The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

by

Alexandre Dumas

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M. de Villefort Character Analysis

The deputy crown prosecutor in Marseille at the start of the novel, Villefort condemns Dantes to prison after he realizes that Dantes could publicize Villefort’s father’s relationship to Bonaparte. From the beginning, Villefort is ruthlessly devoted to his career, which is imperiled by his father’s Bonapartist sympathies. His first marriage, to the Saint-Merans family, is designed to maximize Villefort’s Royalist credentials (thereby counterbalancing his father’s politics). When his first wife passes away, Villefort marries Heloise, believing that this, too, is a socially-prominent match. But as Villefort realizes that Heloise is poisoning members of the family so that their son Edouard will become sole heir to the family fortune (and when it is revealed that Villefort fathered a child with Hermine Danglars out of wedlock), he can no longer protect his family name. He is disgraced at court and falls into madness, just as Dantes wanted.

M. de Villefort Quotes in The Count of Monte Cristo

The The Count of Monte Cristo quotes below are all either spoken by M. de Villefort or refer to M. de Villefort. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Count of Monte Cristo published in 2003.
Chapter 12 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: M. de Noirtier-Villefort (speaker), M. de Villefort, Louis XVIII
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 62 Quotes

You mean, I didn’t kill him?

Come, come ...

But he isn’t dead?

No, he isn’t, as you can very well see. Instead of striking him between the sixth and seventh left rib, as your compatriots usually do, you must have struck higher or lower; and these lawyers, you know, are not easy to kill off.

Page Number: 694
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 80 Quotes

How odd it was! For all the confused feelings that he experienced on seeing [Valentine’s] tears, he also managed to observe Mme de Villefort; and it seemed to him that a faint, dark smile passed briefly across her thin lips, like one of those sinister meteors that can be glimpsed as they fall between two clouds against a stormy day.

Page Number: 895
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 99 Quotes

But in the end, since I myself failed and was found wanting—more profoundly perhaps than other men; well, since that time I have shaken out their clothes to discover a blemish, and I have always found it; I will say more: I have found it with joy, this evidence of human weakness and perversity.

Related Characters: M. de Villefort (speaker), Baroness Hermine Danglars
Page Number: 1077
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 103 Quotes

You see, the angel for whom you longed has left this earth. She no longer needs the adoration of men – she, who, at this moment, is adoring the Lord. So say your farewells, Monsieur, to these sad remains that she has left behind among us.

Related Characters: M. de Villefort (speaker), Maximilien Morrel, Valentine de Villefort
Page Number: 1099
Explanation and Analysis:
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M. de Villefort Character Timeline in The Count of Monte Cristo

