"Invite these gentlemen to come to the fortress
," said he.
He spoke Italian like a Tuscan, and Spanish like a Castilian; he would have been free, and happy with Mercedes and his father, whereas he was now confined in the Chateau d'If, that impregnable fortress
, ignorant of the future destiny of his father and Mercedes; and all this because he had trusted to Villefort's promise.
Afterward I learned that thern spies had been aware of my coming for hours before I reached the hidden fortress
It originated in the simplicity of the Indian contests, in which, from the nature of the combats, and the density of the forests, fortresses
were rare, and artillery next to useless.
Hemmed in here by the massive thickness of walls and arches, the storm within the fortress and without was only audible to them in a dull, subdued way, as if the noise out of which they had come had almost destroyed their sense of hearing.
Seven prisoners released, seven gory heads on pikes, the keys of the accursed fortress of the eight strong towers, some discovered letters and other memorials of prisoners of old time, long dead of broken hearts,--such, and such--like, the loudly echoing footsteps of Saint Antoine escort through the Paris streets in mid-July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
We had no sooner gotten rid of the Spain distress than the Gibraltar guides started another--a tiresome repetition of a legend that had nothing very astonishing about it, even in the first place: "That high hill yonder is called the Queen's Chair; it is because one of the queens of Spain placed her chair there when the French and Spanish troops were besieging Gibraltar, and said she would never move from the spot till the English flag was lowered from the fortresses. If the English hadn't been gallant enough to lower the flag for a few hours one day, she'd have had to break her oath or die up there."
"That high hill yonder is called the Queen's Chair; it is because a queen of Spain placed her chair there once when the French and Spanish troops were besieging Gibraltar, and said she would never move from the spot till the English flag was lowered from the fortresses. If the English hadn't been gallant enough to lower the flag for a few hours one day, she'd have had to break her oath or die up there."
Some princes, so as to hold securely the state, have disarmed their subjects; others have kept their subject towns distracted by factions; others have fostered enmities against themselves; others have laid themselves out to gain over those whom they distrusted in the beginning of their governments; some have built fortresses; some have overthrown and destroyed them.
Our forefathers, and those who were reckoned wise, were accustomed to say that it was necessary to hold Pistoia by factions and Pisa by fortresses; and with this idea they fostered quarrels in some of their tributary towns so as to keep possession of them the more easily.
It has been a custom with princes, in order to hold their states more securely, to build fortresses that may serve as a bridle and bit to those who might design to work against them, and as a place of refuge from a first attack.
The mid-air part of one great deed I saw, however, and that was the balloon attacks made by our comrades on the fortresses. That was on the second day.
The first balloon missed the fortresses completely and disappeared into the country; but we learned about it afterward.
It floated too low and was shot full of holes before it could reach the fortresses. Herford and Guinness were in it, and they were blown to pieces along with the field into which they fell.
The original fortress
constructed under Louis XIV was, in spite of its technological and enviromental failings, a space-binding mechanism intended to extend the influence of France in the New World.