用户名: 密码: 验证码:    注册 | 忘记密码?
主页 |英文小说 |双语传记 |双语戏剧 |双语文史哲 |双语儿童文学 |双语科技 |经典英译 |其他双语名著
当前位置:重庆时时彩五星定胆 > 法国小说 > 基督山伯爵 > 第2章 第二部分
第6节 无限贷款 【
   已开启划词功能

本文地址:http://www.yeidj.com.cn/book/story.php?id=600
文章摘要:无限贷款 ,证券化金屋鸡争鹅斗,可听白水台旅游文化。

第二天下午两点钟,一辆低轮马车,由两匹健壮的英国马拉着,停在了基督山的门前。车门的嵌板上绘着一套男爵的武器图案,一个人从车门里探出半个身子来,吩咐他的马夫到门房里去问一下基督山伯爵是否住在这儿,是否在家。这个人穿着一件蓝色的上衣,上衣的纽扣也是蓝色的,一件白色的背心,背心上挂着一条粗金链子,棕色的裤子,头发很黑,在前额上垂得很低,几乎覆盖了他的眉毛,尤其是,这一头漆黑油亮的头发和那刻在他脸上的深深的皱纹极不相称,很使人怀疑那是假发。总之,这个人虽然明显地年纪约五十开外,却想使人觉得他还不到四十岁的样子。他一面等回报,一面观察着这座房子,而且观察得相当仔细,可以说多少已有点失礼了,但他所能看到的只有花园和那些来来往往穿制服的仆人。这个人的目光很敏锐,但这种敏锐的目光与其说可显示出他的聪明,倒不如说可显示出他的奸诈,他的两片嘴唇成直线形的,而且相当薄,以致当它们闭拢的时候,几乎完全被压进了嘴巴里。总之,他那大而凸出的颧骨(那是确定的奸诈的证明),他那扁平的前额,他那大得超过耳朵的后脑骨,他那大而庸俗的耳朵,在一位相面先生的眼中,这副尊容实在是不配受人尊敬的,但人们之所以尊敬他,当然是因为他有那几匹雄壮美丽的马,有那佩在前襟上的大钻石,和那从上衣的这一边纽孔拖到那一边纽孔的红缎带。

马夫遵照他的吩咐,上前敲敲门房的窗子,问道:“基督山伯爵是住在这儿吗?”

“大人是住在这儿,”门房回答说。然后他向阿里询问地瞟了一眼,阿里做了一个否定的姿势,于是他又说道,“但是“但是什么?”马夫问道。

“大人今天不会客。”

“那么收下我主人的这张名片吧。是腾格拉尔男爵阁下!别忘了把这张名片交给伯爵,并请转达伯爵,我家主人是到众议院去的路上特地绕道来拜访他的。”

“我是不能和大人说话的,”门房答道,“你的意思可以由贴身跟班代为转达。”马夫回到马车那儿。“怎么样?”腾格拉尔问道,马夫碰了一鼻子灰回来,未免有点生气,就把他和那门房交谈的经过一五一十地都告诉了他的主人。

“噢!”男爵说道,“那么这位先生一定是一位亲王了,他必须被称为大人,除了他的跟班以外谁都无法近他的身。这没有关系,我收到了一张他的由我支付的贷款通知,所以我必须来看他一次,问问他什么时候要钱用。”

于是,腾格拉尔重重地往座位上一靠,用一种从街对面都听得到的高声向他的车夫喊道:“到众议院!”

此时,基督山已经看到了男爵,他一得到男爵来访的通知,就从他楼上的百叶窗里,用一副上等的剧场看演出时用的望远镜。把对方研究了一番,其观察之细密并不亚于腾格拉尔对他房屋,花园和仆人的制服的观察。“那家伙的相貌的确很丑陋,”

伯爵一边把他的望远镜装进一只象牙盒子里,一边用一种厌恶的口吻说道。“前额平坦而微凹,象条赤练蛇;头颅圆圆的,象兀鹰;鼻子又尖又勾,象荒鹫;这样一副尊容为什么大家不一见就厌恶地躲开呢?阿里!”他喊道,并在那面紫铜的铜锣上敲了一下。阿里出现了。“叫贝尔图乔来!”伯爵说道。

贝尔图乔几乎立刻就走了进来。“是大人叫我吗?”他问道。

“不错,”伯爵答道。“你一定看到刚才停在门口的那两匹马了吧?”

“是的,大人,我注意到了它们长得非常俊美。”

“那么这是怎么回事?”基督山皱了皱眉头说道,“我要你给我买巴黎最好的马,可是巴黎还有两匹马象我的马一样漂亮,而那两匹马却不在我的马厩里?”

看到伯爵露出这种不悦的神色以及用如此的口吻说话,阿里的脸色都白了,赶紧低下了头。“这不是你的错,我的好阿里,”伯爵用阿拉伯语说道,而且语气很温和,凡是有感情的人,听了都不能不相信他确是出于至诚的。“这不是你的错。你并没有自认懂得挑选英国马。”

阿里的脸上又显出了欣慰的表情。

“大人,”贝尔图乔说道,“我给您买马的时候,您所讲的那两匹马是不出售的。”

基督山耸了耸肩膀。“管家先生,”他说道,“看来你还不明白:只要肯出钱,一切东西都是肯出卖的。”

“伯爵阁下或许不知道吧?腾格拉尔先生这两匹马是花了一万六千法朗买的。”

“好极了!那么给他三万二,一个银行家是决不肯错过一个让本钱翻番的机会的。”

“大人真的诚心想买吗?”管家问道。

基督山望了望他的管家,象是很惊奇他竟会提出这个问题似的。“我今天傍晚要去拜客,”他说道。“我希望这两匹马能换上全新的鞍具,套在我的车上等在门口。”

贝尔图乔鞠了一躬,看样子是要走了,但当他走到门口的时候,又停了下来说道:“大人准备在几点钟出去拜客?”

“五点钟。”伯爵回答说。

“请大人原谅我冒昧地说一句话,”管家用一种哀求的口吻说道,“现在已经是两点钟了。”

“这我知道。”基督山只回答了这一句话。于是他转过身去对阿里说道,“把我马厩里所有的马都牵到夫人的窗口前面去让她挑选几匹她心爱的配在她的车子上用。再代我问一声,她愿不愿意和我一起用餐,假如她愿意的话,把午餐摆到她的房间里去现在你可以走了,叫我的贴身跟班到这儿来。”

阿里刚一出去跟班就立刻走进房间里来了。

“是巴浦斯汀先生,”伯爵说道,“你已经在我这里干了一年了,我通常总是用一年的时间来判断我手下人的优点或缺点的。你非常合我的意。”巴浦斯汀深深地鞠了一躬。“我现在只想知道究竟我是不是也合你的意?”