The timeline below shows where the character M. de Villefort appears in The Count of Monte Cristo. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6 – The Deputy Crown Prosecutor
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...another betrothal feast, but this time of the “cream of Marseille’s society.” A man named Villefort, the deputy crown prosecutor, is to be married to Renee Saint-Meran, daughter of the Saint-Meran... (full context)
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What follows is a long conversation on the state of current French politics and Villefort’s place in them. Villefort assures Renee’s parents—especially her insistent mother—that he is a committed Royalist... (full context)
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As if on cue, a messenger arrives at the feast, interrupting the conversation, and hands Villefort a copy of the denunciation letter against Dantes. The messenger tells Villefort that, since the... (full context)
Chapter 7 – The Interrogation
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The narrator briefly describes Villefort as twenty-six, about to marry into a Royalist family, eager to advance in his role... (full context)
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Villefort is struck by Dantes’ apparent intelligence, which he sees in the young man’s eyes. Dantes... (full context)
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Villefort, however, does not free Dantes right away, but instead asks him his version of the... (full context)
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Villefort is aghast at this revelation, as Noirtier is his own father, though Villefort says nothing... (full context)
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After reading the letter, Villefort says that some serious evidence might be found within it against Dantes’ case. And so... (full context)
Chapter 8 – The Chateau D’If
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Gendarmes move Dantes to a small jail on the mainland, where Dantes expects, per Villefort’s word, that he will be released the next morning after the matter of his supposed... (full context)
Chapter 9 – The Evening of the Betrothal
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...the various characters on the night that Dantes is being shipped to the Chateau D’If. Villefort goes back to the Saint-Merans, where he meets privately with the Marquis and convinces him... (full context)
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Mercedes waits outside the door of Villefort’s home, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man, but he brushes her aside, telling... (full context)
Chapter 10 – The Little Cabinet in the Tuileries
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The narrator describes Villefort’s arrival at the Tuileries, where Louis XVIII has been half-heartedly reading Horace to himself and... (full context)
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Villefort is brought in to speak to the king. He tells Louis, falsely, that the man... (full context)
Chapter 11 – The Corsican Ogre
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Courtiers rush into the king’s study, where he is still standing with Villefort, to say that Napoleon has in fact returned to France from Elba. A rebellion really... (full context)
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...present, were not able to learn of Bonaparte’s planned rebellion or his arrival in France. Villefort skillfully handles himself in his audience with Louis, the Minister of Police, and other courtiers,... (full context)
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Louis dismisses the men and sends Villefort back to Marseille, where he can be “of service” to the crown; the king tells... (full context)
Chapter 12 – Father and Son
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...his astonished son, who does not force him to leave. Noirtier seems to understand that Villefort has thrown in his lot with the Royalist cause, whereas Noirtier is convinced, as he... (full context)
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Villefort himself is torn between feelings of loyalty to his father and loyalty to his own... (full context)
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Villefort is amazed at his father’s smoothness, even as he worries about his own career, about... (full context)
Chapter 13 – The Hundred Days
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...fled with his Royalists, Morrel believes that he can once again plead his case to Villefort. Morrel is emboldened because he himself has Bonapartist sympathies, though muted, and Villefort has somehow... (full context)
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Morrel meets with Villefort in his office, and Villefort pretends not to have remembered the imprisonment of the man... (full context)
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Morrel is overjoyed to hear this. Villefort does indeed write a letter before Morrel, saying that Dantes was one of Bonaparte’s greatest... (full context)
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And indeed, Bonaparte does fall—the narrator passes over Waterloo in a sentence. Villefort maintains his post in the Royalist government, professing that he only did what he had... (full context)
Chapter 14 – The Raving Prisoner and the Mad One
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...of the prison. But Dantes insists that he has committed no crime and says that Villefort knows the truth of his case. The Governor asks whether, therefore, Villefort’s notes on Dantes... (full context)
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...a madman and his treasure as entirely illusory. When the Governor returns upstairs, he sees Villefort’s note that Dantes is an “extremely dangerous” Bonapartist sympathizer and thus decides to leave him... (full context)
Chapter 17 – The Abbe’s Cell
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...giving further evidence that Danglars was behind the plot: that the letter Dantes saw in Villefort’s office was written by a man trying to conceal his hand. The Abbe helps Dantes... (full context)
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The Abbe further unspools Noirtier and Villefort’s relationship, for he knows that they are father and son, thus revealing for Dantes that... (full context)
Chapter 21 – The Island of Tiboulen
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...he will find his father and Mercedes, and seek revenge on Fernand, Danglars, Caderousse, and Villefort. (full context)
Chapter 27 – Caderousse’s Story
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The Abbe closes his line of questioning by asking about Villefort, if Caderousse has any news of the man. Caderousse replies that he does not, that... (full context)
Chapter 28 – The Prison Register
