The novelist Dumas would one day borrow features from both of his uncles, not to mention his grandfather, the acknowledged scoundrel, in fashioning the central villains of The Count of Monte Cristo. Reading court documents detailing the sordid unraveling of Charles's sham fortune, which would have devastating effects on his daughter and her unsuspecting husband, I couldn't help thinking that one of the interesting things about Dumas's villains is that, while greedy and unprincipled themselves, they produce children who can be innocent and decent. This was something that the writer understood very well from his own family.
There are some situations which men understand by instinct, by which reason is powerless to explain; in such cases the greatest poet is he who gives utterance to the most natural and vehement outburst of sorrow. Those who hear the bitter cry are as much impressed as if they listened to an entire poem, and when th sufferer is sincere they are right in regarding his outburst as sublime.