The Count of Monte Cristo
How we cite our quotes:
"Make no mistake: I should fight a duel for a trifle, an insult, a contradiction, a slap—and all the more merrily for knowing that, thanks to the skill I have acquired in all physical exercises and long experience of danger, I should be more or less certain of killing my opponent. Oh, yes, indeed, I should fight a duel for any of these things; but in return for a slow, deep, infinite, eternal pain, I should return as nearly as possible a pain equivalent to the one inflicted on me. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, as they say in the East, those men who are the elect of creation, and who have learnt to make a life of dreams and paradise a reality." (35.42)
The Count's notions regarding revenge seem to be taken solely from the Old Testament. He doesn't acknowledge Jesus' commandment to "turn the other cheek."
"Oh, God," said Monte Cristo, "your vengeance may sometimes be slow in coming, but I think that then it is all the more complete." (83.7)
As the saying goes, "Revenge is a dish best served cold." Here, Monte Cristo seems to agree with the conventional wisdom.
"I hastened round to see you," Beauchamp continued, "to say this to you: Albert, the sins of our fathers, in these times of action and reaction, cannot be visited on their children. Albert, few men have gone through the revolutions in which we were born, without some spot of mire or of blood staining their soldier's uniform or their judge's robe." (84.54)
Beauchamp suggests that the turbulent nature of recent history is something of a mitigating factor; when all men have been corrupted, he seems to think, no one man should be singled out.