“噢,伯爵阁下!”巴浦斯汀急切地大声说道。

“请你听我先把话讲完了,”基督山说道。“你在这儿服务每年可得到一千五百法朗。这比许多勇敢的下级军官,那些经常为国家去冒生命危险的人拿得还多。你吃的饭菜即使那些工作比你辛苦十倍的商店职员和普通官吏,都希望能享用的。

你自己虽也是一个仆人,但却有别的仆人服侍你。而且,除了这一千五百法朗的工资以外,你在代我购买化妆用品上面,一年中还可以另外再赚上我一千五百法朗。”

“噢,大人!”

“我并不是在抱怨你,巴浦斯汀先生,这不算什么过份。可是,我希望这种事应该停止了。你在别的地方决不会有这样的好运气,找到这样一个位置的。我对我手下人并不刻薄,我从不骂人,我不爱动怒,有过错我都能原谅,但决不疏忽或忘记。我的吩咐通常是很简短的,但却很明确,我宁可吩咐两遍,甚至三遍,总要求我所吩咐的话能完听懂。我有足够的钱可以打听到我想知道的一切,而我关照过你,我是非常好奇的。所以,假如我发现你在背后谈论我,批评我的行为,或监视我的举动,你就得立刻离开这里。我警告我的仆人是从来不超出一次的。你现在已经受到警告了,去吧。”巴浦斯汀鞠了一躬,向门口走去。“我忘记告诉你了,”伯爵又说道,‘我为家里的每一个仆人每年都提出一笔相当数目的款子,那些我不得不开除的人当然是得不到这笔钱的,他们的那一份就提作了公积金,留给那些始终跟随着我的仆人,到我死的时候再分。你已经在我手下干了一年了,已经开始有了财产。让它继续增加吧。”

这一番话是当着阿里的面说的,他无动于衷地站在一旁,但对巴浦斯汀先生却产生了很大的作用,这种作用,只有那些曾研究过法国佣人的个性和气质的人才能觉察得到。“我向大人保证,”他说,“我要努力学习,以求在各方面合乎您的心意,我要以阿里先生为榜样。”

“完全不必做,”伯爵用极其严厉的口吻说道,“阿里固然有最出色的优点,但也有许多缺点。所以,不要学他的榜样,阿里是个例外。他从不拿工资,他不是一个仆人,他是我的奴隶,我的狗。要是他办事不称职,我不是开除他,而是杀死他。”巴浦斯汀睁大了眼睛。

“你不相信吗?”基督山说道。他把刚才用法语对巴浦斯汀说的那番话又用阿拉伯语向阿里复述了一遍。那黑奴听了他主人的话,脸上立刻露出同意的微笑,然后单膝跪下,恭恭敬敬地吻了一下伯爵的手。巴浦斯汀先生刚才所受的教训经这一番证实他吓呆了。于是伯爵示意叫那贴身跟班出去又示意叫阿里跟他到他的书房里去,他们在那儿又谈了很久。到了五点钟,伯爵在他的铜锣上连敲了三下。敲一下是召阿里,两下召巴浦斯汀,三下召贝尔图乔,管家进来了。“我的马呢!”

基督山问道。

“已经配在大人的车子上了。伯爵阁下要不要我陪您一起去?”

“不用了,只要车夫,阿里和巴浦斯汀就行了。”

伯爵走到了他的大厦门口,看到那两匹早晨还配在腾格拉尔的车子上、使他羡慕不已的马现在已配在了他自己的车子上。当他走近它们的时候,他说道,“它们的确长得很英俊,你买得不错,尽管已经晚了一点。”

“真的,大人,我弄到它们可真不容易,而且花了一大笔钱呢。”

“你花的那笔钱有没有使它的美丽减色?”伯爵耸耸肩问道。

“没有,只要大人满意,我也就心满意足了。伯爵阁下准备上哪儿去?”

“到安顿大马路腾格拉尔男爵府上去。”

这一番谈话是站在台阶上说的,从台阶上跨下几级石阶便是马车的跑道。贝尔图乔正要走开,伯爵又把他叫了回来。

“我还有一件事叫你去办,贝尔图乔先生,”他说道,“我很想在诺曼底海边购置一处产业。例如,在勒阿弗尔和布洛涅之间这一带就很好。你瞧,我给了你一个很宽的范围。你挑选的地方务必要有一个小港,小溪或小湾,可以让我的帆船进去抛锚。它吃水只有十五。它必须时刻准备在那儿,无论昼夜,无论什么时候,我一发信号,就得立刻出航。去打听一下这样的地方,假如有合适的地点,去看一下,要是它合乎我的要求就立刻用你的名义把它买下来。我想,那只帆船现在一定启程往费康去了,是不是?”

“当然啦,大人,在我们离开马赛的那天晚上,我亲眼看见它出海的。”

“那只游艇呢?”

“奉命留在了马地苟斯。”

“很好!我希望你时常写信给两条船的船长,别让他们在那儿睡大觉。”

“那艘汽船呢?大人对它有什么吩咐吗?”

“它在夏龙,是不是?”

“是的。”

“给它的命令可以和给两艘帆船的一样。”

“我懂了。”

“当你买好那处我想买的产业以后,你就在往南去的路上和往北去的路上每隔三十哩设一个换马的驿站。”

“大人放心交给我去办好了。”

伯爵赞许地微笑了一下,跨下台阶,跳进了马车里,于是,马车就由那两匹用高价买来的骏马拉着,以令人难以相信的速度急驶起来,一直奔到银行家的府邸门前才停住。腾格拉尔此时正在召开一次铁路委员会议。当仆人进来通报来宾姓名的时候,会议已快结束了。一听到伯爵的衔头,他就起身向他的同事(其中有许多是上议院或下议院的议员)宣布说,“诸位,请务必原谅我中途退席,但是,你们猜是怎么回事?罗马的汤姆生·弗伦奇银行介绍了一位所谓基督山伯爵给我,委托我们给他开无限贷款的担保书。我和外国银行的往来虽广,但象这样滑稽的事倒还是第一次遇见,你们大概也猜得到,这件事已引起了我的好奇心。我今天早晨亲自去拜访过那位假伯爵。假如他是一个真的伯爵,他就不会那样有钱。‘大人今天不会客!’你们觉得这句话如何?连皇亲国戚,绝色美女都算在内,有象基督山老板这样狂妄的吗?至于别的,那座房子在我看来倒还富丽堂皇,地点在香榭丽舍大道,而且,我听说,还是他自己的产业。但一个贷款的担保书,”腾格拉尔带着他那种刻毒的微笑继续说道,“倒实在使接受它的银行家非常为难。我想这肯定是个骗局。只是他们不知道他们的对手是谁。谁笑到最后,谁才是笑得最好。”

