Monte Cristo now engages in a clever, complex ruse to win the good graces of the Danglars and Villefort families. He instructs Bertuccio to purchase Danglars’s two most beautiful horses for twice their asking price, knowing that these horses actually belong to Madame Danglars. With these two horses attached to his coach, Monte Cristo then visits Danglars at home in order to open an unlimited credit account with him, an act that astonishes and humbles Danglars.
While Monte Cristo is still at the Danglars residence, Madame Danglars is told that her horses have been sold, and she sees them attached to Monte Cristo’s carriage. She becomes enraged with her husband for selling them. Monte Cristo excuses himself from the scene, as does Madame Danglars’s lover, Lucien Debray. Later that evening, Monte Cristo, in a gallant gesture, returns the horses as a gift.
Knowing that Madame de Villefort will be borrowing these horses the next day, Monte Cristo arranges for the horses to become wild while they pass by his house. As the runaway horses go by, bearing the panic-stricken Madame de Villefort and her son, Edward, Ali, Monte Cristo’s servant, lassos them easily, saving mother and son. Edward passes out from fear, and Monte Cristo uses a special potent elixir to revive him.
I wish to be Providence myself, for I feel that the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing in the world, is to recompense and punish.See Important Quotations Explained
Villefort visits Monte Cristo in order to thank him for saving his wife and son. Monte Cristo engages Villefort in a conversation in which they compare civilized criminal justice systems to natural justice. Villefort reveals that his father, Noirtier, once one of the most powerful Jacobins and senators in France, has been paralyzed by a stroke.
Monte Cristo goes to visit his beautiful Greek slave, Haydée, in her separate apartments, which are decorated in the most sumptuous Oriental style. He tells Haydée that she is free to do whatever she pleases and is free to leave him or stay with him. She pledges Monte Cristo her undying loyalty, but he reminds her that she is still only a child, twenty years old, and has the right to go off and live her own life whenever she chooses. The only thing Monte Cristo asks of Haydée is that she not reveal the “secret of her birth” to anyone in Paris.
Monte Cristo pays a visit to Maximilian Morrel, who is staying with his sister, Julie. Julie is now married to Emmanuel Herbaut, the young clerk who remains loyal to Julie’s father out of love for her. Their house is filled with a sense of bliss, love, and serenity that overwhelms Monte Cristo with emotion. When he comments on the uncommon happiness of this household, Emmanuel and Julie tell him of the angelic benefactor who once saved them. They show Monte Cristo the relics of this angel—the red silk purse and the diamond—and lament that they have never identified their benefactor.