Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 579 pages of information about Zanoni.
impatient eyes.  At last, he faltered forth, “Do all of thy profession, beautiful Viola, exact marriage as the sole condition of love?” Oh, bitter question!  Oh, poisoned taunt!  He repented it the moment after.  He was seized with remorse of reason, of feeling, and of conscience.  He saw her form shrink, as it were, at his cruel words.  He saw the colour come and go, to leave the writhing lips like marble; and then, with a sad, gentle look of self-pity, rather than reproach, she pressed her hands tightly to her bosom, and said,—­

“He was right!  Pardon me, Englishman; I see now, indeed, that I am the Pariah and the outcast.”

“Hear me.  I retract.  Viola, Viola! it is for you to forgive!”

But Viola waved him from her, and, smiling mournfully as she passed him by, glided from the chamber; and he did not dare to detain her.


     Dafne:  Ma, chi lung’ e d’Amor? 
     Tirsi:  Chi teme e fugge. 
     Dafne:  E che giova fuggir da lui ch’ ha l’ ali? 
     Tirsi:  Amor NASCENTE ha Corte L’ ali
     “Aminta,” At. ii.  Sc. ii.

     (Dafne:  But, who is far from Love? 
     Tirsi:  He who fears and flies. 
     Dafne:  What use to flee from one who has wings? 
     Tirsi:  The wings of Love, while he yet grows, are short.)

When Glyndon found himself without Viola’s house, Mervale, still loitering at the door, seized his arm.  Glyndon shook him off abruptly.

“Thou and thy counsels,” said he, bitterly, “have made me a coward and a wretch.  But I will go home,—­I will write to her.  I will pour out my whole soul; she will forgive me yet.”

Mervale, who was a man of imperturbable temper, arranged his ruffles, which his friend’s angry gesture had a little discomposed, and not till Glyndon had exhausted himself awhile by passionate exclamations and reproaches, did the experienced angler begin to tighten the line.  He then drew from Glyndon the explanation of what had passed, and artfully sought not to irritate, but soothe him.  Mervale, indeed, was by no means a bad man; he had stronger moral notions than are common amongst the young.  He sincerely reproved his friend for harbouring dishonourable intentions with regard to the actress.  “Because I would not have her thy wife, I never dreamed that thou shouldst degrade her to thy mistress.  Better of the two an imprudent match than an illicit connection.  But pause yet, do not act on the impulse of the moment.”

“But there is no time to lose.  I have promised to Zanoni to give him my answer by to-morrow night.  Later than that time, all option ceases.”

“Ah!” said Mervale, “this seems suspicious.  Explain yourself.”

And Glyndon, in the earnestness of his passion, told his friend what had passed between himself and Zanoni,—­suppressing only, he scarce knew why, the reference to his ancestor and the mysterious brotherhood.

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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