that as we had observed, as above, how the men made no scruple to set themselves out as persons meriting a woman of fortune, when they had really no fortune of their own, it was but just to deal with them in their own way and, if it was possible, to deceive the deceiver.
The captain's lady, in short, put this project into my head, and told me if I would be ruled by her I should certainly get a husband of fortune, without leaving him any room to reproach me with want of my own.
In the next place, she tells her husband that I had at least #1500 fortune, and that after some of my relations I was like to have a great deal more.
I was but to sit still and wait the event, for it presently went all over the neighbourhood that the young widow at Captain 's was a fortune, that she had at least
#1500, and perhaps a great deal more, and that the captain said so; and if the captain was asked at any time about me, he made no scruple to affirm it, though he knew not one word of the matter, other than that his wife had told him so; and in this he thought no harm, for he really believed it to be so, because he had it from his wife: so slender a foundation will those fellows build upon, if they do but think there is a fortune in the game.
This was my man; but I was to try him to the bottom, and indeed in that consisted my safety; for if he baulked, I knew I was undone, as surely as he was undone if he took me; and if I did not make some scruple about his fortune, it was the way to lead him to raise some about mine; and first, therefore, I pretended on all occasions to doubt his sincerity, and told him, perhaps he only courted me for my fortune.
Above all, those are most subject to envy, which carry the greatness of their fortunes
, in an insolent and proud manner; being never well, but while they are showing how great they are, either by outward pomp, or by triumphing over all opposition or competition; whereas wise men will rather do sacrifice to envy, in suffering themselves sometimes of purpose to be crossed, and overborne in things that do not much concern them.
"But I'd like to be told my fortune, even in fun," persisted Cecily.
"There that's the very nicest fortune I can tell you, and it will come true whether the others do or not, and now we must go in."
In later years I often wondered why the Story Girl refused to tell her fortune that night.
"Ah, that boy will find out some Bavarian or Peruvian princess; he will want a crown and an immense fortune."
"Mademoiselle Danglars' fortune will be great, no doubt, especially it the telegraph should not make any more mistakes."
"Oh, I do not mean her fortune only; but tell me" --
We have our clothes, some more splendid than others, -- this is our credit; but when a man dies he has only his skin; in the same way, on retiring from business, you have nothing but your real principal of about five or six millions, at the most; for third-rate fortunes are never more than a fourth of what they appear to be, like the locomotive on a railway, the size of which is magnified by the smoke and steam surrounding it.
Danglars," said Monte Cristo; "I see I was deceived, and that you belong to the class of second-rate fortunes."