The Count of Monte Cristo

“I too, as happens to every man once in his life, have been taken by Satan into the highest mountain in the earth, and when there he showed me all the kingdoms of the world, and as he said before, so said he to me, ‘Child of earth, what wouldst thou have to make thee adore me?’

I reflected long, for a gnawing ambition had long preyed upon me, and then I replied, ‘Listen, I have always heard of providence, and yet I have never seen him, or anything that resembles him, or which can make me believe that he exists. 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.’

Satan bowed his head, and groaned. ‘You mistake,’ he said, ‘providence does exist, only you have never seen him, because the child of God is as invisible as the parent. You have seen nothing that resembles him, because he works by secret springs, and moves by hidden ways. All I can do for you is to make you one of the agents of that providence.’

The bargain was concluded. I may sacrifice my soul, but what matters it?” added Monte Cristo. “If the thing were to do again, I would again do it.”

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