这一番语气傲慢的话讲完后,男爵简直有点喘不过气来了。他离开了他的客人,走进了一间以金白两色布置的客厅里,这间客厅在安顿大马路很有名气,他特地吩咐把来客引进那个房间,希望以它那眩目的有名气的华丽来压倒对方。他发觉伯爵正在那儿欣赏几幅临摹阿尔巴纳[阿尔巴纳(一五七八—一六六○)意大利画家。——译注]和法托尔[法托尔:意大利画家。——译注]的画品,这几幅画和那俗不可耐的镀金的天花板极不相称,它们虽然只是临摹的复制品,那位银行家却是当作真迹买来的。伯爵听到腾格拉尔进来的声音就转过身来。腾格拉尔略微点了点头,就指着一只圈椅请伯爵就坐,圈椅上配着白缎绣金的椅套。伯爵坐了下来。

“幸会幸会,我想,我是荣幸地在同基督山先生谈话吧?”

伯爵欠了一下身。

“先生想必就是荣誉爵士,众议院的议员,腾格拉尔男爵吧。”他把男爵名片上所能找到的头衔全都背了出来。

这位来宾的话里充满着讽刺意味,腾格拉尔当然都听了出来。他把两片嘴唇紧闭了一会儿,象是先要把自己的怒气抑制下去然后才敢讲话似的。这样过了一会儿,他才转向他的客人说道:“我相信,您一定会原谅我刚才没有称呼您的头衔,但您是知道的,我们现在的政府是一个平民化的政府,而我本人又是平民利益的一个代表。”

“原来如此,”基督山答道,“您自己尽管保存着男爵的头衔,而在称呼别人的时候,却赞成免除他们的头衔。”

“老实说,”腾格拉尔装出一副不在乎的神气说道,“我并不看重这种虚荣,事实上,我已被封为男爵,又被封为了荣誉爵士,因为我为政府效了些微劳,但是——”

“您在学蒙特马伦赛和拉斐叶特[拉斐叶特(一七五七—一八三四),法国资产阶级革命时代的革命家,原为亿爵,因赞成民主政治,自动放弃头衔。——译注]这两位先生的榜样,捐弃了您的头衔是不是?哦,你要是挑选为人处世的模范,除了这两位高贵的先生以外,的确再找不到更好的了。”

“哦,”腾格拉尔神色尴尬地答道,“我的意思并不是说我已完全抛弃了我的头衔。譬如说,对仆人,我认为”

“是的,对您的仆人,您是‘老爷’,对新闻记者,您是‘先生’,对您的宪政民主党员,您是‘公民’。这种区别在一个君主立宪政府的背景之下是非常普遍的。我完全懂得。”

腾格拉尔咬了咬他的嘴唇,知道在这种论争上他显然不是基督山的对手,于是他赶紧改换方向,来谈他比较熟悉的题目。

“伯爵阁下,”他欠了欠身说道,“我收到了罗马汤姆生·弗伦奇银行的一张通知书。”

“我很乐于知道,男爵阁下,我必须向您请求一种特权,请允许我象您的仆人一样地来称呼您,这是一种坏习惯,是从那些虽然不再封赠爵位却还能找得到男爵的国家里学来的。说到那一张通知书,我很高兴它已经到了您的手里,这可以使我不必自我介绍了,因为自我介绍总是很不方便的。那么说,您已经接到通知了?”

“是的,”腾格拉尔说道,“但我承认我没有全看懂。”

“真的吗?”

“为此,我曾专程去拜访过您,想请您把其中的某些部分向我解释一下。”

“现在请说吧,阁下,我就在这儿,而且很愿意帮您弄明白。”

“哦,”腾格拉尔说道,“在那封信里,我相信还带在身边,”

说到这里,他伸手去摸他上衣的内口袋,“是的,在这儿!嗯,这封信授权基督山伯爵阁下可以在我们的银行里无限贷款。”

“请问,那样简单的事实还有什么地方需要解释呢,男爵阁下?”

“没什么别的,阁下,只是这‘无限’两个字。”

“哦,这两个字难道不是法文吗?您知道,写这封信的人是个英德混血儿。”

“噢,这封信的文字是无可争议的,但说到它的可靠性,这就不同了。”

“难道,”伯爵装出一种极其直率的神气和口吻说道,“难道汤姆生·弗伦奇银行已被人认为是不可靠和不能履行债务的银行了吗?见鬼,这真可恶,因为我有很可观的一笔资产在他们手里呢。”

“汤姆生·弗伦奇银行是信誉最高的银行,”腾格拉尔带着一个近乎嘲弄的微笑答道,“我并不是说他们履行债务的信用或能力如何,而是说‘无限’这两个字,这两个字从财务的角度上说太空泛了。”

“您的意思是说它没有一个限度是不是?”基督山说道。

“一点不错,这正是我想说的意思,”腾格拉尔说道,“喏,凡是空泛的东西也就是可疑的东西,而先哲说‘凡是可疑的都是危险的!”

“就是说.”基督山接着说道“尽管汤姆生·弗伦奇银行也许是自愿干蠢事,而腾格拉尔男爵阁下是决不会学他的榜样了。”

“这话怎么讲,伯爵阁下?”

“很简单,就是说,汤姆生·弗伦奇银行的业务是无限的,而腾格拉尔先生的却是有限的,不错,他的确象他刚才所引证的那位先哲一样聪明。”

“阁下!”那银行家带着一种傲慢的神气挺直了身子答道,“我的资金数目或我的业务范围还从来还没有人问过呢。”

“那么,”基督山冷冷地说道,“看来该由我来首先发问了。”

“凭什么权利?”

