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Course Hero. (2016, September 2). The Count of Monte Cristo Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Count-of-Monte-Cristo/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "The Count of Monte Cristo Study Guide." September 2, 2016. Accessed September 24, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Count-of-Monte-Cristo/.
Course Hero, "The Count of Monte Cristo Study Guide," September 2, 2016, accessed September 24, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Count-of-Monte-Cristo/.
Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapters 93–94 of Alexandre Dumas's novel The Count of Monte Cristo.
Maximilien, after leaving the duel, visits Valentine in Noirtier's room. He notices that Valentine doesn't feel well, but she tells him that, at her grandfather's direction, she's been taking some of his medicine—a little more every day. She comments that not only does it taste bitter but it makes everything she drinks taste bitter. Noirtier's eyes express concern when he hears this. Valentine is called to the drawing room to greet Madame Danglars and Eugénie, who have come to announce Eugénie's engagement to Cavalcanti. Asked what she thinks of Cavalcanti, Eugénie says she has no interest in being married or tying herself down to any man. She wants only to be an artist and to be free. They, too, notice that Valentine looks ill, and Madame Villefort urges her to go and lie down. Instead, Valentine goes back to Noirtier's room, where Morrel is waiting. Just as she reaches the room, she collapses. Morrel rings for the servants, who run for help.
Morrel slips out of Noirtier's room to go to Monte Cristo for help. He knows that Valentine has the same symptoms Barrois had before he died. Villefort, when he sees Valentine's condition, rushes out to bring the doctor. The doctor is shocked that Valentine is the victim because he'd suspected her of being the poisoner. He vows to do everything he can to save her, and they rush back to the house.
Maximilien tells the count about the situation at the de Villefort house, without mentioning Valentine or his feelings for her. The count's first response is that Maximilien should let things play out: "God has condemned them and they will suffer their fate." When eventually Maximilien declares that he loves Valentine and she's dying, Monte Cristo responds with anguish. He tells Maximilien to go home and not worry: Valentine will not die.
At the Villefort home, the doctor orders that Valentine not be given anything to eat or drink. Noticing that Noirtier has a negative response when Madame de Villefort is in the room, Doctor d'Avrigny arranges to be alone with him. By using question-and-response, d'Avrigny learns that Noirtier had been giving Valentine his medicine, which contains the poison brucine, building up the doses to protect her against the effects. The doctor tells Noirtier that his plan has succeeded and Valentine will not die. While the doctor tends to Valentine, Monte Cristo, disguised as Abbé Busoni, is renting the house next door to the Villefort mansion. That same night, workmen begin to work on the foundations of the rented building.
In Chapter 94, Monte Cristo's lack of concern for the sickness and deaths at the Villefort house is surprising, after all the soul-searching he did after his talk with Mercédès. She had urged him to take his revenge "only on those who are guilty." He did, after all, instruct Madame de Villefort in the use of poisons. It's only after he realizes that Maximilien is being hurt by what is happening to Valentine that he offers to help. Now that he has decided to intervene, the reader has little doubt that he will be thorough and effective.