Zanoni eBook

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

“I tell you,” said one (who spoke warmly), “that if you have a particle of common-sense left in you, you will accompany me to England.  This Mejnour is an imposter more dangerous, because more in earnest, than Zanoni.  After all, what do his promises amount to?  You allow that nothing can be more equivocal.  You say that he has left Naples,—­that he has selected a retreat more congenial than the crowded thoroughfares of men to the studies in which he is to initiate you; and this retreat is among the haunts of the fiercest bandits of Italy,—­haunts which justice itself dares not penetrate.  Fitting hermitage for a sage!  I tremble for you.  What if this stranger—­of whom nothing is known—­be leagued with the robbers; and these lures for your credulity bait but the traps for your property,—­perhaps your life?  You might come off cheaply by a ransom of half your fortune.  You smile indignantly!  Well, put common-sense out of the question; take your own view of the matter.  You are to undergo an ordeal which Mejnour himself does not profess to describe as a very tempting one.  It may, or it may not, succeed:  if it does not, you are menaced with the darkest evils; and if it does, you cannot be better off than the dull and joyless mystic whom you have taken for a master.  Away with this folly; enjoy youth while it is left to you; return with me to England; forget these dreams; enter your proper career; form affections more respectable than those which lured you awhile to an Italian adventuress.  Attend to your fortune, make money, and become a happy and distinguished man.  This is the advice of sober friendship; yet the promises I hold out to you are fairer than those of Mejnour.”

“Mervale,” said Glyndon, doggedly, “I cannot, if I would, yield to your wishes.  A power that is above me urges me on; I cannot resist its influence.  I will proceed to the last in the strange career I have commenced.  Think of me no more.  Follow yourself the advice you give to me, and be happy.”

“This is madness,” said Mervale; “your health is already failing; you are so changed I should scarcely know you.  Come; I have already had your name entered in my passport; in another hour I shall be gone, and you, boy that you are, will be left, without a friend, to the deceits of your own fancy and the machinations of this relentless mountebank.”

“Enough,” said Glyndon, coldly; “you cease to be an effective counsellor when you suffer your prejudices to be thus evident.  I have already had ample proof,” added the Englishman, and his pale cheek grew more pale, “of the power of this man,—­if man he be, which I sometimes doubt,—­and, come life, come death, I will not shrink from the paths that allure me.  Farewell, Mervale; if we never meet again,—­if you hear, amidst our old and cheerful haunts, that Clarence Glyndon sleeps the last sleep by the shores of Naples, or amidst yon distant hills, say to the friends of our youth, ’He died worthily, as thousands of martyr-students have died before him, in the pursuit of knowledge.’”

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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