She had met Fernand at the corner of the Rue de la Loge; she had returned to the Catalans, and had despairingly cast herself on her couch.
A despairing cry escaped the pale lips of Mercedes; the old man sank into a chair.
"It drives me to despair," said Fernand.
"It looks more like bankruptcy!" exclaimed M. de Boville despairingly.
He did not even see the ocean, that terrible barrier against freedom, which the prisoners look upon with utter despair.
The minister of police, giving way to an impulse of despair, was about to throw himself at the feet of Louis XVIII.
Father, you know very well that the general was not a man to drown himself in despair, and people do not bathe in the Seine in the month of January.
It was the last yearning for life contending with the resolution of despair; then his dungeon seemed less sombre, his prospects less desperate.
He would be condemned to die, but he was about to die of grief and despair when this miraculous noise recalled him to life.
This idea was one of vengeance to me, and I tasted it slowly in the night of my dungeon and the despair of my captivity.
Dantes recoiled from the idea of so infamous a death, and passed suddenly from despair to an ardent desire for life and liberty.
"Well," said he, "I will swim on until I am worn out, or the cramp seizes me, and then I shall sink;" and he struck out with the energy of despair.
Tell me, therefore, who are these men who killed the son with despair, and the father with famine?
Mercedes was at first in the deepest despair at the blow which deprived her of Edmond.
In the midst of her despair, a new affliction overtook her.
Three months passed and still she wept—no news of Edmond, no news of Fernand, no companionship save that of an old man who was dying with despair.
I know what happiness and what despair are, and I never make a jest of such feelings.
Come, two or three more such adventures, and I do not despair of seeing you a member of the Academy.
After having deprived me of my liberty, after having deprived me of death, after having recalled me to existence, my God, have pity on me, and do not let me die in despair!
"Who talks of God and despair at the same time?" said a voice that seemed to come from beneath the earth, and, deadened by the distance, sounded hollow and sepulchral in the young man’s ears.
"Oh, sir," said Caderousse, putting out one hand timidly, and with the other wiping away the perspiration which bedewed his brow,—"Oh, sir, do not make a jest of the happiness or despair of a man."
At last, about ten o’clock, and just as Dantes began to despair, steps were heard in the corridor, a key turned in the lock, the bolts creaked, the massy oaken door flew open, and a flood of light from two torches pervaded the apartment.
In fact, the minister, who, in the plenitude of his power, had been unable to unearth Napoleon’s secret, might in despair at his own downfall interrogate Dantes and so lay bare the motives of Villefort’s plot.
As to M. de Boville, he was in such a state of despair, that it was evident all the faculties of his mind, absorbed in the thought which occupied him at the moment, did not allow either his memory or his imagination to stray to the past.
"Oh, do not do that, excellency; I have always served you faithfully," cried Bertuccio, in despair.
"Well," continued Valentine, "the reason of my proposing it was that I might escape this hateful marriage, which drives me to despair."
Monte Cristo seemed in despair.
The result, then, of six more such months as this would be to reduce the third-rate house to despair.
If they did not speak of me, I am sure they thought about me, and I am in despair.
" ’Never despair of anything,’ says the proverb."
The countess dashed the grapes into the nearest thicket, with a gesture of despair.
Oh, selfish man,—he sees me in despair, and pretends he cannot understand me!
She was thinking of the despair of Maximilian, when he should be informed that Madame de Saint-Meran, instead of being an ally, was unconsciously acting as his enemy.
When he learned my resolution, I shall never forget the reproachful look which he cast on me, and the tears of utter despair which chased each other down his lifeless cheeks.
But availing himself of the doctor’s order, the old man would not take any sustenance; at length (after nine days of despair and fasting), the old man died, cursing those who had caused his misery, and saying to Mercedes, ’If you ever see my Edmond again, tell him I die blessing him.’
"I know not; I merely suppose so, as I might suppose anything else," replied Villefort with a look so fixed, it indicated that his powerful mind was on the verge of despair and madness.
" "What do you propose to me, d’Avrigny?" said Villefort in despair; "so soon as another is admitted into our secret, an inquest will become necessary; and an inquest in my house—impossible!
You have told me how you talk to him and how he answers you; I shall very soon learn that language by signs, Valentine, and I promise you solemnly, that instead of despair, it is happiness that awaits us.
Are we not two despairing creatures?
In the anteroom, Valentine met Barrois, and looked despairingly at the old servant.
Danglars resembled a timid animal excited in the chase; first it flies, then despairs, and at last, by the very force of desperation, sometimes succeeds in eluding its pursuers.
One day, when, contrary to his custom, he had admitted Mercedes, and the poor girl, in spite of her own grief and despair, endeavored to console him, he said to her,—’Be assured, my dear daughter, he is dead; and instead of expecting him, it is he who is awaiting us; I am quite happy, for I am the oldest, and of course shall see him first.’
"Ah," murmured Caderousse, "what a strange priest you are; you drive the dying to despair, instead of consoling them."
Mercedes uttered these words with such deep anguish, with an accent of such intense despair, that Monte Cristo could not restrain a sob.
Oh, shall I then, again become a fatalist, whom fourteen years of despair and ten of hope had rendered a believer in providence?
It was something terrible to witness the silent agony, the mute despair of Noirtier, whose tears silently rolled down his cheeks.
Then we are to have no more pistols—no more despair?
Villefort again groaned with anguish and despair.
We ought never to despair of softening the heart of a mother who loves her child.
The unhappy man uttered an exclamation of joy; a ray of light seemed to penetrate the abyss of despair and darkness.
During that time he had many moments of despair.
Well, at the height of his despair God assisted him through human means.
