Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 579 pages of information about Zanoni.
to be gay and happy.  This sudden picture of easy joy and careless ignorance, contrasting so forcibly with the intense studies and that parching desire for wisdom which had so long made up his own life, and burned at his own heart, sensibly affected Glyndon.  As he stood aloof and gazing on them, the young man felt once more that he was young.  The memory of all he had been content to sacrifice spoke to him like the sharp voice of remorse.  The flitting forms of the women in their picturesque attire, their happy laughter ringing through the cool, still air of the autumn noon, brought back to the heart, or rather perhaps to the senses, the images of his past time, the “golden shepherd hours,” when to live was but to enjoy.

He approached nearer and nearer to the scene, and suddenly a noisy group swept round him; and Maestro Paolo, tapping him familiarly on the shoulder, exclaimed in a hearty voice, “Welcome, Excellency!—­we are rejoiced to see you amongst us.”  Glyndon was about to reply to this salutation, when his eyes rested upon the face of a young girl leaning on Paolo’s arm, of a beauty so attractive that his colour rose and his heart beat as he encountered her gaze.  Her eyes sparkled with a roguish and petulant mirth, her parted lips showed teeth like pearls; as if impatient at the pause of her companion from the revel of the rest, her little foot beat the ground to a measure that she half-hummed, half-chanted.  Paolo laughed as he saw the effect the girl had produced upon the young foreigner.

“Will you not dance, Excellency?  Come, lay aside your greatness, and be merry, like us poor devils.  See how our pretty Fillide is longing for a partner.  Take compassion on her.”

Fillide pouted at this speech, and, disengaging her arm from Paolo’s, turned away, but threw over her shoulder a glance half inviting, half defying.  Glyndon, almost involuntarily, advanced to her, and addressed her.

Oh, yes; he addresses her!  She looks down, and smiles.  Paolo leaves them to themselves, sauntering off with a devil-me-carish air.  Fillide speaks now, and looks up at the scholar’s face with arch invitation.  He shakes his head; Fillide laughs, and her laugh is silvery.  She points to a gay mountaineer, who is tripping up to her merrily.  Why does Glyndon feel jealous?  Why, when she speaks again, does he shake his head no more?  He offers his hand; Fillide blushes, and takes it with a demure coquetry.  What! is it so, indeed!  They whirl into the noisy circle of the revellers.  Ha! ha! is not this better than distilling herbs, and breaking thy brains on Pythagorean numbers?  How lightly Fillide bounds along!  How her lithesome waist supples itself to thy circling arm!  Tara-ra-tara, ta-tara, rara-ra!  What the devil is in the measure that it makes the blood course like quicksilver through the veins?  Was there ever a pair of eyes like Fillide’s?  Nothing of the cold stars there!  Yet how they twinkle and laugh at thee!  And that

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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