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= ROOT|Alexandre_Dumas|The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo-99.txt =

page 618 of 618



heaven still glittered a few remaining stars. Morrel soon
perceived a man standing among the rocks, apparently
awaiting a sign from them to advance, and pointed him out to
Valentine. "Ah, it is Jacopo," she said, "the captain of the
yacht;" and she beckoned him towards them.

"Do you wish to speak to us?" asked Morrel.

"I have a letter to give you from the count."

"From the count!" murmured the two young people.

"Yes; read it." Morrel opened the letter, and read: --

"My Dear Maximilian, --

"There is a felucca for you at anchor. Jacopo will carry you
to Leghorn, where Monsieur Noirtier awaits his
granddaughter, whom he wishes to bless before you lead her
to the altar. All that is in this grotto, my friend, my
house in the Champs Elysees, and my chateau at Treport, are
the marriage gifts bestowed by Edmond Dantes upon the son of
his old master, Morrel. Mademoiselle de Villefort will share
them with you; for I entreat her to give to the poor the
immense fortune reverting to her from her father, now a
madman, and her brother who died last September with his
mother. Tell the angel who will watch over your future
destiny, Morrel, to pray sometimes for a man, who like Satan
thought himself for an instant equal to God, but who now
acknowledges with Christian humility that God alone
possesses supreme power and infinite wisdom. Perhaps those
prayers may soften the remorse he feels in his heart. As for
you, Morrel, this is the secret of my conduct towards you.
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is
only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more.
He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience
supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die,
Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living.

"Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and
never forget that until the day when God shall deign to
reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in
these two words, -- `Wait and hope.' Your friend,

"Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo."

During the perusal of this letter, which informed Valentine
for the first time of the madness of her father and the
death of her brother, she became pale, a heavy sigh escaped
from her bosom, and tears, not the less painful because they
were silent, ran down her cheeks; her happiness cost her
very dear. Morrel looked around uneasily. "But," he said,
"the count's generosity is too overwhelming; Valentine will
be satisfied with my humble fortune. Where is the count,
friend? Lead me to him." Jacopo pointed towards the horizon.
"What do you mean?" asked Valentine. "Where is the count? --
where is Haidee?"

"Look!" said Jacopo.

The eyes of both were fixed upon the spot indicated by the
sailor, and on the blue line separating the sky from the
Mediterranean Sea, they perceived a large white sail.
"Gone," said Morrel; "gone! -- adieu, my friend -- adieu, my
father!"

"Gone," murmured Valentine; "adieu, my sweet Haidee --
adieu, my sister!"

"Who can say whether we shall ever see them again?" said
Morrel with tearful eyes.

"Darling," replied Valentine, "has not the count just told
us that all human wisdom is summed up in two words? -- `Wait
and hope.'"





End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas

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