"Does any one know anything of a Count of Monte Cristo?"
"Monte Cristo is a little island I have often heard spoken of by the old sailors my father employed -- a grain of sand in the centre of the Mediterranean, an atom in the infinite."
"Which means that my Count of Monte Cristo is one of those fishermen.
"Yes," said Albert, "but this has nothing to do with the existence of the Count of Monte Cristo."
"At the same time," added Chateau-Renaud, "your Count of Monte Cristo is a very fine fellow, always excepting his little arrangements with the Italian banditti."
But the sound of the clock had not died away when Germain announced, "His excellency the Count of Monte Cristo." The involuntary start every one gave proved how much Morcerf's narrative had impressed them, and Albert himself could not wholly refrain from manifesting sudden emotion.
And we have just heard," continued Albert, "of a new deed of his, and so heroic a one, that, although I have seen him to-day for the first time, I request you to allow me to introduce him as my friend." At these words it was still possible to observe in Monte Cristo the concentrated look, changing color, and slight trembling of the eyelid that show emotion.
"In reality," replied the latter, who, with his aristocratic glance and his knowledge of the world, had penetrated at once all that was penetrable in Monte Cristo, "Albert has not deceived us, for the count is a most singular being.
"Yes," said Monte Cristo; "but, unfortunately, a recipe excellent for a man like myself would be very dangerous applied to an army, which might not awake when it was needed."
"Oh, yes," returned Monte Cristo; "I make no secret of it.
"Oh, no, monsieur," replied Monte Cristo; "I do not thus betray my enjoyments to the vulgar.
"I had three similar ones," returned Monte Cristo. "I gave one to the Sultan, who mounted it in his sabre; another to our holy father the Pope, who had it set in his tiara, opposite to one nearly as large, though not so fine, given by the Emperor Napoleon to his predecessor, Pius VII.