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...Dantes and Faria in 1817 and who promised to look up Dantes’ case, finding only Villefort’s note that Dantes was a committed Bonapartist and a danger to the Second Restoration. De... (full context)
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...“envoy” thus sees the original note that Danglars wrote, with his left hand, along with Villefort’s letter, written on Morrel’s urging during the 100 Days, that Dantes really was an ardent... (full context)
Chapter 43 – The House at Auteuil
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...Saint-Merans. Their only daughter was, at the beginning of the novel, to be married to Villefort. Monte Cristo pretends, in front of the steward, to be only dimly aware of these... (full context)
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...garden, as an act of revenge against someone who had wronged him. Bertuccio insists that Villefort, married to the daughter of the Saint-Meran family, is a villain. Bertuccio explains that he... (full context)
Chapter 44 – The Vendetta
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...was killed because he was a suspected Bonapartist. Seeking justice, Bertuccio went to speak to Villefort, who was at that point the crown prosecutor for that region. Expecting Villefort to help... (full context)
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At this moment, before leaving Villefort’s office, Bertuccio swears a Corsican blood oath against him, saying that he will track Villefort... (full context)
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Bertuccio tracks him there, and realizes that Villefort has been conducting an affair at the house—the woman, unnamed, is pregnant, and after several... (full context)
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...child’s life assuages the guilt Bertuccio feels in killing his father. They name the child (Villefort’s illegitimate son with the unnamed woman) Benedetto, after Bertuccio’s dead brother. (full context)
Chapter 45 – A Shower of Blood
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...interview takes place to which Bertuccio now refers: his confession of the supposed murder of Villefort, in the garden, and his insistence that he is not guilty of the double homicide... (full context)
Chapter 47 – The Dapple-Greys
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...approaching on the road outside his door. Within minutes, a young woman named Heloise de Villefort and her son Edouard cry out from the back of a barouche, driven by the... (full context)
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...behavior. But she thanks the Count several more times and, the next day, her husband (Villefort) pays a visit of thanks to the Count’s house on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. (full context)
Chapter 48 – Ideology
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The Count has a philosophical discussion with Villefort, who pays a rare visit—as the narrator notes, Villefort maintains a haughtiness and reserve that... (full context)
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Before Villefort leaves, the Count says that he believes everyone at court and everyone in Parisian society... (full context)
Chapter 51 – Pyramus and Thisbe
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The chapter begins with Maximilien Morrel, dressed as a gardener, paying court to Valentine de Villefort over the garden wall to her father’s estate. Maximilien reveals in his conversation that Valentine... (full context)
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...some ancient hatred between their families, for when Maximilien’s name once came up in the Villefort home, her father was deeply angered at the sound of it; but her grandfather, Noirtier,... (full context)
Chapter 58 – Monsieur Noirtier de Villefort
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The narrator turns to a conversation between Villefort, Heloise, and the old man Noirtier, who is confined to a wheelchair inside their home.... (full context)
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Valentine comes in, fresh from her conversation with Maximilien, and Villefort and Heloise leave the room. Valentine realizes that Noirtier is deeply upset at the thought... (full context)
Chapter 59 – The Will
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...more nodding, Noirtier expresses that he will disinherit everyone in his family, including Valentine, should Villefort proceed with his wish of marrying Valentine to Franz. Noirtier suggests that he objects to... (full context)
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The notary draws up this will, and Villefort announces that, in his position as crown prosecutor, he is no position to contest his... (full context)
Chapter 60 – The Telegraph
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The Count arrives, again paying a visit to Villefort and his wife. He finds them both dismayed at the idea that their daughter has... (full context)
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The Count agrees that this is the best course, then takes his leave from the Villeforts, saying that he is off to indulge a strange pastime of his—he is going to... (full context)
Chapter 62 – Ghosts
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...Lucien Debray, Chateau-Renaud, the Baron Danglars (angry from his losses on the market), Hermine Danglars, Villefort and Heloise, and Major and Andrea Cavalcanti arrive. (full context)
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...shocked, sees that Hermine Danglars, the Baron’s wife, is in fact the woman with whom Villefort was having an affair, and who bore a child out of wedlock. Furthermore, Villefort is... (full context)
Chapter 63 – Dinner
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...a room in which, he avers, a crime has been committed, Madame Danglars swoons and Villefort rises to comfort her. (full context)
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Villefort and Debray (Madame Danglars’ lover) wonder if maybe the Baroness has had too much wine... (full context)
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Though Villefort seems to be holding himself together as much as a he can, the Count notices,... (full context)
Chapter 65 – A Domestic Scene
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...first husband. He seems to know, and not to care, that this affair was with Villefort, and that the Baroness had a child out of wedlock with him. Again, he simply... (full context)
Chapter 67 – The Crown Prosecutor’s Office
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Baroness Danglars visits Villefort at his offices, coming in incognito so as to avoid the attention of others. Villefort... (full context)
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Villefort reveals that, when Bertuccio stabbed him, he crawled inside to the Baroness, able to survive... (full context)
Chapter 69 – Information
