He, Albert de Morcerf, one of the most eligible of young men, was still idly kicking his heels. It was all the more painful since, with the usual modesty of our dear compatriots, Albert had left Paris convinced that he would score the most astonishing triumphs in Italy and, on his return, delight the whole Boulevard de Gand with the story of his successes.

Alas, it has not been so. The charming Genovese, Florentine and Neopolitan countesses had chosen to stick, not with their husbands, but with their lovers, and Albert had come to the painful conclusion that Italian women at least have this over their French sisters – that they are faithful in their infidelity.

– Alexandre Dumas Pere, The Count of Monte Cristo

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