possession satisfied not the cravings of his heart, which yearned to return to dwell among mankind, and to assume the rank, power, and influence which are always accorded to wealth - that first and greatest of all the forces within the grasp of man.
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Can we account for instinct?' said Monte Cristo. 'Are there not some places where we seem to breathe sadness? - why, we cannot tell. It is a chain of recollections - an idea which carries you back to other times, to other places - which, very likely, have no connection with the present time and place.
Oh, Mercede¨s, I have spoken your name with sighs of melancholy, with groans of pain and with the croak of despair. I have spoken it frozen with cold, huddled on the straw of my dungeon. I have spoken it raging with heat and rolling around on the stone floor of my prison. Mercede¨s, I must have my revenge, because for fourteen years I suffered, fourteen years I wept and cursed. Now, I say to you, Mercede¨s, I must have my revenge!
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