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...asylum. Reassured via this misinformation that the Count has no special knowledge of his past, Villefort “sleeps soundly” that night. (full context)
Chapter 72 – Madame de Saint-Meran
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Villefort is at home when his family returns from the ball with the news that his... (full context)
Chapter 73 – The Promise
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...contract has been signed with Franz after all. He climbs over the wall near the Villeforts’ home, where he hears the crown prosecutor talking with the doctor who has been tending... (full context)
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Villefort believes that everything in his family is falling apart. At this, he goes back inside... (full context)
Chapter 74 – The Villefort Family Vault
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Afterward, Villefort finds Franz and asks him to come to the Villefort residence very shortly, where he... (full context)
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The notary states, so that Franz is aware, that Villefort’s father Noirtier has put it in writing that if Valentine marries Franz, Noirtier will withdraw... (full context)
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...Noirtier wishes to speak with Franz alone. Franz is perfectly happy to do this, although Villefort argues that his father is selfish, doddering, and unable to reason for himself. Valentine appears... (full context)
Chapter 75 – The Judicial Inquiry
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Noirtier is met in the room by Franz, Villefort, and Valentine. Noirtier urges Valentine towards a secret drawer where, with the help of the... (full context)
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...he himself, a famed Bonapartist at the time, was the murderer. Franz is shocked, and Villefort leaps out of the room in anguish at this revelation. (full context)
Chapter 79 – Lemonade
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Still in a good mood, Maximilien walks to the Villefort home, where he is scheduled to meet with Valentine (who is now free of her... (full context)
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...of a stroke, similar to that experienced by the Saint-Merans. The same doctor who warned Villefort of poisoning before happens to be in the house, tending to Edouard, and so he... (full context)
Chapter 80 – The Accusation
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In this brief chapter, the doctor continues in his reasoning with Villefort, saying that it must be the case that someone in the house has poisoned the... (full context)
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The servants, too, begin to leave, and Villefort wonders what will become of the family. He notes that Valentine is desperately sad at... (full context)
Chapter 93 – Valentine
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Maximilien Morrel, fresh from the aborted duel, goes to visit Valentine at the Villefort home, where she announces that she has decided that finally she and Noirtier will move... (full context)
Chapter 94 – A Confession
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Villefort calls on the doctor who had warned him about the poisoning in his family, and... (full context)
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...house of the Count, begging him for help, since there is a murderer in the Villefort house. Morrel finally admits to the Count that he is in love with and wishes... (full context)
Chapter 99 – The Law
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...him out at the club, and so later that day she goes instead to the Villefort home, where she is greeted with suspicion by the servants before finally being allowed into... (full context)
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...a murderer, he is also deserving of some mercy on behalf of the law. But Villefort says he can do no such thing, that he must try Benedetto for his crimes... (full context)
Chapter 100 – The Apparition
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The narrator moves to Valentine, who has been recuperating in her room at the Villefort home. One night, when Valentine is lying between sleep and wakefulness, the Count (who, as... (full context)
Chapter 101 – Locusta
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...obedience and consent as he figures out a way to remove her safely from the Villefort home. (full context)
Chapter 102 – Valentine
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...bed and there is “blue at the base of her fingernails.” That evening, Mme de Villefort peeks into Valentine’s room to see that she is dead, and is convinced this is... (full context)
Chapter 103 – Maximilien
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...the news that his intended, Valentine, is dead. He does this in the presence of Villefort, the doctor, and Noirtier. When Villefort and the doctor ask who Morrel is, and why... (full context)
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Maximilien tells Villefort that he must find and prosecute the murderer to the fullest extent of the law.... (full context)
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Villefort asks the doctor to fetch the closest abbe who can stand by and bless the... (full context)
Chapter 108 – The Judge
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In this brief chapter, Villefort finally confronts his wife Heloise after many days spent going over evidence—evidence not only of... (full context)
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Villefort abruptly asks Heloise if she still has the poison she has used on the Saint-Merans,... (full context)
Chapter 109 – The Assizes
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...the famous Benedetto Affair. They discuss the rumor that the murderer in the house of Villefort is young Edouard, who has become increasingly jealous of his stepsister and her grandparents. But... (full context)
Chapter 110 – The Indictment
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Villefort is called as the crown prosecutor before the court, and the judges similarly call Andrea... (full context)
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Villefort becomes extremely pale and a cry goes up from the audience, where the Baroness Danglars... (full context)
Chapter 111 – Expiation
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Villefort tumbles out of the judicial proceeding and heads homeward in a carriage, thinking that, since... (full context)
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But when Villefort reaches the home, he sees that his wife Heloise has poisoned herself and Edouard in... (full context)
Chapter 116 – The Pardon
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...his last 50,000 francs, and the Count says that he is now pardoning Danglars—and that Villefort and Fernand were not so lucky, as the first is now mad with grief, and... (full context)