“凭您要求解释的权利,您的要求看来已表露出您举棋不定呢。”

腾格拉尔咬了一下他的嘴唇。这是他第二次被这个人打败了,而且这一次是败在他自己的阵地上。他的态度虽然客气,却满含着嘲弄,而且几乎到了失礼的程度,完全是一副矫揉造作。基督山却正相反,他脸上带着世界上最温文尔雅的微笑,露出一种直率的神气,他这种态度可以随心所欲地表现出来,使他占了许多便宜。

“好吧,阁下,”在一阵短暂的沉默之后,腾格拉尔又重新拾起话头说道,“我当努力设法来使自己明白这两个字的含意,只请您告诉我您究竟准备要从我这儿提取多大的数目。”

“哦,真的,”基督山回答道,决定丝毫不放弃他所占的优势,“我之所以想要个‘无限’贷款的担保,正是因为我不知道自己要用多少钱。”

那银行家认为这回该轮到他来占上风了。他向圈椅背上用力一靠,带着一种傲慢的神气和富翁的骄矜说道:“请您不必犹豫,只管提出您的要求。到那时您就会知道:腾格拉尔银行的资金不论多么有限,却依旧能应付得了最大数目的贷款,即使您要一百万!”

“对不起,我没听清楚。”基督山插嘴道。

“我是说一百万!”腾格拉尔带着一种目中无人的骄傲神气重复道。

“我拿一百万够做什么用的?”伯爵说道,“上帝啊,阁下,假如我只要一百万我就用不着为这样的一个区区之数来开具担保啦。一百万,我在皮夹里或是首饰盒里只是带着一百万的。”基督山一边说着一边从他的口袋里摸出了一只装名片的小盒子,从盒子里抽出两张每张票面五十万法朗凭票即付的息票来象腾格拉尔这样的人单靠刺激是不够的,要使他屈服就必须完全把他压倒。这当头一棒很奏效,那银行家不禁打了个寒颤,顿时头晕目眩起来。他呆瞪瞪地望着基督山,瞳孔扩得大大的。

“好了”基督山说道,“您老实承认您不十分信任汤姆生·弗伦奇银行的负责能力吧。这种事很简单。我早就想到了有那种可能性,我虽然不是个商人,倒也采取了一些预防措施。这儿还有两封信,是和写给您的那封一样。一封是维也纳阿斯丹·爱斯克里斯银行给罗斯希尔德男爵的,另外一封是伦敦巴林银行给拉费德[拉费德(一七六七—一八四四),法国金融家。——译注]先生的。现在,阁下,您只要说一句话,我就可以免得在这件事上再使您感到不安了,而把我的贷款委托书寄给那两家银行。”

这一场斗争结束了,腾格拉尔被征服了。伯爵很随便地把那两封从德国和伦敦来的信交给了他,而他则战战兢兢地打开信,相验那两个签名的真实性,而且查验得这样仔细,要不是这是那位银行家在头脑不清醒时做出来的举动,无疑是等于在侮辱基督山了。

“噢,阁下!这三个签名要值好几千万哪,”腾格拉尔说道,并站起来向他面前的这位活财神示意致敬。“三家银行的三封无限贷款委托书!原谅我,伯爵阁下,我虽然已不再怀疑了,但却不得不表示惊奇。”

“噢,象您这样的一位银行家是不会这样容易表示惊奇的,”基督山以一种极客气的态度说道。“这么说您可以借点钱给我用了,是不是?”

“说吧,伯爵阁下,我悉听您的吩咐。”

“哦,”基督山答道,“既然我们已互相了解了,我想,大概是这样的吧?”腾格拉尔鞠躬表示同意。“您相信您的头脑里一点儿怀疑都没有了吗?”

“噢,伯爵阁下!”腾格拉尔大声说道,“我丝毫也没怀疑过呀。”

“没有,没有!您只是想确定自己没有冒险而已,但现在我们已经了解得很清楚了,再没有什么不信任或怀疑的地方,那么我们暂且来定个第一年的大约的数目吧——嗯,六百万吧。”

“六百万!”腾格拉尔不由得倒抽了一口冷气,“当然罗,悉听尊便。”

“将来要是不够用的话,”基督山态度非常随便地继续说道,“哦,当然,我会再向您要的,按我目前的打算,我在法国最多不过住一年而已,而在那期间里,我想难得会超过我所提的那个数目。总之,我们将来再说吧。明天请送五十万法朗给我,算是我的第一笔提款。我早晨在家,要是我不在的话,我会把收条留给我的管家的。”

“您所要的钱在明天早晨十点钟送到府上,伯爵阁下,”腾格拉尔答道,“您愿意要什么——金洋、银币、还是钞票?”

“假如方便的话,请给一半金洋,另外那一半给钞票吧。”伯爵一边说,一边站起身来。

“我必须向您承认,伯爵阁下,”腾格拉尔说道,“我一向自以为凡是欧洲的大富翁我没有不知道的,可是您,您的财产似乎也相当多,而我却一无所知。您的财富是最近才有的吗?”

“不,阁下,”基督山答道,“恰恰相反,我的财富起源很古老。最初的遗赠人指定在若干年内不得动用这笔财宝,于是在那期间,由于利息的累积,使资金增加了三倍,不久以前才期满得以动用这笔财富,而到我的手里还是最近几年的事。所以,您对于这件事不知道是极其自然的。但是,关于我和我的财产,您不久就会知道得比较清楚了。”当伯爵说到最后这句话的时候,脸上露出了那种曾使弗兰兹·伊辟楠非常害怕的阴冷的微笑。

“假如我没猜错的话,”腾格拉尔又说道,“您大概很喜欢绘画吧,至少,从我进来的时候看到您对我的画那样注意和欣赏可以看得出来。您既有这种嗜好,收藏的珍品想必也一定琳琅满目吧,相比之下我们这种可怜的小富翁可就暗然失色了。但假如您允许的话,我很高兴领您去看看我的画库,里面都是古代大师的杰作,这一点可以担保。我是看不惯现代派的绘画的。”

“您反对现代派的画是很对的,因为它们有一大共同的缺点——就是它们所经历的时间不长,还不够古老。”

“不然就让我领您去看几幅美丽的人像怎么样?是杜华尔逊[杜华尔逊(一七七○—一八四四),丹麦雕刻家。——译注],巴陀罗尼[巴陀罗尼(一七七七—一八五○)意大利雕刻家。——译注]和卡诺瓦[卡诺瓦(一七五七—一八二二),意大利雕刻家。——译注]的手笔——都是外国艺术家。您大概能看得出,我对我们法国的雕刻家是非常漠视的。”

“您有权轻视他们,阁下,他们是您的同胞嘛。”

“但那些或许可以等到将来我们更熟一点的时候再看。。现在,假如您同意的话,我先介绍您见一下腾格拉尔男爵夫人。请原谅我这样性急,伯爵阁下,但象您这样有钱有势的人,一定会受到十分殷勤的接待的。”

基督山欠了欠身,表示他接受了对方的敬意,于是那金融家立刻摇了摇一只小铃,一个身穿华丽制服的仆人应声而至。

“男爵夫人在不在家?”腾格拉尔问道。

“在的,男爵阁下。”那人回答说。

“没有客人吧?”

