The Count of Monte Cristo
How we cite our quotes:
Father! Will you always be an obstacle to my happiness in this world, and shall I always have to contend with your past?
Then, suddenly, it seemed as though a light had unexpectedly passed through his mind and lit up his face. A smile rose to his clenched lips, while his distraught look became a stare and his mind appeared to concentrate on a single idea.
"That's it," he said. "This letter, which should have destroyed me, might perhaps make my fortune. Come, Villefort, to work!" (7.121-123)
Thanks to a skillful manipulation of the situation, Villefort is able to turn a disaster into a career-making move.
"What I mean, my dear fellow," the Count says, "is that I shall do more by myself with my gold than you and all your people with their daggers, their pistols, their carbines and their blunderbusses. So let me do it." (34.39)
The Count lets Luigi Vampa know that, sometimes, the coin is mightier than the sword. This kind of passive influence is Monte Cristo's stock in trade, and Peppino's rescue seems to prove its effectiveness.
"But, with such an outlook," Franz told the count, "which makes you judge and executioner in your own case, it would be hard for you to confine yourself to actions that would leave you forever immune to the power of the law. Hatred is blind and anger deaf: the one who pours himself a cup of vengeance is likely to drink a bitter draught."
"Yes, if he is clumsy and poor; no, if he is a millionaire and adroit." (35.44)
Monte Cristo, clearly referring to himself, has total faith in his ability to manage the situation. He has plenty of reason to be confident, but he's wrong to think he's perfect.