Le Comte de Monte-Cristo

French reading practice with side-by-side translation

 Reading comprehension: See the links at the bottom for lessons related to the phrases in italics.

Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, d’Alexandre Dumas, père
Chapitre I. Marseille – L’arrivĂ©e
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas (père)
Chapter I. Marseilles – The Arrival
Le 24 février 1815, la vigie de Notre-Dame de la Garde signala le trois-mâts le Pharaon, venant de Smyrne, Trieste et Naples.

Comme d’habitude, un pilote cĂ´tier partit aussitĂ´t du port, rasa le château d’If, et alla aborder le navire entre le cap de Morgion et l’Ă®le de Rion.

Translation

On 24 February 1815, Notre Dame de la Garde’s look-out reported the three-master Pharaon, coming from Smyrne, Trieste, and Naples.

As usual, a coastal pilot immediately left the port, skimmed past the Château d’If, and went to meet the ship between the cape of Morgion and the island of Rion.

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AussitĂ´t, comme d’habitude encore, la plate-forme du fort Saint-Jean s’Ă©tait couverte de curieux ; car c’est toujours une grande affaire Ă  Marseille que l’arrivĂ©e d’un bâtiment, surtout quand ce bâtiment, comme le Pharaon, a Ă©tĂ© construit, grĂ©Ă©, arrimĂ© sur les chantiers de la vieille PhocĂ©e, et appartient Ă  un armateur de la ville.
Translation

Straightaway, also as usual, Fort Saint-Jean’s platform was covered in curious onlookers; the arrival of a ship is always a big deal in Marseilles, especially when that ship, like the Pharaon, was built, rigged, and stocked in old Phocaea’s shipyards, and belongs to a local shipowner.

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Cependant ce bâtiment s’avançait ; il avait heureusement franchi le dĂ©troit que quelque secousse volcanique a creusĂ© entre l’Ă®le de Calasareigne et l’Ă®le de Jaros ; il avait doublĂ© Pomègue, et il s’avançait sous ses trois huniers, son grand foc et sa brigantine, mais si lentement et d’une allure si triste, que les curieux, avec cet instinct qui pressent un malheur, se demandaient quel accident pouvait ĂŞtre arrivĂ© Ă  bord.
Translation

Meanwhile this ship was advancing. It had successfully crossed the strait that some volcanic tremor had sunk between the islands of Calasareigne and Jaros; it had rounded Pomègue, and it was advancing under its three topsails, its big jib, and its spanker, but so slowly and with such a sad air that the onlookers, with that instinct that senses misfortune, wondered what accident could have occurred on board.

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NĂ©anmoins les experts en navigation reconnaissaient que si un accident Ă©tait arrivĂ©, ce ne pouvait ĂŞtre au bâtiment lui-mĂŞme ; car il s’avançait dans toutes les conditions d’un navire parfaitement gouvernĂ© : son ancre Ă©tait en mouillage, ses haubans de beauprĂ© dĂ©crochĂ©s ; et près du pilote, qui s’apprĂŞtait Ă  diriger le Pharaon par l’Ă©troite entrĂ©e du port de Marseille, Ă©tait un jeune homme au geste rapide et Ă  l’Ĺ“il actif, qui surveillait chaque mouvement du navire et rĂ©pĂ©tait chaque ordre du pilote.
Translation

Nevertheless the navigation experts recognized that if an accident had occurred, it couldn’t have been to the ship itself, as it advanced with all the conditions of a perfectly steered ship: its anchor was in its casting, its bowsprit shrouds detached; and near the pilot, who was getting ready to guide the Pharaon through the narrow entry to Marseilles’s port, was a young man with quick gestures and alert eyes, who was watching each movement of the ship and repeating each of the pilot’s orders.

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La vague inquiĂ©tude qui planait sur la foule avait particulièrement atteint un des spectateurs de l’esplanade de Saint-Jean, de sorte qu’il ne put attendre l’entrĂ©e du bâtiment dans le port ; il sauta dans une petite barque et ordonna de ramer au-devant du Pharaon, qu’il atteignit en face de l’anse de la RĂ©serve.
Translation

The vague uncertainty that hung over the crowd had particularly affected one of the spectators on the esplanade of Saint-Jean, such that he couldn’t wait for the arrival of the ship in the port; he jumped into a little boat and gave the order to row in front of the Pharaon, which he met opposite the cove of la RĂ©serve.

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En voyant venir cet homme, le jeune marin quitta son poste Ă  cĂ´tĂ© du pilote, et vint, le chapeau Ă  la main, s’appuyer Ă  la muraille du bâtiment.

C’Ă©tait un jeune homme de dix-huit Ă  vingt ans, grand, svelte, avec de beaux yeux noirs et des cheveux d’Ă©bène ; il y avait dans toute sa personne cet air calme et de rĂ©solution particulier aux hommes habituĂ©s depuis leur enfance Ă  lutter avec le danger.

Translation

Upon seeing this man coming, the young sailor left his post next to the pilot, and came, hat in hand, to lean on the ship’s wall.

He was a young man, 18 to 20 years old, tall, slender, with beautiful black eyes and ebony hair; throughout his person was that calm and resolved air that is particular to men used to confronting danger since they were children.

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  Translation by LKL
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo est un roman français classique. Écrit en 1844, il est dans le domaine public. TĂ©lĂ©chargez l’original en format Ă©lectronique pour lire la suite gratuitement :

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk

The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic French novel. It was written in 1844 and is now in the public domain. Download the translated ebook to read the rest for free:

Project Gutenberg

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