Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 579 pages of information about Zanoni.

“Once the thought of him oppressed and weighed me down.  As an infant that longs for the moon, my being was one vague desire for something never to be attained.  Now I feel rather as if to think of thee sufficed to remove every fetter from my spirit.  I float in the still seas of light, and nothing seems too high for my wings, too glorious for my eyes.  It was mine ignorance that made me fear thee.  A knowledge that is not in books seems to breathe around thee as an atmosphere.  How little have I read!—­how little have I learned!  Yet when thou art by my side, it seems as if the veil were lifted from all wisdom and all Nature.  I startle when I look even at the words I have written; they seem not to come from myself, but are the signs of another language which thou hast taught my heart, and which my hand traces rapidly, as at thy dictation.  Sometimes, while I write or muse, I could fancy that I heard light wings hovering around me, and saw dim shapes of beauty floating round, and vanishing as they smiled upon me.  No unquiet and fearful dream ever comes to me now in sleep, yet sleep and waking are alike but as one dream.  In sleep I wander with thee, not through the paths of earth, but through impalpable air—­an air which seems a music—­upward and upward, as the soul mounts on the tones of a lyre!  Till I knew thee, I was as a slave to the earth.  Thou hast given to me the liberty of the universe!  Before, it was life; it seems to me now as if I had commenced eternity!


“Formerly, when I was to appear upon the stage, my heart beat more loudly.  I trembled to encounter the audience, whose breath gave shame or renown; and now I have no fear of them.  I see them, heed them, hear them not!  I know that there will be music in my voice, for it is a hymn that I pour to thee.  Thou never comest to the theatre; and that no longer grieves me.  Thou art become too sacred to appear a part of the common world, and I feel glad that thou art not by when crowds have a right to judge me.


“And he spoke to me of another:  to another he would consign me!  No, it is not love that I feel for thee, Zanoni; or why did I hear thee without anger, why did thy command seem to me not a thing impossible?  As the strings of the instrument obey the hand of the master, thy look modulates the wildest chords of my heart to thy will.  If it please thee,—­yes, let it be so.  Thou art lord of my destinies; they cannot rebel against thee!  I almost think I could love him, whoever it be, on whom thou wouldst shed the rays that circumfuse thyself.  Whatever thou hast touched, I love; whatever thou speakest of, I love.  Thy hand played with these vine leaves; I wear them in my bosom.  Thou seemest to me the source of all love; too high and too bright to be loved thyself, but darting light into other objects, on which the eye can gaze less dazzled.  No, no; it is not love that I feel for thee, and therefore it is that I do not blush to nourish and confess it.  Shame on me if I loved, knowing myself so worthless a thing to thee!

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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