“不,男爵阁下,夫人有客人。”

“您想不想见一下夫人的客人?或许您不愿意见生客?”

“不,”基督山带笑答道,“我不敢想能有那种权利。”

“谁和夫人在一起,?是德布雷先生吗?”腾格拉尔带着一种很和蔼的神气问道,基督山看了不禁微笑了一下,象是已看穿了这位银行家家庭生活的秘密似的。

“是的,”那仆人答道,“是德布雷先生和夫人在一起。”

腾格拉尔点了点头,然后转向基督山说道,“吕西安·德布雷先生是我们的老朋友,他是内政部长的私人秘书。至于我的太太,我必须先告诉您,她嫁给我是委屈了她的,因为她出身于法国历史最悠久的家庭。她的娘家姓萨尔维欧,她的前夫是陆军上校奈刚尼男爵。”

“我虽还没有拜见腾格拉尔夫人的荣幸,但吕西安·德布雷先生我已经见过了。”

“啊,真的!”腾格拉尔说道,“在哪儿见过的?”

“在马尔塞夫先生家里。”

“噢!您认识子爵?”

“我们在罗马一同度狂欢节的。”

“对罗,对罗!”腾格拉尔大声说道。“让我想想看。我听人谈起过他在废墟里遇到的一件稀奇古怪的事,他碰到了强盗或是小偷什么的,后来又神奇地逃了出来!究竟是怎么回事我给忘记了,但我知道他从意大利回来以后,便常常把那件事讲给我的太太和女儿听。”

“男爵夫人有请二位,”那仆人这时说道,原来他已经去问过他的女主人了。“对不起,”腾格拉尔鞠了一躬说道,“我先走一步,给您引路。”

“请便,”基督山答道,“我跟着您。”
 

ABOUT TWO o'clock the following day a calash, drawn by a pair of magnificent English horses, stopped at the door of Monte Cristo and a person, dressed in a blue coat, with buttons of a similar color, a white waistcoat, over which was displayed a massive gold chain, brown trousers, and a quantity of black hair descending so low over his eyebrows as to leave it doubtful whether it were not artificial so little did its jetty glossiness assimilate with the deep wrinkles stamped on his features--a person, in a word, who, although evidently past fifty, desired to be taken for not more than forty, bent forwards from the carriage door, on the panels of which were emblazoned the armorial bearings of a baron, and directed his groom to inquire at the porter's lodge whether the Count of Monte Cristo resided there, and if he were within. While waiting, the occupant of the carriage surveyed the house, the garden as far as he could distinguish it, and the livery of servants who passed to and fro, with an attention so close as to be somewhat impertinent. His glance was keen but showed cunning rather than intelligence; his lips were straight, and so thin that, as they closed, they were drawn in over the teeth; his cheek-bones were broad and projecting, a never-failing proof of audacity and craftiness; while the flatness of his forehead, and the enlargement of the back of his skull, which rose much higher than his large and coarsely shaped ears, combined to form a physiognomy anything but prepossessing, save in the eyes of such as considered that the owner of so splendid an equipage must needs be all that was admirable and enviable, more especially when they gazed on the enormous diamond that glittered in his shirt, and the red ribbon that depended from his button-hole.

The groom, in obedience to his orders, tapped at the window of the porter's lodge, saying, "Pray, does not the Count of Monte Cristo live here?"

"His excellency does reside here," replied the concièrge; "but"--added he, glancing an inquiring look at Ali. Ali returned a sign in the negative. "But what?" asked the groom.

"His excellency does not receive visitors to-day."

"Then here is my master's card,--the Baron Danglars. You will take it to the count, and say that, although in haste to attend the Chamber, my master came out of his way to have the honor of calling upon him."

"I never speak to his excellency," replied the concièrge; "the valet de chambre will carry your message." The groom returned to the carriage. "Well?" asked Danglars. The man, somewhat crest-fallen by the rebuke he had received, repeated what the concièrge had said. "Bless me," murmured Baron Danglars, "this must surely be a prince instead of a count by their styling him 'excellency,' and only venturing to address him by the medium of his valet de chambre. However, it does not signify; he has a letter of credit on me, so I must see him when he requires his money."

Then, throwing himself back in his carriage, Danglars called out to his coachman, in a voice that might be heard across the road, "To the Chamber of Deputies."

Apprised in time of the visit paid him, Monte Cristo had, from behind the blinds of his pavilion, as minutely observed the baron, by means of an excellent lorgnette, as Danglars himself had scrutinized the house, garden, and servants. "That fellow has a decidedly bad countenance," said the count in a tone of disgust, as he shut up his glass into its ivory case. "How comes it that all do not retreat in aversion at sight of that flat, receding, serpent-like forehead, round, vulture-shaped head, and sharp-hooked nose, like the beak of a buzzard? Ali," cried he, striking at the same time on the brazen gong. Ali appeared. "Summon Bertuccio," said the count. Almost immediately Bertuccio entered the apartment. "Did your excellency desire to see me?" inquired he. "I did," replied the count. "You no doubt observed the horses standing a few minutes since at the door?"

"Certainly, your excellency. I noticed them for their remarkable beauty."

"Then how comes it," said Monte Cristo with a frown, "that, when I desired you to purchase for me the finest pair of horses to be found in Paris, there is another pair, fully as fine as mine, not in my stables?" At the look of displeasure, added to the angry tone in which the count spoke, Ali turned pale and held down his head. "It is not your fault, my good Ali," said the count in the Arabic language, and with a gentleness none would have thought him capable of showing, either in voice or face--"it is not your fault. You do not understand the points of English horses." The countenance of poor Ali recovered its serenity. "Permit me to assure your excellency," said Bertuccio, "that the horses you speak of were not to be sold when I purchased yours." Monte Cristo shrugged his shoulders. "It seems, sir steward," said he, "that you have yet to learn that all things are to be sold to such as care to pay the price."

"His excellency is not, perhaps, aware that M. Danglars gave 16,000 francs for his horses?"

"Very well. Then offer him double that sum; a banker never loses an opportunity of doubling his capital."

"Is your excellency really in earnest?" inquired the steward. Monte Cristo regarded the person who durst presume to doubt his words with the look of one equally surprised and displeased. "I have to pay a visit this evening," replied he. "I desire that these horses, with completely new harness, may be at the door with my carriage." Bertuccio bowed, and was about to retire; but when he reached the door, he paused, and then said, "At what o'clock does your excellency wish the carriage and horses to be ready?"

"At five o'clock," replied the count.

