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Chapter 67: At the Office of the King's Attorney. (continued)
"It is a long time, madame," said the procureur, describing a half-circle with his chair, so as to place himself exactly opposite to Madame Danglars, -- "it is a long time since I had the pleasure of speaking alone with you, and I regret that we have only now met to enter upon a painful conversation."
"Nevertheless, sir, you see I have answered your first appeal, although certainly the conversation must be much more painful for me than for you." Villefort smiled bitterly.
"It is true, then," he said, rather uttering his thoughts aloud than addressing his companion, -- "it is true, then, that all our actions leave their traces -- some sad, others bright -- on our paths; it is true that every step in our lives is like the course of an insect on the sands; -- it leaves its track! Alas, to many the path is traced by tears."
"Sir," said Madame Danglars, "you can feel for my emotion, can you not? Spare me, then, I beseech you. When I look at this room, -- whence so many guilty creatures have departed, trembling and ashamed, when I look at that chair before which I now sit trembling and ashamed, -- oh, it requires all my reason to convince me that I am not a very guilty woman and you a menacing judge." Villefort dropped his head and sighed. "And I," he said, "I feel that my place is not in the judge's seat, but on the prisoner's stool."
"You?" said Madame Danglars.
"I think, sir, you exaggerate your situation," said Madame Danglars, whose beautiful eyes sparkled for a moment. "The paths of which you were just speaking have been traced by all young men of ardent imaginations. Besides the pleasure, there is always remorse from the indulgence of our passions, and, after all, what have you men to fear from all this? the world excuses, and notoriety ennobles you."
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