The Cask of Amontillado
How we cite our quotes:
“Nemo me impune lacessit.” (49)
This means “no one injures me with impunity. Or, “nobody messes with me and gets away with it.” This motto can’t be the motto of the Montresor family, because it’s the motto of the Scottish Royal Coat of Arms. Montresor, who is constantly fibbing, conveniently appropriates it to make a point – a point that’s sadly lost on Fortunato.
I had finished a portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. (80)
The revenge is almost complete. After Montresor puts in the last brick, Fortunato will be in no position to re-revenge himself on Montresor. The brick wall also suggests the bricked up psychology of both characters. As long as that small opening remains, both characters have a chance to be free of the cycle of betrayal.
“Ha! ha! ha!–he! he!–a very good joke indeed–an excellent jest. We shall have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo–he! he! he!–over our wine–he! he! he!” (81)
One aspect of the revenge is almost complete. Fortunato is finally starting to feel Montresor’s wrath. Even though he’s walled in and utterly transformed by fear, he won’t verbalize it.