"I beg your excellency's pardon," interposed the steward in a deprecating manner, "for venturing to observe that it is already two o'clock."

"I am perfectly aware of that fact," answered Monte Cristo calmly. Then, turning towards Ali, he said, "Let all the horses in my stables be led before the windows of your young lady, that she may select those she prefers for her carriage. Request her also to oblige me by saying whether it is her pleasure to dine with me; if so, let dinner be served in her apartments. Now, leave me, and desire my valet de chambre to come hither." Scarcely had Ali disappeared when the valet entered the chamber. "Monsieur Baptistin," said the count, "you have been in my service one year, the time I generally give myself to judge of the merits or demerits of those about me. You suit me very well." Baptistin bowed low. "It only remains for me to know whether I also suit you?"

"Oh, your excellency!" exclaimed Baptistin eagerly.

"Listen, if you please, till I have finished speaking," replied Monte Cristo. "You receive 1,500 francs per annum for your services here--more than many a brave subaltern, who continually risks his life for his country, obtains. You live in a manner far superior to many clerks who work ten times harder than you do for their money. Then, though yourself a servant, you have other servants to wait upon you, take care of your clothes, and see that your linen is duly prepared for you. Again, you make a profit upon each article you purchase for my toilet, amounting in the course of a year to a sum equalling your wages."

"Nay, indeed, your excellency."

"I am not condemning you for this, Monsieur Baptistin; but let your profits end here. It would be long indeed ere you would find so lucrative a post as that you have how the good fortune to fill. I neither ill-use nor ill-treat my servants by word or action. An error I readily forgive, but wilful negligence or forgetfulness, never. My commands are ordinarily short, clear, and precise; and I would rather be obliged to repeat my words twice, or even three times, than they should be misunderstood. I am rich enough to know whatever I desire to know, and I can promise you I am not wanting in curiosity. If, then, I should learn that you had taken upon yourself to speak of me to any one favorably or unfavorably, to comment on my actions, or watch my conduct, that very instant you would quit my service. You may now retire. I never caution my servants a second time--remember that." Baptistin bowed, and was proceeding towards the door. "I forgot to mention to you," said the count, "that I lay yearly aside a certain sum for each servant in my establishment; those whom I am compelled to dismiss lose (as a matter of course) all participation in this money, while their portion goes to the fund accumulating for those domestics who remain with me, and among whom it will be divided at my death. You have been in my service a year, your fund has already begun to accumulate--let it continue to do so."

This address, delivered in the presence of Ali, who, not understanding one word of the language in which it was spoken, stood wholly unmoved, produced an effect on M. Baptistin only to be conceived by such as have occasion to study the character and disposition of French domestics. "I assure your excellency," said he, "that at least it shall be my study to merit your approbation in all things, and I will take M. Ali as my model."

"By no means," replied the count in the most frigid tones; "Ali has many faults mixed with most excellent qualities. He cannot possibly serve you as a pattern for your conduct, not being, as you are, a paid servant, but a mere slave--a dog, who, should he fail in his duty towards me, I should not discharge from my service, but kill." Baptistin opened his eyes with astonishment.

"You seen incredulous," said Monte Cristo who repeated to Ali in the Arabic language what he had just been saying to Baptistin in French. The Nubian smiled assentingly to his master's words, then, kneeling on one knee, respectfully kissed the hand of the count. This corroboration of the lesson he had just received put the finishing stroke to the wonder and stupefaction of M. Baptistin. The count then motioned the valet de chambre to retire, and to Ali to follow to his study, where they conversed long and earnestly together. As the hand of the clock pointed to five the count struck thrice upon his gong. When Ali was wanted one stroke was given, two summoned Baptistin, and three Bertuccio. The steward entered. "My horses," said Monte Cristo.

"They are at the door harnessed to the carriage as your excellency desired. Does your excellency wish me to accompany him?"

"No, the coachman, Ali, and Baptistin will go." The count descended to the door of his mansion, and beheld his carriage drawn by the very pair of horses he had so much admired in the morning as the property of Danglars. As he passed them he said--"They are extremely handsome certainly, and you have done well to purchase them, although you were somewhat remiss not to have procured them sooner."

"Indeed, your excellency, I had very considerable difficulty in obtaining them, and, as it is, they have cost an enormous price."

"Does the sum you gave for them make the animals less beautiful," inquired the count, shrugging his shoulders.

"Nay, if your excellency is satisfied, it is all that I could wish. Whither does your excellency desire to be driven?"

"To the residence of Baron Danglars, Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin." This conversation had passed as they stood upon the terrace, from which a flight of stone steps led to the carriage-drive. As Bertuccio, with a respectful bow, was moving away, the count called him back. "I have another commission for you, M. Bertuccio," said he; "I am desirous of having an estate by the seaside in Normandy--for instance, between Havre and Boulogne. You see I give you a wide range. It will be absolutely necessary that the place you may select have a small harbor, creek, or bay, into which my corvette can enter and remain at anchor. She draws only fifteen feet. She must be kept in constant readiness to sail immediately I think proper to give the signal. Make the requisite inquiries for a place of this description, and when you have met with an eligible spot, visit it, and if it possess the advantages desired, purchase it at once in your own name. The corvette must now, I think, be on her way to Fécamp, must she not?"

"Certainly, your excellency; I saw her put to sea the same evening we quitted Marseilles."

"And the yacht."

"Was ordered to remain at Martigues."

"'Tis well. I wish you to write from time to time to the captains in charge of the two vessels so as to keep them on the alert."

"And the steamboat?"

"She is at Chalons?"

"Yes."

"The same orders for her as for the two sailing vessels."

"Very good."

"When you have purchased the estate I desire, I want constant relays of horses at ten leagues apart along the northern and southern road."

"Your excellency may depend upon me." The Count made a gesture of satisfaction, descended the terrace steps, and sprang into his carriage, which was whirled along swiftly to the banker's house. Danglars was engaged at that moment, presiding over a railroad committee. But the meeting was nearly concluded when the name of his visitor was announced. As the count's title sounded on his ear he rose, and addressing his colleagues, who were members of one or the other Chamber, he said,--"Gentlemen, pardon me for leaving you so abruptly; but a most ridiculous circumstance has occurred, which is this,--Thomson & French, the Roman bankers, have sent to me a certain person calling himself the Count of Monte Cristo, and have given him an unlimited credit with me. I confess this is the drollest thing I have ever met with in the course of my extensive foreign transactions, and you may readily suppose it has greatly roused my curiosity. I took the trouble this morning to call on the pretended count--if he were a real count he wouldn't be so rich. But, would you believe it, 'He was not receiving.' So the master of Monte Cristo gives himself airs befitting a great millionaire or a capricious beauty. I made inquiries, and found that the house in the Champs Elysées is his own property, and certainly it was very decently kept up. But," pursued Danglars with one of his sinister smiles, "an order for unlimited credit calls for something like caution on the part of the banker to whom that order is given. I am very anxious to see this man. I suspect a hoax is intended, but the instigators of it little knew whom they had to deal with. 'They laugh best who laugh last!'"

