Chapter 40: The Guests
On the day that Monte Cristo is supposed to arrive at Albert’s house, Albert invites several friends for breakfast. Among those eagerly awaiting Monte Cristo’s arrival are Lucien Debray, the secretary to the minister of the interior, and Beauchamp, a journalist.
Chapter 41: The Breakfast
Two more guests arrive: the Baron of Château-Renaud, a diplomat, and Maximilian Morrel, who is now a captain in the French army. We learn that Maximilian once saved Château-Renaud’s life in Constantinople, on the anniversary of the day Maximilian’s father was miraculously saved from ruin, a day Maximilian always observes by trying to accomplish some heroic act.
Monte Cristo arrives in Paris and travels straight to Albert’s house. Monte Cristo enchants all the guests, but he alone seems taken with Maximilian. Monte Cristo regales everyone with the story of how he once captured Luigi Vampa and his bandits and then let them go on the condition that they never harm either himself or his friends.
Chapter 42: The Presentation
When the guests have left, Albert shows Monte Cristo around his house. Monte Cristo exhibits a deep knowledge of all subjects scientific, humanistic, and artistic. Albert shows Monte Cristo a portrait of his mother, painted in the costume of a Catalan fisherwoman and looking mournfully out at the sea. He explains that he keeps the portrait in his house because his father hates it.
Albert then presents Monte Cristo to his mother and father. Fernand, who is now a senator, does not recognize Monte Cristo as Dantès and is easily charmed by him. Mercédès recognizes Dantès instantly, and she is terrified. She vaguely warns Albert to beware of his new friend.
Chapter 43: Monsieur Bertuccio
After taking leave of the Morcerf family, Monte Cristo purchases a summerhouse in Auteuil. The previous owner was the Marquis of Saint-Méran, whose daughter married Villefort and died soon after.