“I regret now,” said he, “having helped you in your late inquiries, or having given you the information I did.”
“Why so?” inquired Dantès.
“Because it has instilled a new passion in your heart—that of vengeance.”
This prophetic exchange occurs between Abbé Faria and Dantès in Chapter 17, immediately after Faria deduces the events surrounding Dantès’s imprisonment. Until this moment, Dantès has been entirely ignorant of the evil done to him, believing that his misfortune is merely the result of incredibly bad luck. Once Faria reveals that Dantès has in fact been betrayed, Dantès’s innocence is destroyed forever. He is confronted with the simple fact that evil exists, a fact he has never before considered. From this moment onward, Dantès begins a transformation from a kind and loving man into a vengeful and hate-filled one. This transformation has not yet begun, of course, at the time Faria expresses his regret. Yet Faria, with his thorough understanding of human nature, accurately predicts that Dantès will soon be consumed with the thought of the wrong done to him and will thirst for vengeance. He knows that once this transformation occurs, Dantès will never be able to experience life the way he does before he feels these emotions of bitter vengeance.