Having delivered himself of this pompous address, uttered with a degree of energy that left the baron almost out of breath, he bowed to the assembled party and withdrew to his drawing-room, whose sumptuous furnishings of white and gold had caused a great sensation in the Chaussée d'Antin. It was to this apartment he had desired his guest to be shown, with the purpose of overwhelming him at the sight of so much luxury. He found the count standing before some copies of Albano and Fattore that had been passed off to the banker as originals; but which, mere copies as they were, seemed to feel their degradation in being brought into juxtaposition with the gaudy colors that covered the ceiling. The count turned round as he heard the entrance of Danglars into the room. With a slight inclination of the head, Danglars signed to the count to be seated, pointing significantly to a gilded arm-chair, covered with white satin embroidered with gold. The count sat down. "I have the honor, I presume, of addressing M. de Monte Cristo."

The count bowed. "And I of speaking to Baron Danglars, chevalier of the Legion of Honor, and member of the Chamber of Deputies?"

Monte Cristo repeated all the titles he had read on the baron's card.

Danglars felt the irony and compressed his lips. "You will, I trust, excuse me, monsieur, for not calling you by your title when I first addressed you," he said, "but you are aware that we are living under a popular form of government, and that I am myself a representative of the liberties of the people."

"So much so," replied Monte Cristo, "that while you call yourself baron you are not willing to call anybody else count."

"Upon my word, monsieur," said Danglars with affected carelessness, "I attach no sort of value to such empty distinctions; but the fact is, I was made baron, and also chevalier of the Legion of Honor, in return for services rendered, but"--

"But you have discarded your titles after the example set you by Messrs. de Montmorency and Lafayette? That was a noble example to follow, monsieur."

"Why," replied Danglars, "not entirely so; with the servants,--you understand."

"I see; to your domestics you are 'my lord,' the journalists style you 'monsieur,' while your constituents call you 'citizen.' These are distinctions very suitable under a constitutional government. I understand perfectly." Again Danglars bit his lips; he saw that he was no match for Monte Cristo in an argument of this sort, and he therefore hastened to turn to subjects more congenial.

"Permit me to inform you, Count," said he, bowing, "that I have received a letter of advice from Thomson & French, of Rome."

"I am glad to hear it, baron,--for I must claim the privilege of addressing you after the manner of your servants. I have acquired the bad habit of calling persons by their titles from living in a country where barons are still barons by right of birth. But as regards the letter of advice, I am charmed to find that it has reached you; that will spare me the troublesome and disagreeable task of coming to you for money myself. You have received a regular letter of advice?"

"Yes," said Danglars, "but I confess I didn't quite comprehend its meaning."

"Indeed?"

"And for that reason I did myself the honor of calling upon you, in order to beg for an explanation."

"Go on, monsieur. Here I am, ready to give you any explanation you desire."

"Why," said Danglers, "in the letter--I believe I have it about me"--here he felt in his breast-pocket--"yes, here it is. Well, this letter gives the Count of Monte Cristo unlimited credit on our house."

"Well, baron, what is there difficult to understand about that?"

"Merely the term unlimited--nothing else, certainly."

"Is not that word known in France? The people who wrote are Anglo-Germans, you know."

"Oh, as for the composition of the letter, there is nothing to be said; but as regards the competency of the document, I certainly have doubts."

"Is it possible?" asked the count, assuming all air and tone of the utmost simplicity and candor. "Is it possible that Thomson & French are not looked upon as safe and solvent bankers? Pray tell me what you think, baron, for I feel uneasy, I can assure you, having some considerable property in their hands."

"Thomson & French are perfectly solvent," replied Danglars, with an almost mocking smile: "but the word unlimited, in financial affairs, is so extremely vague."

"Is, in fact, unlimited," said Monte Cristo.

"Precisely what I was about to say," cried Danglars. "Now what is vague is doubtful; and it was a wise man who said, 'when in doubt, keep out.'"

"Meaning to say," rejoined Monte Cristo, "that however Thomson & French may be inclined to commit acts of imprudence and folly, the Baron Danglars is not disposed to follow their example."

"Not at all."

"Plainly enough. Messrs. Thomson & French set no bounds to their engagements while those of M. Danglars have their limits; he is a wise man, according to his own showing."

"Monsieur," replied the banker, drawing himself up with a haughty air, "the extent of my resources has never yet been questioned."

"It seems, then, reserved for me," said Monte Cristo coldly, "to be the first to do so."

"By what right, sir?"

"By right of the objections you have raised, and the explanations you have demanded, which certainly must have some motive."

Once more Danglars bit his lips. It was the second time he had been worsted, and this time on his own ground. His forced politeness sat awkwardly upon him, and approached almost to impertinence. Monte Cristo on the contrary, preserved a graceful suavity of demeanor, aided by a certain degree of simplicity he could assume at pleasure, and thus possessed the advantage.

"Well, sir," resumed Danglars, after a brief silence, "I will endeavor to make myself understood, by requesting you to inform me for what sum you propose to draw upon me?"

"Why, truly," replied Monte Cristo, determined not to lose an inch of the ground he had gained, "my reason for desiring an 'unlimited' credit was precisely because I did not know how much money I might need."

The banker thought the time had come for him to take the upper hand. So throwing himself back in his arm-chair, he said, with an arrogant and purse-proud air,--"Let me beg of you not to hesitate in naming your wishes; you will then be convinced that the resources of the house of Danglars, however limited, are still equal to meeting the largest demands; and were you even to require a million"--

"I beg your pardon," interposed Monte Cristo.

"I said a million," replied Danglars, with the confidence of ignorance.

"But could I do with a million?" retorted the count. "My dear sir, if a trifle like that could suffice me, I should never have given myself the trouble of opening an account. A million? Excuse my smiling when you speak of a sum I am in the habit of carrying in my pocket-book or dressing-case." And with these words Monte Cristo took from his pocket a small case containing his visiting-cards, and drew forth two orders on the treasury for 500,000 francs each, payable at sight to the bearer. A man like Danglars was wholly inaccessible to any gentler method of correction. The effect of the present revelation was stunning; he trembled and was on the verge of apoplexy. The pupils of his eyes, as he gazed at Monte Cristo dilated horribly.