Then rising in despair, he exclaimed, "The chief, the chief!"
"Oh," he cried, in an accent of despair, "the count has deceived me; I am yet living;" and extending his hand towards the table, he seized a knife.
"Alas!" exclaimed Mercedes, "if it were so, if I possessed free-will, but without the power to render that will efficacious, it would drive me to despair."
Until then he had been sustained by rage, by his strength of mind, by despair, by the supreme agony which led the Titans to scale the heavens, and Ajax to defy the gods.
Noirtier, burning with impatience and terror, was in despair at his utter inability to help his old domestic, whom he regarded more in the light of a friend than a servant.
One day, in a moment of despair like yours, since it led to a similar resolution, I also wished to kill myself; one day your father, equally desperate, wished to kill himself too.
But do not despair; you have life before you, my dear Albert, for you are yet scarcely twenty-two years old; and as a pure heart like yours wants a spotless name, take my father’s—it was Herrera.
To have you as long as possible near me, to hear your eloquent speech,—which embellishes my mind, strengthens my soul, and makes my whole frame capable of great and terrible things, if I should ever be free,—so fills my whole existence, that the despair to which I was just on the point of yielding when I knew you, has no longer any hold over me; and this—this is my fortune—not chimerical, but actual.
The stranger cast one look around her, to be certain that they were quite alone; then bending as if she would have knelt, and joining her hands, she said with an accent of despair, "Edmond, you will not kill my son?"
Noirtier acknowledged by a look of extreme kindness and benevolence the thanks which Morrel lavished on him for his timely intervention on behalf of Valentine and himself—an intervention which had saved them from despair.
Each word fell like a dagger on Morcerf, and deprived him of a portion of his energy; as she uttered the last, he hid his mutilated hand hastily in his bosom, and fell back on his seat, overwhelmed by wretchedness and despair.
"Well, then," resumed Faria with a bitter smile, "let me answer your question in full, by acknowledging that I am the poor mad prisoner of the Chateau d’If, for many years permitted to amuse the different visitors with what is said to be my insanity; and, in all probability, I should be promoted to the honor of making sport for the children, if such innocent beings could be found in an abode devoted like this to suffering and despair."
D’Avrigny turned round and uttered a very feeble "Yes," but Morrel, disengaging his hand, rushed to the bed, and after having pressed the cold lips of Valentine with his own, hurriedly left, uttering a long, deep groan of despair and anguish.
He had learned that Dantes had been taken to prison, and he had gone to all his friends, and the influential persons of the city; but the report was already in circulation that Dantes was arrested as a Bonapartist agent; and as the most sanguine looked upon any attempt of Napoleon to remount the throne as impossible, he met with nothing but refusal, and had returned home in despair, declaring that the matter was serious and that nothing more could be done.
A man has carried off your mistress, a man has seduced your wife, a man has dishonored your daughter; he has rendered the whole life of one who had the right to expect from heaven that portion of happiness God his promised to every one of his creatures, an existence of misery and infamy; and you think you are avenged because you send a ball through the head, or pass a sword through the breast, of that man who has planted madness in your brain, and despair in your heart.
Andrea appeared in despair, but consoled himself when the hostess assured him that No. 7, prepared for him, was situated precisely the same as No. 3, and while warming his feet and chatting about the last races at Chantilly, he waited until they announced his room to be ready.
Oh, Mercedes, I have uttered your name with the sigh of melancholy, with the groan of sorrow, with the last effort of despair; I have uttered it when frozen with cold, crouched on the straw in my dungeon; I have uttered it, consumed with heat, rolling on the stone floor of my prison.
Come, then, thou regenerate man, thou extravagant prodigal, thou awakened sleeper, thou all-powerful visionary, thou invincible millionaire,—once again review thy past life of starvation and wretchedness, revisit the scenes where fate and misfortune conducted, and where despair received thee.
Perhaps it was the Christian exhortations of the abbe, perhaps his kind charity, perhaps his persuasive words, which had restored the courage of Noirtier, for ever since he had conversed with the priest his violent despair had yielded to a calm resignation which surprised all who knew his excessive affection for Valentine.
You are a generous man, Albert, but perhaps you may be blinded by pride or resentment; if you refuse me, if you ask another for what I have a right to offer you, I will say it is ungenerous of you to refuse the life of your mother at the hands of a man whose father was allowed by your father to die in all the horrors of poverty and despair.
The solitary light burning at the Catalans; that first sight of the Chateau d’If, which told him whither they were leading him; the struggle with the gendarmes when he wished to throw himself overboard; his despair when he found himself vanquished, and the sensation when the muzzle of the carbine touched his forehead—all these were brought before him in vivid and frightful reality.
"Oh, sir," exclaimed M. de Boville, "your fears are unfortunately but too well founded, and you see before you a man in despair.
"Again you drive me to despair, Maximilian," said Valentine, "again you plunge the dagger into the wound!
"Still," said Chateau-Renaud, "Dr. d’Avrigny, who attends my mother, declares he is in despair about it.
"Ah," said Morrel, falling from the height of excitement to the abyss of despair—"ah, you are playing with me, like those good, or rather selfish mothers who soothe their children with honeyed words, because their screams annoy them.
"Yes; but your father died in your arms, happy, respected, rich, and full of years; his father died poor, despairing, almost doubtful of providence; and when his son sought his grave ten years afterwards, his tomb had disappeared, and no one could say, ’There sleeps the father you so well loved.’
"— "There is a providence; there is a God," said Monte Cristo, "of whom you are a striking proof, as you lie in utter despair, denying him, while I stand before you, rich, happy, safe and entreating that God in whom you endeavor not to believe, while in your heart you still believe in him."