Alexandre Dumas on Danger, Mortality

Explore the depths of hidden torment in "Man in the Iron Mask" with our interactive lesson. Discover Dumas's powerful metaphor for the invisible afflictions of the mind.

Alexandre Dumas on Danger, Mortality
There are cancers so insidious in their nature that their very pulsation is invisible.
Such cancers leave the ivory whiteness of the skin untouched, and marbel not the firm, fair flesh, with their blue tints; the physician who bends over the patient's chest hears not, though he listens, the insatiable teeth of the disease grinding its onward progress through the muscles, as the blood flows freely on; the knife has never been able to destroy, and rarely even, temporarily, to discern the rage of these mortal scourges; their home is in the mind, which they corrupt; they fill the whole heart until it breaks.
Such, madame, are the cancers, fatal to queens; are you, too, free from their scourge?

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Alexandre Dumas Collection