"Come, come," said Monte Cristo, "confess honestly that you have not perfect confidence in Thomson & French. I understand, and foreseeing that such might be the case, I took, in spite of my ignorance of affairs, certain precautions. See, here are two similar letters to that you have yourself received; one from the house of Arstein & Eskeles of Vienna, to Baron Rothschild, the other drawn by Baring of London, upon M. Laffitte. Now, sir, you have but to say the word, and I will spare you all uneasiness by presenting my letter of credit to one or other of these two firms." The blow had struck home, and Danglars was entirely vanquished; with a trembling hand he took the two letters from the count, who held them carelessly between finger and thumb, and proceeded to scrutinize the signatures, with a minuteness that the count might have regarded as insulting, had it not suited his present purpose to mislead the banker. "Oh, sir," said Danglars, after he had convinced himself of the authenticity of the documents he held, and rising as if to salute the power of gold personified in the man before him,--"three letters of unlimited credit! I can be no longer mistrustful, but you must pardon me, my dear count, for confessing to some degree of astonishment."

"Nay," answered Monte Cristo, with the most gentlemanly air, "'tis not for such trifling sums as these that your banking house is to be incommoded. Then, you can let me have some money, can you not?"

"Whatever you say, my dear count; I am at your orders."

"Why," replied Monte Cristo, "since we mutually understand each other--for such I presume is the case?" Danglars bowed assentingly. "You are quite sure that not a lurking doubt or suspicion lingers in your mind?"

"Oh, my dear count," exclaimed Danglars, "I never for an instant entertained such a feeling towards you."

"No, you merely wished to be convinced, nothing more; but now that we have come to so clear an understanding, and that all distrust and suspicion are laid at rest, we may as well fix a sum as the probable expenditure of the first year, suppose we say six millions to"--

"Six millions!" gasped Danglars--"so be it."

"Then, if I should require more," continued Monte Cristo in a careless manner, "why, of course, I should draw upon you; but my present intention is not to remain in France more than a year, and during that period I scarcely think I shall exceed the sum I mentioned. However, we shall see. Be kind enough, then, to send me 500,000 francs to-morrow. I shall be at home till midday, or if not, I will leave a receipt with my steward."

"The money you desire shall be at your house by ten o'clock to-morrow morning, my dear count," replied Danglars. "How would you like to have it? in gold, silver, or notes?"

"Half in gold, and the other half in bank-notes, if you please," said the count, rising from his seat.

"I must confess to you, count," said Danglars, "that I have hitherto imagined myself acquainted with the degree of all the great fortunes of Europe, and still wealth such as yours has been wholly unknown to me. May I presume to ask whether you have long possessed it?"

"It has been in the family a very long while," returned Monte Cristo, "a sort of treasure expressly forbidden to be touched for a certain period of years, during which the accumulated interest has doubled the capital. The period appointed by the testator for the disposal of these riches occurred only a short time ago, and they have only been employed by me within the last few years. Your ignorance on the subject, therefore, is easily accounted for. However, you will be better informed as to me and my possessions ere long." And the count, while pronouncing these latter words, accompanied them with one of those ghastly smiles that used to strike terror into poor Franz d'Epinay.

"With your tastes, and means of gratifying them," continued Danglars, "you will exhibit a splendor that must effectually put us poor miserable millionaires quite in the shade. If I mistake not you are an admirer of paintings, at least I judged so from the attention you appeared to be bestowing on mine when I entered the room. If you will permit me, I shall be happy to show you my picture gallery, composed entirely of works by the ancient masters--warranted as such. Not a modern picture among them. I cannot endure the modern school of painting."

"You are perfectly right in objecting to them, for this one great fault--that they have not yet had time to become old."

"Or will you allow me to show you several fine statues by Thorwaldsen, Bartoloni, and Canova?--all foreign artists, for, as you may perceive, I think but very indifferently of our French sculptors."

"You have a right to be unjust to them, monsieur; they are your compatriots."

"But all this may come later, when we shall be better known to each other. For the present, I will confine myself (if perfectly agreeable to you) to introducing you to the Baroness Danglars--excuse my impatience, my dear count, but a client like you is almost like a member of the family." Monte Cristo bowed, in sign that he accepted the proffered honor; Danglars rang and was answered by a servant in a showy livery. "Is the baroness at home?" inquired Danglars.

"Yes, my lord," answered the man.

"And alone?"

"No, my lord, madame has visitors."

"Have you any objection to meet any persons who may be with madame, or do you desire to preserve a strict incognito?"

"No, indeed," replied Monte Cristo with a smile, "I do not arrogate to myself the right of so doing."

"And who is with madame?--M. Debray?" inquired Danglars, with an air of indulgence and good-nature that made Monte Cristo smile, acquainted as he was with the secrets of the banker's domestic life.

"Yes, my lord," replied the servant, "M. Debray is with madame." Danglars nodded his head; then, turning to Monte Cristo, said, "M. Lucien Debray is an old friend of ours, and private secretary to the Minister of the Interior. As for my wife, I must tell you, she lowered herself by marrying me, for she belongs to one of the most ancient families in France. Her maiden name was De Servières, and her first husband was Colonel the Marquis of Nargonne."

"I have not the honor of knowing Madame Danglars; but I have already met M. Lucien Debray."

"Ah, indeed?" said Danglars; "and where was that?"

"At the house of M. de Morcerf."

"Ah, ha, you are acquainted with the young viscount, are you?"

"We were together a good deal during the Carnival at Rome."

"True, true," cried Danglars. "Let me see; have I not heard talk of some strange adventure with bandits or thieves hid in ruins, and of his having had a miraculous escape? I forget how, but I know he used to amuse my wife and daughter by telling them about it after his return from Italy."

"Her ladyship is waiting to receive you, gentlemen," said the servant, who had gone to inquire the pleasure of his mistress. "With your permission," said Danglars, bowing, "I will precede you, to show you the way."

"By all means," replied Monte Cristo; "I follow you."
 



山东福彩群英会走势图 加拿大开奖结果查询 江苏十一选五 天天pk10计划软件 天津时时彩号码分部图
360彩票北京快乐8 白小姐网址 金牛足球彩票 快三平台 福建22选5中奖结果
安徽11选五基本走势图 河南22选5开奖 三分时时彩是正规的吗 三个半单双中特 重庆时时彩骗局
山西快乐十分开奖结果 广东快乐十分走势图 江西时时彩怎么不开了 秒速飞艇开奖号码 新疆风采35选7走势图