Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Zanoni.

The poor old woman uttered an exclamation of joy on seeing him; but, to their mutual disappointment, neither had any cheerful tidings or satisfactory explanation to afford the other.  Gionetta had been aroused from her slumber the night before by the noise in the rooms below; but ere she could muster courage to descend, Viola was gone!  She found the marks of violence on the door without; and all she had since been able to learn in the neighbourhood was, that a Lazzarone, from his nocturnal resting-place on the Chiaja, had seen by the moonlight a carriage, which he recognised as belonging to the Prince di —­, pass and repass that road about the first hour of morning.  Glyndon, on gathering from the confused words and broken sobs of the old nurse the heads of this account, abruptly left her, and repaired to the palace of Zanoni.  There he was informed that the signor was gone to the banquet of the Prince di —­, and would not return till late.  Glyndon stood motionless with perplexity and dismay; he knew not what to believe, or how to act.  Even Mervale was not at hand to advise him.  His conscience smote him bitterly.  He had had the power to save the woman he had loved, and had foregone that power; but how was it that in this Zanoni himself had failed?  How was it that he was gone to the very banquet of the ravisher?  Could Zanoni be aware of what had passed?  If not, should he lose a moment in apprising him?  Though mentally irresolute, no man was more physically brave.  He would repair at once to the palace of the prince himself; and if Zanoni failed in the trust he had half-appeared to arrogate, he, the humble foreigner, would demand the captive of fraud and force, in the very halls and before the assembled guests of the Prince di —.

CHAPTER 3.XVI.

     Ardua vallatur duris sapientia scrupis. 
     Hadr.  Jun., “Emblem.” xxxvii.

     (Lofty wisdom is circled round with rugged rocks.)

We must go back some hours in the progress of this narrative.  It was the first faint and gradual break of the summer dawn; and two men stood in a balcony overhanging a garden fragrant with the scents of the awakening flowers.  The stars had not yet left the sky,—­the birds were yet silent on the boughs:  all was still, hushed, and tranquil; but how different the tranquillity of reviving day from the solemn repose of night!  In the music of silence there are a thousand variations.  These men, who alone seemed awake in Naples, were Zanoni and the mysterious stranger who had but an hour or two ago startled the Prince di —­ in his voluptuous palace.

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